Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Vacation

I am on a long vacation. Will be back here soon, with more quests and posts.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Avatar Score

Today, I downloaded the digital version of ‘Avatar’ original soundtrack from musicmp3.ru. The cue ‘Into the Na’vi world’ (that is available as sample track in avatarscore.com), which according to me is the most bombastic track, loudly revealing the main motif of the film - is not heard anywhere in the official soundtrack. James Horner’s score is full of inspirations from his own earlier works with even bits and pieces of his earlier film themes (Troy battle theme, the synth-symphony blend of Titanic and Beautiful Mind) sneaking in here, but it isn’t too much of a distraction. James Horner whips up a score that is as atmospheric, colorful, epic and exotic as the film seems to be. With a varied concoction of eastern hymns, rhythms, sounds and western orchestral and choral parts, it successfully puts us in that ‘Other’ world, where we have never been before. As of now, I haven’t figured out all the musical motifs, but for sure, there are too many running in parallel. With the film already getting rave reviews, I am sure that the soundtrack would sound more accessible and punchy, when heard after watching the film. I am eagerly waiting to listen to the soundtrack in CD quality (hope they release it in India on December 15).

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Roots and the Beginnings



Salem 1998. I was studying in 11th standard. ‘Titanic’ was playing in Saraswathi Theatre, a cinema theatre in our locality. We had heard a lot of good things about this film through Sun TV’s Film reviewing programme ‘Thirai Vimarsanam’. We, school mates decided to go and watch the film on a weekend. I pleaded my parents to allow me go to an “English” film with friends and for Rs.15. (Cost of first class Balcony Ticket) and somehow they agreed. The day of ‘Titanic’ arrived.

The film began and the flash back started with a bang of an orchestral music, accompanying the breath taking visuals that reveal the gigantic beauty of the ship ‘Titanic’. I felt an electric shock wave passing through my body. I had goose flesh. It was that precise moment, I remember so vividly even now, that I became conscious of this amazing art form called ‘Film Background Music Scoring’. For the first time with all consciousness, I was physically and emotionally experiencing the impact of background music. The synth-choir-orchestral symphony was something I had never heard before in my life. This cue is Track 3 – Southampton in Original Soundtrack CD of the film. I even liked the Irish party theme instantly on the very first viewing of the film, which plays as Jack and his friend rushes to get into the ship.

Before Titanic, Jurassic Park was the only English film I had seen in a cinema theatre. That was at a much younger age, so I couldn’t realise the greatness of John Williams’ score for that film.

Few years later, I realized that even before watching ‘Titanic’, Ilaiyaraaja’s innumerable background score pieces from films of 80’s and 90’s - that I saw on satellite television, got firmly etched in my memory, without me ever being aware of it. Yet, Titanic is the one that woke up my consciousness towards ‘Background scores’ in films.

Now, eagerly waiting for ‘Avatar’ and its score.

It would be great to know your ‘Background Score’ awareness moment. Please share.