Release date: June 4th, 2012
Running time: 57:05 minutes
Composer: Marc Streitenfeld
As one of this year’s most eagerly awaited films, 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,
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.
* 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.
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! Everything 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.
The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is a composer and music producer with a philosophy degree. Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and World Cinema, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.
You can find his music on Soundcloud .