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House of Sand and Fog (OST) Soundtrack

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

Price: £28.73
Only 1 left in stock - order soon.
Dispatched from and sold by Global_Deals.
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£28.73 Only 1 left in stock - order soon. Dispatched from and sold by Global_Deals.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (5 Mar. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Varese Sarabande
  • ASIN: B0000XKAGQ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,023,610 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

BBC Review

Promoters of the California idyll have largely ignored the irony that the state boasts not only palm trees, blonde beaches and frolicsome youth, but also fog. Dense, clammy, days-long fog.

Ignored until now, that is. This climatic phenomenon has a starring role in House Of Sand and Fog, a drama narrating the dispute between an Iranian immigrant family and a dispossessed woman over a Californian bungalow. The fog even seeps into the music, in the best possible way.

Veteran film composer James Horner has created a score which is dense, ominous and rolling as a West Coast pea-souper, with a blurry-edged, saturated sound. In "Break-In", for example, Horner conjures a thick, textured musical swirl, muffling the instruments carrying the melody behind heavy timpani and electronic fuzziness. Such nebulousness is perfect for a film about cultural confusion, the inability or refusal to see from others' viewpoints.

The piano plays a key role. Its intimate, domestic sound is put to good use in a drama about personal politics. "Two People" is a tense, tentative pas de deux played out on a solo piano. Elsewhere Horner supplements its sound electronically, Old "Photos, New Memories" overlays the gentle sound of a parlour piano with a synthesized keyboard to ominous effect.

Although sober and reflective, there are changes of pace. "This Is No Longer Your House" is a thumping musical stand-off, jumpy with suspense. And Horner's romantic heritage (Titanic, A Beautiful Mind) is evident in the closing track, "A Return to the Caspian", where the strings come out for an old-fashioned wallow.

One of the great things about this recording is its girth. Over an hour long, it allows thematic development of sequences such as "The Shooting". But the roominess means it also tends to lose momentum. It would do no harm to lose a couple of the filler tracks.

For the most part, though, this is a subtle, complex and lovely score. Sometimes fog can be a beautiful thing. --Jack Smith

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Format: Audio CD
For starters, this score was nominated for Best Original Score, one of four of Horner's work in the last quarter of 2003 (the others being The Missing, Radio and Beyond Borders). Which in a way is surprising - this is almost certainly the quietest score of the year.
House Of Sand And Fog is a film based on the Oprah Winfrey-endorsed novel by Andre Dubus III about the lives of a woman who was evicted from her home and the subsequent owners, an Iranian family, both claiming that it is an absolute necessity for them to live in the house, and the resulting dramatic conflicts that occur. It is a relatively low budget film - though having a powerful cast including Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Conelly - which explains the minimalistic nature of the score. The score is pretty much themeless, but contains a lot of atmospheric music (someone remarked that at one point he couldn't differentiate between this score and Lisa Gerrard's Whale Rider), mostly by piano or synths, and sometimes strings. There is no action scoring, weird music, cheerful fanfare or anything like that - just pure drama scoring.
Perhaps because of this, this is more a functional score, one that works in the film very well, rather than one that is enjoyable on the album. However, for Horner fans, this soundtrack shows a side of Horner that one has not really seen before. Usually in his scores even when quiet you could hear layers of strings in the background. Instead, we see Horner perfecting the slow, quiet, careful piano taps he first utilised in The Four Feathers. It is perhaps not the easiest soundtrack you can just pop into the player to listen for 70 minutes, but it is definitely a pleasant experience.
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