The Expanse: Season 1
Musical Score By: Clinton Shorter
Distributed by: Lakeshore Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In the science fiction space drama, The Expanse, we travel hundreds of years into the future to a time in which humans have colonized the solar system. The U.N. controls Earth, but Mars is an independent military power and all of the colonized planets rely on the resources found in the Asteroid Belt. Tensions have been rising between Earth, Mars and the Belt for years and now, a single incident could bring about the tides of war.
The musical score of The Expanse was created by Canadian film composer Clinton Shorter who fell in love with music at a young age. In high school, discovering that the school he was going to did not have a recording studio, he transferred to another that did, spending most of his time there. In college, Shorter began work on a music major with a specialty in jazz, but left to write music with an experimental rock trio. Over the years, Shorter developed a love for film music, inspired by Mark Isham’s score for Never Cry Wolf. Landing a job as an assistant to a Canadian film and television composer, Clinton went on to create a number of his own television and film scores, including those for Come Together, District 9, Contraband, 2 Guns, Pompeii, Intelligence, House of Lies, Code Black and Colony.
The score for The Expanse is mainly electronic with some orchestral sound mixed in. The action sequences of the series are fast-paced and feature heavy percussion. Non-action sequences are softer and feature either somber or ominous undertones. Having watched some of the series, I can honestly say that these notes for the moments in which action is not a factor are subtle and do quite a bit to enhance the emotional drama of these sequences.
Though I think that the score works well with the visuals of The Expanse, the truth of the matter is that this score may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Fans of the series might want to get their hands on it, but the score isn’t that incredibly exciting and so, they may not be thus inspired to purchase the score outright. Folks who are not fans of the series are likely to skip this soundtrack altogether.