Featuring Original Music By Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans
(April 22, 2016 – Los Angeles, CA) – Lakeshore Records will release the LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack digitally on May 13, and on CD June 3, 2016 The album features the film’s original score by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans (Martha Marcy May Marlene, THE ONE I LOVE).
Ewan McGregor stars in a dual role as Jesus and the Devil in an imagined chapter from his forty days of fasting and praying in the desert. On his way out of the wilderness, Jesus struggles with the Devil over the fate of an ordinary family in crisis, setting for himself a dramatic test with distinctly human conflicts.
“The music is meant to be simple, like the film. No miracles, no magic, just a real human encounter between Jesus and a family,” said Bensi. “We thought it was important that the film’s ensemble cast not be overwhelmed by orchestration, so we settled on just a few select instruments, each voicing its own part.”
“This sparseness helped create a mournful, spacious sound that complements the mournfulness and spaciousness of the desert. Even the sound of the desert itself is recalled by the instrumentation—arid, attenuated, sometimes brittle, often bleak,” Jurriaans described. “The core of the score is made up of violins and cellos, although you can’t always tell since they’re often played eerily, scratchily, or austerely. On the other hand, there are key moments of relief when they’re played more expressively and emotively—almost romantically.” The score also features gamelan and singing bowls to help create a more metaphysical/meditative feel.
Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans are contemporary film composers writing together in New York. They first started playing music together when they formed the unique instrumental rock band Priestbird in 2001. They recorded 4 acclaimed albums and were invited to tour internationally with many reputable bands including Pearl Jam.
In 2010, they were approached to write their first feature movie score Two Gates Of Sleep premiering at the Cannes Film Festival. The film demanded a unique minimalist orchestral score and quickly garnered the attention of several directors. Soon after, they were asked to score the critically acclaimed feature Martha Marcy May Marlene. From avant-garde classical music to sweeping epic orchestral scores, the composer duo then scored an array of award-winning films and documentaries including Simon Killer, The One I Love and Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy – winning best Musical Score at the Canadian Screen Awards.
Each score they write is heralded as having its own unique character. Their music is laden with vitality and all recorded with real instruments and musicians. Be it small string ensembles, unlikely percussion groups, or a group of clarinets, the duo thrives on exploring innovative musical textures, always demand stark deliberate performances, and interweaving beautiful spine-chilling melodies. Recently released films include, The Benefactor, The Gift, and the documentary feature The Wolfpack. At Sundance 2016 their scores include: Christine, Frank & Lola, Complete Unknown, and The Fits.
Broad Green Pictures will release LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT theatrically May 13, 2016. Lakeshore Records will release the LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack digitally on May 13 and on CD June 3, 2016.