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Miz

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    Snowdonia, Wales, UK

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  1. I love how the Fondor became a ship with character, and took on the Star Wars trope of a plucky smaller ship outwitting a large Imperial one... and with such creativity. But that's not what this is about. The subtle ways authoritarianism shifts society (Mothma's daughter), the way these downtrodden heroes have their hands forced, the corners the Empire puts them into, the tragedy of their separation and distrust of each other, the anticipation of how they might unite, the prequel-benefit of knowing that they're going to rise up. It's all delicious. Finally, Star Wars for grown-ups.
  2. Yes, I think the second album might be a bit more entertaining (though darker)... but I look forward to cropping highlights from all 3 albums eventually.
  3. I confess myself disappointed at the musical listening experience of these albums. There are some decent moments but no sustained 'feature' tracks, as the musical approach flits from theme to theme and scene to scene. I love the score overall and think the first album presentation quite enough for me, with the same sort of theme-centric and set-piece tracks that made the Battlestar Galactica albums so appealing.
  4. Any word on the release date for the next album?
  5. Glad I'm not imagining it about Numenor. It's a pretty clear port, and thematically relevant (Argonath was built by Numenoreans), a great choice IMO. I might be imagining it about Sauron and the Stranger!
  6. I just noticed some possible theme links to Shore's work probably spotted by others here. Numenor, my favourite material, seems to borrow its first phrase or two from the scene in FotR as the boat approaches the two statues (the rising motifs before the ring theme). Sauron's theme... is it in the same key, or scale, as the original Mordor theme? I can certainly sing it along and it sounds like it fits, and this Sauron theme seems to pivot around two notes too. The Stranger's theme also pivots around two notes in the same way that Gandalf's original theme does, and one seems to fit the other as counterpoint in a similar way. Intentional?
  7. You know it, Bear! Anyway, I cannot find a thread for the score so I'll say it hear: Rings of Power is a superb score! One of his best albums too (though flagging at the end). I just noticed some possible theme links to Shore's work too, probably spotted by others here. Numenor, my favourite material, seems to borrow its first phrase or two from the scene in FotR as the boat approaches the two statues (the rising motifs before the ring theme). Sauron's theme... is it in the same key, or scale, as the original Mordor theme? I can certainly sing it along and it sounds like it fits, and this Sauron theme seems to pivot around two notes too.
  8. Like John Williams, he will give his all no matter the quality of the project. But this is a work-horse score - it sounds very much like its fit for picture (and its repetitive nature suggests the film's beats are samey too) - but not interesting enough for repeated listens away. I'm only one listen in, and I can hear craftsmanship throughout, but I could also describe this simply as Caroline Shaw's Partita for 8 Voices meets Mica Levi's Under the Skin meets Solo's Enfys Nest vocals.
  9. Wachowskis, if only he'd created more scores for them. Speed Racer and Jupiter Ascending are more comprehensive scores than the rest in the list...but Reeves for his darker tones, and Bird for the sheer exuberance that put his career on the map. I also think Tomorrowland is a super score.
  10. I don't mind this album, it's a genre-mix outside of the usual scoring sensibilities most of us like, and much of it is forgettable but not unlistenable. That's not a great recommendation but actually I like the dub and electro source music tracks, and the most exciting track is McCreary's opener: Batuu Wilderness, it's got a great build and real oomph at the end.
  11. I gave this a deep listen while walking over the coastal mountains of Wales to a 5000-year-old stone circle. Totally fell in love with this score, more than when I got it first as a kid. The sound quality is an improvement for me because as a teenager I listened to a CD on a whatever-stereo, and ripped it in 128kbs because I didn't know any better. Now the instrumentation and detail is leaping out at me, and the new material draws out important parts of the musical development. I'm sure this is Horner's best score - I'm not saying he peaked early, much fantastic work was to come, but the craftmanship at work is astounding. Thematic inventiveness, development, contrast (between short/long, hard/soft etc.). Rich orchestration, strong percussion and exotic instruments deployed with subtlety and force. Excellent spotting, dramatic instincts and carrying or lifting the imagery beyond its hokey origins (much like Star Wars and other classics). And it was clearly temped with obvious sources, and much like Star Wars and other classics (even take The Incredibles), Horner pulled together a coherent and valid whole from the sound-parts. You can also hear the influences of other contemporary successes of his (Aliens, Wrath of Khan) during a part of his career where he was leaning into new territory - it's great to hear the now-tired villain motif as it was new. Like a great Williams or Powell score, it has a ton of notes! Basically it's more melodically driven than many similar scores. The performances of orchestra and solos are strong and heartfelt. And yes that source music is punchy and fun too. This makes me want to watch Willow again, as it's really a score that outshines is source, and makes for a great 'story listen' too.
  12. I cued this up into 20 tracks, kept the Nelwyns at the start (the village features plenty at that stage of the film even if that music does not, it's already at the end so no need to move these), and split Bavmorda's Spell Is Cast into the first 8 and last 9 minutes ('Castle Assault'), and split Willow The Sorcerer into a 3 and 6 minute tracks (Homecoming & Credits). Willow's Theme is a concert piece at the end. Twenty is a nice round number too. I'm sure you're all thrilled to know.
  13. I think the tension throughout this episode matched the style of this score well. However, I think that's entirely accidental because we've heard this wallpaper style through every sort of scene in the whole series so far.
  14. It's not so much the lack of existing themes that lets this score down. It's the lack of carrying, or even noticing, the dramatic contours of this (albeit flatly directed and edited) show. From planetary reveals, ship take-offs and landings, dramatic reveals, dialogue and scene transitions, this score has it covered... as in, just covered over in simplistic mood music (or, cut to mood music suddently, as in the Ep 2 Vader reveal). Where Williams, or Ludwig Gorransson, would trade in flourishes, instrumental variety, contrasts in tone, and real melodic strength, this score barely manages the drama on-screen. But the lack of even tonally nodding to the legacy themes is a deficit (as Giacchino, Powell and Gorransson have all done, quite aside from quoting them outright). This is all the more disappointing because the new material here is not up to the job.
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