“Prime numbers are divisible only by 1 and by themselves. They stand in their place defiantly in the infinite series of natural numbers, squashed in between two others, but a step further on than the rest… suspicious and solitary.” – Paolo Giordano
Not to say that I don’t see the art in it, but because a score generally exhibits part of a larger work, it feels incomplete on its own, and I do not usually consider it. Leave it to Mike Patton to transcend such limits, and stay well within the confines of the form. Music From The Film and Inspired By the Book The Solitude of Prime Numbers (La Solitudine Dei Numeri Primi) is highly evocative. After just the first time listening through, a full adventure story unraveled in my head. Not a story based on anything to do with the film or the Italian bestselling book, of course, of which I knew nothing at the time. But the album may be well-taken on its own.
The pieces themselves are numbered with only primes (2, 3, 5, 7, 11, and so on); a clever little intellectual note. The score moves through a wide variety of tones and structures from light, bubbly and bouncy, through to the most menacing tritone, and passing, along the way, through haunting, descent, chaos, struggle, excitement, and triumph.
The final track, “Weight of Consequences,” boasts a reprise of the first; a return to peace. A preview description of the album called it minimalist, but I would disagree. I found it complex, actually, though no less beautiful. Many layers throughout the songs detail the structure of this collection. Among others, sounds of piano, violin, percussion, and scads of synthesizers fill a lush and textured world.
Shimmering and deliberate, the score reminded me, at times, of Danny Elfman and early Steroid Maximus. It’s no news to anyone familiar with his work, but Mike Patton may surely stand tall among the unconventional masters of compositional cinematic audio. The album will be released on November 1 through Ipecac.
Review by E.T.