Film score: Your life’s score

May 19, 2020 · 5 min read

Filmscores copy

Music in film has been placed predominantly into two categories, film soundtracks and film scores. A film soundtrack can be defined as a collection of all audio sources from a film; including original dialogue, voice-overs, foley tracks (post-production physical sound effects), SFX or sound design (artificial sound effects), licensed songs, as well as the score.

Audiences generally associate the soundtrack with the licensed songs that are incorporated throughout the film, for example Back to the Future and Guardians of the Galaxy are very well know for their curation and use of pop culture songs in their films. A film score on the other hand, can be defined as an original music composition (the structure of a musical piece), written by a composer to accompany a film.

This original piece of music can enhance the emotional connection an audience develops throughout the film and can act as an anchor for the story’s main theme.

For example when you watch a scary movie what ends up scaring you the most is not the film alone, but the music which is played in suspense leading up to the big reveal. This is how a film score reaffirms the emotion that the director is trying to convey in the scene, by underlying the audiences visual sense with an auditory mood that drives the story home.

Now film scores are predominantly instrumental pieces that can be orchestral (written for an orchestra to play using traditional instruments), electronic (physical electric instruments and digital recordings using a DAW, ie. digital audio workstation) or a mixture of the two.

However, vocals can be incorporated in the piece, which are typically performed by choirs or a single soloists as part of a cue (a signal to a performer to enter or to begin their speech or performance).


Your Life’s Score

So now that we understand the basis of what a film score is, let’s dive into our question. Which film score would you use, to accompany your life’s story?

Think of all of the films you’ve watched in the past, and try to remember which piece of music resonated with you the most. Which film score had the right musical ambience, with the right emotional connection, to underline your life’s story? Any thoughts? Here’s our pick.

Interstellar “Day One”

We chose Interstellar’s “Day One”, which was composed by Hans Florian Zimmer, a renowned composer and record producer who’s composed film scores for over 150 films! We’ll dive deeper into the creative of Hans Zimmer and his life’s story in a featured article coming soon.

“Day One” was our film score of choice based upon our life’s journey leading up to this moment. The path that we’ve embarked as a grassroots organization has been full of wonder, mystery and change.

This score evokes these emotions sonically for us and resonates with our life experiences. The piece begins with atmospheric white noise and gradual piano chords, underlaid with symphonic orchestral strings and synth patterns that establish the score’s build up.

Mid way through Hans elevates the piece with a powerful church organ leading into gradually faster cues from each instrument, including a single percussion instrument.

The score then reaches a climactic finish preceding its gradual fade in tone, which establishes the piece’s arc sonically. In regards to the film, the score was placed at the very end, and the title “Day One” signified the first day on the new planet, humanity’s new home.

What’s interesting about this specific piece is that in the beginning of production, Hans was given vague information regarding the film’s plot and main theme, and this is what he came up with initially for the film.

Christopher Nolan, who directed Interstellar, then used this score as the basis for the film’s story. We were able to source a behind the scenes look of the development process for this score, courtesy of Elegyscores on YouTube, which is linked below.

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