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Stirring Scores: My Top XV – VI to X

VI. Nemo Egg - Thomas Newman - Finding Nemo

We’re back with another Thomas Newman composed piece from Pixar’s second highest grossing film, Finding Nemo. Once again Newman was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Score, (for which he has received eleven), but was pipped at the post by Howard Shore’s score for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. However he was in good company alongside James Horner and Danny Elfman.

VII. Hand Covers Bruise - Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - The Social Network

This piece comes from the Oscar winning score of David Fincher’s, The Social Network, composed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. This musical duo went on to work with Fincher on his remake of Stieg Larssons novel, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and although this score did not receive an Oscar nomination, it did win the Grammy for Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media. Reznor is the front man of industrial metal band Nine Inch Nails and has collaborated with Ross in another band with a similar genre, How to Destroy Angels. This heavier influence from other strands of music is very present in their work. This score beat Hans Zimmer’s score for Inception and Alexandre Desplat’s for The King’s Speech.

VIII. The Bridge of Khazad Dum - Howard Shore - The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Eighth on my list is Howard Shore’s The Bridge of Khazad Dum from his score to Peter Jacksons Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Notably however, not the full song in its entirety, the element that secures this piece on this list can be found on the original track from 4:40 onwards. The track up until this point is as grand and dramatic as the rest of the score, so I’m not bitterly dismissing it, although it didn’t stick in my mind as much as its conclusion has. It is featured in the film at the pivotal point that I’m sure we are all familiar with, after Gandalf fights off the Balrog but is dragged into the abyss with his foe. Whilst dangling from the bridge after failing to secure a firm grasp he mutters the words, ‘Fly you fools’ and falls. As the diegetic sounds of the scene fade this part of the track takes its place. When listening to this song, it’s is almost impossible not to picture Frodo’s horror stricken face as Boromir holds him back, or Samwise perched on a rock weeping with his head in his hands. Unusually this segment of the song was also used more recently in the trailer to Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. Shore’s score won him his first Oscar for Best Original Score and he went on to win the same award two years later for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. He also won the award for Best Original Song for ‘Into the West’, from the same film, featuring Annie Lennox. His score for this film beat Thomas Newman’s for Finding Nemo, James Horner’s for House of Sand and Fog and Danny Elfman’s for Big Fish. Shore has since received a fourth nomination for his score for Martin Scorsese’s Hugo. He has also composed scores for The Fly, Silence of the Lambs, Mrs Doubtfire, Philadelphia, Seven, Gangs of New York, The Hobbit Trilogy and many more. This piece also reminds me of Ludovico Einaudi’s Nuvole Bianche, if you are a fan of this track, I would recommend you check it out.

IX. Overture - Michael Kamen - Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

This one may seem like an unusual piece to feature in my top ten but I cannot deny that it stirs a certain something within me. Having featured originally in Keven Reynolds Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, starring Kevin Costner as the undeniably English, (cough), Robin of the Hood. If you have not seen this film, but feel you recognise the track, you may have heard it in the comfort of your own home before enjoying a Disney feature length, as they use this track in their DVD promos. Kaman also composed the scores for Lethal Weapon, 101 Dalmations, X-Men and the first three Die Hard films. Sadly he died in 2003 at the age of fifty five.

X. He’s a Pirate - Klaus Badelt and Hans Zimmer - Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

In at number ten is possibly the most iconic piece out of this five and comes from Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Composed by Klaus Badelt with Hans Zimmer’s collaboration, it is the anthem for the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise featuring elements throughout the series in tracks such as Drink Up Me Hearties Yo Ho from At World’s End and over the end credits of On Stranger Tides alongside Rodrigo y Gabriela’s Spanish guitar. This song has an undeniable energy and learning it on piano is one of the many arbitrary entries on my bucket list. If you’re looking to freshen up your running play list and give it a bit of new life, may I recommend He’s a Pirate. Alongside the success of the films and the majestic scores, (although never having received an Oscar nomination), it’s bewildering to witness what can be achieved post roller coaster inspired genius.

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