Andrey  Dergachev

" Andrey Dergachev sparse music is unambiguously inspiring. "

Written by Joep de Bruijn - Review of the music as heard in the movie

Izgnanie (The Banishment) is a 2007 Russian film directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev, responsible for remarkable films as Vozvrashchenie (The Return), Leviafan (Leviathian), Nelyubov (Loveless) and Elena (Елена). His most notable collaboration with a composer was for the films with Andrey Dergachev, while he also commissioned Philip Glass and Evgueni and Sacha Galperine to write an original score.

Andrey Dergachev is active in various roles of the sound department (supervisor, foley artists, -re-recording...), and he sees his role as composer as a side job. Even on the films by Zvyagintsev for which others were commissioned to write an original score, he contributed in the area of the sound department. He intends to separate his role in the sound department and as a composer, not working on both for a singular project, as he felt uncomfortable doing just that for Izgnanie, but nonetheless reprised the pairing for the 2016 Dutch film Silent Ones.

The film is a study of human failure, about a disrupted family affair in which people are unable to communicate with each other. It excels in the use of numerous symbolic themes, reminiscent of the cinema of Tarkovsky, mesmerizing constructed photography, imminent performances by the cast and a fascinating look into human behaviour. Igznazie is a film of great introverted, yet powerful emotion, and a perfect example of contemplative cinema at its best. While the tragedy unfolds very slowly, the viewer is ultimately rewarded with dramatic revelations that give the film a nuanced, subdued and yet dynamic extra emotion in the last 30 minutes. 

Dergachev prefers writing music prior to principal photography, initially based on the script, his own inner thoughts, and presumably minimal direction by a filmmaker. For Izgnanie, he had recorded a piece called Exilium, in which he felt the use of a choir singing unidentifiable words was one of its strong points, to which the director agreed. He recorded additional brooding pieces with the Russian Ensemble of sacred music Sirin, directed by Andrey Kotov, who specializes in Russian orthodox folklore, and, in his more restrained role, added very little, only to let the incredible sonic sound of these vibrant, immersive orthodox singings speak for themselves. The singing, clearly meant to 'succour' the religious themes of the film, also withholds a very strong oneiric sense and is formidably aesthetical within context. In the film, they are paired with music by Arvo Pärt; the first tintinnabuli of Für Alina, and Kanon Pokajanen during the end credits, while Bach' Magnificat underscores a significantly predominate scene. All music serves a strong aesthetical purpose, complementing the overall film language and themes strongly, and conveys a sense of plight, antagonism and other deeply immersive emotions.

Regarding Dergachev' role as head of the sound department on Igznazie… In the film, the family runs from previous (and upcoming) tragic events to a rural area, in which the natural sounds of a car or a telephone are presented as the only source to the outside world. Dergachev strongly believes in the use and power of natural sounds, which within Izganie are essential.

Andrey Dergachev sparse music is unambiguously inspiring.

A digital record by Catapult was released, and it's a great display of the Kirin ensemble, but rather warrants a fuller, longer and more satisfying listening experience of Dergachev' strength, such as Vozvrashchenie (ECM Records), the Dutch Silent Ones (Catapult) and To Agóri Sti Géfyra (Boy on the Bridge, Catapult).

Tracklist digital release by Catapult

1. Deus (Version 1) 2:54
2. Exilium 3:30
3. Inestimabiliter 2:46
4. Kiri Eleison 2:17
5. Deus (Version 2) 2:44

Total duration: 14:10

(click to rate this score)  
(total of 5 votes - average 4.1/5)

Released by

- (music as heard in the movie 2022)