Posted by Alan Rogers on September 21, 2011
Original Book Review by Alan Rogers
“John Barry’s Goldfinger In Focus” is a slight book (a mere 40 pages in length) and is one of a number of study guides for students studying for a Music Technology qualification (other guides include “Danny Elfman: Batman In Focus” and “The Who: Who’s Next In Focus”). Although written with music students in mind, this book is written in such a way that it will be of interest to the general reader who wishes to learn about the general relationship between music and image in film. Written by Barry Russell, the author’s extensive experience as a teacher, lecturer and director of many education and community projects with several orchestras has resulted in a reference book that is a wealth of information on John Barry’s score to the classic 1964 James Bond film, Goldfinger.
The bulk of the book is made up of a chapter devoted to an analysis of the 15 cues found on the most recent CD release. For each of these cues in turn, a brief description of the music (e.g., specific motifs used as well as a description of the instruments used) is listed alongside specific bar numbers in tabular form, giving a detailed – but concise – summary of each track. As an example, at the beginning of the cue “Pussy Galore’s Flying Circus”, bars 1-4 “…begins with a jolly 12/8 feel, and a carousel-like riff in violins and flutes with a variation of Gold 2 [a specific motif touched on below] on horns. The harmony moves from F major to D-flat major 7”. Three of these cues – “Alpine Drive”, “Auric’s Factory” and “Dawn Raid On Fort Knox” – are expanded into “case studies” which offer a more detailed look at how the music is used within specific scenes (and includes additional information including specific timings, as well as a short summary of what is happening on-screen at specific points). I personally love pouring over this sort of detail for cues and, although I do not really understand much of the theory, the level of detail is set so that I can still get a lot of information from the analyses. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged: Barry Russell, Book Review, Goldfinger, John Barry | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Alan Rogers on September 21, 2011
Original Review by Alan Rogers
The Hunger Games Trilogy is a series of young-adult science novels written by Suzanne Collins and published between 2008-2010. Set in an unidentified future, a number of children (aged between 12 and 18) participate in the “Hunger Games” and must fight to the death until only one remains (Battle Royale anyone?). Perhaps set to become the next Twilight in terms of popularity amongst young adults, film company Lions Gate are plan to release a film adaptation in 2012. Mainstay Productions – an company that writes, produces, shoots and edits what appear to be short films – have produced a 12-minute film based on the so-called Second Quarter Quell (described in the second book of the trilogy). Apparently, a Quarter Quell is a special version of the Hunger Games that takes place every 25 years.
Composer James Schafer (winner of the 2007 Turner Classic Movies’ Young Film Composers Competition), whose credits include composing additional music on numerous video games, score synth programmer to Christopher Young on Spider-Man 3 and The Uninvited and sole composer of the recently released feature Joseph Smith – Vol. 1: Plates of Gold, has composed an enjoyable score for Second Quarter Quell. Central to the score is the 4-minute cue “Haymitch and Maysilee” which introduces a memorable theme that recurs several times throughout the score. Also featuring acoustic guitar and a light drum percussion, “Haymitch and Maysilee” supports the characters’ journey across the battle arena countryside. Over this attractive framework, the theme is passed between horns and strings and as the cue progresses you can almost hear the bond between these individuals who have been thrown together into the deadly situation that is the Hunger Games. Both “Final Fight” and “End Credits” feature this theme prominently and interest is maintained by the use of various instrument combinations. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Reviews | Tagged: audio clips, film music, film score, James Schafer, Reviews, Second Quarter Quell, Soundtracks | Leave a Comment »