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Soundtrack Review

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Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Nascuy Linares
Label: Plaza Mayor Company Ltd
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 16 November 2020

Nascuy Linares soundtrack for Luxor is released through Plaza Mayor Company. When British aid worker Hana returns to the ancient city of Luxor, she comes across Sultan, a talented archeologist and former lover. As she wanders, haunted by the familiar place, she struggles to reconcile the choices of the past with the uncertainty of the present...

The biggest problem with the soundtrack to Luxor (or it's main appeal, depending on your point of view) is that the majority of the pieces on offer are simply atmospheric music cues. There are some interesting themes woven throughout, but it does feel more like a score that should only really be listened to as an atmospheric enhancement to the onscreen action. On its own merits its sounds oddly disjointed.

Talking about the project, composer Nascuy Linares says: "The unsettling darkness of our times made me want to write this story set in a place which is a monument to past civilisations whose central beliefs, temples and obsession with the afterlife, were all rooted deeply in the idea of light overcoming darkness. I then started to think about a time when things seemed simpler and I questioned whether that was because of one’s youth/naïveté or because the world was in a place that seemed more hopeful, moving in a direction that was more just.

"For me, that period when things seemed simpler was in my early twenties. Then I began to think about the idea of meeting someone twenty years later who you were once close to, in love with, and hopeful with, and it seemed like it would be a good way to explore this theme. That way you would be able to directly see this passing of time and where it has brought you or what choices you made and how they shaped your life. I sense (and I’m sure most people do) a great confusion and a lot of fear with the rise of the far right, the questions that are raised by our inability to control or understand where technology is taking us like the internet, questions about controlling it and censorship, and the instability of division and war.

"Hana is a character who has put herself at the forefront of the instability by working as a surgeon at a clinic on the Syrian border. She is exhausted after her post, the struggle between life and death that she saw on a daily basis has taken its toll. The pain that she carries after witnessing these atrocities, first hand, weighs her down and of course makes her ask a lot of existential questions. She is also a woman in her early forties and her own window to be a mother is closing. Luxor is a city of archeology. The excavation of the ancient sites is so similar to psychoanalysis and works in a very visual way, the digging up, the excavation.

"Freud was particularly obsessed with archeology. If you go to his study in Hampstead, London, you can see his collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts. He believed that excavation of the mind is essentially what psychoanalysis is and that he could learn from archeology. I loved this idea and felt that the imagery of the digs and sites, was a strong non-verbal way of addressing Hana’s existential crisis, something that will stay in the audience’s subconscious. I wanted to make a film that transports people to this amazing place, but I didn’t want them to escape into some kind of orientalist fantasy, I wanted the themes of our times to be present."

The album contains 13 tracks (20 mins). It has a few moments of beauty and wonder, but these are too few and far between to make it an essential purchase.


Darren Rea

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