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Reaching For The Moon by Marcelo Zarvos (Review)

posted Feb 25, 2014, 9:08 PM by Koray Savas

Marcelo Zarvos is easily one of the most underrated composers working today. Despite his large workload, he never seems to get the attention and praise he deserves. Perhaps it is the lack of big profile films under his belt, but his ability to conjure a sense of beauty and gentle rapture in his music is wholly unique. Zarvos was a name to take notice of in 2006 with his scores for Hollywoodland and The Good Shepherd. Both featured a dark yet weightless sense of drama and intensity that really nailed the films down. Since then he has been able to develop that duality and grow into it. Reaching For The Moon takes that sense of drama and morphs it into something higher.

The film centers around the love affair between an American poet and a Brazilian architect, and that dynamic is felt instantly within Zarvos' melodic string writing. The music gently flows and glides like flower petals in the wind. It echoes a sense of love like fluttering butterflies. It may sound cliche but that is what this score evokes. There is a true sense of nature and life that Zarvos breathes into the story which is conveyed magnificently by the main theme. There is not much else to consume here, but the minimal development and simple structure works well to enhance the narrative. The journey starts off melancholic ("Corujas") but it slowly grows into something more nostalgic and painful ("Crossing The Equator") before settling in and embracing all of its emotions with "The Art Of Losing."

Marcelo Zarvos does what he knows best; and while Reaching For The Moon is not an outstanding entry in his filmography, the music is able to grasp and carefully twirl you around this love story with great use of acoustic guitar and piano. The theme and its slight variations embody an expansive palette of shapes and colors that helps give the musical journey a sense of depth instead of padding it down.