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Listen: ‘Drive’ Soundtrack Producer Johnny Jewel’s Two and Half-Hour Long Film Score ‘Symmetry’

Written by on December 26, 2011 

If you’ve seen Drive, Nicolas Winding Refn‘s culty arthouse noir starring Ryan Gosling, you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say Nightcall immediately and effectively set the tone for the entire film. Music turned out to play an unexpectedly important role in the movie, but then again, what about that movie ended up as expected?

I loved Drive and could gush about it here all day, but if I did that I’d never get around to telling you the good news. Johnny Jewel, the mastermind behind Drive‘s brilliant soundtrack and part of the featured Chromatics and Desire, just released Symmetry: Themes for an Imaginary Film. At 2.5 hours long, it’s every bit as 80’s synth-driven as the real film score we’ve come to love, plus we’ve got it streaming free. Check it out below.

This 36-track work is a behemoth, and I haven’t had time to listen to it all yet, but so far it might as well be part of the Drive soundtrack. Earlier this year Jewel said he had completed an entire score for Drive that eventually went unused, but according to The Playlist, this isn’t that music. According to its liner notes, Symmetry went into production back in 2008, two years before Drive was even filmed. Described as “a conceptual tangent between (Jewel’s band) Glass Candy, Chromatics, Mirage, & Desire’s more abstract sides,” the project lists influences like John Cage, Glenn Branca, Maurice Ravel, Gyorgy Ligeti, Erik Satie, Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Carpenter, and Wendy Carlos. I’ve heard of almost none of those people.

I do know that Jewel is set to team up with Refn again on the upcoming Logan’s Run. On one hand, Symmetry is excellent (so far, I’m about 25 minutes in). On the other hand, it’s practically right off the Drive soundtrack, and anything for Logan’s Run will need a more individual sound. Or maybe it won’t. What do I know?

Symmetry: Themes for an Imaginary Film is available now on iTunes and will get a double CD and triple LP release in 2012.

Track listing

Disc One

1. Introduction
2. City Of Dreams
3. Over The Edge
4. The Nightshift
5. Paper Chase
6. Outside Looking In
7. Midnight Sun
8. Behind The Wheel
9. Thicker Than Blood
10. A Sort Of Homecoming
11. Winner Take All
12. Death Mask
13. Jackie’s Eyes
14. The Fading Faces
15. Mind Games
16. The Maze
17. Threshold
18. Flashback

Disc Two

1. Blood Sport
2. Survival Instinct
3. Hall Of Mirrors
4. Eulogy
5. The Messenger
6. Love Theme
7. Through The Gauntlet
8. Ghost Town
9. Cruise Control
10. Wave Goodbye
11. Magic Gardens
12. An Eye For An Eye
13. The Point Of No Return
14. Cremation
15. The Nightshift Reprise
16. Memories Are Forever
17. Echoes Of The Mind
18. Streets Of Fire

How do you feel about a full soundtrack for an imaginary film? Is this obviously Drive music, or is it just me?

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