For since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. - Romans 1:20

This film was shot in Iceland, and as soon as I received the film, which was pretty much in its final version at that time, I was struck with inspiration. The imagery itself was enough to spark some early ideas. As I watched the film for the first few times I played around on a felt piano VST in an attempt to find notes/chords that fit with the picture. In those first shots, the images do most of the work in terms of drawing the viewer in, so I didn’t feel it was necessary to have busy music. The mixture of the electronic drones and pads with the single felt piano note, had the simplicity and ambience to enhance the images but to stay out the way of them. The music reflects the slow moving shots, the cold, icy images we’re seeing and suggests the film will be dark throughout. 

However, as the film approaches halfway, I wanted to create a feeling of breaking through, of entering into a euphoric, heavenly state. The camera actually physically goes between two large, cliff-like rocks around this section which felt like a perfect opportunity to introduce that heavenly feeling, of entering a new state. The music starts to morph from a darker, more minor tone to a brighter, major tone and brings a whole new feeling to the piece. 

As we start to see more green in the images I wanted to bring in some acoustic instruments to bring the viewer back down to Earth, almost in a way that says despite the ethereal, heavenly music, these images are of real places on Earth and that the beauty of them isn't imagined. So the intention was to introduce a sense of realism into the music to reflect the images. The synth pads and drones continue, but subtly, just adding a bed for the acoustic instruments to sit on. 

The film ends with the music returning to a darker tone. I wanted this to have the effect of making the viewer feel like the film could be an endless loop of dark to light to dark. The intention was to leave the viewer feeling slightly uneasy and to want to return to that feeling of euphoria and bliss. 

Jason Lee is a very talented travel film maker and this film was a privilege to work on. 

Ashley Holbrook

Ashley Holbrook Film Composer