Thanksgiving, we're all at the table and my aunt & uncle have the tv on a music station - one of the 85 that seem to come with digital cable or whatever - and it's on the light classical channel. I remember cause that's where we left it just before we eat. I'm eating, listening to others talk and kids being told to eat their food and something familiar pops in among the crowd. A sound, a melody...something I have heard before. It's a classical piece...I just can't place the name, but that sound is all too familiar. It's a banjo. A banjo playing classical. Upon this realization a reponse is immediate: Bela Fleck. Having the artist out of the way, I move to the composer - like a game I play with myself on classical trivia...it's really fun.....for someone like me. And were it piano or violin, I don't think I would have had much of a time contemplating the composer or piece. Beethoven is sticking out, but I can't quite place the piece....more listening...and I take a guess, "Five Variations on 'God Save The King'". I excuse myself from the table, no one really noticing at all and make my way to the television set to see if I was right in my stab. It was Bela, it was Beethoven, it wasn't "Five Variations on 'God Save The King'" - it was Seven Variations......missed it by two.
Tonight, I'm watching CSI, and I hear a banjo in the mix of whatever the hell was playing in the background. Faint, very faint, yet it sticks out to me. Among all the sounds and noises, I hear a banjo. I kinda smiled at that....some people are missing out on what a beautiful noise that instrument makes.
Commerical - Trailer/preview spot for LOTR: The Two Towers........again, there is familiarity. But not an instrument...it's the music itself. It's very familiar, but it isn't the original. It's very different from the original in sound, but not in the melody....it remains the same. Again, the game kicks in and I begin going through in my head the music. It's from a film, that is the first realization.
It's harder to guess sometimes on music & film. With classical pieces such as the Beethoven piece I mentioned earlier, it's somewhat easy as I have sound to relate to sound. Different with film scores...I have image to relate to sound. And seeing a different image instead of the one I associate with the music can make it a little difficult.
Lucky for me, the trailers 30 seconds long and I have some time to work it out. Plus, it's almost nothing but music, hardly any sound fx or voice over to get in the way. It's a theme...I've heard it before.....many times, and then I remember. Clint Mansell - Requiem For A Dream. Once I had that figured out I could tell they had done some real reworking. I mean, the melody, as I said before, was still intact, but the instruments used were a lot more "hectic" sounding than the original piece. More aggitated, almost fussy. Whereas the original invoked sadness, this one invoked action and suspense....which worked well for the promotion. Oh well, something I learned long ago was that trailers and previews for films, be them on television or in the theater itself....they hardly ever use their own music. It's always taken from a previous film, except that nowadays trailers are nothing more than quick music videos useing popular music from the time to grab the audience it's aimed for. Oh well........
Tonight, I sleep with: