Review: Dust to Glory
2.5 / 5 Stars
Dana Brown, director of the acclaimed surfing documentary Step Into Liquid has a new film this spring: Dust to Glory. Covering the highly competitive and dangerous Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, the film needed a score that would work on multiple levels. Providing that muli-layered approach was 26-year old composer Nathan Furst.
At first, the score has a grandiose feeling to it - with Middle-eastern textures and rhythms, even with a vocalist coming in towards the end. Certainly a unique approach to a film that takes place in Mexico! But, it works, and I'm sure that it accompanies the dramatic imagery quite well. "Heart of the Baja" gives us a more traditional dramatic cue, and "The McMillians" has some great fiddle work, intertwined with guitar, for a bluegrass edge. But when a female soloist (Becca Cornelius) and building orchestra shows up in "Andy Closes The Gap", the filmmakers' request for "enormous orchestral compositions like Gladiator" starts to come to fruition - both a good and bad thing.
Furst does an admirable job recreating the sound of a large orchestra, but with a cue like "The Beach", where the temp score seems to bleed through a bit heavily, it starts to detract from the potential that he showed earlier in the album. "Coco's Corner" is a somber guitar piece, and "Open Terrain" is an ecclectic track that jumps all over the place between styles. There are a few songs on the album as well, and while they don't really seem to fit in with the score as much as "Lorena" does (an instrumental piece), they do break it up which helps aid the listening experience a tad.
Furst certainly delivered what the filmmakers wanted, and I'm sure in the film, his music works great against the accompanying images. But without the benefit of the visuals, the album - while containing enjoyable moments - is a bit too long, and on occasion suffers from temp-love. Still, I am eager to hear more from this young composer who certainly has a lot of promise and ample opportunities to come.
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