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Origin by S. Peace Nistades (Review)

posted Jan 2, 2017, 4:49 PM by Kaya Savas

Origin is a new science fiction thriller written and directed by Andreas Climent & André Hedetoft, and starring Emelia Hansson, Rikard Björk, Rafael Pettersson and Sandra Redlaff. The film hails from Sweden and follows a science student and programmer trying to find a method to slow the aging of cells. As they are about to be in the brink of something big, our protagonist’s boyfriend finds out he’s terminally ill. The two friends decide to go against ethical protocols to try and test their methods. The score comes to us from composer S. Peace Nistades whose actually based out of Los Angeles. Nistades has demonstrated his unique talents as a storyteller in films such as The Wicked, Rock Jocks and the popular web series Dragon Age: Redemption starring Felicia Day. With Origin we get to hear a more ambient and intimate score that builds a delicate foundation and then takes us down the rabbit hole as things turn darker.

Origin is one of those rare scores that is able to balance ambience and atmospheric scoring with a pretty strong central theme. The delicate piano theme that we hear in the opening is used as a grounding element throughout. It has a foreboding quality to it, yet has a tinge of hopefulness embedded in those few notes. The score sets the stage as things slowly begin to turn darker. Nistades utilizes synths and electronic textures throughout to give the score its identity. But the whole feel of it never feels artificial as the score finds a way to feel organic as the story moves along. There isn’t much room for any complex character emotions, but that main theme is definitely born from the human side of the score. The character moments that are there don't resonate as deep because of the more subtle nature of the score, but it does layer in the emotional current that the story needs. The final act introduces some great percussive elements, especially as we make our way to the climax of the narrative. The score as a whole finds its voice and is well-structured to carry the audience through the story. If you’re a fan of John Murphy & Underground’s score to Danny Boyle’s Sunshine, you’ll find much to appreciate here.

Origin is a great science fiction thriller score that is able to establish strong footing in the first act that carries the audience throughout the narrative. Nistades displays a wonderful structure of theme and variation as the score is anchored by a great central motif, and keeps spiraling downward as the story sinks into darker and more intense territory. There’s plenty to appreciate here in terms of ambient and atmospheric scoring techniques that also makes use of melodic and rhythmic structures.