Saturday, 16 April 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day Eighteen ... An instrumental song you like

Does this mean a song without words, i.e. any piece of music which does not involve a vocal performance ? Or an arrangement of a song which is instrumental but is better known as having a vocal ? As I like instrumentals of all sorts I could have my pick here. I like classical music, I like ambient, I like acid jazz. I like Einaudi. I like The Hilliard Ensemble. I like Jon Hassell. As a teenager I was well into Sky and Mike Oldfield ("Incantations" is my favourite of his works and I still listen to it regularly. "Tubular Bells" I can take or leave.) I would probably say that at least a third of my iTunes library is instrumental. But I especially like film scores.

My favourite film of all time is "Bladerunner", but to pick something from that would be boring and predictable. And although nobody is taking notes or keeping score, I like to amuse myself by finding stuff like this challenge to blither on about. And if I'm going to blither on then I might as well spend some time thinking about it.

Earlier this year one of the greatest (in my opinion, and I'm not the only one) film score composers of all time went to the big auditorium in the sky - Mr John Barry. Famous for several Bond scores, music from "Out of Africa", "Born Free", "Indecent Proposal", "Dances With Wolves" and many more. All great stuff and amazing films. However I think my favourite piece of his is from a film I've never even seen, starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, called "Somewhere in Time." When I first heard the main theme from the film I had been very recently bereaved, and to say it resonated with me is an understatement. To be fair to the piece, as I recall it fairly grabbed me by the heart and struck me dumb on the spot. I had not seen the film but the idea that somewhere in time we are reunited with those we love can't help but be attractive and comforting to us when we have lost someone. Apparently when John Barry was asked to score the film he had recently lost his father, and he drew very heavily on his emotions when writing the music. I only recently found that out however, but I should have known really. Being the master of his craft that he was, I think that the main theme does not need vocal interpretation to make the emotion felt by the composer obvious, although I understand there is a version with lyrics (I'm not interested - it couldn't possibly add anything to the instrumental version in my opinion.) I believe the music already truly speaks to the heart through the ears.
Whilst looking for YouTube versions to link to I found this performance by Chee-Yun Kim, which in my opinion goes a long way to being just as good as the original score version.

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