Thursday, 20 June 2013

Filmic and different: The Long Time

Another disc popped through my letter box of what might loosely be called popular music written by a classically trained musician. In this case Elliott Wheeler's album The Long Time.  Elliott Wheeler is an Australian composer and producer who is one of the figures behind the music for Baz Luhrmann's film The Great Gatsby and has an impressive back catalogue of work in films. Classically trained, he studied composition at the Sydney Conservatorium. He has now released his debut studio album, The Long Time, in which each of the track on the album takes its inspiration from one of Wheeler’s favourite scenes from his most loved films of the 60′s and 70′s. The album features Wheeler's own haunting falsetto on vocals alongside Caitlin Park, Sui Zhen, Loen Carmen, Kristin Berardi and Melodie Nelson. The opening number, The Whilstler has no vocals, just Wheeler whistling.


There is certainly a cinematic feel to the writing, and whilst clearly modern in idiom Wheeler's style does evoke the past and he creates a nice big-band feel at times. Wheeler himself describes his style as 'Morricone meets Portishead via Cinematic Orchestra' and certainly a group like Anthony and the Johnsons springs to mind. Wheeler's film background can be detected in the richness and variety of the orchestrations, allied to a rather appealing melodic talent. And he isn't frightened of extended numbers, the opening track on the disc, The Whistler, lasts 4'23 and the closing track But It's Life 5'32.

If you fancy something different, then do give it a try. You can see and hear Baker Man on YouTube, featuring a a hand animated undersea video. The album can be downloaded now, and has physical release in the UK on 29 July.

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