Fantasy Friday

Fantasy Friday #6: Fantasy Soundtracks

Fantasy Friday

Fantasy Friday is my own feature, posted every other Friday. It’s pretty self-explanatory: I do a feature on something to do with the genre. Sometimes it will be a book recommendation, sometimes showcasing a book or series I’ve loved and other times it might be a discussion post. You’re more than welcome to join in with this feature, let me know if you make your own Fantasy Friday post!

Today I want to talk about: my favourite fantasy soundtracks.

Yup, another excuse for a Spotify playlist! As I have discussed many times, I absolutely love film and game soundtracks, and often listen to them when I’m reading. So today I want to share some of my top tracks with you.

  • ‘Alice’s Theme’ by Danny Elfman, from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland – whilst the film wasn’t really the best of Burton’s work, the soundtrack is pretty stunning. I love the choral part of this theme, which is used through many of the other tracks.
  • ‘A Proper Story’ by Darren Korb, from Bastion – this game is gorgeous on every single level. Visuals, voices, music and gameplay. Even if you’re not a gamer, the soundtrack is definitely worth a listen.
  • ‘The Legend of Zelda Main Theme’ by Koji Kondo, from The Legend of Zelda video game seriesThe Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker is one of my favourite games (cell-shaded graphics <3) and the main theme throughout the games is absolutely wonderful. It's epic, heroic and totally fits in with the theme of the games. It makes me want to pick up a sword and go off on an adventure (donning a little green hat of course).
  • ‘Fenris Theme’ by Inon Zur, from Dragon Age II – although the entire soundtrack is great, this track is a particular favourite. I love the harsh, scratchy violin/stringed instrument (yeah… not sure what it actually is) combined with the rest of the music; it feels as though it is comparing Fenris’ previous life as a slave as the one he has in the game.
  • ‘I Am The One (High Fantasy Version)’ by Inon Zur, from Dragon Age: Origins – because this is the ultimate song of the entire game for me, it’s the ‘defining’ piece (not the actual main theme…). What does it matter that I can’t understand it, it still sounds beautiful!
  • ‘Sovngarde’ by Jeremy Soule, from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – I’m going to avoid the obvious choice of the main ‘Dragonborn’ theme here, and go for ‘Sovngarde’, which is similar but much more focused on the choral element. It sounds so primal and wonderful and conjures up all these images of Nords singing by a flickering fire in the dead of night.
  • ‘Main Title’ and ‘Mhysa’ by Ramin Djawadi, and ‘The Rains of Castamere’ by the National, from Game Of Thrones – I am never not going to be completely in love with the Game of Thrones title sequence, and ‘Mhysa’ is a more recent version from series three, which is more appropriate for Daenerys. And ‘The Rains of Castamere’, well it’s haunting and… do I have to explain?
  • ‘Obliviate’ by Alexandre Desplat, from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 – BECAUSE OF ALL THE FEELS. Last Harry Potter book, last of the films (kind of). This was the moment that meant the trio were going on their journey, away from Hogwarts. And I’m not going to lie, the first time I saw Hermione obliviate her parents’ memories I may have shed a tear or two.
  • ‘Harry and Hermione’ by Nicholas Hooper, from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – I’ve included this one in a previous soundtrack, and all I want to say about it is that I think it is absolutely beautiful and I will never not listen to it.
  • ‘Misty Mountains’ by Howard Shore, from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – and another one I will never not listen to. How can you not love this song?? Not only the dwarves’ perfect voices, but also Tolkien’s beautiful lyrics.
  • ‘Feast of Starlight’ by Howard Shore, from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – there are quite a few similar themes on Shore’s soundtracks for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but there’s something really different and quite magical about this track.
  • Literally every song on any of The Lord of the Rings soundtracks, by Howard Shore – don’t ask me to pick. I love absolutely anything to do with LotR perhaps a bit too much.

What are some of your favourite fantasy soundtracks?

Misc.

Horror October: Spooky Soundtrack

Previously, I’ve discussed my love for film and video game soundtracks on the blog. They’re something I love to listen to whilst reading – music with lyrics tends to be distracting, but instrumental music is just perfect. So I’ve decided to put together a ‘spooky soundtrack’ for Horror October, organised by Leanne at Literary Excursion. Songs will be a mix of spooky, creepy and tense! They won’t all be from traditional horror, but will be any that I feel fits the mood well.

Here’s the playlist, it’s also available to add or favourite on Spotify!

Here’s my selection, and why I chose them:

  • Going In by Marc Streitenfeld, from Prometheus – I loooooooved this film, despite its total lack of sense. This track is the one that plays when they first go into the mounds, and it’s really eerie, very foreboding of what is yet to come…
  • The Night’s Watch by Ramin Djawadi, from Game of Thrones – if you watch or read this series, you know what the Night’s Watch are there for. And you know it’s pretty terrifying.
  • Leaving Earth by Clint Mansell, from Mass Effect 3 – maybe not a traditional choice, but the scene to which this is set is truly scary, plus the juxtaposition between the piano score and the sound of the Reapers is great.
  • The Ardat Yakshi by Cris Velasco, from Mass Effect 3 – at a certain point in this game, you meet enemies called Banshees. Enemies which, unsurprisingly, let you know that they’re coming for you by their loud and incredibly terrifying shrieks. This is the song to go with that moment…
  • Bill’s Lament by Nathan Barr, from True Blood – this whole soundtrack is pretty brilliant for a ‘spooky’ soundtrack, but this track in particular is a great low-key creepy one. Nathan Barr uses a lot of cello throughout the entire score, and it works so well.
  • Those We Don’t Speak Of by James Newton Howard, from The Village – even though I knew the ‘spoiler’ for The Village when I watched it, it was still creepy as hell and music like this just increases the atmosphere ten times over.
  • Rising From The Mud by Marco Beltrami, from The Woman In Black – I haven’t seen the film yet, but this song is from the creepiest part of the book (at least for me).
  • Inferi In The Firestorm by Nicholas Hooper, from Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – those strings! When I saw the film in the cinema with my best friend, we both told each other we’d never jump when the Inferi appeared because we knew it was going to happen. We jumped right out of our seats.
  • Cannibal by Two Steps from Hell – I just discovered this one when deciding on which of their songs fitted best! They apparently have an entire Halloween album with loads of super creepy things on. They do awesome music for film and game trailers, definitely check them out if you get a chance.
  • Possessed Gramophone by Two Steps from Hell – another one from their Halloween album. This kind of freaked me out…
  • Bathilda Bagshot by Alexandre Desplat, from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One – it doesn’t matter if you know she’s about to turn into a giant snake that wants to bite Harry’s head off. This scene is still scary, and I blame this song!
  • Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield, from The Exorcist – and now for the more traditional stuff. This song sends chills down my spine, even though I’ve never seen the movie and refuse to…
  • Main Theme/Murder by Bernard Herrmann, from Psycho – just one tiny bit of this theme has become synonymous with serial killers and murderers, so it’s got to go on the Horror October playlist (and you know which bit of the theme I mean!)
  • The Omen – Ave Santani by Jerry Goldsmith, from The Omen – don’t worry, I’ve included some Latin chanting to keep away the demons. You’re safe now!
  • Decapitation Variations by Jay Gruska and Christopher Lennertz, from Supernatural – a fun electric guitar variation on a horror theme, from an awesome TV show. Oh, and don’t forget the strings!

What do you think of my playlist? What would you have on your Horror October playlist?