By Staff; photo by Noah Abrams on March 1, 2013
Visualize the end credits to any of your favorite films; odds are, despite the seemingly endless reel of text rolling past your eyeballs, it's your ears that are absorbing the last remnants. Right alongside the talents of the visual artists involved in making films, composers complete the multisensory experience of movie-watching by creating the often-legendary scores to your favorite scenes.
Los Angeles–based band thenewno2 recently lent their own musical talents to score the fantastical romance Beautiful Creatures (in theatres now). The soundtrack, which features contributions from Ben Harper and The Duke Spirit's Leila Moss, captures the Southern gothic spirit of the film, coupled with the band's electronic melodies, to create a sound the band dubbed "swamptronica."
Below, listen to the premiere of one of thenewno2's tracks from Beautiful Creatures, entitled "Interception," and check out the band's list of their personal unforgettable film scores, including works by Hermann, Rota, Mothersbaugh and Vangelis, with comments from bandmember and composer Jonathan Sadoff. The soundtrack is out now via WaterTower Music.
Thenewno2's Top 10 Film Scores
The score plays so loud in the movie, it almost acts as another character. It stands alone, too, and has a whole other life. I can listen to "Prelude and Rooftop" on repeat.
I vitelloni (1953)
His arrangements are so playful and lush. This is what music should sound like. I listen to his theme from this movie in my car on repeat.
The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976)
One of the many pieces of Mancini gold. My ringtone for years has been "Inspector Clouseau's Theme" from this film. Like all Mancini, it's the perfect marriage of classical, jazz and pop music.
Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)
I know it's cliché, but it's possibly the most recognizable score ever written, and inspiring for any composer. Dhani and I are admittedly big Star Wars nerds, too. Williams has such a recognizable style and a true mastery of the orchestra that puts him in a league of his own.
Blade Runner (1982)
Fantastic synth sounds and programming. My favorite synth score. Quintessentially '80s, but this is what everybody tries to sound like today. I guess we've come full circle.
The Shining (1980)
It's just jarring and terrifying. The aleatoric strings and creepy Moog synth brass paint the most evil images. I saw the movie when I was 11. Scared the crap out of me...still does.
Geoff Muldaur and Michael Kamen
Michael Kamen at his best. He was someone who Dhani was very close with who I am really sad I never got to meet. The movie is such a journey and the score is so exciting and complex—not to mention the gorgeous themes.
American Beauty (1999)
It such a light touch and poignancy. Newman's style is instantly recognizable. This score spawned a generation of impostors
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
Beautiful combo of baroque instrumentation and childlike playfulness. I got to work for Mark last year, and it was a real treat. He's a true original.
This was kind of the first modern superhero score, and it hasn't gotten any better in my opinion. It is so complex and contrapuntal and so dark. It was always my favorite Batman theme.