Composed By: Marcelo Zarvos
Distributed by: Varese Sarabande Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In the popular Showtime television series, The Affair, Dominic West is Noah Solloway a happily married father, schoolteacher and novelist, struggling to write a second book. Ruth Wilson is Alison Lockhart, a waitress whose marriage is failing after the sudden death of her son. The two meet on a beach in Long Island and find a connection there, but the resulting affair can have tragic results for all those involved.
The musical score of The Affair was created by Brazilian composer Marcelo Zarvos, who began training in classical music as a teenager before attending the Berklee College of Music. Zarvos caught his big break with the musical score of Kissing Jessica Stein in 2001 and has been a much sought after composer ever since. Film and television credits include The Door in the Floor, The Good Shepherd, The Words, Brooklyn's Finest, Sin Nombre, Enough Said, Ray Donovan and Cell, to name a few.
The music of The Affair is piano-based, with guitar and string accompaniment. The effect is dramatic and often sad, though things do seem to pick up in Block Island. Periodic reverb gives the score an ethereal quality that Zarvos explains: "Alisonís music tended to be more ethereal and sad because of the grief her character is experiencing with the lost of her child...Iíd say the most emblematic pieces for her were Gabrielís theme, which we first hear in the beginning of her story when she is sitting down in the shower in a fetal position. For Noah Iíd say the wandering music from the pilot was one of the key themes. Also on the second episode there is a chordal piano theme that plays under his voice over about love and life which became a signature Noah harmonic progression." Perhaps the most haunting track on the album is He's Here With Me Every Day, in which I can only presume that Alison is discussing the loss of her son.
Piano and guitar based scores can be incredibly beautiful and there is a beauty in the music of The Affair, however sad or haunting it can become. Fans of the television show will listen to this album and relive moments from the series. People like myself who have never seen the series will just be wowed by the beauty of Marcelo Zarvos' composition. The Affair Soundtrack is definitely worth taking a listen to for any musical score aficionado.