- "We knew we needed to express silence. We didn't want the score to be descriptive, but psychological and emotional. We composed a score which is expressive of surroundings. Here the music is moving around you all the time."
- ―Alfonso Cuarón on the music of Gravity. The Gravity Original Soundtrack was composed by Steven Price.
Price's score was universally applauded by film critics and audiences alike, leading it to win and receive nominations for several best original score awards at ceremonies, including a BAFTA Award for Best Original Music, a Satellite Award for Best Original Score, as well as a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score nomination. It also won the Academy Award for Best Original Score.
The soundtrack was released digitally on September 17, 2013 and physically on October 1, 2013 by its label, WaterTower Music. It is 71 minutes and 44 seconds in length.
The booklet that accompanies the physical CD features screenshots from the film. It also features the score credits, acknowledgements and track listings. The disc features Dr. Ryan Stone tumbling into the void of outer space.
Instruments and mood
The score makes clever uses of electronic, techno instruments but also contains more sweeping, epic pieces from more traditional orchestral instruments such as violas, cellos, violins and pianos. To create the unique, otherworldly sounds heard in the soundtrack, Price also took advantage of other instruments that are not conventionally used in most orchestras to fulfill his vision, such as crystal glass harmonicas or organs. A choir was also featured but the lead vocals were provided by Lisa Hannigan. Also heard in the soundtrack are bits of white noise radio broadcasts and minor explosions that can't be heard in space so they must be displayed in the music through vibrations. The music can go from quiet like space to blaring like collisions and overall ranges from tragic to suspenseful to inspirational. hi
Composer Steven Price was originally called in to help out for a couple of weeks on the music design of Gravity. After having a creative discussion with director Alfonso Cuarón, Price began coming up with a template of sounds and noises that eventually led to him being hired as the film's composer. As work began on the film's score, Cuarón and Price set ground rules for distancing the score from conventional Hollywood-style action scores such as omitting the use of percussion. “Ordinarily in an action film you’re often competing with explosions and god knows what else, whereas with this [movie] music could do things a different way,” said Price. “With everything we did we would try and look beyond the normal way of doing things. [For] some of the action sequences where there are explosions, I knew that [...] those explosions had to be inherent.” The score was recorded in small groups or single instruments as opposed to a collective orchestra in order for each sound to be electronically processed and mixed individually to create a layered and surrounding effect. Many of the tracks were named after the locations rather than what was going on, so they could avoid giving away spoilers. Price reasoned that the decision was because other movie soundtracks had given away major plot points in the titles of their themes. He gave the final track on the Sixth Sense soundtrack as an example, which was titled, "Malcom is Dead". Price decided that a good way to avoid this from giving away the scene's content was just to name it after locations or background elements. As a matter of fact, only four tracks on the entire album can the listener actually determine what is going on in them based off their names. These are: Debris, Don't Let Go, Fire and Gravity.
The tracks usually thought of by fans as the best on the soundtrack are Debris, Don't Let Go, Aningaaq, Tiangong, Shenzou and Gravity.
Steven Price's score has been acclaimed by critics and audiences alike, recieving universally positive reviews. It was nominated for and won multiple awards in the best original score category at several ceremonies. It received a nomination for Best Original Score at the 71st Golden Globe Awards, won Best Original Music at the 67th British Academy Film Awards and Best Original Score at the 86th Academy Awards. James Southall of Movie Wave awarded the album five stars out of a possible five and said that "it feels like the most intelligent and most satisfying score for a science fiction movie since Ennio Morricone's stunning, dishearteningly lambasted Mission to Mars."
