Friday, November 10, 2006

Window to Minimalism

Secret Window [Promo] (Philip Glass)

Its a Philip Glass score for a psychological thriller !!!
do i need to say more? Philip Glass, a modern day true classical composer swept me off with his stirring compositions for the Qatsi Trilogy. The way his music merges with the imagaries in those documentries is worthy of another posting itself. here the music scares while maintaining the minimalistic beauty throughout the 40 min score
01 Main Titles
02 Flashback
03 Mort Hears Something
04 Fix Ending
05 Cant Find Keys
06 Discovers Tom And Karsh
07 Jeep Into Lake
08 The Hat
09 Amy Goes Upstairs
10 The Killing (Alternate)
11 The Bodies
12 Mort Vs The Mirror
13 Lament
14 Mort Times Two
15 Doggy
16 Lying Awake
17 The Killing (Film Version)
18 Corn

The great score is secret no more :)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Make way for Rahman ...

Indian movies are known for their song and dance routines, which usually have no relation to the plot. Usually a movie features 3-4 love songs, so dont even bother to look for the love theme or any other theme for that matter. By early 90s, due to lack of good composers and innovation in movie scores, the music featured either mundane 'indian' music or disco-culture, borrowed from hollywood. But with A.R.Rahman's arrival, it was all about to changed.
Rahman is the FIRST composer who made me sit up and take notice of orchestral music. He combines Indian classical music with western music, not just in instrumentation but in compositions too, providing a fresh sound. Here I present the journey of Rahman scores over the years with themes written for various movies. Breaking away from the usual sounds of film music, classically trained Rahman, provides refreshing classical-based contemporary music for his movies.

01 - 1992 Yeh Haseen Vadiyan (Instrumental) [Roja]
The first cue is an instrumental version of the song "Yeh Haseen Vadiyan" from the movie, Roja. Though Roja didnt contain any theme/instrumental track, the songs formed integral part of the narrative, driving the story further. This love song, within seconds transports you to the mystical himalayas and soars with the love theme. This is the first cue which made me notice instrumental music and thus needs a special place on the compliation.

02 - 1995 Theme [Bombay]
This is and probably will remain the best composition of Rahman. The only theme track released on the "Bombay" album, opens the main theme with soft flute backed by tingling bells, but soon the strings section raises the emotional theme to new heights. The theme has been used in other movies too, like, "Fire" and more recently in "Lord of War".

03 - 1997 Vande Mataram Revival [Maa Tujhe Salaam]
Having made a special place in music industry for himself, Rahman released his first album, "Vande Mataram" to honour the national song and 50 yrs of Independence. The classical piece got a complete makeover with saxophone, guitars and etheral choral performing the national song with angelic beauty.

04 - 1998 Theme [1947 Earth]
Deepa Mehta, the controverisal movie directional, used the "Bombay theme" for her movie "Fire", but asked Rahman to provide original score for her second movie, "1947: Earth" in her trilogy. Hence, leading to this stiring piece. Later, Rahaman and Mychael Danna would work on "Water", the last movie of the trilogy.

05 - 1999 Beats of Passion [Taal]
"Taal" can said to be the most successful commerial movie score by Rahman. The movie required traditional folk music as well as modern contemprary music to trace the musical journey of the main character. As usual, Rahman excelled with class here too. The cue provided here is the percussion based cue used as the main title for the movie.

06 - 2001 Once upon a time in India [Lagaan]
"Lagaan", the only Indian movie, other than "Mother India" (1957), nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign-Language Film category, featured some grt compositions to represent the British era in Indian. The cue featuring French horns, strings, bass, percussion, sitar and chorus perfectly reflect the struggle of the villagers.

07 - 2001 Waltz for a romance [Lagaan]
Another delightful track from "Lagaan". A waltz based on western classical music, featuring the usual suspects: strings, bass and flute.

08 - 2002 Bombay Awakes [Bombay Dreams]
Andrew Lloyd Webber impressed by Rahman's unique style, hired him to compose his maiden stage production "Bombay Dreams". The play was well received in England and opened him to new vistas in Hollywood. Rahman, along with the Finnish folk music band Värttinä, went on to composed the music for "The Lord of the Rings theatre production", which opened in Toronto in 2006.

