MP3: Canal, The (2014)

October 31, 2014 | By


Canal2014Score: Excellent

Label:  Lakeshore Records

Released:  October 7, 2014

Tracks / Album Length:  23 tracks / (51 mins.)

Composer: Ceiri Torjussen

Special Notes:  (none)




It’s been a while since musique concrete has comprised the bulk of a score, but Ceiri Torjussen’s managed to apply the experimental technique of combining raw sounds with assorted instrument scratching, banging, grinding, and knocking to create a bizarre world where there is virtually no warmth, light, or moment of sanity.

The easy approach, one could argue, is to mine pre-existing sound libraries and shape sounds into broad blankets of sonic textures, but every organic cue in The Canal is hand-crafted to a specific level of a character’s downward spiral, and Torjussen sticks with an intimate combination of strings, piano, tonal feedback, and a scratchy LP.

Each cue consists of a gradual evolution of sounds with jarring interruptions or dramatic accents, and if there’s any parallel to his approach, it’s a combination of Christopher Young’s early scores and non-film works of the 1980s (the ‘immersion passages’ within Hider in the House, or aspects of the Hellraiser films), and especially Ennio Morricone’s giallo scores of the late sixties / early seventies where strings, percussion and piano where the core instruments from which weirdness was extrapolated. Like Morricone’s work with the experimental Guppo di improvvisazione nuova consonanza,

Torjussen’s cues have moments of loose, free-drifting sounds, and while the cues are much shorter than the Gruppo’s sometimes epic creations, they’re no less creative. The lone area where Torjussen applies colour occurs in “Putrid Premonitions,” a Morricone-styled cue where interwoven high pitched, squealing tones form a distracting aural blanket, over which a cluster of chimes suddenly erupt. On it’s own, the cue is highly atmospheric, but when it occurs within the score’s first third, it’s terrifying because Torjussen’s almost coddled the listener into accepting a limited range of sounds before colour crashes through the strained, sustained grubby chords.

The Canal isn’t for broad tastes, but those with an affinity for experimental works and gnashing giallo scores will relish this rare foray into weird terrain, using organic sounds in place of digital manipulations.



© 2014 Mark R. Hasan



Additional Links:
Editor’s Blog — Composer on IMDB  —  Composer Filmography —  Soundtrack Album

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Category: Soundtrack Reviews

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