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American Flyer by Mark Kilian (Review)

posted Jun 16, 2011, 6:52 PM by Kaya Savas

I've reviewed a couple of Mark's scores now and with each new one I look forward to what he will bring to the table. His sound is quite distinctive and he is able to compose really intimate scores using a small amount of instruments. His music is nothing fancy just simple themes and melodies telling a story and painting an atmosphere. American Flyer is a film that tells the all too familiar story of a young Mexican who dreams of crossing the border to the United States to make his million dollars. The acting is atrocious and the story ripe with melodrama, but the strong point here is what Kilian was able to do with the music.

Kilian's strong point is his ability to craft soundscapes with fantastic textures. The central theme for American Flyer is definitely the strongest I've heard from his body of work and the way it plays it defines the central character quite clearly.  The instrumentation brings some hispanic sounds to the music and it immediately creates an atmosphere and setting.  The score takes us through the story in a subtle way and the payoff is a beautiful 7.5 minute track that embodies the climax of the journey. The music doesn't overpower and it doesn't sit on the back burner. It does just enough to accentuate the emotions and characters and it really keeps things flowing. While the film itself may not appeal to many I can definitely say the score is worth seeking out.

Kilian's work may be too atmospheric for some, but I've really enjoyed his scores and this is definitely among his most thematic and superbly structured efforts. The sound and identity make it unique and it definitely has a character of its own. I highly recommend checking out this score.