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Soundtrack Review

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Crypto Shadows
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Arrhynn Descy
Label: Plaza Mayor Company Ltd
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 16 January 2024

Arrhynn Descy's original soundtrack for Crypto Shadows is released via Plaza Mayor Company Ltd. To recover from workplace harassment at her job in the city, coder Clara Hammond has carved out a quiet life as an aspiring crypto miner in the rural California countryside. While working on a new algorithm, she discovers mysterious code embedded in the mining data. Her discovery spurs an investigation for the truth, which quickly turns into a fight for her life...

The score for Crypto Shadows is heavy on suspenseful and dramatic themes. It was one I warmed to from the first play through. However, to get the subtle, nuanced performances I ended up listening to this over the space of several weeks, and I'm still not convinced I've picked up everything from it.

Discussing the soundtrack, composer Arhynn Descy says: "This was a really fun score to write – not least because the director, James Fox, let me run wild with my ideas - a trust that I am deeply grateful for. To my mind the music needed to be binary, just like the language of Crypto mining. How to achieve that in reality was a more challenging question. I settled on the solution to centre the entire score around two key notes - C and D, representing 0’s and 1’s. Cara’s theme, in the key of D minor, is a love duet that reflects her deep love for her deceased grandfather. The duet is between the oboe and the English horn - both instruments performed beautifully by Phil Popham. The ‘baddies’ theme starts on a bland C, becoming more dissonant as it slowly encroaches on Cara’s theme, climaxing at the showdown, where they play simultaneously in an almighty bitonal clash. Along the way I planted some Easter Eggs in the score... Easter Egg mining anyone?!'

The 18 tracks (39 min, 57 sec) cast their net far and wide. There are so many beautiful set pieces buried away that I was always amazed to discover something new whenever I replayed it.

While it won't be to everyone's taste, I rather enjoyed my time with Crypto Shadows. The idea of attempting to convey a binary atmosphere through the music was one that really appealed to me. And when this, almost cold, regimented approach is paired with the beautiful theme of the main character, a lot of emotion is conveyed with seemingly very little effort.


Darren Rea

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