Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Sound of Fantasy

Scores are good, I like them. Especially really really good scores.

The music can make or break a Fantasy film. Look no further than the Alan Parson's Project inspired score from Ladyhawke or the Tangerine Dream score to Legend to see how much damage a poor score can do a film. On the other hand Many hokey scenes in the Micheal Bay Transformer's films were saved by the sometimes amazingly good Steve Jablonsky scores.

He did a rather good job with Fantasy music for his store to 'Your Highness' Which while a Homage to many different scores to Fantasy films from the 80's.. also was quite good on its own.

I make a habit of collecting these sorts of things. Scores to films, video games, all sorts of things. I like to have ambient music in the background while I work, while I read and other times. But I don't always want the boisterous sort of music that you get with Hans Zimmer. And I don't always want the technological sounds of Frank Klepacki who scored the Command And Conquer series. Scores such as those from John Williams especially, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Star Wars. These tend to be too easily identifiable to really be ambient. They suck you into specific scenes in the movie almost as soon as you identify them.

Sometimes these scores are easy to obtain. If its from a big name movie then it's on CD, usually in a truncated form, but available. Sometimes you get lucky and get the whole thing. Howard Shore's Lord of the Rings score being a notable example. But frequently, especially for older films, the scores aren't available on anything but LP or Cassette Tape. If they make it to CD then they are expensive and limited quantities such as the score for The Goonies.

I know of two good sources of streaming "fantasy" music.

a fellow by the name of Mats Wendt has created a very good, and very long "Score" to the Poetic Edda. It's available here http://www.eddan.net/ But it provides no ability to pause it and go back to where you left off, also no ability to download or purchase a copy. So it takes a good constitution role, or a really really huge dungeon in order to get through the whole thing. Much the same as with the Lord of the Rings score.

Then there is http://www.radiorivendell.com/ which has a streaming radio station. It also has a link list to different composers who give their work away, and to websites for various video games which also give their scores away for free download.

One of the benefits to running a D&D Game with a netbook, using it for Dice Rolls, Tracking party progression on maps.. it also allows you to program your adventures with music.


David J. West said...

A favorite score of mine (that I use when writing) is Joseph LoDuca's BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF - great movie, great soundtrack that I think fits your qualifications nicely.

Lagomorph Rex said...

I will definitely have to keep that in mind. Generally I build my music up through what I can find at goodwill, but if it comes highly recommended I'll try Amazon.