|Academy Awards||March 2, 2014||Best Original Score||Won|
|Alliance of Women Film Journalists||December 19, 2013||Best Music or Score||Nominated|
|Awards Circuit Community Awards||February 28, 2014||Best Original Score||Won|
|British Academy Film Awards||February 16, 2014||Best Original Music||Won|
|Broadcast Film Critics Association||January 16, 2014||Best Score||Won|
|Central Ohio Film Critics Association||January 2, 2014||Best Score||Runner-up|
|Chicago Film Critics Association||December 13, 2013||Best Original Score||Nominated|
|Denver Film Critics Society||January 13, 2014||Best Original Score||Won|
|Golden Globe Awards||January 12, 2014||Best Original Score||Nominated|
|Houston Film Critics Society||December 15, 2013||Best Original Score||Won|
|San Diego Film Critics Society||December 11, 2013||Best Original Score||Nominated|
|Satellite Awards||February 23, 2014||Best Original Score||Won|
|St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association||December 16, 2013||Best Musical Score||Nominated|
|Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association||December 9, 2013||Best Score||Nominated|
Although the film's score carries it greatly, there are some additional songs featured. The piano piece Spiegel im Spiegel is heard on the trailers but not on the soundtrack. Also the song "Angels Are Hard to Find" by Hank Williams, Jr. is played throughout the film on Kowalski's radio. Other songs include:
- "Mera Joota hai Japani" by Shailendra and Shankar Jaikishan
- "Sinigit Meerannguaq" by Juaaka Lyberth
- "Destination Anywhere" by Chris Benstead and Robin Baynton
- "922 Anthem" by 922 (featuring Gaurav Dayal)
- "Ready" by Charles Scott (featuring Chelsea Williams)
- The tune of "Daisy Bell"
1. "Above Earth" 1:50 (Theme: suspense, majesty)
2. "Debris" 4:24 (Theme: suspense)
3. "The Void" 6:15 (Theme: suspense, hopelessness)
4. "Atlantis" 3:43 (Theme: dreadful, disturbing, fright)
5. "Don't Let Go" 11:11 (Theme: grief, suspense, loneliness)
6. "Airlock" 1:57 (Theme: relief)
7. "ISS" 2:53 (Theme: grief)
8. "Fire" 2:57 (Theme: suspense)
9. "Parachute" 7:40 (Theme: suspense)
10. "In the Blind" 3:07 (Theme: hopelessness)
11. "Aurora Borealis" 1:43 (Theme: tragic)
12. "Aningaaq" 5:08 (Theme: magical, grief)
13. "Soyuz" 1:43 (Theme: grief)
14. "Tiangong" 6:28 (Theme: determination)
15. "Shenzou" 6:11 (Theme: triumphance, suspense)
16. "Gravity" 4:35 (Theme: triumphance)
- The theme played during reentry, Shenzou, is a misspelling of the craft Ryan is in, a Shenzhou.
- Don't Let Go on iTunes is an album-only track.
- Most of the themes available for purchase (and on this Wikia) are not actually used in the film, or the film uses modified versions of most themes.
- Composed by: Steven Price
- Produced by Alfonso Cuarón and Steven Price
- Orchestra Contractor: Isobel Griffiths
- Assistant Orchestra Contractor: Charlotte Matthews
- Orchestra Leader: Everton Nelson
- Conductor: Geoff Alexander
- Orchestrator: David Butterworth
- Music Preparation: Jill Streater
- Score Mixer: Gareth Cousins
- Recording Engineers: Sam Okell, Andrew Dudman, Gareth Cousins
- Assistant Engineers: Toby Hulbert, Lewis Jones, Matt Jones, Martin Hollis and Joe Kearns
- Music Editor: Christopher Benstead
- Assistant Music Editor: Robin Baynton
- Principal Viola: Vicci Wardman
- Cello Soloist: Will Schofield
- Glass Harmonica: Alasdair Malloy
- Organ: Philip Collin
- Lead Vocals: Lisa Hannigan
- Backup Vocals: Haley Glennie-Smith and Katherine Ellis
- Choir: Metro Voices
- Choirmaster: Jenny O'Grady
- Music Supervisor: George Drakoulias
- Executives in charge of Music for Warner Bros. Pictures: Paul Broucek and Niki Sherrod
- Executive in charge of Music for WaterTower: Jason Linn
- Art Direction: Sandeep Sriram
- Music Business Affairs Executive: Lisa Margolis
- Score Published by: Warner Olive Music, LLC (ASCAP)
- Album Mastered by: Christian Wright at Abbey Road Studios, London
- Recorded at: Abbey Road Studios, London and British Grove Studios, London
- Lisa Hannigan appears courtesy of: Hoop Recordings, ATD Records and [PIAS] Recordings
- Steven Price: My Family, Alfonso, David Heyman, Nikki Penny, Paul Broucek, Niki Sherrod, Collette Barber and all at Abbbey Road Studios, David Stewart and all at British Grove Studios, DAmanda Narkis, George Drakoulias, Mark Sanger, Tania Clarke, Deborah Richardson, Gabriela Rodriguez, Glenn Freemantle, Niv Adri, Nina Hartstone, Skip Lievsay, Jessie Schroeder, Emma Zee, Siobhan Boyes, Jason Linn, Sandeep Sriram and all at WaterTower Music, Kevin Korn, Ana Benjamin and everyone at GSA.
- Alfonso Cuarón: Fernando Corona, Jonny Greenwood, Brian Eno, Camilo Lara, Guillermo Del Toro, Alejandro Gonzales-Iñárritu, Steven Rabineau, Henry Holmes, Mi Mamá, Jonás, Eaireann, Camilo, Elias, Sheherazade, Bu Y Olmo
- Thanks to: Stephanie Alexa, Pete Axelrad, Bernadette Barrett, Rocco Carrozza, Alex De Maegd, Joe Kara, Kevin Kertes, Kevin Korn, Ny Lee, Kris Little, Nigel McCorry, Diane McKain, Genevieve Morris, Ross Rosen, John F.X. Walsh and Robert Zick
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