The Martian Picture Soundtrack
On The Martian Picture Soundtrack (2007), Taarka embark upon a far-ranging tour of musical eras and styles, kept on course by their shared virtuosity. This married duo fill their second album with a multi-ethnic goulash of sounds — bluegrass elements stew with Slavic motifs in a stock of vintage gypsy-jazz. David Tiller’s swift guitar runs and cascading mandolin lines counterpoint Enion Pelta-Tiller’s fluid, sometimes searing violin work with elegant flair. If this sounds like stuff for acoustic music connoisseurs, it is, but these tunes are also highly accessible and often downright catchy. Tracks like “The Creepy,” “Flight of the Snowbird” and “Sullivan Swing” have the blithe spirit of Django Reinhardt, while “Gypsy Who Ha” careens to a tipsy Russian melody. Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman” is rendered as a haunting violin duet by Pelta-Tiller and guest star Casey Driessen. As vocalists, Tiller shows a Mark Knopfler-like rough edge on his self-composed “Changes Should Come Easy” and “Down on Adeline” and Pelta-Tiller displays a folksy wistfulness on the hymn “50 Miles.” The only disappointing thing about The Martian Picture Soundtrack is that there’s no movie to go with it – if this music is any indication, the film would be a delight.