One Strange Rock

Musical Score By: Daniel Pemberton

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


               In March 2018, National Geographic aired a ten-part series from filmmaker Darren Aronofsky and producer Jane Root.  Hosted by Will Smith, One Strange Rock explores our own planet, telling the story of why life as we know it exists on Earth brought into perspective by astronauts.  It is a revealing look at how our planet works.

               The musical score of One Strange Rock was created by Golden Globe and BAFTA Award-nominated British composer Daniel Pemberton.  I first became acquainted with Pemberton’s work with the score of The Awakening, but the composer had begun his career in composing for film, television and video games in 2008.  Since then, he has created music for a number of notable projects, including The Counselor, The Man from UNCLE, Steve Jobs, King Arther: Legend of the Sword, Molly’s Game, All the Money in the World, Ocean’s 8, Prey, Black Mirror, Dirk Gently, Hell’s Kitchen, LittleBigPlanet and more.

               According to Daniel Pemberton, “Much like how Darren Aronofsky and the rest of the team wanted One Strange Rock to feel radically different to anything like it before, I wanted continue that ethos with the soundtrack album.  I wanted to make it much more of an immersive listening experience than just a standard collection of cues from across the series—something that reconnects you with the stories, the visuals and the world when you hear it.”  I can honestly say that I have never heard anything like the score created for One Strange Rock by Pemberton. 

               The One Strange Rock Soundtrack features a very innovative score and the version I received contained four lengthy tracks, each running over eleven minutes.  The score contains a sci-fi sound which goes perfectly with the theme of the series – exploring our Earth and how it works as told by eight legendary astronauts.  There’s something cosmic about that and this score perfectly encapsulates the feeling.  The entire score features a multitude of sounds, featuring a variety of unusual instrumentation, electronic sound, and manipulation that somehow creates an alien tone to the music.  Some things you might note while listening to this score: drum brushes striking metal, manipulated vocals that seems to simulate an alien sort of jazz scat, ambient sounds that emulate wind and more.  Though I found the entire album to be quite entertaining, I found the final track to be very soothing with its instrumentation mixed with ambient sound.

               If listening to this soundtrack was so enjoyable, I can only imagine the amazing adventure listening to this soundtrack blended with the amazing visuals of the series would create.  The musical score of One Strange Rock by Daniel Pemberton is definitely a must listen!


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