Laurent won the prestigious Public Choice Award 2018 at the World Soundtrack Awards, for his Score on Nostalgia

UCMF 2.jpg

Laurent won the UCMF Award 2019 in France

for his Score on 18 - Clash of Futures

Movie Wave Net 

 James Southall

With an amazing ensemble cast featuring Jon Hamm, Nick Offerman and many others, Mark Pellington’s Nostalgia is one of those films that follows various people and the ties that link them together, the connection this time being loss. Laurent Eyquem’s score is completely gorgeous.  The “Opening Theme” has a jazzy tinge – sultry, smoky, melancholic, very beautiful.  Piano features prominently in that and indeed most cues: the following “A Life in Pictures” sees the strings join in for the first time.  It’s heartmelting – so sincere and full of emotion.  And then “The Granddaughter” – it’s even better.  Tender and soft but packing a heavyweight emotional punch, it’s really quite something.

The score continues in this vein – lots of piano and cello solos, support coming from the strings, the lonesome trumpet solo of the first track returning occasionally – it’s all very finely-wrought music, often delicate and when it does get bigger the effect is certainly powerful.  Yes the material is quite samey but at half an hour, this is hardly a problem.  The film’s unifying theme of loss is certainly borne out in the music which is generally very sad – and if you are one of those people who thinks film music should avoid being manipulative then (a) you miss the point of film music and (b) you should definitely steer clear of this – through it all is real, undiluted beauty.  I’ve been really impressed with Laurent Eyquem – everything I’ve heard by him has been good – there’s no doubt that this sort of intimate drama really brings out the best in him.  Impressive album.

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International Film Music Critic Association

Mihnea Manduteanu

“Nostalgia” is an American drama film directed by Mark Pellington and written by Pellington and Alex Ross Perry. It stars Jon Hamm, Nick Offerman, Amber Tamblyn, Patton Oswalt, Catherine Keener, Ellen Burstyn, Bruce Dern, John Ortiz, and James LeGros. A mosaic of stories about love and loss, ‘Nostalgia’ explores our relationships to the objects, artifacts, and memories that shape our lives. Laurent Eyquem wrote the score.

Well this is probably a movie I will watch since nostalgia is one of the emotions that drives me the most, and it’s no different with film music which I always love more if there’s a touch of nostalgia, be it for the sound, movie itself or period in my life. When I heard Laurent Eyquem was attached to this project I was happy because whatever music I’ve heard from him has left a mark. The opening theme of “Nostalgia” though take this to a whole other level; the emotional impact of one of the most beautiful piano motifs I have ever heard is hard to express in words. When the melancholic trumpet joins in for a different shade of the same emotion and when there’s also a subtle sting of a violin in the background I discover a rare complex emotional composition that touches me on more levels; usually composers go for one sound, one instrument to tug at the emotional resorts of the listener but Laurent Eyquem goes for the honest route and pours into music what he himself must be feeling and this makes the music feel natural, relatable, and not exaggerated or embellished in any way. His own personal story is that of someone who unfortunately was no stranger to pain, to tragedy and all these terrible losses left a mark that constantly gives his music a special touch, a special kind of shadow that can only come from someone who can face his own emotions and express them through art.

For me, nostalgia is one of the very few emotions that can’t be stopped or fought; whether is for a particular genre of music, for childhood, for the moment I met the one I love, for a concert or for one single particular moment in my life, when a resort is touched that brings that back there is no escape and no defence. The only way to deal with it is to let it wash over me, bask in the object, song or memory until it passes. This particular emotion is touching even when it’s not deafening, overwhelming, and this is what makes it special: it moves the soul no matter what the dose. Laurent Eyquem understands that and as I listen to his tender, beautiful music that walks slowly on the edge between sadness and melancholy without ever falling over, I discover a score that speaks in a universal language that can touch and melt any kind of soul. This music, the musings of the cello, of the piano, the quiet tone that speaks so incredibly much, the layers of emotion that come over each other slowly, softly, this entire magnificent composition makes me feel as if I got a unique opportunity to make this emotion, this nostalgia, corporeal for a few minutes and watch it move, dance, look, sigh, like a lonely ballerina moving lonely and eternally inside a snow globe that can never be broken.

