I left my apartment and I couldn't believe my eyes. It was pure snow! Do you know what the street value of my block is!?!
I found that my new car is much better with the snow than my old one. That is to say, I can still use it. It took my only a little cajoling to get myself out of the parking spot, while I once spent several hours getting my old car to move more than three inches in either direction.
CBS has decided not to air the winning ad despite the fact that MoveOn.org has sponsored to air during the SuperBowl, claiming that it is too contraversial. They are, however, airing a piece of bullshit. Watch the ad.
A recent prospective game of Risk fell apart because of some bad planning, but I and many of my friends have the bloodlust, and a new game is in the offing.
A few years ago, I had a brilliant idea. Since my friends liked it when I would play Basil Poledouris' score from Conan the Barbarian when we would play Risk, why not put together a tape of music that would go well with the game?
I thought about it and went through my collection, looking for the most violent and intense orchestral and choral music I could find. Although mostly consisting of film music, I did include some classical and romantic pieces.
The results were good, but a bit overbearing. I realized this was because the original 100 minute Risk mix had no dynamic. After a ten-minute buildup, it never let up. 90 minutes of action music sounds like a more entertaining prospect than it really is.
I put together a preliminary 2 disc set when I first got my CD burner. I had similar problems as I did with the tape, but I had a better idea as to what I needed to accomplish.
About a year and a half ago, the 3 disc Risk album was created. I was working on a 2 disc set, but found I had too much material. Since a Risk game usually lasts hours, I felt that a 3 disc set would be appropriate. I recycled quite a lot of material from the 2 disc set, but gave the discs more variety.
The results were very good. While playing, often I would hear from my fellow conquerers how appropriate the music was. In fact, it has become something of a tradition, so I kept the discs in the box that had The Ultimate Risk Set (a Risk set that has three times all the pieces, so there is a separate plastic box not just for each color, but for each denomination of army; it also contains cards for specific moments in the game, such as "The Ineffectual Warrior" and "Death Blossom").
It is daft, however, to have a Risk album without "The Fields of the Pelennor" on it. That, plus the fact that the technology I use to create CDs is much more sophisticated today than it was when I compiled these discs originally.
I have therefore began work upon a new, improved, multi-disc Risk set. I am scrapping certain tracks, while retaining most of the others. I am arranging the albums a bit more carefully this time. I listened to the three-disc set and made about seven pages of notes.
I am not sure whether this will be a three or four disc set. I have a feeling that it will be four, as I have started compiling some of the suites that will be appearing on the new discs.
Some of the stuff that I am keeping:
Alex North's opening from 2001 was not used in the film (no original music was), but it is a great way to open the set. It has all the power and drama of Richard Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra but isn't as played, and it is written in a more modern idiom which introduces the Risk albums beautifully. This was on the original tape and has been on ever since.
Sergei Prokofiev's lead-in to "The Battle on Ice" from Alexander Nevsky is such a powerful piece of music that James Horner has ripped it off in most of his scores. This has been on since the beginning.
A suite from the Heavy Metal score, a grand piece of fantasy film music (see some in-depth comments) is being replicated exactly as it appeared on the last disc, but my source sounds much, much better.
Miklós Rózsa's rousing "El Cid March" from El Cid was added to the CD version, and it is the penultimate track, a march in honor of the victor.
The finale of Patton, complete with George C. Scott's voice, is the perfect end to the game. This was also on the original tape.
This is now a work in progress, and hopefully it will be completed before the next Risk game. As with the previous 3 disc set, I have added more music that, while consistant with the tone of the game, makes the disc more rounded. Cues such as "Andúril" from The Return of the King and "House Atreides" from Children of Dune are not as violent, but more glorious.