Ninety percent of the time the music for a movie soundtrack really has nothing to do with the story of the movie. Most of the time, it seems they use the music in a movie to manipulate the audience's emotions. Just in case you didn't get that a scene was supposed to be emotionally heavy, like a son returning home from war to his family, the strings swell in an attempt to pull one more tear from your eye.
On the other hand, there are the occasional movies where the composer and the director have made an effort so that instead of reflecting the emotions, the music works to reflect certain themes in the film. It still might be a little on the obvious side - look here come the Vikings and there's their theme music just in case you didn't recognize them - but at least it's not assuming you don't know when something is supposed to be happy or sad.
Once in a while though a composer will create music that is designed to reflect more than just the themes or the emotions of a movie and the music becomes another means of telling the story instead of just being an augmentation. That's the case with the music that Christopher Hedge composed for the PBS production based on the life of the American President Andrew Jackson Andrew Jackson: The Atrocious Saint. When you listen to the CD, The Atrocious Saint, you are hearing a reflection of the times portrayed in the movie.
In order to do his job properly Hedge has brought in musicians that can reflect the various peoples who made up the population of the United States at the time. From the tribal drums that formed the basis for the music of the slaves, the Irish/Scots roots of the early settlers in the Appalachian mountains, to the sounds of the Native Americans who were displaced by the new comers. Joining him as featured performers are Titos Sompa, a drummer from the Congo; R.Carlos Nakai, one of the most renowned performers on the Native American Flute; David Grisham, of the David Grisham Bluegrass Express, on mandolin; and David Brewer playing the pipes, penny whistle, bohdran, and Irish flute of the old country. These four are joined by other musicians, including the Eighth Regimental Band from Rome, GA. supplying the needed military band, to recreate various highlights and low-lights from the life and times of Andrew Jackson.