We Own The Night/Kilar

October 31, 2007

 

we_own_night_lks33950.gifMinimalism is the word to describe the score material that Wojciech Kilar wrote for the James Gray film We Own The Night starring Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg as two brothers who eventually join forces to fight a Russian mafia drug lord. Taking place in 1988 New York, the film also stars Eva Mendes and Robert Duvall.

The soundtrack from Lakeshore is divided into two distinct sections. The first 11 tracks are source material ranging in diversity from Blondie and David Bowie to Louis Prima/Keely Smith and Jackie Gleason/Bobby Hackett. This review will concentrate on the Kilar original material written for the film. If you have seen the film or are familiar with the source material, you’ll have to be the judge as to whether or not the material strikes your fancy enough to purchase. Bobby, “The Sweetest Horn in the World”, Hackett always gets my attention for the smooth playing he does on the coronet with the lush strings of Gleason backing him on the standard “I’ll Be Seeing You”.

Minimalism music by definition is impersonal and repetitious in nature and “Club Raid” and “Vadim Escapes” are nothing more than the guitar and harp offering a couple of different chords repeated over and over with the strings in the background providing the same continuous note. “Dad Visits Bobby” and “Planning the Bust” are almost the same except this time there is addition of the oboe that performs a simple melody. The “End Credits” offer the same theme on the oboe except the solo is expanded sounding like a Russian tone poem about the Arab world. “Bobby Gets News”, “Funeral”, and “Vadim dies are the same theme of mournful funeral music with the exception of drum rolls in “Funeral”. “Bobby Kiss Amada”, “Bobby and Joe Talk”, and “Bobby Breaks Leg” are a music box style theme performed on the xylophone which brought the simple music box theme that Morricone used in For A Few Dollars More” to mind. “Burt Dies” is as loud and tense as the music gets with a few beats from the timpani and low chords on the piano.

The music box theme is one that is so hauntingly simple that it is one that this reviewer will remember over time. Minimalism music is something that you must acquire a taste for. The first time this reviewer heard Glass the word noise came to my mind. How can anyone possible sit and listen to this? But there is musical structure to this type of music just like 12 Tone. Like Phillip Glass, Wojciech Kilar writes this simple style of music quite well. Naxos, always a very good value, offers in their film music classic series a Kilar CD (#8.557703) of 5 of his films including Bram Stoker’s Dracula his international introduction. While these aren’t complete they are a nice compilation of his material. Kilar was paid to write and produce a particular emotion from the audience which he does. Yes it does serve to fill the speakers with sound during appropriate scenes where music is needed, but it is also much more than that. Worth a listen.

Track listing

1. Heart Of Glass (05:48)

Blondie

2. Let’s Dance (04:08)

David Bowie

3. Rapture (06:28)

Blondie

4. Message To You Rudy (02:53)

The Specials

5. A Little Bit Of Soap (02:14)

The Jarmels

6. Que Pasa Me No Pop I (06:20)

Coati Mundi

7. Should I (02:03)

Louis Prima

8. Maraca (06:03)

Descarga Total

9. I Ain’t Got Nobody (04:38)

Louis Prima & Keely Smith

10. Mambo Diablo (04:10)

Tito Puente

11. I’ll Be Seeing You (03:03)

Jackie Gleason

12. Club Raid (01:31)

13. Dad Visits Bobby (01:30)

14. Bobby Gets News (00:43)

15. Bobby Sees Joe (02:08)

16. Bobby Kiss Amada (01:25)

17. Bobby Breaks Leg (01:46)

18. Vadim Escapes (02:59)

19. Burt Dies (01:03)

20. Funeral (01:08)

21. Bobby And Joe Talk (00:50)

22. Planning The Bust (01:48)

23. Vadim Dies (02:46)

24. End Credits (02:56)

Total Duration: 01:10:21

Lakeshore #339502

 

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