Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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Benefits Of A Liberal Arts Education

The professor from my Contemporary Media class is moving to San Diego. He was going to have a Bon Voyage shindig over at the College Green last night. Ah, the College Green. I used to drink beer back then, and they never carded me.

Well, I went to the Green and found out that he was over at the Sociology department in Powdermaker Hall with his garage band. They had brought beer and whiskey, and so I stopped on the way over to pick up some dark rum and Coke.

It was a great time, made all that much more fun by the fact that we were on the campus doing everything we're not supposed to do on campus. Yesterday was the last day of finals, so by the time we got there, the building was empty and the campus was deserted.

Some of us even took a trip down to the amphitheater for old time's sake. Well, it was old time's sake for me, anyway...

I have some further reflections on John Williams' score from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

First off, I have to say that some of the most interesting action music Williams has written in years is in the Harry Potter films. "The Chess Game" from the first film, the Rogue Bludger Quidditch match (inexplicably not included on the album) and the Chamber of Secrets sequence in the second, and now "Buckbeak's Flight" and "Saving Buckbeak" bring the third film's score to the same level... and perhaps in the case of "Buckbeak's Flight" surpassing them. This cue is wonderfully busy with mounting tension, but it is nevertheless quite lyrical and expressive of flight. In fact, I haven't heard music describe the sensation of flying as well since Jerry Goldsmith's score for The Blue Max.

The "Double Trouble" theme is the backbone of much of the score, and Williams is quite good at disguising it at times so that it is not immediately apparent that one is hearing a piece of music based upon it until a variation makes it obvious.

The medieval sound that he introduces in several cues towards the middle of the album is quite a welcome change of pace, sort of referencing the "Diagon Alley" theme, but a bit more period-sounding.

The more I listen to this CD, the more I like it. That said, I am sure when the film comes out and I hear all the shit in the movie that's not on the album, and how much of a mishmash what I'm listening to is, I'll be as annoyed with it as I was with the Chamber of Secrets album (although he kept Sorcerer's Stone somewhat in check). Furthermore, while I am disappointed that several themes were not carried over from the previous films on the album, it is possible that they are in the film, just not in the cues included on the CD. Hedwig's theme, however, which has become synonymous with the films (and now the books), is now played in some great new settings, including some that are downright sinister as the magnitude of the forces working against Harry become more apparent.

But I really like the score so far.

The weather today is ghastly, and my feet are complaining because it is the first day in over a month that I have had to wear shoes instead of sandals.
Tags: film music, harry potter, john williams
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