After many years of exile, a war deserter returns home expecting to gain back the life he left behind. While trying to gather information about his wife, he finds out that she declared him dead years ago and that since then she has rebuilt a new life with another man. Knowing that everything has changed and he is no longer part of this world, he slowly falls into struggle: should he reveal himself and try to bring back things as they were? Or should he fade in the shadow of the past and leave everything behind?
This psychological drama directed by Ernest Meholli, can boast some notorious names in the cast such as Hanna Verboom, Astrit Alihajdaraj and Blerim Destani. The film was almost entirely shot on one location, namely Oldenzaal, a small town situated in the southern region of the Netherlands. The complete audio post-production was realized at Pastelle Music in collaboration with Warnier Studio and Team Werk Stuttgart.
At the beginning of May, the film premiered at the renown Eye Institute in Amsterdam to a selected audience of 300 guests, receiving positive reactions from both critics and public.
Gone Back was also promoted at several international film festivals and markets such as the recent edition of the Berlinale and at the Film Festival du Cannes.
About the music score:
Partly orchestral, partly designed with synthesizers and with a full lenght of almost 60 minutes out of 80 minutes film, this score has been fundamental for the narration of the main character's dramatic action and ambiguity. Many orchestral cues were composed with a romantic pattern to support the need for a lost sense of love, while the synthesizers were used to outline the frustration and the increasing mental instability of the principal character. As a result, the two textures play against each other through the entire development of the story. Be gone or be back? The primary purpose of the music was to confront the audience with this constant questionmark.
To be sure then that the timbrical contrast between the two textures was more than effective, we decided to travel to St. Petersburg, one of the world's most influencial historical capitals for Romantic music, where we had the chance to record the Baltic Symphony Orchestra under the lead of Maestro Valentin Bogdanov.
Recording session with the Baltic Symphony Orchestra at the legendary Radio Studio in St. Petersburg.
At the beginning of the year, our collaboration with the Baltic Symphony Orchestra was reported in various Russian online magazines. Below follows an interview with Matteo Taheri realized by the Covor Magazine:
CM: "The main question: what was the director's expectation with your music in his film?"
MT: "When Ernest Meholli approached me showing some rough material from the first shooting, asking me what kind of music I would imagine for the film, I answered: "what you need is not music, it's strict psychology."
I saw that he had all the elements for a strong drama but that music would probably be the only medium that could reinforce the character's intentions throughout the story in an effective manner.
That's indeed what we tried to achieve in the end.
In Gone Back we never leave the main character's mind, independently if he's loving, hating, premeditating or taking action. The music allows us to understand and follow the struggle of a man that is confronted with the acceptance of an inalterable past."
CM: "How did you get to know the Baltic Symphony Orchestra and how was the experience to work with them?"
MT: "I got to know the Baltic Symphony Orchestra, through my friend and brilliant recording engineer Dirk Fisher. At that time he was recording another project in St. Petersburg and proposed me to work with the Baltic Symphony Orchestra, as he knew that we were looking for a very warm and expressive orchestral sound.
I was immediately convinced by the high quality of this nice orchestra. Not only the professional attitude of its players was outstanding, but they were very flexible musically and experienced with a recording environment.
These were essential prerogatives for me. I can't imagine to work with musicians that are incapable of performing with imagination when it comes to constructing a film soundtrack."
CM: "Could you describe the atmosphere in which the soundtrack was recorded?"
MT: "The choice to come all the way up to St. Petersburg proved to be a perfect match with the whole music production process. The high preparation of the team was very inspiring for the work. In addition, I think that my admiration for romantic and expressionistic Russian music is quite recognizable in the score of this film. To record the music in the cultural capital of Russia was therefore also my closest preference. The privilege then that the recordings took place at the legendary St. Petersburg Radio Studio was for me just a real blast!"
CM: "Were you pleased with the result of the recordings?"
MT: "Recordings are always difficult situations. There's a general pressure to achieve the best result in a limited amount of time. It's hard to keep concentration. You have to stop many times, instruct, correct, retake, be patient, feel free,...
The situation is very intense and you never truly know what to expect in the end.
But yes, I'm more than happy that we managed to go home with a very good result!"
CM: "How quickly did you, the conductor and the orchestra found a common language?
MT: "Maestro Valentin Bogdanov did a great job!
I initially organized an interpreter to help me communicate to him directly in Russian but indeed we managed to establish a very intuitive mutual understanding from the very beginning.
Not only I was impressed by his musical sensibility and ability, but he succeeded in extracting from the orchestra the perfect essence of my intentions.
It's not an easy task when you know so little of the story, you have never seen the film and you barely have two days to prepare and record almost 40 minutes of new material."
CM: "Will you continue to work with the Baltic Symphony Orchestra also in the future?"
MT: "Well, it was a great pleasure to work with so many enthusiastic people and I will certainly keep the orchestra in mind for the future."
Composer Matteo Taheri with Maestro Valentin Bogdanov.