Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332

Virtuoso

I am always uncomfortable whenever any of my friends that I "know everything about soundtracks." It is true that I know a lot about film music, but while I will usually know something about everything with regards to film music, nobody can know everything about anything. One of the ironies of any type of study is that the more one knows, the more one is aware of what they don't know. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Quite to the contrary, what you may have missed in the past often makes some of the best discoveries. I just managed to get out an entire sentence without excessive use of the word "know!"



I had previously only barely touched on the music of John Scott. While an extremely gifted composer who occasionally works on A-list projects, Scott never really got a big break and so has made a career scoring low budget films that are often quickly forgotten, regardless of the quality. However, when I have come across his music, it is invariably very well-written and more often than not quite emotionally involving.

The only two films scored by him I've ever seen are Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes and Yor: The Hunter from the Future (you had blissfully forgotten that film existed, hadn't you), and while my viewing of the latter on cable had me aghast but entertained by its complete badness, Greystoke, while is a film I never felt worked all that well, nevertheless is an outstanding score.

I came across a Greystoke LP a few years back, along with a copy of King Kong Returns on vinyl as well for $1.99, and they are both really powerful pieces of music. Greystoke is badly in need of expansion - the panther motif is barely heard on the album - but the real shock is that such a piece of drek as King Kong Lives would produce such a powerhouse yet moving score. And, surprisingly enough, I got a copy of the Fifth Continent Yor through a professor at school. That album is pretty silly, but a whole lot of fun - although strangely enough it consists of five tracks used in the film and one half hour long track of outtakes.

Well, I ordered up a couple of John Scott CDs and they arrived yesterday: Anthony & Cleopatra; The Second Jungle Book; Red King, White Knight; Walking Thunder and Witchcraft. I have thus far only had the chance to listen to Antony & Cleopatra and Witchcraft, both of which have been very colorful and magnetic. What's really cool about Scott is that while he is using a very traditional approach to scoring, he doesn't sound quite like anybody else, although there are certain devices he uses that sometimes make me think of Maurice Jarre. His scores tend to be very thematically oriented, which makes the albums very satisfying to listen to.
Tags: film music, john scott
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