Lakeshore Records will release Bless Me, Ultima - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack digitally on Tuesday, September 25, 2012. The album features original score by Mark Kilian (41, Tsotsi). Bless Me, Ultima is based on the beloved novel by Rudolfo Anaya.
The 1972 novel Bless Me, Ultima was author Anaya's debut release and helped to earn him the recognition as the 'godfather of Chicano literature.' The film, which is set in New Mexico in the 1940s, is a powerful coming-of-age novel that follows the 6-year old Antonio Marez and a curandera (folk healer) named Ultima.
"Bless Me, Ultima is a spiritual story and the filmmakers wanted me to make that the basis of what the music should be doing emotionally," said Kilian. "But they wanted the flavor to incorporate Native American, Mexican, Spanish, African, religious, tribal, classical and spiritual sentiments, all wrapped up in a blanket of child-like innocence and wonder."
Kilian used a full orchestra and added ethnic instruments and vocals to supplement the sound, including flamenco vocals, African wood percussion, Aztec shakers, Tibetan cymbals, Spanish guitar, charango and ronroco (from South America), Aeolian harps, and Native American flutes. "I insisted on playing the flutes as the fact that I'm not so good gave it a child-like imperfect quality."
Born and raised in South Africa, Mark Kilian came to the USA to pursue a career in film scoring in 1994. His academic life in his native country (Masters Degree in composition) and a very active performing career (as a pianist who played with people like Darius Brubeck, Shirley Bassey, Airto Moreira and Ladysmith Black Mambazo) prepared him for his enrollment into USC's Film Scoring program. Upon completion he was hired by film composer Christopher Young as an assistant and then joined Machine Head in Venice where he wrote music for countless TV commercials for companies like Apple, Budweiser, American Express and Toyota.
Mark's first feature film Lover Girl was scored in 1997 and since then he has written scores for a wide variety of films including Traitor, Rendition, Before the Rains and Tsotsi which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2006. Some of his recent films include John Carpenter's The Ward, La Mission, Legacy, The Least Among You, Woman Thou Art Loosed!: On the 7th Day, and 41.
Other visual media work includes the ABC TV series Don't Trust the B- In Apartment 23, Body Of Proof, Daybreak and Jake In Progress, Fox's Kitchen Confidential, the documentary The Last King, the Aztec Pantheon exhibit at the Getty museum and music for the games Full Spectrum Warrior and The Matrix: Path of Neo. He has recorded three albums under the name 'The Gravy Street' and two albums with Electronic outfit Ape Quartet.