Re: [Up-Tight] Re: What are your favourite cinematic sounds?
[Colin Frangos posted this to Telstar's Up-Tight group
I found it interesting and informative.]
While it's clearly gauche to even mention TV amongst the great movie composers, but the work that Michael Giacchino is doing composing for Lost is pretty interesting. If you're skeptical, hear me out.
First and foremost, he's using a small orchestra, something that's rarely done, even for movies. This includes a harp, 4 trombones and multiple percussionists, who play all sorts of weird marimbas and metal things (an Angklung, bits of an airplane, a flapamba). Some of the musicians involved have been scoring film for 40+ years.
Second, he's got a keen interest in modern composers that he balances with classic film scoring strategies. He uses a lot of leitmotifs, but many of them involve abnormal and "extended" techniques (plucking the harp strings at the resonant box, scraping the bow behind the bridge of the cello, rolling a super ball along a cymbal). There are lots of cluster chords and non-traditional scales. I'm pretty sure one leitmotif was originally set up as a tone row, although it's developed a little from there.
Third, none of the above are cloying. It's possible to watch the show and not be saying to yourself, "Gee, that's a particularly bold passage on the Angklung." It adds and doesn't detract. It's a great soundtrack if you want to focus on it, but that involves pulling yourself away from the show.