Composer Mark Isham is regarded as skilled synth programmer, a pioneer in electronic music, as well as an accomplished trumpet player, but most of he has become an important soundtrack composer in the last two decades.
His album “Film Music” collects some of Isham’s earliest soundtracks, proving his expert skills by means of three lengthy compositions in which he illustrates his ability “to create emotion through music”.
The 14-minute “Mrs Soffel” is first, a soothing piece of music featuring a beautiful interplay of piano motifs and warm string textures, to which whistle and synthesiser soundscapes are aptly added.
Some great and compelling electronics and trumpet are found at the core of the next track “The Times of Harvey Milk”, in which the mood of the music switches several times. Although staying intimate, lots of emotions are present here, especially toward the end as the trumpet takes the lead.
But the real masterpiece on the album is the final 23-minute piece “Never Cry Wolf”, a sonic painting of Alaska’s wild nature in winter, incorporating airy and very moody synth suites next to occasional flute and some powerful percussion and drum sections halfway. A great mix of stretched out ambient sounds and repetitive motifs.
All in all, “Film Music” is an excellent achievement by all means.
You can see what reviews I have done of this artist on the Mark Isham artist page