Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Shuffle Jukebox #1

I realize that my most recent blog wasn't the best blog I could have made. All I did really was use this to upload a gif. I also realize that I lack actual blogs in here, and for that I'm sorry. To make it up for you, I've decided to start this up. The Shuffle Jukebox. I basically take a bunch of songs from my iTunes and talk about them. The reason I wanted to start this up is because I like talking about music to others. Music to me is wonderful form of art. It can convey all sorts of stories simply by listening to them. To me, if a picture is 1000 words, then a song is a 1000 pictures. Anyways, enough of the introduction, let's get to the meat of this blog.

Bernard Herrmann - Taxi Driver (theme)

As I have previously stated before in a past blog of mine, I am a huge fanatic of the film noir movies. So naturally, I would be a fan of the soundtracks of these movies. And would you look at that, the first song on this blog is from a film noir. Before I can get talking about the song, we must at least skim over the film where this song presides, Taxi Driver. Taxi Driver is a 1976 Martin Scorcese film that stars Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle, a Vietnam war veteran who works as a taxi driver who slowly drives himself down into madness. The movie is by far light, as we see the trauma and pain that Travis endures throughout the whole journey.

The song begins with a bunch of crescendoes of the percussion. Afterwards, the brass come along with the strings and the sax blasts out. The sax mostly goes about at a slow, slightly painful dialogue that carries on for a while until the harmon trumpet takes a turn to talk. The strings then go about, repeating the sax's statements, but in a softer tone. The trumpet and sax take turns conversing and then the harmon trumpet returns to make a quiet little speech which then gets overshadow by a saxophone and the rest of the instruments. Everything starts going mad and then the saxophone is left to talk. Then the whole thing starts again, only more bombastic than before finally ending with a dark pierce to the heart.

The song is simply magnificent for a film of this caliber and style. The emotion is gloomy but there's still few dashes of serenity. Each instrument manages to take it's turn at just the right length. I especially like how the saxophone and harmon trumpet work in the song, surveying the area around you. 

Phillip Glass - Opening - Glassworks

Phillip Glass is a recent artist that I've been looking at. He is a minimalist which means that he'll repeat phrases over and over. It's kind of like techno except for classical musicians. Phillip has also made songs for various films.  If you saw the Watchmen movie or the Truman Show, then you've heard a Phillip Glass song. It's weird that not many of us herald him as a household name like Hans Zimmer or John Williams despite the fact that he's done a lot of films. Anyways, getting to the tune. As stated before, his work is simple. And Opening is no exception as it only has the piano a few notes cycling through. Yet, the way the phrases are constructed and the way the volume goes throughout the tune makes it a beautiful serenade. It's a relaxing piece that makes you feel that you're in harmony. 

Benny Goodman - In A Sentimental Mood

There's no real understanding as to why I'm a fanatic of the big band style of music that originated in the 20s. Perhaps its the fact that one of my favorite musicians is Glenn Miller or the fact that big band style of music is similar to jazz and classical. Or it could be because I'm not limited to certain genres of music like other people are. Not really implying that most people are like that. The song itself is much more classical than jazzy as the instruments move about a slow pace and the clarinet is more dominant than the other instruments. Nonetheless, the song is simply a delight to listen to. 

Snow/Shiver Star - Kirby and the Crystal Shards OST

We're...I mean, I'm going to end this blog with something a little more festive. Kirby and the Crystal Shards was one of my favorite N64 games, and it still is. I mean how can you resist that cute pink puffball and the ability to obtain powers by swallowing your enemies? That's just awesome stuff right there. The game has a huge array of levels, enemies and abilities but it also has a great soundtrack. But one of the greatest songs in this game is this one. It appears in the winter-like levels, as you'd imagine and it sounds as cheerful as a Christmas carol would. The bell chimes are numerous and the notes are incredibly high. It's just a lovely song.

Anyways, that's all the time I got. See ya later. 

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