The Solitude of Prime Numbers is director Saverio Costanzo's rather odd cinematic adaptation of the novel of the same title by Paolo Giordano. Mike Patton's soundtrack contains all of the music used in the film, and more that was rejected by the director; it also contains music inspired directly by Patton's reading of the book in the original Italian and in the English translation. All 16 titles on the disc are numbered by primes (it begins with "Twin Primes," as track two) and ends with "Weight of Consequences," as track 53) -- though all the numbers are ordered sequentially, with the non-titled selections flying by in silence in intervals of a few seconds each. Musically, this score is utterly unlike Patton's previous efforts at the form, for the films A Perfect Place in 2008 and Crank High Voltage in 2009. The feel that runs throughout this score is quite conventional by contrast. These cues represent the movement of the narratives; film and novel follow the same story line but in very different ways, and Patton is the bridge from one to the other. Hints of classical music, both choral and instrumental, are tempered by a colorful palette of taut dynamics, dizzying atmospherics, ambiences, ambitious textures, and even somewhat conventional harmony. Assembled together, the soundtrack and incidental music comprise a unique work that stands on its own as a listening experience. Individual cues, particularly "Contrapositive," "Radius of Convergence," and "The Snow Angel," have, in spite of their more formal compositional narratives, sections that even resemble songlike structures. Fans of Patton's more extreme quirkiness might feel this is an altogether too restrained work, but that's their problem. The Solitude of Prime Numbers is not only unique to his catalog, it is a singular work that testifies to his growth not only as a composer and recording artist but as a conceptual one, whose expansive vision has evolved to include discipline and refinement as well as ambition.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek