La Memoria Infinita

José Miguel Miranda and José Miguel Tobar

" using a sober number of musical instruments "

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

José Miguel Miranda and José Miguel Tobar (aka Miranda y Tobar) are a Chilean duo of two musicians, composers and music producers who have worked together on a variety of scores. I was only familiar with their rather nice score to Machuca (2004) and their invaluable work as a music producer on the impressionist biographical film of Chilean folklorist and visual artist Violeta Parra (Violeta Se Fue a los Cielos, 2011).

La Memoria Infinita (The Eternal Memory, 2023) is a Chilean documentary directed by Maite Alberdi, in which we follow Augusto suffering from Alzheimer's disease, and how he and his wife, Paulina, cope with issues of gradually losing each other. The documentary is presented as a video diary of archival footage; some of it was shot by Paulina and some by the director. Most appealing of all is how Paulina accepts the deterring conditions of her husband and adapts to new circumstances, approaching Augosto differently. Then again, from my long professional experiences, this documentary isn't exactly how everyone else copes with it in reality.

The music plays an important role in this documentary, as it triggers emotions, stimulates neurons in the affected brains, and produces neurotransmitters that positively contribute to the mental state of the person affected by it. It includes a variety of pre-existing music, leaving a limited amount for an actual score. The sparse score by Tobar and Miranda is created using a sober number of musical instruments; (acoustic) guitar, piano, woodwind, cello, and another stringed instrument, that embody the appropriate feel of warmth, intimacy, and melancholy befitting La Memoria Infinita.

However, the score was inspired by various classical pieces of music, and it was adapted and transcribed for instruments and the appropriate atmosphere. For example: A mi Ciudad (2:26, by Luis Ebert), Memoria (3:04, Piano Sonata No. 8, Op. 13: 'Pathétique' II by Beethoven) or Crisis (0:48, Soirées musicales, S.424:XI. L'orgia 'Arietta by Rossini. Crisis transcribes the alarming, memorable notes of Rossini for the guitar, adding a different nuance, while Memoria follows the modulations of Beethoven, with piano and an added mournful stringed instrument, but quickly detaches itself from the source material.

Despite this, the overall sparse score is rather attractive as an EP listening and fitting for the documentary.

1. Resistencia (3:10)
2. Guitarron (0:33)
3. Año Nuevo (1:13)
4. Crisis (0:48)
5. A mi Ciudad (2:26)
6. Memoria (3:04)

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(total of 1 votes - average 3.5/5)

Released by

MTV Entertainment Group (download only release 2023)