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The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca (Soundtrack) by Mark McKenzie

Tracksounds Rating = 8/10

The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca (Soundtrack) by Mark McKenzie

Composed by Mark McKenzie
Performed by Uncredited Orchestra;
Manolo Segura, Grant Geissman
Released by Intrada 1995

Track Title Time Rating Score of the Little Death
by Christopher Coleman

Yet another example of the musical passion of composer Mark McKenzie is his score for the no-to-popular film, The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca.  McKenzie certainly was faced with the daunting task of composing a score that could provide a musical backdrop equal in passion, mystery, and beauty, to that of the poetry and life of Spanish-poet, Federico Garcia Lorca.  The result of his efforts are heard as McKenzie employs three major themes that show themselves, in a variety of forms, throughout the nineteen tracks released by Intrada. 

The first is Lorca’s theme.  McKenzie remarks that this is his favorite theme of them all.  This theme is powerful, sweeping, dramatic, and yet a bit sad.  Lorca’s theme flows in the style and manner of a Nino Rota composed-theme.  The theme for Garcia Lorca is introduced a little ways into track 1, For Love of a Poet. Track 4, Trapped Inside My Memories, displays this theme a la Italy, played on the mandolin and clarinet.  At the conclusion of track 12, I Invented Some Wings for Flying, this theme is heard in a strong militaristic flavor.  This is a very memorable theme and any dramatic film would be lucky to have one theme as nice as this; however, McKenzie adds yet another superb theme for this one film.

Second, there is Ricardo’s theme, found at the very onset of the CD in track 1, but played most simply in track 3. Interestingly, this theme is found more frequently than either of the other two themes.  Track 14, Five in the Shadow of the Afternoon, showcases this wonderful theme in a much more determined and driven style.  The tempo is increased and the orchestra truly gives this piece a good run for its money.  The life infused into this track is very similar to what Basil Poledouris did in Les Miserables or what Patrick Doyle did in Great Expectations.  Making such comparisons might be seem to be a bit lofty praise, but McKenzie has earned it here.  Track 16, Butterfly of Your Kiss, may be the best arrangement of this theme.  It starts simply but quick escalates into full-blown orchestral magic, fades and then returns with God-fathereseque twist.  Finally, this track returns to a simple, reflective style.

The third theme seems to have been developed from the one of poet Garcia Lorca’s favorite themes, that of death.  In his poem, Song of the Little Death, the poet wrote, “Yesterday, tomorrow. Mortal grassy heaven. Light and sandy darkness… Cathedral of the ashes. Light and sandy darkness. Tiny little Death." McKenzie’s musical interpretation of such colored language comes in the form of a strong flamenco vocal theme, sung by Manolo Segura.  This element is quite unique.  It helps to contrast the beauty of Lorca’s writings with the mystery and sharpness of death.  The vocalizations bear a strong resemblance to Native American chants or even vocals from the Middle East.   By the end of the CD, this theme sadly proves to be a rough intrusion into the more sweeping melodies of the score. 

There certainly are moments of suspense in this score - just enough, I might add.  They are not as boring as underscore tracks can get.  In fact, there are some very compelling moments.  A Thunderstorm is Brewing, and Five by All Clocks in the Afternoon include moments that can easily be compared to some of Horner’s or Don Davis’ action/suspense cues.

Most of the tracks are extremely short.  Twelve of the nineteen tracks are under three minutes in length.  However there is almost an hours worth of music here and the CD ends with a 10:40 orchestral suite.  In other cases, Intrada has placed McKenzie suites at the beginning of the CD and it would have been appropriate to have done so here as well.  Like Frank and Jesse and Durango, this suite does sow together the best moments of the score into a nice digestible package.  The drawback is that, by the end of this CD, one has had enough of the vocal death- theme and to hear it again is too great of a temptation to end the musical experience with a rude abruptness.

Once again, McKenzie has done an A-job.  He certainly has a huge bag-o-great-themes.  He has pulled a few more out for The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca.  The main themes of this score work well together and help balance each other.  While it doesn’t quite rank as high as Durango, this McKenzie score is due its high praise.

1

For Love of a Poet (Overture)

5:24

*****
2

Main Title

3:16

****
3

Ricardo's Theme

0:59

****
4 Trapped Inside My Memories 1:02 ***
5

I Want to Feel Your Work

1:36

****
6

A Thunderstorm is Brewing

3:11

***
7

Elegy for Jorge

2:04

***
8

Blood of a Poet

3:31

***
9

Marie Eugenia's Theme

0:56

****
10

The Crumbling Sound of Daisies

1:41

**
11

A Coffin of Wheels was His Bed

1:24

***
12 I Invented Some Wings for Flying 2:31 ****
13

I Sing His Elegance

3:09

****
14 Five in the Shadow of the Afternoon 1:38 ****
15 Five by All Clocks in the Afternoon 3:16 ****
16 Butterfly of Your Kiss 2:32 ****
17 Death Calling 2:23 **
18 Where is My Moon? (Lorca Elegy) 3:54 ****
19 Federico Garcia Lorca Orchestral Suite 10:40 ****
  Total Playing Time      

Category

Score

 
Film Continuity na  
Originality 8  
CD Length 9  
Track Order 7  
Performance 9  
Final Score 8  
         

Other reviews:

Have something to say about this score?  If you would like to contribute please e-mail me your thoughts.  Keep in mind I am limited on space here so I can't publish everyone's comments...but do send them!  Thanks!

Mark McKenzie
Composer 
Mark McKenzie

The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca (Soundtrack) by Mark McKenzie

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All artwork from The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca is exclusive property of Intrada Records (c) 1997.  Its appearance is for imformational purposes only.

 

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