2 out of 5
Produced by: Marceau Boré (recorded by)
Conceptually interesting. Marceau Boré’s soundtrack to documentary Schoon Donker works in slices – lightly jazz-sprinkled horn interplays that are backed or preceded by some haunting ambience – but the is absolutely killed for momentum by the next slice, which will push the drone or aetherial concepts a bit too far to allow the listen to hold together as an album.
As a film focusing on two pigeon fanciers, the proposed themes of ‘breath’ and ‘flight’ would certainly make sense, and these themes do come across, expressed as fluttering notes or huffed, elongated ones on wind instruments, touched by synths here and there. One can imagine how these ideas – because that’s moreso what many of the tracks represent – would work alongside the film. However, it’s hard to say if these concepts would be identifiable – besides certain elements sounding similar from track to track – without knowing them ahead of time, or the score’s film’s intended focus.
The A-side starts off well, with strong examples of both the more active “flight” tracks and an engaging “breath” track, but the remainder of the side is where we run into a long gap without much on which to latch. It’s not that the ambience / drone is uninteresting, but it feels isolated, and isn’t given enough room to grow on you, like most drone – these tracks are, firstly, to underline scenery in a movie, and then it’s secondary that they appear in a format for us to listen to at our leisure. To the latter effect is where I’d say it’s unsuccessful.
The B-side features a longer succession of music that feels like it belongs together as an album, peaking in two moments of truly joyful beauty – B-side opener Animation, and the penultimate Théme Port. The closer is where we lose the plot a bit again, going a bit too open-ended, but this is where something like that could fit as an epilogue, if the entire set made a better bee-line toward it.