CD: Jerusalem (2013)

April 21, 2015 | By



Score: Very Good

Label: Lakeshore Records

Released:  May 12, 2015

Tracks / Album Length:  20 tracks / 32 mins

Composer: Michael Brook

Special Notes:  n/a




IMAX productions are generally pitched to the broadest possible audience, hence a lack of politics, and narration that tends to hover between filler, be lightly factual, or rather banal, but that lack of overt messaging can give the composer an opportunity to infer very cautiously a backstory or subtext the film can’t detail, especially since the main goal of IMAX is to present stunning visual information.

Brook’s opening theme, “The Place of Shalem,” certainly presents two views, with dual harps interweaving their versions of the main theme, and alluding to ancient times, dual cultures, and unstable unity among city citizens and visitors with percussion hits that resemble thunderclaps – not bombastic or melodramatic, but a subtle inference of clashing ideologies and friction between cultures – with a shimmer of dissonance inferring recurring issues.

The average cue length hovers around 2 mins., and Brook’s statements unfold like fluid IMAX camera movements: circular patterns on strings, and warm harmonics using three layers of very distinct strings sections (“Center of the World”). Cues also smolder (“The Western Wall”) as thematic material is expressed with chamber strings, and a long, sustained tone is more of an unsettling hum that something more soothing.

Soft cues like “The Church of the Holy Sepulchre” feature piano and strings, whereas “The Night Journey” relies on breathy woodwind and arching, almost southern-styled strings. Rare kinetic percussion appears in “Ancient Rituals,” and Brook sticks with organic sounds that harken back to antiquity, while string arrangements and dual female voices provide a more contemporary bridge.

Lakeshore’s CD is beautifully mastered and features Brook’s film score plus two bonus tracks – both emphasizing acoustic guitar – and while the album is brief and the finale (“A Shared Heritage”) doesn’t really offer a full closure, it’s a beautifully written and performed score.



© 2015 Mark R. Hasan



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Category: Soundtrack Reviews

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