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Max Richter, Lorne Balfe and Nils Frahm - Ad Astra: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

  by Maarten Schiethart

published: 17 / 3 / 2020

Max Richter, Lorne Balfe and Nils Frahm - Ad Astra: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Format: CD


Spooky, beautiful and richly arranged soundtrack from Max Richter, Lorne Balfe and Nils Frahm to science fiction blockbuster which can be enjoyed on its own

The well-made film 'Ad Astra', which had a budget of close to a $100 million, only showed in cinemas for a few weeks before its release on Blu Ray disc, which has become common practice in the film industry. Meant for home entertainment on an expensive HD TV, it tells of a father and son who search for intelligent life beyond Earth. Riddled with close-ups and digital effects, I found it hard to sit through. Max Richter's soundtrack too loves clichés. At times syrupy in typical Hollywood fashion, Richter reconstructs themes from his earlier works with considerate affection. The two CD set of the two hour film will sound like a warm bath to the ears of an experienced Max Richter listener. Thank God, on the CD the usual suspects from the Dream Factory don't speak over the music like they do in the film. Harsh and rumbling turns gave a much welcomed edge to familiar themes, adding a bit of grit where it was needed in the quasi-dramatic, cinematic extraterritorial shower of sounds. 'The Wanderer' leans towards Richter's 'Sleep' project, but surprisingly enough isn't as toe-cringing as one would expect during this rather bombastic cliché of a Hollywood movie. 'Tuesday', the core composition on Richter's soundtrack, is the single genuinely worthwhile track from him on the double CD, lasting twenty minutes and for the better half of it proving quite mesmerizing. "We're a dying breed, boy," the father explains to the son out of the blue in the movie, which is literally a choreography in blue. The epilogue features eight compositions by Lorne Balfe, a Scotsman never before featured on our pages. Silky string orchestrations, modest synthesizer bubbles and quirky electronic flashes pay the rent. The credits roll out muzak by Nils Frahm, which goes well beyond Jean-Michel Jarre's predictable tricks of the trade.

Track Listing:-
1 To The Stars
2 Encounter
3 Cosmic Drone Gateway
4 I Put All That Away
5 A Trip To The Moon
6 Terra Incognita
7 Ex Luna Scientia - Requiem
8 Journey Sequence
9 The Rings Of Saturn
10 The Wanderer
11 Erbarme Dich
12 Forced Entry
13 Preludium
14 Resonantia
15 Let There Be Light
16 Ursa Minor - Visions
17 Event Horizon
18 Musurgia Universalis
19 You Have To Let Me Go
20 Tuesday (Voiceless)
21 Opening
22 Briefing
23 Space Journey
24 Rover Ride
25 Pirate Attack
26 Orbs
27 Underground Lake
28 Trip To Neptune
29 Says

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