Tag Archives: Amazon

Soundtrack Review: Bliss (2021)

Milan Records has released the Bliss (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) with music by composer, multi-instrumentalist, and Fall On Your Sword founder Will Bates. Bliss is a mind-bending love story following Greg (Owen Wilson) who, after recently being divorced and then fired, meets the mysterious Isabel (Salma Hayek), a woman living on the streets and convinced that the polluted, broken world around them is just a computer simulation. Doubtful at first, Greg eventually discovers there may be some truth to Isabel’s wild conspiracy.

Will Bates is an award-winning composer, multi-instrumentalist and founder of music production company Fall On Your Sword. He has composed original scores for a myriad of filmmakers including acclaimed directors Mike Cahill (Another Earth, I Origins), Alex Gibney (We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Zero Days), Ry Russo-Young (You Won’t Miss Me, Nobody Walks) and Fisher Stevens (Mission Blue, Bright Lights).

Of the soundtrack for Bliss, Will Bates had the following to say:

“Collaborating with Mike Cahill continues to be one of my greatest joys. He is a visionary, and he’s always pushing the boundaries of what is possible. There’s so much mutual trust when we work together. He has the ability of putting everyone he works with in this safe, magical environment that really encourages experimentation. I find myself being challenged in new ways and, despite having worked on so many projects together, it seems as if I’m always trying something new with him… The key was to find the tonal balance that the story has; this mind-bending almost absurdist reality against Greg’s heartbreaking journey. The scale of the movie let me really stretch the palette. Along with all sorts of mangled analogue synths, this was my first experience with a full orchestra, and also one that allowed me to dip into my background as a jazz saxophonist.”

Regarding “You and I,” he adds, “As we were nearing the end of the process, we had the idea of there being a song that melodically incorporated the love theme. I’ve known Skye Edwards for years, since my London days (my old band once opened for Morcheeba.) Mike and I agreed it just had to be her voice, so I wrote the song for her to sing. It was going to be just in the end credits, but when Mike heard it, he recut one of the other scenes in the movie and used it there too. As with so many projects in 2020, COVID caused a significant delay in the post-production process. But the song may not have happened without that delay.”

Listening to the soundtrack for Bliss is an experience, let me tell you. There’s this mixture of synthesized sound and orchestral sound that just pulls you in and keeps your attention once it gets going. I’ve heard music similar to this in other science-fiction soundtracks, especially with stories that blur the line between the “synthetic” and the “real,” but for the most part those soundtracks feature stories about robots. Bliss, on the other hand, involves a concept more similar to The Matrix (but kind of in reverse, since the “real” life is implied to be much better than the fake life).

There’s not much more I can say about the soundtrack for Bliss. It’s fun to listen to, but it doesn’t inspire many thoughts in me. That’s not a bad thing, some soundtracks are just like that.

BLISS (ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK)
TRACKLISTING –

  1. You And I
  2. This Is Real Life
  3. The Inside Of Your Head Must Be Amazing
  4. Rabbit Hole
  5. Trying To Reach You
  6. Kendo
  7. Light Bouncing Around Your Neurons
  8. You Have To See It For Yourself
  9. Great Overwhelming
  10. The Thought Visualizer
  11. Home
  12. Let’s Go For A Swim
  13. Are You Really Here
  14. It Would Be My honor
  15. The Telekinetic Warrior
  16. My Braids Dad
  17. The Scenic Route
  18. Hotel Pleiades
  19. Blues Here We Come
  20. We’re Back In
  21. Go
  22. Safe Harbor
  23. You’re Here
  24. You And I (Fall On Your Sword Remix)

Let me know what you think about Bliss (and its soundtrack) in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Film Soundtracks A-W

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Soundtrack Review: Tales From the Loop (2020)

Fox Music/Hollywood Records has released the digital soundtrack from the Amazon Original series, Tales from the Loop. From executive producer Matt Reeves and based on the acclaimed art of Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag, Tales from the Loop explores the town and people who live above “The Loop,” a machine built to unlock and explore the mysteries of the universe – making things possible that were previously relegated only to science fiction. In this fantastical mysterious town, poignant human tales are told that bare universal emotional experiences, while drawing on the intrigue of genre storytelling.