09 - 2003 Main Titles [Warriors Of Heaven And Earth]
Chinese director He Ping, tapped on Rahman's influence in Asia and gave him the scoring duties for the Chinese film "Warriors of Heaven and Earth". The impressive ethnically charged music performed on chinese, indian and arabic instruments, expanded Rahman's global influnce. A great composition indeed.

10 - 2004 Cyclist's Rhythm [Meenaxi; Tale of 3 Cities]
11 - 2004 Potter's Village [Meenaxi; Tale of 3 Cities]
Noted painter M.F.Hussain's film "Meenaxi: Tale of 3 Cities" is a creative, artistic love story of a woman, set in three cities Hyderabad (India), Jaisalmer (India) and Prague (Italy). The creative movie was well scored by Rahman, but the album featured only two tracks, which can be seen as an exercise in percussion.

13 - 2005 Main Theme [Kisna; The Warrior Poet]
"Kisna: The Warrior Poet", set in the India of the tumultuous 1930's, drew inspiration from various epic love stories from hollywood and that of Indian God, Krishna. In true hollywood fashion, Rahman was asked to provide the main theme, background score and the theme songs (two of them, one each for Indian and international audience!!) The movie failed on many levels, but Rahman's music wasnt one of them. The gorgeous theme is introduced on flute here.

14 - 2005 Age Of Innocence (Piano vs. Flute) [Kisna; The Warrior Poet]
This cue underscores the budding friendship between the lead pair with the flute representing the village boy, Kisna and the piano representing Catherine, daugter of the British Governor. The cue balances Indian and Western sensiblities better than the whole movie!!

15 - 2005 Kisna Theme on Flute [Kisna; The Warrior Poet]
16 - 2005 Kisna Theme for Chorus [Kisna; The Warrior Poet]
The theme attains full power when chorus and percussion kick in. A highly hummable memorable tune, excellently done.

17 - 2005 Netaji Theme [Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose; The Forgotten Hero]
18 - 2005 Afghanistan Theme [Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose; The Forgotten Hero]
19 - 2005 Afghanistan Theme (alternate) [Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose; The Forgotten Hero]
20 - 2005 Emilie [Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose; The Forgotten Hero]
21 - 2005 Hitler, Germany [Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose; The Forgotten Hero]
22 - 2005 U-Boat, Underwater Battle [Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose; The Forgotten Hero]
23 - 2005 Emilie's Theme [Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose; The Forgotten Hero]
24 - 2005 March of the Army (Kadam Kadam) [Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose; The Forgotten Hero]
25 - 2005 War [Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose; The Forgotten Hero]
26 - 2005 Desh Ki Mitti [Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose; The Forgotten Hero]
27 - 2005 Bose [Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose; The Forgotten Hero]
Over years of writing only the main theme, finally, "Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero" provided the chance for Rahman to write a full fledge orchestral score. Rahman gave excellent themes for various characters (Netaji, Emili) and places (Afganistan, Germany) along with scoring the battle sequences (war, underwater battle). The actual marching song of Bose's army, 'Kadam Kadam Barhayae Ja' gets a thrilling orchestal work out in 'March of the Army (Kadam Kadam)'. 'Desh Ki Mitti' and 'Bose' are cues adapted from the songs composed for the movie by Rahman himself. These cues conclude the excellent album with exceptional emotional beauty.

Please note that this album is my own compliation of my favourite Rahman cues, the names of few of them have been tampered with ;). As a Indian composer, he has written many great themes but they are stuck forever in the excellent songs. I can only hope that the Indian Movie Music grows up to produce and release future scores and re-recorded the ones which started it all.

To Rahman !!

Men are not born Heroes ...

Warriors of Heaven and Earth by A.R.Rehman

Warriors of Heaven and Earth is a Chinese action/adventure movie released in 2003. The film is in Mandarin, with some Japanese. The film's score, composed by the Indian music director A.R.Rahman, features 14 tracks including the theme song in Chinese (Mandarin). The song was recorded in English as well as Hindi (Indian language). However, the score provided here contains only the original chinese song, but includes two tracks i found elsewhere (Opening and After Buddha). The film features the theme song Mirage (Warriors In Peace), sung by Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai. The movie boasts of exceptional cinematography by Zhao Fei, which captures a wide range of landscapes, across the Xinjiang province of China and covers a wide range of cultures along the silk route and thus the music reflects chinese, indian, arabic instrumentals masterfully employed though out the score. The film also includes numerous horse-riding sequences, played out by trained Kazakh horsemen from the Peoples Liberation Army. It consists of a classic battle between good and evil.
0. Opening (2:21)
1. The Golden Era (03:56)
2. Warriors of Peace (Chinese Version feat. Jolin Tsai) (04:35)
3. Lord An's Empire (03:31)
4. Water (03:51)
5. Horses (02:27)
6. Mountains (01:49)
7. Dacoit Duel (03:26)
8. Lai Chi (01:31)
9. Buddha's Remains (02:40)
10.Blue Light (02:23)
11.The Monk and the Miracle (04:05)
12.Desert Storm (05:19)
13.Escape (02:33)
14.Warriors of Heaven and Earth (04:25)
15.After buddha (1:38)

