Carpenter, I've written a couple of New Year's resolutions for you:
1. Stop making shitty movies.
2. Hire Dave Halverson to score next, great SF/Horror film.
Upon first hearing this CD I wondered: "Why exactly am I going to
review this?" It listens like a resume for an aspiring composer who
desires a career scoring film. But, I reasoned, there is a market for
movie soundtracks, albeit a small one, so I'll give it a go even if this
particular one has no actual film to accompany it.
It doesn't matter. Halverson's compositions bear the mark of an experienced
master of the craft. I listened to this CD with a friend of mine, and
when I asked him to visualize the sorts of film events that would suit
the current track, we invariably envisioned the same things. To me, that
is the mark of an effective film composer: the music should accentuate
the events that unfold onscreen, and be relevant with regard to the viewer's
prejudices regarding music, film, and mood.
From my intro, it can be inferred that Carpenter's film style could benefit
greatly from Halverson's music, (In much the same way that 1982's The
Thing was given much better pacing (than if Carpenter had scored it
himself as he often does) and more palpable tension by Sergio Leone's
maestro, Ennio Morricone) but there are other applicable genres
as well. Sometimes his tracks sounded like they came from a particularly
seedy episode of Miami Vice or one of the subsequent Dirty Harry
films like Magnum Force or Sudden Impact. Some of them could
work in mind-bending SF films too, the kind that leave you in a metaphorical
(or metaphysical) haze upon exiting the building (presumably because the
music itself already has that effect).
Halverson claims that the music contains electro-rock, atmospheric, jazz,
experimental elements, abstraction and darkness. Which is another way
of saying that he threw in everything but the kitchen sink. And let's
not forget that Wurlitzer... ("The Fair") I would also add moody,
mood-altering and ambient to that list of adjectives.
I would recommend this CD simply on its technical merits, and its ability
to draw the listener into its microcosmic world, but film producers are
the ones who really need to check it out. I even uttered a Keanuesque
"Whoa!" upon hearing "Erstwhile Horns", a short piece
that sounds as though it had been lifted out of Slava Tsukerman's obscure,
1982, sci-fi cult-classic Liquid Sky.
Fragments of What is a considerable divergence from Dave Halverson's other
band Trance Lucid, and may not exactly appeal to fans of the former.
From what I've heard of his other two albums, FoW is more significant
and creative. Jazz-rock, like any closed-loop musical genre, is somewhat
degenerate, and hardcore genre fans tend to have stunted musical palates.
Oft times it requires stepping outside of a familiar musical paradigm
for a musician to truly discover the depths of his or her talent.
Despite my initial hesitations, or resistance to writing about this as
a listening piece, I actually quite enjoy it now. I feel like I have a
driving sense of purpose as this dark soundtrack for my life plays out--
on my way to buy more milk and toilet paper.
Hey, even Dirty Harry had to go grocery shopping...
by Robot Gods
in the Spirit Field
the Name on the Higher Quadrivium
To Lose Blood So Fast Challenges the Consciousness
- Is That a Question?
- The Great Gull
- When We Were Young
- To Die No More
- The Piper
in the webboard
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