John Williams is one of the established masters of the art of film scoring. Along with the recent releases of Tintin and War Horse, some of his older scores, including Midway and 1941, have received recent digital releases. The combined listening experience is a lesson in itself: here’s how to write nuanced music that has a dialogue with the script.
The Tintin score (which has already Williams a nomination) has captured the heart and adventurous spirit of both the film, and the books that many have loved for so many years. From the opening sequence until the closing credits, Williams delivers music that you can hum along to, and music that feels, well, remarkably Tintinish – specifically the pieces composed to accompany Snowy, which are all particularly pleasant.
While the big bright sounds of Tintin are definitely some of Williams’ best work, it seems that the score to War Horse will eclipse that of Tintin. In the scenes of high drama, the soundtrack pushes through, while in the scenes of quiet contemplation, it carries the echoes of what has been and what is yet to come. This 40 year relationship with Spielberg proves yet again to be a winner. The epic orchestral score features themes which chase each other, circle back, and mark out rhythms that you can’t forget. Here, no doubt, is a contender for Best Original Score, and an audio experience that will leave your ears tingling with emotion.
Karen Jeynes is a writer: of plays, tweets, television, poetry, fiction, radio, and pretty much anything people will pay her for. She has an unnatural obsession with reality television and film soundtracks. Recently she has developed a worrying fondness for piglets and ukuleles. She lives in Cape Town, which is bloody distracting when you’re trying to hit a deadline but the city is basking in the sunshine. She has two boys who are far more entertaining than she is, and frequently teach her new shortcut keys on the computer. She’s optimistically attempting to adapt Jane Austen for her Master’s Degree. Follow her @karenjeynes or read her occasional blog at karenjeynes.wordpress.com
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