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41 by Mark Kilian (Review)

posted Jul 31, 2012, 9:28 PM by Kaya Savas

If you were to look at Mark Kilian's filmography on IMDb you'd be surprised at how busy this man is. I feel as if just when I review one of his wonderful scores I get sent another. This time we get a documentary that revolves around George Bush our 41st president. Documentaries are always interesting to listen to because the composer has the immense challenge of having to find a delicate way of enhancing reality with music. Documentary scoring gives composers the biggest challenges, but also the biggest rewards. The emotions are as genuine as they can be, and that's the case with Mark Kilian's score.

This is an immensely delicate score with a lot of personality. There is a sense of pride and accomplishment strewed through the music, but not in a boisterous way. He handles the material extremely well while carefully selecting his instrumentation to give subtle hints of patriotism. There is a certain "waltzy" feel to the whole experience that makes it bounce along while giving it a bit of weight. He is able to shift tone from light to a bit more serious when dealing with certain parts of Bush's life like in the track "Operation Desert Storm". Some tracks handle emotion in a very respectable way when it's needed. The entire score flows along while always creating this bubbling sense of curiosity. It really perks up the interest in the listener. The album comes to a close bringing in the theme we heard in the opening track.

This score certainly gives George Bush a musical identity. It's never overt and stays delicate most of the time. It handles major moments in the President's life with a delicacy that still holds a certain amount of weight, and in the end the music paints the portrait of a man. There is definitely a personality within the music, and Kilian handles the material very well. While this isn't an extremely engrossing score, it still manages to spark some curiosity from the listener. Another job well done by Mark Kilian.


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