Film scores

Soundtrack review: Tim’s Vermeer (Conrad Pope – 2014)

“Tim’s Vermeer” is well worth a listen. It has the unpredictability of jazz and the controlled chaos of an inventor’s day.

“Tim’s Vermeer” is a documentary written by Penn and Teller (the famous American entertainers) about inventor Tim Jenison’s efforts to duplicate the painting techniques of Johannes Vermeer. The subject sounds interesting, and the score was written by Conrad Pope. I only know his as orchestrator or conductor for a lot of my favorite scores.

“Vermeer’s theme” is a beautiful and romantic composition. After this, the score starts playing with different themes. We get a variety of styles in this score, but I think it’s ok for a movie about an inventor and his struggles. There’s jazz in “Tim the inventor” and Philipp Glass like vigor in “Painting on a projection”. I feel the Glass vibe all through the score but again, I like vigorous and rolling piano for a subject like this. The jazz motifs are interesting, but that’s not my kind of music.

This score is a very interesting listen. The orchestral experimentations keep you guessing all the time and there’s the joy of discovery in the music. I could listen to a score like this, while doing something creative, for more than the 43 minutes it has. It’s a journey through the mind and trials of an inventor. The music has a lovely sense of playfulness in it. I love the piano improvisation in “Hockney”, or the renaissance sound of “Colin Blackmore”. There’s some little treasure to be found in most of the tracks.

“Tim’s Vermeer” is well worth a listen. It has the unpredictability of jazz and the controlled chaos of an inventor’s day.

Cue rating: 69 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 14 / 44

Album excellence: 33%

Highlights:

Vermeer’s Theme

Pilgrimage to Delft

Hockney

Tim Paints

Finishing the Painting

Varnishing

Vermeer’s Theme – Variation

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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