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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Elizabeth - The Golden age Sountrack

In his special note on the CD inlay, Shekar Kapur has written, ‘Music of the film must not only complement the film but also have its own individuality and its own story to tell’. From his quote, it is quite evident that he is one of the prime reasons for such a loud score. It is also a well known fact that Shekar made Rahman to compose the music even before shooting the movie and also used one of the pieces on the sets to plan his shot breaks in synch with the music. All over the world, the movie critics have unanimously trashed the loud background score. But the music lovers have embraced it saying that it is worth listening as stand alone tracks on CD.

There is nothing great or ground breaking about the soundtrack; it is a typical Hollywood soundtrack with all moody orchestral pieces build over recurring themes. Craig Armstrong and A.R.Rahman together have written the score. It is quite difficult to figure out who did what in this soundtrack though Rahman’s sound could be sensed in many of the tracks.

‘Opening’ score is grand and majestic with a flamboyant solo violin piece running in the lead which sounded like Rahman’s violin piece in ‘Raaga Dance’ from Vanessa Mae’s Choreography. ‘Philip’ sets a terrifying ambience at the start with its low pitched strings and slow built up of percussions. As it continues the mood gets loud and deepened with thundering beats and full throttled orchestra. One of the main themes of the movie gets introduced in the track ‘Now you grow dull’. The theme fits quite well here and the dullness is maintained throughout by a leisurely orchestration. The four note theme in ‘Horse riding’ played on an acoustic Spanish guitar sounds like the slower version of a familiar Rahman’s score though I couldn’t recollect the piece exactly.

‘Immensities’ is all-strings piece with the main love theme being played at a much slower tempo. Though it is too slow, once you get into the flow of the melody, you will feel intoxicated by it. This theme again appears as a separate track ‘Love theme’. ‘Bess and Raleigh Dance’ is anything but a dance piece. Even this track sounds Rahmanish to me, especially the way the strings progress and the looping Harp brings a lot of Rahman flavour to the track. But then it seems Craig also did add his bit in orchestrating it to suit the mood of the scene. ‘Mary’s beheading’ has all typical distant soprano chants and deep Duduk pieces and mellow strings that one would expect for a sober mood. ‘End Puddle/Possible Suitors’ is a beautiful piece creating a very playful and pleasant ambience with its soothing orchestratral variations.

‘War/Realization’ theme could well be the piece where the true amalgamation of Rahman and Craig happened. The orchestration is along the lines of any historic war sequences in a Hollywood movie, but Rahman comes into picture when we hear the ethnic percussions, little sounds that loop around and the percussions that resembles that of Rahman’s score for ‘Warriors of Heaven and Earth’. ‘Destiny theme’ introduces a new sober theme. It is a very short and emotive theme. The theme from ‘Now you grow dull’ again appears in ‘Smile lines’ on woodwinds and the sound is more relaxing and pleasant here.

‘Horseback Address’ as it beings has a very mellow theme played on strings and suddenly shifts to the ‘Horse riding’ theme played by a full throttled orchestra. ‘Battle’ sounds like a complete Rahman composition in all aspects, the strings, the Chinese influence, the mild synth, the Duduk and the choir sound Rahmanish. A lot of things happen in this piece but it never gets boring or go out of place, the colorful arrangement and the twists and turns holds our attention.

‘Divinity theme’ is the most easily recognizable Rahman composition. It is a very sober piece which begins with Mariyam Toller singing the main melody. It sounded like a variation of ‘pibarae raamarasam’ or ‘vidukathaiyo vazhkai’ from Muthu, and especially when Sarangi starts to play the main melody, the similarity is even more evident. ‘Storm’ is a full throttled orchestral piece which does bring the storming effect quite well. The ‘Closing’ starts with a subtle performance of destiny theme and makes a grand exit with the entire orchestra playing the theme.

‘Walsingham Deathbed’, ‘Bess to See Throckmorton’ and ‘Dr Dee Part 1’ are incidental pieces which I think strictly follow the trajectory of emotions in the visuals.

Overall, it is a good entry for Rahman into Hollywood.

Listening Movies

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hi bro, actually only 3 tracks are composed by ar rahman

1 - Divinity Theme
2 - Battle
3 - Marrys Beheading

and Philip track s composed along with Craig Armstrong.Rest all tracks r by Craig Armstrong

so pls re-review ur post :)