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Soundtrack review: The journey inside (David Shire – 1994, 2015)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: The journey inside (David Shire – 1994, 2015)


„The journey inside” is kind of a unique beast. In 1993, Intel was a company which had truckloads of money and they had just come out with the Pentium processor. The wanted to make a big splash about it so they first thought of doing some sort of simulator ride like presentation of their chip. They hired some big names in the special effects world and soon this small presentation feature got a 10 million $ budget and became a 40 minute big budget special effects bonanza made especially for IMAX. It’s sort of the last analogue movie with great special effects. It became a film about an alien race who comes to steal the Earth’s food supply and they discover that humanity (specifically Intel) were on the verge of discovering a chip that would allow them to travel to the stars. The want to destroy it and they attack the Intel headquarters but a young boy hears their plans and rushes to the rescue. Since it was such a limitless horn of plenty, they also got a well-known composer, David Shire, to write the score. He got everything he wanted, a full orchestra and freedom to write. 20 years later, we are finally able to hear this score.

The main theme is proper for a hero like Jimmy. It’s triumphant and melodic, easy on the ears and very enjoyable. The brass section of the orchestra play an anthem and I am smiling during this cue. It has that dreamy nature and romanticism I associate with space movies. The magical choirs at the end of the cue sound almost Christmasy and they put me in a very good mood.

I love the feeling of discovery and exploration I get from this score. “To the cave” makes me feel excited as if I was actually part of this journey. What will we find in this cave? The music brings that joy of the beginning of an adventure and I look around me anticipating a great time. Yes the cave with its three parts sounds dangerous at times but the orchestra and choirs are there with me… I am never alone and the David Shire’s ample and rich music guides me through the dark. “The cave part I” has an almost “Star Wars” like magnificence to it, I feel like I’m back on Tatooine.

The orchestra is a character itself. It tiptoes around the listener, it plays hide and seek and it comes at you from every corner of this score. You never know what to expect. “The journey inside” is full of surprises and exciting moments. It’s the kind of score that is a complete pleasure to listen to. You can never get bored. It takes a page from the old school orchestral book and unleashes it upon the listener.

Just listen to “Chip trip”; it’s a joy from start to finish, a celebration of life and a luminous piece of music. It rolls and gets better and better, happier and happier and magic is all over the place. “The fab I” makes me think of old Disney movies I used to watch as a child. “The journey inside” is starting to gather nostalgia points because of this sound that David Shire knows and does so well. “In the computer” uses instruments to simulate the electronic sound and it’s a delight.

I am very happy that the composer got this carte blanche to use a full orchestra and go all out for this score. I am also happy that Intrada unearthed it and released it because it truly was a joy to hear; a proper adventure score and a score I can easily associate not with its release date but with the time it was composed in. This one is a winner.

Cue rating: 88 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 16 / 37

Album excellence: 43%


Main Title

The Cave I

Chip Trip

The Fab I

Get Him!

End title

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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