"Warriors of Heaven and Earth" is the first movie scored by Rahman which got a score release. A step below, Tan Dun's Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Hero, the score is still one of the best in the genre and surely tops Rahman's illustrous composition career.

The Coolest Event In 16,000 Years!!

Ice Age Complete Score by David Newman & Justin Skomarovsky

Here the complete score for the fun-filled movie with a lovable set of animated characters: a sloth, a mammoth, a sabretooth tiger and few humans ...

1 Migration 01:21
2 Heres Manny 01:43
3 Angered Rhinos 02:35
4 Two Bachelors Knock In Around 00:46
5 Humans - Diego 01:47
6 Going To Bed 00:37
7 Tigers After The Baby 03:15
8 Manny And Sid Get The Baby 01:33
9 Ill Take Care Of Him 02:26
10 Leaving The Baby For Humans 01:00
11 Start The Tracking 00:45
12 The Dodos March 00:46
13 Fighting Over The Melons 02:06
14 Feather Transaction 00:29
15 Sid Tries To Relax 01:48
16 Diego Sends A Message 01:01
17 Babys Lounge 1 01:14
18 Babys Lounge 2 00:15
19 Many Bonds With The Baby - Oh No, A Tiger 02:04
20 Send Me On My Way - Rusted Root 03:14
21 I Found A Shortcut 00:51
22 Way To Go, Tiger 00:44
23 In The Cave 01:29
24 Wild Ride 02:01
25 Checking The Cave 03:46
26 Ronar Searches For Baby 01:15
27 My Feet Are Sweaty 00:22
28 Running From Lava 02:30
29 Sotos Plan 01:23
30 Baby Walks 01:37
31 Fight For Baby 05:45
32 Returning Baby 07:27
33 Send Me On My Way (Rusted Root) 00:47
34 End Credits 05:47

a cool fun score with 34 tracks, running to 66 min :)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Brothers Forever

Two Brothers

Born in the wild jungles of Cambodia, Kumal is wild and daring, while Sangha is shy and timid. But the fun is short lived, when McRory, an explorer, big-game hunter and temple looter, kills their father, while looting an ancient temple. One of the cubs, Kumal, is immediately recovered by McRory and sold to a circus. Sangha, remains in the jungle with his mother, but both are eventually trapped (by McRory) and released as game for the prince to hunt. The mother is then shot, thought to be dead for a moment before running away, and Sangha is taken into captivity, ends up as a pet to young Raoul, son of the French administrator.
Kumal, being trained by the cruel circus ringmaster Zerbino to do tricks, grows up broken-spirit into a timid cage creature, while Sangha, too wild to remain in the French household, is made a part of the prince's palace menagerie. Then the prince decides to hold a big festival, in which a battle between two great beasts is to be the centerpiece. But once the siblings are united in the arena, will the world allow a happy ending for these brothers?

Shot as a documentry, this film has large passages driven by the brilliant jungle photography and ethnically charged music by Stephen Warbeck. Two brothers has many social comments hidden beneath the fun story of the two brothers.


