Du Soleil dans mes Yeux

François Elie Roulin

" The score by the composer is essentially an effective depiction of inter-relational conflict through the use of slow performances of the strings section and piano, "

Written by Joep de Bruijn - Review of the download only release

François Elie Roulin is a name I had not heard of before, even though his resume seems to indicate this is someone who has been quite active on a musical level. His musical career includes producing his musical albums that embody a mixture of classical, electro, acoustic and pop, while writing music for cinema, theater, dance, tv and cartoons. Du Soleil dans mes Yeux is a film directed by Nicolas Giraud in 2018 and stars Clara Ponsot, Nicolas Giraud and Hélène Vincent. The film is, based on the synopsis and trailer, a story about inter-relational conflicts as a mother restores her bond with her son, while engaging in a romantic relationship with another person. It is very much recommended to watch the trailer, which is by far the best French one, both editing and musical-wise, I have seen so far in 2018.

The score by the composer is essentially an effective depiction of inter-relational conflict through the use of slow performances of the strings section and piano. It is this sparse choice of instruments that colours the entire work, beginning with the inspirational, expressive opening cue Du Soleil dans mes Yeux. When dissecting the cue on a basic musical level, it is nothing more than a example of piece of considerably common minimalism, with counterbalance between the higher and lower strings that playing a motif. Yet, emotionally it thoroughly works on a much deeper level, really communicating the fragility of inter-relational (romantic) conflict as it progresses. The expressive approach of the opening is not so much present in the rest of the score, but shows a musical continuity with each cue sounding quite like the other. Roulin variates enough in terms of choice of instruments, let it be moments for solo piano or just high pitched strings, tempo and ambience, it becomes a splendid flowing whole, much like similar scores such as De battre mon cœur s'est arrêté (Alexandre Desplat) and Stranded (Naúfragos) by Javier Navarrete. Furthermore, the music has a lot in common with works by Arvo Pärt, Michael Nyman and Max Richter.

I have never really felt short scores to be problematic, even though some would benefit from a more lengthier musical development. Du Soleil dans mes Yeux hits all the appropriate emotional buttons and is simply very high standard music. There’s only one drawback, which is the ’electro with an eerie organ closure’ cue On the Dance Floor, that breaks with the overall musical flow of the rest of the work. Therefore, it is a most convenient surprise that the release features two adagios as an extra. Admittedly, the composer told me that music label Cézame requested him to write and record some more music for the release, which resulted in these two adagios that need to be considered as standalone pieces, not intended for the film. Adagio pour clarinettes, pt. 1 was written for the b Flat clarinet and is a wonderful, slightly upbeat composition, while Adagio pour clarinettes, pt. 2 makes use of the bass clarinet, which gives it a noirish sort of feeling. Both are truly memorable pieces and it would love to see other composers doing something extra like this.

François Elie Roulin has heartily impressed me with his music to Du Soleil dans mes Yeux and I hope he gets to work on more films in the nearby future. The music was released digitally by Cézame.

1. Du soleil dans mes yeux 3:59
2. Nouveau depart 1:58
3. La vie devant moi 3:00
4. Rencontre 3:18
5. On the Dance Floor 3:01
6. Adagio pour clarinettes, pt. 1 3:45
7. Adagio pour clarinettes, pt. 2 3:16

Total duration: 22:16

(May 28th 2018)
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 3 votes - average 4.83/5)

Released by

Cézame (download only release 2018)