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Soundtrack Review

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King Richard
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Kris Bowers
Label: WaterTower Music
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 19 November 2021

WaterTower Music releases the soundtrack to King Richard, which features the music of composer Kris Bowers. The movie follows Richard Williams, a man determined to write his daughters, Venus and Serena, into history. Training on Compton, California’s neglected tennis courts - rain or shine - the girls are shaped by their father’s unyielding commitment and their mother’s balanced perspective and keen intuition, defying the seemingly insurmountable odds and prevailing expectations laid before them...

Kris Bowers's score for King Richard really does tug at the heartstrings. It's a beautiful collection of 18 tracks (40 min, 40 sec) that delivers, mostly melancholic, yet surprisingly uplifting, themes.

Discussing the project, Bowers says: "This score is in fact a very personal one for me. Watching Richard and Oracene's support, love, and sacrifice for Serena and Venus not only reminded me of so many black families and black parents that put their all into their children, but it reminded me of my own parents as well. In a similar way to Richard, my dad decided before I was born that he wanted me to play piano, and my parents scoured the entire county to find me the best music educators they could.

"Due to the personal connection I felt to the film's story I decided to heavily feature piano and prepared piano. Additionally, wanting to evoke the sound and feeling of tennis, I chose to only feature strings, harp, piano, prepared piano and percussion, the prepared piano and percussion coming in during moments where we see the uniqueness of the Williams sisters in this predominantly white sport. In a way, the percussion and prepared piano is meant to mirror the grit and tenacity of these girls/this family. Lastly, to build off of the idea of how this story originated with Richard's plan, all of the thematic material are variations on the same theme. A theme we first hear with Richard, and develops into Venus's theme, a theme for the matches themselves, and so on."

It's a score that slowly builds as it moves forward, with uplifting sweet themes woven throughout. Apparently it includes the song 'Be Alive' performed by Beyoncé, however this wasn't included on the review album we received.

Bowers really does pull out all the stops to deliver a score that works beautifully in the movie, but also stands alone as a gloriously uplifting collection of themes in its own right.


Darren Rea

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