Soundtrack
 

Europa Report

Music By: Bear McCreary

Distributed by: Sparks and Shadows


Reviewed by Melissa Minners

 

                In the science fiction film Europa Report, a privately funded mission heads to Europa, one of Jupiter's moons, with the hopes of finding potential for life in the outreaches of space.  The six astronauts are considered pioneers in space study, but soon find themselves embarking on an entirely different mission - one of survival.  A catastrophic event causes them to lose contact with Earth and a member of their crew, but even more horrific is the discovery that their search for life on other planets may not have been in vain.

                The music of Europa Report was created by American composer Bear McCreary.  Best known for his work on the score of Battlestar Galactica, Bear McCreary has become a much sought after composer, creating musical score for movies, television and video games, including The Walking Dead, Rest Stop, Chillerama, Dark Void, Defiance, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Human Target, Eureka, The Cape and more.

                When approaching creating the score for Europa Report, McCreary toyed with the idea of creating a score with very little music and much more sound effects.  However, "the minute we started editing the film together, we realized there was a huge risk of losing the human side of the story if we didnít enhance it with music."  He decided that the human emotion present in the storyline would be the key to creating the Europa Report musical score: "There are moments in this score where we are telling a cinematic story. When the celli come in with that main theme, to me it sounds luscious and cinematic. Itís a real melody. But I think the film earns it, and the counter balance to that are those heavy synthesizer and the dissonant atonal elements. I think it means that when those melodic moments come in, they are more powerful and more subtle at the same time."

                The resulting score is mainly orchestral with electronic ambient sound added for a science fiction effect.  There is a sense of emotional drama in the score, particularly in the dramatic piano theme found in the sixth track, Europa Report (for Solo Piano).  There is a string solo found in The View that offers the listener a sense of wondrous beauty and serenity that will soon be shattered by the dramatic and disastrous events undergone by the crew of Europa Venture.  There is a mix of high drama and awe, combined with a feeling of ominous and impending doom, culminating in the final track of the album, Theme from Europa Report which combines elements of the entire soundtrack.

                The Europa Report Soundtrack is the perfect accompaniment to a science fiction film.  Immediately, within the first track, the ambient sound element offers up the knowledge that this is no ordinary drama, but a tale that takes place in the world of science fiction.  The strings and piano lend an emotional meaning to the adventure that awaits, defining the wonderment of discovery and the tragedy of destruction.  Although I had never read the notes about the film and had no idea of the storyline, I had an excellent idea of what was going on thanks to Bear McCreary's ability to tell a story through musical composition.  Excellent work by a composer from who we expect nothing less.

 

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