Posts Tagged ‘movie soundtracks’

Recently I had a conversation with that fellow in my life about how we have used music to better understand each other.  Where words have failed, sometimes our different reactions to music have revealed something important about the other.  The most humorous moments have occurred when he has tried to share classics with me like Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and in my head pop images of King Arthur racing across a moonlit field to battle (i.e. the movie Excalibur by John Boorman), or as he talks about Wagner’s The Ride of the Valkyries and I suddenly hear “Kill Da Rabbit” … or the whir of helicopters blades  in Apocalypse Now.   He quickly learned that I have been well schooled in music … through the movies.  Since he’s more into books than cinema, I compiled a CD of mostly movie-related music — pieces that move me, that I feel sweep the listener along on a journey, that make a body pause and feel.

“I was born by the river in a little tent

Oh and just like the river I’ve been running ever since …

I now realize that I lost the CD and made no backup.  I didn’t even write down the playlist.  But below are some of the more dramatic pieces that come to mind this bright day.  Warning, there is a certain sorrow to some of the songs, but there is uplift as well.  See what you think when you have a few moments to procrastinate.  FYI, in the spirit of pairing words/images/music, these are all links to YouTube renditions but these videos are just a tease.  I highly recommend viewing the entire movie to see the scenes and/or hear the music in context.

  • A Change is Gonna Come, Sam Cooke, 1963 (moving movie moment is the conclusion of Spike Lee’s movie Malcom X)
  • Henryk Gorecki’s Symphony No. 3  (moving movie moment is the conclusion of Julian Schnabel’s movie Basquiat and there’s also the beautiful final scene in the movie Fearless)
  • Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings (played throughout Oliver Stone’s Platoon)
  • Especially after sharing Adagio for Strings with my guy, he introduced me to Ralph Vaughn Williams .  I love his Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis but it is Vaughn Williams’ Dives and Lazarus that I most often listen to when working past a writer’s block.
  • Anything by composer James Horner moves me deeply, but especially his music for the movie Glory.  And then there’s the campfire scene.
  • I’m still not sure if I like the movie Cold Mountain but Gabriel Yared’s soundtrack makes me think of home at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  It is the sacred harp singing that makes S. weep each time.  I always see fields of gold when I listen to this song.
  • There’s that repetition by composer Philip Glass that drives some people crazy, but even if you hate his music, please close your eyes and listen to the music from the final scenes of Martin Scorsese’s Kundun.  Ah, when that flute sounds …
  • There is Hans Zimmer’s Journey to the Line in Terence Malick’s Thin Red Line.  First time I saw it, I found the movie too chaotic.  I did not want to like it.  But I could not get the words, images and that music out of my mind.  It’s now one of my favorite movies.
  • And, finally, Moby.   There are two songs in particular that I bow down to him for producing.  The first is the music underscoring the final scene in Michael Mann’s movie Heat as DeNiro and Pacino have their final confrontation.  I believe the song is called God Moving Over the Face of the Waters. The second is the song Natural Blues.

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