Orphan Black Soundtrack and Score

Composed By: Trevor Yuile

Songs By: Various Artists

Distributed by: Varese Sarabande Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In the popular science fiction series, Orphan Black, con artist Sarah Manning (Tatiana Maslany) witnesses the suicide of a woman who looks just like her.  Discovering that her doppelganger has a decent apartment, nice sized bank account and a job as a police detective, Sarah decides to take on her identity.  That's when things get complicated.  Over the course of three seasons, Sarah learns that she is one of a number of clones created by a large biotech corporation.  Now, Sarah is not only being hunted by the people who created her, but by a religious group seeking to destroy the clones created by the Dyad Institute.

                On May 19, 2015, Varese Sarabande Records will release two Orphan Black albums - the soundtrack and the score.  A limited edition picture disc of the soundtrack album will be sold at Hot Topic in July and a vinyl LP of the soundtrack will make its way into stores sometime during the late summer of this year. 

                The Orphan Black Soundtrack features music mainly from the rock genre with some alternative  and dance thrown in the mix.  The album begins with the popular Theme from Orphan Black performed by Two Fingers.  There are quite a few good tracks on this album and some songs I recognized right away like Rain of Gold by Young Empires, It Ain't You by The Ettes, Bitch by Meredith Brooks (a favorite of mine from way back) and Head Over Heels by Tears for Fears.  Despite having never actually watched the show, I can tell that each track has a special meaning for the show's main character.  I had a lot of fun listening to this soundtrack for much so that I have listened to it a number of times since.

                The Orphan Black Score was created by composer, arranger and songwriter Trevor Yuile.  Beginning his studies in jazz, Yuile greatly expanded his musical horizons and has diversified his musical palette.  Yuile's songs have appeared on such notable television series as The Ghost Whisperer and Grey's Anatomy.  Musical scoring credits include How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, Being Erica, King and The Best Laid Plans

                According to Yuile, for the score of Orphan Black, "The original concept was to attempt to do an electronica type of score using mainly organic instruments. Either sampled or resampled, but to try and keep the original signal purely organic. From there, effecting or processing the samples as we needed.  It has come quite far from that original idea. But the thought was to allow it to become anything over time, like it was having its own sense of evolution."  His scoring of the various clone incarnations of Sarah was achieved through original scoring and sampling from the original Sarah theme: "I started with Sarah in the early episodes, everything was derived from her original palette.  If you listen closely, not only do the clones have their own themes and palettes, but I often borrow from one and bring it to another (depending on the scene) but they are all related, there’s a little Sarah in Helena, a little Helena in Alison, an so on."

                The score is mainly electronic and often fast-paced, depending on the action or sense of urgency in the scene.  We get an idea of each clone's state of mind from their themes.  We Meet Helena is a rather spooky track, with a demented core featuring a number of distorted sounds.  Right away we have an understanding that something just isn't quite right in this character's head.  I greatly enjoyed the faster paced tracks and the keyboard solos of the slower tracks, but the entire album was quite an interesting listen.

                In closing, I found both the Orphan Black Soundtrack and Orphan Black Score to be enjoyable listens.  The electronic scoring of the show lends a futuristic sound to the series and a sense of urgency and action that has me wondering why I haven't watched it yet.  The soundtrack is full of songs I love and want to listen to again and again.  These are two albums worthy of your hard earned money.


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