6/20/2016

Episode 13




Broken Chair Scores Episode 13 aka we messed up. We are very sorry but unfortunately the microfone picked up some sonic interferences from one of the mobile phones which makes the audio quality of this episode even worse than the previous ones. So you might not even be able to listen via headphones because the stupid ziggiziggiziggi-sounds keep stabbing your eardrums. I swear they weren't audible when we recorded this. On the other hand, this episode has no 8 bit legacy scores in it so at least you get some kind of beeps and noises this way. (Making fun of my favorite stuff here. Don't know what's wrong with me.)
Anyway, we got one film soundtrack and one game soundtrack for you. This time it's the soundtrack to the Bethesda game "Wolfenstein - The New Order " written by Michael John Gordon as well as the soundtrack to the original video animation anime series "Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team" composed by Kohei Tanaka.


On a side note: Due to some stuff we enter a lengthy summer break situation. So don't await ep 14 too eagerly! (But actually you should. It's gonna be great.)
Enjoy!


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4/22/2016

Episode 12




In Broken Chair Scores episode 12 we dive into contemporary classical music with Michael Nymans Score to the film "A Zed and Two Noughts" by Peter Greenaway which reminds me of my favourite guy from this genre (Philip Glass) and thus already makes this a very special episode for me.
Then we do something even more cool in that we compare two versions of the same soundtrack. We dissect "Akumajou Densetsu" for the Famicom and "Castlevania 3" for the NES respectively (composed by Hidenori Maezawa, Jun Funahashi, Yukie Morimoto and Yoshinori Sasaki) with the Famicom version using the outstanding VRC6 chip (embedded into the cartridge as an addon to the systems' internal sound hardware!) instead of the NES' rather standard MMC5 chip. We listen to the (not so) subtle differences in the arrangements and have a lot of fun while doing so. And I hope you will have fun listening to it as well!



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3/02/2016

Episode 11




Broken Chair Scores Episode 11 is the first episode recorded in 2016. There was kind of a longish break in between the quiz episode and this one. Thus we take a long time to catch up and talk about all kinds of things. Sorry for the longer duration of the show. But then, if you listen to the show you probably like / can at least stand the discussions and off-topic speculations so you might even enjoy the longer running time. In this episode we talk about the soundtrack to the 2007 IO Interactive game "Hitman Blood Money" written by Jesper Kyd as well as the soundtrack to the 2001 Stephen Sommers film "The Mummy Returns" written by Alan Silvestri.



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2/06/2016

Episode 10 - The Quiz Part 2




Broken Chair Scores Episode 10 is THE QUIZ! We had to split it in two parts because SOMEONE needed to go to the toilet and thus there was a cut in the flow of the show anyway. This is part 2 and again I am not going to mention any of the tracks that are going to be played in the show since this would ruin the quiz-along experience for you! Instead you get the rules of the game that we basically stuck to. The pictures above show our super sophisticated audio setup (notice the 2 laptops and 2 sets of speakers to make sure that there is no cheating) as well as our bulletproof and comprehensible census system.

1. each host can choose from the 18 soundtracks presented so far
2. tracks that can be played are either ones which have already been played as well as others from the same album which sound similar to the stuff presented
3. the other person has to guess at least the album, bonus points can be earned by guessing track title and composer
4. we can chose from the stuff we played as well as from the material the other person played on the show
5. 5 tracks or 20 mins per person as usual BUT keep 2-3 backup tracks in the backpocket in case we choose the same stuff by accident
6. no access to any documents during the show besides THIS list and your tracklist
7. the tracklist may only contain the name of the track and the name of the album but NOT the name of the composer otherwise the bonus points for guessing the composer don’t make any sense


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2/05/2016

Episode 10 - The Quiz Part 1




Broken Chair Scores Episode 10 is THE QUIZ! We had to split it in two parts because SOMEONE needed to go to the toilet and thus there was a cut in the flow of the show anyway. So this is part 1 and obviously I am not going to mention any of the tracks that are going to be played in the show since this would ruin the quiz-along experience for you! Instead you get the rules of the game that we basically stuck to. The pictures above show our super sophisticated audio setup (notice the 2 laptops and 2 sets of speakers to make sure that there is no cheating) as well as our bulletproof and comprehensible census system.

1. each host can choose from the 18 soundtracks presented so far
2. tracks that can be played are either ones which have already been played as well as others from the same album which sound similar to the stuff presented
3. the other person has to guess at least the album, bonus points can be earned by guessing track title and composer
4. we can chose from the stuff we played as well as from the material the other person played on the show
5. 5 tracks or 20 mins per person as usual BUT keep 2-3 backup tracks in the backpocket in case we choose the same stuff by accident
6. no access to any documents during the show besides THIS list and your tracklist
7. the tracklist may only contain the name of the track and the name of the album but NOT the name of the composer otherwise the bonus points for guessing the composer don’t make any sense


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1/24/2016

Episode 9




Broken Chair Scores Episode 9 can be called a classic episode. We got all the main ingredients in there: Cleaning up the mess that we left unanswered in Episode 8. Talking way too long about the upcoming anniversary Episode 10. One film soundtrack. One game soundtrack. This time it's the soundtrack to the "Commandos" games written by Mateo Pascual as well as the soundtrack to the Tykwer/Wachowsky Film "Cloud Atlas" written by Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil.


