How I Live Now [OST]
I haven’t seen the film – it’s based on a young-adult novel but this soundtrack suggests a lot of heart, a sincerity, something certainly sombre too. It’s easy to hear that slow-gorgeous build of The Album Leaf on The River and on shorter cues (The Hawk, Distant Fire) I’m reminded of Max Richter and Trent Reznor as obvious touchstones in the modern-classical/electronic composer area. Think Richter again for the piano placement across the Nightfall/Love Theme – the way it’s spaced around the mournful strings.
What really makes this beautiful – for me, not having seen the film – is how it feels like the perfect flipside to Hopkins’ kick-ass album Immunity – both presenting the opposite side of the coin to one another, both prepared around the same time.
Though never quite so minimal I was caught thinking of Eno’s Shutov Assembly too, I guess in the way that there are soft treatments around delicate piano framing.
More interesting though, in terms of straying from the insular and minimalist tones, is hearing Hopkins’ remix of a song by Daughter (Home). It really works. Where you’d have to assume the original wouldn’t. And there’s a collaboration between Hopkins and Bat For Lashes’ Natasha Khan (Garden’s Heart).
More than anything the vocal tracks provide breathing space – stopping the serenity of the score from becoming claustrophobic. It’s a beautiful piece of music when taken as a whole (well, after you skip that opening faux-bombast/bomb-blast!)
And here’s hoping there’s more from Hopkins in this area; he conjures a huge swell of emotions within and around this music. I might even see the flick as a result.