The Kite Runner Soundtrack Distills the Sound that is Afghanistan

Composer: Alberto Iglesias

The Kite Runner – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Deutsche Grammophon/Universal Music, 2007)

Marc Forster, director of The Kite Runner, based on the novel by Khaled Hosseini, said of the movie’s soundtrack, "One of my greatest joys is to watch a composer spread his wings and create the most affecting moments in film. Alberto Iglesias’s score for The Kite Runner is a continuous movement within the storytelling, never overlapping itself. Nothing is ever ended or dismissed, and nothing is ever begun and finished. His score is like a wheel created by senses, where the senses are set whirling into the infinity of space. It is timeless, spaceless and moving."

Sharply elegant and poignantly captivating, Mr. Iglesias has surely spread his creative wings wide to lend not only a musical landscape to Mr. Hosseini’s story or Mr. Forster’s movie, but to Afghanistan itself. As with his works The Constant Gardner, Volver, Talk To Her and All About My Mother, Iglesias supplies the moviegoer and music lover a carefully wrought soundscape, full of the emotional twists and turns of a plot.On The Kite Runner Iglesias has distilled the sound that is Afghanistan, juxtaposing the raucous wildness of the Afghani political, social and physical landscapes with the tender laments of its struggling inhabitants. "The Call, Kabul 1978" is one such piece, at once intricately lovely then edgy and stormy. "Fly A Kite" is built of true sweetness while tracks like "Escape" and "The Stadium" are shaded with darker images. There are the obvious cinematic tracks like "Kite Tournament" with its dash of Celtic sound, "Hassan Theme," "Fuel Tanker" and the heavy-handed "Russians Invade," but listeners should not be discouraged because there is a story in each of these tracks beyond the movie.

Fleshing out the movie’s soundtrack is the shape-shifting exoticism of Ahmad Zahir’s "Tanha Shudam Tanha," as well as Zahir’s captivating "Az Man Begurezed." There are two tracks by Ehsan Aman, "Omaid e Man" and "Dukhtare Darya." Rounding out the CD is Sami Yusuf’s powerful " Supplication."

The movie, The Kite Runner, is set to be release on December 14th after a lengthy delay due to the international wrangling the movie studio endured trying to get the four child actors and their families out of Afghanistan due to fears for their safety because of a rape scene in the movie.

Buy The Kite Runner soundtrack and the The Kite Runner book.


The auhtor of this CD review, TJ Nelson, is also a fiction writer. Check out her latest book, Chasing Athena’s Shadow.  Set in Pineboro, North Carolina,  Chasing Athena’s Shadow follows the adventures of Grace, an adult literacy teacher, as she seeks to solve a long forgotten family mystery.  Her charmingly dysfunctional family is of little help in her quest.  Along with her best friends, an attractive Mexican teacher and an amiable gay chef, Grace must find the one fading memory that holds the key to why Grace’s great-grandmother, Athena, shot her husband on the courthouse steps in 1931. Traversing the line between the Old South and New South, Grace will have to dig into the past to uncover Athena’s true crime.