BUÑUEL EN EL LABERINTO DE LAS TORTUGAS
Born in Madrid, Arturo Cardelús is a young Spanish composer living in Los Angeles with a very promising career. After extensive classical training from the Higher Conservatory of Music of Salamanca, the Royal Academy of Music in London, and the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest, Cardelús entered the world of film music at Berklee College of Music of Boston, where he graduated summa cum laude and obtained the composition department’s highest award.
An acclaimed and award-winning classical pianist, Arturo Cardelús began to attract attention with his album Con Aire de Tango (2013), which was commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic soloists after they discovered his music on YouTube.
Since his debut with the short film Sol (2011), Arturo has explored different genres and styles in works ranging from the Spanish films Tangernación (2013) and Madre Quentina (2014), to the short films 100 Miles (2013) and The Answers (2015), to what is probably his best-known work, the Netflix Original mini-series Call Me Francis (2016) about the life of Pope Francis.
In recent years Cardelús has left us with great works such as the documentary The People’s Fighters (2018) and the groundbreaking animated short film In a Heartbeat (2017), which earned praise in festivals worldwide and in which the music plays a key role in the development of the characters’ feelings.
The animated film Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (2018) narrates a stage in the life of the Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel (1900-1983), an internationally recognized figure in the world of cinema and art, who was exiled due to the Spanish Civil War and was nationalized Mexican. The film focuses on the friendship between Buñuel, then a budding film director, and the artist and anarchist Ramón Acín, who helped finance Buñuel’s controversial documentary project Land Without Bread (1933) with his lottery winnings.
Directed by Salvador Simó and based on the graphic novel of the same title by Fermín Solís, the film revolves around this story of friendship, with elements of both humor and fantasy. That is why Cardelús’ music is cheerful and friendly but nonetheless has bitter and surrealist undertones at times, which correspond to Buñuel’s traumas and adventures.
Against the film’s parallel and complementary narrative lines, Cardelús builds a well-constructed soundtrack, with distinct collections of leitmotifs that support the film’s plot development.
On the one hand, we have Buñuel’s waltz, which is the score’s main melody and appears in its first track. This theme metamorphoses depending on the context in which it appears: frivolous and carefree in Luis Buñuel and La edad de oro, dramatic and with the support of the choir in Laberinto, and funny with accordion touches in Cabras.
On the other hand, we have the musical counterpoint that helps define Buñuel’s relationship with Ramón Acín. This sincere, direct, and very kind theme can be found in Ramón Acín, Amigos, and Por Ramón.
The soundtrack also features two major groups of music that underscore Buñuel’s personality and obsessions: one for Buñuel’s traumas and surrealism (like the tracks Paris, Sueños, and Salvador Dalí) and another for his childhood and his search for his artistic voice (like the tracks Calanda, Leyendo las Hurdes, and La Alberca).
But enough of me talking about the fantastic music of Arturo Cardelús for Buñuel in the Labyrinth of Turtles (2018). Let’s see the composer in his own words.
Director and founder of SoundTrackFest