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Matthew Herbert - Score

Herbert Score
Matthew Herbert - Score
(CD) Studio !K7 K7CD212, 2007-03-26

Tracklisting :
01. Funeral (Vida y Color 2005)
02. End (Vida y Color 2005)
03. Rivoli Shuffle (Le Défi 2002)
04. The Apartment (Le Défi 2002)
05. Singing in the Rain (Le Défi 2002)
06. Cafe de Flore (Trio Reprise) (Le Défi 2002)
07. Gang of Boys (Vida y Color 2005)
08. Blood and Hair (rejected demo from Manolete 2007)
09. Bull and Cloth (rejected demo from Manolete 2007)
10. Rendezvous ("Set Boundaries" by Raphael Bonachela Dance Company 2006)
11. Indiscretion (alternate version from Indiscretion 2005)
12. Forest Montage (The Intended 2002)
13. Broken Piano (The Intended 2002)
14. Tristesse (La Confiance Règne 2004)
15. Running From the Credits (La Confiance Règne 2004)
16. Nicotine (Nicotine 1996)
17. Closing Theme (The Intended, 2002)

Links :

Press Release :
The internationally acclaimed composer, DJ and electronic studio wizard Matthew Herbert goes to the movies on his latest album Score. Showcasing yet another of his multiple musical personalities, these 17 tracks cover the first decade in Herbert's burgeoning sideline as a writer of film scores, alongside a unique ballet collaboration.

Over the past decade, Herbert has amassed an unsurpassed portfolio of highly praised releases under his own name as well as Doctor Rockit, Wishmountain, Radio Boy, Transformer and others. He has also produced and remixed artists as diverse as Björk, Roisin Murphy, REM, John Cale, Yoko Ono and Serge Gainsbourg. And he draws on all aspects of this prolific musical career on Score - from the sun-scorched melodrama of Santiago Tabernero's Spanish film about the death of Franco Vida Y Color to the haunted pianos of Kristian Levring's colonial yarn The Intended, via the pure electronics of Indiscretion and the avant-classical minimalism of Rendezvous.

Of course, the collaborative process of scoring films is very different to Herbert's usual auteur approach to composing house music and experimental electronica. Consequently, Score contains some of his most traditional and straightforward pieces to date. His 2003 big-band jazz album Goodbye Swingtime, for example, grew out of his artfully retro-modern score for the French director Blanca Li's hip-hop musical, Le Defi.

And yet Herbert's trademark dedication to precise detail and conceptual rigour remains as strong as ever on Score. Each project boasts its own distinct musical language and sonic vocabulary, invariably sourced on location and thematically linked to the film in question. Mostly composed for independent European productions, the diversity of sounds and arrangements on this album is firmly at odds with the one-size-fits-all orchestral backdrop heard on most Hollywood blockbusters.

"One thing I really find artistically bankrupt is this idea that a 19th century symphony orchestra is the sole appropriate medium for a big budget movie, regardless of the genre", Herbert says. "The idea that this could work for a futuristic film like Minority Report, which is entirely set in the future, or a film like Troy, which is set thousands of years in the past, is totally absurd. Too often there is no attempt to think about the music in direct relation to the film."

This is certainly not the case with Score. Although it may not be immediately apparent, much of the album adheres to Herbert's self-imposed musical rulebook, the Personal Contract for the Composition of Music. Devised in 2000, the PCCOM prohibits the use of pre-set keyboard sounds, drum machines, or secondary musical sources. Originality is paramount. "Whether the director is bothered about it or not, this is very important to me," says Herbert. "I don't ever want to make music that exists in a context-less vacuum."

Score is a widescreen blockbuster epic of challenging, stirring, exhilarating soundscapes. It is an action adventure, chase thriller, romantic comedy and emotionally charged psychodrama all rolled into one. Fasten your seatbelt and let Herbert take you to the movies.


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