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Greetings! ScoreKeeper here sneaking an early listen to Mark Snow’s score for director Alain Resnais’ new film, PETITES PEURS PARTAGÉES or PRIVATE FEARS IN PUBLIC PLACES (IMDB lists the current title as COEURS), set for release in November 2006.

I am anxious to see the film for a host of reasons, one of which is a hauntingly evocative score by Mark Snow. I have about twenty-one minutes of score which I have listened to about a dozen times. Each time I find my heart rate climb ever so slightly with the music no matter what else I’m engaged in at the time.

This will be Snow’s first collaboration with the legendary French director who has been quoted as being a fan of Snow’s for sometime. Many listeners may observe the overall sound akin to THE X-FILES; however, I don’t think THE X-FILES offered Snow this much dynamic opportunity to explore such a deep emotional palette as this music suggests.

Although the score contains Snow’s signature lyrical melodies, his harmonic language in this score is its strength. Phrases cadence on unexpectedly arrived chords which quickly elide with a concluding phrase dressed in a new harmonic color. There’s so much vibrancy in the harmony but yet it remains deceptively dark and brooding. There are moments of extreme tension complemented with moments of expansive brilliance.

In typical Snow fashion, he seamlessly weaves electronic and acoustic textures into a single tapestry while the solo piano garners much of the aural spotlight. What I’ve liked about Snow’s music in the past, especially with such projects as THE X-FILES, is that he utilizes artificial synth textures for their unique sonic quality much like Goldsmith did throughout his career.

There’s a moment in the score for PETITES PEURS PARTAGÉES where a lush bed of strings gives rise to a deliberately pacing solo from an obvious synthetic sound. It blends well with the texture and doesn’t disrupt the sanctity of the sound itself. This has long been a signature characteristic of Mark Snow’s music.

I’ve made the argument before that Mark Snow is nowhere near where he should be in the film music lexicon of composers. His work on THE X-FILES might have scared away potential suitors looking for him to deviate from that particular sonic palette; however, Snow has proven on a variety of occasions that his work remains stellar even when venturing outside the archetypal baleful hymns he composes.

Regardless, Snow is a composer that I’d love to hear more from. To this day, his opening cue from THE X-FILES: FIGHT THE FUTURE (1997) is among the most energetic and terrifying pieces of orchestral music I’ve heard in a film. I would relish Snow taking the musical reins of an ALIEN-inspired terror-pic or possibly even a SE7EN-ish urban detective thriller.

As a fan of Mark Snow, it’s nice to see diverse directors such as Alain Resnais, give Snow a project that harnesses his strengths while highlighting a mélange of characteristics not as familiar with a world-wide audience.

Although he’s had a long and distinguished career, THE X-FILES alone is worthy enough to herald Mark Snow as a great composer for film and television. I believe however, Snow has yet to scratch the surface of his complete creative potential. Maybe PETITES PEURS PARTAGÉES will be that scratch.

Want to hear for yourself? Below are five thirty-second clips from the score.


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