Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Forgotten Film Scores: Angel's Egg (1985)


What can one say about the many film scores sought after by the fans, or even still, without many fans to begin with?  One of the most heartbreakingly beautiful of these to be neglected is that for Mamoru Oshii's 1985 animated film Tenshi no Tamago (or Angel's Egg).  Recommended to me by a friend, I saw this film earlier this year and it was quite an unsettling experience (full review to come).  Full of Oshii's own meditations on faith and Christianity, Angel's Egg has no shortage of enigmas and ambiguity.  Adding to the aching mystery of the world in the film is music by Japanese composer Yoshihiro Kanno.  From the beginning, the choir from another world enters from the void and fills our ears with a melancholy longing as the full string elegy comes in.  The main theme is very much classical in nature and very much Baroque at times (a harpsichord is even present).  Other pieces in the film are more avante garde (reminiscent of Ligeti) with the strange use of chimes and the piano chords which quickly submerge from beautiful to atonal.  In this way, the score plays out very much like musical quicksand, one may think the score will keep itself grounded is sanity but its only about to play tricks on you.  A CD was released in Japan but is most likely out of print, however, as I always say, a diligent search can yield wonders.

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