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Sven Libaek

Inner Space: The Lost Film Music of Sven Libaek

(Trunk; US: 24 Oct 2006; UK: 23 Oct 2006)

There’s a lightness of touch and a breezy, jazzy atmosphere to these 12 Sven Libaek Australian film-score compositions from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Though Norwegian-born, Libaek spent much of his life in Australia, not counting 17 years in the US, doing TV music and pop arranging. It’s easy to imagine Australian landscapes within several of these pieces, and indeed the films themselves reflect that—one an Australian surf film, another a TV series about wildlife in Australia. The pieces for the Sydney-set film The Set are perhaps the “grooviest,” in the of-the-era, fashionable sense, but there’s groovier—in the free-ranging, psychedelic sense—sounds in the Inner Space pieces and some of the To Ride a White Horse surf pieces, which don’t resemble Cali “surf music” as much as haunted nightclub jazz. In all of this music there’s a relaxed, mood-music motif, but also both a strong sense of composition (Jonny Trunk’s liner-notes description of “hooky and unusual” melodies is especially apt) and a jazz-like looseness, perhaps attributable to the core group of jazz players that he used for them.

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Dave Heaton has been writing about music on a regular basis since 1993, first for unofficial college-town newspapers and DIY fanzines and now mostly on the Internet. In 2000, the same year he started writing for PopMatters, he founded the online arts magazine ErasingClouds.com, still around but often in flux. He writes music reviews for the print magazine The Big Takeover. He is a music obsessive through and through. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri.


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