Ten Tracks Today – 16th October 2011

01 – “Snow Warning” – The RunnerCody Westheimer

This short track is a pleasant piece of music. A tinkling harp repeating motif and a nice woodwind melody playing over the top makes for a light start to this set of ten tracks.

02 – “Moria” – The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The RingHoward Shore

An low, ominous and repeating drum beat. The echoing incantations from the male voices. It builds and builds throughout the track but listened to in isolation it just ends before the music can progress. The “Complete Recordings” really need to be listened to at in major chunks.

03 – “Despair” – The ThingEnnio Morricone

I have always liked the way in which this track builds and builds with the shimmering strings, and then there’s the addition of increasing fragments of a motif in the lower strings and brass. All leading to the high register strings and that wonderful swelling crescendo. And then the cue just ebbs away with, as the title states, despair. There are few scores that evoke despair and isolation in such a listenable way than Morricone’s The Thing.

04 – “Main Title” – Into Thin Air: Death On EverestLee Holdridge

The way in which this track begins is such a surprise. Staccato figures set up an awkward rhythm that is such a memorable piece (a rhythm that reminds me somewhat of Michel Legrand’s music for Ice Station Zebra). It all makes the appearance of the soaring strings theme all the more vivid. And then Holdridge tops it all off with a huge conclusion to the cue. Magnificent!

05 – “Der Palast Des Ewigen Eises” – Vicky and The Treasure of The GodsRalf Wengenmayr, Nik Reich & Jaro Messerschmidt

I have only just added this to my playlist! A bit of a playful orchestral track this one that has a derring-do sort of a feel to it. The latter half of the cue has a strong choral influence that does remind me a bit of Danny Elfman (but not in an Edward Scissorhands sort of a way, more of a Charlie and The Chocolate Factory). The film is a children’s action-adventure movie and that’s reflected in the music.

06 – “Helicopter Pursuit & Launch Detected” – WarGamesArthur B. Rubinstein

A bit of a brutal track this one. Frenetic brass playing and snare drums no doubt gives a furious pace to the pursuit. The latter half of the track uses the same tools but in a slightly different way to highlight more a sort of countdown. There’s also a Russian feel to this half of the track.

07 – “BGM 10” – The Sky Crawlers: Innocent AcesKazuhiro Nakamura

This music is from a video game on the Wii platform. Pounding percussion lays down a persistent beat (that can get annoying in the game) and there’s a synth brass line that adds a bit of layering to the track. But it’s the melody (heard here on electric guitar) that’s the winner in this track (and in the score as a whole).

08 – “Part 2” – The Battle of The SommeLaura Rossi

Rossi’s music can be quite uplifting for such a dark episode in history. But then, with this being from early on in the film, there’s still a lot of optimism to be had amongst the participants. Didn’t a lot of the people who signed up for the war under the impression that it was about to end and not realising the war would drag on for several years. Rossi does a good job of providing that idea of optimism – before the latter half of the cue begins to become a bit more ominous in tone.

09 – “You Go, We Go” – BackdraftHans Zimmer

A track of two halves this one: starts off with the excellent action scoring that this soundtrack contains – the first couple of minutes are particularly good. And then the track quietens down considerably and end with more emotional stuff for the more talkative bits in the film.

10 – “Keeping Pace” – DarksidersScott Morton

Another strong ostinato giving a sense of forward motion to the music. Brass and string embellishments add interest to the repeating drum patterns. Not particularly hummable but good to listen for immediate satisfaction.


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