Music Composed By: Garth Stevenson
Distributed by: Lakeshore Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Based on Robyn Davidson's memoir, Tracks stars Mia Wasikowska as Davidson and chronicles the author's 1977 nine month journey across 1700 miles of Australian outback. Though her initial declaration regarding her intentions to take this trip were scoffed at, months of camping out, a job at a camel farm and a chance meeting with National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan (Adam Driver) finally placed her within reach of her dream. With only herself, her dog and her camel companions Robyn Davidson set out on the expedition of her dreams.
The musical score of Tracks was created by New York-based Canadian composer and performer Garth Stevenson. Growing up in the mountains of Western Canada, Stevenson learned to play piano and double bass before attending Berklee College of Music. Stevenson's music is often an homage to the various locales he has visited. His latest solo album, Flying, is dedicated to his trip to Antarctica. His career as a film music composer began in 2008 with the documentary Young Lakota. Since then, Stevenson has composed music for a number of films, including Red Knot and Ten Thousand Saints.
For the Tracks score, Garth Stevenson drew on his experiences in nature, "Having spent so much time working on music directly in nature, I had a clear vision of how to depict the Australian desert with sound. John [Curran, director] and I discussed trading the literal dryness of sound in the desert for a more reverberant openness that would depict the vastness of the landscape most accurately." The opening track of the album, Alice Springs, features a piano led score with flutes and other woodwinds in an uplifting track that rises in crescendo towards the end. There is an interesting sound to the end of this particular track, explained by Stevenson as "...I spent the night searching for new sounds in the studio and at 2AM found myself lying under the piano bowing the strings with twine covered in bass rosin. This sound can be heard near the end of the opening scene."
The following track, Pendulum, features a piano piece played backwards and forwards, mimicking the movement of a pendulum. Wrangling features piano, guitar and a brushed snare offering up an echoey jazz sound. With just these few of the twenty-five tracks of musical score to be found on the Tracks Soundtrack, we discover Garth Stevenson's ability to manipulate instruments to create unique sounds in his music.
Thus, the Tracks Soundtrack offers up a unique listening experience for fans of the film as well as any movie score aficionado looking for something different to listen to. Well done, Mr. Stevenson.