“Cinematic Soundscapes” offers an aural exploration

By: Seth Mattei

“I wanted to make a film CD, and that’s how this came about,” said Kevin George, chairman of Delgado’s art’s and humanities department, as well as an assistant music professor, about his latest CD,

“Cinematic Soundscapes,” which he recorded and released independently during the winter break.

  Each song on the album is listed as a “theme,” and many of them were composed for film projects by Danny Nicholas, who recently graduated from Delgado’s television production program. Three of these scores–”Battle Theme One,” “Battle Theme Two,” and “The Royal Palace’s Theme”–were used in a Make a Wish Foundation project that utilized Delgado’s music, theatre and television departments. “The little girl’s wish was to make a film,” said George, “Once again, I worked with Danny and put music to the film.” When asked about the process of writing for someone else’s film, George affirmed that he was completely in control of the creative aspect of his compositions, if not the time constraints(“Sometimes, you only have a day to come up with something. You may just have two notes, and you have to make something out of it”). “He asked me to do music for his projects. Sometimes I would get snippets of the film and write to that. Sometimes he would give me an idea of what he was going for, and I would write that way,” he said.

   The music on this album evokes a wide variety of emotions, often multiple times in one piece. The CD’s third track, “Ancient Earth Theme,” is particularly rich in color and textural sea changes. “This piece is very different,” said George. “It uses a big orchestra sound, and horns. It has the excitement of a big motion picture. I picture Roman battles, or maybe ‘Lord of the Rings.’” The song begins with a repetitious melody, with cannon blasts in the background, and slashing synth notes that sound like swords slashing through the air. About three minutes in, the mood changes. “I try to take my listeners on a journey,” said George. “I do a big, dramatic theme in the beginning, then, in the middle, I change the mood of the music by using bamboo flutes and waterfalls in the background. You start somewhere, you have all of this excitement. You build it and explore different areas, then, eventually, you return home.”

  A trilogy of songs toward the end of the album–”A Hero’s Call,” “The Kings Strategy,” and “The Royal Palace’s Theme” sound like a fantasy epic, and have the ability to bring about that genre’s imagery. The final song, “The Toy Soldier’s Theme,” is a nice closer, and has the ring of a proper epilogue.

  “Cinematic Soundscapes” succeeds in the goal of sounding like it belongs in film, and surpasses it by standing alone and stimulating the listenr’s imagination. “I like soundtracks,” said George.”There’s really no one style of music in them. You can have pop, rock or whatever. My aspirations are to do this for the film industry.” He is one step closer with this album.

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