Over the past year we have had at least four new artists that have been working on movie compositions. Because their music is still in pre-production stages we cannot release the songs yet, but as soon as they are fully produced, we will feature them on this site. Just when I thought instrumental soundtracks were becoming stale, there is a new generation that gets it. Their soundtracks are very refreshing.
As we all know, in order for a film to reach the highest level of commercial and international success it must have a good soundtrack. Whether it be a compilation of classic songs or an original musical composition, ever since the beginning of contemporary film making music has been used to accentuate the most famous movie scenes. Following is just a short list of some instrumental tracks that have stood the test of time. Even today they have set the benchmark for all good composers for film instrumentals.
Vangelis – Chariots of Fire Movie Soundtrack
Vangelis is a Greek composer with a progressive and neo classic musical style. He has written music for the movies Blade Runner and 1492: Conquest of Paradise, but is internationally known for his work on the picture Chariots of Fire. The British film was released in 1981 and tells the true story of two athletes preparing for the 1924 Summer Olympics. Harold Abrahams was a Jewish man who overcame anti-Semitism and class prejudice to win the 100 metre race against the “Flying Scotsman,” Eric Liddell. Vangelis composition gave Chariots of Fire an inspirational musical theme. It succeeded in giving the film an international underdog feeling. Still today this music gives hope to people who have overcome obstacles to succeed in their ultimate goals. In May 1982 this song reached #1 on U.S. charts, #12 in the UK and in Japan was the biggest selling single of 1981. To date, this tune remains the only song by a Greek artist to top the U.S. charts.
Kitaro – Heaven and Earth Movie Movie soundrack
Heaven & Earth is a 1993 Vietnam war film written and directed by Oliver Stone, and starring Tommy Lee Jones, Haing S. Ngor, Joan Chen, and Hiep Thi Le. On a side note, I was Kitaro’s tour mgr for over 14 years. We performed around the globe, this was our most requested song.
Gheorghe Zamfir – The Lonely Shepherd (Kill Bill Vol. 1 sound track)
Kill Bill barely made the cut, out in 2003, but obvious Tarantino knows how to put together a soundtrack. He doesn’t use all that many instrumental pieces ,but when he does, they are just what the film needs.
Steve Stevens & Harold Faltermeye -Top Gun Anthem Movie Soundtrack
Steve Stevens is an American guitarist and songwriter. Stevens’s solo career never really took off, but he is an in-demand session guitarist. He is incredibly talented and has played behind some of the biggest names in music, most notably Billy Idol and Vince Neil. Top Gun is a film that was released in 1986 and follows Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a young Naval aviator who aspires to be the best pilot in the U.S. force. The movie made $350 million worldwide and set home-video sales records. The Top Gun Anthem was performed by Stevens on guitar and Harold Faltermeyer on the piano. The composition is unique with its blend of these instruments. The song won the 1987 Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.
James Horner – Braveheart Theme Movie Soundtrack
James Horner is an American composer of orchestral and film music. He is extremely successful and has created the music for hits such as Star Trek II, Cocoon, Aliens, Willow, Glory, A Beautiful Mind, and Titanic. Braveheart is a 1995 historical drama that tells the tale of William Wallace, a famous Scottish man who came to the forefront of the First War of Scottish Independence. The movie won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for Mel Gibson. The music Horner created for this film is astounding. Using his traditional orchestral style he highlights the bag pipes in this endeavor, blending various kinds of Irish themes and sound. The music for the film was performed by the London Symphony Orchestra.
John Williams – Jurassic Park Theme Movie Soundtrack
John Williams is an American composer, conductor, and pianist. He has won five Academy Awards and created many of the world’s most famous film scores. Williams has worked on all but two of Steven Spielberg’s movies. Recently he has also composed music for the Olympic Games, NBC Nightly News, and the inauguration of President Barack Obama. He might be the most successful and renowned musical composer alive today. Jurassic Park is a Steven Spielberg film that was released in 1993. It is based on a Michael Creighton novel and tells the story of the Island Isla Nublar, where scientists have learned to clone dinosaurs. The Jurassic Park theme is used throughout the film during important sequences. Just listening to it makes you want to take an adventure to the lost Island.
Clint Mansell – Lux Aeterna Movie Soundtrack – Requiem for a Dream
Clint Mansell is an English musician and composer. He was originally the lead singer and guitarist of the band Pop Will Eat Itself, but broke into the world of film scoring in 1996 with the movie Pi. Requiem for a Dream is a movie that was released in 2000. The film depicts different forms of addiction, which leads the title characters into a downward spiral of desperation. The film has some disturbing images and has been praised for its realism. Mansell is probably the least known artist on this list, but he has gained an extensive cult following over the years. The music for the film was performed by the Kronos Quartet. Mansell’s unique style mixes an extensive arrangement of string instruments. Kronos is a string quartet that features two violins, a viola, and a cello. This title work has been given the name Lux Aeterna and is famous for using string instruments to create a cold and discomforting sound. Lux Aeterna has achieved a certain amount of mainstream success over the years and has been used in various forms of media.
Phil Glass – The Truman show sound track
Aware of this mass appropriation of his style, Glass cleverly makes this the subject of his soundtrack for The Truman Show. At the dramatic climax of the movie, when the title character is about to escape from his artificial world, the camera rapidly cuts between Truman making a run for it, the director and crew making Truman’s plight television-worthy in real-time, and the faces of the viewing audience glued to their screens. At this point, the audience (that is, the one we are a part of in the real world) is drawn into Truman’s “authentic” plight by Glass’ motorically rhapsodic score. As it turns out, though, the joke is one us: we’re not hearing the score to the movie we’re watching, but the score to the fake television show within the movie. To point up the conflation of the real and the artificial, the camera briefly cuts to the control room where, on cue from the director, a musician positioned at a bank of keyboards swells the music to heighten the drama — for us and for Truman’s TV audience alike. The point is driven home even more poignantly for those viewers who recognize the musician in the control room executing the melodramatic minor-mode arpeggiations.
Hans Zimmer – Time sound track
Hans Zimmer is more or less the new John Williams (note no Williams tracks on this list), and his work with Christopher Nolan has produced some incredible tracks.