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Nomad The Warrior - Carlo Siliotto - Soundtrack

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Genre: Soundtrack / Artist: Carlo Siliotto / Soundtrack / Audio CD released 2007-04-02 at Colosseum

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      07.04.2007 18:44
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      An epic score that could have been pruned a bit on album.

      *Originally published in Movie Music Italiano

      Carlo Siliotto is a composer I have honestly never heard of before and thus it was a bit of a surprise when the 2006 Golden Globes were handed out that one of the nominees for best score included Siliotto’s score for Nomad the Warrior, a film which I had never even knew existed let alone heard any buzz over the grapewine as to what this score even sounded like. Having come out in 2005, the film Nomad has only recently been rising to more mainstream consciousness, though critical reception has been somewhat lukewarm at best. The film deals with one of Kazakhstan’s greatest historical heroes, Erali (aka. Ablai Khan), and his struggles to unite three warring tribes to form the country of Kazakhstan, and which will ultimately culminate in having Sacha Baron Cohen lampoon the country as Borat (or well, that last part by the way actually doesn’t appear in the film, but hey, it may still be rolling around the editing room somewhere).

      But despite the film being deemed as a hugely clichéd and uncompelling piece of drivel by most film critics, the score of Siliotto definitely is no slouch. Taking on a fairly traditional epic sound as base, the score is greatly enhanced by the implementation of several ancient ethnic instruments inherent for the time and locale such as jaw harps, dombra lutes and, most notably, the Indian shehnai (a kind of oboe-like woodwind instrument) that add a great deal of flavour to an otherwise fairly traditional orchestral score. The result is a surprisingly effective combination of what western listeners are used to and what is more alien to our ears.

      The main theme itself is broadly grand and memorable, somewhat dreamy and ethereal in quality, making several appearances throughout the score, first appearing in a subdued form in “Kazakhstan 1710” and growing to ever more pronounced statements as the music goes on, making particularly notable appearances in “The Baby Rescued,” the latter half of “The Duel” and the two tracks at the end both called “Nomad,” the first of which is a straight orchestral rendering of the theme and the second is performed by the folk instrumentalists of Kazakh Kurmangazy Orchestra of Folk Instruments, who are also responsible for the other ethnic performances in the main score. Aside from the main theme there are also slighter melodies appearing throughout, such as the warm cello solos in “Her Eyes, Your Voice,” “You Are Still My Brother” and the gorgeous “Looking for the Child”; the lightheartedly bouncing and delightful music in “Save Your Son!” and “Shangrek”; the epicly sweeping music in “Oraz Tells the Story,” “Erali’s Dream,” and “Gaukhar Rescues Mansur”; and the tense action music srewn all around as in the cues “Jungar Attack,” “Amen,” and “Gaukhar Captured” among many others.

      Now, for one thing this score really has a lot of is flavour. The combination of the ethnic instruments and vocals to the dramatically powerful and approachable orchestral writing meshes together extremely well, creating an aura of scope and uniqueness, very much removed from many American scores doing the same thing. However, I think it should also be noted that whether your enjoyment of music (and particularly ethnically laced music) does not include such attributes as a chorus of wailing women, throat singing and the at times wildly flailing sound of the shehnai, it can cause some cues to be barely listenable as can be the case in tracks like “Jungar Encampment,” “Orders from the Khan,” and especially “Jungar Attack”. But if you are not bothered with some overly ethnic uses of instrumentation, then this score could easily stay in your CD player for ages to come.

      One other consideration that can cause a slight detriment to the listening experience is the length of the album. Lasting 70 minutes spread out over 33 tracks, this will inevitably cause some tracks to be quite short, giving a slightly bitty feeling for the whole and thus marring the development of the themes a bit. Particularly the beginning half seems to contain a lot more straight ethnic writing, while the latter half severly tones down on these elements, making the album as a whole sound a little unbalanced to which a lot of short tracks, though featuring some wonderful little moments that end way too abruptly, can make you rather program out cues that are not to your liking for a more evened out listening experience. But then again, it’s like I always say: “Better to have too much music from which to choose from, than to lament over music you want but is not included.”

