Fusing elements of science fiction, dystopian narrative, and ancient combat, martial arts expert Alejo Mo-Sun directed this 2012 film with Wes Bentley as the title samurai set against an evil tyrant.
John Paesano infused similar genre influences into his score, founded on a mournful, exotic theme for Hirokin’s wife (“Terra’s Theme”). Like a warrior the score travels from an ambient wasteland (“Aradius”), to dusty combat marked by minimalist figures running through intensifying cycles of chords (“The Arids”), to moments of reflective beauty (“If You Can Win”). Paesano paints it all with ethnic flutes, duduk, choir, and even electric guitars—mixing modern with ancient. The score swells to a climax as final confrontation becomes inevitable (“The Wei”).