‘Buñuel – In the Labyrinth of the Turtles’ – CD edition and interview with Arturo Cardelús

Normally in SoundTrackFest we do not talk about CD releases, but in this case it is necessary to make an exception with the album ‘Buñuel – In the Labyrinth of the Turtles’ by composer Arturo Cardelús; a soundtrack that already had a digital edition at the end of 2018, but that has also been released in physical format last week by Rosetta Records.


And we are going to make an exception for a very special reason: a few months ago Rosetta Records contacted SoundTrackFest, to see if we would be interested in writing the liner notes for the release, and with the affirmative answer from Gorka Oteiza (director and founder of SoundTrackFest), and after several conversations with Pedro Ferrer (Editorial Rosetta) and the composer Arturo Cardelús, Gorka Oteiza wrote the text, while the physical edition of the CD was being prepared.

Buñuel - In the Labyrinth of the Turtles - Cover


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.



The CD, which has in total 23 tracks and lasts 34:24 minutes, can be purchased in the following link at the price of  16.95 €:



You can listen to the digital version on Spotify:

The track list is the following:

  1. Luis Buñuel (2:17)
  2. Calanda (1:58)
  3. La edad de oro (0:54)
  4. Leyendo Las Hurdes (0:48)
  5. Faro (1:04)
  6. Ramón Acín (1:50)
  7. París (0:48)
  8. Buñuel (0:50)
  9. Sueños (2:14)
  10. La lotería (0:55)
  11. Viaje (0:41)
  12. La Alberca (1:03)
  13. Laberinto (2:21)
  14. Salvador Dalí (1:25)
  15. Cabras (1:45)
  16. Escuela (1:16)
  17. Lluvia (0:57)
  18. Niña muerta (1:21)
  19. Amigos (2:22)
  20. Padre (0:46)
  21. Perdido (1:36)
  22. Entierro (1:54)
  23. Por Ramón (2:49)

Buñuel - In the Labyrinth of the Turtles - Back



And to end this article, here you have the brief interview that Gorka Oteiza had with Arturo Cardelús about his music for the movie, which you can also read in the booklet of this edition.


What can people find when listening to your music for the movie?

They will find a soundtrack as contradictory as its main character, Luis Buñuel — a somewhat schizophrenic world that moves from atonalism to more conventional tonal music, and from the comedy of Fellini to minimalist sounds.

The main theme, Buñuel’s waltz, is a melody we hear in very different contexts, including the carefree and cocky air of La Edad de Oro, the pain of Laberinto, and the more absurd comedy of Cabras.

For us it was very important that the melody could be recognized independently of the musical context, because each of those scenes explains something about Buñuel, and we wanted all of them to share the same DNA.


What can you tell us about the recording of the soundtrack? What was the size of the orchestra you used and where was it recorded?

We recorded in Abbey Road’s Studio 2 in London, a historic site that has a very special energy. We recorded everything in three sessions: six hours with the orchestra and two with the choir. We used a 23-piece chamber orchestra and a 45-piece choir from the Royal Academy of Music. For several scenes, we reduced the formation to a quartet or a trio. Ramon Acín, for example, is written for piano, solo cello, guitar, and clarinet.