We all have our idiosyncrasies. Some we are proud of, others not so much. For me, one of these unique actions is how I always have a set of songs/albums I listen to back to back to usher in my New Year. As fate would determine, I tend to find these items prior to Christmas day and sail right into the New Year playing these tracks non-stop. This New Year list had not just one track but 7 albums all but one of which came from individuals I am already familiar with their music. It was more of a rekindling of past relationships with a composer or an Orchestra group. Here they are.
Starting with my newly discovered composer. The new kid on the block comes from the Immediate Music house. Immediate Music is a trailer music composition company with subsidiaries such as Globus (a band consisting of the mix of producers, musicians and vocalists [wikipedia]) and some of its composers venturing out independently. One of such composers Marcello De Francisci recently released his Ante Diem Album. Marcello De Francisci was the mind behind the famous 2006 “God of War” Music Score. Ante Diem is a beautiful score that mixes traditional film score sounds with what Francisci calls mystical travels around the world. A medley of the album is provided below and my absolute favorite track from the album is at the 3:20 mark.
Immediate Music’s third installment to their epic Trailerhead Trilogy came out sometime in October, the first two being; Trailerhead: Saga and Trailerhead.The Trailerhead series are some of the best works composed by Immediate music put together in an album. Epic and Majestic sounds at their absolute best. And yes, one part to the series was my “music to usher in the New Year” back in 2009. If pure instrumentals are not your thing, you do have the option to listen to the Globus band arm of Immediate music. All of their work use music from the Trailerhead series or other trailer related works by Immediate Music. Should you choose to listen to any part of the trailerhead series, you would be shocked to hear a familiar sound off a movie trailer you have seen on TV. Immediate music is credited with supplying trailer music for; After Earth, Iron Man, Hobbit, Life of Pi, Dark KNight, Argo and a host of others. Learn more about them here.
The HOBBIT OST
Howard Shore’s return to Middle earth was one of the most sought after Filmscores this year. Everybody that loves scores was looking forward to another Grammy/Oscar Original Music offering from the brain behind the music to the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. He did not disappoint. This album takes many parts of the familiar LOTR sound and adds enough to keep it fresh and you interested. I haven’t seen the movie yet but the music itself gave a more light hearted feeling akin to being a Hobbit as opposed to the more intense, action packed sounds of the LOTR trilogy. Yes, Mr Shore took us Far away to the cold Misty Mountains in our minds with this work. A significant amount of websites have claimed this is best Filmscore in 2012. This remains to be seen.
Grammy Nominated Composer for his work on the King’s Speech, Alexandre Desplat returns with a filmscore that reminded me alot of the great Ennio Morricone’s style of using non-conventional sounds in his music. Here, Desplat uses individuals making clicking sounds with their tongues and other non-instrumental tones to create a truly immersive filmscore. The middle eastern theme throughout the score made it all the more potent in grabbing you and keeping you. It has made me all the more interested in seeing how this piece play out in the movie itself. All in all, this score is pretty impressive. I am confident Mr Desplat stands a very high chance of getting Nominated for another Oscar and/or Grammy with this.
Initially, I sincerely couldn’t tell if I was listening to a new score or the score from a previous project by John Williams. Precisely, his work in Lincoln is highly similar to the sounds from Warhorse. Similar yes but at the same time, the similarities cease almost immediately. This is an awesome score. I will be honest and make it clear that I’d tear up (OK, Cry) when I hear a really good score and boy did I tear up for a few from this OST. If John Williams was a woman, I can unequivocally state that he captured my heart with this score. For some, this would make great study music; for many, this would most likely put them to sleep. My absolute favorite from the album is a track titled; The Purpose of the Amendment
GOD OF LOVE
Although I have had this album for a few months now, I have only begun appreciating the gem that is Stereo Alchemy. I only focused on two songs when I picked up this album but it didn’t take long to get blown away by the depth of every track on this album. I had only gotten interested in Stereo Alchemy thanks to their connection to Christopher Tin, the brains behind the Grammy award winning baba Yetu. What Stereo Alchemy does is take poetry from way back as the 15th century and give it a new twist. Take the groovy track “She Walks in beauty” for example. The lyrics were sourced from two 18th century poems; “She Walks in beauty” by Lord Byron and “Like the Touch of Rain” by Edward Thomas. Get the full gist of the album here. I should mention that Mr Tin at some point on twitter called me his Biggest fan. 🙂
MY PASSION FOR MEXICO
More like my passion for Yanni. Yanni is one of the driving forces that got me into instrumentals and filmscores to begin with. I believe my mum is to thank for handing me a copy of Live at the acropolis (I also credit her for handing me a copy of Music of Hope by the London Symphony Orchestra much earlier). My passion for Mexico like any Yanni sound mixes the majestic new age sound and some calm easy listening tunes to create a well rounded album albeit dominated by the Mexican style of music. That I appreciate the Mexican sound definitely added to the appeal of this album. Although I wouldn’t call this his best work, Yanni’s ability to imbibe a strong sense or drama, dynamics and romanticism is not missing in his latest work.