March 2010 Listening Diary!
Sunday, March 7: I'm a little behind so let me go back in time a few days and start from there: On March 4 I listened to Brian Tyler's The Killing Room for the first time all the way through (while riding my exercise bike) and I was quite impressed with it. Especially the string arpeggio motive that pops up in a few of the tracks. That's one score I definitely need to get to know better.
Bear McCreary's two latest CDs have been getting a lot of play time on my iPod and iPhone. His new Battlestar Galactica CD containing music for the DVD movies Razor and The Plan has been gracing my ears everyday since I got it with The Plan eclipsing Razor in the favorites department. His other new score for the computer game Dark Void is a powerhouse of a score in terms of size, number of themes, and length. Clocking in at 80 minutes, it'll take a while to become familiar with this score but I'm looking forward to hearing it some more.
A few nights ago (Thursday maybe?) I went to sleep listening to the end of John Williams best Star Wars score, The Empire Strikes Back. I started listening from the beginning of the Bespin (Cloud City) sequence and no matter how many times I listen to this music it never fails to give me goose bumps. My favorite score which I don't listen to nearly enough.
Today I listened to Danny Elfman's latest Alice in Wonderland for the first time and what a joy it was. I fell in love with Alice's theme instantly and couldn't stop humming it all afternoon. Elfman at his most Elfish.
Tuesday, March 9: Michael Giacchino won an Oscar last night for his score for the Pixar film Up, so that's what I listened to last night as sleep came and I continued listening to it today at work while preparing for my first teacher training class. I've been a fan of Michael since about 2002 when I first heard his Medal of Honor video game scores and I've loved everything he's done since, so it's great to see him win the Oscar. Here's a video detailing the creative process behind the music of Up:
Wednesday, March 10: The heaviest snowfall I've ever seen since moving to Daegu in 2005 left me with no choice but to walk to work. I donned my trusty hiking boots to keep my feet dry and then set off on a 50-minute cross country trek across the snow and ice. Joe Hisaishi's cheerful and bright score for the movie Kikujiro kept me company along the way. The main theme is called "Summer," but it's great music to walk to in any season. Here's Joe himself performing his main theme on piano:
Sunday, March 14: I read a really interesting with Danny Elfman over at IF Magazine about the creation of his new Alice in Wonderland score which resulted in me giving it a few more listens over the past few days. Alice's Theme is definitely now my favorite Danny Elfman theme:
Sunday, March 14: I gave Danny Elfman's concert work Serenada Schizophrana a listen as I went to sleep Sunday night. Here's my favorite piece from that called "I Forget":
Monday, March 15: My bedtime music tonight was Michael Giacchino's score for the latest Star Trek film, and what a contrast it is to his Oscar winning Up score composed around the same time:
Thursday, March 18: Last night I listened to John Powell's P.S. I Love You score for the first time. It was one of those scores that fell through my listening cracks despite a growing appreciation of John Powell's music. My first impression was "light and breezy" and the score must have had an impact on me because during the night it entered a dream in which I was telling some KMU students about how light and breezy the score was. I continued listening to it today while I veged at home with a cold. Another case of I can't believe I never listened to this before. What a wonderful little score it is; I especially like the intimate feel of the first few tracks that make use of a small ensemble featuring acoustic guitar, piano, flute, and xylophone. I continued listening to more Powell throughout the afternoon on my sofa napping to Stop Loss and Shrek which he co-wrote with Harry Gregson-Williams. I put on P.S. I Love You again in the evening and that only increased my appreciation for the score.
I went to sleep listening to two Joe Hisaishi scores: his latest A Tale of Ululu's Wonderful Forest and When The Last Sword is Drawn.
Friday, March 19: I walked to work in the morning with a cold and continued listening to Joe Hisaishi's The Last Sword is Drawn. The track "Hotaro" really stood out for me. I loved the melody first carried by accoustic guitar.
Saturday, March 20: Feeling better today I took the subway downtown and then a cab to Camp Walker to pick up some new shirts and a pair of trousers. On my journeys I continued exploring two scores I've been listening to recently: Danny Elfman's Alice in Wonderland and John Powell's P.S. I Love You. I went to sleep listening to Michael Kamen's Band of Brothers; it's a score I hadn't listened to in quite a while:
Sunday, March 21: Rambo 3 was playing on my treadmill TV at the gym, so I put on the last half of Jerry Goldsmith's score. Silly movie; great music. That led me to later explore my Jerry Goldsmith collection and I put on the final piece from his Baby, Secret of the Lost Legend score which was released last year and quickly sold out. It reminded me a lot of his Rambo scores in part. At night I got out my trusty 160GB iPod and went to sleep listening to the rest of the score. Some really nice music in those early few tracks. In the evening I saw Alice in Wonderland with Bo-Ram, so I put on Danny Elfman's score on the way home and enjoyed "Alice's Theme" again. I loved it the first time I heard it and it's grown on me since.
Monday, March 22 - Friday March 26: Well that was one hell of a busy week that left me very little time to enjoy music. I gave John Powell's new How To Train Your Dragon score a few listens and really enjoyed what I heard. I also listened to selections from John Williams' final Star Wars score for Revenge of the Sith. That "Anakin's Betrayal" cue is really something special. It's been far too long since I listened to that:
Saturday, March 27: I listened to Bear McCreary's Battlestar Galactica season 4 CD and was happily surprised to see he posted on his blog today a very interesting and informative (not to mention long) recent Google Talks interview:
Monday, March 29: While on the treadmill I put on John Williams classic Raiders of the Lost Ark score, from the airplane fight through to the finale. And later in the day more of Williams' Indiana Jones music with the end of The Temple of Doom. In other music news, Conrad Pope, John Williams orchestator accepted my friend request on FaceBook. Happy day!
Wednesday, March 31: I listened to John Powell's P.S. I Love You score again while walking to and from my late Wednesday class in the rain. One of those rare scores that is an absolute joy from start to finish.
Well that's the end of my first listening diary. I couldn't list everything I listened to, but the above is a pretty good indictaion. Sadly, there's not enough hours in the day to enjoy all the music I'd like to...