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11/07/2015

Episode 8




Broken Chair Scores Episode 8 is only 10 minutes longer than we planned it to be but this way you get two oldschoolers talk browsers, music streaming services and the fact that you can actually buy mp3-files legally. Further (and way more interestingly IMHO ) we review our favorite tracks from one film and one game soundtrack. In this episode we talk about the soundtrack to the 2013 Capcom game "Remember Me" written by Olivier Derivière as well as the soundtrack to the NBC television show "Quantum Leap" written by Mike Post and Velton Ray Bunch.


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8/27/2015

Episode 7




Broken Chair Scores Episode 7 is us paying tribute to the recently deceased James Horner. He was one of the three masters of my personal film music history (Jerry and John being the other two Js). He gave us so many awesome soundtracks. I'm actually really sad that he is no longer with us and there won't be new material. May he rest in peace. In this episode we talk about the soundtrack to the 1997 James Cameron film "Titanic" as well as the soundtrack to the 1995 Joe Johnston film "Jumanji". We chose Titanic because it is super well known and just a great example of James' potential when it gets emotional. I went for Jumanji because it was one of my first and most listened to soundtracks when I was a child so I have some very personal emotional bond to this score.


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Jumanji

Track 1, Prologue and Main Title, (3:42)

James goes all-in from the first minute. The track begins with some ghostly ambient wailing sounds which are like totally scary for sure. Then something drops on a piano and we are in full ethnic woodwind mode, accompanied by suspense-strings and later on followed by deep and dark sounding piano and string goo. Some trumpet stuff happens then pan flute players show up and rough up the place.
Cut.
Happy nineties twittering on a flute. Unbeatable. I see some layer walking happily through New York, buying a newspaper, whistling a tune, laughing with his favorite hot-dog salesperson. Soon, baddies follow him in a white van. (This is not related to what’s on the screen during this track by the way. Haven’t seen the film for ages.) Are you kidding me? All this happens in three minutes and all in my head just by listening to this opening track? Horner was a genius.

Track 3, Monkey Mayhem, (4:42)

So we ignore the beginning since until 1:32 we just hear somebody beating up half of the orchestra with a sledgehammer. Then there is elephants. Although the track title implies something along the line of monkeys, the thing I truly hear is some sort of elephant noise. Elephants in a circus spraying water on each other and making fun of the clowns. At min 2:07 one of the more recognisable themes joins the show. Ethnic flutes end the elephant parade at min 2:44. Then there is generic ambience until at min 3:30 some if the elephants go on some sort of self discovery trip to the middle east.

Track 6, The Hunter, (1:56)

This one is James basically saying “Sod off John! I can do me some Star Wars myself.”

Track 8, Alan Parish, (4:17)

In the beginning there is our elephants again. But they vanish as quickly as they appeared for some classic big ass melody moment at minute 1 or so. We’re talking Titanic style drama here. Then: small scale satisfaction with a dash of sadness. What kind of a guy is this Alan Parish? Has he had some dramatic past and is now eventually over it and can, like, hang out? Whatever it is, from min 3:44 onwards I want to cry a little since this is all so emotional and stuff. Damn Horner, you were good.

Track 9, Stampede, (2:12)

First half:
Stam.
Pede.
(BTW: did you notice the Jaws-esque double bass reduplication action that’s going on at min 0:30? And the buildup to the massive explosion at 0:42? Awesome.)
Second half:
Wait a second. Where has that stampede gone? And where did those clowns come from? Never mind. Sounds cool.

Track 13, End Titles, (5:56)

Yeah, I know, how could I have skipped the almost 12 minute masterpiece/suite thingy that is Track 12, “Jumanji” but then: I only have 20 minutes on the air of the show and I have to chose wisely to give a good representation of what the Hornman is capable of doing. So let’s talk “End Titles”. There they are again. The elephants have somewhat gained confidence again and invited the 12 monkeys along to join the show. Then after 0:48 seconds we hear the beautiful main theme again. This makes up for the overbearing elephant stuff. The melody is repeated on something that sounds like a bagpipe but isn’t (yeah, I know, I’m not that great with guessing instruments) and although Titanic is gonna happen two years later I can’t lose the feeling that Horner somewhat fell in love with this pseudo-Irish pipe kinda sound. After some less noisy parts there are people wailing at 4:30 until we reach the “scary-theme” at 5:00 again.
The whole thing ends on the wailing thingy which is weird cause it’s a Jurassic Park rip-off family film which surely did not end on some ghostly wailing sound leaving all the kids in the theater scared and confused. But that’s probably due to some ordering issues on the CD which I leave to the people of the FSM board to discuss and rant about.

