Lord of the Rings, Spiderman, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, James Bond, Star Trek, Pirates of the Caribbean and many other movies besides are so inherently bound to the music that goes with them that they could not exist without them, at least not without losing something significant or becoming ridiculous. For this reason, I was delighted to, last Tuesday 28th June, attend the Esker Movie Festival’s ‘Night at the Movies’ in the Black Box which is led by Galway native Peter Joyce who is a musician, composer, and conductor.
I can’t imagine Kanye West’s liberal use of the ‘N’ word in his music being an appropriate soundtrack to the entry of Darth Vader or Rihanna singing about the “monster” under her bed being appropriate for any part of any of the Star Wars movies outside the part in Return of the Jedi where Jabba the Hutt, quite literally, has a humanoid eating monster under his bed that quite clearly provides him with much merriment. But at the same time that would just be silly.
The orchestra plays through the various movies’ themes some of which I mentioned in the opening of this piece and I, quite literally get lost in it to the extent that I have to occasionally slap myself in the face as I’m supposed to be taking photographs to go with this post.
This kind of music is the fruit and vegetables of music and what is mostly played on the radio is like this high-sugar, catchy nonsense which gets stuck in your head and reverberates around your brain in a most unwholesome way. I make this analogy because fruit and vegetables often take a bit of effort to eat, but when you make the effort, you feel so good that you are always glad you did.
This style of music, in all its forms, and not just that which relates to the movies, is the stuff of life, death, drama, hope, triumph, disaster, good, and evil. None of these things exist individually, but all are part of the wonderful, and oftentimes frightening, tapestry of life, that this music, across all its diverse ranges, embodies.
I have been writing a lot about heroes lately, both real life and fictitious, and of one thing I’m certain. All such heroes and their travails, at least on a cinematic level, are all definitively enhanced by appropriate hero music.
And the time, dedication, and passion required to create this kind of music is nothing short of heroic to me.