GINA AND CHANTAL are two characters that are the main focus of a ten-part TV show that was made for Belgian TV. The series which stars Tine Embrechts and Nathalie Meskens was written by Gerrie Van Rompaey and directed by Thomas De Cock. It is a comedy drama that received its inspiration from programmes which looked at real housewives in various settings and locations, that have in recent years become popular on various networks, in which they explore the illusion of wealth and an overbearing desire for power that seems to outweigh what is important in life. It is seen from both sides as in Gina is the rich employer who wants for nothing and has no real value of life or emotions and cares not much for her employees not even trying to understand or get to know the basics about their lives, and the poor hardworking cleaning lady Chantal who are forced to form an unlikely friendship and an unwilling collaboration as they are both are pulled deeper into a situation that overtakes the entire neighbourhood where they live and work.
The director was very insistent that the music for the series would play an important and an integral part of the storyline and would unfold and develop as the story did. He engaged Joris Hermy to write music that was not only fitting and supportive of the scenario as it unfurled, but also he wanted a score that would also add a layer of intrigue and at the same time underline subtly and delicately the psychological aspects of the series. The musical score took the composer over three years to complete, the music is not only dramatic but contains melancholy, a hint of romance and oozes with a sense of apprehension that is laced with mystery. The collaboration between filmmaker and composer emerged as a fruitful one and turned into a lasting friendship, with Hermy writing what I consider to be a fine soundtrack and one that is not only a vital component of the series, but also has the ability to affect and entertain away from the storyline and the images on screen.
The charm and the fragility of the music is evident immediately the composer creating an alluring and haunting sound via eloquent piano that is embellished and underlined with a pleasing but at first unassuming string accompaniment. The piano introducing the opening titles and then shortly after this introduction yielding to the strings as they take the theme and develop it into something that is more substantial, sustained and lush in its sound and style. Amongst the lilting and rich sound there is also an underlying atmosphere which is marginally sinister, it is mesmeric and enticing yet threatening and effectively places the listener on edge, as in not being entirely comfortable or sure about the mood of the cue or indeed in which direction it is heading. Track number two, IVAN LE GITAN too has a dark and uneasy aura to it, the composer this time using the strings and a fragile sounding piano performance which weaves in and out of the proceedings to conjure up an sense of mystery which is chillingly effective. The composer also puts to use percussive elements that are fused with synthetic sounds together adding depth and a greater atmospheric quality to the piece. The score for GINA AND CHANTAL is an interesting one. The composer relying more upon an intimate or low key sound throughout, weaving into the work cello and piano to create effective nuances that compliment and support one another and make up a beautiful yet at the same time an unnerving musical persona, that has the ability to lend itself to any situation and enhance any scenario.
Since 2015 the composer has spent much of his time immersed in the scoring of television projects and has also worked on several shorts. He came to the attention of many critics and film music fans via his score for the TV series KATTENOOG which was released on Kronos Records. He has also worked on three seasons of the popular television series KOSMOO. In the past ten years or so the composer has also worked on a number of diverse projects these include computer/video games such as MAYAN DEATH ROBOTS and animated films that include BAD DAYS with Marvel comics as well as documentaries such as BIJSLUITER VAN GOED DOEN in Holland. I suppose that it is correct when I say that the composer does not have an instantly recognisable sound or style, this is I think because he fits the overused and somewhat cliched description of being Chameleon like, but in this case the title is totally fitting.
The CD is strictly limited to 200 Copies
1. Opening Titles - Previously 1:45
2. Ivan le Gitan 1:49
3. Forbidden Love & Bono 2.47
4. Confrontation & Ivan's Close Encounter 3:06
5. Pretitles & Eve of Destruction 1:55
6. Fifty Shades of Eve & Coma 3:12
7. Louboutins 2:55
8. Friends and Enemies 4:27
9. Debt Settled 1:38
10. Dirty Lies 2:43
11. Disappearance of Ivan 1:59
12. Mortuary 2:01
13. Desperate Measures 4:55
14. Doctor Love 2:46
15. Private Jet 2:59
16. Closing Credits 1:26