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Soundtrack Review

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The Home of Dark Butterflies
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Panu Aaltio
Movie Score Media
RRP: £13.99
Available 10 February 2009

Finland's, The Home of Dark Butterflies, features am orchestral score penned by newcomer Panu Aaltio, a composer who has been working on many of Tuomas Kantelinen's scores as an assistant and orchestrator, and who also scored acclaimed Finnish horror film Sauna. His score for The Home of Dark Butterflies is a deeply emotional work, recorded with a string orchestra in London, conducted by Matt Dunkley...

Panu Aaltio's score for The Home of Dark Butterflies took me completely by surprise. Aaltio's style and sense of timing suggests someone who's been composing movie scores for years, not a relative newcomer.

The press release we received informed us that Aaltio's "string writing has a stroke of minimalism that perhaps will remind some listeners of the work of Michael Nyman." Don't be put off. Thankfully, Aaltio's music has a heart and he doesn't repeat endless bars of the same music to pad out a score. There's also emotion here - something I find lacking in Nyman's very overrated style.

Highlights on this album include 'Main Title' (which houses the movie's main theme - which is echoed throughout the soundtrack); 'The Butterfly Project' (the build up to which reminded me of Howard Shore's music for Silence of the Lambs); 'Memories in Water' (which starts slowly and builds into a beautiful theme); and 'Forgiveness' which returns to the movie's main theme.

To be totally honest, out of this soundtrack's 45 minutes (approximately) and 18 tracks there's never a dip in quality and it's hard to fault. Watch out for Aaltio in the future, he's destined for great things.


Darren Rea

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