April 16, 2021

The double musical dress of 'Roma' | Culture

The double musical dress of 'Roma' | Culture


The soundtrack of Rome, just released in Spain by Sony, will soon have company: February 8th Music Inspired by the Film Rome, album with 14 unreleased songs (and a collage of street sounds). In both albums you can see the hand of Lynn Fainchtein, the omnipresent musical supervisor in the creative rebirth of Mexican cinema during the 21st century.

Fainchtein has participated in all the filmography of Alejandro González Iñárritu or Diego Luna as a filmmaker, apart from working on Hollywood feature films signed by Walter Salles (On the Road) or Lee Daniels (The Paperboy, Precious). His credits also include numerous documentaries and series, such as The house of flowers Y Luis Miguel; currently hired by Netflix, she deals with the musical design of a dozen television series on several continents, from the Australian Tidelands to the Jordanian Jinn.

The double musical dress of 'Roma'

In Rome, Fainchtein came across a film that was shot chronologically, without the actors having the full script. But the musical atmosphere did have a slogan: immerse the viewer in the Mexico City of 1970. The music came from the radio, which urged to imagine what was heard in the kitchen, bedrooms, living room and cars.

Fainchtein, who served as radio announcer, investigated which stations would be tuned in each domestic space, apart from checking if the selected song sounded on those frequencies. It's a middle-class family and there they listen to pop in Spanish (Leo Dan, Rocío Dúrcal, Juan Gabriel, Lupita D'Alessio) softer international hits by Roger Whittaker, the group Christie or Yvonne Elliman (from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar, of great social impact in Mexico).

The double musical dress of 'Roma'

There is no lack of national music (Javier Solis, Chicontepec Trio). Fainchtein had to give up some of his favorite genres: "salsa had not yet entered Mexico." Yes, there is Pérez Prado's mambo and samples of "a local variety called tropical, which hardly has Afro-Cuban DNA: it was played with organ or accordion". With the exception of Javier Bátiz and La Revolución de Emiliano Zapata, there is no rock: "The PRI, which governed since 1929, detested long hair".

Send the truth, he explains. In Rome would not have been possible cravings like those of Paco León in Arde Madrid, that allowed to cast a hymn of the Andalusian hippismo like The garrotín in a plot that was developed 10 years before: "We must resist those temptations, if you want the series to be credible. All the more, in Rome there is some lag of months, some issue that had not yet come out when the action takes place ".

The only whim that the director has allowed is Music Inspired by the Film Rome, a new album where the premiere of his daughter, Bo Cuarón, appears as a singer. The contacts of Lynn Fainchtein and her American colleague, Randall Poster, facilitated the involvement of great figures such as Patti Smith or Beck, who recovered old songs in sumptuous treatments. The folkie British Laura Marling recreates Those Were the Days, Russian song that sounds in Rome in the spectacular interpretation of Ray Conniff. The vocalist Michael Kiwanuka, favorite of the series musical selectors, is present with a somber orchestration of Unkle.

Other guests worked with recorded sounds to Rome. Explains Fainchtein: "They were especially fascinated by the sharpener's whistle. T-Bone Burnett recycled it along with voices of street vendors plus a military orchestra. The group Sonido Gallo Negro preferred the barking of the Borrás dog. Pieces that, like the instrumental of DJ Shadow, would be perfect cinematographic music if Rome I would have had another approach. "

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