Score Saturday: Enough for One Life, Assassin’s Creed – Lorne Balfe

The Assassin’s Creed games are a fantastic melange of history and sci-fiction. And as a true history and art nut, these games have given me plenty of opportunity to experience the medieval period (especially Italy!!). Unfortunately, as it is always is, too much of a good thing can be bad and that’s exactly what happened to the franchise. Lately, they’ve become stale and mundane and I just wish something comes up to restore the franchise to its full glory.

Anyway, one of the key takeaways from the games is also its wonderful score. Usually very regal, and reminiscent of the times the games are set in, the composers have always created these incredible mood pieces that stay with you a long time after you’re done playing the game.

For today, I’ve chosen this little haunting piece that you can call the recurring motif of the franchise. This particualar one is composed by Lorne Balfe.

17.8 Music Monday – Feat. Coke Studio Pakistan, Amit Trivedi, Ouseppachan, Gopi Sundar

Where I bring you the best of¬†International as well as regional Indian music….

Loads of fantastic music this week, but nothing from the Western lands I’m afraid. There was absolutely nothing that caught my eye recently. Most of the times I take a look at the International Top Charts and go…What the hell are people listening to these days!!

Anyway, without further ado, let’s delve right into the songs then.

1. BEWAJAH – Nabeel Shaukat Ali, Coke Studio Pakistan: Season 8

Language: Urdu

One of the best things of Pakistan is its music, and I’ve always loved their sense of sublime melody. So you can totally understand when I tell you that this one song has me going nuts ever since I first heard it yesterday. A beautiful and soothing melody with incredible vocals and orchestration. It’s true that music has no language. My idea of bliss…

2. Kalandar – Amit Trivedi

Language: Marathi

A quintessential Amit Trivedi number, with a fun tune and a good rock base! There are also the usual Amit embellishments that make this song that more interesting.

3. Chantham Thelinju – Ouseppachan

Language: Malayalam

I love the Malayali’s enthusiasm for intermixing classic Carnatic raagas over modern instruments. Sounds sooo good to the ears! This one might sound a bit old-fashioned, but completely grew on me after just a couple of listens.

4. Motta Modatisaari – Gopi Sundar

Language: Telugu

I humbly present a song from my own mother tongue after a long time. But still the twist here is that this song is composed by a Keralite! Anyway, with such an imaginative tune and pleasing interludes this one is an instant ear-worm. And the chorus by children is an added plus!

Have a great week ahead, dearies! If there’s any good song out there that you think I should listen to, don’t forget to let me know! ūüôā

Score Saturday – Da Vinci’s Demons, Bear McCreary

If you’ve never heard of a “musical palindrome”, then it’s a piece of music that sounds the same even when you play it backwards.

Sounds unfathomable, no? But that is what Bear McCreary achieves for his Leonardo’s Theme from the TV series Da Vinci’s Demons (which I highly recommend, btw). It’s a simple enough tune but which grows on you after repeated listens, and has all of that mystery and intrigue imbibed in it too. Bear gets everything right for the score of this show, down to the instruments used which were true to the era this story is set in.

And sure enough, Bear won a Emmy award for this in the Best Original Theme category.

This is the original, how it appears during the opening credits:

Now listen to it in reverse:

The guy’s a genius, no? I still don’t get how he goes around with a name like Bear, though….. ūüėõ

Score Saturday: Concerning Hobbits, LOTR – Howard Shore

Today is turning out to be such a beautiful day, and when you have beautiful music added to the mix it’s so much more better, isn’t it!

I was playing this all morning, so I thought I might as well share it. You probably have already heard this before, it’s the most recognizable motif from the Lord Of the Rings score. Howard gets the nostalgia-factor amazingly right.

It’s such a beautiful piece of music that one could listen to over and over again without ever getting bored. What is even better is watching the orchestra play it. Somehow very fulfilling.

Music Monday 3.8.15 – AGAM

Contemporary Carnatic Progressive Rock.

Not something I ever thought I’d see in¬†one sentence. But this sensational Indie band AGAM has been doing it for years and let me tell you,¬†their music is¬†just divine!

Classical Carnatic and Rock are simply meant to be together!! Carnatic as you know is one of the two forms of classical music in India, the other being Hindustani. I can’t tell you how incredible it sounds to have¬†raagas laid over something like electric guitar. Music from Indian films has become too insipid these days, with rarely any bold attempts. But Indie artists have the luxury to create varied pieces of music and I’m just glad the whole indie scene is taking off in our country right now.

