• Poul Ruders
  • The Return of the Light (1994)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)
  • 11 min

Programme Note

I must, at some point during my career as a composer, have been caught off guard during an interview, calling myself “a film composer without film”, and ever since I’ve seen that label stuck on me in booklets, leaflets, reviews, previews, interviews, etc. Not that this particularly bothers me, because, as the saying goes, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”. Apparently my music has a cinematographic quality to it, evoking visual imagery for its listeners.

In fact, I’d never composed any film music whatsoever, until as recently as 1994, when I was approached by Danish film director Trine Vester, who wanted me to do a score for a silent TV film about the time-honered, yet everfresh story of the Christmas Gospel. The film, titled in English, The Return of the Light, uses no spoken dialogue, and combines animation and live-action, with the music playing throughout. The length of the film being so short (about 10 minutes), I wasn’t too worried about not being able to pull it off in the two weeks allotted to me. The extraordinary sampled sounds (Pan Pipe, Metal Guiro, Bowed Cymbals, Chinese Metal Balls, etc.) were created by Danish percussion virtuoso Gert Sørensen.

- Poul Ruders

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