I watched Steven Soderbergh's version of the film "Solaris" with an uncluttered mind -- I had never read the original novel it is based on, and I had never seen the original film of that novel. In that frame of mind, I found myself utterly enchanted by the film, and Cliff Martinez's music is one of the primary reasons why.
The score for "Solaris" is otherworldly in the way that few modern compositions are. It simply sounds alien, not through the use of spooky chords or chaotic harmonization, but through the far simpler (and more effective) device of creating sounds we're not used to hearing in music. Soft rhythms and tones flow in and out of this aural landscape, knit together by an undercurrent of rich strings, or gently throbbing steel drums, or silence.
This is not ordinary movie music, a la John Williams or James Horner. There is no catchy theme here to grab onto, nothing you can whistle as you walk down the street, no melody to remember.
No, this is quiet music, subtle music, powerful music, music for the soul, music in its purest form. It is the music of the spheres, translated at last to the audible range of human hearing and given a voice unlike anything you've heard before.
Put simply, this is music to excite the imagination and carry the listener away to worlds they've never experienced before. Listen, and understand the music of other worlds.
I can recall seeing Solaris for the first time and being totally taken away by the film. The directing, editing, acting, set design, story, philosophy and psychology of the motion picture. However, none of this would be relevant if it were for the soundtrack of the movie, for it was the glue behind Soderbergh's vision. Cliff Martinez brings ambient music to a whole new level with the selections from this soundtrack. The music is spacey, aloof, haunting and beautiful all at … more