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Saturday, 19 March 2011

Desert Island CD

Castor at Anomalous Material has organised an event called Desert Island CD it involves choosing twelve tracks featured in films, that you would save if stranded on a desert island.

Here are my choices, in no specific order, just twelve pieces of music featured in films that really stuck with me long after I had watched those films.

Barry Lyndon,
"PIANO TRIO IN E-FLAT, OP 100 (second movement)"
by Franz Shubert

Kubrick's Barry Lyndon is one of my favourite films ever, and it has a profound effect on me every time I watch it, the beautiful classical score is largely responsible for how moving this film is. It is a great achievement and one of the finest uses of music in film.

The Good the Bad and The Ugly,
Ecstasy of Gold
by Ennio Morricone
An obvious choice, Morricone just might be the greatest film score composer ever. Of all his magnificent works I decided to choose only one for this list, I chose The Ecstasy of Gold which plays during the scene in the graveyard towards the end of the Good The Bad and The Ugly. I think it's an incredible piece, such a brilliant mix of instruments and to be honest the score is the main reason Leone's films are so famous.

Blue Velvet,
Blue Velvet
by Bobby Vinton

I'm not sure why this  piece fascinates me so, it is rather dark and creepy, especially when used in Lynch's film of the same name. Not one of my favourite tracks by itself but it works extraordinarily well in the film.

Kill Bill,
The Grand Duel
by Luis Bacalov
The Kill Bill soundtrack is one of the best of recent years, such a eclectic mix all put together by the very talented RZA. This is the track that plays while explaining O Ren's origins. The Anime sequence accompanied by this piece is definitely one of the highlights of an already exceptional film.

Battle Without Honour Or Humanity
by Tomoyasu Hotei
This track is only in the film for a very short while, yet it stayed with me for ages. Such a amazing piece that works incredibly well on it's own and really should have been used more in the film. It is used when O Ren and her henchmen are entering the tea-house. Those who have seen the film will surely remember that scene.

Aguirre: The Wrath Of God
Opening Theme
by Popol Vuh
A very strange piece of music, at one moment it seems like vocals, the next it seems like electronics. But it is used in the opening scene Werner Herzog's Aguirre which just might be one of the best scenes ever put on film. This haunting music accompanies the men as they descend the misty mountains into the jungle below.

Main Theme
by Samuel Barber

A great piece of music in it's own right, but it was put to powerful use in Oliver Stone's masterpiece, Platoon. It dramatically intensifies the emotional scenes and is a perfect example of how to use music in a war film. Just hearing it never fails to bring tears to my eyes.
Taxi Driver,
Title theme
by Bernard Hermann
One of my all time favourite films and the famed composer Bernard Hermann's final score. While some scores are just meant to provide music for the film this one perfectly fits with the character of Trais Bickle, after all the film is a fascinating characters study and wouldn't be complete without a piece of music that perfectly represents the character, it varies between threatening and light just like Travis. I'm generally a fan of these jazz soundtracks but this one is by far the best.

Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai 
Ghost Dog Theme 
by RZA
Another of my favourite films, this one is very underrated and the music by the RZA (again) is even more underrated. Such a brilliant piece that really sets the mood for the film. I would highly recommend this film. Watch it just for the music, it's a great mix of oriental (specifically Japanese) and Western (specifically rap).

Dead Man 
Guitar Solo
by Neil Young
Another Jarmusch film, this one is such a strange Western. I think it's simply amazing, the music the acting, the characters, the cinematography, the script... everything about it is great. Neil Young improvised the whole soundtrack while watchign the final cut of the film and it really shows, for the music follows the tone and mood set by the events in the film and the visuals, very well done and an interesting piece of "experimental music".

 Easy Rider 
Born To Be Wild
by Steppenwolf

 An iconic piece of music in an iconic film, I don't really need to say much more, this film summed up a period of time perfectly and this piece sums up the film perfectly. Whenever anyone hears it, they will surely picture Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda racing down the highway on their bikes.

Amadeus (spoilers in the clip) 
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Of all the excellent pieces of music in this film (it is about Mozart after all) the Requiem is my favourite, and the scene of Mozart's burial is my favourite in the whole film. Such a powerful scene when one really comes to realise what a unique genius the man was.

That concludes this post, I hope you found it of some interest, I certainly had fun while making it!
To see other bloggers choices don't forget to check out Anomalous Material!

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