- Composed by Patrick Doyle
- Varese Sarabande / 2011 / 40:00
Patrick Doyle is one of those composers who tends to divide his time between the big blockbusters and much smaller films. He’s been very prominent in terms of blockbusters so far in 2011, with Thor and Rise of the Planet of the Apes under his belt; pretty active in the latter field, too, with his latest score for Régis Wargnier, La Ligne Droite, arriving earlier in the year and being amongst his very best – and now his music from a documentary about the 2010 Irish Dance Festival (held in Glasgow), Jig, has also been released. It is a very “small” score in most respects – performed entirely by piano, flute, violin, guitar and keyboards, and with a fairly simple thematic range – but to pull out the inevitable stale cliché, it does have a large heart.
It almost goes without saying that there is a heavy celtic influence to the music – the film’s about an Irish dancing competition in Scotland – though this is, apart from a handful of occasions, more of the lilting variety than the Riverdance diddly-eyes. I can’t really stand that sort of thing so there are a few tracks which are likely to be swiftly removed from my iPod after I’ve finished writing this review; but the straighter cues are quite delightful. They are insubstantial, to be sure (I’ve caught the bug!) – and not that far from what has been heard in numerous romantic comedy scores over the last decade or so from various composers – but certainly lovely. The only real misfire for me comes when Doyle tries to be a bit more dramatic, relying on synths to do so. The feeling of 1980s porn music is, I’m ashamed to admit, what sprang to mind when hearing some of it. (Well, what I imagine 1980s porn music to sound like, anyway.) It’s a slightly unusual album, but not an unpleasant one; and Doyle’s always capable of writing a great tune or two, as he does here. Certainly one which will be enjoyed by fans of his smaller scores. ***
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