Jane Got A Gun
Composed By: Lisa Gerrard & Marcello de Francisci
Distributed by: Varese Sarabande Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In the western Jane Got A Gun, Natalie Portman is Jane Hammond, a woman who has built herself a new life with her husband Bill (Noah Emmerich) until a violent outlaw gang known as the Bishop Boys hunt them down. Fearing for her severely wounded husband and their children, Jane seeks out her former fiancée Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton) for help. Jane vows to stop running and protect her family, but even with Dan's help, can she hope to overcome the ruthless Bishop Boys led by their relentless leader Colin (Ewan McGregor)?
The musical score of Jane Got A Gun was created by the collaborative effort of Lisa Gerrard and Marcello de Francisci. Lisa Gerrard is an Irish-Australian musician, singer and composer who grew up listening to Mediterranean music. It was this music that influenced her heavily when creating music for her first band Dead Can Dance, formed in 1981. By 1989. Gerrard had stretched her musical interests to include composing film scores, collaborating with Hans Zimmer on Gladiator and Mission Impossible II and working solo on such notable films as Whale Rider, One Perfect Day, Henry Poole Is Here, Layer Cake and more.
Marcello de Francisci is an American composer with an Italian-Argentinean background. In 1993, after years of traveling abroad as a result of his father's work, Marcello decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film scoring. In 1994, he joined Media Ventures, a film scoring company owned by Hans Zimmer which would eventually become known as Remote Control Productions. While working there, his music was often used for film trailers and independent films. In 2006, he received an award for his work on the God of War video game. Two years later, he began a partnership with Lisa Gerrard and has since been invited to work on such notable projects as Balibo, Burning Man, Tears of Gaza and more.
The Jane Got a Gun Soundtrack starts off with the track Bedtime Story, a rather typical western score featuring an acoustic guitar and violin theme. The track perfectly reflects the locale and offers up a look at a more peaceful moment in the main character's life. But then comes Ham Falls and its ominous rumbles of doom and we know this is not your ordinary score. As the drama intensifies, less traditional musical elements are brought into play. Heavy percussion offer up a bit of an exotic, adrenaline pumping sound while a strange rattling noise gives the impression of evil preparing to strike.
De Francisci describes the score of Jane Got a Gun as a new and fresh approach to the Hollywood western. I would tend to agree. Though there are the traditional elements found on most scores for westerns, like the sweet and often sad violin, the beautiful twang of the acoustic guitar, the bongo type sound that warns of danger, there are other elements like the use of sound design and editing to produce new sound from live instruments that add a new musical styling to the traditional western. I found the score of Jane Got a Gun to be an interesting listen and have no doubt that it only serves to enhance the visuals and heightened emotions in the film.