Skip to main content
  1. AXS Entertainment
  2. Arts & Entertainment
  3. Music

Best Original Score Oscar preview: Steven Price’s ‘Gravity’

See also

'Gravity' soundtrack


Seeing 36-year old British composer Steven Price nominated for an Academy Award came as a bit of a shock. With only seven works to his composing credit, he seemed to still be in the “bubbling under” phase of his career. However, having cut his teeth as music editor for the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and “Batman Begins” gave him some early clout.

Price’s score for “Gravity” is musical while not exactly progressing as “music.” It’s an angular concoction of effects, loops, and semi-melodic dissonance that expresses the tension within the characters’ minds more than it creates an atmosphere. He is very careful about not adding weight where there really isn’t any. There are also moments where the score sounds like the heavens are singing in response to the beauty and solitude of space, which interplays with the electro-tension of Stone’s increasingly dire situation.

It’s reminiscent of early Tangerine Dream, where musicality erupts from a sort of electronic primeval ooze. His music is essentially another element in the weightless vacuum and shifts along with the tension, rather than leading it, and only becomes an active participant through volume…which can also be felt inside Dr. Ryan Stone’s head.

It is not an easy score to listen to, because it toys with your equilibrium just as much as the film itself. It plays more like a decompression chamber than a traditional tuneful score, that increases and releases tension in time with the on-screen action. It is more a test of patience than it is an enjoyable listening experience.

The question must be asked, however, if Price will be stigmatized as “a sci-fi guy,” since he has now scored three in a row (alongside “The World’s End” and “Attack the Block”). But perhaps that has already begun working in his favor, since he is on tap to compose the next chapter in the ever-expanding “Avengers” universe – “Ant-Man!”

BUT CAN HE WIN? – Possibly. Everyone loves an underdog, and Price definitely fits the bill. Once in a while, the Academy also likes to go against convention (probably in hopes of derailing the stigma that they are merely a bunch of backwards-looking old men). However, since “Gravity” has culled ten nominations, a Best Original Score trophy may be lost in the space.

Do you think Steven Price will win?

The soundtrack to “Gravity” is currently available at iTunes, Amazon, and Amazon Digital.


Today's top buzz...

  • Jack White
    Jack White has played the longest show of his career, going for over three hours
    Music Buzz
  • Donald Sterling
    Donald Sterling loses big in court, Clippers sale will proceed
    Today's Buzz
  • Steve Nash
    The Los Angeles Lakers will not use stretch provision on Steve Nash
    NBA Buzz
  • Peter Gabriel
    Peter Gabriel revisits classics in new concert film 'Back to Front'
    20 Photos
  • Train
    Train rocks an outdoor show with old favorites and new hits in Tahoe
    15 Photos
  • Rascal Flatts
    Rascal Flatts to perform at Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va.
    11 Photos

Related Videos:

  • Looks 2 Kill
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • The Field Effect
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • BANKS Goddess Album Cover
    <iframe width="600" height="337" src="//;VQ=HD720&amp;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>