Coeurs/Mark Snow

November 20, 2006

 

In my mind the name Mark Snow immediately conjures up the wildly successful television show “X-Files” and the 200+ episodes he scored. Then television shows like “Smallville”, “Millenium”, “Starsky and Hutch” and so many others that you think of him as the best of the ‘A’ list composers for television. The John Williams of television comes to mind and I don’t mean he sounds like him is just at the top of the list. So when this demo recording came across the desk for a film by Alain “Hiroshima Mon Amour” Resnais called “Hearts”, a story about six lonely people and how they are connected, the intrigue becomes even more mysterious. Originally written as a play by Sir Alan Ayckbourn (Private Fears In Public Places), it stars Sabine Azema and Lambert Wilson. Why is Mark Snow doing a french film? Does he have a connection to Resnais? I think the answer to the question lies in the fact that Resnais has been a fan of Snow and approached him on doing the film which Mark accepted.

The material on the demo is a scant 21 minutes but the main theme is one of the very best from this year! It is written for piano with a small string section providing the harmony for the very french sounding composition, highly amorous in nature. To add to the setting there is a short but effective accordian solo enhancing the melody. It is approximately a 3 1/2 minute theme which is the first and the final track. Since there is no track listing provided I can only guess that it is the main theme and the end titles. But the theme itself instantly conjures up the outdoor cafe in Paris with two people gazing into each others eyes, obviously in love.

The remaining (9) tracks are pretty much all underscore with more emphasis on the use of the synthesizer almost as a special effects device. One of the tracks sounds like it is some sort of bad dream sequence. Their is a despair and sadness in a couple of the tracks as Mark uses the violins and accordians to achieve the desired effect. The main theme is repeated in another track but this time with an uptempo beat giving it a feeling of happiness being on the way. There is a bit of Thomas Newman sounding material (the style he developed and is known for).

Overall, it is a french sounding score for a french film with enough of that Mark Snow style in some of the underscore tracks to make it a very interesting twist. As stated earlier the main theme is one of the best ones I have heard in 2006. The question to ponder at this point is an official release of the material. At the time of this writing there are no plans to produce a CD. It’s a shame because this is worthy of a release.

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