Entertainment Weekly - 3/26/04, p.75
"[T]he virtuosic layering and cross-fading do create impressive soundscapes."
Original score composed by John Debney.
Lyricist: Lisbeth Scott.
Personnel: John Debney (vocals); Mel Gibson (vocals, chant); Aaron Martin, Shannon Kingsbury, Gingger, Ahmed el-Asmer, Shankar (vocals); Naser Mousa (oud); Karen Hua-Qi Han (erhu); Martin Tillman (electric cello); Ron Allen (flute); Jan Hendrickse (bamboo flute); Chris Bleth (duduk, woodwinds); L‚von Minassian (duduk); Pedro Eustache (woodwinds).
Audio Mixer: Shawn Murohy.
Recording information: AIR Studios; Air Studios, London, England; EMI Abbey Road Studios, London, England; Lyndhurst Hall, London, England.
Editors: Jennifer Monnar; Michael Ryan.
Translators: Father Bill Fulco; Fr. Michael Bazzi.
Unknown Contributor Role: Dan Savant.
Director Mel Gibson's THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, a graphically violent depiction of Jesus' last hours on earth, ignited a whirlwind of controversy in 2004. While there's no discernible riot-inciting content in John Debney's orchestral score for the film, it nevertheless invokes plenty of raw emotion. Debney takes a different approach than that of Gibson, who had the characters deliver their lines in Latin and Aramaic and kept things as period-perfect as possible. For his part, Debney takes a more modernistic approach, freely incorporating electric and electronic instruments into his score (not that string orchestras were exactly abundant in the age of Jesus either). The composer constructs an aural landscape alternately magisterial, foreboding, and elegant, but always fully intense enough to match up to the harrowing last hours of Jesus as portrayed in the film.