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Soundtrack Review

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Valley of Shadows
Original Soundtrack


Composer: Zbigniew Preisner
Label: Caldera Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 03 December 2018

Caldera Records releases the score for the motion picture Valley of Shadows from 2017, directed by Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen and featuring music by Zbigniew Preisner.

The movie was inspired by a wide variety of sources, mostly going back to the director’s childhood: “I am interested in fables and allegories, in mythology and children’s tales, these stories that we often believe are regional but are actually extremely universal, sometime with a moral and often with joyful gravitas.”

Polish composer Zbigniew Preisner's (perhaps best-known for his work on the Three Colors trilogy) score for Valley of Shadows is mostly comprised of electronic music, which is designed to act as narration in the film, being played from the beginning to the end. The score is haunting thanks to its combination of symphonic and electronic music, which at times are augmented by the vocals of Lisa Gerrard.

The album contains 14 tracks (1 hr, 09 min, 41 sec) and is very much a slow burner. It's an incredibly subtle and emotive score that is packed with chilled themes. This is a soundtrack that you can relax to, meditate to, or put on in the background while you read. But, equally, it's an album that you can give your full attention to, as what at first appears mellow and ambient, is in fact multilayered and carefully structured.

It's not, however, a soundtrack that you can dip in and out of very easily. This is a score that you need to listen to from start to finish, as some of the themes and motifs grow and shift as the album progresses.

It's a beautifully rich score that is extremely rewarding.


Darren Rea

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