Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2021 October 25 • Monday

For the 697th Soundtrack of the Week we went with Harry Manfredini's music for DeepStar Six.

The "Main Title" starts out with a soaring theme that's quite stirring and suggests a flying mood rather than an underwater one, but swimming and flying have their similarities.

The winds and strings have a sort of call and response at the beginning of "Shock Wave" until a driving bass line and repeated figures and stabs create atmospheres of danger and action.

Bowed strings and percussion start off "On the Edge", a suspenseful cue that recalls some of John Barry's writing as well as some of Jerry Goldsmith's more "modern classical" work.

Clarinet is the main voice for "Our Baby's Heartbeat", a tender and lyrical short cue, followed by the much more alarming "Seatrack Attack", which begins with pensive strings before erupting into various unsettling stabs and swirls from the orchestra.

"That Morning" is a more cheerful number, calling back to the "Main Title" and offering a hopeful mood.

Then the cello gets to shine a bit in "The Rescue", taking a bit of a solo while also keeping a low drone going while other members of the orchestra add bits here and there. Then there's another shift to action/terror music before settling down again to a more relaxed but mysterious mood from strings and some of the wind instruments.

And then perhaps it's the oboe that handles most of the melody on the hauntingly beautiful "Alone", with some tasteful accompaniment by strings and harp and flute (and occasional appearances by the orchestra).

Then there's a long cue, "The Plan", which gradually builds and develops themes of intrigue and suspense while eventually deploying blasts of energetic action and horror.

After which it's time for "Shark Darts", which is mostly pensive and suspenseful and finds Manfredini making good use of orchestral colors in the arrangements.

Some of the figures from "Shark Darts" get reprised in "Snyder Snaps", which starts quiet but then explodes into hard driving bursts of action music.

"Swim to the Mini-Sub" recalls the main theme while also introducing undercurrents of dread and unease.

The next two cues, "The Saga of Osborne and Hodges" and "Final Encounters" add up to over 18 minutes. They cover a lot of ground, to put it mildly, making use of much of what's come before. At one point in "Final Encounters" there's a really wonderful section that might remind you of some of James Horner's work.

And then we wrap up with "DeepStar Six", similar to the main title, as you might expect.