Christmas is Upon US!

… after Thanksgiving of course… and my birthday.

First things first. The scene scoring competition for Gamera vs. Guiron winner has been announced, and it’s not me. The winner is Simon Hutchinson who used electronically altered shamisen.

Ruth and I went to the opening performance where the live pit preformed well (and without a conductor), live voice actors performed the dialogue, and 2 foley artists performed sound effects live. The pit consisted of a string quartet, with clairnet (doubling with bass clarinet), and harp. Overall the show was fun, and the audience was really into it, cheering when Gamera (friend to all children) would do something that helps save the day.

I didn’t really know what to expect with the music… would there be themes, or leitmotifs? It turns out that, no, there wouldn’t be those things. The music would serve as underscoring accentuating the action or situations onscreen. I’m cool with that.

So overall, fun to see, and great to know that the prospect of doing something like this is out there.

Recently, Mike S. tweeted/twitted/twatted? (so dirty) about how he listened to some samples of Silvestri’s score for A Christmas Carol, and thought that they were good. I’m always a sucker for scores, and Christmas music, so when they’re combined it should be the best of both worlds, right?

A Christmas Carol

Right. It is so awesome! It blends Christmas music tunes in with his scoring. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I definitely know the story. And this music is perfect. The orchestrations are very well thought out.

One of my favorite cues is “Marley’s Ghost Visits Scrooge”. One reason I like it so much could be the Elfman-esque sections where the orchestra sounds a little like a circus. But then there are moments where the orchestra really pulls out the romance sounding very much like a something Tchaikovsky would have written. Silvestri also does a good job of blending solo strings with a very eery sounding orchestra. Also, some of the orchestrations sound like Williams, which is definitely not a bad thing!!! I don’t want to write too much more, so that you can all enjoy it without my half-assed purely superficial analysis.

In other movie music news, Danny Elfman is no longer the composer for The Wolf Man. Until I read that article from cinemusic.com, I didn’t know that he was even working on it. Apparently all the music for the movie is written and recorded, but won’t be included. And supposedly, it is gothic in nature, similar to Kilar’s score for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

After reading that, all I could think was, “holy crap do I hope they release this… or someone leaks the bootleg.” It’s music like this that Elfman can be his best at. Recently (Terminator Salvation, Wanted) Elfman has been changing his style. Not sure if this is his orchestrators, or him, but recently his scores have been lacking the signature Elfman sound. I have a feeling that this score would have that. And if not this one, then definitely his score for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland will have it.

In other news, I recently was one of 12 or 13 people who submitted for the Composition Competition at PSU. If I am chosen as one of four finalists, I get to write a piece for a new music ensemble. This would be fun… and really fast, as they require a rough draft of the 4 minute piece at the beginning of winter term (January 3rd). This is fine… I should have some time during Christmas break to work on it (God willing I’ve completed my sonata).

Other than that, I got a Mac Mini Server for my birthday… which is awesome, especially after I learn about all the things it can do and start implementing those online. Yay.

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