WaterTower Music announced the September 17, 2013, release of the soundtrack to the Alcon Entertainment thriller Prisoners, a Warner Bros. Pictures' release starring Oscar nominees Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables) and Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain), and directed by Denis Villeneuve (the Oscar-nominated Incendies). The film was scored by acclaimed Icelandic composer Johann Johannsson. The album will be available at all digital retailers, and a CD was made available September 16, 2013. Prisoners - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack will also be released on vinyl via Johannsson's own NTOV Records label this October.
Johannsson and Villeneuve decided to try something radical for the soundtrack. "Denis wanted the music to be a poetic voice that worked in counterpoint to the action of the film," Johannsson says. "Even though the film is a thriller, the music is lyrical and beautiful, in stark contrast to the intensity that the film depicts." Joohannsson composed the score watching an early cut of the film, reacting to the images on screen.
He scored the music for an orchestra with large string and woodwind sections and also featured the sounds of two little known instruments: The Cristal Baschet, an instrument similar to a glass harmonica, with huge metallic resonators; and the Ondes Martenot, an early electronic instrument similar to a Theremin, but with a softer sound. By blending those unfamiliar sounds with string instruments, Johannsson created music with a delicate, glassy surface. Despite its ambient sound, his tranquil music serves to heighten the tension of the film.
"My ideal is music where the electronic and the acoustic sounds blend seamlessly," says Johannsson, who has scored more than a dozen movies. His approach to film music is informed by influences as diverse as Pergolesi, Wojciech Kilar, Steve Reich, Einstürzende Neubauten, Swans, Coil, Arvo Pärt, Ennio Morricone, Morton Feldman and Bernard Herrmann.
Led by Oscar nominees Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, the dramatic thriller "Prisoners" features an all-star cast, including Oscar nominee Viola Davis, Golden Globe Award nominee Maria Bello and Oscar nominee Terrence Howard, with Academy Award-winner Melissa Leo and Paul Dano.
Denis Villeneuve directs the film from an original screenplay by Aaron Guzikowski. Oscar nominee Broderick Johnson, Kira Davis, Oscar nominee Andrew A. Kosove, and Adam Kolbrenner are the producers, with Edward L. McDonnell, John H. Starke, Robyn Meisinger, Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson serving as executive producers.
Alcon Entertainment presents, an 8:38 Productions/Madhouse Entertainment production, Prisoners. The film opens September 20, 2013 and will be distributed domestically and in select international territories by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.