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Soundtrack Review

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Miriam Cutler Film Music


Composer: Miriam Cutler
Label: MovieScore Media
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 27 April 2018

MovieScore Media presents an overview of the works of composer Miriam Cutler, a mainstay of the documentary community. Ranging from a chronicle of Terry Gilliam’s unfinished Don Quixote movie (Lost in La Mancha) through shocking documentaries about unusual people (One Bad Cat, Finding Kukan) to LGBT-topics (Pandemic: Facing Aids, Chris & Don: A Love Story, Vito), Miriam Cutler brings her unique vision to all subject matters. The Film Music of Miriam Cutler offers the composer's own selection of her favourite cues. Some films have raked in awards, others have never seen the light of day - their only common feature is that they offer fascinating examples of how a composer conquers unique challenges, trying to encapsulate all the features of the documentaries...

Miriam Cutler: Film Music features selections from 18 different movies, most of which have no commercial release on CD. The cues were personally selected by the composer to reflect on the many different projects from her career as a documentary composer.

Miriam Cutler is a composer whose work I'm not overly familiar with, aside from her score for Ethel, and so this album was an interesting way to be introduced to a wider selection of her work. And, as Cutler personally chose the tracks on this release, it's a pretty safe bet to assume these are the pieces that she's the most proud of and mean the most to her.

These 18 tracks (1 hr, 14 min, 30 sec) represent a very broad collection of styles, but it goes some way to showcasing Cutler's diverse range. While interesting, I don't think there's that much here that would have me eagerly searching out the full album for each piece - which is probably just as well because the majority never received an album release.

'Out of Faith' was one of the highlights for me, but then this is probably because it draws on a number of influences including Classical music.

While I have to admit I wasn't overly drawn to the album, I'm sure that fans of her music will relish the opportunity to own some rare gems.

Track listing:

01 - Lost in La Mancha
02 - Absolute Wilson
03 - Genius of a Place
04 - Out of Faith
05 - Pandemic: Facing Aids
06 - A Powerful Noise
07 - Ghosts of Abu Ghraib
08 - Chris & Don: A Love Story
09 - Vito
10 - One Bad Cat: The Reverend Albert Wagner Story
11 - All American Cowgirl
12 - One Lucky Elephant
13 - Finding Kukan
14 - The Desert of Forbidden Art
15 - Death: A Love Story
16 - View from the Bridge: Stories from Kosovo
17 - Stolen Childhoods
18 - Stumped


Darren Rea

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