Mychael Danna

Planets, Stars and Galaxies

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    6
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AllMusic Review by

This is a powerful soundtrack composed for use at the McLaughlin Planetarium in Toronto by Mychael Danna, half of the Canadian duo Danna and Clement. Opening to the muffled roar of traffic, "City Sky" develops into a lovely piano ballad with shimmering neo-classical orchestrations, followed by the pastoral "Country Sky," complete with chirping crickets, electronic washes and elegant synth strings. Our attention has been gradually drawn skyward, and the next two pieces propel us out into deep space, with startling electronic pulsations, crashing cymbals and dramatic orchestrations that would give Yanni or Vangelis a run for their money. After a short interlude of computer blips and a floating choir we witness the countdown to the Apollo 11 mission, fueled by a perky bass sequencer riff and percussive embellishments, then drift off "Beyond the Solar System" on clouds of diaphanous synthesizer chords and a swelling pipe organ sound. Finally, "There's No Place like Home" returns us to the comfort of Planet Earth, with ocean waves and crying seagulls providing the backdrop for a heart-warming piano melody that echoes the opening tune, gradually building into a crescendo of crashing cymbals and trumpeting synthesizers. Planets, Stars and Galaxies is an impressive interplanetary journey, skillfully mixing melodic lyricism with high drama and deep-space impressionism.