Max Richter – Taboo / Henry May Long / Black Mirror – Album Reviews by Killian Laher
The highly prolific Max Richter has just released three soundtracks: BBC drama Taboo, the film Henry May Long, and the reissue of last year’s Black Mirror – Nosedive.
The first of these, Taboo departs from Richter’s usual, more controlled signature style. This soundtrack features a more dramatic use of strings and keyboards conveying a sinister mood on The Inexorable Advance of Mr. Delaney and Shadows. Creepy soprano choirs are added to the foreboding strings on Song of the Dead and Song of the Beyond, and what almost sounds like fiddle on This Little Pig Went To Market. Zilpha Alone is the most resonant track, a haunting, descending melody played entirely on strings. He still leaves time for moody piano motifs on A Lamenting Song and Lamentation for a Lost Life, but generally this is more sinister than usual for Richter.
Henry May Long is older, dating from a few years back, and is more like what you might expect from Richter. Downcast, string-led opuses like Ocean House Mirror and Ending Doorway Pavement, along with windswept piano pieces like Exit Top Hat Greeting and Sofa Chess. Fairly exquisite stuff, it should be said.
But the most interesting is also the briefest. Last year’s Black Mirror – Nosedive is only 25 minutes long, and sticks largely to theme set in opening track On Reflection. It’s a deceptively simple yet soaring piano sequence which is gradually joined by some understated strings. It does its job perfectly, creating a pleasant atmosphere with a slightly unsettling undercurrent. The Journey, Not The Destination mixes things up a little, with increased use of electronics but mostly the soundtrack maintains its serenity.