Latest reviews of new albums:
  • Composed by Zeltia Montes
  • Quartet Records / 2012 / 50:13

Ignacio Vilar’s Vilamor (Lovetown) is a coming-of-age drama both for its young protagonists and indeed for Spain, set in the late 1970s shortly after the death of Franco.  I takes place in a commune where a young trainee priest tries to bring normal life back to his community, and “saving” some young hippies who perhaps don’t really need saving from anything.  The film’s only been released in Spain so I haven’t seen it, but I can report that the scenery looks very nice, and it does sound like it has potential; perhaps an international release will follow at some point.

The score is by young Spanish composer Zeltia Montes, who has already attracted some attention so early in her career, winning awards at a couple of Ubeda film festivals.  This is actually her second score for the director (she also scored his Pradolongo in 2008 when still in her 20s) and is my first exposure to her music; it’s safe to say that if there’s any justice, she will soon be going places in her career.  Vilamor is one of the finest new scores I’ve heard so far in 2012, a gorgeous album boasting some wonderful themes and a sense of joy and, simply, of life.

Zeltia Montes

The opening theme, “Back in Lovetown”, is just wonderful.  The expressive melody is beautifully touching, really intimate, and has a wonderfully organic feel to it, towards which I can’t help but be drawn.  Indeed, the same could be said of the score as a whole – the combination of the orchestra (the Kiev Symphony Orchestra) with solos from various traditional instruments (some – accordion, marimba, Jew’s harp – familiar; others – fidula de arco, vihuela de man – not).  It’s moving, too, no more so than when turned into a song, “O Sol da Liberdade” (“The Sun of Freedom”), at the album’s end.  The love theme is perhaps even more expressive, leaping around with boundless energy, sounding summery, bright, carefree.  It’s a real treat.

The score is a beautiful expression of youth, and the booklet notes rightly point to the feeling of a connection with the natural world, a connection enforced with the traditional instruments and occasional use of solo female voice.  In terms of film scores, I’d say there are echoes of Michael Nyman’s Wonderland, with the same excited sense of freedom, and Mark Isham’s Fly Away Home, with the celebration of natural wonders.  It’s an exceptionally beautiful album, one I recommend very highly; and I can’t wait to hear more from this composer.  *****

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  1. AJ (Reply) on Monday 20 August, 2012 at 13:50

    Perhaps the writer wants “justice” for the composer a little too much?

  2. AJ (Reply) on Monday 27 August, 2012 at 10:45

    Smitten man, you’re smitten!

  3. Matt Lambertson (Reply) on Thursday 18 October, 2012 at 00:25

    This review is directly responsible for me purchasing this score. Cheers!

  4. André - Cape Town. (Reply) on Thursday 18 October, 2012 at 22:17

    I’d sampled a few of VILAMOR’s tracks off Screen Archives site…and continually listened to them while awaiting the CD’s arrival. The title track with its marvellous orchestration [archaic Spanish instruments] has a beautiful melody enhanced by the humming female vocalise of Sofia Ribeiro. Variations of this lovely theme are highlights of the album! The energy and joie de vivre of other cues is exhilerating – and, in spite of a few banal tracks, I too look forward to ZELTIA MONTES’ future film scoring ventures.