What’s Your Soundtrack?

When I write, I write to music.

Mostly film scores.

Of course, I’ve got my stalwart favourites like John Williams, James Horner, and John Barry, and a new(er) breed of film composers like Hans Zimmer, Patrick Doyle, and Alexandre Desplat, but my favourite composer working today has got to be Michael Giacchino.


Giacchino at work on Pixar’s UP

He’s not a household name, but he should be. Mr. Giacchino started composing for video games, and is best known as the musical collaborator of J.J.Abrams, and has scored Alias, Lost, two Mission Impossible films, Super 8 (probably my favourite score of his), Pixar’s UP (for which he won an Oscar), John Carter (soaring score, disappointing film), and recently the two Star Trek films.

There’s a thorough list of this soundtracks here: http://www.michaelgiacchinomusic.com/soundtracks.html (note: I can’t tell if this site is his official site or just a really good fan site).

I’ll spend at least one day a week writing to Giacchino’s scores, finding them in equal measures inspiring and motivating.  His music is emotive, playful, and grand…worthy of the big screen.  With my trusty Bose headphones on, I’ll map out characters and scenes and tap out action and dialogue; aiming my work to be worthy of a score like his.

So you might imagine my excitement at the prospect of hearing his Star Trek score performed live at the Royal Albert Hall.


the orchestra assembles

It was a suitable cathedral for his stunning music.  When I booked it, I actually didn’t know the film was going to be played, as I would have happily turned up to listen to the score with a live orchestra.


the maestro takes a well-deserved bow

The evening was introduced by Simon Pegg and, fresh “from work”, J.J.Abrams.  Giacchino shared the long, winding path from ten-year-old, backyard moviemaker to Hollywood composer and introduced the conductor and the 21st Century Orchestra. The score fill the Hall, a haunting and thrilling composition with choral accompaniment.

At the conclusion, he treated the audience to a piece of music from the upcoming Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes.  I’ll look forward to writing to that soundtrack this summer.

Do you write to music?  If so, what’s your soundtrack?

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