Picturebooks

by Ronen Landa

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about

PICTUREBOOKS is divided into three sections.  After the preface track “Come Here,” Book One features music for the landmark Iraqi-made documentary THE DREAMS OF SPARROWS directed by Hayder Mousa Daffar. Using an ethereal combination of vocals, oud, strings and electronics, the score embodies the pain, isolation, aspiration and confusion of the Iraqi people as they transition out from under Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship and into a new reality.  Book One evokes the depth of the Iraqi experience: at times nostalgic for its lost magnificence, as felt in the haunting melodies of “The Dreams of Sparrows,” and at times, as experienced in “Sa’ad,” indelibly scarred by its present nightmare.
 
Book Two features music for three short films. “In Separation,” “Grandson” and “Memory & Credits,” from Kevin Choi’s THE YEARS FLOW LIKE WATER, are scored for piano trio and illuminate the struggles of a Chinese family acclimating to life in New York City. The Eastern-influenced melodies, sensitive and dreamlike, reflect the characters’ complex internal lives and the inevitable passage of time.  At the album’s midpoint, “Prayer One” from Choi’s DISSOLUTION OF BODIES, provides contrast as determined Japanese taiko drumming assumes the dominant role. The percussion is accompanied by a prayer bowl’s resonant tones in an echo of the album’s preface. 
 
The score for Cambria Matlow’s and Morgan Robinson’s upcoming film BURNING IN THE SUN is featured in Book Three.  For this documentary about environmental entrepreneurship in Mali, Landa uses elements of local music, like percussion and kora, to color familiar genres like rock and Rn’B. Tracks like “Burning in the Sun” and “Native Energy” symbolize the ambition and vigor of the film’s characters in the face of the extreme poverty that surrounds them. “Après La Prèmière Lumière” and “Water Party (reprise)” feature stunning kora performances by Malian virtuoso Yacouba Sissoko, accompanied by a classical string trio. The album concludes with the heartfelt and soaring emotional climax “Morning in Banko.”

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released July 8, 2009

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Ronen Landa Los Angeles, California

Ronen Landa draws on a breadth of influences to create music that is inventive and daring, and, above all, music that communicates. The press has hailed his work as “an astounding auditory journey... an intricate and delightful aural treat” (Cinema Without Borders) and “a mesmerizing spectrum of sound that immerses the listener” (Randall Larson’s Soundtrax). ... more

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