The soundtrack opens with a gorgeous interpretation of Cold Chisel’s ‘Flame Trees’ by ARIA nominated Sydney songstress Sarah Blasko. The Don Walker penned tune about his formative years in Grafton is central to the film and receives various treatments on the soundtrack. The song about lost love, of mortality and what’s left behind chosen to fit a predicament of the characters Tracey and Lionel, portrayed by Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving, in the film.
Larson first heard this iconic Australian song via the version recorded for the film by The Sacred Heart School in Cabramatta. There is an unnerving innocence to school kids singing adult themes but the lyrics are adjusted accordingly, from sentimental "bullshit" to "rubbish" and "old" to "little” friends.
Larson borrows elements of the ‘Flame Trees’ melody for the ‘Little Fish Theme’ and utilises sounds of the harp and celeste run through old delay pedals to achieve the innocent childlike and at other times menacing feel throughout the score. Next to sounding beautiful and pure Larson describes the score as having a horror movie element to it.
The soundtrack does not capture the Cabramatta drug action side of the film, but more so the inner workings of Cate Blanchett’s character. Larson describes it as dreamy and through his score has captured Tracey’s inward longing for more.
Placed between Larson’s scores on the soundtrack are a number of songs also included in the film: Hoodoo Guru’s ‘A Place in the Sun’, a cover of ‘Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart’ by Bic Runga and Vietnamese songs featuring Mylinh Dinh, The Enterprise Band and Hoang Son.
Unlike many film soundtracks where songs are thrown about recklessly, every song heard in the film is played on CD, karaoke DVD or sung by the characters. The exception on the CD release being Sarah Blasko’s rendition of ‘Flame Trees’, which unfortunately you will not hear in the film.
Nathan Larson is renowned for his work with Tigerland, Boys Don’t Cry, Storytelling, Prozac Nation, Dirty Pretty Things, and last year won best music score, the Gras Savoye Award, at Cannes Film Festival for The Woodsman.
He composed the score to Little Fish mostly in Sweden, occasionally on international flights to New York, and worked with the director Rowan Woods using the Internet by downloading film pictures and uploading music.
Rock star turned politician Peter Garrett has listed this CD as one of four he is listening to at the moment (next to U2, Bob Dylan and Lismore’s Luke Vassella). With or without the film this is a beautifully crafted soundtrack deserving of a place in anyone’s collection.
1. Flame Trees – Sarah Blasko
2. Little Fish Theme
3. A Place in the Sun – Hoodoo Gurus
4. Pool Love
5. Con Mua Ha – Mylinh Dinh
6. Half Speed Love
7. Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart – Bic Runga
8. I Can’t Score For You
9. Flame Trees – The Sacred Heart School, Cabramatta
10. Little Fish Theme (Redux)
11. Ban Toi – The Enterprise Band featuring Hoang Son
12. Lionel Requiem
13. End Credits
The soundtrack has been released in Australia through ABC Music. Customers purchasing the CD through the ABC Shop Online will also score a free double pass to the film Little Fish. For more details visit the ABC Shop.