Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mao's Last Dancer (Soundtrack) by Christopher Gordon - Review

Mao's Last Dancer (Soundtrack) by Christopher Gordon - Review

A Dance to Remember
Review by Marius Masalar

The music of CHRISTOPHER GORDON will no doubt already be familiar to readers of Tracksounds since we recently covered the Australian’s dark score for DAYBREAKERS. In that review, I mentioned that GORDON’s most notable score was not DAYBREAKERS or MASTER AND COMMANDER, but MAO’S LAST DANCER, and now that the film has been widely released in theatres since August, it’s finally time to take a closer look at this fine score that earned him a Best Original Score award from the American Film Institute.

Considering the almost documentary-level intimacy of the story, it’s no surprise that the musical score is, for the most part, quite reserved. That being said, when highlighting the movie’s most dramatic moments, GORDON allows himself to unleash the full breadth of his considerable musical abilities. This is immediately evident in the rousing and mystical opening track, “Out of the Well” (1). The film’s primary theme is introduced softly on a Chinese flute before the more active secondary theme takes over. Over the course of just under two and a half minutes, we are presented with an extremely attractive and charismatic blending of Eastern and Western sensibilities with some very idiomatic writing for both hemispheres of instrumentation.

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