An INCREDIBLE GOOD review by Phil Watkins
A Crazy Quest For Sanity’ and that is what the music gives us. Young Italian composer Kristian Sensini is a phenomenal talent that is making steady and assured progress in the composition and carving out his own niche in an incredibly vast field of talent. With Rocks In My Pockets you will hear a delicate blend of humour, subtle nuances highlighting the surreal world of the characters and a deeply moving fusion of instruments that lead the viewer on the bizarre journey of the protagonist and supporting characters. Kristian Sensini has undoubtedly put himself on the watch list of Director and Producers across the globe. A standout European score!
“Rocks In My Pockets” is a story of mystery and redemption. The film is based on true events involving the women of my family, including myself, and our battles with madness. It raises questions of how much family genetics determine who we are and if it is possible to outsmart one’s own DNA. The film is packed with visual metaphors, surreal images and my twisted sense of humor. It is an animated tale full of art, women, strange daring stories, Latvian accents, history, nature, adventure and more.
Having just been entered as Latvia’s official Academy Award entry we will have to cross our fingers and hope for the very best. I personally would compare the power and prominence of this film to the impact that The Artist made when released in 2011. It will make people take stock of how smaller features deliver a far more powerful punch than the hugely financed and gargantuan budgeted features of the studio system.
In terms of the music that supports this wonderful animated feature what more can be said about a composer who has received compliments from the highest order of his peers; simply take a look as his testimonials page on his website and you’ll get an immediate introduction to this young, vivacious and bright eyed composer. Recently nominated for a Hollywood Music in Media award also adds sustenance to Sensini’s rise through the ranks. Being in the same league as Elfman, Powell, Marianelli, Santaolalla and Mothersbaugh shows what talent can get you. As a bit of background for those unfamiliar with this composer Sensini studied piano and flute when he was a child, then began his first elecronic and computer music experiments at the age of twelve. He studied at the Department of Music and Performing Arts in Bologna where he specialized in Musical Education and Anthropology.Taking a special interest in genres such as sci-fi, horror and fantasy, Sensini has received a total number of of nine nominations for Best Score (including Feature Film, Documentaries, Promotion, Best Song, Best Short) at the Jerry Goldsmith International Film Music Award. He also won the Global Music Award for his music for Hyde’s Secret Nightmare.
Whilst the topic of mental illness and depression may not make you want to rush to the cinema to view this animated feature you need to stop and take stock of a few important things about yourself. In the words of Director, Narrator and Writer Signe Baumane: ‘ The idea for “Rocks In My Pockets’ came from my stream of consciousness. Like most people I think about a wide variety of things, some fantastical, some mundane, but my mind keeps coming back to thoughts of “ending it all” and the ways I could go about doing it. Why? Why do I think this way? And why I am still alive despite such thoughts? I find the fragility of our minds fascinating. Life is strange, unpredictable, sometimes absurd and I try to see the humor in it all.’
Sensini employs a beautiful array and perfectly complimentary set of instruments to create the musical narrative that supports this journey of 5 women. At times the score employs a jovial technique to the composition that has you bobbing along to the beat (particular the track Russians, Germans, Partisans) and this is quickly followed by a more sombre cue that reminds us how we are often lost in our own thoughts and contemplative battles. Characters are easily identified through the motifs and melodies that have been carefully shaped to the on screen action and you end up feeling as though Sensini has written a score to accompany your own journey in life… very clever indeed.
Through the use of soft pulsating percussion, simple and uncomplicated piano melodies (that remind us of Morricone scores such as Lolita, Malena, Cinema Paradiso or Karol) and a squeeze box Sensini builds up a flow of musical delicacies for all to enjoy. Of course there are cellos, vocals, and brass employed throughout the score but these are so gently that you forget about picking out the instruments used and instead reflect upon the thematic material. It is an economic score but this is what makes it work so well; there is nothing over the top and pointlessly complicated. It is delicate, personal and reflective in its nature. Certain tracks allow fans of film music to reminisce over an age of composition that has been overlooked by Directors and Producers and the open tracks will certainly have you considering the influence of European composers on the Hollywood industry.
Textures of Herrmann, nuances of Kaper and hints of Jarre are infused throughout this score and any listener would be hard pushed to not find a track that makes them think of a long forgotten score that is sitting somewhere on their shelf. Sensini is in essence giving you an opportunity to rediscover what proper film music composition is all about.
The score is available digitally through MovieScore Media and I only hope at some point in the near future it is given the honour of being pressed as a Collectors Edition album by someone. I would encourage people to seek this out and go to watch the film that is currently showing in various festivals around the world; but most importantly make a note of the name Kristian Sensini as you will be seeing it again very soon on something more commercial.
Puchase the album: CLICK HERE