Hawk (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Hawk (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

(Stuart Hancock)
Release Date: 
Sunday, April 3, 2011

Hawk is a short film out of North Wales about a boy growing up away from civilization in a shadowy world of old gods and wild hunts. The synopsis is extremely subtle and trying to find sources for my research on it had been tedious, which is why I am including all links associated with the film (the links I used anyway). With still relatively little to go on as far as the short film and its soundtrack I simply sat back, threw on the soundtrack, and allowed my minds eye to wander. Stuart Hancock’s compositions proved a fantastic platform for my own imagination.

I came across a few reviews for Hawk’s OST and most of the alluded to a connection between Hancock’s direction and that of Howard Shore’s Lord of the Rings work. This assumption holds some relevance, but putting Shores score out of mind you can truly appreciate the genius of Hancock’s work here. From the first track I imagined dripping stalactites in organically lit caves, icy settings, and a supernatural penchant for fairies, gods, and other mythical creatures. If that assumption on my part is correct or not Hancock’s approach to the films soundtrack leaves the beauty quite figuratively speaking up to the eye of the beholder.

Among the themes found on the soundtrack there is also a great balance between dark and light. There are the subtle more calm interpretations of which you have to allow yourself to succumb and imagine everything from within the title of a song. Track two, The Little Hunter, begins with a soft innocence that, to me, portrays the title character as a curious child being led into the dark world of man. At around the 1:40 mark we enter this dark brooding second and a half of danger which leads us into this kind of mix of a violent struggle between innocence and succumbing to the dark nature of man. The song ends without really providing a conclusion to this clash, most likely because I’ve read into it the wrong way, but as I said, you will get from Hawk’s OST whatever you take out of it, but without a doubt its an astonishingly large canvass for a short film (38 minutes).

Within the liner notes of the soundtrack there is an interview with Stuart Hancock, conducted by Mikael Carlsson, which hits on some interesting facts about Hancock’s approach to the making of the films music. First off Hancock worked off a relatively modest budget to work with the films soundtrack. For his orchestra he went to the Bratislava Orchestra, conducted by David Hernando, and Welsh choir Serendipity, who had grabbed the Côr Cymru for 2005 (a Welsh TV competition which looks for the best choir in Wales). Last, but not least, Hancock approached world-class former harpist to the Prince of Wales, Catrin Finch, who worked from her home studio in Cardiff to complete the soundtracks amazing sound. While no actual price tag is affixed in the public domain as to how much Hancock was afforded his attempt its obvious his experience all but made up the difference. As I said, for a short film, Hancock supplies a massively large scale sound that could go toe to toe with many of the more familiar names in the business. I highly suggest checking it out. Enjoy.

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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