Wednesday, October 01, 2014

All Hail the (New) King

As I'm sure I have mentioned NUMEROUS times at some point on this thing - but given the long hiatus and then recent U2 project, not recently, I am a big film score fan. I use film scores as writing music at work, if not exclusively, then close enough for government work, and am always on the lookout for new music. And these days, no one make me more inclined to check out a new recording than Alexandre Desplat.

So how about recommending a few Desplat cues, I hear you say? Sure!

Desplat first came to my attention with his score for the final two Harry Potter films. In particular, it was the slow build in the opening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I that got my attention. Listen to the way you don't even hear the music at first, and only slowly become aware of this humming tone underneath, then some ominous percussion. Then the strings come in, urgently serious, and finally you get this gorgeous flute melody that pulls the whole thing together at about 1:20 in. Just wonderful.

Desplat's score for Argo didn't grab me at first, and certainly not in the film itself when I first watched it, but after a few listens there were definitely some goosebump moments, including the hymn-like piece used as the plane lifts off at the end of the film.

Perhaps Desplat's most beautiful score, though, is his delicate, lilting music for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Listen to the Debussy nods in this piano-based cue, and the way he plays with mixing melancholy and playfulness in the same piece.

Finally, my most recent musical love affair - his score for last year's Oscar contender Philomena. I simply adore this first track, and the primary melody in the score, a wistful, hopeful, and looping waltz melody that just completely enchants.

IMBD tells me The Imitation Game is the next Desplat score I can look forward to. I can't wait.

Until Whenever

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