Sharing two of my favourite songs of theirs.

Dhanashree Thillana.¬†Let the infectious beat take over you. I can’t help bob my head, shake my legs and do a mad dance with my fingers whenever this song is on.

The Boat Song. Simply out of this world. The Carnatic base works wonderfully. Watch out for some stellar electric guitar.

Music Monday 27.7.15 – Lean On

I’m trying to bring some order to my posts here, a calendar of sorts, which is sorely missing from this blog. It will at least give me a compass as to what to write on a particular day. And it give will you an idea as for what to expect when. I previously had a Song Of The Week segment which took a beating this last month but which I really want to revive. So I gave it a a new name and a new slot – Music Monday! This is when I’ll be sharing a song/songs that were on my playlist that week. You can expect songs from the west, as well as in Indian languages of Hindi, Telugu, Tamil & Malayalam as these are the ones I mostly listen to.

And since I also love musical scores a lot, there’s also gonna be a Score Saturday,¬†where I will highlight one musical score from either a Movie/TV Show/Video Game. The world of epic orchestral scores awaits you!

That’s about it on the music front for now. ūüôā

To start off on a cheerful note, this week I’m presenting one song that slowly grew on me this past week. It’s apparently on the top charts now, and the music video is actually shot it India which makes it doubly interesting!! Perfect song to groove to.

Happy 4th of July

Happy Independence Day, America! Keep doing your thing.

Okay so that’s done.¬†Moving on.¬†

This post is actually about the song “4th Of July” by Amy MacDonald (who happens to not be an American). And if you haven’t heard of her before, you’re seriously missing out. She’s evidently¬†one of the few female singers who doesn’t sing sappy songs of¬†love, romance, boyfriends, break-up…and all¬†that kind of stuff.¬†And even when she does sing about a possible flame, she does it in a very mature way. Which I simply adore.

I first caught her song “This is the life” on Vh1 and immediately fell in love with her voice and those piercing eyes. Oh and she’s got a lovely Scottish accent, which by the way doesn’t show in her singing. But I saw her interview once and was literally drooling all over the screen. Serious.

Back to the song in question, I love it for the foot-tapping tune and I simply am mesmerized by¬†all those¬†interspersing guitars, trombones, and the addictive backing chorus. It’s only weird that today is the first time that I’ve actually watched the music video of it, even though I must have¬†heard this song like a million times before. Anyhoo, it’s a good song to put you in the holiday mood. Happy Weekend!

UPDATE: I couldn’t help posting this other song. Amy in all of her glory!! What happens when you give a full blown orchestra to a powerhouse singer. The trombone guys did not know how to stay in the background, but we can excuse that I suppose.

A tribute to James Horner: My top favourite musical scores of his

I was saddened this morning to hear of James Horner’s untimely death. A double Oscar winner, he was an extremely talented musician who gave us such memorable scores in Titanic, Avatar, Braveheart, Apollo 13 and many other movies. For some reason, the sinking scenes from Titanic have been lingering in my mind since this morning ever since I heard the news. How ironical that he had to die in a plane crash, of all things.

Truth is, we have lost one of the greatest composers of the contemporary times. The man whose sweeping orchestral scores literally poured life into many a movies.

Unfortunately, I have not heard all of his music, but these are some of my absolute favourites of his. Stuff that I always carry in my smartphone.

1) Rose’s Theme – Titanic

Titanic is one film that catapulted James’ popularity among the movie goers. “My Heart Will Go On” is probably the most recognizable song ever. It is just perfect in every sense. But if you’re looking for something more haunting, the hum version of this song called ‘Rose’s Theme’ is one I always settle down with in loop. Just brings back all of those emotions…the sea..the ship…Rose…

2) The Destruction of Home Tree – AVATAR

This is such a powerful score that it never fails to move me to bits whenever I listen to it. Coming at a very crucial moment in the film, it perfectly underscores the action and the destruction and the agony that follows afterwards. A masterful track, my favourite bit starts from 4:10 and up until the very end.

3) A Kaleidoscope of Mathematics – A Beautiful Mind

I absolutely love this track! The way it starts off, marvelously building up intrigue. Then seguing into the more somber notes.

