Monday, July 15, 2013

Score of the Month - Phantom (2013) by Jeff Rona

An exciting Monthly New Feature for Soundtrack fans by JohnnyTwoToes 

Jeff Rona's score for Phantom (2013) is my choice for the 'Score Of the Month', a new monthly feature from me for the readers of the Websnacker Blog, especially music and soundtrack fans. 

Jeff Rona has scored and collaborated for countless films and television shows including movies like Mothman Prophecies, The Quiet, Whisper, Slow Burn, Exit Wounds, White Squall, etc and TV projects like Profiler, Persons Unknown, The Ropes, Traffic, Sleepwalkers, Chicago Hope and Homicide:Life On The Street which catapulted him in the big league. He has worked with big name film makers  likes Robert Altman, Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, Steven Soderbergh, Wong Kar-wai and many more.

Of all the many contributions, his score for Phantom is one of his best for either medium. A electronic score presented in a dreamlike reverie, it comes out mostly as an ambient score (with tinges of melancholy and emotions) but with the right amount of tone and structure to punctuate the action and struggle for power as required by the claustrophobic submarine setting of this underwater movie directed by Todd Robinson  and starring Ed Harris, David Duchovny and William Fichtner.

Apparently, Rona and an assistant actually went on location to the set used in Phantom to record sounds of the sub and the little pings and pongs as they gently hit just about every part of the sub with sticks to record the sounds made. Rona then went back to his studio and digitally integrated the sounds of the sub into the music for the score and it works beautifully. 

Mixed in with the natural sounds of the sub are the ethnic instruments of the country of Russia and it is quite moving. My favorite track on the album which pulled me into the world of the deep ocean and the sub in it is actually the very first track, The Early Dawn as the k-129 sets sail on its ill fated voyage. It is a mesmerizing theme and sets the tone for the rest of the album with other favs like Welcome Aboard and My Father. A title theme called 'On Ocean Away' sung by Rachel Fannan seems fitting for the film and is a lovely theme in itself. Unlike the high-energy scores of films of a similar genre, Phantom seems like a surreal film and the score is fittingly surreal as well. 

The full score has a whooping 27 tracks and was co-produced by Jeff Rona and Nathan Rightnour.  It is available on the Milan Records label on CD or MP3 download formats. And at over 66 minutes, its a very good an hour and more of first class music to just plug, play and enjoy. 

Phantom Soundtrack (Score) Album track list:

1. The Early Dawn 
2. This Is Not a Drill 
3. Can We Be Redeemed For the Things We’ve Done? 
4. Time for Farewells 
5. We All Go on the Same Way on a Boat 
6. Welcome Aboard 
7. We Sail at Dawn 
8. True Zealots 
9. Twenty Ton Screws 
10. These Government Drugs Are Shit 
11. Like a Thousand Snowflakes 
12. Engage the Phantom 
13. Only Two Reasons 
14. My Father 
15. You Should Be Flattered 
16. Sending a Signal 
17. Go Below 
18. They Already Have the Codes 
19. If They So Much as Blink 
20. Torpedoes in the Water 
21. This Is Your Captain 
22. Arming the Warhead 
23. We’re On the Bottom 
24. Give Her a Message 
25. To Stay Here With You 
26. I Wish He Knew 
27. An Ocean Away (Feat. Rachel Fannon) - Carmen Rizzo Mix


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