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Prometheus

Prometheus

By Patrick Samuel • June 4th, 2012
Static Mass Rating: 5/5
PROMETHEUS (SOUNDTRACK)
Sony Classical

Release date: June 4th, try 2012
Running time: 57:05 minutes

Composer: Marc Streitenfeld

Movie Review
Exclusive Interview with Marc Streitenfeld

Prometheus CD

As one of this year’s most eagerly awaited films, for sale the soundtrack for Prometheus was no different. As I learned more about the story, I knew the score would be something just as unusual and dark, interspersed with moments of sheer wonder.

Composed by Marc Streitenfeld, his work here marks his fifth collaboration with Ridley Scott. The pair first began working together on the 2006 film, A Good Year, followed by American Gangster (2007), Body of Lies (2008) and Robin Hood (2010). It’s a partnership that seems to work, and judging by what he’s accomplished with Prometheus, I’m sure it won’t be their last.

I met with Streitenfeld just a few hours before seeing the movie. As we talked about the soundtrack, he said,

“Compared to my other soundtracks I think there’s a lot of music on this one, almost an hour, obviously there are some reductions. I always try to make a soundtrack stand out on its own in terms of a storytelling point of view so it’s not necessary to include all variations of everything – and 100 minutes first of all wouldn’t fit. You want to keep it exciting as a listening experience and create a length that’s the best for that. ” ~ Marc Streitenfeld

It’s hard not to think of the film’s images as I listen to it, but the Prometheus score is just as listenable on its own, and it’s intended to be. From its opening track, A Planet, the score announces itself with an air of mystery and a sense of danger. It builds slowly, pulling you in, and there are rumblings beneath, signifying there’s more going on here than you might first be aware of. As the strings move in you get a full sense of the grandeur awaiting.

TRACKLIST:

  • 1. A Planet (2:37)
  • 2. Going In (2:03)
  • 3. Engineers (2:29)
  • 4. Life (2:30) *
  • 5. Weyland (2:04)
  • 6. Discovery (2:32)
  • 7. Not Human (1:49)
  • 8. Too Close (3:20)
  • 9. Try Harder (2:03)
  • 10. David (3:00)
  • 11. Hammerpede (2:42)
  • 12. We Were Right (2:42) *
  • 13. Earth (2:35)
  • 14. Infected (1:56)
  • 15. Hyper Sleep (2:01)
  • 16. Small Beginnings (2:11)
  • 17. Hello Mommy (2:04)
  • 18. Friend From The Past (1:14)
  • 19. Dazed (4:29)
  • 20. Space Jockey (1:29)
  • 21. Collision (3:05)
  • 22. Debris (0:44)
  • 23. Planting the Seed (1:35)
  • 24. Invitation (2:16)
  • 25. Birth (1:24)
  • * Composed by Harry Gregson-Williams

The second track, Going In is rather interesting. I knew right away what I was listening to was a piece of music which had been reversed. As a composer and sound editor myself, reversed music is absolutely fascinating to listen to, especially if it’s comprised of orchestral arrangements. Streitenfeld, said he tried to do a few unusual things with this score.

“I recorded some of the score backwards – but not in the sense that I just reversed the recording. I actually wrote out the sheet music backwards so the orchestra played it backwards and then I digitally flipped it. So you’re hearing the score as it’s written, the same melody, but with a backwards sounding orchestra which gives it a kind of unusual, unsettling sound.” ~ Marc Streitenfeld

Going In is already one of my favourites on there. It’s got a rhythm to it and also an urgency which permeates through much of the soundtrack.

While Engineers has a mechanical and intense quality, Life is easily another favourite. It’s filled with wonder and has a strong Goldsmith vibe, especially with the chorals that come in later on. It evokes memories of many of the great films scores from the late 70’s and early 80’s. This is one of two pieces by Harry Gregson-Williams which appear on the soundtrack.

Weyland carries a very sombre atmosphere, which is hardly surprising, as he’s a very sombre man when we meet him in the movie. The track has several layers; the chorals are very prominent, the strings are just beneath it and then further below a woodwind instrument can be heard throughout. It’s a beautiful piece.

The next two tracks, Discovery and Not Human are very much action pieces from the film, while Too Close brings back those backwards sounds I loved so much earlier.

Track 13, Earth is by far the one I love the most, and it’s also taken from my favourite scene in the film. There’s so much wonderment here; it builds until you think it just can’t anymore and then it does! PrometheusEverything works in such perfect harmony here – I can close my eyes and never come back from where it takes me. It ends so blissfully as well.

From there the score becomes much darker and action orientated but quietens again with Friend From The Past, but that’s just before the action really takes off with the tracks Space Jockey, Collision, Debris and Planting the Seed which all say one thing – run! These are some of the big moments in the film and music which accompanies perfectly illustrates this. There are lots of effects; thunderous noises and sharp, hitting sounds as destructing rains down.

As things come to a close with Invitation and Birth, the Prometheus score, like the film, left me surprised, inspired and emotionally spent.

I hadn’t expected tracks like Earth to be filled with so much energy flowing through it. There are some strong leit-motifs present, giving the score a unified feeling. It’s a very listenable experience, either on its own or as a stimulant to visualise the film over and over in your mind. It’s already become one of my favourites and I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for what Streitenfeld does next.

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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