Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Vern takes a look back at some other good electronic music scores.

Electronic music in movies has become quite popular very recently.  From Daft Punk's work on "Tron Legacy" to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross winning Best Original Score for their work on "The Social Network"  Filmmakers are not relying solely on traditional composers to score their films.  Recently The Chemical Brothers scored the teenage assassin drama "Hanna" and Trent Reznor has been asked to score the upcoming American version of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo". 

NOTE*  You can click on each title to buy the soundtracks from

Forbidden Planet.  Composers: Bebe Baron, Louis Baron

This is one of the earliest accounts of  electronic music used as a background score for a movie.   Since the story deals with the ideas of space travel, machines and robots.  An Electronic score was needed to help audiences understand what type of movie they were in store for.

                                                   (Main Theme)

A Clockwork Orange.  Composer: Wendy Carlos.

   Since Classical music was already used in "2001: A Space Odyssey".  Director Stanley Kubrick wanted a different approach for his next movie.  He enlisted the help of composer Wendy Carlos and she created an electronic score based on the works of classical composers.  The end results something that's organic and human, but also something industrial and machine like.  Just like the main character of Alex.

                                            (Rosini. The thieving magpie)

Halloween.  Composer: John Carpenter

Right when you hear the first few chords of the theme from "Halloween"  the hairs on your neck should stand up just a bit.  John Carpenter has been composing the music to all of his movies, with each one representing a different genre.

 (John Carpenter composed the theme to Halloween 2 with Alan Howarth and I find it to be freakier than the the first.)

Tron.   Composer : Wendy Carlos

Tron Legacy. Composer: Daft Punk

   A  movie about being trapped inside a computer would not work with a traditional score. A fully electronic score by Wendy Carlos was needed to help  audiences understand what the inside of a computer was like because back than it was still brand new.  When it was announced that Daft Punk would compose the sequel it was a perfect fit.  Their score represented a world that was decaying a little bit but there was still elements of hope left.

                                           (Tron:  Wendy Carlos)

                                    (Tron Legacy: Daft Punk)

Blade Runner. Composer: Vangelis

    Whenever I see a city landscape in the dark and it rains I think of "Blade Runner"  The same can be said about the music.  You could play any track and immediately images of the movie will appear in my head.  Vangelis has made a soundtrack that at times feel like it's from a classic film noir but with enough futuristic touches to keep it ahead of our time always.

                                                     (End theme music)

The Terminator. Composer :Brad Fidel

    James Cameron's "The Terminator" will always be a horror movie for me even though it's been viewed as an action movie by everyone else.  The idea of an indestructible cyborg that will stop at nothing until it's target is destroyed freaked me out when I was littleBrad Fidel's score  felt like the cyborg was going to win, this was his story.  But when the melody of the theme plays.  It feels like there's still a chance the humans can survive.

                                                   (Main Theme)

Requiem For A Dream. Composer: Clint Mansel featuring The Kronos Quartet.

   This is a theme I'm sure you have all heard before.  Even if you have not seen this movie( and if you haven't I feel sad for you because this movie is amazing) you have heard this piece in remixes and in trailers for other movies.   This is one of those pieces of music that will never go away.

                                   (Summer Overture: Main Theme)

Paprika.   Composer:  Susumu Hirasawa

   The late animator Satoshi Kon's animated epic about a device that allows someone to enter someones  dream even while awake should have been nominated for best animated film of 2006.  The film's soundtrack is unlike anything you have heard before, and I know that sounds a little cliche.   Yet I have not heard anything like it while I've been awake.  It's almost like it came from a dream.

                                         (Main Titles/Theme)

The Social Network. Composer: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

    No one could ever imagine there would be a movie about the creation of Facebook.  More people were even surprised when it turned out to be really good and started winning awards.  The score of this movie represents the brilliant angst of Mark Zuckerberg, but also shows us that he is a very lonely character.

            (The Social Network: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross)

Hanna.  Composer:  The Chemical Brothers

   Unlike Trent Reznor and Daft Punk who were trying to score a full film, director Joe Wright  looked like he took a completed album by The Chemical Brothers and matched it to his movie.  That is not true, but  I can listen to the soundtrack of "Hanna" by itself and not be thinking of the movie.  But when I see it I can't imagine any other music in its place.  The music shows us so perfectly the soul of a girl trained to kill who doesn't want to.

                                     (Hanna:  The Chemical Brothers)

The following picks were just my own personal favorites and should not be taken seriously. I am not a music expert or an expert really in anything because everyday you learn something new. If you meet someone who claims they are an expert. Punch em in the face and tell them they are not much of an expert if they didn't see that reaction coming.

Click here to see the next three picks.
Electronic Music Scores Part 2


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