4) For The Love of Princess – Braveheart

I remember looking for the score as soon as I watched the film, me being a sucker for sweeping violins! This one takes on epic proportions midway and makes for an amazing listen. I love the kind of mixed emotions this one evokes in me.

5) A New Nervous System – Bicentennial Man

One usually remembers this movie for Robin Williams, he was a fantastic actor and I still cannot digest that he is no more. And James Horner as usual imbues such delicately soulful music into this film that perfectly compliments the humanoid robot’s emotional journey through the film. The below is one glorious example.

6) Rooftop Kiss – The Amazing Spider Man

A track that sounds very simple but is beautiful in its own right. A very soothing track.

RIP James Horner. You music will live on. 

Songs of the Week – 18.6.15

You noticed the plural in the title? Yes, this time¬†I’ve got loads of good music to brighten up your mid-week ūüôā

1) Where It All Begins – Hunter Hayes Ft. Lady Antebellum

There’s a reason I love country music. It’s clean, simple, has a distinctive sound, and just makes for a pleasurable listen. I’m a big fan of both Hunter Hayes and Lady Antebellum, and this collaboration between them is an absolute delight. Nothing too mind-blowing about the song, but a catchy hook and impressive lyrics make it worth a listen.

2) Ship To Wreck, Delilah Р Florence+The Machine (How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful)

Florence Welch rules! Her amazing vocals and killer hooks make the entire album a great listen. My absolute favourite is Ship To Wreck though, with that retro touch.

3) Where the light is, Born Again, He Knows – Dan Bremnes (Where The Light Is)

This new kid on the block has some nice songs up his sleeve. Good melodies and foot-tapping rhythms, it’s soft-rock done very well.

4) Indru Netru Naalai – Hiphop Tamizha

This whole album impressed me a lot! The songs are of higher quality, have better tunes than most of the current Tamil songs and are well orchestrated too. Look out especially for the Conquest of Time theme and the title track sung wonderfully by Shanker Mahadevan! I also love the guitar strumming in iPhone 6 Nee Yendral.

Blogging 101: Day 1 – Hello, World.

He ruffles¬†his unruly¬†hair, staring into the white void that is the ‘New Post’ text area, wondering what he could say about himself that he hasn’t said before. He gives up almost immediately, a huge yawn overtaking his conscious. Sleep was beckoning him, and his brain was almost sapped of all the energy. So he flexes his fingers and starts writing, quite unremarkably…¬†

Hi! This is Uday Kanth and am 24 years old. I write code by day, and blog by night. ūüôā Though if you asked me which one I liked doing more, I won’t be able to give you a conclusive answer. Though I can’t deny that writing as a profession seems quite intriguing as well. I have started this blog around three months back to give a voice to my opinions, something that I’d always kept suppressed within my mind. Even though I did know for a fact for a long time now that I enjoyed writing, I was never able to fully dedicate a portion of my life to it until very recently. But now I’m so glad that I did!

Before this, I’ve also done ‘Writing 101’ which opened up my brain to all the facets of writing as well and was quite fun to delve into my conscious everyday to bring out a piece of writing that meant something to me. It was a highly fun period and I’m elated¬†to have found some amazing people from across the globe who stood by me and cheered me along, without which I would have easily lost the motivation to write more. (I guess no matter how much one tells oneself that they are writing for themselves first, ultimately it’s the response you get that makes or breaks you).

I already have written quite a bit about me and my interests in my About page, so I won’t repeat it here. This blog is a reflection of my persona, my thoughts, interests, and short bursts of creative fiction. I worried¬†if my blog was a bit too random for people to easily identify it with a certain type of content but then I realized that I can never be content with writing about only one thing so yes, for now, it’ll remain very umbrella-esque. I usually write about music (predominantly Indian, but I cover others as well), movies, books, photography, and some other random musings. I also write fiction and you’d see a flash fiction piece now and then.

I’m also doing Photo 101 and an online course on Writing Fiction – it certainly does feel like l’m biting off more than what I can chew but I think I can just – just – pull it off! Fingers-crossed. If you’ve made it thus far, then I thank you for your time and hope to see you again!

He checks the word count – 460. Well that’s the most I’ve written in 15 minutes, he thinks smugly. And continues to publish the post…

Today‚Äôs assignment: write and publish a ‚Äúwho I am and why I‚Äôm here‚ÄĚ post on your blog.