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To Boldly Go!  Soundtracks of Hollywood's Quest for Space - Special Tracksounds Feature

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TO BOLDLY GO!
Soundtracks of Hollywood's Quest for Space
by Christopher Coleman

Whether it was reaching the upper atmosphere, the moon or Mars, the drive and determination of mankind to reach their goal has translated into numerous feature films and numerous film scores. Some of the most entertaining scores have come from films that centered around man's quest for space.  To that end, Tracksounds focuses on the scores that point to unearthly destinations and the force of human courage and determination to reach them.

 

The Mars Underground (Soundtrack) by James Michael Dooley

Buy The Mars Underground by James Michael Dooley  from Amazon.com

The Mars Underground by James Michael Dooley
Released by Pelagis Records (2005)
Rating: 8/10
 

Composer James Michael Dooley was asked if he would provide the musical backdrop for the documentary and embarked along with the director and producers in this labor of love. Musically, the end result certainly communicates at least a portion of the love poured into the project. James Michael Dooley takes the score in a minimalist direction. Ironically, for a minimalist score, there's quite a bit to appreciate. It would be easy to think that Dooley, a professed "follower" of composer Phillip Glass, might have been influenced by Glass' recent effort for ROVING MARS, but the fact is Dooley had long written THE MARS UNDERGROUND before Glass' score for the Disney/Imax production likely came to be. Once you've listened to both, you'll see that there isn't a lot in common between the two. In fact, one would find more commonalities between THE MARS UNDERGROUND and Glass scores such as THE HOURS.


Read the full review of The Mars Underground by James M. Dooley

   
Mythodea (Soundtrack) by Vangelis

Mythodea by Vangelis

Mythodea by Vangelis
Released by Sony Classical (2001)
Rating: 10/10
 

Mars has been the object of man's dreams, myths, and destiny for centuries and in the last 40 years or so, Mars has had the eye of NASA. Probes, fly-bys, landers, crawlers, have all been a part of NASA's ongoing quest reach and explore the planet and currently underway is NASA's Mars Odyssey Mission. Just as feature film portrayals of our quest to break the confines of terra firma and head to the Moon has generated some superior film music (ie. Apollo 13, October Sky, The Dish), it stands to reason that Mars could do the same. Even more recently, Mars has drawn the attention of Hollywood. In the span of a few months movie goers found themselves taken to the arid, redlands of Mars twice. Unfortunately, both films left audiences as dry and cold as the planet. Ennio Morricone's score for Mission to Mars failed miserably and was an ear-sore to most film music fans; however, Graeme Revell's score to Red Planet faired a bit better with its progressive-techno edge. Of course, if the perimeters were expanded a bit, Danny Elfman's Invaders from Mars could be pulled into the conversation, but that one we'll leave on its own [wink]


Read the full review of Mythodea by Vangelis

 

   
The Dish (Soundtrack) by Edmund Choi

The Dish (Soundtrack) by Edmund Choi

The Dish by Edmund Choi
Released by Varese Sarabande (2001)
Rating: 7/10
 

Composer Edmund Choi began garnering attention in the film music world with his spirited score for M. Night Shyamalan's film Wide Awake.  Even with a high quality effort like Wide Awake, Choi has not become one of the most familiar composer names floating about Hollywood.  This is a real shame because by his previous effort and now his latest, The Dish, it is obvious that Edmund Choi holds a lot of talent the Hollywood would do well to tap into.

Sound Clips:  Track 26 - The Day the World Stood Still   |   Track 27 - The Pictures Came from Parkes

Read the full review of The Dish

 

   
Red Planet (Soundtrack) by Graeme Revell

Red Planet (Soundtrack) by Graeme Revell

Red Planet by Graeme Revell
Released by Ark 21 Records (2000)
Rating: 7/10
 

Composer Edmund Choi began garnering attention in the film music world with his spirited score for M. Night Shyamalan's film Wide Awake.  Even with a high quality effort like Wide Awake, Choi has not become one of the most familiar composer names floating about Hollywood.  This is a real shame because by his previous effort and now his latest, The Dish, it is obvious that Edmund Choi holds a lot of talent the Hollywood would do well to tap into.

 

Read the full review of  Red Planet by Graeme Revell

 

   
October Sky (Soundtrack) by Mark Isham

October Sky (Soundtrack) by Mark Isham

October Sky by Mark Isham
Released by Milan Records (1999)
Rating: 8/10
 

October Sky is one of those scores that, prior to seeing the film, can be extremely disappointing, but given time and adequate opportunity, a very satisfying score.  Such was the case with me.  After seeing the wonderful trailer filled with the epic Apollo 13 score by James Horner, I had high hopes for Mark Ishamís effort.  The only thing that matched my anticipation for both film and score was my initial disappointment with the score.  The film is a wonderful, heartfelt work by director Joe Johnston and in the context of the film, Mark Ishamís score seems to be a perfect match.  Many fans do not gravitate to the understated style of a Mark Isham, but sometimes understated is just what the director ordered. 

Sound Clips:  Track  - Splitting the Sky

Read the full review of October Sky 

 

   
The Music of the Apollo/ Saturn V Center  by David Kneupper

The Music of the Apollo/ Saturn V Center
by David Kneupper

Released by BRC Entertainment (1997)
Rating: 10/10
 

Touring the restricted areas of the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and being in total awe of what Iím witnessing, the last thing I anticipated was coming across some of the best music Iíve heard in 1999.  One portion of the tour is the Apollo/Saturn V Center which opened in December of 1996.  It is a divided into three powerful segments.  The first is purely a film documentary.  The second is an incredible mixture of film and live reenactments of an Apollo launch.  Last, is the actual exhibit where, among other incredible sites, one of the three remaining Saturn V rockets lies horizontally suspended about 10 feet from the ground.  Heard throughout each section of this exhibit is David Kneupperís astounding score.

Sound Clips:  Track  - Apollo 1   |     Track  - Eagle Lands on the Moon


Read the full review of The Music of the Apollo/Saturn V Center

 

   
Cosmic Voyage (Soundtrack) by David Michael Frank

Cosmic Voyage by David Michael Frank
Promotional Release (1997)
Rating: 8/10
 

Along with their towering images, the producers of IMAX films, seem to know not to skimp on the accompanying music. IMAX features such as Amazon and Island of the Sharks, both scored by Alan Williams, are premium examples of this. If further evidence of this trend is needed, one need only have one listen to David Michael Frankís score for Cosmic Voyage.


Read the full review of Cosmic Voyage by David Michael Frank

 

   
Apollo 13 (Soundtrack) by James Horner

Apollo 13 (Soundtrack) by James Horner

Apollo 13 by James Horner
Released by MCA Records (1995)
Rating: 9/10
 

Patriotic.  Passionate.  Powerful.  All words which accurately describe James Hornerís score for Ron Howardís 1995 film, Apollo 13.  This score is simply one of James Hornerís best ever and many film score fans rank it similarly.  With a story so intense and almost incredible, the score for the film could really have  broken it, if not done perfectly.  Ron Howard chose James Horner to fulfill this daunting scoring mission.  For Horner, too, failure was simply not an option.  If the score did not reinforce the right emotion - failure.  If the score crossed the line and ventured into the land of the corny score - critical failure.  Fortunately, as one listens to this score, one hears that Horner was equally successful in his mission. James Horner captures the wide emotional swings from tragedy to triumph marvelously.

Sound Clips:  Track  - Re-Entry and Splashdown

Read the full review of Apollo 13

 


 

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