      However, despite those criticisms, Siliotto’s score on the whole is truly remarkable and a fresh take on a genre that has for years now been retreading old ground, sometimes with great results, but also often with rather banal connotations. The performance of the Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra is spirited and strong, and when combined with the folk orchestra, make for some really refreshing sounds that are surprisingly spared of regional clichés you often hear. The second final track, “1000 Fires,” is an improvisation on an old Kazakh folk melody and is performed by Aytkhali Zhaimov, while the final track of “Nomad” brings the score to a wonderfully spiritual and “ancient” conclusion. Surely one of the most interesting scores of recent times, anybody interested in an ethnically laced grand, orchestral score should be wise to pick up Nomad the Warrior. This is surely one of the finest scores of 2005, 2006 or 2007 (depending which release date you look at) and can prove an interesting change to the schlock ordinary epicness often heard today.

      1. Kazakhstan 1710 (2:55)
      2. Jungar Encampment (0:58)
      3. A Horse for the Khan (1:45)
      4. Looking for the Child (1:35)
      5. Orders from the Khan (1:18)
      6. Jungar Attack (2:14)
      7. The Baby Rescued (1:09)
      8. Save Your Son! (3:20)
      9. Oraz Tells the History (2:47)
      10. Meeting Gaukhar (1:31)
      11. Amen (1:54)
      12. Her Eyes, Her Voice (1:16)
      13. Sharish and Shangrek (0:30)
      14. The Scarf (1:38)
      15. Where is My Son? (1:38)
      16. Sharish at the River (1:02)
      17. Gaukhar Captured (1:42)
      18. Mansur Will Fight Sharish (0:49)
      19. The Duel (3:16)
      20. You are Still My Brother (3:12)
      21. Mansur is Captured (1:56)
      22. Shangrek (2:02)
      23. Tied to a Pole (0:43)
      24. Jungar Trials (1:42)
      25. Erali’s Dream (0:45)
      26. Mansur Prepares for the Battle (0:49)
      27. Death of Erali (4:00)
      28. Gaukhar Rescues Mansur (5:07)
      29. Torture (1:49)
      30. Kazakh Victory (6:53)
      31. Nomad (2:34)
      32. 1000 Fires (performed by Zhanar Sabit) (1:49)
      33. Nomad (performed by The Kazakh Kurmengazy Orchestra of Folk Instruments) (4:33)

      Music Composed, Conducted and Orchestrated by Carlo Siliotto
      Performed by The Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra and the Kazakh Kurmangazy Orchestra of Folk Instruments
      Featured musical soloists Zhanar Sabit, Mario Arcari, Christo Tanev, Dimitar Dancev, Erlan Sabitov, Talgat Mukyshev, Ersain Basykara, Asylibek Akhatov, Maksai Zhusupali and Marat Akhmetzhanov
      Special vocal performances by Aytkhali Zhaimov, Patrizia Polla, Edil Kusainov, Ruslan Kara, Galinzhan Sekey and the Cosmic Voices of Bulgaria
      Recorded and mixed by Marco Streccioni
      Edited by Dave Tinsley
      Album produced by Carlo Siliotto
      Colosseum, 2007 (VSD (CVS) 6796)

      © berlioz, 2007


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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 Kazakhstan 1710
      2 Jungar Encampment
      3 A Horse For The Khan
      4 Looking For The Child
      5 Orders From The Khan
      6 Jungar Attack
      7 The Baby Rescued
      8 Save Your Son
      9 Oraz Tells The History
      10 Meeting Gaukhar
      11 Amen
      12 Her Eyes, Her Voice
      13 Sharish And Shagrek
      14 The Scarf
      15 Where Is My Son
      16 Sharish At The River
      17 Gaukhar Captured
      18 Mansur Will Fight Sharish
      19 The Duel
      20 You Are Still My Brother
      21 Mansur Is Captured
      22 Shangrek
      23 Tied To A Pole
      24 Jungar Trials
      25 Erali's Dream
      26 Mansur Prepares For The Battle
      27 Death Of Erali
      28 Gaukhar Rescues Mansur
      29 Torture
      30 Kazakh Victory
      31 Nomad
      32 1000 Fires
      33 Nomad

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