Score Saturday: Paint It Black – Westworld – Ramin Djawadi

Westworld is probably one of the best things I’ve seen in 2016. With a premise that gets to seamlessly fuse the past and the future, the music too gets to be as inventive. Case in point is the totally amazing modern rendition of the Rolling Stones classic – Paint It Black.

Ramin Djawadi is fast becoming one of my favourite composers. I loved his work in Person of Interest, and of course we all know he totally rocked Game of Thrones with his music, and now Westworld! I love how he plays with different genre music, and his unconventionality.

The piece intensifies as it progresses, finally reaching a goosebumps inducing epic high. This is the kind of music that you want to pump through your speakers at full volume 🙂

 

 

Score Saturday: Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them – James Newton Howard

I’ve seen this film a couple of times now (hurray!) and hoping I’ll get to see it a handful times more before it leaves the theaters. And while we are on this matter, an amen for the IMAX in Hyderabad. I’m glad you exist.

Moving on…(oh waitttt…where’s the movie review you ask? Well at this point in this all I can say is it’s coming! 🙂 )

So let’s talk about the music! But before that, a word about John Williams (the one who scored for the first three Harry Potter films). Every memorable musical piece from the Potter films – be it the Hedwig’s theme or Harry’s Wondrous World or my personal favourite Leaving Hogwarts – have been John’s creations. Yes, there were other composers after him who have done some splendid work but if you notice closely, they all still take off of what John has established. He was the one to lay the musical foundation for everything that was to follow.

But when I heard that James Newton Howard would be scoring Fantastic Beasts, I had my hopes high since he is somebody who always seems to have a trick up his sleeve. The big challenge now is do something entirely now, and not making it sound like an extension to the Potter scores, and to that effect I think James has indeed succeeded very well. And this becomes evident when you listen to the opening theme itself, which instantly registers as something new and yet carrying the same magical air. Go on, give this a go! (Note: This score makes more sense after you’ve seen the film.)

The delightfully magical sound continues in my next favourite piece (I’m going in chronological order). We are given the very first glimpse of MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America!) headquarters in this one and I instantly fell in love with the motif that plays as the camera pans around and rises to give us a breathtaking view of the atrium! (starts at 00:51)

Oooh, this next one is grand! And for this, we need to enter Newt Scamander’s magically extended suitcase that is also an animal preserve. And at this point,  I was completely swooning over the three-note violin melody that may sound simple but captures that essence of adventure and “experiencing something for the first time” so damned well.

Now moving onto something a little more soul-stirring. If you’ve seen the film, this is the one that plays when Queenie asks Newt about his ex-lover Leta Lestrange. I know we’ve barely scratched the surface of Newt’s past here and there’s definitely more of Leta and Newt in the sequels. I wish they reuse and expand this theme into something more as what we’ve got right now is a smidge of a lot of things, with heartbreak and nostalgia topping the list. And I’d love to drown in this a little deeper.

(Try this: Put this on loop for about 5-6 times and tell me if it doesn’t do anything to you.)

An utterly sad one, the next. My heart went out for Credence. This piece didn’t register much in the theater, as I was probably already too overwhelmed by whatever was unfolding but listening to it now, damn, this is beautiful music!

Ooh we’ve reached the climax (of course you weren’t expecting me to cover the whole album, were you? :P). BUT, this is where it gets better!! And I think “Newt Releases The Thunderbird” (skip to 5:00) is gonna become my next favourite score from the Potterverse. And just the way everything comes together in this scene, tying multiple threads together neatly, is so classic Rowling that you can’t help but feel a sense of wonder.

The ending bits of this belong to Jacob Kowalski, oh you delightful being you. Obliviate!

Now we’re saying goodbyes and to new beginnings! My favourite motif repeats again, mellower this time. And the movie leaves you right here with a bittersweet smile on your face.

Well now I’ve taken you through a musical journey of some of the best scores from the movie, but ain’t no album without a kickass End Titles score. And James tries to do a John Powell and pulls it off neatly too! Equally magical and epic, this one.

Have a great day, no-majs! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Score Saturday: To Eire – P.S. I Love You – John Powell

I dunno if it is just me but I think that the movie adaptation of P.S. I Love You was way better than the book it was based on. Yes they kinda changed stuff around but it was actually more coherent and apt for the story. And of course, the presence of Gerard Butler and Hilary Swank helped loads. 🙂

But, it is actually John Powell who walks away with the most honors in my opinion. His music is what adds that cherry on the cake, if not the whole flavor. The wonderful violins section in this one had been my ringtone back in college when I first saw the movie.

Time for some love, y’all.

Score Saturday: Welcome To Jurassic Park – John Williams

Well long before Harry Potter, John Williams poured life into many a films with his signature epic scores. And Jurassic Park will always be special because it is one of the first Hollywood films I’ve seen, on HBO or Star Movies, huddled under a blanket at night. At that young age, it was of course the spectacle and the intrigue that drew me to it.

But even today, I still think it is one of the better movies to have come out of the decade. Steven Spielberg does the unthinkable, and John Williams’ score is simply out of the world.

Score Saturday: Married Life – UP – Michael Giacchino

People who’ve seen this film will have the actual scenes from the song flash in their mind. Pixar proves that one can tell a beautiful love story in just four minutes that too without any dialogues and still make people cry. None of this would have been possible without Michael Giacchinos score though. I don’t even have words….how can something be both heart-wrenching and warming at the same time!

 

Score Saturday! How To Train Your Dragon 2 – John Powell

I didn’t want to put this feature in the back burner for too long. Some recent events (read: city flooding and me relocating temporarily) have juggled with my writing schedule a lot and I haven’t been able to keep with my posts. But I’m back! And I promise to keep Score Saturday alive every Saturday from now on! Besides being one of my favourite things to write about, there’s nothing like listening to some good orchestral music at the beginning of the weekend!

So this week I’m gonna go ballistic over ya’ll. With this thumping and foot-tap worthy score from the movie How To Train Your Dragon 2. It’s called “Dragon Racing” and it is pretty much is like a medley of all the wonderful motifs from the movie. John Powell is a genius, who knows how to capture the intrigue and the grandiosity of Berk and also Toothless, the dragon!  The track is 4 minutes and 38 seconds long and I can’t say which part I like best, it’s all marvelous!

Let these Celtic rhythms and beats take over you!

And since we’re here, I couldn’t resist not sharing this one more song from the movie by Jonsi. It’s a perfect, perfect song. Just imagine yourself riding a dragon when you listen to this! 😀

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.

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….. 😛

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.

That Sitar music from Piku everyone is raving about!

When a beautiful movie has beautiful music too, isn’t that the most wonderful thing ever!

Ever since I’ve written an article on Bezubaan, I noticed that I was getting a lot of hits through a Google search of “opening credits sitar piku” and the like. It piqued my interest and I wondered what really was so striking about that bit.

Sarod

And today I finally came to know.

This is every bit beautiful and I loved it every time it appeared as a background score in the movie. And apparently the instrument is Sarod and not Sitar like what I thought before! But man, does this sound hauntingly beautiful! Totally enamored by this.

Listen and fall in love with music once again!