Surreal stories require surreal surroundings, and that includes the music. The best way of composing a film score for something like Gravity is to give it a feeling of science fiction, which is precisely what Steven Price does.
The problem is that he appears to be emulating Hans Zimmer all the time. While Zimmer is specialised in scores for period films, Price merely copies his work by showing how clearly influenced he is by the Academy Award winner’s work.
Still, his score for the Alfonso Cuarón movie has a more modern look, with vibes that resemble some 1980s film – after all, that decade lived a boom of science fiction and futuristic stories, with Star Wars and Blade Runner. This vibe can be clearly appreciated in tracks like “The Void” or “Fire”. After all, it is what this movie demands: dark, modernistic music.
The beginning of the soundtrack is plain boring, with the first four pieces being easily forgotten. Their only moments of interest are the electric guitar highlights that raise the tension, which is meant to remark pivotal moments of the film.
And yet, the Zimmer presence is there all along. Whenever you hear a violin, it sounds like something out of the German’s repertoire.
But credit where credit’s due. The best two pieces of the score are “Don’t Let Go” and “Gravity”, the main theme.
“Gravity” sounds like a mixture between some song out of Game of Thrones and Lord of The Rings, again with a clear influence from Zimmer. It builds towards a momentum, creating the recurring theme of the film, and makes it the track most identifiable with it.
“Don’t Let Go” is another thing. Three times as long as the previous one, it puts your mind in a trance, only to unexpectedly switch into a more aggressive tune, which results in a perfect cinematographic resource, noticeable from 3’45”. By 9’40”, the main theme throughout the movie shows up, with reminders of Michael Giacchino. Listen to it, and memories from Lost and Up keep showing up.
Price’s score is melancholic and tragic, like the film it goes with. Similar to The Place Beyond The Pines (listen to “Airlock”), the sadness and anxiety of Gravity is well reflected in its music, making you feel lost in space.