Soundtrack review: Requiem (Dominik Scherrer – 2018)
“Requiem” is a British supernatural drama television series written by Kris Mrksa and directed by Mahalia Belo. The mother of the central character, Matilda, played by Wilson, commits suicide. This turns Matilda’s life upside down and leads her to a Welsh village where a toddler disappeared in 1994. The secrets that Matilda uncovers make her question her own identity. Dominik Scherrer wrote the score with the participation of Natasha Khan.
The opening cue “Aigra” has a very intense sound to it with a blend of cello texture and the female voice giving me the feeling of a paranormal, ghastly presence. I always enjoy vocalisations like these in a score and “Requiem” has plenty as Natasha Khan uses her voice in various ways in most of the cues; in “Naaa” (all the cues have strange, one word titles like these which I imagine are Welsh words, somebody please confirm this) she goes for the whimsical, carefree vocalisations I usually associate with 70s or 80s Italian and French comedies and it’s a sound that carries a lot of nostalgia and magic for me. This particular cue has quite an Edda Del’Orso feel to it.
It would be of course unfair to only mention the vocal work as Dominik Scherrer wrote a score to remember; the cello texture of “Izraz” is intense and piercing and I can’t get enough of it. There is also a short organ motif that adds to the mystery and impact of the cue. This is just an example as the solo cello, here melodic, there nervy, here tortured, there caressed just makes me want to know who the soloist was. There is an inexplicably addictive atmosphere in this score; I have heard dozens of horror scores lately as this genre has been quite popular both in film and TV and yet this one stands out because it’s written as if it was a presence itself, a smoky, shape shifting presence that comes an goes, appears and disappears. I could say it’s experimental music and I am both intrigued and enchanted; just listen to “Xpaxn” and how brilliantly the voice is used, chanting, whispering names, breathing them to be more exact and giving me the impression of altered reality, of ghosts, of unfinished emotions. It’s a permanent duet between the cello and the restless, whispery voice and I just can’t get enough, I want to be part of the story, I want to help.
When you listen to hundreds of scores every year it’s not easy to be surprised and that’s why I applaud succesfull experiments like this one, composers who think outside and box and let their imagination run freely. This is how a story like this should sound, without a doubt; the score has the uncertainty, the nervousness, the emotion and the mystery the story needs and as far as supernatural compositions go, this one is right up there. I just loved the experience of listening to “Requiem” on its own, simply as music, and letting it create images in my mind. Not only that but the way the music is done evokes the mistiness and mystery of a Celtic village. Just give this one a listen, regardless of your connection with the show. You don’t hear a score like this every day.
Cue rating: 94 / 100
Total minutes of excellence: 27 / 38
Album excellence: 70%
Naaa (Dominik Scherrer & Natasha Khan)
Izraz (Dominik Scherrer & Natasha Khan)
Xpaxn (Dominik Scherrer & Natasha Khan)
Saaiz (Dominik Scherrer & Natasha Khan)
Erubey (Dominik Scherrer)
Edlprnaa (Dominik Scherrer)
Xai (Dominik Scherrer & Natasha Khan)
Laoaxrp (Dominik Scherrer)
Iczhiha (Dominik Scherrer)
Nlirx (Dominik Scherrer & Natasha Khan)
Omsia (Dominik Scherrer & Natasha Khan)