SOUND­TRACK­ING

This year there was a plethora of provoca­tive and orig­i­nal movie and TV scores, writes Jo­ce­lyn Clarke

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC2006 -

AL­THOUGH the list of top 10 scores and sound­tracks of 2006 man­ages to be both di­verse and in­clu­sive – eight scores, one film sound­track and one television sound­track – it un­for­tu­nately does not in­clude ei­ther an anime or a game sound­track (no­tably Howard Shore’s Soul of the Ul­ti­mate Na­tion) be­cause it’s only a top 10 . . .

Nev­er­the­less, the real chal­lenge in com­pil­ing a list lies less in de­cid­ing what to in­clude than de­ter­min­ing el­i­gi­bil­ity as scores are of­ten re­leased months in ad­vance or weeks af­ter a film’s ac­tual re­lease date. The movies The Foun­tain and Hol­ly­wood­land will bow on Ir­ish shores next Fe­bru­ary, but the scores are re­leased this year.

The list does in­clude five Bri­tish, two Amer­i­can, two French, and one Brazil­ian com­poser, nine male and one fe­male, some es­tab­lished and some emerg­ing. Their scores range in style from sa­cred and neo-ro­man­tic to post-min­i­mal­ist, and com­bine or­ches­tral with elec­tronic and post-rock. While most of the names may not be familiar and some may seem a lit­tle odd (the “sa­cred mu­sic” com­poser John Tavener and that bloke from Pop Will Eat It­self), each one chal­lenges genre con­ven­tions of con­tem­po­rary film and television scor­ing.

2006 was a re­mark­able year for the grow­ing num­ber of TV sound­tracks, par­tic­u­larly OC Mix 6 and Grey’s Anatomy, and of film mu­sic com­pi­la­tions and col­lec­tions. Film Mu­sic Mas­ter Works of the late Jerry Gold­smith, The Es­sen­tial Film Mu­sic Col­lec­tion of Bernard Herrmann and the Cen­te­nary Cel­e­bra­tion of Franz Wax­man are par­tic­u­larly fine ex­am­ples.

Other honourable men­tions of 2006 in­clude Christo­pher Young’s Grudge 2, Fred­eric Tal­gorn’s Pres­i­dent, Bear McCreary’s Bat­tlestar Galac­tica 2.0, Michael Brook’s An In­con­ve­nient Truth, Al­berto Igle­sias’s Volver, Craig Arm­strong’s World Trade Cen­tre, Tyler Bates’s Slither, James New­ton Howard’s Lady in the Wa­ter, and John Ottman’s Su­per­man Re­turns – as well as the an­i­ma­tion sound­tracks Happy Feet and Hood­winked, and, er, mock­u­men­tary sound­tracks of Te­na­ciousD in The Pick of Des­tiny and Bo­rat.

2006 also saw the pass­ing not only of the great Gold- smith (Chi­na­town, The Omen, To­tal Re­call) but also of Basil Pole­douris (Co­nan the Bar­bar­ian, Robocop), Shirley Walker (Mem­oirs of an In­vis­i­ble Man, the Fi­nal Des­ti­na­tion tril­ogy) and Sir Mal­colm Arnold, the most recorded Bri­tish com­poser of all time and the first to win an Os­car (for The Bridge on the River Kwai). Dur­ing the sum­mer, the decade old bilin­gual Cine­fo­nia mag­a­zine and la­bel un­ex­pect­edly closed down while film and television mu­sic site Sond­track­Net (www.film­mu­sic.com) en­tered its 10th year with the launch of its pod­cast ser­vice.

In early 2007, keep an ear out for The Good Ger­man and Lit­tle Chil­dren by Thomas New­man, The Painted Veil by Alexandre De­s­plat, Apoca­lypto by James Horner, Blood Di­a­mond by James New­ton Howard, Ba­bel by Gus­tavo San­ta­lallo (all po­ten­tial Os­car nom­i­na­tions), The Ban­quet by Tan Dun, The Good Shep­herd by Marcelo Zar­vos and The Bourne Supremacy by John Pow­ell.

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