Altamira is a soundtrack album by guitarist Mark Knopfler and percussionist Evelyn Glennie, released on on CD 22 April 2016 on EMI Records. The album contains music composed for the 2016 film Altamira, directed by Hugh Hudson. The film is a drama about the discovery of the Cave of Altamira starring Antonio Banderas and Rupert Everett. Music by Mark Knopfler and Evelyn Glennie.
Scaled smaller than 2012's double-album Privateering, Tracker also feels suitably subtle, easing its way into being instead of announcing itself with a thunder. Such understatement is typical of Mark Knopfler, particularly in the third act of his career. When he left Dire Straits behind, he also left behind any semblance of playing for the cheap seats in an arena, but Tracker feels quieter than his new millennial norm. Some of this is due to the undercurrent of reflection tugging at the record's momentum. Knopfler isn't pining for the past but he is looking back, sometimes wistfully, sometimes with a resigned smile, and he appropriately draws upon sounds that he's long loved. Usually, this means some variation of pub rock – the languid ballad "River Towns," the lazy shuffle "Skydiver," the two-chord groove of "Broken Bones" – but this is merely the foundation from which Knopfler threads in a fair amount of olde British folk and other roots digressions. This delicate melancholy complements echoes of older Knopfler songs – significant stretches of the record are reminiscent of the moodier aspects of Brothers in Arms, while "Beryl" has just a bit of the "Sultans of Swing" bounce – and this skillful interweaving of Knopfler's personal past helps give Tracker a nicely gentle resonance.
Deftly mixing equal parts of folk and symphonic prog is what this Spanish band does best. The Strawbs did it with English folk whereas Ibio stress their Spanish roots; however, the comparison stops here as their musical styles have absolutely nothing in common. This quartet from Cantabria (land of the famous Caves of Altamira) released only one LP back in 1978 and then mysteriously disappeared. Despite some Italian symphonic overtones brought on by the lush keyboard work, the mostly instrumental album "Cuevas de Altamira" never lets you forget its Iberian origins: typical Spanish melodies with a generally upbeat tempo, strong presence of the acoustic guitar and a few but emphatic vocals (perhaps a little overwrought for some tastes). The abundance of moog, synths and mellotron, the complex drumming and the mildly distorted and phased electric guitar make it a 100% prog album.
It's never easy to be the sibling of a star when you're active in the same profession – ask Joey Travolta or Frank Stallone, and try to find out what happened to John Murray, one of Bill's brothers. Similarly, David Knopfler, younger brother of Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler, has often remained in his brother's shadow, unfairly remaining a footnote in the famous British band's history and not always gaining much recognition for his solo work – provided people know he's remained active in music at all. The comparison to the abovementioned actors is misleading, however, since they all possess little of their siblings' talent, whereas David Knopfler has proven himself to be a talented musician with considerable songwriting skills of his own and several strong solo releases under his belt.