Album Review: Sophie Hunger – Cinéma (Edition Dur)

The Breakdown

...deeply rich arrangements to light minimal passages with a dash of French chansons in between...

Celebrated Swiss musician and composer Sophie Hunger unveils her mesmerizing soundtrack for the Oscar-winning stop-motion film „Ma vie de Courgette“ and a selection of her compositions for other movies from the last ten years. (Side B). ‘Cinema‘ showcases a decade‘s worth of heartfelt compositions and recordings, offering a unique glimpse into her creative genius.

Soundtracks serve as the hidden heartbeat of every film, an essential yet often unnoticed element that breathes life into visuals. Hunger remarks, „This album is like a journey undercover for ten years. It‘s a testament to my collaborations and personal growth as an artist, all without formal musical training “Cinema” captures moments that have come to life independently of the images, breathing new life into them.“

Hunger‘s collaboration with Claude Barras, director of ‘Ma vie de Courgette‘, was a turning point. Barras, an admirer of Hunger‘s work, entrusted her with the task of creating the film‘s enchanting soundtrack. Hunger‘s music, delicate yet powerful, mirrors the emotional journey of a child navigating an orphanage after losing her mother. The soundtrack‘s creation spanned six months, initially taking shape in Hunger‘s home studio and later evolving through recording sessions at Voxton Studios in Berlin-Weissensee in 2014. The result is a tapestry of uncanny sounds woven together by classical instruments, skillfully directed by sound engineer Francesco Donadello. Marimba, synthesizer, cello, drums, double bass, guitar, and a string quartet from the Berlin Philharmonic contribute to the soundtrack‘s rich and captivating composition.

‘Cinema’ offers a diverse array of musical experiences. In crafting the score for the love drama ‘Le vent tourne’ by Bettina Oberli, Hunger ingeniously emulated the film‘s windmill motif by arranging amplifiers in a circle during recording.

For Robert Gwisdek´s ‘Der Junge, dem die Welt gehört‘ (The Boy Who Owns the World), Hunger drew inspiration from French chansons, interweaving her lyrical prowess with the film‘s narrative.

Hunger‘s compositions are more than just accompaniments; they are integral to the storytelling process. Her music serves as a motor propelling the emotions, thoughts, and experiences depicted on screen, enhancing the audience‘s connection to the visuals.

With „Cinema“, Sophie Hunger invites listeners to immerse themselves in the soul-stirring world of film music, transcending the boundaries between sound and vision. The album stands as a testament to Hunger‘s exceptional ability to create imagery through sound, making her a timeless figure in the realm of cinematic compositions.

Verdict: Small slices of bliss, with most of them being under the two-minute mark, you’ll be left wanting more. But collating all these works together in one place makes this worth tracking down. The album really demonstrates the musicianship and creativity in the various compositions featured here, giving you a real insight into Sophie’s ability and range, not to mention that exceptional voice. From classical-sounding acoustic performances to electric beds of atmospheric sound, the album features a plethora of instruments all played wonderfully. From deeply rich arrangements to light minimal passages with a dash of French chansons in between, it makes for a delightful listening experience from start to finish.

Original Music For Motion Pictures by Sophie Hunger 

Track List:


1. OUVERTURE (Ma vie de Courgette)

2. L’ORAGE (Ma vie de Courgette)

3. EN VOITURE AVEC RAYMOND (Ma vie de Courgette)

4. PREMIER MATIN (Ma vie de Courgette)

5. MEANDRIBUS (Ma vie de Courgette)

6. LA RECONTRE AVEC CAMILLE (Ma vie de Courgette)

7. FAÇADE (Ma vie de Courgette)

8. BLAGUE (Ma vie de Courgette)

9. DANS LE BUS (Ma vie de Courgette)

10. ON JOUE DANS LA NEIGE! (Ma vie de Courgette)

11. ELECTRIC PANTER (Ma vie de Courgette)

12. CONFESSIONS SOUS LA LUNE (Ma vie de Courgette)

13. UN SAC SURPRISE (Ma vie de Courgette)

14. RETOUR AU TRAUMA  (Ma vie de Courgette)

15. THÈME DE COURGETTE (Ma vie de Courgette)

16. LA BALANÇOIRE (Ma vie de Courgette)

17. LA FÊTE (Ma vie de Courgette)

18. L’ORAGE 2 (Ma vie de Courgette)

19. SOUVENIR (Ma vie de Courgette)

SIDE B –  

1. CHERNOBYL (Le Vent Tourne)

2. UNREST ((Le Vent Tourne)

3. DILEMMA (Le Vent Tourne)

4. LES PAS (Der Junge, dem die Welt gehört)

5. JE DIS OUI (Der Junge, dem die Welt gehört)

6. ALPHA VENOM (Rampensau)

7. TOTENTANZ (Der Sprayer von Zürich)

Available now @éma-Edition-DUR-15

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