MP3: Dying of the Light (2014)

February 19, 2015 | By


DyingOfTheLight_sScore: Very Good

Label: La-La Land Records

Released:  February 24, 2015

Tracks / Album Length:  21 tracks / (46:45)

Composer: Frederik Wiedmann

Special Notes:  n/a




The theatrical release of Paul Scharder’s Dying of the Light arrived with a ‘silent protest’ by the film’s director, lead actors, and producer, disassociating themselves from the film after it was sold to Lionsgate. According to Schrader, the studio’s shingle production Grindstone took over the final post-production stages, including the engagement of composer Frederik Wiedmann, who must have felt a little awkward in having to composer music without the collaboration of Light’s writer / director.

Wiedmann’s music is perfectly fine – the score begins with rather somber thematic material before cresting to an action denouement before there’s lengthy thematic statements – but there’s a decisive shift from what’s clearly Wiedmann’s material and more kinetic music which evokes the ghost of the Bourne films. Judging from the way the action cues echo John Powell’s Bourne Supremacy (2004), there’s a sense the film was cut to a temp track fitted with some of Powell’s Bourne cues, and to match the sequences’ tempo, Wiedmann was asked to stay close to the temp track.

The results (“The Switch,” “Ambushed,” and the closing track “Values”) are instrumentally and rhythmically similar to Bourne, but the surrounding cues are sufficiently balanced with electronics and heavy strings, and the use of similar ethnic percussion (first introduced in “The Doctor”) to reflect Wiedmann’s own sensibilities. Light’s main theme is a 6-note piece that reflects a sense of unease and hesitation, repeating the first two notes before a sudden glide sideways that allows some of the cues to remain unresolved, if not a little fragmented.

Most of the cues that precede the first action cue (“The Switch”) seem to cover introspective character moments with warm chords and slight use of reverse-processed sounds and soft, rippling electronic patterns. “Mombasa” is inflected with some ethnic acoustic instruments and a heavy synth pulse which recur in the melancholic “The Path to Revenge.”

Most cues average around 2 mins., with the rest either falling close to a minute. The album’s tightly sequenced, and in spite of the album’s Bourne-esque action cues, Wiedmann nevertheless reveals his sharp orchestrating skills and deft integration of orchestral, ethnic, and electronic instruments and effects to create a potent portrait of Schrader’s central character – a CIA agent seeking revenge before dementia claims his memory, and robs him of his skills.



© 2015 Mark R. Hasan



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Category: Soundtrack Reviews

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