Music For Falling (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Living in Wellington 20 odd years ago we all found out first hand about The Renaissance Man that is Viggo Mortensen. The actor was here for the interminable Lord Of The Rings trilogy but couldn’t rest at only that; soon he was hosting poetry launches and if we weren’t careful he’d read one or two of his own. There was a book of photographs and an exhibition and threats that he was a musician too. We all joked about it. But why? What had any of us done that could compete?
Falling is a movie I have not seen yet – but will. It of course not only stars Viggo Mortensen, he also wrote, directed and produced it. Natch. And he wrote and performed the fucking soundtrack didn’t he! Pretty fucking lovely it is too!
Well, he had some help from the almighty Buckethead. And yes, that’s exactly the sort of collaborative partner I expect a renaissance man like Viggo to hunt out. Get a guy that’s already made at least a dozen albums this year to assist you with your soundtrack for your auteur project. Everything Buckethead does is an auteur project. Same goes – mostly – for Mortensen.
The opening piece is Mortensen solo, at the piano. He has an almost naïve grasp that is really lovely – just gentle and no doubt perfect for framing the sentimentality and drama of his film. But it’s also just delightful to listen to on its own. There’s not the dexterity of Mike Nock’s solo pieces but there is some of the emotion.
Then Buckethead joins in. This elevates the score – I doubt I’d have had much interest in just a whole set of soft, easy piano instrumentals. Buckethead’s guitar work is lovely and reminiscent of his work on his own ‘softer’ records like Electric Tears and Electric Sea.
His nylon-string nimbleness elevates very slight cues (Wingfeather) and brings reminders of Mark Knopfler’s 1980s soundtrack work.
In and around these pieces Viggo continue to offer little piano ditties (Ten Years Old, Picture Frame) but its when they combine that it really works well. Hold My Ladder has Bukethead’s guitar laying the lattice and Mortensen’s simple piano motif providing a top-layer tapestry.
The credits song, A Little Late, is performed by Skating Polly. It does break from the mood of the instrumental score pieces but is a nice song and well delivered.
This soundtrack intrigues me to see the film – and further validates The Renaissance Man as a legitimate polymath. What the fuck were we all laughing at? Probably just the earnestness of his convictions eh. Quality such as this makes all that laughter seem downright embarrassing.
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