A Lonely Place to Die

Composed by: Michael Richard Plowman

Distributed by: Moviescore Media

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            In the movie, A Lonely Place to Die, a group of five mountaineers attempt to tackle the Scottish Highlands when high winds put a halt to their climb.  Opting instead to walk through the countryside, the group stumbles upon a young Serbian girl buried underground with only a small pipe providing an airway.  Rescuing the girl and attempting to get her to safety will be no easy task, as they find themselves being hunted down by the kidnappers while making their descent from the Highlands.  The action thriller, starring Melissa George, Ed Speelers and Eamon Walker, opened in theaters in the UK on September 6, 2011.

            The soundtrack of A Lonely Place to Die features two songs by Scottish singer Sophie Ramsay that appear in the opening and closing credits of the film and a musical score by British composer Michael Richard Plowman.  Learning to play the trumpet at the age of three, it became apparent that Michael Richard Plowmanís path lie somewhere along the lines of music.  Over the years, Plowman began teaching himself how to play a variety of orchestral instruments.  By fourteen, he landed his first commercial television job and by sixteen had a recording contract and his first album.  Over the past thirty years, he has written over 150 musical scores for movies and games, including Tactical Force, Age of Heroes, Hunt to Kill, George of the Jungle, A Dangerous Man, Trucks, Never Cry Werewolf, Splinter Cell, Alien Agent and Polar Storm.

            The soundtrack opens with The Burning of Auchindoun, a haunting traditional Scottish song about the destruction of Auchindoun Castle.  This is followed by a rousing orchestral track called To the Cliff.  Through the music, you can envision the excitement of the mountaineers as they approached their latest challenge.  Following that track is the title track, A Lonely Place to Die, an interesting mix of synths and orchestral music.  Hunterís Scherzo has a sense of urgency to it and you can imagine someone being chased.

            The rest of the soundtrack alternates between calm beauty and ominous undertones.  The tenth track, Lament, lures you into a sense of security with its delicate pianos and woodwinds until the very end when all sorts of synthetic and scary sounds leap out at you, scaring the daylights out of the listener.  I have to say, I loved that.  As the soundtrack moves forward, things get more ominous.  Thereís a sense of foreboding mixed with urgency as the mountaineers and their charge are hunted down.

            The soundtrack ends with Little Sadie, a 20th Century American folk song about an individual who murders their lover, is captured and sentenced.  The haunting voice of  Sophie Ramsay is enough to send chills up your spine, especially when applied to those lyrics - yikes!

            I found the soundtrack of A Lonely Place to Die to be quite entertaining and enjoyed the mixture of orchestral sound and synthetic music, the heavy percussions and the Celtic flares here and there to remind us where the characters are.  As a stand alone album, the music is interesting enough to take notice of.  As a musical score, itís obvious that the music is perfectly suited to the film.  The score created by Michael Richard Plowman perfectly describes the events of the movie, allowing the listener to picture everything that is going on while the music is playing, even if they have never seen the actual movie.  I definitely recommend checking out this soundtrack and am interested in hearing more from this composer in the future.


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