"A View From Sound"

A View From Sound

By Daniel StJohn 



For me, music has a HUGE place in this world. It can bring memories of good times, sad times, times of victory, times of failure and literally every small crack in between. Same is true for movies and plays a significant part that most don't even notice for the most part while viewing a film. There are many very noticeable and very popular film scores, but for the most part, the soundtrack is the feature of the film that helps drive it forward without being too in your face about it. It's the unsaid words and unseen actions that really capture the feelings. 


Me being the band nerd I am, I actually use the soundtrack of a movie as one of the core components of what makes a great movie for me...top 3 actually, next to story and acting. The way the violins and cellos can make a scene 10x sadder, or how the low rumble of a bass string can make your heart race without you even noticing. These techniques are the great things a soundtrack does to its film. I guarantee Darth Vader would not have been nearly as intimidating if it were just him walking down the hallway, hearing his boots clank against the ground in The Empire Strikes Back. Or Paranormal Activity, wouldn't have been so scary if that low hum wouldn't have been there causing that sense of anxiety to be there at the precise times it needed to be. 


The way the greats like John Williams, James Horner, Harry Gregson-Williams, and Hans Zimmer create these masterpieces is incredible, and each composer has their little style that you can hear across various movies they score. From the bouncy, fluffy middle that is John Williams to the dark, deep flow heard by Zimmer, each composer has their own fingerprint and it's so incredible to hear those translate across different films. I could go on forever talking about music, so I'm going to save the long talks for more detailed discussions later.