We don’t really have classical music anymore. I mean we still listen to it and people still go to hear orchestras play but now it’s not really the composer that matters but rather the musician. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Individual musicians deserve the attention and praise for their skill. However, there is one area where classical music has thrived: movie and tv soundtracks.
I used to never really pay attention to soundtracks. Gladiator had kind of got me interested, but it wasn’t until the Lord of the Rings trilogy (with Howard Shore) that I really started paying attention to what kind of music was being used. And then there was the Chronicle of Narnia movies (Harry Gregson-Williams). The new Batman movies (Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard). Inception (Hans Zimmer again). Game of Thrones (Ramin Djawadi). So on and so on. All of a sudden modern day composers became important to me.
While those guys are all great, (along with all the other composers I haven’t mentioned like Zbigniew Preisner, Danny Elfman, James Horner, and the incomparable John Williams) one area that doesn’t get noticed much is trailer music. It might seem silly but trailers are incredibly important for films and the right music can really set the tone for the movie, most of the time without people even realizing it.
So if you’ve seen a movie trailer recently, there is a very good chance that it was done by these guys: Two Steps From Hell. (Seriously, take a look at this credits page.) Some of the trailers you have heard them in:
Star Trek: Featuring “Freedom Fighters”
Anna Karenina: Featuring “Nero”
(Yeah, I know Anna Karenina doesn’t really belong on a fantasy/sci-fi blog but I love the story and the trailer looks really cool and the music was an excellent choice.)
Also check out “Archangel”:
So as you can tell, Two Steps From Hell make some really epic music. They’ve got two public albums out, both available on iTunes, but most of their stuff seems like it’s also on YouTube as well. Personally, I have already bought both their albums because this is the best kind of music to listen to on the way to work. All of a sudden, my rather mundane job seems like it’s an epic struggle between goodness and rightness and the forces of evil trying to destroy all that is beautiful in the world.
Yeah. It’s good stuff.