I am a mildly obsessive collector of soundtracks. For me they are a place where you can
find the unusual, the inventive and obviously the cinematic. The best can capture the
atmosphere of a film perfectly, you can't think of Sergio Leone's cowboy films without
Morricone's scores or think of Jaws without those ominous two notes reverberating
though your head.
I like the thought behind them too, they are written for purpose to accentuate the plot.
There is a separation between the composer and the final piece, he or she is not writing
something to express a personal emotion but rather to support the action happening on
Great sources for discovering some of the best are the Finders Keepers record label,
Johnny Trunk's OST radio show on Resonance FM and the blog Toys and Techniques.
On Toys and Techniques I came across a beautiful soundtrack called 'Tomorrow
Come Someday', recorded I guess at some point in the 1970s it is a very British folksy
collection with finger picked acoustic guitars, light Vashti Bunyan esque melodies,
recorders, penny whistles, flutes and the odd sprinkle of early synthesizers. The
interesting fact is that Tomorrow Come Someday was commissioned but never actually
made into a film. Which leaves the soundtrack in the rather strange position of being a
score without the visuals which the music was written for.
Air's recent score for Le Voyage dans la Luna is another strange anomaly in the 'music
for purpose' rule of soundtrack. Le Voyage dans la Luna is a 1902 silent film widely
credited as being the first Sci Fi adventure to be shown at cinemas. Does Air's music
written 100 years after the film was made change the feeling of the film? And now with
rules of time travel broken does this mean that instead of the 'digitally remastered' or
even the 3D re-release we will be getting films released with a newly commissioned
soundtrack. Instead of Harrison Ford having a metaphysical crisis chasing Replicants in
Blade Runner to Vangelis's cold synths, the soundtrack could be replaced with a modern
Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury with their release of 'Drokk: Music Inspired by Mega
City One' have introduced a third concept to the world of soundtracks. 'Drokk' is a score
for a Judge Dredd film that has yet to be made. If the film is made will the cues effect the
plot? This would reverse the original idea of the music written for purpose.
As with all things there are no set rules, but if you like music atmospheric and removed
from the pop sphere I suggest you try a soundtrack.
Dom's Top 5 Soundtracks
1) Ennio Morricone - Giu la Testa
2) John Carpenter (w/ Alan Howarth) - Halloween III: Season of the Witch
3) Vangelis - Blade Runner
4) Lalo Schifrin - Dirty Harry
5) Tomorrow Come Someday - Tomorrow Come Someday
Follow Dom Millard on Twitter: www.twitter.com/zuluwinter