Director Martin Scorsese’s films have never used music as mere background noise. His attention to detail, especially when delving into a period piece, does not distinguish between the audible and the visual, a characteristic applied with great care on the two-disc soundtrack to 2010’s Shutter Island. Produced by longtime collaborator Robbie Robertson, the tale of two U.S. Marshals sent to a remote Massachusetts island to investigate a murder is lent enormous weight by a score cobbled from the dismal atmospherics (the majority of the film takes place in a hospital for the criminally insane) of modern classical heavyweights like John Cage, Ingram Marshall, Max Richter, John Adams, and Brian Eno. Peppered between the long slabs of ominous avant-garde minimalist chamber music are fleeting rays of light from period radio crooners Kay Starr, Lonnie Johnson, and Johnnie Ray, resulting in a harrowing listening experience in its own right, and one that further cements the filmmaker’s reputation as one of American cinema’s most original voices.
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger
Track Listing - Disc 1
|Symphony No. 3|
|Uaxuctum: The Legend of the Mayan City Which They Themselves Destroyed for Religious Reasons|
Track Listing - Disc 2
|Suite for Symphonic Strings|