Like the emotion it describes, the music of “Nostalgia” will live forever. In a film music world that is dominated nowadays by cold and impersonal, it is a privilege and a gift to be able to hear a composition as beautiful and moving as this one. An ode to loss and emptiness and to the love that feels these voids, “Nostalgia” is a perfect score if I ever heard one and regardless of what kind of music you like or what kind of person you are, listening to it will make your life better and will make you want to hug your loved ones tightly. There’s no higher compliment I can pay a musical composition than that my eyes were misty for the duration.

Cue rating: 100 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 31 / 31

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Filmic Tracks 

Ley Bricknell

The big things in our life usually do not surround itself in a cacophony of sound, things slow down giving us time to think. Laurent Eyquem has, I have no doubt, thought of this in his new score for Nostalgia. This is a slow, melancholy and rhythmic flow of music getting straight to the heart of emotion.

 The film is written and directed by Mark Pellingham and is a series of stories about love and loss and explores the meaning of objects, artifacts and memories which ultimately shape our lives. French composer Laurent Eyquem is the obvious choice to score this movie, known for his lyrical style, his scores reminiscent of John Barry’s music in which the sheer emotional impact of composition stops everything and you have to listen. This was evident in his score to Copperhead in 2013 which earned him the Breakthrough Film Composer of the Year by the International Film Music Critics Association.

 

Nostalgia is a short score. Light in it’s use of instruments, is piano lead with cello sections and in some cues it uses a lone trumpet, not on full blast but pulled back, melancholic. The only noticeable leitmotif is the rolling piano in the underscore. The Opening Theme is sublime, scattered piano notes lifted by the trumpet and completed by the cello. It’s flawless. The 11 cues are variations of the same but each one holds the attention. The Absence is particularly moving; almost ambient in the way the strings hold long notes and the piano is reduced to 5 plaintive notes. It conjures up empty space.

 

This may not be a soundtrack you play often but it deserves to be heard as a master class in moderation and because, in parts it’s beautiful.

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International Film Music Critic Association

John Mansell

Directed by filmmaker Mark Pellington, NOSTALGIA is I suppose like a compilation of personal stories that are all linked by the way possessions are an important part of remembering ones past and recalling people, places and scenarios within a life. I know that I remember certain times bad or good if I hear a particular piece of music or find an old photograph, its not just the photo or the music that affects me but it is the memories that you recall and images that coming flooding back because of that piece of music or that photograph and in some cases my recollections have been triggered by a smell or a taste.

So, I think this is the focus of the movie’s storyline. It is also about love and loss within a lifetime and about people, possessions and occurrences that shape and effect that life. As you can imagine this is a very intimate and personal movie, and one that I would say is absorbing, affecting and touching. For the musical score composer Laurent Eyquem created fragile and delicate tone poems that are filled with emotion, melancholy and poignant melodies. These melodies are in fact so affecting and haunting it is hard to listen to the soundtrack without becoming emotional. The composer utilises cello, strings and piano in the main to weave an alluring collection of themes that mesmerise the listener. The sound of the piano underlined by soft and subdued strings is quite stunning, the melodic content of the themes at times overwhelming one’s emotions. The trumpet also plays an important part within the score, at times the softly played instrument mirrors or embellishes the piano’s melodies but at the same time is responsible for adding greater depth and atmosphere to the proceedings.

 

The composer has written a score of immense beauty that is elegant and graceful, it is also a score that contains many textures and colours that are sensitive and refined. This is an incredibly expressive work which I have listened to over and over many times and each time I am moved and affected by its delicacy and tenderness. To say one cue is better than another is impossible, or to name a highlight or stand out piece is something I cannot do with this score, as each track on the release is simply exquisite, it is a score that I know you will revisit again and again after your first listen, I also know that like me you will be mesmerised and affected by each note, each theme and each track as the alluring melodies wash over you and invade your mind. This is a must have soundtrack.

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Celluloid Tunes 

Thor Joachim Haga

What is it?

Mark Pellington’s 2018 drama Nostalgia(co-written by Golden Exitsdirector Alex Ross Perry) is a multiple story film about different types of personal loss, explored through objects that hold nostalgic value. It’s slow-moving and engrossing, allowing the impressive cast (Ellen Burstyn, Bruce Dern, Jon Hamm) time to react and develop in pure ensemble piece fashion. Matt Sakatani Roe’s gorgeous cinematography encapsulates the almost dreamlike loss of time and place as the characters eventually come to terms with their situation – even through unspeakable grief.

