Quite aside from the brutal narrative, the thing that swipes the breath about film director Alejandro González Iñárritu's The Revenant is its jaw-dropping portrayal of the wilderness. At every turn lies immense beauty and imminent danger. Iñárritu's angles amplify the vulnerability of the human form amidst such vastness, but it is Sakamoto's score that floods the chest and roots you in the moment. With a just handful of strings and rolling waves of synth tones, "Killing Hawk" communicates the deep grief of a key scene in the film.
"Initially ‘Killing Hawk’ and ‘Goodbye To Hawk’ were deeply connected," Ryuichi Sakamoto told The FADER. "I started writing the whole soundtrack for The Revenant from there. I wanted to write ‘not so melodious, yet very emotional and moving’ music according to Alejandro's request.” Milan Records will digitally release the full score to The Revenant, featuring original music by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Alva Noto, and Bryce Dessner, on December 25. CD and vinyl versions will follow in early 2016. The Revenant is in cinemas on December 25.