Lost Track

Plot summary:

A moving story of an old man lost in his memories. The ghostly echo of a steam engine rumbling across the moonlit night transports Max to his beloved childhood in the railway workshops. What has happened in Max’s life to bring him to this point? Written by Alain J Francois

Joff’s Notes:

This is one of too few films directed by the late Anton Fricker. Anton was a beautiful human being and an absolute pleasure to work with. He is greatly missed.

The score explores some of the dramatic musical concepts used by composer Fumio Hayasaka in the late Mizoguchi and early Kurosawa films. I wrote this score soon after forming an obsession for the music of these films; particularly Drunken Angel (1948), Stray Dog (1949), and Ugetsu (1953). The eloquent dance of the score around the story structure results in some of my favorite cinematic moments.

In the case of Lost Track, the structural approach to composing this film began with the juxtaposition of aspects of the story with musical associations. For instance, the ghosts of the trains were associated with the resonance of various metallic instruments, such as gongs, bells and gamelan. Entering and awakening from the the dream was associated with a whistle-like effected flute. The childhood memories were represented with a little melody for tuba and strings, and the more tactile memories were accompanied by tingling crotale bells and pizzicato strings.

This was a useful technique of relating the old man’s journey into the past. He is called into his memories, and travels through to arrive at some sort of realization when he surfaces. But what? As the old man continues down the tracks, the music is gentler, resolved, and a little more at peace, although still ambiguous. Echoes of all of the musical themes return softly from the landscape.

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