Kundun
Philip Glass

  • Original Score Composed by: Philip Glass
  • Label: Nonesuch Records
  • Online Ordering Options: Amazon.com

Review

Deep, brooding and throaty. These are the first words that spring to mind when thinking about the soundtrack to Martin Scorsese's movie about the Dalai Lama. The amount of bass that seems to be produced is quite substantial and should be considered a test of any good sub-woofer. On first listen I felt that the album had a very "sameness" about it, but on a closer listening there is a larger number of melodies at work.

The tracks are of good length, making them quite suitable for use as backdrops for events or descriptions. The exceptions are of course the eleventh and eighteenth tracks that are very long. The instruments used in the music are quite exotic and might be considered off putting. However, I consider the music to be excellent for anything involving underground adventures. There seems to be an deep, earthy feel to the music that could make it a great backdrop for dwarvern caverns or exploration of long dead alien tunnels.

I would push the music towards the fantasy camp, mainly because of the subject of the music, it would be easier to envisage a time when the characters would meet monks -- which is the most obvious use for the music.

Overall, Glass has done a wonderful job of producing some very different music.

Track Listing and Notes

  1. Sand Mandala (4:06) - opening
  2. Northern Tibet (3:22) - tension
  3. Dark Kitchen (1:33) - confrontation
  4. Choosing (2:14) - exploration
  5. Caravan Moves Out (2:57) - quiet
  6. Reting's Eyes (2:18) - revelation
  7. Potala (1:30) - quiet
  8. Lord Chamberlain (2:45) - longing
  9. Norbu Plays (2:13) - happy
  10. Norbulingka (2:18) - coming of age
  11. Chinese Invades (7:06) - darkness
  12. Fish (2:11) - chase
  13. Distraught (3:00) - sad
  14. Thirteenth Dalai Lama (3:26) - growing up
  15. Move to Dungkar (5:06) - hope
  16. Projector (2:05) - child-like
  17. Lhasa to Night (2:00) - magic
  18. Escape to India (10:05) - leaving

Total Running Time: 60:23

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Kundun © 1997 WEA International, Inc.