Allies/Philippe Jakko

January 16, 2015

allies copy


Moviescore Media is a Swedish based company that gives the new composer a chance to have his material heard and this is the case with Philippe Jakko and his score to the independent film “Allies.” With the exception of a couple of drum samples this is performed by musicians on real instruments. As Jakko put it to me “there s no comparison between real and fake orchestra: 50 musicians brings always more emotion than a computer…!”  I’m including a link to Moviescore as well as the composer’s website so that you can listen to the clips and if it suits your fancy place an order. The overall feeling that one gets from this soundtrack is one of darkness. His use of the celli and double bass and slow funeral style music with minor chords will not leave you with a joyous feeling. War isn’t a happy time and the lower bowels of the orchestra certainly reflect that. Having just said that there are some uplifting moments of hope throughout the score.

The Dominic Burns film takes place in 1944 and tells the story of an American captain with British soldiers who were dropped behind enemy lines in France with a plan that could hasten the end of the war. The first cue “Opening,” the main title, features the lower register in a staccato fashion which permeates the track. There is a sense of urgency that dominates the entire track. Horns along with a thumping percussion (window rattling) make this track rather complex in nature. I like the added touch of a single bell that signals the conclusion of the track. Proud and heroic are the best words to use to describe what you hear in “Brothers,” the second track. A feeling of heroism is depicted with the simple melody, the calling out of the horns and the use of a wordless choir. “Dakota Flight” my favorite track begins with a long extended note, a pause and then a six note motif from the piano and a repetitive two note sound from  a piano. This same six note motif is also repeated in “The Village.” Also used in the orchestration is an instrument called a Cristal Baschet, named after the inventor. The only other composer who uses the Cristal Baschet as an instrument  is Cliff Martinez. It sounds like it could be a synthesizer but it isn’t. “Harry and Catherine” does offer the use of this as a ray of hope. The uplifting track also using rising strings reaching a major chord. As the composer explained to me it was a skeleton he used in the score that also appears in the tracks “Partisans” and “Billys Death.” The Cristal Baschet provides mystery and then emotion. As you can hear this isn’t just a bunch of notes but a well thought out composition.

Overall I like the score as it reminds me of some Russian composers who wrote for the lower register of the orchestra. The sound is fine from a digital download but lacks some of the subtle nuances of a CD or Flac file. At $9.98 retail it is also considerably less than others. I hope to hear more from this composer.





1 Opening 3:41
2 Brothers 2:21
3 Harry’s Moment 3:44
4 Troops in the Fields 2:34
5 Partisans 5:20
6 Forest Battle 4:03
7 Dakota Flight 2:21
8 German Camp 2:54
9 Brothers’ Car Ride 1:49
10 In the Hut 1:43
11 The Village 3:26
12 The Ambush 1:43
13 Billy’s Moment 3:36
14 Harry and Catherine 4:37
15 Traitor + Hero 4:13



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