An Ominous Sound for an Ominous Future

Fripp & Eno started it with The Heavenly Music Corporation, not ambient music but ominous and terrifying sonic explorations, lovely too. (Click preceding link to listen.)fripp_pussybI heard the sound again, years later, at a Grateful Dead show in Miami in 1988; it was like being inside a jet engine, all-encompassing, so very loud.

GratefulDeadSpaceAnd then, in Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds (2006), a new version, low and distant, perhaps over-produced, arrived on screen. (Click preceding link to listen.)waroftheworldtripodIt arose again in the trailer for Chris Nolan’s Inception (2010), promising aural profundity; regrettably, the sound was brief and the movie was not.inceptionsoundThe sound became more realized in Gravity (2013), providing the soundscape for the impending doom of debris.gravity-debrisIt has now returned to the frontier of music, more than My Bloody Valentine’s sonic wall, in Sigur Ros’ latest work, Kveikur (2013).sigurros_kveikurLouder and deeper, back-filled by drums and wailing voices, the sound builds, just falling short of the next plateau. 20140703_052932As this sound continues in its evolution, getting deeper and fuller, it might even be a synchronistic backdrop for our promised apocalypse.

Gravity: All Style

There are moments in Gravity that are worth something – although I’m not sure if it’s worth the $100 million budget nor the $18 ticket. GV-FP-0132rThe visuals are impressive, like the camerawork and music; however the narrative is superficial at best, offering only caricatures and predictable cliffhangers, as it jumps from one space station to another, with a cloud of space debris always in close pursuit. gravity-debrisIt’s a shame, with all that money, time and ingenuity, that such little effort was invested into fleshing out the details of why we are supposed to care.