Going Clea

Main Score Composed By: Will Bates

Distributed by: Milan Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            The documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is based on the book by Pulitzer prize winning author Lawrence Wright and profiles eight former members of the Church of Scientology.  Through these former members, viewers are introduced to a religious sect comprised of a number of prominent individual, including A-List Hollywood celebrities.  Revelations are made regarding how the Church cultivates its flock, what the purveyors of the religion are willing to do in the name of their Church and a history of abuse and betrayal by Church officials.

            The Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief Soundtrack features music by Ravel, Tchaikovsky, Chopin and more with the main body of score created by composer and musician Will Bates.  Founder of the music production, scoring and audio post company known as Fall On Your Sword, Bates has performed with a number of music icons, worked with bands he has created and collaborated with a number of well-known composers and producers.  His film scoring career began in 2009 with You Won't Miss Me.  Since then he has worked on a number of scores for movie and television such as Lola Versus, X/Y, We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine and more.

            The score of Going Clear is somewhat strange unless you realize the origin of Scientology.  Created by L. Ron Hubbard, a man with little direction until a reaction to a drug used during a dental procedure induced what he believes to be a near-death experience, Scientology is a system of beliefs and practices based on the belief that we are immortal beings who have forgotten our true nature.  Sounds like science fiction, yes?  Well, a majority of the score seems to have been inspired by science fiction, featuring electronic sound, synthesized music, reverb, all with an ominous undertone. 

            Orchestral and piano based tracks by other composers are interspersed in between to ease the pain, but the fact of the matter is that this is one strange soundtrack.  Though I don't doubt that the music makes for a perfect accompaniment to the various scenes in the documentary, the fact remains that, prior to reading what Going Clear was about, I thought I was listening to a rather weird collection of sound effects mixed with synthesized music written for a science fiction movie.  I'm not sure that this works well as a stand alone album.  I actually found myself scratching my head when the album was over.


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