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Soundtrack review: Dark Waves (Alexander Cimini – 2016)

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“Dark waves” (Bellerofonte) is a 2015 movie from visionary director Domiziano Cristopharo. It stars Nancy de Lucia, Antonella Salvucci, Arian Levanael and Gabriele Guerra and the score I written by Alexander Cimini who left an unforgettable mark for me with “Red Krokodil”.

Connecting with this score is as comfortable as entering a sea where the water temperature matches that of my body. The main theme is a haunting and gorgeous piano driven cue blessed by an angelic soprano voice that stirs up all sorts of feelings inside me. Epic and emotional, this two minute long gem also brings me Morricone nostalgia as Monica Boschetti’s voice reminds me of Edda Del Orso’s. Lucky for me there will be many more moments like these throughout the score.

The Italian school of film music is my favorite; I’ll go right out and say it. It’s not just that this sound is in my blood since I grew up with it; it’s the way Italian composers like Alexander Cimini have a magic wand that adds a beautiful romantic filter to their music no matter what the story might be. I love the warmth of the music and the layered sensitivity. Every instrument used in this score smiles and caresses even if the scene might be scary. The way the composer uses the brass instruments to evoke melancholy and how that moody sound contrasts with the poignancy of the piano sections gets to me.

Every time the soprano voice returns i get goose bumps. I shiver and feel the need to close my eyes when the voice turns into a tornado of emotions for a cue like “The tower”, a piece of music that represents everything I love about film music. I listen to film music because I want to feel; a score like “Dark waves” plays my emotional chords as if they were chords of a harp that vibrate at the slightest touch.

The score is dark, make no mistake, but it’s the most comfortable and melodic darkness I can find. Sometimes if comes in waves, other times it tip toes but it always tells me something. The music is beautiful and timeless and I am not ashamed to admit there were moments when it brought tears in my eyes. The message is so powerful and the composition so intense that I just let go. I am hypnotized and unable to move as I fall under the spell of a composer you should all get to know. I know I’ve been raving about the vocal parts but the cello and violin solos were just as intense and magnificent.

“Dark waves” is for everyone who loves beautiful and deep orchestral music; is for those who grew up on Morricone and were haunted by Edda Del Orso’s magical voice; this score is for everyone who wants to be moved by music.  Complete with the “Bellerofonte” concert suite which makes me want to see this score played live, this Kronos Records release is a must have. I wanted to call this score a rare gem but it’s not the case as almost every album Kronos brings to light is a musical treasure. As far as 2016 score releases go, this will be very high on my list at the end of the year.

Cue rating: 100 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 59 / 59

Album excellence: 100%

Highlights:

  1. Bellerofonte Main Theme
  2. The Town
  3. The Arrival
  4. The Tower
  5. Wine Like Blood
  6. Love Scene
  7. Hidden Mysteries
  8. The Fog
  9. Fragments of Memories
  10. Dressing
  11. Follow Me (film version)
  12. The Secrets Revealed
  13. Farewell

14..Memories Lost in the Sea (End Credits)

  1. Follow me (Soundtrack Version)
  2. Bellerofonte Concert Suite
  3. Love Song (Opening Title Theme) *  (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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