I have two passions, photography and music. Baraka combines these two into an epic documentry. It was the first film in over twenty years to be photographed in the 65mm Todd-AO format. The movie was filmed in color 70 mm film in 24 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Nepal, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, and the United States. It contains no dialogue or cohesive plot.
The title Baraka is an Arabic word literally meaning blessing. As a Sufi term it refers to a sense of divine presence, but is more often associated with a place or person. In addition to making comparisons between natural and technological phenomena Baraka searches for a universal cultural perspective. The score is provided by Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard (from Dead Can Dance) and Michael Stearns.
1. a: Mantra, b: Organics (04:42)
M. Stearns, 1a. excerpted from Mantra/Stabat Mater by Somei Satoh
2. Wipala (05:04)
from Land of the Incas
3. The Host of Seraphim (06:18) composed and performed by Dead Can Dance
4. Village Dance (02:55) M. Stearns
5. Wandering Saint (06:41)
from Expressions of Impressions
6. African Journey (03:34)
from Exotic Dance
7. Rainbow Voice (02:57)
from Hearing Solar Winds
8. Monk with Bell (02:33)
M. Stearns
9. Broken Vows / A Prayer of Kala Rupa / An Daorach Bheag (04:39)
Michael Stearns / from Sacred Ceremonies, p. The Monks of the Dip Tse Chok Ling Monastery / p. Brother - Hamish, Angus & Fergus Richardson
10.Finale (04:34)
M. Stearns
11.End Credits (03:26)
M. Stearns

Thanx to soundtrax for sharing this brilliant score of Baraka

Monday, October 23, 2006

Gandhi: The Man of Peace

Gandhi (George Fenton & Ravi Shankar)

This score is more of a personal homage than popular demand.
I am sure, this score isnt for everyone. Deeply rooted in Indian classical music performed by the maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar, the score blends Indian and western music, latter provided by George Fenton. The epic story of a simple man who brought down the world's biggest empire using simple ideas like truth and non-violence.

1. 31st Of January 1948
composed by: Ravi Shankar
2. South Africa – The Beginning
composed by: George Fenton
3. Bands Of The Raj
composed by: George Fenton
4. Discovery Of India
composed by: Ravi Shankar
5. Villages Of Bihar
composed by: Ravi Shankar
6. Massacre At Amritsar And The Aftermath
composed by: Ravi Shankar and George Fenton
7. Intermission
composed by: Ravi Shankar
8. Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram And Reflections Of Early Days
composed by: Ravi Shankar and George Fenton
9. Salt
composed by: Ravi Shankar and George Fenton
composed by: Ravi Shankar and George Fenton
11.End Of The Fast
composed by: Ravi Shankar
12.Remember This Always
composed by: Ravi Shankar Narration: Ben Kingsley
13.For All Mankind
composed by: Ravi Shankar

Gandhi never received the Nobel Peace Prize, though he was nominated five times between 1937 and 1948. Decades later (even in 2006), the Nobel Committee publicly declared its regret for the omission, and admitted to deeply divided nationalistic opinion denying the award. Mahatma Gandhi was to receive the Prize in 1948, but his assassination prevented the award from coming to him. The Prize was not awarded in 1948, the year of Gandhi's death, on the grounds that "there was no suitable living candidate" that year. [wikipedia]

As I discussed Gandhi and his values with my parents, I found it hard to imagine that someone like him lived (or would live again) on this earth. Now, I know what Albert Einstein meant when he said "Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth."

My tributes to the man we call, Mahatma Gandhi


Shaft by David Arnold

Finally, the much in-demand promo score of Shaft by David Arnold.
Heres the track list of the score with me
1. Scene of the Crime (02:54)
2. Boy's Got Justice (01:40)

3. Rough Justice (02:47)

4. Peoples Hernandez, Come On Down (01:06)

5. Remember Me? (04:06)

6. Gimme Your Shoes (01:16)

7. Courtroom Drama (02:47)
8. Looking For a Witness (02:12)

9. Schoolyard Split (01:11)

10.Tailing Walter Wade (02:38)

11.Shaft's Big Swich (02:41)

12.Peoples Gets Played (02:03)

13.Shoot Out 1 (03:40)

14.No More Running (03:39) house (shoot-out 2) (03:51)

16.A Rare Harlem (03:21)


Saturday, October 21, 2006

A forgotten gem - Dina

i better leave the reviews for the experts. an excerpt from the score review

" More and more people begin to see Marco Beltrami only as a horror composer and sadly that isn't true. Recently Angel Eyes or a rejected score for Texas Rangers could have changed that fact, but sadly they aren't released so why would people think differently. One that has been released by Decca is sadly not mentioned and that is I Am Dina, showing of that Marco Beltrami's gift lies more towards the classical line of composing. Its a very dark drama that captures both the more gritty attitude at times but also the classical surroundings of the era as the drama that beholds her life. Nonetheless, Marco Beltrami adds a special touch to the score that barely non other score possesses of him, namely a classical edge. Its all orchestral but with the fact that not many grand orchestral moments are heard. Its simply more the instruments that play a part in the score and likely so, they are noticed rather quickly."
"Jorane is credited on the soundtrack and her inclusion is brilliant to say the least. See her as Lisa Gerrard and Yo-Yo Ma together. First, she's underscores Beltrami's piece entitled 'Dina's Lullaby' with a mesmerizing mix of cello and vocals."

well, thats Dina for you!!

