Film scores

Soundtrack review: Swung (Richard Harvey – 2015)

swung

“Swung” is a 2015 British film directed by Colin Kennedy. When an encounter with the swinging scene has an unexpected impact on David’s impotence, Alice thinks she might have found the solution to all their problems, but the poly-amorous world is a difficult place for a love story to flourish. The score is written by Richard Harvey. Last thing I heard from him was his collaboration with Hans Zimmer for “Le petit prince”.

Elegance is the word that comes to mind as the score opens. “Former lives” is a beautiful and sad string piece that makes me thing of painful memories. Somehow this cue sounds as if it would work better as the end credits of a movie. “Longing / acceptance” deepens the mood and I must admit I was expecting a different kind of score when I read the synopsis of the movie. In the beginning of the score the composer focuses on the inner dilemmas and tribulations of the characters instead of the outside world fun.

I am sucker for a solo violin and “David runs” has a constant furious violin motif in the background that just makes me want to quiet down my thoughts and just listen to the story this cue has to tell me. The music is deep and it grabs my attention and encourages me to paint this canvas with my own feelings. Each cue makes the feeling of winter and remembering even deeper and the music makes me reflect on my own past.

“David’s old life” is the cue that seals the deal for me; a beautiful and complex theme that makes me feel deep regret. The violin and the piano bring back ghosts from the past and I can’t fight them off. The heavy and meaningful sadness of this score moves it even farther away from what I had in mind and I am getting very curious to see the movie and hear the score in context.

“Storytime” adds another level of nostalgia because it’s an ambient cue and this kind of sound automatically takes me to a special and safe place. “Night walker” goes even deeper and more atmospheric. This cue is the biggest surprise of the score because it’s the kind of piece I would expect to find on a horror score in the deep dark woods. I love this score, I love where it takes me and I love what it makes me feel. I am listening to “Because of you” and I understand it. What a gorgeous piano cue, beautiful and intense as a surprising cold and rainy day in the middle of august. Let me get lost in this cue and wonder around until my thirst is quenched…

“Swung” is full of moments like these. For me it was a journey I didn’t expect to enjoy so much. It was a journey full of surprises. This is the mark of a great composer, the ability to make me feel so much using so little… there are very few instruments in this score but each note is precious and charged with emotions. Listen to this beautiful, quiet and honest score because the piano it will make you feel…

Cue rating: 92 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 30 / 46

Album excellence: 65%

Highlights:

Longing / Acceptance

David Runs

David’s Old Life

Storytime

Night Walker (Various Artists)

Because of You

A Lost Soul

The Corridor

The Blackroom

Suite Talk

 

 

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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