Now that I'm done with the private writer's conference, which went well and is in preparation for next year, I'm getting ready for WriteOnCon, which will be right before I leave for college. I've also found one more online writing conference to attend!
Today, I'm writing about music, which is very important to me, almost as much as writing is. I'm both a singer and a cellist and will be starting out at college as a music minor.
I wanted to share movie soundtracks that I enjoy--by which I mean the scores. Once upon a time, "soundtrack" and "score" were synonymous. Then someone decided to start creating full CDs of vocal tracks that usually don't even show up in the movie but which feature famous artists and bring in a lot of money, I'm sure. A few of these are decent, but mostly, I love all the background orchestral music that plays in the movie. This is a mix of my orchestra dorkiness, the pure awesomeness of movie scores, and the fact that I'm writing books I hope someday will BE movies.
Here are my favorite movie scores for you to check out. Take note: I only buy scores for movies I've seen.
Alexandre Desplat's Music
Desplat is pretty much my favorite score composer. He composed for movies like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, and Twilight: New Moon. He's got a great, lush, string-focused sound, perfect for epic fantasy or romance stuff, and he makes my day every time I listen. His music doesn't have a happy vibe, exactly, but it's definitely very emotional. Sometimes I cry listening to it. Of course, that could also be because of my Harry Potter obsession....
Some of Desplat's best tracks are "You're Alive" from TNM, "Obliviate" and "The Elder Wand" from HPDH1, and "Lily's Theme" and "Courtyard Apocalypse" from HPDH2.
James Newton Howard's Music
This guy is my other big favorite. He composed for The Hunger Games and for Snow White and the Huntsman, both of which are amazing films people must see. He's not a string-focused composer, although string instruments are included. What I like about him is that I've never heard stuff like his before. I don't even know what some of those instruments are. But it's intense, simple, and creepy when necessary. The tracks fit with the moments onscreen perfectly.
Some of his best are "Escape from the Tower" and "Snow White" from SWH and "Preparing the Chariots/Horn of Plenty" and "The Countdown" from THG. Oh, and "Rue's Farewell," of course. If you listen, I think you'll get the hint of the type of music he creates. It's really awesome.
Pirates of the Caribbean
The score for this movie series is the classic orchestral obsession. Everyone who plays a string instrument has played this, I can almost guarantee. It's like orchestra's Phantom of the Opera (which singers love). This movie score opened up the way for scores to become popular music. It focuses on the electric cello, which is awesome. COME ON. ELECTRIC CELLO. It was composed by Hans Zimmer (one of the kings of movie scores) and Klaus Badelt.
I've not heard the soundtrack for the fourth movie, which I think hardly counts without Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightley, but the others are all amazing. I'd tell you which individual tracks to listen to, but that would take all day. Start with "The Medallion Calls" and go from there, okay?
More Harry Potter
Harry Potter is amazing, in sound, in story, in movies, in life, in author.... have I ever mentioned that J.K. Rowling is my idol? Yeah. I love this series. So naturally, I like the score too. I'm less familiar with the classic John Williams scores of the first few movies (though Williams is probably the most revered score composer of all time). But I like the tracks for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince--written by Patrick Doyle and Nicholas Hooper--which utilize Williams' original themes.
The best tracks are "The Quidditch World Cup" and "Death of Cedric" from HPGF; "Fireworks", "Flight of the Order of the Phoenix", and "Death of Sirius" from HPOP; and "Into the Rushes", "Journey to the Cave", and "The Weasley Stomp" from HPHBP.
The Chronicles of Narnia
I own both The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian scores. Both are done by Harry Gregson Williams, who does a pretty magnificent job at filling the series with epic fantasy themes. I'll bet you anything you'll know it when you hear it. Check out "Raid on the Castle" from Prince Caspian or "The Battle" from Lion, Witch and Wardrobe.
Of course, there are so many others I love. X-Men: First Class by Henry Jackson is the only superhero score I've truly adored, with a very intense modern sound. Check out "First Class." Then there's Race to Witch Mountain by Trevor Rabin, which has good sci-fi tracks like "Unidentified Main Titles." I also like Twilight: Eclipse by Howard Shore, who does great orchestral stuff like "Victoria" and "The Kiss." Inception has some good, low-key stuff, and yes, I have a thing for the Tarzan score. Plus there's Star Wars! Check out "Across the Stars," which is the love theme from the second episode, and "The Imperial March," because who doesn't like thinking about Darth Vader?
That essentially covers my soundtrack obsession. Do you like any movie scores?
On the topic of music, check out the new tracks I uploaded onto the site! Click here, and you'll find the first chapter of #ChosenFour1 and two tracks that I recorded myself. One is a vocal track from the actual text of #ChosenFour1, done on piano and voice, and the other is a score piece, currently with the interim title "A Theme for the Chosen Four," that I composed and played on cello. (Editor's Note: Content is no longer available.)
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