Soundtrack for Netflix Film ‘Bardo’ to be Released on December 9

Milan Records has announced the release of Bardo (Soundtrack from the Netflix Film), an album of music from five-time Academy Award®-winner Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s latest film.

Available Friday, December 9, the album features an original score co-composed by Bryce Dessner and Iñárritu to accompany the profoundly moving journey of a Mexican journalist and filmmaker returning to his native country. The project is the latest collaboration between Dessner and Iñárritu, the duo having previously worked together on The Revenant soundtrack in 2015.

BARDO is an epic, visually stunning and immersive experience set against the intimate and moving journey of Silverio, a renowned Mexican journalist and documentary filmmaker living in Los Angeles, who, after being named the recipient of a prestigious international award, is compelled to return to his native country, unaware that this simple trip will push him to an existential limit. The folly of his memories and fears have decided to pierce through the present, filling his everyday life with a sense of bewilderment and wonder.

Of the soundtrack’s inception, composer Bryce Dessner says:

“Early in the process of Bardo and before shooting began, Alejandro and I began talking about what the music for the film could sound like. What might the melody of the film be? What sounds would we hear in the world of Bardo?  We started exchanging ideas, including field recordings and melodies Alejandro would whistle to himself, first on scouting locations and later on set as he began to shoot the film. These fragments of melodic ideas along with the sketches I had begun making would start to take seed and grow into the vast musical landscape that envelopes the film. Eventually we met in Los Angeles to work directly as we finished the details of each composition.”

Oscillating between bombastic, horn-soaked numbers and buoyant, orchestral string arrangements, the soundtrack draws upon Mexico’s rich musical tradition, incorporating everything from ancestral sounds to the rhythms of salsa and cumbia and the brass melodies of Oaxacan banda music. The expansiveness of Bardo’s musical landscape is further evidenced by the several needledrops featured in the film, which range from David Bowie’s iconic “Let’s Dance” to contributions from salsa pioneers Héctor Lavoe and Willie Colón, Mexican pop icon José José, “The King of Cumbia” Andrés Landero, conga drummer Joe Cuba and more.

“The music moves between very simple brass pieces, to very layered complex orchestral and electronic pieces and everywhere in between,” Dessner continues. “We recorded the score in Mexico at the beautiful Sony Music Studios in Mexico City and Topetitud Studio in Coyocan. The process of recording the music for Bardo and working with amazing Mexican musicians, including Brass bands from Oaxaca and musicians from the National Symphony, in the studio was an incredible joy for me and something I will remember for the rest of my life.”



  1. Back to the Womb
  2. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams – Esquivel
  3. Mateo’s Freedom
  4. Absurd Metals
  5. El Día De Mi Suerte – Orquesta Pavel Urkiza & Luis Bofill
  6. Liminal
  7. Father Ghost
  8. Let’s Dance – David Bowie
  9. Dreaming a Dream
  10. Migration Dreams
  11. Aguanile – Orquesta Pavel Urkiza & Luis Bofill
  12. Lost Silbido
  13. Mi Niña (Acapella Version) – José José
  14. Silbido Tlayacapan
  15. Silverio Last Train
  16. La Pava Congona – Andrés Landero
  17. In the Cage (Excerpt) – Genesis
  18. Aquarium
  19. Salsa y Bembé – Joe Cuba Sextet
  20. Bardo Finale
  21. Juanga
  22. Qué Lio – Willie Colón & Héctor Lavoe
  23. Mirror Lamento
  24. Los Aretes de la Luna – La Sonora Mantacera
  25. Silbido Arpa Jarocha / Silbido a Cappella

**All tracks by Bryce Dessner and Alejandro González Iñárritu unless otherwise noted

Will you be checking out the soundtrack to Bardo when it releases next week?


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Armed with a PhD. in Musicology, Becky spends much of her time blogging about movie music on her blog Film Music Central when she isn't otherwise occupied watching movies and her favorite anime series.