Film scores

Soundtrack review: Earthly Eden (Yuri Poteyenko – 2012)

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KeepMoving Records’ release of “The Forbiddance” by Russian composer KeepMoving Records’ release of “The Forbiddance” by Russian composer Yuri Poteyenko also includes his score for “Earthly Eden”, an adaption of Aleksandr Vampilov’s classic play Duck Hunt, transported into modern times as a young engineer named Zilov sees his life crumble around him with only the titular hunt bringing some relief to his conflicts. I enjoyed “The forbiddance” and I hope this one goes down the same track.

I can see why the producers put these two scores on the same CD. “Earthly Eden” picks up right where the other one left off with an elegant piano theme that invites the listener into a mysterious world. It’s the kind of theme that always seems to have a superior smile in the corner of its mouth. The mood is jazzy and laid back and I can almost see the smoke from the cigarettes slowly rising to the ceiling.

The score gets stuck though in that moment; it never leaves that misty darkness and every cue seems to sound like the one before. The piano motif recurs over and over again and I get a little tired of it. I am not a huge fun of jazz anyway so when the moody trumpet joins in, even if the music is nice and enjoyable, I can’t really connect with it. Luckily a cue like “Despair” comes along and shows me what this composer is truly capable of.

“Earthly Eden” sounds to me as if Yuri Poteyenko didn’t want to take many chances. He has his beautiful sound with the strings and piano going hand in hand and he’s very comfortable there. An hour of that though can get very long if you are not in the right mood. There are some action inserts that change the mood and I am starting to get curious about the pace of the movie this score was written for. Does the music stay true to that? Does it make more sense in context?

Stay with this score for the mood, if it fits you. It’s a sad mood, full of doubts and regrets and it’s constructed very well. I can hear the European background of the composer because the score reminded me of the “Polish composer month” I had last year. There’s a certain dark veil that a score like this carefully places around us and it does leave a pin in the back of my mind. I will return to this score.

Cue rating:

Total minutes of excellence:

Album excellence:

Highlights:

Despair

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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