The last we heard from Danish composer Frans Bak was his collaboration with guitarist Jans Rordam on their composition “For No Reason at All”. On Bak’s latest single we hear the composer most well-known for his scores for The Killing, Conspiracy of Silence and Lilyhammer, settle into a composition, that while not meant for film or TV, has a rich, evocative aspect to it that feels cinematic on its own merit.
“Waiting” encapsulates the phrase”life happens when we are busy making other plans”. While working on a score, the main melodic component of “Waiting” came to Bak while working at his piano, essentially waiting for the next idea to come. What came out of that in-the-moment improvisation is a rich piano melody that holds tension in it’s ascending melody. A sense that the “waiting” referred to has a bit more significance than the numerous in-between moments in our day-to-day. This tension is also explicitly played out in the string accompaniment to this piece – whether playing a soft harmony atop or held in stasis below the melody, the held-breath before an expected event is always present.
Divorced from any kind of narrative device, “Waiting” allows us to free associate – pouring whatever anxieties we have into the composition. Thankful for us, Bak makes no dramatic move to ratchet up the tension. Instead “Waiting” gracefully descends into a minimilst refrain of its major melody just as the strings also begin their slow fall back down to earth. It’s a minor movement, but the let down is palpable. Our shoulders relax, our jaw loosens. We’ve been on a slightly elevated ride waiting for an expected moment that never quite comes.