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Soundtrack review: Old beginnings (Joseph de la Hoyde – 2012)

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“Old beginnings” is a short film by Binu Basheer which was an official selection at Cannes 2012. The score was written by Joseph de la Hoyde.

The opening cue gives me a wonderful vision of a summer sunset on top of a ridge, overlooking the glimmering sea. I could just stay there forever. The sun reflects in the water, there’s a soft gust of wind and memories just start overflowing me. They are not only happy memories because I feel a shadow of regret in my heart. Those memories jumped at me from nowhere brought on by this gorgeous image nature laid in front of me. The soft female choir at the end of the cue makes the regret cut even deeper and feels as if a cloud came to change the mood.

“I can’t take it” is only half a minute long but the piano there makes it feel longer and more meaningful. With “Reluctant farewell” I get a small vibe from “Last samurai”. There is no better vibe I could get from a cue. Maybe it’s the fragile and piercing flute that plays for a few seconds, maybe it’s just the flow of the music but I am stunned.

The piano returns then as if it was in a competition over my soul with the other instruments. It plays quietly and so beautiful that I instantly know I will replay this score as soon as it’s over. I am torn between the feelings I get from the music and the knowledge the in 10 minutes it will all be over. These themes could have been developed… They could have told me a longer story… those feelings should have been explored in more detail. In fact now, I will only get this small dose of magic and then it will be gone.

I try to look at this score as if it was one of those perfect sunset landscapes that only do last for but a moment; “Old beginnings” is like those few timeless seconds when the sun, the shade, the water and the clouds align in such a way that they make an image so perfect it doesn’t seem real. You look at it in awe and it’s gone in the blink of an eye. What feeling will prevail… The gratitude for having witnessed it or the regret that it was too short? Lucky for me, I can listen to this score over and over again…

Cue rating: 100 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 11 / 11

Album excellence: 100%

Highlights:

Old Beginnings (Theme)

I Can’t Take It

Reluctant Fairwell

Nothing Left Here

Starting Fresh

The World Isn’t Enough (Bonus Track)

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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