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Soundtrack review: Sirens – Music inspired by Homer’s Oddysey (Craig Safan – 2018)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Sirens – Music inspired by Homer’s Oddysey (Craig Safan – 2018)



“Sirens” is an original composition based on the tales of the classic Greek myth The Odyssey and the amazing locations where the tales took place; it’s not a score per se but it is written by Craig Safan and it is music inspired by a story so it’s released as such and I am reviewing it, since I am always up for Craig Safan’s music.

I find these types of musical projects extremely appealing; I am a huge Mike Oldfield fan, grew up on his music and one of my favourite albums of his is “The songs of distant Earth” which was inspired by an Arthur C. Clark book. Musicians find inspiration and muses in all sorts of places and if it’s not a script, it can be an age old story like “The odyssey”. Besides, I know this story well so I can compare the music to my own ideas and feelings about it. “Circe’s island” opens this album and what do you know, it reminds me a bit of that Oldfield album with violin mixed with distorted whimsical voices that give the impression of a mysterious, fairy tale island. It’s a light ambient piece that puts me in an exploratory mood right from the start.

I like where Craig Safan took this album; I was expecting something ambient, minimalistic, just a reflective composition but “Sirens” is much more than that. The music is alive, it’s not still. This album is a journey in itself, with up moments, down moments, and, most important, gives me the sensation I used to get from most Mike Oldfield albums (my favorite musician), the sensation of a concept album that has something behind, an idea, a vision, not just random pieces of music put together. Craig Safan recreates a world, or more worlds, even, that me as a listener become part of and I just love taking this journey with him. The way he mixes sounds and different instruments, some electronic, other orchestral, simply works.

There are also experiments like “On a dolphin’s back” which goes for a grungier, more uncomfortable sound, with an electric guitar base and a sense of suspense and adventure. There are also sound effects, actual sounds of water in “She sang beyond the genius of the sea” and distorted, far away voices that blend very well with a suave violin motif. The guitar in “Melodious discord” once again makes me think of Mike Oldfield; now I have no idea if Craig Safan was in any way inspired by him but that’s just the way my mind works; that sound, that atmosphere is so close to my heart that I just feel it in any place where there’s a trace.

Before getting into film music, it was instrumental concept albums I was listening to; Craig Safan’s “Sirens” brings the most wonderful feeling of nostalgia for me because of this and I consider compositions like these timeless gifts, gems that I want to keep close for no matter what mood might befall me. The complexity of this work, the multiple layers of music and emotion, the dreamy state, the questions, everything works and lights up my imagination; I want sequels, I want to hear and explore more from this world. If you want to hear something different and discover an artist’s own vision about a legendary story, do not miss this album.

Cue rating: 79 / 100

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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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