The Interpreter Soundtrack, Import
Veteran director Sydney Pollack tackles contemporary international intrigues in this political thriller about a UN interpreter (Nicole Kidman) who claims to have overheard an assassination plot, and the Secret Service agent (Sean Penn) who's assigned to protect her. Composer James Newton Howard (a 2004 Academy Award nominee for his haunting score to M. Night Shyamalan's otherwise disappointing The Village) conjures up a brooding, mostly orchestral score that eschews traditional melodic motifs in favor of an often sophisticated musical tapestry of mood and tension. His soundtrack's dark corners are leavened by flashes of tribal drums and ethnic modalities that emanate from the plot's African concerns, yet Howard's music is primarily modern. It's not above some obligatory stem-winding and occasional flashes of McAction Film bombast, but overall its a crafty evocation of mood and suspense from one of Hollywood's most consistently compelling musical talents. --Jerry McCulley
He wrote and performed this wonderful song "Atolago" which made the entire soundtrack worthwhile. I love James Newton Howard, and commend him for his as always excellent work, but question why credit was not given where credit is due? This is unheard of!
In the film, you can hear the song "Atolago" inside the United Nations building (Drowning Man Trail) and at the End Credits.
This song is "a Power and a Prayer... a wisp on the wind that brings one nearer to God." For me, this music is "A Sunrise renewing the world again for another day." I would love to have the English translation.
There is much more information on Sereba's website, and he has played on "From Senegal To Setesdal" with Kirsten Bråten Berg from Norway (CD also sold on Amazon), which has become one of my favorite CD's of all time. One of his other projects, the "Dodo" project, can be heard on myspace.
I look forward to many more CD's and concerts in the U.S. that we can attend, as everyone should have the opportunity to hear this incredible music. It brings peace to the heart, makes one want to "dance with joy" and helps one to "forgive the unforgivable." There IS a chance for us all to work towards a world of "light and peace" which is the thrust of the film to begin with.
Sereba has played many concerts all over the world, including the Imagine festival at the Royal Festival Hall, in London, and has worked with many artists from Norway, where he lives.
He plays with a group called Zikalo, which plays traditional West African dance music. The music is written and arranged by Raymond and Kouame Sereba, both from the Ivory Coast. Zikalo is the name of the rhythm, that influences dance, play and activities in their home village.
The Group has existed since 1983. Zikalo also exists in a new and more modern version where the music becomes an exiting blend of elements from rock, jazz and the traditional african music.
More info: Biography Kouame Sereba, Musicians Portrait
From ~ Craig Harris, All Music Guide
Ivory Coast-born multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Kouame G. Sereba has played a major role in the music of Norway since moving to Norway in 1983.
In addition to playing "hundreds" of concerts in Norway, Sereba has been embraced by the country's government. The foreign department sponsored tours of Japan, Germany, and Africa and Sereba accompanied Norwegian prime minister Kjell Magne Bondevik to Angola, Mozambique, and South Africa.
Sereba joined with Norwegian musicians Kirsten Braten Berg (vocals, mouth harp), Bjorguiv Straume (mouth harp, vocals), and fellow African Solo Cissokho (kora, vocals) to record an album, "Fra Senegal Til Setesdal", that introduced his culture-blending vision to the international stage in 1997. In addition to playing guitar, percussion, and djembe, Sereba is a master of the dodo, a mouth harp known for its overtone-rich, almost electronic, sound.
"The Interpreter" finds him in urban thriller mode, which he did so well in "The Fugitive." There are hints of that score here, as well as some of the Shyamalan scores. Like Williams or any great film composer, Howard has a distinctive sound, and it's a pleasure to distinguish it from the mass of sound-alike film music.
Howard creates an intelligent, chilly mood for this thoughtful thriller. Blending in African sounds and traditional songs at times, he gives a sense of Kidman's character's roots, while always staying modern and spare, fitting the New York setting.
The cue "Simon's Journals," is from a pivotally emotional scene for Kidman's character, and is a highlight, blending percussive African rhythms to create a powerful effect. Tracks 12 and 13, however, are what I end up playing over and over. They play as one continuous piece in the film, and form the ten minute action finale of the film, as the assassination plot unfolds.
Highly recommended to film score collectors.