THE NORTHMAN Movie Soundtrack Released Today
Released digitally today via Back Lot Music (arriving on physical formats July 1 via Sacred Bones Records – pre-order here), the soundtrack to Robert Eggers’ ambitious and highly anticipated new film, The Northman, pays homage to the immense research that had been conducted into the authenticity of this Viking Age story and complimented the film’s cinematic maximalism for modern audiences.
Composers Robin Carolan (Tri Angle records) and Sebastian Gainsborough (Vessel) have stretched their creativity deep and the resulting album is a beautiful sonic tableau that puts the listener at the center of the film. Today, the monolithic masterpiece can be heard on all streaming platforms, and Pitchfork has released an in-depth interview with the cast.
When arranging the score, the composers consulted musician and ethnographer Poul Høxbro for inspiration and insight into the history of Viking music. Having a background in left-wing electronic music, Robin and Sebastian felt liberated from the constraints of using a small selection of musical tools for this piece.
“Electronic music has almost limitless potential when it comes to producing sound and that’s obviously an amazing thing, but you can also go down the wormhole and get lost in it sometimes. There’s no risk of that happening when you only have a few main instruments to leverage,” Robin remarked.
The composers used traditional instruments such as the tagelharpa, langspil, kravik lyre and säckpipa to build the cinematic world of The Northman, but tried to experiment as much as possible with what they had in order to come up with something who still felt left field. leaning.
“One of the pieces we wrote was intended to imitate the sound of a bull-roarer; an ancient and relatively humble instrument used in sacred rituals or in battle to intimidate enemies. It produces a roaring vibrato sound that is truly disorienting and was able to create low frequencies that could travel for miles.For this we tried to do the same thing but the twist being that we used a massive 40 piece string ensemble to do this.Recording which made a pretty crazy experience, suitably unsettling.”
says Robin when asked about one of the most unique aspects of the soundtrack. Everyone involved has put so much effort into both their research and their creativity and that richness is evident in every track. The album as a whole is a cinematic masterpiece of sound and mood, both beautiful and disturbing, like the film it accompanies so well.
Out now, Eggers’ action-packed epic The Northman follows a young Viking prince on his quest to avenge the murder of his father and stars Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Claes Bang, Anya Taylor-Joy, Ethan Hawke, Bjork and Willem Dafoe.
“Robert wanted the world of The Northman to be harsh and uncomfortable, and for everything to feel like it was covered in mud and dried blood, so it was crucial that the score reflect that,” the composers said.
Listen to the new single here: