Composed By: Lorne Balfe
Distributed by: Decca
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Salinger is a documentary about the famed author directed by Shane Salerno. Seeking to give the viewers greater access to J.D. Salinger than ever before, Salerno kept the filming mostly a secret and spent nine years interviewing fellow World War II soldiers, family members, close friends, lovers, classmates, neighbors, editors, publishers, New Yorker colleagues, and more. He also poured over never-before-published photos, legal documents, letters, diaries and more. Being a very solitary man, this is the most intensive look at the life of the author ever created.
The music of Salinger was created by Scottish composer Lorne Balfe. Well known for his scoring prowess in the television, film and video game industries, Balfe started out in Hollywood, providing additional music to projects like The Pirates of the Caribbean (2 and 3), The Simpsons Movie, Angels & Demons, Iron Man, and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Since then, he has created musical scores for movies like Ironclad, Inception and The Sweeney and video games like the Assassin's Creed and Skylanders series.
The Salinger Soundtrack is definitely not what I was expecting. The music seems more suited for a video game than a documentary film about an author. The sound is sort of new age meets classical orchestra with a variety of strange sounds added in. There are a couple of tracks, like The Bunker and VE Day, that have a military flare to them, featuring horns and marching percussion. Many of the tracks end in an upward sweep as if noting a shocking revelation taking place in the film. There is a funky feel to the soundtrack that is reminiscent of a Pure Moods album.
I'm not quite sure how to take the Salinger Soundtrack. As a stand alone, it represents a very unique blending of styles and sound, but as a score for a documentary about the author of The Catcher in the Rye, the music just didn't seem right to me. Perhaps I would have to see the film to understand what it was that Balfe was trying to convey with the music, but as it is now, I can only say that the score created by Lorne Balfe makes for quite an interesting listen.