Alex Lockwood‘s ‘Test Subjects‘ is a short documentary that tells the story of Frances, Emily & Amy – three aspiring research scientists coming to terms with the ethical dilemmas and wrenching emotional burdens associated with conducting animal testing in the ostensible interests of bettering human health. The music for the film was scored by American composer & multi-instrumentalist Aaron Martin and follows his collaboration with From the Mouth of the Sun partner Dag Rosenqvist on the soundtrack for 2017’s acclaimed independent film ‘Menashe‘ as well as his score last year for William Armstrong’s inspiring mini-documentary ‘Adam‘.
Both the message and the arc of the film are effectively conveyed in the track titles – “The Curiosity of a Young Mind”, “What I Had Taken, “Overcoming Inertia”, “It’s Getting Better”, and “What Was Given” for example – while Martin’s deeply affecting score brings its power emotional undercurrent to the surface. As with so much of what he creates, the potency of Martin’s music lies in his unique braiding of rustic sounds rooted in timeless authenticity with poignant melodies and breathtaking moments of empyrean beauty. It turns out to be exceptionally well suited to the understated yet deeply affecting story these women have to tell while the lovely bonus tracks at the end speak to a hopeful view of the future to which it can lead.