Ten Tracks Today – 5th October 2011 (Part 1)


01 – “The Glass House” – The Glass HouseChristopher Young

Chris Young has a knack of composing themes that are immediately appealing to me, and this theme for piano is one of those themes. There is a similarity in several of his piano themes (e.g., The Glass House, Jennifer 8, Copycat) that some may object to, but I just love them. And this is a good example of what Young can come up with.

02 – “Snape To Malfoy Manor” – Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1Alexandre Desplat

I like the urgency of this cue’s ostinato and the subtle use of the choir. If I was to be honest, it doesn’t really sound as though it belongs to the Harry Potter universe (John Williams’ scores were good enough to set the “geography” of that world). But it is a good track in its own right.

03 – “A Ticket To Space” – Un Ticket Pour L’EspaceErwann Kermorvant

This cue sets the scene with a mysterious beginning and then launches (no pun intended) to an upbeat thematic passage that distractingly reminds me of Zimmer’s Backdraft at one point. But it soon gets back on track, promising much for the rest of the score.

04 – “Disturbia” – DisturbiaGeoff Zanelli

A good suite of music in this track. Swings from fast-paced action scoring to quieter, creepier music. It is all interesting to listen to, particularly the frenetic string ostinato passages (I am a sucker for ostinato and rhythm).

05 – “Mount Doom” – The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The KingHoward Shore

I am still getting to grips with these complete scores even though I have had them for years now. As a consequence I am still discovering the use of the thematic material in unusual versions. But the massed choir of this cue is very familiar from the original release. And that haunting soprano voice at the end of the cue…

06 – “New Planet/Rabbit/School Chum” – Star Trek: Shore LeaveGerald Fried

A light-hearted start to this medley of themes. I do have to be in the right mood for this score as it can be a bit too annoying sometimes. The motif for the rabbit isn’t too bad but the theme for Finnegan (Kirk’s old friend) can be a bit much (as too can be the character). It’s not a theme easily forgotten!

07 – “Ninja Honor” – NinjaStephen Edwards

I like the use of the strings with the tinkling piano that starts off this cue. A sense of urgency that then moves to a more emotionally-charged passage for strings that has the Oriental feel required for this film. The latter half of the cue – with prominent drums and the Oriental feel – is a great passage in the track.

08 – “Pororoca” – Cacciatori Di NaviEnnio Morricone

Morricone is a master at building up a track, adding various layers to a template to create a worthwhile journey leading to a fully-formed composition. This is a score that I have only recently become familiar and this is a track that’s a highlight of this composer’s work.

09 – “Love & Loss” – ArchangelTwo Steps From Hell

Okay, not technically a score. But this must have been used in a movie trailer by now? And if it hasn’t then it should be. Prominent percussion, staccato strings, massed voices and synthy brass. What more does a trailer need?

10 – “Ambush” – The Invincible Iron ManGuy Michelmore

Michelmore’s music for animated superheroes projects is sadly neglected. Here he composes an Oriental-influenced track that also has the usual action scoring that’s full of energy.

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Comments

  1. Nice list. By the way:

    “If I was to be honest, it doesn’t really sound as though it belongs to the Harry Potter universe (John Williams’ scores were good enough to set the “geography” of that world)”. Harry Potter was more than just a Hook-esque score. Desplat’s scores fit to the new Harry Potter universe, since that the movies has become darker, and the music as well.

    • Yes, the movies have become much darker as the series has progressed. And Desplat has given the films appropriately dark (and effective) scores. But, what I was trying to suggest was that I feel that a lot of the sense of what was Harry Potter about the films has been lost as the films have progressed. The reliance on thematic material from the first 1-2 films seems to have become less and less important as the series has progressed.

      So, a lot of the thematic material that I would have expected to have been carried on throughout the series of films – a lot of the characters after all are seen in all the movies – doesn’t seem to have been as prevalent in the latter scores. Maybe Williams would have gone the same way precisely because the films have become darker, who knows.

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