Friday, 11 April 2014

Fancy Things Friday: Film scores that have me Hooked

Welcome to Fancy Things Friday, where I talk about things on a Friday that I think are fancy!!

You guys don't know it yet but I totally punned the hell out of that title. So much so, I'm giving myself a little pat on the back right now. 

Okay, so this week I'm going to talk about another thing that I have found fancy for quite a while now. This is Film Scores. It's my top genre of music to listen to, I have stupid amounts of scores on my personal playlist, and I am that very sad person who will go to a movie and make everyone sit through the end credits until we reach the film composer so that I can jot it down for further purchases. If the film composer is announced at the beginning of a movie, I tend to be the one in the cinema who will mutter a quiet cheer of celebration if it happens to be a personal favourite of mine. It is an obsession I have, and one that I love. 

It started when I was 17 and studying music for A Levels at school. Film scores were part of the syllabus. We were studying James Horner's "Take Her to Sea Mr Murdoch" from the film Titanic. However, I found myself searching through the other songs on the list of possible music to study and getting lost in all the different ones on there. It was then that I heard the full version of the ET theme from the film score God; John Williams. After hearing that piece of music, I knew my life would never be the same again. I became a woman on a mission, I had to hear everything this man had done, and after I had exhausted all of these, I began to venture into the world of other composers such as Hans Zimmer, James Horner and Dario Marianelli. Since then, I have never looked back. 

When we went to see the new Star Wars movies, whilst my friends were making comments throughout about the canonisation of the characters and the special effects, I was turning to them and going "Did you just hear what Williams did there? It was Anakin's theme but intermingled with Darth Vader's because he was tempted to dark side. That is GENIUS!" 

One of the only successful first dates that I have ever encountered happened to be on a trip to the cinema to see The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas... I know what you're thinking, and yes, I do like to keep it light and fun for a first date... Anywho, as I was reading the opening credits, I was doing my usual look to see who had composed the music. As it was, the style of music I had heard so far sounded very similar to one particular composer I had in my head, and I wanted to see if I was right. I was aware that I didn't want to come across as some weird geek person at the time, first impressions and all that, so I had made an internal decision to only congratulate myself, if I was right, silently and to myself so as to not freak my date out. 

However, when the composer's name came up, and I saw that it was James Horner, (the man I had totally guessed, by the way) all I heard from my date was "Yessss! I knew it!"

I turned to him then, my mouth agape in wonder and my eyes wide with amazement. Not wanting to believe that he was, in fact, geeking out over the same thing as me, I asked what it was that he was so excited about. 

He gave me an apologetic look and said, "I have this little thing about film scores. I love them. When I heard the opening music, I was convinced this would James Horner, and when they announced it, I got a little excited. Sorry, I know that's a little weird."

I had no words. All I did was shake my head in disbelief. When I eventually did find my voice, I do believe I just began uttering all of Horner's work to him to let him know that I did not find this weird at all. It was at that point that I knew this date would go well, despite the emotional rollercoaster of emotions the movie was about to take us on. 

Anywho, I think I've made my point. I am a fan of the film score. In this light, I thought I would give you a quick rundown of some amazing scores you need to check out, if you want to see exactly what I mean. Good little tip is, this music is absolutely amazing for any kind of accompaniment with work based activities. If you're studying, or working or just want something in background whilst you're procrastinating, this is the best genre of music. After all, it was designed to go in the background of stuff. It makes sense. I, myself, can't write fiction without it. If you get the music right, it can stir just the right emotions to get in the mood of a particular character. I have a film score playlist for emotional scenes, big dramatic scenes, angry scenes, major world disaster scenes, you name it, there will be a film score for it. Again, it's what it's created to do!

Okay, so here goes my recommendations: 

1. John Williams
John Williams is the daddy of film composers. Mainly due to the fact that he is mainly in partnership with Stephen Spielberg. I think Spielberg has occasionally gone for other composers, but never very often and certainly never for any of his big films. The main reason for why Williams rocks when it comes to the things he composes, is that his music has that elite quality to it whereby you could play it and everyone would automatically know which film it was from. I don't know any other composer who can boast that. An example of this is in the list below. In fact, you could probably work it the other way, you can see the films and automatically be able to sing the score. Try it. 

1. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
2. Star Wars
3. Superman
4. Indiana Jones
5. ET
6. Home Alone 
7. Hook
8. Jurassic Park
9. Harry Potter
10. Jaws
11. Schindlers List

Those are just a few of the many, many films he's done. My favourite of his, and possibly my favourite film score of all time, is the Hook film score (I'll wait for you to now get the pun in the title and laugh accordingly)... In my humble opinion, that score is the epitome of perfection. It has so many different themes to portray; Hook, the Lost Boys, Peter Pan, and the children, and then on top of that, has the most beautiful piece of music for the ultimate "You can fight, you can fly, and you can... *queue crow*" moment. It's called You are the Pan. Here it is. 

Beautiful right? Just keep that playing whilst you continue to read. You'll be glad you did. 

I recommend you check out all the themes from the above list. In particular, Hook, Indiana Jones, ET, Home Alone and Star Wars. All amazeballs. 

2. James Horner
James Horner is king of the emotional gut wrenching music. He too has a very impressive repertoire. Although, once you've heard a lot of his music, you will begin to notice similarities in his work. This is mainly because he favours a particular key in his music, which I really can't remember now but totally studied the hell out of when doing my A Levels. Although it is samey, it is still beautiful. He also tends to bring out one kick arse song for each movie... as he did Titanic. Ladies and gents, I can confirm that he is responsible for My Heart Will Go On, but please don't hold that against him, he's done a lot more impressive songs in other movies. My favourites (and ones you should definitely check out) in his list of movies are: 

1. An American Tail 
2. Titanic
3. Braveheart 
4. The Mask of Zorro
5. A Beautiful Mind
6. Troy
7. Casper... I know it sounds unlikely that this would be beautiful, but trust me on this! ... In fact, screw it, listen to this. It's called Casper's Lullaby:

Of all of those, my highlight is a piece of music called "For The Love of a Princess" from Braveheart. Find it below:

3. Hans Zimmer
Hans Zimmer has a particular style of movie that he writes for. He will mainly write for the big epic style movies. As such, if you need a piece of music that will really get you going and energised, he is the man for you. My favourites of his are: 

1. The Lion King (film score not the songs, which we all know are Elton John)
2. Gladiator
3. Pirates of the Caribbean (In particular 'At World's End')
4. Da Vinci Code
5. Angels and Demons
6. Inception

Again, he does have the tendency to be a little samey with his music. For example, if you listen to the Gladiator soundtrack and the Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End soundtrack, you may get confused on which score belongs to what. There are so many to choose from for an example of his work, but I've decided to go with the main theme "Time" from Inception. But check out any of the above, they're all golden. 

So they're the main beasts of the film score industry. You don't really get more well known than them in that genre. However, there are some composers who aren't as well known that I love equally, if not a little bit more. I've continued with them here: 

4. Rachel Portman
BIG composer for British films. Really laid back and easy listening type music. My favs of hers are: 

1. Never Let Me Go
2. The Duchess
3. One Day

My highlight has to be a piece from One Day called "We Had Today."

5. Dario Marianelli
Again, very popular with the British films, or certainly my favs of his are mostly from the British ones. These are: 

1. Pride and Prejudice
2. Atonement 
3. The Soloist

My highlight for him was hard, because I couldn't decide between two. I've gone for a piece from Atonement called "Elergy for Dunkirk" which, for those of you who have seen it, is the amazing scene where they do a sweep of the whole beach after the battle of Dunkirk in one shot... SO good. 

The rest I'm just going to list in songs, rather than composers as my favourites are rather sporadic. They are: 

"Together we live forever" by Clint Mansell from the movie The Fountain

The entire album to Forrest Gump by Alan Silvestri. This is a piece called "The Feather Theme."

The entire album of Edward Scissorhands by Danny Elfman. Check out Elfman's other stuff as well. He usually collabs with Tim Burton movies but does others as well. My favourite piece from this album is a piece called "The Grand Finale."

"Simon and Alisha Forever" by Vince Pope from the British TV Show; Misfits

Anything that Murray Gold has ever written for Doctor Who. I will of course put in the most popular one, followed by my personal favourite (at the mo, this changes regularly)

"I am the Doctor"

"The Enigma of River Song."

And my most recent love, the soundtrack for the latest Sherlock Series by David Arnold and Michael Price. I will select "The East Wind" for this post. 

There are so many more, I have over 12 years of collections that I could share, and I know I'm going to read this back tomorrow and kick myself for not adding something. But I have well and truly reached my maximum length of post and need to let you all go. Just trust me and start listening to this shizzle, it is so awesome. 

Have a lovely weekend 

Peace out my lovelies.

No comments:

Post a Comment