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Heartless by David Julyan (Review)

posted Jun 30, 2011, 8:23 PM by Kaya Savas

Back before Christopher Nolan was a huge deal he was making movies with an amazing composer, and that composer was David Julyan. Before the Hans Zimmer days we got amazing scores like Memento, Insomnia and The Prestige. Julyan's style is quite distinctive and here he shows off exactly what he does best. With Heartless his trademark ambience is working in full force, but for some his style may be too unstructured.

The music here does pack some amazingly strong moments and is actually much easier to grasp than say The Prestige. However, it's nowhere near the melodic structure of Insomnia, which in my opinion is his best score (so far). Heartless falls somewhere in the middle of those two films in terms of thematic strength and emotional depth. Clearly this is a dark score but his strings have that warm human feeling which gives the music a comforting feel. It's hard to describe the feeling his music possesses but if you recall the end of Insomnia it was sort of a happy/sad ending all at once. That's kind of how the score functions here. It's happy and sad all at once, and I know that may sound really stupid but if I'm putting this music into words that's what I come up with. It's some of the most "satisfying" scoring you will hear in terms of resolving the conflict or journey. The beginning and end of the score here outweigh the middle where it definitely does drag a bit. As a solo listening experience it may not work best, but don't forget that the music wasn't meant to be listened to by itself and that it was written for picture.

Since Christopher Nolan has moved on to bigger things and now works with Hans Zimmer I'm sure a lot of people may have forgotten about David Julyan, but his scores have such emotional strength that they will forever be with me. I look forward to each new thing he does and I still listen to his work on a regular basis. His music washes over me in a very unique way and really sinks in. Heartless is not as strong as some of his earlier work, but like I said earlier it's an easier solo listen than say The Prestige. Julyan fans should not hesitate to dive right into this unique piece of work.
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