Faith, Media & Culture

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

 SoundtrackSongs of God. Produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, Son of God reaped an estimated $26.5 million in its opening weekend — qualifying it as a major hit that demonstrates the audience thirst for faith-based movies. That, of course, comes on the heels of the success the couple enjoyed with The Bible miniseries the film grew out of.  And now it’s on to the soundtrack album.

The pair agreed to answer some questions about the process of developing that aspect of their project which they have come to view as a calling.

QUESTION: What is your important connection between the movie and the album and how do you see the soundtrack portraying the important messages of the film?

ROMA DOWNEY: I think in any film project the music comes in like another character, it is like casting a character and in this case we had the great Hans Zimmer along with Lorne Balfe making this beautiful soundtrack that just allows your heart to swell it’s epic it’s soaring it’s emotionally connective. The vocals of Lisa Gerrard come in and they just transport you to another world.

MARK BURNETT: This is the first movie collaboration of Lisa Gerrard’s vocals with Hans Zimmer’s score since Gladiator. The first movie these two have been on together since Gladiator and it’s an epic score.

QUESTION: Hans Zimmer is remarkable as usual on this score and soundtrack that was certainly a perfect fit with the movie was he the first one that came to mind and how did his involvement come about?

RD: Hans Zimmer was absolutely our first choice for this film. We love his work. One of our favorite soundtracks was Gladiator and when we met with Hans we said “We would love to get a female vocal to add that haunting quality like you had in Gladiator, like you had with Lisa Gerrard,” and Hans said “Why would I get somebody like Lisa Gerrard when we could get Lisa Gerrard?” and so he telephoned her, told her what the project was and she said she would do it. We’re so thrilled that she did, to have them both back together, creating the soundtrack for Son of God. It’s just so beautiful.

QUESTION: Was there any back in forth writing between the screenplay between the screenplay and the music or pretty much just the one and then the other?

MB: The screenplay was finished first and the music worked with the edits and the screenplay and the music really, really makes the movie incredible. There’s something about the emotional connection that this score has to this story Son of God this big movie that just raises the bar it just really adds so much. It’s an incredible orchestral music score for a movie.

RD: And I think that music can really open the pathway to the heart and when you’re watching Son of God and you hear this beautiful score, it just opens your heart it’s you know sometimes we listen to it just at home we’ve a number of tracks we just put on repeat and it’s almost like a meditation it constantly takes me into a place where you know it’s just a great emotional feeling.

QUESTION: Did any of the musical themes you know stand out for you in the soundtrack? 

MB: There is certainly, Faith, an incredible track and another one of my favorites is called Roma’s Lament, which is another beautiful track, but they’re all great and we also at the end got an incredible track by Steven Stern, a remix of Soul of a Man, an old 1930s gospel song been remixed and we’ve also got Mary, Did You Know? performed by CeeLo Green. This is a really incredible movie score album.

QUESTION: Are there any standout tracks on the album that are your personal favorites and if so, why? 

RD: Well you know, the track is so beautiful called Roma’s Lament it has a little hint of something that sounds a little bit Celtic. I’m Irish, so I love the tones of that. It’s very evocative and mood enhancing. Then there is a track an old Mark Lowry song called Mary, Did You Know? that all during the filming because I had an opportunity to step into playing the role of Mary, the mother of Jesus, this was a song that was just playing and playing and playing in my head and the lyric is so beautiful “Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water? Mary, did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters? And of course because of my husband produces The Voice and his connection with CeeLo Green, CeeLo did a beautiful rendition of that. It plays over the end credits of the movie. It’s a beautiful edition on this soundtrack album.

Note: The Son of God soundtrack is, of course, available via, among other places.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus