Exodus (2023)

Lisa Montan

" Both the music to Gold and Exodus was written by the hugely talented Swedish composer Lisa Montan "

Written by Joep de Bruijn - Review of the download only release

Exodus is a 2023 Swedish road movie directed by the Swedish/Lebanese Abbe Hassan. After the short film Gold, he continues along the path of the Syrian war, following the events of a young girl fleeing the country at war, aided by a smuggler. What is interesting, even though not surprisingly, is that Exodus builds upon the transition, in terms of travel, the girl's emotional state, and the unusual developing connection between her and the smuggler.

Both the music to Gold and Exodus was written by the hugely talented Swedish composer Lisa Montan, coming from a continuously compelling breed of Swedish composers, of which some added musical touches as a soloist to this very score. Montan excels in contemporary, modern classical hybrids and scores.

The score is full of minimal music, introspective, but also carries memorable, minimal and melodic content, introvert and small extrovert soloists. It intriguingly carries a dark and a melancholic, and yet joyous emotion. At heart of the journey of the girl and the smuggler, there's the repetitive electro guitars, drums and overall atmospheric patterns (low-key voices and others) that give a sense of constant travel, sometimes replaced and/or in symbiosis with the soloists. The electro guitar accents, either resembling a desolate desert feel, or an overall slow reflective feel that you often hear in road movies; both of them have been used endlessly.

Seeing beyond these sometimes too clichéd ingredients to Montan's score, there is intriguingly melancholic and inspiring use of soloists; a duduk performance by Hayk Hakobyn (The Camp), several cues with a grand performance of flautist Laura Michelin, most prominently the exceedingly beautiful joyously melancholic cornet performed by Thora Torslund, while Linus Hillborg (also responsible for mixing the score and editing the music) and Anders af Klinberg add to the overall minimal mix. Regarding the last two contributors, knowing some of their music, which shows some resemblances to Montan' overall efforts, I am not entirely sure what they did add specifically.

The culmination of the film is reflected by the cue' 'Open the Gate', mixing the overall minimal music with the solo performances, and some metallophone, making for an extremely gratifying closure.

Despite some issues with the use of clichés, the overall score is, in fact, very memorable. The music for Exodus was digitally released by Oonan, a label that at heart displays the kind of music in which Lisa Montan and several others utterly shine, both in contemporary minimal music and scores.

1. Road 3:50
2. Border 5:06
3. Sea 2:40
4. The Other Side 2:39
5. Imagine 1:54
6. Sisters 0:57
7. The Camp 2:16
8. Window 4:24
9. Open the Gate 3:54
10. Serenade 2:40
11. Exodus 6:57

Total Album Time: 37:17

(click to rate this score)  
(total of 3 votes - average 4.67/5)

Released by

OONAN (download only release 2023)