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Soundtrack review: Spectrum (Frederik Wiedman – 2015)

Freddie Wiedman is one of my favorite composers. For me every new release of his is a reason to get excited and to anticipate a wonderful listening experience. I’ve spoken to him and I know his favorite writing style is booming action so I couldn’t wait to hear how he would approach the sensitive subject of autism in his score for the “Spectrum” documentary. This is a unique film which focuses on the sensory difference that cause autism and is shows through the eyes of both kids and adults.

Even the idea of a spectrum suggests multiple layers and a complex but easily understandable structure. The music reflects that from the beginning. Freddie chose to go minimalistic and poignant for this. He used different kinds of soft strings to show different kind of feelings and questions. I get the first rush when the end of the title cue from this score starts flying on the wings of a beautiful melody. I feel the chill of a beautiful winter day when I listen to “Touch” with the interplay of guitar and cello strings. I don’t need anything other than music like this to reflect and take a look inside. The music of “Spectrum” is warm and heartfelt and it touches me with every note.

The main focus of Freddie’s music here is beauty and optimism. The music could have been depressing or sad but instead the composer chose to show us the inner beauty that can hide behind false appearances. I feel close to this score. I’d like to take this score by the hand and sit with it in a park and just watch it live, breathe, react just as I watch my new born little girl. “Spectrum” has that beauty and innocence you can only feel if you have your heart and mind opened.

There are moments when I feel chills, like “The painter” because I sense the pain and the seriousness it communicates to me. The instruments are the same, they just start off with a couple of tears on the cheek before joy finally takes over and I return to that sunny park. Then the strings take over and I feel my heart just skip a beat. The music is just beautiful and I feel so much joy listening to it. “Spectrum” is short but I don’t need more. The way such a short and simple score can communicate so much is just stunning. This is a side of Freddie I didn’t know but I am happy to discover. I haven’t heard him write quite like this but I think this is one of the most honest scores he’s ever written. He always gets into the mood of whatever game or movie he scores and gives his all but maybe influenced by the topic. I imagine “Spectrum” has a lot of Freddie in it.

A cue like “The poet” just makes me stop whatever train of thought I had running and just floods me with hope and love. If you would look at me while listening to “Spectrum” you would see a wide smile on my face. I am sure this will be the sensation for you as well. The language of music is universal and Freddie Wiedmann speaks it so well that you won’t have any difficulties in understanding everything he so beautifully tells you… Don’t miss this score. It will leave a mark.

Cue rating: 100 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 24 / 24

Album excellence: 100%

Highlights:

Sensory Differences

Spectrum

Touch

Moving In Space

Flying

The Painter

The Poet

Dancing With Movement

Thrive

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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