1979 Revolution: Black Friday

Music Composed By: Nima Fakhrara

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                The Ink Stories video game 1979 Revolution: Black Friday takes us back to 1978 Tehran, Iran.  You are photojournalist Reza Shirazi, just returning from studying abroad to discover his people are engaged in a bloody uprising against the Shah.  While you desire to keep yourself neutral, you discover that neutrality is impossible.  Led by your best friend, you are forced to choose sides, coming face to face with members of the underground, military and more.   The choices you make will decide the fate of your friends, family and your country.

                The musical score of 1979 Revolution: Black Friday was created by Iranian composer Nima Fakhrara, whose love for music began as a child while listening to his uncle play the santour.  Eventually studying the santour, Fakhrara became well-versed in Persian classical music.  After moving to the United States and earning a degree in composition studies, Fakhrara began composing for television and film in 2007.  Since then, he has created musical scores for films such as The Courier, The Signal, Consumed, Gatchaman, The Girl in the Photographs and more.

                Set in Tehran, it is no surprise that the score of this video game would contain Middle Eastern influences.  According to the composer, "For this project, authenticity of the location and the era was important.  One of the things that I tried to do was to replace any western instruments with an Iranian instrument from the same family.  I want to emphasize that I ONLY used Iranian instruments, not arabic, greek, Armenian, or any other countries’ instruments, I wanted to use authentic instruments from my country.  For example, the Santour, being a dulcimer, and dulcimer coming from the Piano family, was used to replace and accentuate the sound of the piano.  And at times the Santour replaced piano.  Also at times the sounds of the Iranian interments were shaped to become something that we recognize as ‘Tradition Western Instruments’"

                Those who have read past soundtrack reviews I've written know that I love it when composers incorporate ethnic instruments into their scores.  It makes for a more authentic feel to the music.  The score has dark and ominous undertones as Reza is confronted by a country at war with itself and the difficult decisions he must make in the name of photojournalism and survival.  Heavy percussion accents danger while dulcimers were used to heighten dramatic loss.  The score is dramatic and emotional, reflecting the main character's feelings and actions and those of the warring factions around him.

                The musical score of 1979 Revolution: Black Friday was quite an interesting listening experience.  As a stand alone album, the music is quite enjoyable, but as background for the video game, it serves to heighten emotions, quicken the adrenaline rush and add to the gaming experience.  Definitely well-worth the listen!


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