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Soundtrack review: Digging for fire (Dan Romer – 2015)

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Digging for Fire is a 2015 American dramedy directed by Joe Swanberg. It is also co-written by Swanberg and Jake Johnson. It stars Johnson, Rosemarie DeWitt, Orlando Bloom, Brie Larson, Sam Rockwell, Anna Kendrick and Mike Birbiglia. The discovery of a bone and a gun send a husband and wife on separate adventures over the course of a weekend. The score was written by Dan Romer and lately any score with his name on it becomes a priority for me.

I realize why from the first seconds of “Digging for fire”. I am hypnotized before the opening theme even has time to snap its fingers at me. His brand of atmospheric music is so addictive and so natural to me that it lets flow a river of emotions and nostalgia. His music is a sanctuary for me; it’s the place I know I’ll always be welcomed and safe. The music is simple and yet so poignant that a shot of two minutes from this score is enough to make me dream for an hour. Just listen to “The air”: the cue has a simple beat, a simple rhythm that for me represents a return to the innocence of earlier times in my life.

The music of “Digging for fire” invites me to play with it; it invites me to join it on an adventure that I know will be very rewarding. There’s not a single note in excess here or something that doesn’t work. The sounds that Dan Romer uses are interesting and make me bob my head or groove unconsciously in my chair as I listen to them. The quieter moments make me dream my most beautiful dreams and send me back to precious memories because those synth vibes are buried deep inside me. I can’t imagine a better title then “Other lives” for a cue that opens the doors of perception and makes me relieve so many memories…

As every other Dan Romer score before it, “Digging for fire” is a special experience for me. The music makes me listen to what it has to say and I want to replay it over and over again. Dan Romer has his own place in film music today. He’s basically alone there but that’s the musical island I want to spend my time on. Hope he releases more and more and scores and his vibes should attract more and more listeners. I am hooked on his music.

Cue rating: 100 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 27 / 27

Album excellence: 100%

Highlights:

Stones and Houses

The Air

Parting Ways

The Dig

Other Lives

Car Ride

Compromise

Plans

Stiches

About the author

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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