William Ryan Fritch – Freeland (Original Soundtrack)

The ninth chapter in Lost Tribe Sound’s Fearful Void series comes from composer and multi-instrumentalist William Ryan Fritch. Releasing March 5, the original soundtrack to the award-winning feature film Freeland, from directors Mario Furloni and Kate McLean, is just as musically explosive, diverse, and tonally rich as one would expect.

The film itself concentrates on a woman named Devi (played by American actress Krisha Fairchild), who has been breeding pot strains for decades, farming by day and getting stoned come nightfall. All in all, she’s living her best life. She wants to spend the rest of her days on her homestead, a place she built herself. However, when cannabis is legalized, her life of solitude and serenity is thrown into disarray. Forced to confront the rapidly changing realities in modern attitudes, American culture, and the drug industry, she fights for her future and goes legal in an increasingly hostile landscape which threatens her whole livelihood and her way of life.

Horns, percussion, woodwind, and tape are all featured in the cinematic music, which feels like an open, expansive landscape – fertile ground in the middle of nowhere, upon which the music is free to play. Lilting, golden phrases are always welcome, blushing like the first hint of a sunrise, but there’s a lot of drama within the score. Fritch doesn’t attempt to hide the mounting tension, or cover up the new threats – in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Fritch packs a lot into a slim timeframe while still managing to make expansive and uncluttered music. Every single track is complete and whole, and among the more dramatic tracks, one can find unrushed sounds, with some kind of peace and beauty filtering in, despite the surrounding storm.

The score frequently goes on the offensive, seeking an open conflict, its raging notes containing more power than a mortal word; this must be tackled and faced head-on. In a way, the score’s rising tensions and stressed-out-sounds are a call to arms; horns are historic in heralding a countless number of battles. Devi goes to war herself, fighting a deeply personal battle, desperate to preserve her lifestyle, her living, and her future. The ramifications are as deep as a frontline trench.

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