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Soundtrack review: Tracks (Garth Stevenson, 2014)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Tracks (Garth Stevenson, 2014)



“Tracks” tells the incredible true story of Robyn Davidson, a young woman who in 1977 undertook a perilous solo trek across 1,700 miles of stunning Australian outback. The score was written by Garth Stevenson. He is a composer used to writing music about nature, used to actually writing music in nature, so he was the right choice for this story.

The more I listen to this score, the more grateful I am to Brian Eno for pioneering ambient music… This genre knows a revival these days; there are quite a few scores released which feature ambient music. I especially enjoyed “White bird in a blizzard”. “Tracks” is another one of them, and it also has the brilliantly addictive joy and simplicity that I found in “Wish I was here”.

Stevenson experiments with the bass and the piano in very interesting ways. Though similar in mood to other scores, “Track” has a unique sound to it. It’s a loneliness which doesn’t depress… It’s lonely by choice and happy with it. “Wrangling” is the first track that really gets my attention because of the interesting sound of the instruments.  It feels out of place to single out cues from this score, because I perceive it as an overall listening experience. When I will return to it, I will not listen to separate tracks. I will just play it from the beginning, or the middle, or randomly, and enjoy it the same.

Since I am such a big fan of minimalist and atmospheric music, and since “Tracks” is such a carefully crafted composition, there was no way I wasn’t going to enjoy this score. A score like this is meant to set a wonderfully pensive mood and open the listener’s doors of perception. Scores like these help me think better, dream better, concentrate better. “Tracks” is a gentle companion for various moments, a soundtrack for daydreams. It’s an even flow of emotions and soothing sounds that really make me feel like I’m in the middle of nature, happy… It is definitely a score I will listen to again and keep close.

Cue ratings: 70 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 36 / 75

Album excellence: 48%



Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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