Musical Score By: Daniel Hart
Distributed by: Lakeshore Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In the romantic film, Comet, Justin Long is Dell, a harsh cynic, and Emmy Rossum is the quick-witted Kimberly. A chance encounter during a meteor shower brings Dell and Kimberly together on a turbulent romantic ride we experience through zigzagging moments in their romantic timeline.
The musical score of Comet was created by multi-instrumental performer and composer American composer Daniel Hart. Beginning with the violin around his third birthday, Hart would learn a number of instruments and make forays into a variety of styles from blues and jazz to eastern classical, R&B, hip-hop and more. His film composing gigs have been plentiful including such notable films as St. Nick, The Sideways Light, Return to Sender, Tumbledown and Uncertain.
As I listened to the Comet Soundtrack, I noted three very distinctive themes. The title theme, an orchestral melody interlaced with synths and guitars, begins it all. This theme makes its way through the tracks, but is interrupted by Science Is Fun Is for Lovers, which has a very Star Trek-reminiscent synthesized sound. The main theme returns until we come to Love More, a rather poorly sung, yet inspiring love song. Love More’s sound makes its way into following tracks until we come to the French song Ma Petite Libellule. From there, the strings and woodwinds create that French motif until we reach the final track, Dell 'n Kimberly, a reprise of the original theme.
According to the composer, the themes throughout the score have a special significance to him: “There's a piece, which ended up in the film, that is about two friends of mine. In the film, it plays underneath Kimberly's monologue about time, while she's eating Chinese food in their Parisian hotel room. It's a solo piano piece called ‘Jill and Brian’, friends of mine who got married while I was scoring Comet. I gave this piece to them as their wedding gift….Sadly, Brian also passed away during the scoring of Comet, as he had been diagnosed with fairly aggressive cancer about a year before. And to that end, everything Kim says in that scene about wanting to stop time, about wanting life to be more like a painting, well, it certainly captured a lot of how I was feeling then, wishing I had more time with Brian before he was gone.” What a beautiful thought and a beautiful piece of scoring.
The composer also alludes to his dabbling in French ballads and other musical stylings: “That was the most fun for me. Similar to dissecting old French ballads, which I did for the film, I was able to watch several NASA films from the 60s and 70s to get a feel for the type of music in them. They were almost always orchestral, and felt to me like they wanted to create the sense of wonder, mystery and strangeness that we associate with outer space, space exploration, other worlds, Star Trek, etc. Piecing together all the science film music from Comet in preparation for the soundtrack was an absolute blast (pun intended)!”
Though the Comet Soundtrack does make for quite an interesting listen, I had a little difficulty trying to figure out what the film was about simply based on the music. There was so much going on there – the love ballads, the scifi synth stuff, the electronic sound mixed with orchestral and moving into solo pieces. I had trouble understanding that this was a love story – perhaps because the love story is told in such an interesting way. If you are looking for a cohesive score, Comet is not exactly for you, but if you enjoy listening to eclectic scores that make for an interesting listen, then Comet would come highly recommended.