TV

Soundtrack review: Orphan Black (Trevor Yuile – 2015)

“Orphan Black” is a show that’s on my “to watch” list for future binges. The subject is intriguing and I can’t imagine not liking it. The premise is this: a woman sees a perfect lookalike commit suicide in front of her and once she assumes that woman’s identity she realizes that she was in fact a clone. I don’t need to know more and I can already imagine dilemmas, questions and doubts. Trevor Yuile wrote the score and this is my first contact with his music.

The main theme makes for a short and nice introduction to the world of “Orphan Black”. It’s not one of those theme songs that will stick and that you will hum and recognize instantly, but it put me in a good mood. “Kira’s cue” brings shadows of the kind of ambient minimalism I would like to have vacations in. it’s quiet and reflective and I am rudely awoken by the abrasive and shrieking “We meet Helena”. This piece is neurotic and robotic and does a great job of mirroring the chilling realization bout being a clone.

I can tell that the music is written for a fast paced and intriguing TV show and this is a compliment for the music. A cue like “Duncan’s demise” makes me want to watch the respective scene and I can imagine myself caught up in a story that would feature a cue like that. It’s not easy to explain but that track made me feel as if “Orphan black” was a show I was already connected to. I rarely get this sensation, but the music is a mix of exciting and suspenseful and light which really suited my mood.

The nature of the story allowed Trevor Yuile to experiment with his sound and even clone in for the duration of the score. The advantage of a Sci-fi element is that nothing will sound too weird, too experimental because there are even stranger things happening on screen. The music helps make the experience even more interesting and if I feel all that just from listening to “Orphan Black” out of context I can only imagine how rewarding the music will be once I see the show.

This score won’t be for everyone. It would help if the listener had previous experience with artists like Thom Yorke or Bjork. There were moments when I almost expected their voiced to blend with the experimental sounds. I would recommend “Kira & Intervention” for anyone who wanted to sample the music. Here you can find the strangeness, the melodic and the emotional that dance throughout the score. No one feeling prevails but maybe it shouldn’t since the story will be full of doubts.

“Orphan Black” is that vacation that had no outstanding moments but you enjoyed very much overall. Trevor Yuile created a collection of interesting moments, some strange, others stranger but most of them pleasant. This is the kind of score that will feel fresh every time I will listen to it because it changes shape so often. I won’t be able to name a theme from it a week from now but I will instantly tell you that I liked it.

Cue rating: 82 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 11 / 46

Album excellence: 23%

Highlights:

Duncan’s demise

Kira & Intervention

An Honour

Cosima S Treatment

I Killed Ainsley

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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