It's unquestionable: if you're a discerning connoisseur of artful music, movies and their soundtracks, Christmas is arriving eight months early this year.
Come April 26th, the venerable Constellation Records (home of Godspeed You! Black Emperor) will release a massive five CD/LP box set of the smoky and velvety noir scores by the English group The Tindersticks, composed for the films of estimable French filmmaker Claire Denis, known for her moody and sensualist films "Beau Travail," "35 Shots of Rum," "Trouble Every Day," and last year's gripping "White Material," starring Isabelle Huppert just to name a few.
For the past 15 years, the Tindersticks and/or various members of the orchestral ensemble have been scoring the bulk of Denis' dramas (six of her 10 full-length features) and while four of the six scores included in this release are previously unreleased, none of the soundtracks have been easy to get your hands on unless you're willing to pay import prices (the soundtrack to the cannibal horror "Trouble Every Day" starring Vincent Gallo set us back, buts it's worth it). Singer/guitarist Stuart A. Staples composed the music to "L'Intrus" on his own, as did former member Dickon Hinchliffe for "Vendredi Soir."
Titled Tindersticks' Scores To The Films of Claire Denis 1996-2010, the disc features 78 tracks in total and also included is a 48-page perfect-bound booklet of color film stills and an essay from music writer Michael Hill (in English and in French translation; he's contributed liner notes for collections by Lou Reed, Sam Cooke, The Replacements and others).
The Tindersticks' first soundtrack for Denis' "Nenette Et Boni" (1996) was actually also their third album, and arguably, their work for the lauded filmmaker is an essential part of the band's oeuvre. To cap it all off, the release will culminate when the band performs a live score retrospective with Claire Denis film projections at the San Francisco International Film Festival in May. Details should be announced soon, but if you're in SF, that will be one gig you will not want to miss.
With the recent announcement of German avant-garde rockers Popol Vuh producing a special limited box-set containing their scores to Werner Herzog films (“Aguirre: The Wrath of the God,” “Nosferatu,” “Fitzcarraldo,” “Cobra Verde,” plus “Heart of Glass"), 2011 is turning out to be an incredible year for soundtrack enthusiasts.
Full list of soundtracks and running times are below:
"White Material" (2009) - 16 tracks, 37:57
"35 Rhums" (2008) - 12 tracks, 25:40
"L’intrus" (2004) - by Stuart A. Staples -10 tracks, 22:58
"Vendredi Soir" (2002) – by Dickon Hinchliffe - 12 tracks, 23:40
"Trouble Every Day" (2001) - 14 tracks, 41:11
"Nenette Et Boni" (1996) - 14 tracks, 37:11