OLIVER COATES - AFTERSUN (ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK)

OLIVER COATES - AFTERSUN (ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK)

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Released: 07/07/23

The score, lighter and more delicate than Oliver Coates’ previously released music, functions as shadows or half-glimpses, a glowing form of ambient music which adds emotional colour to the cinematography.

Aftersun features ‘One Without’, the much talked about piece of music used in the final scene and credits – the one that audiences have been known to sit in silence through the credits for. ‘One Without’ was made away from the film after the composer’s first meeting with Charlotte Wells, the director. On it, the strings are reversed and sped up a little, Each harmony has the next chord bleeding into it because of the reversed tails. The string vibrato is slightly unreal because the playback is faster and Coates explains that the “whole score is derived from the music within this final piece.”

Coates’ score stands for memory within the film, a growing awareness that the film might be a memory trawl to try and make sense of trauma. The score makes the film feel like it is starting to become self-aware, like a film within a film. Over time the score develops and helps the viewer move beyond the naturalistic and the diegetic. It is made of simple elements, old synths, reversed and slowed down strings. These, the composer explains “gradually reveal the sluggishness in Calum’s (Paul Mescal) demeanour, suggesting something hanging over him.”