" very small, evocative music with a stunning theme "
Written by Joep de Bruijn
This was the fourth score Johan Söderqvist wrote for a film by Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier. For those who like Efter Brylluppet or Brødre should not doubt going after this older score. Or any other score release by this Swedish composer for that matter. It hurts knowing what more gorgeous unreleased music there's out there, like Misa Mi and The Monastery: Mr. Vig and the Nun.
Most of the score of Pensionat Oskar is very small, evocative music with a stunning theme. Some music sounds a lot like classical music because of the characteristic woodwind instruments, harp and light-feathered strings, the latter adding extra class. This light melodic music closely resembles Söderqvist's score for Brødre.
And then there's more seriously and emotional sounding music, which is wonderfully performed by the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra. Another musical distinguishing can be made between the subtilities and the incredibly powerful sounds from a electric guitar. Per Westerlund did an incredible job in creating strange, distorting sounds for the score, giving it a very dramatic voice. The use of this instrument ranges from small little cries, different takes on the main theme to heartbreaking outbursts, adding so much more depth to the score.
The occasional disharmony from the guitar gives the score a bit of a hard, fatal edge, accommodating the changes of the father in the film. You'd probably be surprised how well a (classical) small ensemble and (more modern) electric guitar could be combined. This one comes recommended.
1. Vat Jag Sökte Vad Jag Fann * (3.30)
2. På Natten (0.38)
3. Tid Går (1) ( (1.33)
4. Var Slytar Rymden? (2.57)
5. Trollkarl I Eld (1.15)
6. Rune I Regn (2.14)
7. Bränd Barn (1.41)
8. Vem är Du? (2.06)
9. Mardröm (0.47)
10. Bilförd Dit (1.09)
11. Runes ångest (0.41)
12. Det Regnar Knektar (2.16)
13. Filosofen (1.39)
14. Tid Går (2) (1.09)
15. På Golfbanan (1.38)
16. Hos Trollkarlen (1.20)
17. Golgata (1.16)
18. Jag Ville Gli Skådis (1.31)
19. Pensionat Oskar (5.50)
20. Vat Jag Sökte Vad Jag Fann * / Afterspel ** (3.32)
* Text by Jonas Gardell Musik: Johan Söderqvist
** Musik by Johan Söderqvist & Joachim Milder
Total Length: 38.42
Q&A with Per Westerlund
Joep: I'm very fond of your extra-ordinary guitar performances for Pensionat Oskar. How did you become involved with Johan Söderqvist's score? I was also wondering how the process of developing those strange electric guitars sounds was like?
Per Westerlund: I'm glad to hear that you like the music from the movie Pensionat Oskar.
I have had the fortune to work a lot with the fantasticly skilled composer/musician Johan Sôderqvist, and to this movie he was looking for some intense electric guitar tones to contrast against the symphonic orchestra with soft violins, harp etc.
The most parts were thoroughly written-out, so it was just to try to let the right feeling and sound out through my fingers to match the mood of the particular scene.
For the more ambient sounds we tried out a lot of crazy guitar stuff (heavy use of the tremolo bar, feedback, low tunings, etc) until we got it right.
The guitar rig was rather simple, a strat type guitar through mostly a sansamp overdrive, volume pedal and a delay straight to the mixing desk. For some sounds I also used a cranked up vintage Fender amp miked with a shure sm57.
J: Have you done anything for other films or scores?
Per Westerlund: I've worked with Johan on some other movies, and scored some documentary films by myself. I've also done a lot of recording and mixing sessions for film. That's about it.