Luminous’ song propels The Signal to win Best Live Action Short Film award

The Chronicle

Mbulelo Mpofu, Showbiz Reporter

Movies are a collection of visual scenes as well as sounds and the latter evokes feelings of fear, anger and happiness when correctly executed. 

Last weekend, the première of the first IsiNdebele sci-fi The Signal took place in America and it was a hit. The Signal was played at the recently-held Brooklyn Sci-fi Film Festival and went on to win the Best Live Action Short Film award in the process. One of the interesting things was that its soundtrack was Luminous’ Ungay’vusa.

Luminous, who sang the main soundtrack of Daniel Lasker’s new blockbuster movie, The Signal said soundtracks enhance and move the plot.

Daniel Lasker (left) with journalist Bongani Ndlovu (middle) and T1nder at The Signal movie première in Bulawayo recently. (Picture by Studio Kingcross)

“Initially, when Lasker and his team were shooting a movie, my management reached out for a possible use of my song. Remarkably, they were already interested in using the song Ungay’vusa since it resonates with the plot of the story and it’s in our native IsiNdebele.

“I didn’t know that they were going to use it as the main soundtrack but it would finally turn out that they used us as the main soundtrack and when I walked into the Bulawayo Academy of Music, Lasker said I would be blown away and I was. So, soundtracks are important because they make the movie what it is and best explain scenes without even saying a word,” said Luminous.

Luminous joins singer Vusa Mkhaya in scoring soundtracks as Mkhaya’s song featured in the short film Watu Wote All of Us  which went on to being listed as a finalist in the Oscars short film category. 

The move came timely as the Nkulumane-based rapper recently dropped an EP, Love, Sex and the Gospel (LSG) and wrote a book titled Confessions of a fornicator.

Sometimes, an ordinary movie can be turned into a blockbuster production all because of a good soundtrack and sometimes, a great movie can be toned down by mediocre soundtracks.

Saturday Leisure caught up with movie fanatics to get insights on what they think of the importance of movie soundtracks.

Kholisani Mlambo, a horror movie fanatic said both soundtracks and film scores are the soul of a movie and they cannot be ignored.

“As a horror movie fan, I’m fascinated by infrasound and soundtracks. Infrasound is a sound wave frequency that is so low, your ear can’t pick up on it, but you feel it physically. It gives me the chills. My favourite soundtrack of all time is Grandaddy’s Why Would I Want to Die? Soundtracks and scores are important and I believe that they are the soul of the movie. 

“To understand the importance of background music, just lower the volume on your television set while watching a horror movie and then you’ll realise that the fear factor is completely missing. The importance of soundtracks can also be realised by the fact that movies had background music even in the era of silent films,” said Mlambo.

Another movie fan, Rumbie Machoto said she is fascinated by romantic movies with their different sub-genres and she cannot bear to watch a movie without a soundtrack.

“First of all, it’s weird to watch a movie without a soundtrack. Even pantomimes have soundtracks to make everything balance. I cannot watch a movie bereft of a proper soundtrack. This is because of the simple fact that a song can tell the story and explain the plot. Music is capable of building the tone and mood of a film. 

“Romantic movies are about the mood and emotions and without a proper soundtrack, it would be very difficult or impossible to portray the emotional ups and downs of a movie and help the audience relate much better with the emotions being portrayed on screen. I love how romantic film producers commonly use instrumentals as the background music because soundtracks with lyrics can distract the audience from the intended storyline or dialogue,” she said.

A lot of people were sceptical of how Kendrick Lamar would fare when it was announced that he was going to produce the Black Panther soundtrack since it is not uncommon for filmmakers to use songs from professional musicians or even rap artists.

We all know the end result to that one, don’t we? In 2019, Black Panther’s soundtrack won the best score soundtrack for visual media at the Grammy Awards. King’s Dead, by Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future and James Blake, shared the best rap performance award with Bubblin’, by Anderson Paak.

Such a feat made our very own Danai Gurira a living legend with her involvement in the movie as Okoye.

Today’s filmmakers understand the need to invest time in choosing their soundtracks. This is because these make or break the whole production.

When watching a movie, what do you look out for? Is it the acting cast, production crew, props, plot or soundtracks?

Whatever the case may be, all the above mentioned contribute to the whole idea of making the movie in the first place. A movie cannot be a complete piece if any of the above are missing. – @eMKlass_49

Article Source: The Chronicle

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