Kasatochi: The Original Trilogy

Kasatochi Wars!To be fair, this is not a franchise that’s short on awesome video game music, but with this release, Kasatochi rolls the tape back a bit and beeps up the music of the three movies of the original trilogy, with an emphasis on the first one. Yes, there will be a prequel trilogy album; no, I’m not sure exactly when just yet.

Go grab it from the dedicated Kasatochi page; you can see the track listing after the jump. Read More

Kasatochi: Bravo Sierra!

Bravo Sierra!When I embarked on my little musical joke a little over a month ago, I wasn’t anticipating that it’d gain the kind of traction that it has. And here’s the proof: between Facebook, Twitter and e-mails I’ve received, you have here in your little virtual hands an entire EP of listener requests. And believe me when I tell you that I had no idea how this was going to turn out. 😆

Right-click to download kasatochi-req1.zip (76mb) Read More

Little E vs. the original motion picture soundtrack

Children challenge you in ways you hadn’t imagined, by forcing you to re-examine and explain/justify stuff you hold to be somewhat self-evident. Case in point:

Little E’s favorite movie right now (and mine too, if I’m to be honest) is WALL-E. He likes cute robots doing stuff without a lot of WALL-Edialogue required to understand it. I think it’s actually a cracking good little high-concept science fiction piece that got snuck in the back door in the packaging of a kids’ movie (nicely done, Pixar!). And the soundtrack by Thomas Newman is just this side of brilliant – with the long, dialogue-free stretches of the first half of the movie, Newman has the responsibility of cluing the audience in on the implications of what’s going on.

During the scene where WALL-E is chasing a laser dot (part of the landing sensors of what he doesn’t realize is an approaching spacecraft), the music really kicks in, and at one point, out of the blue, on what had to be WALL-E viewing #39 at the very least, Little E said “Dad, why is that music doing that?

That brought me up short. I was enjoying the music tremendously, but my enjoyment of music is very much an instinctual, gut-feeling sort of thing. And now I had to explain it. Uh…?

I quickly turned it around into a question. “How does the music make you feel?” (At about this point, WALL-E was burying himself to protect himself from the heat of the ship’s engines.)

“Scared,” he said.

“I bet WALL-E’s pretty scared right now too,” I told him.

He thought about it a moment. The movie continued and the music quieted down, and took a different tone as EVE started exploring the planet. “What is WALL-E feeling right now?” he asked.

I responded, “Well, what’s the music telling you?”

“I don’t know,” Little E said.

“Well, WALL-E doesn’t know anything about EVE yet either,” I said.

He either started to grok what I was saying, or he was tired of me answering his questions with further questions. It’s a very Zen teaching method, but I can also see where it’s an exasperating one at times. (I think that’s why I’m not a teacher.)

They're flying on instruments!I really hope that it was the former, because the movie score (and its frequently budget-addled nephew, the television score) is an art form I love dearly, and I’d love to share my knowledge (and sheesh, my library) with him. He’s showing signs that he may just be “getting” music on the same gut-feeling level as his old man, who couldn’t sight-read sheet music to save his life or sing well enough for his supper. If this is an Area Of Interest, maybe some more intensive edumacation – more than what I’ve ever gotten – is something he’d be up for.

One thing that I think my mom got absolutely right with her parenting method was that she never, ever tried to steer me toward being a doctor, a lawyer, or anything like that. She waited for these Areas Of Interest to make themselves known and would kick some doors open to fuel those interests and see if there was Something There. That, too, is a bit unorthodox, but it’s something I intend to turn into a family tradition.

In the meantime, thanks to WALL-E, my son can hum “Also Sprach Zarathustra” from memory (I’ve played him the full version of the movement quoted briefly in the movie) and knows the words to that Peter Gabriel song in the end credits. Not a bad start.

Eruptive, disruptive, the whole works

Evan’s having a hard time sleeping, so daddy’s having a hard time sleeping. There’s some strange correlation there that I can’t put my finger on – maybe it’s the whole disrupting-daddy’s-sleep-by-coming-into-the-room-and-crawling-on-top-of-me-in-bed thing. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll love little E until I breathe my last, but man is it ever hard to sleep through a little 40-pound person climbing on top of you. Try it sometime (pending the availability of little 40-pound people in your immediate vicinity). You know I’m right.

Whiplash-inducing gearshift… CRUNCH! Read More

Random soundtrack notes

Doctor Who Series 3 soundtrackAs noted in the site’s news section today, a new CD of music from the third season of Doctor Who is due in about a month. Now, as much as I’m looking forward to that, I had to fess up that the music was yet another aspect of season 3 that just underwhelmed me a bit. It seemed to me like about 3 pieces of action music were written, and a few variations on Martha’s theme, and some other bits…and then all of the above were recycled relentlessly throughout the season. I’ll still be happy to pick up the CD, because at least all of this stuff was decent music, but on the tenth reiteration, it loses a little something. At this point, it’s almost like the more recognizable music from the original Star Trek – it’s kinda like “cue the Corbomite Maneuver cube music, there’s something sinister out there!” I love that they’ve got a whole orchestra on this show, but I am starting to wonder if perhaps Murray Gold shouldn’t rotate with someone else to do the writing. Even Dudley Simpson took a break once in a blue moon.

Speaking of TV composers who did a Ton Of Stuff, just got these the other day from the fine folks at Dennismccarthy.com:
Dennis McCarthy CDs
Nifty stuff on each one. I’m still hoping that maybe we’ll actually see some real live Trek TV music sneak out the door this way, but I’m not holding my breath. Speaking of Trek music, I’ve finally reposted the Dennis McCarthy interview in the news archives here, and as a treat – well, I don’t know if you’ll think it’s much of a treat – I’ve included the original telephone recording of the interview from 1993. Some things to keep in mind about that interview include: (A) the fact that I was 20, and (B) I was at the height of my Trek geekdom. If I had the chance to redo that interview – and don’t think that I haven’t approached him about doing a new one – I’d be a little more even-handed about it. There are some somewhat insinuating questions in there on my part – oh, so the producers tell you when to wipe your butt, do they? – that come across as someone who’d read a few Film Score Monthly editorials too many. And, call it perverse, I know so much more about the other, non-soundtrack music he’s done that I would broaden the line of questioning, though I still chuckle at catching him off guard with that Tommy Flander thing and still getting a pretty in-depth response about it. (I think that’s actually my favorite part of the whole thing, actually!) And of course, these days, there’d be questions to ask like his feelings on only getting to do one of the Trek movies (which I think was, musically, one of the best ones of the whole series, though I’m not sure anyone else will ever give it that due), the Enterprise budget cuts that forced him to “go synth” for much of the final season, and stuff like Sliders and Stargate SG-1, among others. When I first got a CD burner – the stereo component kind, mind you, not the computer drive – that interview, which I’d kept on cassette for about 6 years at the time, was one of the very first things I burned to CD-R, and that CD-R turned up during housecleaning not so long ago. So there it is, an interesting little time capsule from my past. (At the time, the interview originally appeared in a text file called “the LogBook Master Index of Soundtracks” which was bundled up with a distribution ZIP file and sent across the pre-internet BBS file-forwarding networks.)

I really wish I had the chance to do more interviews for the site. Maybe someday – for right now, the only podcasts you’re likely to get out of me anytime real soon will probably be diaper changes, which technically should really be poocasts. 😆