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Welcome to another article from the Geekstalker Community. I feel obliged to issue a warning here….what follows is a whole bunch of AWESOMENESS! The Geekstalkers are an amazing group of geeks, nerds, podcasters and brilliant people who just like talking about anything and everything. A while ago we decided to share some of these conversations with the wider world.
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This month’s topic was our Best/Favourite Film Score, the only rule was the song/theme/music had to be original, written for a particular film, other than that…….There are no rules!!! Enjoy!
Ben from SuperNerds UK – @HailLeviation, @SuperNerdsUK
Markus – @TheMarckoguy
The movie, as most people should know, is about three men (Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, and Lee Van Cleef) searching for a treasure during the American civil war. So what we have is a big and epic western, and for that we would need score that reflects that. And Morricone provides! His score perfectly reflects the big adventure that the characters are on. Making big and bombastic themes for the big and badass set pieces. Tracks like The Ecstasy of Gold or Il Triello are perfect for making some of these fairly big moments incredibly memorable and epic. But Morricone also made some pretty incredible tracks for the smaller scenes.
A good example of this is the track Sentenza which is a very haunting tracks that sounds like it came straight out of a horror movie. Morricone also gave us my favorite movie theme tune of all time when he composed the score for this movie. And sure, a bunch of the tracks in the score sound like slightly remixed versions of the theme tune. But I don’t mind because they sound unique enough that it never gets annoying. Plus, I just adore that theme so god damn much!
So in conclusion: Ennio Morricone’s score for Sergio Leone’s The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is absolutely fantastic!
Dan from Nerdifi – @Nerdifi_MCR
Seb Reeves – @TheRealMrSeb
Sasha aka Chewbasha – @Bash2110
John Williams’ film scores are practically unrivalled – many honourable mentions can be made to his other film scores like Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark (and all the Indiana Jones films), E.T., and Superman. His compositions are synonymous with these properties. They seamlessly blend into the films, both beautifully cinematic and whimsically expressive.
Considering Star Wars in particular, even people who haven’t seen any of the Star Wars franchise will recognise Darth Vader’s Imperial March or the opening Main Theme. For me, I find the music tells the story just as well as what you see on screen. I can close my eyes and know exactly what is happening, and not just because I am a huge Star Wars fan, who has seen the original trilogy more times than I care to count!
This is in part due to Williams’ use of the leitmotif, a recurring melody associated with a character, place, or emotion. The key characters each have their own theme which can be rearranged, or tempo changed, but always the same melody. It is also down to Williams’ use of emotive arrangements – a hark back to silent movies that relied on their music to express the emotion.
It’s epic. It’s beautiful. It’s iconic. The Star Wars score gets the nod of approval from this wookie.
Dave from Jack and the Geekstalk – @Crutchy, @JackGeekstalk
Lou from Jack and the Geekstalk – @Lola_Flump, @JackGeekstalk
Light. Something new and intriguing is happening, something bigger than me. The magic is beginning. This is a lullaby, I’m being welcomed home. A flurry of excitement, we’re heading for something important and grand with an anticipation of the adventures that lay in wait. The castle comes into view, a hitch of breath, the possibilities are seemingly endless. Hustle and bustle permeates. The grand hall and its feasts calls to me, warms me – I can smell the pumpkin pasties and treacle tart, I can hear the chatter of students. What awaits us? This is home, but there are mysteries to be uncovered, discoveries to be made. I want to explore. Amongst all these new surroundings, how to know what is normal? Something is coming this way. There’s a need to act, an urge to discover. Then the realisation. Danger approaches, with it comes exhilaration too – we’re flying and as we come back to ground the real threat has arrived. It is time to stand our ground. Time to make myself count- we’re rushing in headfirst. Now the challenge is relentless, the threat keeps coming and is underhanded until the end. The danger doesn’t stop and nor can I.
Listening to that piece of music, I relieve the feeling of every word and every chapter. The piece perfectly reflects the balance of each book and film, as well as the series as a whole. It takes me to Hogwarts, to Olivanders, to the Forbidden Forest, into quidditch, into feasts where I eat until I can’t move, into duels to the death and through every ounce of pain and joy. What more can I say?!
Claudia of GeekyNerd – @1GeekyNerd
Ben from #nerdschatting – ben@nerdschatting, @nerdschatting
Anyone for Wildfire?
OK I wasn’t going to give a review for best score. It was too hard and I couldn’t pick one film score from another.
So I’m not, I’m going to cheat and do a TV score…!
I love Game of Thrones. I’ve read almost all of the books (they’re VERY long, give me a break) and I’ve been on board since I was convalescing from an operation for two weeks in the summer of 2011. A kind chap called Nathan let me borrow his copy of the first episode of season 1 and, well the rest is history.
I won’t go into the show much more, suffice to say that I believe a part of what makes it great is the incredible score by Ramin Djawadi. From the moment the titles come on, you’re immediately thrown into a feudal world of warring houses, politics, intrigue and a greater darker, colder threat, as yet unseen by most. It’s truly some of the best TV I’ve EVER seen.
Anyway, my favourite piece of musical score from the show, isn’t the main title, or the eerie chords we get whenever the others/white walkers stir in the far, frozen north, or the “something wicked this way comes” of the Lannisters Rains of Castamere, or some of the lighter music that shows the heart of the show like the scene when Jon and Sansa embrace at Castle Black after 6 long years apart.
