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Soundtrack Review

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The Green Knight
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Daniel Hart
Label: Milan Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 30 July 2021

Milan Records (Sony Music Masterworks) releases the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to The Green Knight, by Daniel Hart. In the film directed by David Lowery, King Arthur’s reckless nephew, Sir Gawain, embarks on a foolhardy quest to confront the Green Knight, a gigantic emerald-skinned stranger. Based on the Arthurian tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, this is more about defining his character and proving his worth to his family, as he contends with ghosts, giants, thieves and schemers along the way to his destiny. Hart began (and continues) as a session musician for at least four bands. More recently he recorded strings for St Vincent’s 2021 album, and re-arranged songs for Anjimile’s latest release. Hart has also written music for Dark Rooms – his own band – and toured the US and Europe during the last eight years. Based in Los Angeles, he has scored all of Lowery’s movies to date, including Pete’s Dragon, A Ghost Story, Old Man and the Gun, and The Green Knight. Daniel Hart sees this collaboration as particularly satisfying considering the amount of time they spent achieving the right musical balance...

Before I assess the music, it’s worth pointing out that the track titles (29 in all) are somewhat long, eccentric and quirky, and probably deserve noting – even though, as I’ve stated in a handful of previous reviews, I’m not an advocate of multitudes of overly short pieces, as opposed to longer and more coherent suites with direction.

'In Stori Stif And Stronge'; 'Christ Is Born Indeed'; 'You Do Smell Like You’ve Been At Mass All Night'; 'Tell Me A Tale Of Yourself, So That I Might Know Thee'; 'Shaped By Your Hands'; 'O Greatest Of Kings'; 'Remember It Is Only A Game'; 'One Year Hence'; 'I Promise You Will Not Come To Harm'; 'Child Thou Ert A Pilgrim'; 'Rest Them Bones My Brave Little Knight'; 'A Meeting With St Winifred'; 'Your Head Is On Your Neck, My Lady'; 'Are You Real, Or Are You A Spirit'; 'I Will Strike Thee Down With Every Care That I Have For Thee'; 'Aiganz O Kulzphazur'; 'The Giants Call'; 'Brave Sir Gawain Come To Face The Green Knight'; 'Should Not A Knight Offer A Lady A Kiss In Thanks'; 'Hold Very Still'; 'Do You Believe In Witchcraft'; 'You Are No Knight'; 'I Never Asked For Your Help Anyway'; 'Gawain Runs And Runs'; 'Blome Swete Lilie Flour; Excalibur'; 'Oh Nyghtegale'; 'Now I’m Ready, I’m Ready Now'; and 'Be Merry, Swete Lorde'.

We begin with a Pagan-like percussion and xylophone which comes and goes, and tone vocals. It’s followed by a whistle or pipe lead and rattling backing; almost a medieval dance. An acoustic drum and bass strings, bottles and harp introduce the return of the angelic vocals and then vocals. We are then treated to a melancholic piece which slowly builds. Tracks 6 and 7 are the first indicators that something sinister is afoot, the latter employing a heavy stomping effect and haunting vocals. Acoustic guitar, strings and shakers create quite a nice period piece with ringing vocals for track 10 (probably the most inventive of the collection). I also like the dark Electronica of Track 22. It is truly quite amazing that, apart from the ‘Ah, ah’s’ and atmospheric vocals (which are extensively over-utilised), Hart manages to convey a mental image of setting, period, ambience and action/emotion without representing the same tricks too many times. A ‘sound’ score.


Ty Power

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