Sunday, October 5, 2008

Film/Movie Scores

Film/Movie scores are our modern day classical music. The composers of your favorite movies and films are the Beethoven's, Mozart's, Bach's, Strauss', Bartok's, Rachmoninov's, Vivaldi's, Tchaikovsky's of our times. I mean what musicians do you know who compose music for full orchestra's anymore. Movie composers are the only people I know of making modern orchestral music. I mean really, I love many of the aforementioned, yet old (read dead and gone), composers. My man Beethoven was just sick with it, Wolfgang was just ill, and Bach's Toccata and Fugue is still one of the BEST pieces of music I ever heard and basically it was a throw away piece at the time he made it. All these guys, plus many others, were great composers. But, usually, once one finds a version of a particular symphony, or opera, or other composition, they're kind of biased against any other versions. I mean, really, there are WAY too many versions of classic compositions. And all the world's instrumental virtuoso's and philharmonics and orchestras play the same shit over and over and over ad infinitum!! Don't get me wrong, that old music is great but play some new shit! It is out there. As far as I know the only modern composer who's music gets played on a regular basis is John Williams. Which absolutely makes sense as he is one of the best of the modern composers. The days of composers having concert battles is gone. Composers of today have contract battles for films! And all of this has been leading up to this: I LOVE FILM SCORES!! Even game scores have upped the ante and get mad props nowadays.
So now we get to some of my favorite modern composers: John Williams (Of course!! elite master. Stands alone); Michael Kamen, R.I.P.(his film work was excellent but I really like him 'cause he worked with Metallica. METALLICA!!! How COOL is that?!!!), Danny Elfman (simply awsome. has an affinity for funky ass bass!! Probably from being in a rock band once); Hans Zimmer (though the recent Pirates of the Caribbean series gets a bit repetitive the main theme is off the chain!); Howard Shore (jumped straight into John Williams' level with the Lord of the Rings); Graeme Revell (He did The CROW!! Come on! He definitely has a dark edge to his compositions, just like Elfman. Wildy different but a common darkness); Trevor Jones (Last of the Mohicans, done with Randy Edelman, is in my top five favorite scores); Joel McNeely (did a score for a game/novel which was a Star Wars connect and he did an AWESOME job!); Bear McCreary (TV scoring for Battlestar Galactica which is, hands down, the best music scoring on television PERIOD! He uses ALL styles of music and instruments. This is what modern music composition should be.); KODO (this Japanese music group get props for the 1995 film The Hunted. Awesome movie, awesome music); A.R. Rahman (Bollywood super composer); Tan Dun (Chinese super composer); Andrew Lloyd Webber (though I don't follow scores for theater and play productions too much you can't really have a list like this and not mention Mr. Webber. He's the MAN for theater music); Harry Gregson-williams (for Kingdom of Heaven. Great film. At least the director's cut is); RZA (Wu-Tang Abbott is getting nice with the film scoring); Jan Hammer (another TV master. The title piece for the Miami Vice series was my favorite shit!!! My mom had it on VINYL and it had like 8 different mixes. I loved that shit!) Quincy Jones (master, period); Isaac Hayes (Come on...SHAFT!!!); Jerry Goldsmith (Great composer.Done MAD movies); Tangerine Dream (Mostly for the american score for Legend. I love that score! Jerry did the original that Ridley loves, which is excellent); Terrence Blanchard (I LOVE this man's compositions); James Newton Howard; there are many more but I named the major composers. Oh one I left for last, Basil Poledouris. I left him last for this reason: He made THE BEST SCORE EVER FOR A FILM. Conan the Barbarian! I know, I know. Not the best film in the world. Some mediocre to bad acting, some bad editing, and other minor things BUT as a whole this film WORKS! I LOVE this movie! Why? Basil. His score is damn near a character in the movie. It's awesome how absolutely seamlessly the music melds with the visuals. Best score EVER!! It's even wonderful without the film. I've listened to it countless times. Simply the best score ever! (Did I say that enough times?) I'll do a list of my favorite scores and soundtracks another time. I'm tired. LAter ya'll.


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