Monday, 6 May 2013

Quirkily Macabre Master - Danny Elfman

I would have to say Danny Elfman is one of my favourite composers for film, undoubtedly this has something to do with some of the films he’s written for but the music really stands alone too. He has a long-standing relationship with Tim Burton – one of my favourite directors – and much of his music has the sort of darkness and quirky charm that would imply.

Sadly, when I was adding to the voting list I forgot Sleepy Hollow, which is a wonderful example of what I mean, and no-one else added it either or at least it wasn't put up. Here’s the theme tune anyway - delightfully creepy. Not to forget the bewitching yet slightly eerie score for Edward Scissorhands, the ghostly main title perfectly sums up the dark yet quirky fairytale feel of the film.

One of my immediate votes went to his score for Alice in Wonderland though. Okay, so I’m a huge Alice fan and am guilty of choosing scores for more than their musical value – however, I do love the music very much and this is a popularity contest so I guess it makes sense anyway. Finally on his Burton scores, here's a sample from The Corpse Bride where he uses the theme to help tell the story, the piano duet.

Outside his work with Burton , Elfman has scored some blockbuster action flicks including several Sam Raimi films and the second Hellboy for del Toro. His earliest work with Raimi was the Darkman score which I'm not too familiar with. He then did the March of the Dead for Evil Dead 3: Army of Darkness, which is a fairly traditional march in many respects but obviously a bit macabre too.

This all led to the first two Spiderman movies. The theme for Spiderman is aptly heroic, has an underpattering percussion at points reminiscent of spiders walking and swings through in the strings just as the titular hero swings through NY to save the day.

Danny Elfman - you already know his hits, check out the rest.

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