French composer Laurent Eyquemshot on to the film music scene in 2011 with the biopic Winnie Mandela, and subsequently the civil war drama Copperheadin 2013. Both of these featured high on Celluloid Tunes’ annual lists and displayed a composer with firm melodic grasp and a fluency in lush, orchestral landscapes that you don’t often see anymore.

How is it?

Eyquem’s Nostalgiais somewhat of a departure from his previous scores.  Befitting the downbeat atmosphere of the movie, it’s fairly stripped down – its main elements constitute undulating piano figures, trumpet, a small string ensemble and occasionally a soft electronic cushion. The music is seeped in beautiful melancholy, not unlike something by Abel Korzeniowski or Dario Marianelli, but with a forward momentum towards a glimmer of hope.

The highlight tracks are unquestionably «Opening Theme» and «Moving On», where the ethereal trumpet solo broadens the landscape into urban melancholy (mostly used for transportation scenes in the film), a bit like James Newton Howard’s underrated The Saint of Fort Washington(1993). I just wish there were more of it. But the piano and string section in tracks like «Ready to Say Goodbye» or «The Granddaughter» are similarly spellbinding in their undiluted sense of minormoded beauty.

 

Nostalgiais unquestionably the best score Eyquem has written since the double homerun of Winnie Mandelaand Copperhead, and also one of the finest of 2018 so far. It deserves wider recognition.

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Soundtrack Dreams 

Mihnea Manduteanu

“Clash of futures” is a historical miniseries which explores the dramatic era of the 1920s and ’30s. The eight-part series follows the fates of extraordinary men, women and children from France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Austria, Sweden, Poland and the Soviet Union using their own diary entries, letters and memoirs. These are people drawn into the war by their convictions, who with their loves and decisions bring the history of Europe with all its contradictions to life. Laurent Eyquem wrote the score.

Laurent Eyquem already has one candidate to score of the year 2018 in “Nostalgia” and I was eagerly awaiting for more music for one of the composers who can exert the biggest emotional impact on me. If until now piano and strings were his instrument of choice, the story at hand here demanded something different, something to identify that particular age. The composer and director chose the trumpet as the driving force of this score. For me there is barely enough trumpet or horn in today’s film music and it’s a shame because that particular sound can evoke both melancholy and heroism. Just check the moody way it which it plays on “Uncertain hope”; I must admit that this mood is one of my favorite things to listen to and it brings a bit of nostalgia for military and political dramas.

The story describes 20 of the more turbulent years in human history so the music could not be quiet and with a calm flow; there is a wonderful turbulence in this score, a turbulence explored through vigorous strings and percussion motifs that move the narrative thread of the score forward. The 20s and the 30s were times of decisions and strides and Laurent Eyquem expresses these strong and clear character treats with his music. This stark movement of the music sometimes reminds me of the way Ennio Morricone writes the action pieces of police dramas, where the investigation goes second to nothing, no matter what. Other times the composer seems like he improvises, like in “Perpetual movement” and I love where the music takes me; after all there were the decades where jazz emerged and improvisation was what made this genre so strong. Then there are moments like the piano motif at the beginning of “Freedom” which is classical Laurent Eyquem. At every corner this score cradles a nice musical surprise.

The strength of “Clash of future” likes in the feverish orchestral pace and the richness of melodic content; it doesn’t matter that I haven’t seen the movie yet, the music is rewarding enough on its own; I almost marvel at how beautifully some of the cues are written and performed. I mentioned “Freedom” and I will mention it again at the end of the year when I review my favorite cues of 2018.

Laurent Eyquem knows the human soul like few composers do and has the extraordinary ability to express very clearly all its complex nuances, from love to sadness to doubt to determination through music. I receive his messages, I understand what he tells me and I can experience the tribulations of the characters by listening to this score. The composer took elements of jazz, of noir and of minimalism and blend them into a poignant mix. It’s the kind of score I can see myself returning to quite often and one hour I’m sure you will consider gained once you’ve spent it.

