Bonding (Original Music From the Netflix Series)
The Netflix show Bonding, a light-hearted look at the kink-industry – telling the story of a bondage dominatrix side-hustle (she’s a uni student that needs to pay the bills) – provides a reasonable amount of laughs and gets the job done, each episode coming in well under 20 minutes since it’s TV made for an ad-free era. So there’s taut storylines and strong performances to carry it. And Adam Crystal’s music is a feature too. Crystal, a contemporary classical composer, has the, erm, side-hustle of creating scores for film and TV and has been steadily ramping up his CV there across the last two decades.
His Bonding work is incredible for its precision – economical storytelling demands economical music use and Crystal’s efficient cues supply the requisite drama, whimsy, hope and tension and every turn. I’m reminded of the lighter side of Hans Zimmer (one of the most adaptable forces in modern film scoring) for some of Crystal’s motifs.
As a soundtrack album I can’t say that this will instantly be of interest to fans of the show. In fact there’s really more chance that students of film composition, that fans of short TV cues and the sounds conjured for exhibitions and installations and followers and fans of sound design will be ultimately more interested in this. But it’s an album (well, its really an EP) that I have enjoyed listening to a lot on the back of my late discovery of the show. I feel like the TV show is a oncer – but the music is giving me pause, giving me reason to ponder, to repeat and return to it.
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