Star Wars is back

You probably already know that Disney has announced a release date for the next Star Wars movie. Apparently there at least three more to come. I have to admit that “Oh goodie” was not my first reaction. I was however interested to note that John Williams will be composing the music for the next release.

He composed the music for all the previous films and won a fistful of awards including an Oscar, Bafta and Golden Globe for his score to the first one.

His original soundtrack took  film music out of the doldrums at the time, reviving it after a less than glittering period during the 60s and 70s. Williams deliberately set out to reflect late 19th century orchestral music, apparently because Lucas wanted a soundtrack that grounded the

otherwise strange and fantastic setting in a well-known, audience accessible music.

Indeed it was often credited with creating a resurgence in interest in that music.

Curious to have another listen, I decided to try out some of it in Naxos Music Online which has quite a range. I’m not sure I would like to sit down and listen to the soundtracks in their entirety, but many of the themes seem to me to have stood the test of time and who could forget the original title theme? Have a listen and see what you think.

If you’re keen on sci fi film music Naxos and Music Online cover Stargate SG1, Star Trek (films) and Star Wars as well as the odd film like Dune.

Represent! Local music on the global stage

Making a name for yourself as a musician can be difficult in little ol’ New Zealand, and anyone wanting to earn any real money from it usually has to take the tour bus on international roads.

However, it’s not all bad news. The Internet is helping spread the word about our diverse Kiwi music scene. New Zealand-made films and television series are always keen to promote New Zealand music too, creating soundtracks brimming with lots of sweet-as local acts. But how much do you hear of New Zealand outside New Zealand?

There’s been several instances where I’ve been watching an American film or television series and suddenly recognised a Kiwi song in the soundtrack.  It’s one of those moments where my chest swells with pride; my beloved Aotearoa is once again on the map because of its talented citizens. It feels good to know people all over the world get a chance to listen to some great New Zealand tunes.

Home-grown music made world-famous by Hollywood

  • Two songs by Christchurch musicians feature in the American Pie movies – Sway by Bic Runga (American Pie) and Renegade Fighter by Zed (American Pie 2);
  • Minuit can be heard on two popular TV shows – Aotearoa plays briefly on Bones (Season 6, Episode 12) and I’m Still Dancing was used on Grey’s Anatomy (Season 6, Episode 13);
  • The soundtrack to the film A Room with a View includes two Italian songs sung by Kiri Te Kanawa;
  • Evermore’s track It’s Too Late got a lot of airplay once it was featured on The O.C.;
  • And Crowded House made it onto the Reality Bites soundtrack with their song Locked Out.

What other New Zealand artists have you randomly stumbled across while watching a movie or TV show made overseas?