 

The album features original themes by Philip Glass and score by Paul Leonard-Morgan. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Philip Glass is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the Juilliard School. Glass has expanded his repertoire to include music for opera, dance, theater, chamber ensemble, orchestra and film. His scores have received Academy Award nominations (Kundun, The Hours, Notes on a Scandal) and a Golden Globe (The Truman Show). Paul Leonard-Morgan’s unique cinematic style of fusing orchestra with electronica has put him in high demand as a film composer, a producer and arranger for bands, and has led him to win a BAFTA award, and receive Emmy & Ivor Novello nominations. In 2016, Leonard-Morgan began working with Academy-Award winning director Errol Morris on a string of projects including the documentary feature The B-Side, the award-winning Netflix series Wormwood, and the newly-completed motion picture on Steve Bannon, American Dharma. Other credits include The Quiet One–the story of Rolling Stones founding member Bill Wyman, the feature Last Breath, the hit series reboot Dynasty for The CW, and Designated Survivor on Netflix.

Leonard-Morgan said (on working on Tales from the Loop):

“Collaborating with Philip Glass on Tales from the Loop was an incredible experience. Philip and I had a discussion with Nathaniel Halpern (showrunner) and Mark Romanek (executive producer) about their vision for the show, the incorporation of unusual instruments, and their shared desire of wanting the soundtrack to be an integral part of the show: ‘Music which could be listened to by itself, melodies which could be hummed, a soundtrack which will stand the test of time apart from the series.’ Philip went and scored a bunch of initial ideas, as did I, and we discussed where they all might work together. Both of us playing off each other’s sounds and melodies to create a truly unique score. Over and again, we kept coming back to the original idea: to make beautiful music, which would work hand in hand with Nathaniel’s brilliant visions and beautiful cinematography. The 8 episodes are so unique—they’re like nothing we’ve ever seen, and hopefully the score stays true to this. Melodies come back throughout the show, each guiding us through the world of the loop. During recording sessions every 3 weeks, the natural sounds of the solo violin and the solo cello gave a beautiful, haunting sound to the loop, becoming an integral part of the sound.”

Glass added:

“I’ve always tried to collaborate with people from many disparate perspectives; everyone from indigenous musicians to electronic musicians have expanded my musical sensibilities. Working with Paul was no exception and the intersection of our two styles has produced a score both unexpected and familiar that accompanies the series beautifully.”

The soundtrack for Tales From the Loop is like nothing I’ve ever heard for television before, and I don’t say that lightly. Television music, in my experience, is either quite minimal or very grandiose (think Game of Thrones for the latter). But Tales from the Loop strikes a middle ground that I don’t think I’ve ever heard until now. Everything, every single track, is perfectly symphonic, like something you’d hear in a concert hall. And I can’t emphasize enough how much of a good thing this is. This is music that can be enjoyed completely separate from the show as well as while you watch each episode. It takes phenomenal skill to make music that can thrive outside of the show and with Philip  Glass and Paul Leonard-Morgan in charge of the score it’s little wonder it worked out that way.

In hindsight, it actually makes a lot of sense that the soundtrack for Tales From the Loop would feel symphonic in nature. After all, Glass is well known for his concert works, and it’s only natural that that would bleed over into his work for film and television.

If you’re able to, check out the soundtrack for Tales From the Loop. It’s peaceful, it’s relaxing, and it’s like listening to a long, quiet symphonic work in a concert hall (and that’s a good thing).

Let me know your thoughts on Tales From the Loop (and it’s soundtrack) in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

TV Soundtracks

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