November 1999 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

Scott GILMAN Seven Days   Music for the Television Series GNP CRESCENDO GNPD 8060 [66:46]

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Seven Days is an American TV science fiction drama series based on the familiar premise of someone travelling into the past in order to prevent something terrible which has already happened, happening. It is a stock SF idea offering endless possibilities, and here is given a similar limitation to the BBC's failed Crime Traveller: the heroes can only travel back in time the titular Seven Days. Each week the would-be new Mulder and Scully, CIA operative Parker and Russian scientist Olga Vukavitch, played by Jonathan LaPaglia and Justina Vail, must rewind the clock on some catastrophe, using time travel technology recovered from an alien spacecraft secretly recovered decades earlier by the American government. Whether this melting pot of recycled ideas is actually of any interested I can not say, nor have I any idea how successfully the music contained on this CD might work with the programme. What I can say is that it has no life away from the drama.

Scott Gilman, the booklet informs us, has worked as a touring and session musician playing saxophone, guitar and keyboards with The Tommy Dorsey Big Band, Terence Trent D'Arby, Chaka Khan, Howard Jones, Foreigner and other acts. He has his own band, and has scored episodes of Melrose Place, Beverley Hills 90210, Brimstone, Promised Land as well as several unnamed TV movies. He appears to be the regular series composer for Seven Days, and this album contains his opening and closing title music, together with suites from three episodes, Vows, Come Again and EBE's. Apart from the voiceovers on the 'Main Title' which explain the premise of the show, this is essentially one man and his soundcard, with the emphasis on relentless mechanical percussion as perfected by Brad Fidel for Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

The music here is clinically perfect, metronomic, and almost entirely lacking in human warmth. Tracks such as 'Back Step' feature sequenced military snare, before exploding into pounding machine fury and frozen samples of female voices. Elsewhere resonant synth patches growl, metallic sounds swoosh, atonal piano riffs cycle in upon themselves, and a wide variety of electronic percussion bangs, thuds and crashes with remorseless efficiency. Those who like to listen to recordings of pile drivers at very high volume on their car stereos will probably like the noisy bits, but might be put off by the occasional quite atmospheric interlude.

As functional suspense and action music this may well serve its intended purpose on screen, but with no real themes and no development, this is as much organised sound as anything approaching real music. So much so that the title is an appropriate summation of how long these 66 minutes seem to last. If this is the new sound of action adventure then perhaps a journey into the past to prevent the invention of the sequencer might be catastrophe worthy of our heroes. As such it really is a shame their time machine can't go back far enough.


Gary S. Dalkin


Gary S. Dalkin

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