My Review of Cinemusic II

Below is the review I wrote of my partner, film composer Mader’s new release…

CINEMUSICA II is a compilation of original film music, including themes and cues from a variety of films scored by composer Mader between the years 1995 and 2010. 

This impressive collection is the counterpart to the original CINEMUSICA, released in 2010, which garnered substantial interest and revealed Mader as a uniquely evocative and prolific composer. Together, they showcase him as a unique and enduring voice in the film scoring industry, one whose work will live on, long past its patron film. After all, unless a movie is crowned as a mega-hit or blockbuster, with deep-pocketed exposure, it will all too often disappear into the ethers of time gone by, lost somewhere in the dusty vaults of a studio or distribution company.

This would be a shame, given the amount of work and creativity involved in the process of scoring a film. But here, the CINEMUSICA collection presents the unveiling of multifarious little jewels, unheard until now. 

CINEMUSICA II starts with the unforgettable standout piece, “Clockwatchers.” With its wistfulness, its exquisitely refined and heartfelt melody, it captures the soul’s longing, together with the beauty and the inherent sadness of life, all wrapped into one—what the Portuguese call… saudade. It is the work of a mature melodist.

Mader invites the listener into the playful “Erik Theme,” whose impishness hearkens back to Mancini’s golden years. Pieces like “Fallin’ in Love” and “Iris Catches Cleo” take us through gorgeous romantic landscapes while “Giving Up the Ghost” unfurls the darker, sultrier side of life.  

Film music is by its very nature, diversified. It creates atmosphere and changing moods. The edgy ”Back to Gil,” with its deliberately intense demeanor is purposely unnerving. Quirky pieces like “Bookmobile” will put you in a country-fair state of mind. The hypnotic “Walking Out,” creates  a feeling of suspense, with its drunken horns… the kind that come from the wee hours of the night. “Baton Rouge (Out Take)” evokes a warm, whisper of Americana… you can almost smell the gentle waft of a freshly baked cherry pie through an open window. “Track 8 (Out Take)” is 48 seconds of delicious dreaminess, while the longer “On the Beach” creates a warmth that feels at once gentle and emotionally powerful, almost spiritual in its depth.

Mader takes us on a sonic voyage. This is a collection that is ethereal at times and down home at others. It transports the listener into alternate universes, while consistently delivering finely crafted melodies.

Donna Quesada


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