One of the most pleasing developments for film music fans during the past few years has been the emergence of the Moviescore Media label, which is about to release its 100th title. Almost all of the titles they’ve released are ones which would otherwise have completely fallen under the radar – most of them are for small, independent (or “foreign”) films, by composers who are not that well-known. This score is a case in point. A Ticket to Space is a French science fiction comedy (Un Ticket Pour L’Espace) released in that country and Belgium in early 2006, and very little-known elsewhere. The composer, Erwann Kermorvant, has scored about thirty films in his native France; as far as I know, this is the first international release of his music.
It’s fabulous fun. As the MSM press release notes, it is comedy music written in the vein of Elmer Bernstein’s work in the genre – so deadly-serious, that’s why it’s funny. It’s hard not to raise a smile at the tips of the hat to the space scores of composers like John Williams and James Horner (and Johann Strauss!) – but of course, that alone wouldn’t be enough. The music still has to have a heart of its own, and A Ticket to Space certainly has that, through its various big themes and very impressive action music (I particularly like the Bill Conti homage in the pair of cues in the middle of the album, the amusingly-titled “The Wrong Stuff” and “Countdown”). Later, the dramatic “Alien Turkey” (well, with a title like that, it couldn’t fail to be dramatic!) is also especially impressive. This is a fine album, terrific fun to hear, and leaves me very keen to hear more from this exciting composer – fortunately, MSM have also just released his score for the western Big City. This one’s certainly recommended. *** 1/2