August 20, 2008

Chorus Choices

Continuing in the vein of relating music with film and writing, a word about choruses in film scores. A hobby of mine is surfing for the skinny on the latest soundtracks and whether they're really worth buying or just rehashed bits of oldie scores.

For some reason the review of the Batman Returns soundtrack jumped out at me. It talks about how using different types of vocal choruses--young male or adult male, young woman or adult woman, or some combination--changes the the feeling the listener gets from it.

The adult male chorus in Batman brings a depth and grandeur to Gotham that Batman Returns apparently lacks. To use another example, the Harlem Boys Choir in Glory lends a touching innocence to the film. Except for the closing credits, when the adult male bass singers and synthesized music bring a different flavor that's appropriate for the end I think.

I also recall reading a reviewer once distinguish between the youth of the chorus in the Spider-Man movie versus older singers in the first sequel. Or maybe I've reversed it. In any case, the older version made the hero seem more mature probably.

I guess it's just a nice example of how small choices made early on can change the entire style you arrive at in the finished product.

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