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[Review & Interviews] “Black Spot” season 1: A crime and fantasy television series

Dernière mise à jour : June 3rd, 2021 at 04:59 pm

A particularly neat soundtrack

Black Spot season 1 image
© Jean-philippe BALTEL / EGO PRODUCTION
There is a new theme per episode that can be equivalent to a place for example. At one point, there is a cave that is very important in an episode [Editor’s note: episode 3] and we made a special sound for this cave: it’s the sound we hear at the end of the episode 2 with big rustling and who comes back in the third. After there are the themes for the characters. But there is no big signature tune for the eight episodes.
And in episode 8, we take the theme of Villefranche with the banjo and we develop it and we make it take much more scale. It introduces, it’s the beginning of episode 8. It’s a much more melodic theme, much more harmonious that will link all the people because this theme of Villefranche is the one that represents the village, the people, the community.
— Thomas Couzinier

It is impossible to see Black Spot season 1 and not to evoke its sound design and especially its soundtrack: “We had to stick to each complex character of the series but also to Villefranche and the forest, a fully fledged character for us. After, the difficulty was to mix the themes between them when the characters meet and to make them to live, to humanize them and not to make music of basic polars. We tried to make a melody for these people”, explained the co-composer Frédéric Kooshmanian.

Here too, the very good agreement at all stages of creation is felt. The soundtrack of the series, composed by Thomas Couzinier and Frédéric Kooshmanian, has also received the 2017 Golden Fipa for the Best original music in TV series.

Worked from the script to the final editing, the music thus participates in the construction of the very original world of this series and even to its western side with the use of a very pronounced instrument, the banjo: “We used the banjo but only on the theme of Villefranche. It is used as a melodic line but not as it would be used in bluegrass or country. It’s a small color in the whole soundtrack. This and other elements such as strings, organic percussion and acoustic and even kazoo for the eighth episode“, said Thomas Couzinier.

And if the banjo is remembrered, the two composers defend themselves to have wanted to make for Black Spot season 1 the soundtrack of a western or an American fiction, as Thomas Couzinier explained to us: “If you remove the banjo, there is nothing American in the movie. This could be a soundtrack from a northern, Swedish film. There is an evanescent, fleecy side with very organic string textures and a bit of synthesizer. The banjo is a very small element and immediately, it will be typed. But at the same time, it does not make blues, it does not make country. It gives a hue but it’s very subtle, it’s not very epic music”.

Jean-Christophe Nurbel

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