April 8, 2013
I apparently missed this film and if I were to judge from the reviews it was a good thing except for the score from Basil Poledouris (1945-2006) which BSX has made available for the first time out of Asia. This limited edition CD of 2000 units has turned out to be a real sleeper of a score for this reviewer who was instantly surprised from the very first track. Having talked briefly with Mark Banning from BSX he revealed that he was very proud of this release and well he should be.
“Legend of the Touch,” the main melody, is divided into two sections. The beginning introduction from the delicate chords of the harp leads the listener to the melody from the strings and then the flute. There is a hint that it could be from the mysterious orient but nothing pentatonic. In fact there is a chord from the flute that made me conjure up a western film! The second part with the Chinese percussion clearly makes it evident that this takes place in the Orient. It is at a very fast pace and dominates the remainder of the track. The percussion was a mixture of samples (wood blocks, Taiko drums) and live material from some of the traditional percussion such as cymbals, snare drum, and tam-tam. This mixture came through crystal clear on my speakers almost a Dolby like sound except I still use a traditional two speaker system. I’ve included Legend of the Touch as an audio track to give you an idea of the sound.
“The Loveable Thief” had Thomas Newman type harmonic chords in an eerie sounding cue. “Memories of Days Gone” takes the main theme and develops it in a different way as it has a touch of sadness to it. Well played by the China Philharmonic. “Time to Choose opens the gates of a major key as the strings perform music of hope. “The Touch” sung by Kelly Chen in Chinese is very pleasant to the ears as her beautiful voice doesn’t have to resort to loud bursts but loud enough that you don’t have to strain to listen. The violins and percussion nicely complement her voice.
At this time I would have to consider this one as the re-release of the year. It is very well done with informing liner notes from Randall Larson along with the mixing magic of Eric Colvin and the playing of the China Philharmonic. Recommended.
Total Duration: 01:07:22