Saturday, March 27, 2021

A Martin Scorsese from the original soundtrack...composed by Philip Glass


For the second of 1997's dueling Buddhist epics (the other being Seven Days in Tibet, scored by John Williams), director Martin Scorsese made a wise--if commercially challenging--choice in tapping noted minimalist composer Philip Glass to score Kundun. Glass is the perfect choice here; his own Buddhist beliefs play a key role in meshing image and music. Glass's familiar compositional techniques are wedded on Kundun to a sensitive use of ethnic instruments and the voices of the Gyuto Monks, adding an aura of spiritual power missing from most Hollywood fare.

Eighteen tracks traverse a wide stylistic field, accumulating a symphonic sweep.... Glass is no stranger to Tibetan culture: portentous, processional, but never pompous, he proves himself an ideal choice for this work. 


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