Back to Gaya/Kamen
January 24, 2012
Available in a limited edition of only 1000 copies Moviescore Media has released the Michael Kamen (1948-2003) soundtrack to the German animated film Back To Gaya (Boo, Zino and the Snurks), a joint effort of individuals including Steve McLaughlin, Christopher Brooks, Ilan Eshkeri, and Robert Elhai who completed the sketches of composer Kamen, who passed away suddenly while working on the soundtrack. Like the film this CD is dedicated to Michael. Moviescore Media will share a portion of the revenues with the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation (1996) which furthers music education. This is a World Premiere recording.
The story involves Snurks and the recovery of their Dolomite magic stone which their home Gaya needs to survive. It features the voices of Patrick Stewart and Emily Watson.
1… Main Title (1:30) the strings are a prelude to the French horns that offer the main theme. The harmony is then offered by the strings playing two different lines in a rather complex orchestration that shows the Juilliard schooling of Kamen. You will hear this melody in other cues.
2… Snurks (1:27) is an absolutely delightful cue featuring the playful side of the bassoon usually known for its dark nature. The cellos and basses prelude the theme which is then played by the bassoon. There are a few really low notes which are guaranteed to vibrate your woofers!
3… Flying (1:59) is exactly what you think it should sound like which a proud majestic melody is introduced by the horns and complimented by a wordless choir in the background. This is a very uplifting piece no pun intended!
4… The Kiss (1:21) a playful cue with tremolo strings and a flute and oboe offering the melody. Very nice underscore material.
5… Fireworks (1:36) continues along similar lines to “Flying,” except it is yet another new melody which is proud, majestic, and uplifting. Another complex well orchestrated arrangement.
6… The Professor (2:32) while short this cue is divided into three parts. It begins with tremolo strings and a minor key motif. Disturbing strings indicate danger with dissonant horn motifs. It changes to a peaceful somber section complete with flutes. It changes again with a Planet of the Apes horn motif which blares out wildly with strings in nervous agitation.
7… The Race (2:29) offers a great classical European sound. The pace is like a race with a comical touch to it. This is another track that shows the classical training of Kamen.
8… Baby Chase (2:57) after a tense beginning the track turns somewhat comical with another well played solo from the bassoon.
9… The Vortex (3:04) is a bold ominous sounding cue with swirling harmony and lots of harmony counterpoint and harmony in a somewhat complex orchestral arrangement. It ends on a somewhat quiet note in a minor key further enhancing the dark threat. If you like your music loud and in your face this is a cue for you.
10… Wrecking Ball (0:44) is a short cue with a distant timpani, sliding trombones and crisp staccato brass.
11… The Toy Store (1:41) this begins as a typical waltz that ends up offering loud mocking horns making it a fun listen.
12… Balloon Crash (2:25) it seems the bassoon has a busy time as it is featured in yet another cue.
13… Rat Chase (2:42) strings with a sense of urgency harmonized with other strings are a prelude to a theme played by the orchestra in a comical cue.
14… The Sewer (3:00) begins with a Vivaldi feel which quickly changes to a somewhat disturbing track which makes a brief reference to “Dies Irae” before it offers loud dissonance from the horns along with agitated strings.
15… Find a Way In (1:32) another cartoon comical cue with the tuba being given center stage along with a bassoon.
16… In Charge (1:42) a bassoon seems to be the featured instrument on this score as it begins and ends this track.
17… Switched On (1:46) starts as a peaceful track, which crescendos in a major key melody and it ends as it started very peaceful.
18… So Unusual (1:43) begins with tremolo strings which become harmony as the horns offer a motif.
19… Free Will (3:43) a somewhat peaceful track, a sunrise spectacular changes to one of a disturbing nature including a two note danger cue.
20… Night Flight (1:39) the urgency chords open and continue in the cue as loud dissonant brass dominate the cue. It ends on a quiet note.
21… Big Dumb (5:18) tremolos from the strings prelude a majestic horn in a sad track. Tension becomes the order of the day as it becomes a dark cue of mysterious nature. There is a two note danger motif from the horns.
22… Robot Chase (3:05) offers growling brass with the strings introducing an 8 note motif from the horns. This is a good action cue well orchestrated.
23… Climb (2:24) is another action cue with more ape like horns and a very disturbing theme.
24… Catching Dolomite (1:39) starts as a restatement of the main theme but quickly becomes tension with powerful brass statements. It ends in mystery.
25… Manuel Targeting (1:21) a frantic staccato cue with swirling strings and horns highlight this track.
26… We’re Free (4:01) is a powerful cue that offers the main title in (FFF). Proud sounding horns offer majestic fanfare again with a choir background. It ends with a huge crescendo which just dies as if out of fuel.
27… The Mayor Runs (1:38) a flute and oboe begin the playful track which is filled with a lot of fun chords.
28… Back to Gaya (1:22) is a restatement of the main theme where it all began an hour ago.
Many themes, along with superb complex well thought out orchestrations make this CD a real winner. You can hear how much fun the orchestra is having playing this. The digital recording is bass solid, crisp treble, and excellent ambience. This soundtrack is available from iTunes as well as Screen Archives Entertainment. Remember this is a limited edition so act quickly as it will sell out. One can only imagine the Kamen fan that has been given another soundtrack to enjoy.
Music performed by London Metropolitan Orchestra
Moviescore Media CD# MMS-12001