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Scores and Scores

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The brilliant Michael Giacchino has been posting pictures from the scoring session, and subsequent editing/mixing and all that jazz, of Star Trek Into Darkness (here - look out for Dermot Mulroney on the cello). I cannot wait to hear it!

I loved the score for Star Trek- it fit the movie perfectly in that it was bold and memorable and modern but respectful of the history of Star Trek. This is my favourite:

The first minute and a half or so is poignant and delicate and reminds me a lot of Lost, which is not unusual considering Michael Giacchino wrote that too. Even if you haven't seen Star Trek (where have you been?!) you can imagine the slow mo shots etc. At 2.14, that catchy theme makes a reappearance. I love those bass note steps at 3.16. Then the tip of the hat to the original theme at 3.31. Overall, I think this is the best track from the official soundtrack. If you have the bonus DVD, there's a really good feature showing this track being recorded. 

However, whilst we wait for the new Star Trek score (and film, of course), I want to talk about another score I have been listening to of late: Zero Dark Thirty by Alexandre Desplat. I think it should be noted that Mr Desplat scored Zero Dark Thrity AND Argo, which is pretty impressive, no? The Argo score was Oscar nominated but I think ZDT was much better. Maybe because I thought it was a better movie... but that's a debate for another day. Anyway, these tracks were my favourites:

The beginning of Maya on Plane always reminds me of the intro to Jay-Z's Public Service Announcement, which is appropriate beacuse Maya is badassness personified. However, I think this track really reflects her state of mind at the end of the film (there's no need for a spoiler warning because we all know how it ends, right?), which is: when you've done the impossible what do you do next? It sounds like the end of the beginning- sadness for all that happened before mixed with relief and anticipation that there's a whole new act just waiting to start. 

In contrast, Seals Take Off sounds almost noir-like to begin with (I am reminded of Inside Man) but then the timpani and the strings start up and anticipation builds. Then the horns add their uneven punctuation, which is not helpful to an already nervy audience. Honestly, considering it isn't a horror film, I was surprised at how jumpy we all were in that cinema. Finally, Ammar has the Middle Eastern feel that you would expect from such a score. The little bass motif that starts one minute in really reminded me of Homeland when I was in the cinema. Whenever this was heard we, the audience, knew something was about to go down. Overall, the score for Zero Dark Thirty was every bit as nerve shredding and menacing as the film itself. 


  1. I had no idea that Dermot Mulroney played the cello! (And on the Star Trek soundtrack to boot!) That just made me like him a whole lot more. I'm so looking forward to this movie. :)

    The music for Zero Dark Thirty is great. I still haven't seen it yet, but I have a feeling I'm in for something good.

  2. Thank you for commenting! Star Trek Into Darkness is going to be amazing. I might even brave a 3D showing. ZDT is intense but a great film - Jessica Chastain is on another level.


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