Composed By: Lisa Gerrard and James Orr

Songs By: Various Artists

Distributed by: Varese Sarabande Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In the sci-fi thriller, 2:22, Michiel Huisman is Dylan Branson, a New York City air traffic controller at the top of his game until a blinding flash of light paralyzes him at 2:22pm.  In those few crucial seconds, two passenger planes nearly collide, causing Dylan to be suspended from his job.  Soon after, Dylan begins to notice an ominous repetition of sounds and events happening at exactly 2:22pm every day.  The pattern builds, mysteriously bringing him to Grand Central Station at the same time every day.  Drawn into a relationship with Sarah (Teresa Palmer), a woman working in an art gallery, made complicated by her ex (Sam Reid), Dylan must find a way to break the power of the past and take control of time.

                The musical score of 2:22 was created by the combined efforts of Lisa Gerrard and James Orr.  Australian musician Lisa Gerrard has established herself as a highly acclaimed film composer, winning a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for her work on the musical score of Gladiator with Hans Zimmer.  She also received Golden Globe Award nominations for her scores for Ali and The Insider and international awards for her work on the score of Whale Rider.  In 2013, she performed the principal vocals in Zbigniew Preisner’s concert, Diaries of Hope, inspired by diaries and poems of Polish children who were victims of the Holocaust.  She also appeared beside the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in performances of Gladiator live and collaborated with Marcello De Francisci on the score for Jane Got A Gun.

                James Orr is an Australian film composer and sound designer who began his foray into music at an early age through drums and percussion.  Moving on to explore various styles of music, Orr gained an interest in electronic music production, engineering and synthesis, leading to collaborations with a number of artists as a drummer and producer.  In 2007, he began working with Lisa Gerrard.  Since then, he has created music for a number of film scores, including Solo, Balibo, Burning Man and Jane Got A Gun.  Orr also engineered on scores for Oranges and Sunshine, Priest, Samsara, The Trail of Genghis Khan and I, Frankenstein.

                The musical score features a heavy synth and electronic sound, but there is more to it than that.  According to Lisa Gerrard, “The director was very sensitive to sound and tone.   There was scope in the score for a main theme for the two principal characters, Dylan and Sarah. This is played briefly at the beginning of the film with piano, and then resurfaces throughout in various different guises, culminating in the orchestra in the finale.”  Orr adds, “The theme itself was one element, but the nature of the sound that produced it was very important to him. It needed to fit in with the idea of it being something contemporary and fresh.  We experimented a lot with recording both organic and synthetic sounds - voice, piano, guitar, strings - but manipulating them in a way that twisted them more to an electronic feel. The voice was key throughout, but it's often used in a way that morphs the sound into something else, and is often a textural component and not a lead.” 

                Songs on the album – Like It Or Not by Bob Moses, Someone to Stay by Vancouver Sleep Clinic, Grow by Frances and Human Kind by Dreller – feature heavy electronica and span the emotions from anguish to support, sadness to love.  They seem to express all of the emotions of the main character as he struggles to make sense of the events in his life.  There is a sense of growing darkness and a more ominous undertone announcing danger as the score moves forward.  Love Transcends Time seems brighter as we move toward a possible resolution.  2:23 seems calm and pleasant in contrast to the rest of the score, perhaps marking the epilogue of the film as a happy ending of sorts.

                All-in-all, I found the 2:22 Soundtrack to be an interesting listen, albeit rather long.  There’s over an hour and thirty minutes of music here, so you are definitely getting more bang for your buck at about $12.00US for the album. 


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