March 2003 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Gary S. Dalkin
Managing Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

index page/ monthly listings / March /


Zoo  
Music composed by Marco Werba
  Available on Hexacord (HCD-15)  
Running Time: 39:28

zoo

Now as famous as her father, master of terror Dario Argento (and probably due to eclipse him thanks to her role in the US hit XXX), Asia Argento appears to be a major selling point on this score from Marco Werba, with the front cover proudly announcing that this film was the actress’ ‘first time on screen’. But of course for we music fans this cinematic historical footnote has little bearing on the quality of the CD. So what exactly do we have here? Well, it’s a bit of Italian whimsy, complete with a touch of Debussy (‘MII (Martina Ha Paura)’), but Werba imbues it all with a true sense of heart and emotion (‘L’Elefante-titoli (Tema Di Zoo)’ in particular) and the intimately affecting music evokes a powerful sense of innocence and hope. This rather touching, at times poignant sensibility gives the score a great deal of appeal and tracks like ‘Tema Di Martina’ with its simple but effective melody (a mainstay of the entire work) linger in the mind long afterward.

I’m a big fan of Italian film music. I’m not exactly sure what it is that I find so engaging, but there’s an intrinsic charm, an almost otherworldly, poetic quality that seems to pervade so much of the music that originates from that country, whether it be something like the orchestral, darkly beautiful work of Pino Donaggio or the powerful gothic rock of Goblin.

A rewarding, atmospheric work that will win Werba some well deserved attention. So regardless of whether you’re a fan of Asia Argento or not, this score is certainly worth seeking out.

Mark Hockley

***(*)

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