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Soundtrack review: In loving memory (Susan DiBona & Salvatore Sangiovanni – 2018)

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Soundtrack review: In loving memory (Susan DiBona & Salvatore Sangiovanni – 2018)



“In loving memory” (Ek Poshla Rupkatha) is a 2017 Indian drama. An elderly woman suddenly inherits a large sum of money from her long deceased husband and decides to use it to build a lavish tomb, where she intends to rest in peace after her demise. She believes that her days are numbered and besides, she doesn’t have the will or any apparent reason to live anymore. When the tomb is finally built, she pays regular visits to the nearby cemetery every morning. Days go by as the old lady awaits her death. But one morning, she discovers something unusual near her tomb. A thrilling and eventful couple of days await her. Susan DiBona and Salvatore Sangiovanni wrote the score.

I have written till my fingers got numb about my adoration for the Italian film music score, my favourite in the world, the masters of romance and emotion and yet an opening cue like “Into the memories” still has the power to hypnotise and turn me into a something you can pick up with a mop form the floor; the combination of a stunningly beautiful violin motif (remember this name, Paolo Montefusco), a joyful piano section (I will find out who plays the piano as well) and the always magical flute make this opening cue the most beautiful fairy tale. This kind of music is pure magic and raw emotion, warm, comforting, made of love. The composers make sure each instrument, be it cello, piano or violin gets the space it needs to grow, to flourish, to enchant; even when violin and piano play in the same time it’s nothing but a respectful duet between two quiet soloists who express all their emotions and tribulation through presses of the keys and strikes of the bow on strings.

It’s not easy to play all these emotions and not make the music overwhelming and heavy; yet Susan DiBona and Salvatore Sangiovani turn them into star dust and the fairy tale feeling goes on. As serious and painful the story is, the music could serve like the texture of a sanctuary in which even a child could play; it’s an enchanted fantasy land. The care with which the instruments are played and the tenderness that smothers every motif make this one of those scores that are too beautiful for this world. It’s not easy to write music like this and you do not hear music like this every day and this makes “In loving memory” even more special. It’s a spacious composition where every instrument plays clean and clear and leaves enough place for the story to develop and for the images to tell the rest of it.

For sure Susan DiBona and Salvatore Sangiovanni are two composers who come from a different time, from a different world, and their brand of poignant orchestral minimalism is something rare and precious and I will always be thirsty for music like this. Playful, positive and emotional in the same time, “In loving memory” is a score that shows me why I fell in love with film music in the first place. Listen to this gem and it will make the world seem a little more beautiful.

Cue rating: 100 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 28 / 28

Album excellence: 100%

01_Into the Memories
02_Boy Rascal
03_A Solitary Walk_Family Nostalgia
04_Fish and Firecrackers
05_The Letter_Wind in the Curtains
06_Waking Alone
07_Memory Waltz
09_The Color of Dead Blooms
10_Blooms Resurrected
12_Into the Enchanted Room
13_Memory Waltz_Revelation
14_Waves On the Shore_Ek Poshla Rupkatha

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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