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The Independent Critic

Nathan Felix
Blake Weaver
The Curse The Cross & The Lion, Symphony #1

 Broken Down the Walls  
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As many music composers will likely tell you, it's not exactly common to get your name mentioned alongside the filmmakers, stars and lead production folks even if one's music has been central to a film's success. Unless your name is Randy Newman or Hans Zimmer or John Williams (or a few others), the odds are pretty good that even if you've created the most masterful score you've likely found yourself shockingly surprised when your name gets mentioned in publicity or a review.

So, it probably does say something that I've regularly found myself mentioning the original music of Nathan Felix, an Austin indie/punk musician who largely bides his time with his hybrid indie-rock orchestra Noise Revival Orchestra and churning out the occasional wondrous original score for a variety of indie filmmakers. I became familiar with his work primarily through his efforts with Jordan Kerfeld, whose indie flicks have been reviewed here on The Independent Critic and which regularly feature excellent, atmospheric original music from Felix.

It was still with a bit of surprise that I found in my e-mail a request from Felix to consider taking a look at the new video for the leading track off his new CD The Curse The Cross & The Lion, Symphony #1, "Broken Down the Walls."

While I'll openly admit I've been hesitant to open myself up to the world of music videos, both out of a lack of time and an awareness that technical knowledge of music isn't my strength, I have actually been considering taking the site into the world of indie music with someone else as critic and, so, I found myself thinking "Why not?"

So, here we go.

"Broken Down the Walls," and the release overall, is already finding quite a bit of success on the festival circuit with a video that perfectly captures the music hybrid feeling of classical meets punk meets organic wonderland. The video, available for viewing in its entirety above this review, was directed by Blake Weaver and has that instant feeling of going on a cinematic journey yet also is presented with such a fundamental purity that even within this third movement's five minutes or so of running time you'll likely find yourself swept up by the images before your eyes and the sounds that accompany them. "Broken Down the Walls" feels like the perfect title for it all, because it's in this movement that the walls get broken down and you find yourself completely immersed.

With cinematography by Axios, Broken Down the Walls features images better experienced than described but Weaver manages to create imagery that perfectly accompanies music that builds to a magnificent crescendo, at times playfully and a times quite emotionally, in such a way that you can see it playing alongside the latest Christopher Nolan film or, perhaps in its greatest triumph, even an old school film noir. While one can possibly argue that creating a stand-alone video for a six movement symphony created for a full orchestra is inevitably dissatisfying, the truth is that Felix's familiarity with cinematic structure pays off as it feels like this movement can both stand alone and be fully integrated into a broader musical journey.

So, sit back and relax. Enjoy the music. Enjoy the images.

Better yet, buy the CD.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic