The Sound of The Shining

March 4, 2014 Leave a comment

This weekend I had the chance to watch Kubrick’s “The Shining” in a theater… And despite having seen it before it was even more terrifying now than it was in the first time I saw it. Of course, I underestimated the big screen… and Bartok. :)

Take a listen to this post from Hope Lies At 24 Frames Per Second to know what I’m talking about. ;)

Take care, see ya!

Hope Lies at 24 Frames Per Second

 

When John Williams first read the screenplay for Schindler’s List, he expressed his doubts to Steven Spielberg: “You need a better composer,” he said. “I know,” the director replied, “but they’re all dead.” Spielberg’s approach was normal of film directors – to get the best film composer he could find to write an original soundtrack for his film. The approach taken by Stanley Kubrick was different.

Kubrick was rare among film directors in his knowledge of the art world outside of music. He was an experienced photographer, and many of his films were adaptations of works by the great writers of his day. But he also had a deep knowledge of classical music, both historical and of his own time. This can be seen throughout his films, in the famous scenes from A Clockwork Orange and 2001: A Space Odyssey with music by Beethoven, Rossini and Strauss, but…

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Categories: Random

Gremlins!

February 25, 2014 Leave a comment

Hi there, how have you been?

Back to the already-famed :P Goldsmith studies I watched Gremlins (1984) to give its soundtrack a thoughtful listen… and this is a tricky one for sure.

From the start if you check the IMDb page for the movie you’ll see where it’s filed: under “Comedy/Horror”. Those are two absolutely diverse genres regarding the mood a soundtrack should aim for, so scoring for such an aberration can’t be simple in the slightest. :)

Gremlins

Mr. Goldsmith starts nailing it for the easier (in theory) side: the main theme. It sure is remarkable and fitting and could give any arranger enough material for a good development. But that’s not the only issue: there’s still the setting (Xmas), the pace (“Adventurous”), the content (“Fantasy/Mystery”)… Too much for an average joe to handle. Masterfully the man pretty much wraps it all up in a single under-2:00 piece, presented in one of the first important scenes of the movie, before the main theme really shows up.

It hints at everything yet to happen in the movie–even the main theme–while merging absurdely well with the current scene and scenario. Truly a sign of who is the craftsman behind it. :)

Check this and the main theme out and enjoy the ride. :)

See ya, take care!

Bleeding Fingers Contest!

February 18, 2014 Leave a comment

Hi there, how have you all been?

Well, it seems Mr. Hanz Zimmer wants us. :) I’m taking part in a contest held by Bleeding Fingers to make a remix on an original theme by the man and just putting the thing together was a good time. :)

Hans Zimmer Wants You

From the first moment I listened to the original piece I imagined the main voice floating over a more acoustic, slow-paced ground… It’s a very beautiful and delicate melody. My take on it was to mess a good deal with the harmony (making it Major to start) and after that developing a more “organic” epicness–if I can put it that way–by recording real percussion.

Here’s the work. I hope you like it, and if you do I would appreciate a vote or “favorite” from you dear visitor. ;)

http://www.hanszimmerwantsyou.com/tracks/4015

See ya, take care!

A Great, Underrated Soundtrack Given the Proper Attention. :)

February 11, 2014 Leave a comment

Hi there, how have you been?

Coincidentaly in a week I was digging my ol’ Bomberman II (NES) cart to make some scans I stumbled on this fortunate surprise: its soundtrack is now neatly organized at Soundcloud. :)

Bomberman II

June Chikuma–the awesome composer behind the work–was kind enough to upload a lot of videogame stuff at her profile there and there are plenty of lessons to be taken for free. My favorite one is the aforementioned Bomberman II OST because in this work she managed to expand former ideas to unconceivable depths at the time and turned something until then only catchy into some really classic pieces.

Without further ado, enjoy her generosity and take a listen yourself. I’m sure you’re gonna enjoy it. :)

Take care, see ya!

Frances… Ha!

February 4, 2014 Leave a comment

Hi there, how have you all been?

This week I took a break from those Goldsmith studies and watched Frances Ha, which lays a lot on the light-hearted side of… hearts? :)

Frances Ha

I’ve heard plenty of good talk about the movie’s soundtrack, but I would credit the fluidity of the whole thing much more to the edition (both video and sound ones) than the music itself. Actually I could go further and say the presentation overall (form and content as well) is what holds the movie together and it ultimately succeeds in hiding an “amateur” flavour of some sort from the average watcher.

None of this is to be taken against it, in fact the movie is nice… But I thought I should render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and here the guys deserving the coin are the editors. ;)

Take a peep at the trailer (it sells the movie poorly, mind you) and go watch it if it matches your mood… Then, come by to drop your own two cents. ;)

Se ya, take care!

Goldsmith: Laying Eggs. :)

January 28, 2014 2 comments

Hi there, how have you been?

Last week I talked about the wide, wild world of Jerry Goldsmith and how I’m digging his work deeper to scavenge myself some invaluable lessons. :) Well, as previously announced this week’s movie was the very first Alien in the series–the one directed by Ridley Scott.

Alien belongs to a fairly big teenager list of favorite sci-fi movies, but watching to it now–and paying its soundtrack the proper attention–as an adult made me realize it’s much more an horror movie than a plain, regular sci-fi shot. Of course, any sci-fi plot must have a tendency towards a thrilling atmosphere due to the inherent “unknown” factor, but several details–the soundtrack being the most important–hint the real intent behind the lens.

Alien (1979)

I could talk about the picture’s slow pace, about the long-lasting silences, the dark palette, the cinematography… but this being a music blog I think it’s better to stay safe at home. :P And Goldsmith’s formula here could easily be represented in a simple pie chart: 70% horror, 30% sci-fi. :)

The horror side of the pie is achieved by strings tricks well-known since Mr. Bernard Herrmann; the sci-fi one comes through more modern techniques involving electronic devices and resulting in effects like delay and reverberation in general. But the final word is the OST is really a case of “greater than the sum of its parts”. The cues for “monster approaching”–which are delivered through dynamics put to good use–influenced generations to come of horror/sci-fi composers.

I’ll leave you with a sample piece on the matter, and another of my favorite soundtracks in any medium: Super Metroid (SNES), by Kenji Yamamoto and Minako Hamano. My bet is some of those seeds sprouted in Japan… ;)

See ya, take care!

Digging: Jerry Goldsmith

January 21, 2014 2 comments

Hi there, how have you been?

Continuing with my soundtrack studies–one composer after another, chronologically–I just arrived at this huge station: Jerry Goldsmith. The man had worked in so many movies, with so many styles that I don’t think I’ll be able to wrap it all up concisely inside my mind… but the trip–which barely started–is been already worth the “trouble”. :)

Jerry Goldsmith

I started a week ago by re-watching one of my all-time favourite movies ever: Planet of the Apes. Released in 1968 it’s an amazing sample of modern scoring in the 60s–I guess pratically every vanguard movies soundtrack back then came from the Sci-Fi genre. From this one I could grab some interesting ideas for “tribal”, percussive music.

Last week I picked a 70s specimen, one I remember my father talking about: Chinatown. From the awesome Roman Polanski this is a tough, sometimes fun, kinda over the top noir detective movie–great, really great stuff. And music helps it a lot by providing the perfect mood aside a very memorable main theme… which is an absolutely diverse work from the aforementioned “Apes”. :)

How many tricks Mr. Goldsmith had in his hat? And how could I afford to pay for such generous legacy? Both questions are hard to answer. :P For the time being just enjoy Chinatown’s solid soundtrack… as for me I’ll watch Alien for the twentienth time. :P But now with eyes and ears on Jerry. :)

See ya, take care!

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