Cue rating: 91 / 100

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Film Music International

John Mansell

Movie score Media is a record label that I really adore, not only do they champion lesser known composers, but they also release soundtracks by composers that collectors are familiar with that ordinarily would not see a digital or CD release. One of the labels recent releases is the score from the television series CLASH OF FUTURES which has a stunning soundtrack composed by Laurent Eyquem. Laurent is a composer of note as far as I am concerned, he has written the music for many movies and been associated with television productions, you may be familiar with his music via films such as COPPERHEAD, MOMENTUM, NOSTALGIA and the excellent USS INDIANAPOLIS-MEN OF COURAGE. It is I think somewhat unfair that a composer such as this does not seem to get the adulation and the focus from collectors that is so richly deserved. His music is varied and innovative the composer consistently producing scores that are of a high quality and filled with rich and vibrant themeatic material.

This latest offering from the composer is an intense and entertaining listen, it is overflowing with themes that are lush and haunting as well as having its fair share of darker and more sinister sounding material. In CLASH OF FUTURES one can hear the style and the individual musical fingerprint of Eyquem, drama and action being conjured up by the smouldering and tense music. Most of the score has to it an apprehensive and slow building persona, but it does at times break into a more grandiose and driving symphonic style at times surprising the listener with a richness and lavishness that can be breath-taking. The score also possesses a more intimate side that for me evoked the style of composers John Barry and Ennio Morricone muted trumpet and what I think could be flugelhorn play against a kind of rippling piano solo feature as do strings and percussive elements, all these components combine and fuse together to create a sound and style that is infectious. I love the way in which the composer fashions brooding and slow building pieces throughout, layering strings and enhancing these with percussion, adding to the instrumentation as the cue develops to construct an effective and affecting sound, he also utilises Soprano voices at key moments which give the work an almost otherworldly sound that is haunting and mesmerising, with choir also being utilised effectively.

As is the way these days in contemporary film music the score does have synthetic support but this blends and fuses seamlessly with that of the symphonic. Laurent Eyquem is a composer who has the talent and ability to create wonderful tone poems that enhance and support every project he is involved with, and as well as serving the images and storylines the composer also manages to create music that is enjoyable to sit and listen to away from those images and scenarios. There are no highlight moments within the score, because each track each piece and each theme is a highlight itself. The combination of sorrowful but attractive cello and piano at times is memorable and enriching.  Original sounding orchestration and imaginative use of brass instruments is noticeable, and as I have mentioned can be likened to the style of Morricone, a style and sound that  catches the listeners attention throughout. One for the collection, one of the best scores thus far this year.  Available as a digital download and later will be released as a physical CD on Quartet records.  Highly recommended.

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Salzburg State Theatre

Salzburg State Theater

Krieg Der Träume

Starting February 4th, Laurent 's music will be performed in Mozart' s City and Theatre, in Salzburg (Austria). 

The play, directed by Christoph  Biermeier and featuring Salzburg's  Children Choir, is based on the historical 

dramatic series'' 18 - Clash of Futures'' to be aired on BBC, and all major Europeans TV channels this fall. 

The Great War is finally over and a new era begins. Sixteen European nations adopt new constitutions as democratic republics or parliamentary monarchies in 1919. Twenty years later, almost all of them will have authoritarian regimes. First, however, grief, disappointment and old fears breed new hopes and dreams, but also new hate…“Clash of Futures” describes the dramatic time between the Wars, from post-War dejection and the Golden Twenties to the Great Depression and the Nazis’ rise to power. The play uses diaries, letters and memoires to follow the lives of extraordinary men, women and children from France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Austria, Sweden, Poland and the Soviet Union. These are people who fought for their beliefs and whose love and decisions reflect the history of Europe in all its contradictions.  

“18 – Clash of Futures” is a series produced by LOOKSfilm and many international partners for ARTE, ARD and ORF. It was developed by Jan Peter and Gunnar Dedio and written and directed by Jan Peter and Frédéric Goupil. The eight-part series will be broadcast throughout Europe in September 2018.

 

Christoph Biermeier studied theatre studies, philosophy and Modern German literature. He has been working as a director since 1994, e.g. at the Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel, the Theater Lindenhof in Melchingen, the Nationaltheater Mannheim, the Staatstheater Braunschweig, as well as in Osnabrück and Freiburg. He was artistic director of the open-air festival in Schwäbisch Hall from 2004 to 2016.

 

A cooperation with Looks Film & Television and Les Films d’Ici, IRIS, Fortis Imaginatio as well as ARTE, ARD, ORF, SWR, NDR, WDR, RBB, CT and BBC

Developed by Jan Peter and Gunnar Dedio / Adapted for the stage by Christoph Biermeier / Music by Laurent Eyquem

2018 Nuntius Productions Inc.