Ambient Film Scores - Martinez, Isham, ...

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FORMAT
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Ambient Film Scores - Martinez, Isham, ...

Post by FORMAT » Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:10 am

I just thought, as there are so many electronic musicians here on this board, to open a topic discussing film scores that utilize electronic sounds rather than just orchestral. While many have merged the two to great effect (Gladiator by H. Zimmer comes to mind - great combination of orchestra, synth drones and ethereal vocals), there are also composers who go in that direction even more radically.

One of these - my personal favorite - is Cliff Martinez. His work on Sodherberg's Traffic is particularly outstanding, as is Solaris, one of the greatest examples of ambient orchestral/textural film scoring. Recently, First Snow was released on iTunes - exceptonal!
Isham is another very fine composer, and his scores to Crash or Lions for Lambs are good examples of the emotive atmosphere electronic/sample-based scores can convey.

A score I find very noteworthy in this regard is James Newton Howard's Michael Clayton. Has anyone here heard it on CD? It worked beautifully in the movie. As he's known for big orchestral work, I wonder how well he pulls off an electronically orientated film score?
Last edited by FORMAT on Sun Sep 21, 2008 8:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

Pitch Black
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Post by Pitch Black » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:06 am

Big love here for Cliff Martinez and Solaris! Beautiful! 8)

Another favourite movie sonicaly (sound design and music) is Master and Commander - The Far SIde of the World. The score uses some period classical music, but also has some incredible modern textural stuff done with orchestra and synths. The sound design is outstanding too, wonderfully atmospheric sea/wind fx, and the battle scenes SFX are incredible (especially in 5.1)
Last edited by Pitch Black on Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

oblique strategies
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Post by oblique strategies » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:09 am

FORMAT wrote: One of these - my personal favorite - is Cliff Martinez. His work on Sodherberg's Traffic is particularly outstanding, as is Solaris, one of the greatest examples of ambient orchestral/textural film scoring.
Cliff Martinez's score for Sodherberg's Solaris is marvelous. I ran out & bought the CD immediately after seeing the film.

A few others that come to mind:
Louis & Bebe Barron – Forbidden Planet (1956)

Gil Melle – Andromeda Strain (1971), & Night Gallery TV show theme (1970-73)

Tsutomu Oohashi -Akira (1988) anime

Kenji Kawai - Ghost in the Shell (1995) anime

Drew Neumann – Æon Flux - TV series (1991/92/95) released as Eye Spy, Ears Only: Confidential due to the lack of licensing permissions from MTV

Almost forgot Vangelis -Blade Runner (1982) !!!
Last edited by oblique strategies on Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

subbasshead
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Post by subbasshead » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:10 am

Maybe the movie is what made it work? ie what the movie actually needs to support its drama, point of view, emotion etc....

Listening to film scores without the film tells you nothing about how (or why) the music was written or conceived.....

As with most film composers, they tend to gravitate towards movies (or the movies gravitate towards them) that can make the best use of their skills
which is why if its a big action movie the same names tend to appear..
& if its a period drama the same names tend to appear....
& if its the kind of film an electronic score suits then the same names reoccur...

FORMAT
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Post by FORMAT » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:14 am

subbasshead wrote:Maybe the movie is what made it work? ie what the movie actually needs to support its drama, point of view, emotion etc....

Listening to film scores without the film tells you nothing about how (or why) the music was written or conceived.....

As with most film composers, they tend to gravitate towards movies (or the movies gravitate towards them) that can make the best use of their skills
which is why if its a big action movie the same names tend to appear..
& if its a period drama the same names tend to appear....
& if its the kind of film an electronic score suits then the same names reoccur...
That may well be true. As I see, you've done your fair share of work on films?

oblique strategies
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Post by oblique strategies » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:20 am

Pitch Black wrote: Another favourite movie sonicaly (sound design and music...
Speaking of sound design, I Am Legend had very evocative & fantastic sound design for its post apocalyptic New York. Lots of insect sounds.

4.33
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Post by 4.33 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:23 am

have a listen to John Williams' score for War Of The Worlds alone in a dark room with eyes closed for ambience :wink:
Last edited by 4.33 on Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

subbasshead
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Post by subbasshead » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:25 am

That may well be true. As I see, you've done your fair share of work on films?

Not as a composer though.....
but collaborating with composers is one of the many joys of the work
(as is collaborating with directors, editors etc....)
& none of that music would get written without the film existing in the first place..
specifically i mean... some other music might get composed, but when you work
on a film soundtrack it is the film itself that you must stay true to....

oblique strategies
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Post by oblique strategies » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:34 am

4.33 wrote:have a listen to John Williams' score for War Of The Worlds alone in a dark room with eyes closed for ambience :wink:
Does it have those incredible sounds that the tripods made? Wow!!! Really scary sounds.

4.33
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Post by 4.33 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:35 am

oblique strategies wrote:
4.33 wrote:have a listen to John Williams' score for War Of The Worlds alone in a dark room with eyes closed for ambience :wink:
Does it have those incredible sounds that the tripods made? Wow!!! Really scary sounds.
yep) but really listen to it as a whole
the whole drama is also there

FORMAT
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Post by FORMAT » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:36 am

When it comes to minimalist, non-orchestral work, I very much rate the soundtrack for "Babel". One of Gustavo Santaolalla's best, with contributions from Sakamoto.

oblique strategies
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Post by oblique strategies » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:38 am

4.33 wrote:
oblique strategies wrote:
4.33 wrote:have a listen to John Williams' score for War Of The Worlds alone in a dark room with eyes closed for ambience :wink:
Does it have those incredible sounds that the tripods made? Wow!!! Really scary sounds.
yep) but really listen to it as a whole
the whole drama is also there
Wunderbar!

smartass303
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Post by smartass303 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:19 am

oblique strategies wrote:
Kenji Kawai - Ghost in the Shell (1995) anime
+ 1000!
Theres a nice Remix from we can do it! called Der Geist in der Muschel (Ghost in the shell), worth a listen...

FORMAT
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Post by FORMAT » Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:57 pm

smartass303 wrote:
oblique strategies wrote:
Kenji Kawai - Ghost in the Shell (1995) anime
.
Never heard of him...

landrvr1
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Re: Ambient Film Scores - Martinez, Isham, ...

Post by landrvr1 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 6:25 pm

FORMAT wrote:I just thought, as there are so many electronic musicians here on this board, to open a topic discussing film scores that utilize electronic sounds rather than just orchestral. While many have merged the two to great effect (Gladiator by H. Zimmer comes to mind - great combination of orchestra, synth drones and ethereal vocals), there are also composers who go in that direction even more radically.

One of these - my personal favorite - is Cliff Martinez. His work on Sodherberg's Traffic is particularly outstanding, as is Solaris, one of the greatest examples of ambient orchestral/textural film scoring. Recently, First Snow was released on iTunes - exceptonal!
Isham is another very fine composer, and his scores to Crash or Lions for Lambs are good examples of the emotive atmosphere electronic/sample-based scores can convey.

A score I find very noteworthy in this regard is James Newton Howard's Michael Clayton. Has anyone here heard it on CD? It worked beautifully in the movie. As he's known for big orchestral work, I wonder how well he pulls of an electronically orientated film score?

Early Isham scores are phenominal. Two worth checking out:


The Beast

Trouble in Mind
BRILLIANT! Marianne Faithfull's vocal addition is superb.


Also, guitarist Michael Brook has done some excellent albums and scores as well.


...

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