Saturday, December 28, 2013

Gravity (2013) Film Score - Steven Price

JohnnyTwoToes reviews one of the very best film scores of 2013! 

Gravity (2013) is one of the best films I have seen all year, and the score should be, at the very least, given an Oscar nod but wanting and actual reality are two different things especially when it comes to the Academy awards. English born Steven Price has scored only a few main stream films, full length films; Attack The Block, The World's End and Gravity. Both The World's End and Gravity were this year's films, so Steven Price is a relative newcomer. 

Gravity is such a great film and deserves Oscar contention in so many categories but the score is so important to a film like this. It can either be a blessing or a curse. The fact that Price has completed a near perfect film with a score that is as thrilling and breath catching as the film itself. It is a mostly electronic score with only a few acoustical instruments used in the final theme, "Gravity". The first track, "Above Earth" is short but sets up the chaos that ensues, and "Debris" is a real nail biting track that pits our heroes for a battle to survive. "The Void" and "Atlantis" are more soothing tracks as our heroes figure out a way to make it to another space station. 

Mr. Price continues to break our hearts with the lengthy track of "Don't Let Go". After lulling us into our own space, he then jars us awake with "Airlock" and "Fire". "ISS" is a beautiful track as you can almost imagine floating high above Earth looking into the vastness of space. There are several long tracks that are peppered throughout the score which makes the run time of the score of about 75 minutes, THANKFULLY. 

Price sprinkles little bleeps, chirps and static in the background of his score to simulate the passing of satellites, and broken radio transmissions and actually times it with the pace of the track. He also abruptly breaks the song off as if to simulate a broken transmission which is a nice touch, along with a ringing tone like we would here when hear a loud bang that makes your own ears ring. "Parachute" and "In The Blind" is a mixture of hair raising and soothing elements to continue the plight of our heroes. "Aurora Borealis" and "Aninqaaq" are two more soft, melancholy tracks that have the little chirps of the passing satellites in its background and they are two of my favorite tracks; simply, heart wrenchingly beautiful. The remaining tracks, "Soyuz", "Tiangong", "Shenzou" and the end credits theme "Gravity" are a majestic mix of hope and life as our heroes seek to survive and not to give up hope. 

Composing a score is hard enough. Making all of the pieces come together to make the film work is a tough nut to crack. Composing a score for a film like Gravity would be even more difficult. We never really see the actor's faces so we rely on the actor's vocal fluctuation and the music to tell the story. The music for Gravity really is as much a character as any of the performances and director Alfonso Cuaron has constructed a film around the score rather than the score being chopped up and inserted in bits here and there. What drove the film for me was the score (not taking anything away from the acting and such) and Mr. Price has composed a heroically powerful score that deserves a listen to and it stands as its own creation, not just for the film. He is a composer to watch out!

1 comment:

  1. A triumph of nuance that imagines something from a source of simplicity and then wraps it in a cloak of wonderment, despair, alarm and sometimes outright horror.


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