November 8, 2006


My first experience (and only one) with David Julyan was a score to an intriguing film called Insomnia. The dark score fit the film like a glove. Haunting, almost addicting were the chords and simple theme he used. This film is the fourth collaboration that David has had with director/writer Christopher Nolan and with the exception of Batman Begins they have worked together well as a team. With the success of of the batman film Christian Bale and Michael Caine team up on this film with Johansson, Jackman, and David Bowie. Well received by both critics and audiences it tells the story of rival magicians during the turn of the 19th century in London. 2006 seems to be the year for magic acts/magicians as this is the third film, the other two being Scoop, also starring Jackman and Johansson, and The Illusionist.

One thing that David has learned well is not to over emphasize anything in the score! Low key, go unnoticed, but keep it simple. It is very likely about as a dark and somber a piece that your ever going to find. “Adagio for Julia”, as an example should be re-titled Adagio di molto for Julia. In addition to using a (60) piece orchestra Julyan also uses electronics in the background on some of the tracks such as “The Real Transported Man” likely to add some science fiction aura to the track. “Man’s Reach Exceeds His Imagination” has some chords that you could definitely pick up on from Insomnia. “Are You Watching Closely?” sounds to me like it has something electronic transporting or taking off of some sort in the background. It goes faster and faster and then it abruptly stops. This is also true of the last track “The Prestige” which has a similiar sound in the background and then suddenly nothing. “Sacrifice” has a slow buildup with the strings playing long single notes then the ominous electronic droning and then the violins that sound like a large swarm of insects!

This is a score that you are going to want to have if you enjoy the film as many of you will; the talents of Jackman and Bale along with the directing of Chris Nolan have had a lot of praise in the reviews so far. There will be nothing in the way of a catchy whistle a happy tune. This is as a dark or darker than a minor Russian work and if you like your music that way you are also going to enjoy this quite a little bit. An interesting note is that Hans Zimmer is one of the executive producers, but to my knowledge had nothing to do with writing of it or for that matter Media Ventures. The work was recorded and performed by the famous Hollywood Studio and well mastered by Louie Teran in Los Angeles. Dana Niu provided orchestrations and Blake Neely did the conducting. For this reviewer it was quite difficult for me to get into this score, likely because I have not seen the film, something one should always do if at all possible. But after repeated listens I did find enough in the work to make it interesting.

Track listing

1. Are You Watching Closely? (01:51)

Part 1 – The Pledge

2. Colorado Springs (04:15)

3. The Light Field (01:50)

4. Borden Meets Sarah (02:11)

5. Adiago For Julia (02:08)

6. A New Trick (04:29)

Part 2 – The Turn

7. The Journal (02:55)

8. The Transported Man (02:36)

9. No, Not Today (02:31)

10. Caught (01:39)

11. Cutter Returns (02:13)

12. The Real Transported Man (02:28)

13. Man’s Reach Exceeds His Imagination (02:08)

14. Goodbye To Jess (02:58)

15. Sacrifice (05:15)

Part 3 – The Prestige

16. The Price Of A Good Trick (05:06)

17. The Prestige (01:40)

Total Duration: 00:48:13


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