Paul Leonard-Morgan – “Snatcher”

Paul Leonard-Morgan’s scope is a bit unpredictable. Though this particular style of music is middle-of-the-road likeable, I tend to avoid it since it can also easily wander into unhelpful territory. Nevertheless, the piano riffs in this track are too good to pass up. https://soundcloud.com/mihau/02-paul-leonard-morgan

Tidbit (Not Exclusively) for Novelists: On Being an Enthusiastic Fool [Or, Some Shameless Pats on the Back…Because Maybe No One Else in Your Life Does That Where Your Writing is Concerned]

To the outside world, writers have long been seen as harebrained, aloof, and probably a bit naïve. I’d rush to say that these are lies, stereotypes, or unfair judgments, but it recently occurred to me that I am, in fact, all of the above on some level – and I’m okay with that. Writing comprises [...]

Mary Gunderson – “Beckon the Moon” {Free Download}

Mary Gunderson’s watery approach already appeared once before on this blog ("Behind the Red Door"). While some might call it verging on New Age, I fail to see why a) this actually matters and b) where the rationale comes from. In my opinion, this kind of track has too much momentum, drive, and intent for [...]

Friday Album, A Bit Late: Gustavo Santaolalla – “The Last of Us” OGST

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGsuMgeVlVg To be strictly reductionist, The Last of Us is a staple zombie apocalypse game (complete with the requisite gunplay, gore, and tight-corners fighting), but its superbly tense plot and cavernous characterization caused a stir. Linear storytelling in games has almost become risky in recent years, not so much because writing has gone downhill but [...]

Friday Album: Halindir/Vaniardur – “The Nine Realms” {Free Download}

This one-man project out of Denmark consists of free downloads of melodic ambient and neo-pagan works. If you need a fix of folk synth (for reasons I don't understand, I've seen a few people classify it as "folk metal"), try this on for size. These songs can be downloaded on both SoundCloud and Bandcamp (check [...]

Friday Album: Gareth Coker – “Ori and the Blind Forest” OGST

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeVFrt7BUyw Ori and the Blind Forest is essentially a children's game, so it naturally follows that the soundtrack is more concerned with atmosphere than hard-hitting emotions. While this entire album is laden with whimsical optimism (atypical fare on this blog), it’s actually the opulence that caught and held my attention. Many tracks are not orchestrated, [...]

Soundtrack Month: “The Elder Scrolls Online” (Brad Derrick, Malukah, & Others)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOTIsNELvis Yes, another TES soundtrack. No, it’s nothing like Skyrim. The Elder Scrolls Online caused something of a ripple both positive and negative in the gaming world, not only in terms of its game mechanics but also the soundtrack itself (mostly because Jeremy Soule had departed the series by this time). Brad Derrick and several [...]

Soundtrack Month: “Imaginaerum” (Tuomas Holopainen)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ofx7LzWdHqQ&list=PLqk_JOBZMYvEeLvs6cvlb2hu3Z7qGLplH A score for a small-budget movie you’re sure to have missed unless you follow Nightwish, frontman Tuomas Holopainen finally got a chance to flex the full strength of his orchestral muscles with this project. Nightwish has long been known for broad, sweeping sounds and epic flavors (I can count the metal bands I listen [...]

Tidbit (Not Exclusively) for Novelists: Writing Momentum Isn’t Always Brash and Dazzling

It’s so hideously easy to feel like you’re treading water. I used to think that the distinction in my case was related to a lack of handwritten draft. I do have many pages of early scenes scribbled out, of course, but less than 10% of them proved salvageable years later. Some of my ideas came [...]

Soundtrack Month: “Breach” (Mychael Danna)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iOY6-BzCGg&list=PLaonpgurJ7RVD4Mj0fcqFXX-1jbii08Zi Breach is an understated gem, both as a movie and a score. While the film can be quite tense at times, its soundtrack mostly reflects the plotting, devious side of a spy gone awry. Mychael Danna is a master of methodical, swelling orchestral arrangements, foreboding harp introductions, and angsty piano solos (quite a lot [...]