June 2011 Listening Diary!
Wednesday, June 1: June listening started right at midnight with a complete listen to Alexandre Desplat's score for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) which is the score that first made me a fan of Maestro Desplat.
At the gym later that day I continued getting to know Bear McCreary's new 2-CD set release of music for the game SOCOM 4. All thirty minutes on the treadmill were spent listening to its latter portions and it didn't disappoint. Classic McCreary!
After my workout it was time for a nap as I was still not completely over the latest cold. The music I chose to join me on that nap was John Williams' classic Superman The Movie (1978) score. I listened to the pastoral pieces accompanying Superman's childhood and maturing through to the music accompanying his exploits in Metropolis. Later that night, I listened to the other third of that score (it's like 3 scores in one), the other-worldly music that accompanies the film's opening scenes on the planet Krypton. Astounding music all round. And it was this score that first sparked my interest in orchestral music (the main theme is the first piece of orchestral music I remember noticing) and film music in general. Thanks John:
Capping a music-filled day I listened to Christopher Young's action-packed, theme-packed, and totally epic score for the disaster flick The Core (2003). And I continued listening to it the next day on a rare walk to work - I had left my bike at work because of the huge storm that struck last night killing the festival and flooding my building.
Saturday, June 4: Listened to more of Bear McCreary's SOCOM 4 score while on the treadmill and while driving to and from E-Mart where I spent my Keimyung Professor's Sports Day winnings. Bear's score is really starting to grow on me.
Sunday, June 5: I went to sleep listening to Hans Zimmer's score for Rain Man (1988) after watching the movie on Saturday night. I'd forgotten what a great movie it is. And Hans Zimmer's score fits it like a glove. I'll have is main theme in my head for the next few days. Here's a ten minute montage from the film with selections from the score over it:
Monday, June 6: Listened to more of Rain Man while walking to the gym, focusing on the quieter, more intimate pieces which I need to add to my "studying and relaxing" iPod play list. Next up while at the gym on a spin bike I listened to Bear McCreary's Dark Void score and continued listening to it throughout the rest of the day when the opportunity arose. The score really grew on me today and I especially love Steve Barteck's wild guitar solos. And the main theme is growing on me too:
Also in my ears these past few days was Hans Zimmer's quirky score for Ridley Scott's Matchstick Men (2003).
Wednesday, June 8: I went for an hour long walk in the morning by the river near my apartment and explored a new score by one of my favorite composers in the process. I haven't heard much of Murray Gold's music outside of his Doctor Who and Torchwood scores, but recently his first feature score was released: Hoodwinked Too: Hood Vs. Evil. It's a fun listen with shades of his Doctor Who music and John Barry's James Bond music. I'll have to return to it soon to get to know it better.
I ended the walk with a score that has a similiar fun feel: Michael Giacchino's delicious and brassy score for The Incredibles (2004):
Monday & Tuesday, June 13 & 14: My two cardio sessions were accompanied by Howard Shore's music from the later two Lord of the Rings films. From Return of the King I listened to "The Lighting of the Beacons" and the tracks surrounding it and from The Two Towers I listened to "The Wolves Of Isengad" and subseqent tracks:
Wednesday, June 15: Something completely different as I went to sleep tonight. While in bed I watched Freddie Mercury's last interview which had just been posted on Queen's official Facebook page. In that interview Freddie talked about his then recent collaboration with Montserrat Caballe which resulted in the album Barcelona. That was what I listened to for perhaps the first time in almost a decade. Sadly sleep came pretty qucikly, so I'll have to put it on again when I'm not feeling so tired. RIP Freddie.
Saturday, June 18: More Howard Shore today. First up while on the treadmill was The Lord of the Rings Rarities Archive which is included in Doug Adams' book The Music of the Lord of the Rings. And then later in the evening while walking around town his most recent score for the lastest Twilight film Twilight: Eclipse which features a beautiful solo piano rendition of the main theme and a pretty cool vocal version. I went to sleep listening to Michael Giacchino's Lost Season 4 soundtrack.
Sunday, June 19: While riding to and from the pool and gym I listened to Jerry Goldsmith's rousing and powerful score for the TV mini series Masada (1981) and while swimming the music of Bear McCreary kept me from getting too bored. Speaking of Masada, Intrada Records just released the original soundtrack recording for the first time (the original release was a rerecording). My copy is on its way (along with a couple of other goodies) and I can't wait to sink my ears into it.
Monday June 20 - Wednesday June 22: I continued reacquainting myself with Michael Giacchino's music for the later seasons of Lost and I listened to selections from a few of his film scores: Star Trek (2009), Speed Racer (2008), and his most recent release Cars 2 (2011) which I heard for the first time this week. First impressions are very positive and I particularly love the retro 60s feel of the main theme. In a word: groovy! And one night, I can't quite recall which, I went to sleep to the luscious strains of the film music of French composer Georges Delerue thanks to Varese Saraband's Great Composers Series of CDs.
Friday June 24 & Saturday June 25: While on the treadmill on Friday and while walking around on Saturday I listened to the recently released complete score for Jerry Goldsmith's First Knight (1995). I'm already familiar with the original soundtrack that was released when the film came out, but this new release adds a lot of extra music including Goldsmith's theme for Lancelot that was inexplicably omitted from the original release. In 3 words: epic, powerful, and stirring. Here's taste:
Later in bed while reading the Kim Stanley Robinson short story "Escape From Kathmandu" I put on John Williams' score for Seven Years In Tibet (1997) because it seemed appropriate.
Tuesday, June 28: John Williams' American Journey (2000) suite kept me occupied at the gym this morning while I rode a spin bike. What a joy it was to listen to, even the dissonant yet powerful "Country at War" piece.
Wednesday & Thursday, June 29 & 30: I started re-watching the last season of Lost this week, and that naturally led me to listen to Michael Giacchino's score, and since the music from that season is generously represented on 4 CDs; as much as I love Michael's music for Lost, a lot of it is still pretty unfamiliar to me. That is something I look forward to correcting and I'm making progress.
I ended June on a different note: the earliest Jerry Goldsmith film to receive a CD release so far; a CD that just arrived a couple of days ago. That would be City Of Fear (1959), released by Intrada Records a couple of weeks ago for those of you who are not up to speed with Jerry Goldsmith's chronology of film scores and discography. It was fascinating to listen to early brutal Goldsmith and as per usual for that period, the pianist was one Johnny Williams. The music contains many signs of things to come in terms of instrumentation and orchestral colors. Thanks Intrada, and R.I.P. maestro.