Best of 2013: Film Score of the Year

Winner: Gravity, score by Steven Price  (Water Tower Records)

Runner-up: Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, score by Alex Heffes (Decca)

Steven Price’s score for Alfonso Cuarón space thrill-a-thon note by note captures the essence of the film’s isolation yet overbearing tense atmosphere. Even during the film’s most tranquil and placid scenes, Price’s score never lets up, always signaling momentum-shifting cues at any moment. A mixture of droney, electronic, and synthy extended tones, Gravity’s score balances the film’s themes of redemption and survival. Even in the midst of the film’s dreary mechanical/robotic imagery, Price injects touches of humanity into the score that makes you understand why the movie was more than just being lost in space…but being lost in life.  Gravity’s score is nerve-wrecking and full of adrenaline, but never goes “Hollywood” over-the-top, so expect Price’s work to be anything but ephemeral in the ears of soundtrack lovers for years to come.

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