TV

Soundtrack review: The missing (Domink Scherrer – 2015)

missing

This is a flourishing period for British TV dramas and lately we’ve been getting quite a few high quality scores for these as well. After “Broadchurch” and “Wolf hall” it’s time for another composition to make its way to our ears. This time it’s “The missing” and the subject reminds me a lot of “Broadchurch”: a young buy goes missing during a family vacation in France and his father and a retired French detective spend years trying to find him. Sounds heartbreaking. I have a 3 weeks old little girl and it’s very difficult to think about a subject like this. The composer is Dominik Scherrer and this is the first I’ve heard of him.

A story such as this one is all about the inner turmoil of the main character and the angst of his search… I imagine moments of hope and moments of supreme disillusion. “Opening ascension” hits the right spot with me. It’s a deep ambient cue reminiscent of Brian Eno and when I hear something like this I am sold. Add to that int he final minute the echo of some dark strings and a haunting piano and you get a cue that goes on my list of best cues of 2015. I will listen to it again come December to see how it holds up. For now it just gave me chills and calmed everything inside me. If this and the moody guitar based “Eden” are an indication of the entire score, this one is a winner.

“Gone fishing” keeps the melancholic mood with chimes and a slow burning pace. I know this sound. I know it from movies about a single character’s journey and tribulations. It’s a lonely sound, it’s an intense sound and it’s not a happy sound. I like it a lot because it makes me feel something. It lets me focus on what it’s trying to tell me and I can be part of the musical journey. “The searching” gets a little louder but still drags its sound as if to show some steps. Different guitar moods are at the center of this section of the score at it lightens up the mood a bit.

Just for a moment though because “The basement” sends shivers up my spine. It’s creepy and uncomfortable and I don’t want to be there. “The scarf” and “Actias luna” seem to be keeping the score in a sort of limbo. The guitar chords feed the suspense but the music is at the edge between gripping and generic. I can’t make up my mind by the time they end. Luckily “Pray for me” leans towards the deep end and I like it. A few piano notes can say so much…

“The bridge” is the weirdest cue from “The missing”. It’s experimental and has a lot of uncomfortable noises and twists. I like it mostly because of the way it ends with a tiny holes in this dark matter through which the lights comes in. Dominik Scherrer uses the strings in very interesting ways. In “Mr. Fox” the strings are schizophrenic and I can hear them suffering in the background, like a soft cry, unable to get louder or stop. This is another very weird cue. “Leaving Eden” is beautiful and melodic. “Closing ascension” matches the opening one in depth and emotion. It makes my heart beat faster and it convinces me to watch the show. I need to see which scene this cue completes. It just stroke a chord inside me and left an echo there. “Closing ascension” evokes to me a cruel and everlasting doubt.

The score ends with “Oliver”, the theme for the lost boy which is as rich and emotional as the rest of the score. As the two shows compete in TV land, the score for “The missing” goes toe to toe with the one for “Broadchurch” and such level of excellence is great for the listeners. I will surely keep my ears opened for Dominik Scherrer. A mention for the vocal theme “Come home” sung by Belgian band Amatorski. It brings a sound which reminds me of the music of Twin Peaks, that weirdly exciting mix of sweet innocence which is just an illusion…

Cue rating: 88 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 20 / 40

Album excellence: 51%

Highlights:

Opening Ascension
Eden
Gone Fishing

Pray For Me

Leaving Eden
Closing Ascension
Oliver

 

 

 

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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