Danish film Darling (2017) centred around a dancer ‘on the rollercoaster ride of her life’, and A Score For Darling is the film’s accompanying soundtrack. This release also includes a collection of outtakes. Director Birgitte Stærmose wanted to explore new, emotionally-arresting areas in a film that put emotions in the firing line and right at the heart of the film. Enter Raúl Pastor Medall (Rauelsson) and Erik K Skodvin (Svarte Greiner / Deaf Center), the two artists behind the film’s intense scoring. Violinist Christoph Berg and cellist Anne Müller also make appearances, so you can expect a quality score. These artists complement one another perfectly.
The strings are loaded things, constantly skirting the edge of a sharp precipice, stressed to the point of exhaustion. The mood can be thought of as a heavy burden that doesn’t lift, a slightly oppressive, dank and cloying sound without temporary or permanent relief. Dark electronics help to shape the uncertain atmosphere, which always seems to A cold drone swoops over ‘Invincible’, where the strong pulse of a heartbeat races against the rising strings, and the score naturally intensifies because of it. The two artists are used to stark disturbances and musical distress, and the swelling volume only strengthens the impact.
In ‘Rooms’, notes sweep past in the corridors and are then left to reverse in on themselves, lost in the track’s own inner workings. A Score For Darling has its tender moments, too – initiated by a sensitive and thoughtful piano and followed through in the cello’s notes, which glow with a lambent, bleak light. Pale light follows the music wherever it goes; it’s inescapable. There aren’t any easy or straightforward exits, giving the soundtrack a claustrophobic, unsettling feel. The dark, turbulent lines of synth only help to support this, giving A Score For Darling the coolest of kisses in the midnight hour.