(October 20, 2015– Los Angeles, CA) – Varèse Sarabande will release the Rock the Kasbah – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack on CD and digitally on October 23, 2015. The album features original music by composer Marcelo Zarvos (RAY DONOVAN, THE AFFAIR) and songs by various artists including Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens. The album also includes an original song “Torch” by Isa Machine + LP (featuring Isabella Summers from Florence + The Machine) and premiere performances by the film’s stars Bill Murray, Zooey Deschanel and Leem Lubany.
A has-been rock manager from Van Nuys, California stumbles upon a once-in-a-lifetime voice in a remote Afghan cave in Rock the Kasbah, a dramatic comedy inspired by stranger-than-fiction, real-life events and directed by Oscar winner Barry Levinson. Richie Lanz (Bill Murray), dumped and stranded in war-torn Kabul by his last remaining client (Zooey Deschanel), discovers Salima Khan (Leem Lubany), a Pashtun teenager with a beautiful voice and the courageous dream of becoming the first woman to compete on national television in Afghanistan’s version of “American Idol.” Salima connects with the music of Cat Stevens due to their shared faith, and performs three of his most classic songs in the film, (all of which are included in the soundtrack). Richie partners with a savvy hooker (Kate Hudson), a pair of hard-partying war profiteers (Danny McBride and Scott Caan) and a hair-trigger mercenary (Bruce Willis) and, braving dangerous cultural prejudices, manages his new protégée into becoming the “Afghan Star.”
“The idea was to combine elements from Afghan music with classic Wild West music,” said Zarvos. “Along with various Afghan string and percussion instruments we had harmonica, strings and electric guitar. Another important element was the voice at the center of the story. It was also key that the score blends with the eclectic source music that is all over the film.”
1. POP STAR – Cat Stevens
2. WELCOME TO AFGHANISTAN – Marcelo Zarvos**
3. TORCH – Isa Machine + LP
4. TROUBLE – Leem Lubany
5. PASHTUN WARRIOR – Jalal el Allouli, Youness, and Adil Meriouch
6. JUMP INTO THE FIRE – Nilsson
7. WILD WORLD – Leem Lubany
8. BITCH – Zooey Deschanel
9. KNOCKIN’ ON HEAVEN’S DOOR – Bob Dylan
10. THE 4 SACRED BONDS – Marcelo Zarvos **
11. PEACE TRAIN – Leem Lubany
12. SMOKE ON THE WATER – Bill Murray
** Composed by
Brazilian-born Marcelo Zarvos’ film credits include THE DOOR IN THE FLOOR, ENOUGH SAID, THE GOOD SHEPHERD, THE WORDS, BROOKLYN’S FINEST, THE FACE OF LOVE, REACHING FOR THE MOON (FLORES RARAS), SIN NOMBRE and HOLLYWOODLAND. He has been nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards (for YOU DON’T KNOW JACK and TAKING CHANCE) and two HMMA Awards for BROOKLYN’S FINEST and ENOUGH SAID. His television work includes the hit Showtime series THE AFFAIR, RAY DONOVAN, THE BIG C and the HBO movie PHIL SPECTOR. Zarvos’ upcoming projects include an adaptation of the John le Carré novel OUR KIND OF TRAITOR and the sci-fi thriller CELL.
“I think the wordless singing and the combination of real and sampled Middle Eastern instruments with the cowboy music was quite unique,” said Zarvos. “With Barry [Levinson, director] it’s usually all about combining seemingly disparate elements to create a new and fresh perspective for the score.”
Open Road Films presents Rock the Kasbah in theaters October 23, 2015. Varèse Sarabande will release the Rock the Kasbah – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack on CD and digitally on October 23, 2015.