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This is the score from the film Donnie Darko. The music is written by Michael Andrews (unless otherwise noted), who also scored films such as The Hot Chick and Orange County, and composed the music for the TV series Freaks & Geeks.

Purchase information can be found in The Store. This is the score for both the original and the Director's cut version of the film.


1. Carpathian Ridge
This piece is the introduction, so to speak. It's used as the opening credit music.

2. The Tangent Universe
This can be heard during Donnie's visit with Frank in the golf course.

3. The Artifact and Living
The music heard when Donnie walks back to his house, finding it surrounded by people, police, firefighters, and the FAA hauling away an airplane engine.

4. Middlesex Times
A comedic piece used in the scene where the kids find out that school has been cancelled and Donnie walks with Gretchen and asks her if she would want "to go" with him.

5. Manipulated Living
This can be heard in two intertwined scenes. The first is the emergency PTA meeting the private school has and the first of two bathroom meetings Donnie and Frank has.

6. Philosophy of Time Travel
A piece that incorporates Donnnie and Dr. Monitoff's discussion about time travel, leading to a startling discovery about Grandma Death.

7. Liquid Spear Waltz
Yes, it DOES sound like a waltz. This is heard when Donnie wakes up after falling asleep watching a football game and sees a "liquid spear" protruding out of his dad's chest.

8. Gretchen Ross
The short piece is heard after Donnie and Gretchen's IMG presentation. They're outside the school kissing.

(Please check The Songs for the music heard while they are in the cinema.)

9. Burn It to the Ground
The music heard when Donnie, quite fittingly, burns Cunningham's house to the ground.

10. Slipping Away
It's heard where Ms. Pomeroy is getting fired and goes outside to vent her frustration to the world. Or literally, to Cherita. She goes back inside the school and the staff learns of both Sparkle Motion's Star Search hopes and Cunningham's dark secret.

11. Rosie Darko
This piece is starts toward the end of the poignant scene where Rose is talking to Donnie about how things are going to be when she's away chaperoning Sparkle Motion.

12. Cellar Door
It's heard during Donnie's last conversations with Ms. Pomeroy and Cherita Chen, her last "Chut up!"

13. Ensurance Trap
This is heard when Donnie and Gretchen enters Roberta Sparrow's cellar only to be confronted by two hoodlums.

14. Waltz in the 4th Dimension
This piece is heard when Donnie, Gretchen, Thor, and Hulk Hogan are riding their bikes ET-style to go see Roberta Sparrow.

15. Time Travel
I don't want to give away the ending, but this is when Donnie chooses his destiny, from the beginning to the end. You can hear him reading his letter to Roberta in the voice over.

16. Did You Know Him?
Again, I don't want to give away the ending. But it's the last piece before the end credits.

17. Mad World
(Check out The Songs.)

18. Mad World (Alternate Version)
Performed by Gary Jules and Michael Andrews ~ Written by Roland Orzabal

This is a remix of the song above. It's not in film, but it features heavier bass and drums, and runs a little longer than the original.


The following passage, written by the movie's writer/director Richard Kelly, can be found on the liner notes of the score soundtrack (or in the "Special Features>The Soundtrack>Liner Notes" section of the DVD) :

If I had to pick a word to describe Michael Andrews' hauntingly beautiful score for Donnie Darko, it would be... retro-futuristic. The score is retro in the sense that in was performed mostly with instruments built in the 60's and 70's (it wasn't until I hung out with Mike that I discovered what a vocoder was), and futuristic in the sense that synthesized musical scores became prominent in the science-fiction films of the early eighties (Tomita's Snowflakes Are Dancing and Vangelis' score for Blade Runner were often conversation pieces).

Since ours is indeed a science-fiction film (as well as an 80's period piece), Mike embraced the aesthetic, but then added his simplistic melodies and ethereal soundscapes, never forgetting that the mystery of the greath unknown lies behind every chorus.

Some of my fondest memories of hanging out with Mine (and his trusted engineer Todd Burke) in his Hollywood studio during the Christmas rush of 2000 are the cigarettes smoked (I now feel that this movies is responsible for Mike's habit and I will make him quit), the videotaping of Mike's hands improvising a melody on his piano, and walking in one late December afternoon to discover that Mike and his pal Gary Jules has recorded a brilliant cover of the classic Tears for Fears song "Mad World."

I feel that this song and Mike's compositions ("Waltz in the 4th Dimension" is a favorite) will become the signature for this film, and I have been told that it can stick in your head like glue.

It is indeed a mad, mad world. We should feel lucky to have Michael Andrews and his music while confronting the madness and emerging with a smile. (Richard Kelly 2001)



Song information is provided by the Internet Movie Database and also in the end credits of the film. All other content was provided by +DDMR unless noted.


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