Nope, none of that. That is all incredible musical scoring that lifts the show to heights that make your heart beat faster, skip a beat, or stop totally.
No, my favourite musical score from Game of Thrones is “Light of the Seven” – here’s a link so you can hear what I mean – https://youtu.be/pS-gbqbVd8c
This music played at the beginning of season 6’s final episode, The Winds of Winter. GoT has a habit of pouring everything the season has been building to in its 9th episode. Baelor of season 1, Blackwater from season 2, The Rains of Castamere for season 3 and so on. Season 6 was no exception as it gave us the Battle of the Bastards. What an episode that was!
Anyway, episode 10 opened with this stirring, almost operatic music that intercut characters getting ready and starting their day, other characters being sentenced to grim or to live seemingly mundane lives. Then it kicks up a gear, and you witness the characters each in their own way discover that something else is at play in all of this madness, all the time the music builds the tension to almost unbearable levels.
It’s almost too much of a crescendo of hauntingly beautiful tension; you almost want to rip your own skin off – and then you witness the event unravel, and everything seems to slow down whilst the utter carnage explodes across the screen. Then you notice that the music has stopped. No spoilers however those who have seen the episode will know what I’m talking about.
What you see and hear in this scene is pitched so perfectly together, it’s easy to understand how the show won another Emmy award for Outstanding Drama at the 2016 awards show.
Oh and, did I mention that that’s merely the opening 15 minutes of that episode…! There’s still 45 minutes of GoT goodness to wade through..
Thanks for reading. I know I cheated, however I feel that Game of Thrones has the same, if not better production values than most movies!
Sammi from Jack and the Geekstalk – @Sammo94jo, @JackGeekstalk
The theme from Jurassic Park has to be one of the best pieces of movie music ever created, unsurprisingly composed by the legend that is John Williams. The scene revealing the park to Dr Grant and Ellie is accompanied by a powerful score that makes you feel just how big of a moment it is for the characters.
The piece of music can only be described as nostalgic for me, the minute I hear those opening notes I am transported back to seeing those big wooden gates opening to a world unknown. I even found that the use of the music in an almost lullaby manner in the recent Jurassic World film has me thrown back to feeling every emotion I felt the very first time I experienced those man made monsters from a time before man.
Jason Kerrin @jasonsmovieblog
In the cinematic world of movies, the film’s score is instrumental and a powerful tool that adds layers towards the feature’s contexts. It can invoke a strong sense of emotion (i.e. laughter, joy, sadness, suspense, etc.) as well as carry scenes that are more visual without the need of a single line of spoken character dialogue. So, what’s my favorite…. that’s a hard decision to make. While I do have a lot of favorite film scores (yes, I do buy the soundtrack if the score is really good), I would have to say that one of my favorites is The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by Howard Shore.
What can I say, I love Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy and (by extension) his Hobbit trilogy. Furthermore, I’m a huge fan of anything fantasy, so I knew that I was going to love these movies. While Jackson’s films are made of high quality (production, costume, and overall scope) in recreating Tolkien’s beloved world of Middle-Earth on the big screen, all of these films had beautiful music that aided to powerful dynamics to each film. Composed by music composer Howard Shore, The Fellowship of the Ring introduces us (the viewers) to some of the franchise’s signature melodies, including the happy and light “The Shire / Hobbit” theme, the rousing melody of “The Fellowship”, the dark and ominous themes of “Sauron” and “Sauruman (Isengard), the haunting chorus of the “Ringwraith / Nazgul”, the somber (yet mystifying) piece to “Galadriel” and the one single piece of a solo French Horn melody of “Gondor”, which would become fully realized (more orchestral) in future installments. All of these pieces (plus many more) help add weight to the film’s prolithic power and grandeur, immersing a viewer into the world of Jackson’s vision of Middle-Earth.
Perhaps my favorite example of Howard Shore’s music can be found in this clip below…..
Now imagine this scene without music and how much different it would’ve been without it. Think it about…while this scene from Fellowship works and is impressive (especially with the film’s visuals and the talented actors in it, the powerful and emotion musical melodies help resonate a sense of fear, dramatic tension and sadness. And that’s just a four and half minute scene from the movie.
Now, while Howard Shore has composed the other entries in Peter’s Jackson Middle-Earth sagas, including the other two Lord of Rings films (The Two Towers and The Return of the King) and The Hobbit trilogy (An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug, and The Battle of the Five Armies), his score for The Fellowship of the Ring was essential (and probably my favorite) because it set the overall “musical tone” for the rest of the franchise. Yes, Howard Shore did create new melodies and song pieces to be added to his composition of Jackson’s cinematic fantasy franchise, but a lot of the melodies and songs in Fellowship became signature pieces that carried over into the other sequential installments. It is for that reason why I would say that Howard Shore’s score for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is my favorite film score.
Ian from SuperNerds UK – @ianyoungkop, @SuperNerds_UK
My favourite score is a strange one but hopefully you’ll understand why I’ve chosen it! Gremlins for me perfectly catches the essence of the movie, sometimes terrifying other times almost taken from a slapstick comedy! The movie and the soundtrack are an absolute match made in heaven! The Gremlins Rag ( The theme tune is one of my favourite themes and I get a smile on my face every time I hear it! Jerry Goldsmith here delivers a masterpiece of genius quality!
Once again I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this article, it wouldn’t be much of a community without these guys and gals. We are known as the Geekstalkers and love to talk about anything so if you want to get involved yourself just contact us on any of the links below!
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