I don’t think it’s Friday anywhere in the world, but I beg your indulgence because I missed my Friday Favourites post and I have some favourites to share.
The other night, I went to the girl’s school Music Festival. They are very into the arts at her school and they have an orchestra, a concert band, a stage band, a brass ensemble, a percussion ensemble, a guitar ensemble, two choirs… you get the idea. Hence, a music festival.
It was very good. No, really, it was enjoyable. It’s a credit to their music teachers that attending these events is much less painful than you might expect. And they played an extraordinary variety of music, from the latest rap thing (himself did not enjoy it, but I quite liked it) through Burt Bacharach to Tchaikovsky. And it got me thinking about music.
Specifically, movie music. They played a medley from Titanic, which was something like this one:
Close to the beginning of this is the section called ‘Take Her to Sea Mr Murdoch’. And sitting there, in a fairly cramped auditorium at an Australian high school in 2012, I was instantly transported to the sight of the Titanic setting sail in the movie. And I didn’t just see the visual in my mind’s eye, I felt the swell of emotion, as well. The pride of all the people responsible for getting her under way, the glory of her size and newness and the swelling hopes of the people going to the new world for a new life.
It was an extraordinary experience and brought home to me yet again how powerful good movie music can be. I suspect some of the emotion, if not most, engendered by my initial experience of the movie was from that wonderful music. You don’t (unless you’re a professional musician or composer I imagine) notice it particularly as you are watching the movie, but it is an integral part of the movie experience and without it the experience would not be the same (what this means for writers is a separate blog post: come back Monday for that one ).
So I thought I’d share some of my favourite movie music with you. The Titanic soundtrack is one. It was written by James Horner, who also wrote one of Himself’s favourites. Braveheart (among almost literally countless others. Looking as his credits, one wonders if he sleeps).
I could not write a post about movie music without touching on (and it is the merest touch) the extraordinary achievement that is the music for the Lord of the Rings movies, by Howard Shore. We own the extended versions on DVD and now that we have watched them several times, one of my favourite games is picking out how the various themes are woven into battle scenes and other group scenes. The snippet I have chosen to feature here is one of my favourite individual themes, that of Edoras, the home of the horse lords, of Rohan. Even if you don’t want to see the movies (and I understand that LOTR is not everyone’s cup of hot beverage) at least listen to some of the music some time. It’s quite wonderful. If you’re interested, this bit is from The Two Towers, the second movie.
(On a random, writerly note, how cool would it be to write a movie big enough to be scored by Howard Shore? Fangirly writer fantasies revealed.)
This post is already long and could go on forever. But since it’s already late up, I will wind up with the man I could not possibly leave out of a post about movie music: the legendary Ennio Morricone. This snippet is Gabriel’s Oboe theme and the main theme from The Mission a glorious, majestic, heartbreaking movie, made more so by Morricone’s amazing music.
So, while you’re still with me, what are your movie music favourites?