Roger Goula has earnt renown for his ability to connect music and visuals – his work as a film scorer has been welcomed on prestigious stages such as the Venice, Toronto, Sundance and Tribeca Film festivals, and earnt him numerous distinctions including a BAFTA and BIFA nomination. This has translated into his sound holding an incredible cinematic quality and nowhere is this more evident than his latest album Ecosystems. With emotional and colourful textures, he skilfully creates vivid melodies, embracing the listener in beautifully-balanced, warm and immersive soundscapes, enabled by a brilliant string orchestra.
Ecosystems is not a linear trajectory. Instead, each track functions like a world of its own, encompassing its own stories, tensions and outcomes. At the same time, these microcosms exist in relation to a larger theme, one which, according to Goula, speaks of our interdependent yet fraught relationship to nature. “The whole album responds to this idea of how we interact with nature, and hopefully it can offer some harmony in the end,” says the composer. And if the whole journey of Ecosystems is a search for harmony, we don’t need to go any further than the first track to find it.
The album’s poignant opener, Gift was inspired by Goula’s life-changing experience of becoming a father, and it delicately balances the urgency and wonder of newborn life. Stirring strings weave themselves onto a pulsing heartbeat – the actual ultrasound recording of Goula’s pregnant wife – to express the miraculous gift that is life. “In Gift something is born, and it’s magical and exciting, full of energy and life, and it will take us on a sonic journey that will change us forever,” says Goula. The genuine awe at such a paradigm-expanding event is an intrinsic part of a thrilling track which gifts us with the beautiful simplicity and clarity of the strings, alongside remarkable production and composition – signatures of Goula’s work.