Eye In The Sky marks the fourth collaboration between Mark Kilian and Paul Hepker: together they scored Gavin Hood’s RENDITION (Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, Jake Gyllenhaal) and TSOTSI (winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language), as well as THE BIRD CAN’T FLY (Barbara Hershey) by Dutch director Threes Anna.
EYE IN THE SKY is a taut, darkly comic, action thriller set against the backdrop of the highly topical (and controversial) drone warfare; the movie takes place in London, Nairobi, Las Vegas, Honolulu and 20,000 feet above the earth. The score for Eye In the Sky skillfully blends electronic, orchestral and world music elements as the story onscreen unfolds.
Stuttering mechanical soundscapes and big rolling pads give voice to the omnipresent drones and the relentless war machine as it gathers pace. The score is at times sparse and atmospheric, but as the psychological drama heightens, aleatoric orchestral shimmers and electronic distortions weave together to turn up the heat.
As in previous Hepker/Kilian scores, there is a strong world-music element: brutally plaintive duduk and meticulously placed ethnic instruments combine to paint a sonic picture of third world Nairobi. Strange, garbled electronic voices imitate a Muslim “Call To Prayer”; loops, glitches and ethnic drums team up with a roiling, subsonic synth bass to drive the action.
A 60-piece orchestra initially provides a sonic bed for these seemingly disparate elements, before starting to assert itself in grand, filmic themes as the movie reaches its inevitable and soul-destroying climax.
The composers have mixed the very latest technology — a substantial part of the score was ‘performed’ on an iPad using specially-written software — with traditional and ethnic instruments to create a masterful soundtrack that ably supports and enhances the tension and drama onscreen.