Those familiar with the bombastic scores for director Ridley Scott’s blockbuster movies like Gladiator (2000) and Black Hawk Down (2001) should ditch the impression that the music for the English filmmaker will be similarly pompous. With the usual collaborator Hans Zimmer out of the way, Scott’s latest film employs a more atmospheric, if not unsettling music composition, courtesy of German composer Marc Streitenfeld.
The 57 minute album starts off with the ominously grand “A Planet”, a cue which features a haunting oboe solo, inviting listeners to the darkest corners of the universe. “Going In” approaches the main theme in a much more sinister manner, giving you the impression that whatever is to come isn’t exactly the most welcoming. “Weyland” is a track which carries a sense of bleak hope which turns out to be evocatively beautiful.
Other dark cues include “Discovery”, “Not Human” and “Too Close”, tracks which may not go down well with listeners who prefer haughtily ostentatious themes in their music. Elsewhere, cues like “Infected”, “Hyper Sleep” and “Hello Mommy” contain elements of peril and threat which may excite action score fans.
This being the fifth collaboration between Scott and Streitenfeld, the achieved sense of mystery and awe is aptly captured on sound. The score was recorded over one week with a 90 piece orchestra at Abbey Road Studios in London, England, where it was also processed by the director. To create the unsettling sound, the orchestra was given reserved music sheets to have them play segments of the score backwards, before digitally reversing them.
Harry Gregson Williams contributes two compositions to this album. “Life” and “We Were Right” are both magnificently splendid cues which add a fantastical dimension to the otherwise desolate score. Soundtrack die hard fans may also identify music composed by the legendary Jerry Goldsmith in “Friend From The Past”. This is probably Streitenfeld’s homage to Goldsmith, the composer behind “Alien” (1979), the said companion piece to Scott’s latest work.
Recommended Track: (1) A Planet
Review by John Li