Album Reviews

Kaada: Music For Moviebikers [Album Reviews]


There are two general categories of movie music: the kind that is composed specifically for a film and the already released kind that was selected by someone for the film. As for which works better, it is up to the director or whoever else makes those big decisions (and if you know anyone who needs someone fills that roll, contact me). Then there’s the music that, while not in any film, sounds like it was written for a film—sometimes, better yet, a particular scene in a film. I always thought “Fear Not My Friend For Tonight We Ride” off You Should Be At Home Here by Carissa’s Weird would have fit well in an indie-flick scene of someone driving through the country. Black Heart Procession released their Tropics of Love album as a murder mystery film. Norway’s classically-based, 22 person orchestra Kaada (MySpace) has produced a full album of such music but without the supporting images, allowing the listener to conjue the images themself and making Kaada’s musical imagery a listener-induced audible cinematography.

“Smiger” could follow a 1920s funeral procession through city streets to the cemetery in the outskirts of town. You can almost visualize the black, gray, and dark blue hues used to emphasize an early winter sadness as the progression walks by a small group of children who look up from playing in a doorway. “Julia Pastrana” could almost substitute as the light but eerie piano theme in Donnie Darko while “Mainstreaming,” supported by 9th century lyrics credited to ‘Sinda Ali the Moslem,’ would bring a movie’s credits to an ending perfection. The middle of “Daily Living” could accompany a minor success for an unsuspected hero as an electric guitar takes the lead and vocalists hum in the background a theme triumphant yet sad.

The light, soft beauty of Kaada’s instrumentation could easily go behind an Anthony & The Johnsons style vocalist though only “Mainstreaming” and “Celibate” have actual lyrics. Many instead use the voice as an additional supporting instrument to a string or piano lead. In Music For Moviebikers, Kaada allows instruments ranging from Sitar to Dulcimer and Cello to Fiddle to take the prominent lead in songs. The primary force however are the keys, played by Joe Young, leading the melody in many tracks. While not as dark or rock as other classical music based rockers such as Godspeed You! Black Emperor and A Silver Mt. Zion, Kaada succeeds as a prominent force in taking the classical music genre to a new, younger audience.

Music For Moviebikers by Kaada

1. Smiger
2. Mainstreaming
3. From Here On It Got Rough
4. Spindle
5. The Mosquito And The Abandoned Old Woman
6. Julia Pastrana
7. No Man’s Land
8. Daily Living
9. The Small Stuff
10. Celibate
11. Retirement Community
12. Birds Of Prey
13. In Hora Mortis

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