Sin Nombre

Composed By: Marcelo Zarvos

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners



            The movie, Sin Nombre, is actually two stories that converge upon one another to unite in a single theme.  Casper (Edgar Flores) is a young gang member on the run after having murdered the gang’s leader.  Sayra (Paulina Gaytan) is a Honduran girl en route to the United States with her father.  The journey is arduous and danger lurks in every corner as the two seek to leave their pasts behind them in favor of a fresh beginning in a new home.

            The musical score of Sin Nombre was created by Brazilian pianist and composer Marcelo Zarvos.  Having begun classical music studies as a teenager under the tutelage of H.J. Koelreutter, Zarvos received a Master’s Degree in Music from Hunter College.  He has composed and performed chamber music and dance scores, releasing three albums as a recording artist.  His musical score compositions for film include Hollywoodland, The Door in the Floor, The Good Shepherd, Strangers with Candy and Kissing Jessica Stein.

            The music of Sin Nombre expresses a mix of emotions ranging from sadness and anguish to hope and wonderment.  The storyline of the film outlines the lives of two individuals clinging to hope in an effort to escape the pain of their former lives.  Marcelo Zarvos does an admirable job of mirroring this storyline in the music composed for the film.  The use of a plucked guitar in the midst of orchestral instruments offers up a Spanish flare to the music, a testimony to the voyage of Casper and Sayra which takes them through Honduras, Veracruz, Guatemala and more.

            What surprised me most was the use of an accordion which appears on the very first track of the album and is used numerous times throughout the soundtrack.  To me, an accordion has no place in a soundtrack for a movie set in Central America, but somehow Zavros makes it fit.  Dark and ominous sounds are sometimes added to the sounds of the accordion to underscore ominous and dangerous moments in the characters’ journey.  Guitars add some lightheartedness while violins and pianos offer up a sense of urgency.

            The soundtrack of Sin Nombre seems to represent the film’s storyline very well.  I would love to watch the film to see just how well the music fits in with the visuals and the emotions of each scene.  While some of the soundtrack is ominous and foreboding, a great bit of it is very relaxing and therapeutic to the listener.  Thus, I would recommend the purchase of the Sin Nombre Soundtrack for use during moments of relaxation and restfulness - just skip the more ominous tracks.        


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