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  • Writer's pictureArashk Azizi

Jon Snow : A Witness to History by David Chivers

“Jon Snow: A Witness to History” by David Chivers is an album containing 18 pieces from the soundtrack of the film by the same name.

The aim of soundtracks is to explore a hidden meaning in a scene, exaggerate a certain feeling, or serve other purposes like these. In other words, the soundtrack has a duty, a practical purpose that comes before the piece itself. This fact sometimes results in soundtracks being soulless and empty, and it takes a really good composer to create music that can function both as a soundtrack and on its own.

Without a doubt, David Chivers’ music in “Jon Snow” falls under the second category. The music in this album has its own storyline. As a fan of program music, a good soundtrack is always a blessing to listen to. The soundtrack of “Jon Snow” has a strong narrative quality, using sound as its words and creating worlds with masterful sound design over the orchestration.

The combination of orchestral instruments and synths has created an interesting soundscape that suits the crossover classical and neoclassical style of the pieces. The integration of the instruments is so smooth and masterfully done that it always sounds natural to have electronic and acoustic sounds alongside each other. These instruments don’t deny each other but complete each other in an entangled harmonic progression.

In general, the album has a calm and soothing atmosphere, with few exceptions like “Incoming.” Each track has its own full dramatic process and sounds complete on its own. My favorite track is “A Witness to History,” with its deep emotional character. The beating percussion in the deep bass creates the feeling of time passing by, while the strings create a pleasant but somber visual illusion. A masterpiece indeed.

Jon Snow is a legendary British journalist. This powerful film reviews 40 years of recent history through Snow's unique humanistic and optimistic outlook. The film was directed by Jonny Burke and with the music of David Chivers, it was broadcast on Channel 4 in June 2023.

David Chivers and his incredible release are currently navigating through film festivals, with Les Soeurs Jumelles film and music festival in Rochefort on his horizon. There is a bright future ahead for this amazing composer, and I eagerly anticipate the next chapter in his professional career.

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