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Soundtrack Review

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Journey to Mecca
In the Footsteps of Ibn Battuta
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Michael Brook
Label: Lakeshore Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 08 April 2016

Lakeshore Records release Michael Brook's score for Journey to Mecca. The film is an IMAX drama that tells the story of Ibn Battuta, the great explorer of the Old World, following his first pilgrimage between 1325 and 1326 from Tangier to Mecca. His perilous journey resonates with adventure while presenting an unforgettable picture of Islamic civilization during the 14th century, culminating with Ibn Battuta's first Hajj. The story is book-ended by a close-up look at the contemporary Hajj, a pilgrimage to Mecca that draws three million Muslims from around the world...

Michael Brook (whose scores for Brooklyn and Jerusalem we've previously reviewed) presents us with, on the whole, exactly what you'll be expecting given the film's location and subject matter. This is mainly down to the heavy use of indigenous instruments, such as darbukah, ney, and oud (all played by AJ Racy).

While there are exceptions to the rule, the beautiful 'The Offer' being the main example, it's mostly comprised of music you'd expect to hear for a middle eastern historical drama. That's not a complaint, just an observation.

The album contains 22 tracks (36 min, 06 sec). There are segments, like 'Valley of Hell', which mix music from the west and middle east as well as proving authentic Islamic vocals (provided by Sheikh Hamza Shakour).

While this is an interesting album, and I'm sure sets the atmosphere for the movie, whether you will enjoy this as a stand alone project is subjective. Personally, I doubt I'll play it again in the future, but if you're a fan of mysterious middle eastern sounds then you'll find much to enjoy here.


Darren Rea

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