Musings About Music In Film

The Journey Inside

By Karol Krok JourneyInside_600a


Title: The Journey Inside

Composer: David Shire

The Film: Part science-fiction and part educational/promotional video for Intel Corporation, The Journey Inside is a short IMAX feature made in the 1994. Alien creature try to sabotage the creation of new processor that is supposed to cause a big leap in human civilisation development. Disappeared almost instantly from cinemas and never resurfaced again (to this day it’s credited to Alan Smitee).

The Score: David Shire is mostly known for small scaled character studies and deeply intellectual approach to film music. Only a few times in his career was he allowed to create extrovert symphonic works that could reach wider appeal. For The Journey Inside, he wrote one of his two largest scores (other one being Return to Oz). Shire wrote a 37-minute thematic score for a 40-minute feature very much in the spirit of 1980’s adventure.

Distinguishing Features: The score features several recurring themes. Main melody (first heard in ‘Main Titles’) is given to the main protagonist - a boy named Jimmy. It is a small innocent tune that Shire weaves into the tapestry of the entire score with great ease - its simple and malleable construct makes it possible The opposing villainous alien motif can be first heard in ‘Cave I’. It is a very simple but effective idea to suggest something ominous. In the same cue, composer employs synthetic chorus to a great effect. Another warm  and gently wondrous theme (‘The FAB I’) is given to the chip-making facility. ‘End Titles’ are based on this theme, which reaches its maturity at this point.

Final Thoughts: The brevity of both score and film wouldn’t allow Shire to create truly long-lined melodies to help The Journey Inside distinguish itself melodically from the crowd. However, there is a great unity to this work that almost functions as independent concert work, rather than just simple accompaniment to images. As such, it’s a great listen apart from the picture and fans of nostalgic symphonic scores from 1980’s era should check this one out.

The Journey Inside is out now from Intrada Records