Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332

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The Music of Serenity Valley

I finally got the official Varése Sarabande release of the Firefly score. It was certainly worth it, partly for the expansion but mostly for the improved sound quality over the anemic bit rate that plagued the Fox mp3 download. In particular, the title song sounded really terrible on the download, and is much improved on this disc.



The Firefly album is great. The series' genre combinations is communicated through the fusion of blue jeans and spaceship "sounds." He is not expanding the sci-fi palette, but rather the Western one, only instead of the Coplandesque take one would expect to go with the twangy guitars and fiddles, it is a more Romantic sound one now associates with space opera. He only uses this material for the most intense moments, however, saving the folk oriented sounds for intimacy. The result is that the music from the show was quite unique as well as effective. It makes for great listening.

I find it strange that when the franchise reached the cinema with Serenity, the music became much more standard. I'm not saying that there's anything particularly wrong with what David Newman did for the film, but I have to say that it made nowhere near the impression that the score from the series did. It is effective, but nothing more than that. The main theme, in particular, strikes me as being something that is left over from another Newman score and just redressed to make it sound a little bit more like the series. Otherwise, it is a pretty nondescript score. I would say that I consider the score to be the weakest element of Serenity.

Of course, I may be swayed by the fact that in general, Joss Whedon series have been extremely well served by their composers. Christophe Beck and Robert Duncan did a great job providing grand epic scores for Buffy, as did Robert J. Kral for Angel. Firefly had a very different sound, which of course made perfect sense given that the millieu is completely different, but it was no less fitting. I was looking forward to hearing Serenity's score because I figured it was Whedon unleashed. Oh well. At least the score doesn't detract from the film (I had a similar reaction to Thomas Wanker's music for Buffy as well).
Tags: film music
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