Volker Bertelmann’s Moving Compositions Offer an Evocative Preview to Hotel Mumbai

One listen to previews of Volker Bertelmann’s Hotel Mumbai score and it’s easy to imagine the composer receiving his second round of award nominations, including Oscar. Two stunningly beautiful clips have been released ahead of the film and soundtrack, and even if you weren’t aware of the real-life events that play out in Anthony Maras’ (The Palace) chronicling of the 2008 Taj Mahal Palace Hotel terrorist attacks, Bertelmann’s strains will instantly take hold of your emotions.

Take a moment, and fall into a master’s skillful embrace with a crescendo of cello, violin, viola, and base. This stunning track is called “Streets Reunion”:

Without having seen a single frame, the use of cello as the main focus of the piece is surprising and leaves one with an immediate feeling of devastation and tragedy. Bertelmann, a German composer who also records as Hauschka is renowned for his incredible prepared piano techniques, and received his first Academy Award (as well as Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Critic’s Choice) nomination for 2016’s Lion.

Maras, who is making his feature directorial debut, calls Bertelmann’s score

… the beating heart of Hotel Mumbai, connecting the intertwining narratives of the characters we follow into one cohesive whole. It is equal parts terrifying, inspiring and compassionate. From the first frame it grabs you and never let’s go until the curtains close. It is without hyperbole that I say working with Volker was a dream come true.”

And clearly, there is mutual admiration between the composer and his director:

It was my sincere pleasure to work on Anthony Maras’ Hotel Mumbai. I had the best time working on his intense thriller based on the drama of many people who lost their lives in this horrible attack. The film tells a clear story about how senseless terror can be and at the same time highlight how amazing people can react in extreme situation like this.”

This second track, “Landing Ashore” features a more upbeat pizzicato underlying the other instruments.

The Hotel Mumbai soundtrack on the Music.Film Recordings label will be available digitally March 22, 2018 (and on CD, March 29th). Here’s the trailer:

Starring Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Jason Isaacs, Nazanin Boniadi, Anupam Kher, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Suhail Nayyar and Natasha Liu Bordizzo, the harrowing tale will be in theaters March 22, 2019.

Cindy Davis

Cindy Davis

Cindy Davis has been writing about the entertainment industry for ​over nine years, and is the ​Editor-in-Chief at Oohlo, where she muses over television, movies, and pop culture. Previous Senior News Editor at Pajiba, and published at BUST.

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