But then again, what would you expect from talented and seasoned composers like Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto? In the past decades, these people have come up with loads of albums and soundtracks and very few of them are disappointing. Aided by Bryce Dessner (The National) they have created a dream of an album, gentle, soothing and loaded with expectation. This surely is a must-have for any fan of soundscapes and modern classical music.
Coming off his Academy Award Winning film Birdman, Inarritu’s epic new film takes place in the 1800s and stars Leonardo DiCaprio as someone who is abandoned by his hunting team after a brutal bear attack. He must withstand the elements and the wilderness to survive and return to his family. This tragic story is perfectly illustrated in the cold, often eerie and haunting music, which mainly consists of gloomy soundscapes and string-arrangements.
The soundtrack causes images of snowy landscapes, beautiful sunsets and a constant struggle for survival. I could say that I'm often reminded of works by Olafur Arnalds or some of his collegues but that wouldn't do much honor to this soundtrack. It goes deeper than most of today's composers do and, although this is slow, soothing music, it's deeply emotional and intense in its atmosphere of desolation and despair.
It's no wonder that this album is nominated for a Golden Globe award. In my opinion this must be one of the best albums of the year as far as ambient and modern classical music is concerned. It's too late to add it to my best-of-2015 list but since the psychical editions of the album album will be released in 2016, I'll make up for that next year.