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Soundtrack review: The great invisible (David Wingo – 2014)

Documentary Film scores

Soundtrack review: The great invisible (David Wingo – 2014)


“The great invisible” is a documentary about an explosion of an oilrig which caused the largest offshore oil spill in American history.  I am unfamiliar with composer David Wingo, but he was nominated for the “Discovery of the year” award at the World Soundtrack Awards.

The composer went for a dualistic approach for this score: he wanted to blend the hard industrial sounds with the mellower, bluesy sound of the region where the incident took place. This contrast is made clear from the first two tracks: “Explosion” is dark and unforgiving while “Opening credits” is more melodic. Sometimes the two sounds blend into each other in the same piece: “A secret world” has the string sound in the foreground and some industrial sounds in the background pounding regularly. It is a simple but very effective arrangement. I love this track. It makes me think of what images it might play on and I am thinking of a montage where they show in parallel life before the incident and life after the spill.

The music is serious and not intrusive. The score’s mood is foggy and almost muffled at time. It warns the listener that the subject at hand is grave and hard but it doesn’t go farther than that and it doesn’t try to extort feelings. It lets the listener make up his own mind while effectively creating an atmosphere that makes you pay attention. The background sounds keep spilling until they take over the score and by the time “The great invisible” is over it has gained a clear identity. David Wingo has found a niche in which this score can fit and I will be left with a uncomfortable feeling about the subject.

Cue rating: 71 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 4 / 40

Album excellence: 10%


A secret world

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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