I haven’t watched Johan Liedgren’s 2012 film “Mother Nature”, but judging from the film’s website, one gets the idea that this could be a tense and experiential trip about survival and companionship. I’m guessing I will watch the film and revisit the soundtrack from an entirely different perspective, but on its own, Ben Lukas Boysen’s score for “Mother Nature” is extremely moody, provocative and emotive.
This is the second independent movie score Boysen has released, and while it differs from his primary music project Hecq, it carries the same level of masterful production and extremely rich sound design. Boysen really is the master here. His sound design is perfectly clean, perfectly crisp and executes the mood of his music with near perfection. I listen to his music as someone who creates sound design oriented electronic music and every single recording he puts out, I have to bow before the master.
Onto the actual music: It is beautiful. It is scary. It is rich and atmospheric. It is orchestral and ambient, but also gripping. It isn’t using heavy handed musical themes and does not dictate a specific emotional narrative. Not having watch “Mother Nature”, I am not sure how this plays out, but is, in my opinion, the best way to handle movie scoring. Shaping the mood and tone is important while not directly dictating the emotional response the viewer should have. The emotional tone on Boysen’s score is never emotionally heavy handed, yet is super rich in mood. As independent music detached from the film, where my experience here lies, the music is just as I said: beautiful. It is scary yet comfortable, serene but tense. It is becoming absurd how much time this album has spent in my listening rotation over the past month or more.
I’d love to see Boysen get attached to some larger films in the same way electronic composers like Clint Mansell (from Pop Will Eat Itself) or Danny Elfman (from Oingo Boingo) have. Mansell comes from a similar musical background and I think that provides a very good perspective when it comes to composing music for a film. That is, the entirety of the project isn’t just notes and chords, it is also sound design and audio engineering. I like to imagine the glee any independent director experiences when securing a master like Boysen to take the reins on their movie’s score.
The album is available directly from (the always wonderful) Hymen Record’s Bandcamp page where you can also listen to the entire album before purchase. Price is reasonable, too.