Put on the wings, commander

Officially, David Arnold wrote the Wing Commander Theme, and Kiner the underscore, but in truth the Arnold hallmarks are stamped all over the place. After the ok-ish godzilla, finally Arnorld returns to the epic sound of Independence day and stargate that made him favourite of many. a instantly memorable tune penned by arnold starts the album. it is the immense testosterone driven action music that dominates the 37 min album, all the way to the big damn ending.
1. Overture (3:36)
2. Pod Scene (1:53)

3. Torpedo Kilrathi (3:31)
4. Pilgrims (1:50)

5. Rescued (:55)

6. Into the Quasar (2:45)
7. Bad Decision/Blair (1:27)

8. Angel's Story (1:47)
9. The Fleet (1:07)

10. Briefing/Tricked (2:15)

11. Hot Dogs(1:21)
12. Diligent Arrives (2:34)

13. The Gift/Skipper Missile (3:26)

14. Kilrathi Battle (1:40)

15. The Big Battle (2:27)

16. Kilrathi Into Scylla (2:28)

17. Big Damn Ending (2:09)

its about time commander :)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

November turns sweet

Sweet November [Promo] (Christopher Young)

Christopher Young,though well known for horror scores, provides the expected emotional score complete with all the usual suspects ... racing strings, piano etc.

01 Sweet November (02:12)
02 Divine Gifts (03:08)
03 Merry Thanksgiving (05:44)

04 Advents (05:02)
05 It Was Whatever Was It (03:51)
06 A Woman's Mystery (04:59)

07 Faith Keeping (05:06)
08 Maybe Not Probably Possible (04:32)

09 Tears Of Angels (04:57)

10 Candy Kane (03:13)

11 If Only She Could Live Forever (04:21)

12 Orange Coast Healer (03:02)

13 Life's A Miracle (03:06)

a sweet retreat from the big league action scores :)

Search for the lost empire finally ends!

Atlantis: The Lost Empire [Academy Promo] (James Newton Howard)

What can one say about James Newton Howard's score for Atlantis. It starts as an flambouant adventure score and turns on the magic of discovery with ethnic colour provided by an assortment of instruments and amazing choir.

01 Atlantis Destroyed (01:50)
02 The Smithsonian (01:52)

03 Late For Presentation (01:51)

04 Milo Meets Helga (00:28)

05 Arriving At Whitmore (00:39)

06 The Book (01:07)

07 Whitmore Hires Milo (02:42)

08 The Submarine (03:20)

09 Exterior Lights (00:37)

10 Leviathan Battle (03:35)

11 Breaking The Surface (01:09)

12 The Journey (03:24)

13 Bedding Down (02:31)

14 Fireflies (02:16)

15 Atlantis Discovered (01:47)

16 Milo And Kida Speak (03:29)

17 Milo & Kida's Questions (03:00)

18 Tour Of Atlantis (02:51)

19 Secret Swim (02:44)

20 Adventure Capitalists (02:11)

21 Storming The Palace (01:38)

22 Kida Transforms (03:46)

23 The Crewis Conscience (02:11)

24 The King Dies (03:33)

25 Going After Rourke (01:46)

26 Dogfight (04:59)

27 Just Do It (03:27)

28 Kida Returns (01:37)

29 Goodbyes (01:39)

30 Atlantis (02:00)

31 End Credits (02:21)

part1 part2
While the commercial album provided satisfactory material to cover the entire score, the 73 min promo score is the definite collector's item. the score constantly evolves and never losses focus. Atlantis makes for a great listen anyday. :)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

No more singing on this Polar Express :)

Alan Silvestri provides a breathtaking score for the visually stunning Polar Express. The score perfectly captured the magic of Christmas with stiring themes and all the instruments one could associate with cristmas.
This promo score contains only the previously unreleased orchestral music. The score, running just below 30 min mark has five untitled tracks. A sure gem of a soundtrack by Alan Silvestri.