Many times I’ve thought about what would have been the first music I ever heard in my life. I don’t expect to find a specific answer, but I like to imagine it.
That’s one of the reasons I am fascinated by “Genesis”, the soundtrack composed by french Bruno Coulais for the homonym filmic documentary about the origin and course of Life. It illustrates what I like to call “inward music”.
To me, “inward music” is the kind of music which is born with a character or situation, the one which is able to transmit its energy from the more basic expressions. And this is something that Coulais obtains by far with his work.
“Genesis” is a natural ballet. However, the music does not determine the actor’s movements, but it comes up from them. In that way this is a sincere and –seen from a technical point of view- extremely elaborated opus.
I will mention three thematic blocks in Coulais’ composition:
1) The initial theme shows us from the very start the primitive, the basic, like Creation itself, but it holds a complex development. The piece shows it to us. Here, the music is very sophisticated, avoiding any reference to well-worn musical landscapes: it´s rough, conclusive and essential. The Big Bang could have sounded like that. The music is generated, transformed, and it develops continuously.
2) The main theme (tracks 2, 9 and 13) gives a thread beneath the whole soundtrack. The music is much more melodic, and its simple leitmotiv is highly evocative and as moving as few others. It’s an approach to the most emotional side of Life. It reminds me of Vangelis’ “L’Apocalypse Des Animaux”. Similar in intentions to the main theme is track 5 (“Les hypocampes”), with a haunting and delicate melodic development.
3) Lastly, let’s talk about the final theme “La fanfare de la vie”. In Nature, Death is Life; the end contents a new beginning. Everything advances and does it over and over again. Well; the brilliant idea that Coulais had was to create a fanfare, a popular tune for Big Band, a passacaglia. After all, Life is like that, and so is the “Genesis” soundtrack: it starts with the Big Bang and it finishes with the Big Band.
Millimetricaly thought and designed, and technically irreproachable, Coulais’ work is an impressive audible experience.