An Overview Of The Musical Score For Hannibal Rising

Hannibal Rising features music from composers Ilan Eshkeri and Shigeru Umebayashi. Eshkeri is a British film composer who has worked on numerous movies. He learned how to play violin and guitar when he was young and his experience on both instruments shines through in his musical pieces. He studied music at university and he cites film composers including Micheal Kamen and Edward Shearmur as inspirations. His big break came with the composition of a musical score for 2004 crime thriller Layer Cake. The soundtrack for this movie was praised and Kamen was nominated for the Discovery Of The Year award at the World Soundtrack Awards.

Umebayashi is a noted Japanese composer and his previous work includes providing music for Jet Li's “Fearless” in 2006. He started his musical career as the lead singer of Japanese rock band EX, but later moved on to composing musical pieces for films. His most well-known musical score in the Western Hemisphere is the mystic “Yumeji's Theme”, a beautiful piece composed for the acclaimed Chinese movie In The Mood For Love. The movie was nominated for the prestigious Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Umebayashi went on to play a role in composing movies such as Incendiary (2009), Fearless(2006), and Daisy.

The music for Hannibal Rising is impressive for a horror movie. It does not quite reach the levels of Hans Zimmer's “Hannibal” soundtrack or Howard Shore's “Silence Of The Lambs” though. The style is similar and provides a creepy backdrop that matches the atmosphere.

The better half of the music coincides with the early stages of the film with a female vocalist giving the movie an atmosphere of mystery and beauty. There is also a moment that will impress fans of the Hannibal franchise as it ties in with the 2001 movie. We see Lecter listening to “Aria da Capo” by famous German composer Bach. Fans with a keen ear for music will remember this as the same tune that Hannibal plays on his piano during a scene of “Hannibal”.

The second half of the musical pieces featured in the movie are a little less exciting. They often don't add much to the atmosphere apart from gloom and dreariness via unchanging sequences of rumbling noises. A little more refinement would've been welcome, but overall it was not a bad effort by the two composers. Definitely above average in this genre, especially the first half.