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MP3: Cuckoo (2009) Capsule Review FAQ
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Very Good

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December 14, 2010

Tracks / Album Length:

17 tracks / (31:17)


Composer: Andrew Hewitt

Special Notes:

Available as a MP3 downloadable album + CD
Comments :    

Andrew Hewitt’s feature film debut is this richly designed thriller score patterned along the harmonic architecture of Ennio Morricone eighties' thrillers, emphasizing slow developing cues and a multitude of rhythmic patterns spun off from a simple 4-note theme.

The opening cut is both a theme and mood statement, performed by chamber strings, which seems to reflect the internal demons of the film’s lead character – a professor obsessed with a pretty student. In its most basic form, long chords lay out the narrow bass tones, which tie-in to the lead aggressor’s hyper-focusing on his shapely subject, while small piercing tones evoke a kind of melody of mental discord.

It’s a repeated pattern that mimics the professor's destructive circuitous thoughts, from which Hewitt creates several suspenseful cues. "Blood Thicker Than Water,” for example, begins with an ostinato around which variations seem to trail behind by a few beats, after which the order of thematic notes reverse and twist until a harp is brought into the all-string ensemble for an unresolved fadeout.

In “Crossing the Line” Hewitt sticks to sustained notes, with subtle acoustic guitar plucking in the background. “Tangible Truth” presents the theme in an overtly Morricone style, with driving rhythms and sustained chords on strings, and piercing tones performed on alto sax.

Not unlike Wolfram de Marco’s score for Loft (2008), much of the album consists of a singular theme kept in a tense, suspenseful state, and the overall mood is quite claustrophobic. At just over half an hour, Cuckoo is a compact portrait of an obsessive mind, and a fine showcase for Hewitt’s skilled writing and orchestrations.


© 2011 Mark R. Hasan

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