Atli Orvarsson’s music score for movie The Eagle evokes ‘true majesty’

The music of The Eagle film of Rosemary Sutcliff‘s historical novel for children and young adults The Eagle of the Ninth came in for praise in a review in Boston in the US. The reviewer commented that Atli Orvarsson‘s score for The Eagle “evokes true majesty” and “brings us into the film’s world”.

Although perhaps not quite a household name within soundtrack circles, Icelandic composer Atli Orvarsson has a lot of sonic potential lurking under his belt, with his score for director Kevin MacDonald’s The Eagle serving as his best offering to date.

Otherwise remembered for his work on scores for Season of the Witch, Vantage Point and television’s Law and Order: Los Angeles, Orvarsson has brought together a suitably epic collection of cues here for MacDonald’s adaptation of Rosemary Sutcliff’s 1954 historical adventure novel The Eagle of the Ninth, mildly echoing the bombastic strains of such masters as Basil Poledouris along the way.

Overall, however, Atli’s’s work here is very much reminiscent of his mentor Hans Zimmer, with whose production company Remote Control Productions Orvarsson currently collaborates, alongside such other modern composers as Harry Gregson-Williams and Steve Jablonsky. There is an ominous sense of foreboding to tracks like “North of the Wall” and “Honorable Discharge” which make palpable the horrors of war and uncertainty of death.

Meanwhile, there are other moments in this soundtrack where traditional Celtic melodies meld perfectly with a passionate, memorable percussive structures to create an atmosphere which evokes both battle-hardened energy and a somber, stoic sense of loss. It’s these moments-best reflected on “Out Swords!” and “Return of the Eagle”-where Orvarsson sets himself away from the faceless pack, and lures us in, as listeners, into The Eagle’s world of Roman/Scottish bloodlust and culture shock.

Ultimately, isn’t this what a good score should do: bring us into the film’s world? Atli Orvarsson achieves this on The Eagle, ushering in the composer into The Party as a musician to watch and enjoy.
Source: Atli Orvarsson’s score for “The Eagle” evokes true majesty – Boston Movie |

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