Steven Price: Gravity
21 August 2014, 21:56
Steven Price's score for the groundbreaking sci-fi epic was inventive enough to win him the Academy Award for best soundtrack in 2014.
As the poster of another famous sci-fi film pointed out: in space, no one can hear you scream. So how do you soundtrack a film set in a vacuum, a place where sound can't exist?
In Gravity, Sandra Bullock plays an astronaut struggling to survive the violent break-up of a space station. Echoing the helplessness felt by Bullock's character, a person who is the thickness of a spacesuit away from death, Price largely eschews any sort of bluster or bombast. Instead he focuses on tension, using dense, dramatic clashes of different parts of the orchestra to echo the chaos on screen.
The emphasis on realism in Gravity is extremely important and, with that in mind, Price was more than happy to use silence as a tool - there are moments in the film where, amid all the chaos, the sound of nothing at all is what we really need, and Price is unafraid to concede this, which makes the moments that do feature music all the more powerful.