7/12/2015

Episode 6




Broken Chair Scores Episode 6 is the best episode so far. Believe me. We deliver a concise and kind of bizarre one hour and thirty minutes of soundtrack goodness. As always we review our favorite tracks from one film and one game soundtrack. In this episode we talk about the soundtrack to the 1995 Sega game "Alien Soldier" written by Kazuo Hanzawa as well as the soundtrack to the 2003 Peter Weir Film "Master and Commander" written by Richard Tognetti, Iva Davies and Christopher Gordon.


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Episode 5




Broken Chair Scores Episode 5 is as short as we wanted it to be. We're basically zeroing in on 1:30h. As always we review our favorite tracks from one film and one game soundtrack. In this episode we talk about the soundtrack to the 1998 LucasArts game "Grim Fandango" written by Peter McConnell as well as the soundtrack to the second season of the TV show "Battlestar Galactica" written by Bear McCreary.


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NEWNEWNEW

Every now and then I like to write stuff down about the music I love. So In this case you can also read the mince I produced on the show concerning Battlestar. It's not word for word but the gist of it should be the same. Thus you can avoid listening to the whiny nasal caw that is my voice. You should still listen to the show since the parts about Grim Fandango are not written down and this stuff is totally worth listening to.

This is not going to be a regular feature though, it just happens whenever I am in the mood. Don't rely on it!

Here you go:


BSG, Season 2

Obviously there is way too much on this disc let alone the whole season 2 to cover it in it’s entirety in one article so I’ll just pick out some select pieces which represent best the overall greatness of Bear McCreary’s music according to my opinion.

Track 1, Colonial Anthem (“Theme from Battlestar GalacticaTM”), From “FINAL CUT” (4:02)

So it all starts nice and easy on the season 2 album as you would expect from a sci-fi score. There’s strings and a brass section going slowly at it like they usually do when there’s stuff happening in space. Already kinda melodic and themey (themy?), not at all your average Zimmer in Batmode or ambient background brooding accompanying some bald guy ordering tea, looking at his 80’s iPad. (I’m totally into TNG, don’t get me wrong here. Even the score. But, you know what I mean.) Then: some build up and we hear the original Battlestar theme. Like from the fifties or whatever. Pulling your leg here, I know it’s from ’78. Googled it. That’s how much I care about you! So this old-school material is nicely incorporated into the modern-ish soundtrack piece. After the first round of the classic theme we get a sackload of the big ass drums (Hellooo Season 4) Mr. Bear is totally into during this period of his life which I shall call How the Bear sacked the Hoff. (Get it? Me neither.) The two flavors do really work brilliantly in combination. After like minute 3:30 the mood calms down and we arrive at some more somber material, including oriental sounding woodwinds played in non-cauca-scales and modes (I guess?) which sound like there’s more exotic stuff to come.

Track 4, A Promise to Return, From “THE FARM” (3:03)

Almost eerily and completely like made out of fog and mist and the late Baltar’s messianic beard do the notes of this track wind themselves into existence. Everything in this track seems to flow into each other seamlessly. Like in Bach’s Air or the Pachelbel Canon thingy (you know it when you hear it) the endlessly repeating circular chord progressions just make total sense and also make me totally happy. The album’s liner notes tell me that this piece was performed by the Supernova String Quartet and man, this really shows. It’s like a supernova in my groinal area. The way those folks convey a sense of longing and sadness (and Sackhoff?) is just beyond me.

Track 8, Pegasus, From “PEGASUS” (2:46)

So this is in the list due to the reason that it just stands out so much when it is used in the show. Here is what happens in the episode when this song is playing (as far as I can remember. Don’t send me hatemail when my description sucks.): Another battlestar shows up. The girl-captain of this “Pegasus” ship is kinda badass and wants to mess with Adama. Shenanigans ensue. This song plays. I know, right? This whole song is like one huge built up and the fact that it uses guitar and bass instead of space synths makes the moment totally special. You would expect some militaristic kind of full orchestra thrashing but instead you get some riffs, some licks, a pretty steady bass drum. Towards the end it get’s more intense with the introduction of synths again. Some final kicks. Drama baby. I guess it’s just the fact that again no one would expect this kind of thing in this situation which makes the song cool for me. The Bear has balls. Like super heavy duty hairy balls. Putting stuff like that in there? Man!

Track 13, Roslin and Adama, From “RESURRECTION SHIP Parts One and Two” (2:49)

I guess I tend to like the calm and melodic stuff in the album more than the exploding Taiko kinda action scoring, so here is another slow tune with a cool theme. Basically the love theme. Maybe the make out theme. I’m not sure about that. It starts slow and grinding like Adama’s teeth blended with Roslin’s more lofty attitude and in the end there is some twist towards more light hearted guitar action (the make out part of the piece). Good stuff.

17 Prelude to war, From “PEGASUS” and “RESURRECTION SHIP Parts One and Two” (8:22)

The fan favourite is, surprise, my favourite as well. Check Youtube for the coolest interpretations of this song including one of mister The Bear himself playing the whole thing on the accordion while looking like a madman/wild animal with artsy hair and a tight beard game. Seriously, this track is so energizing and powerful that they should put a sticker on the CD not to listen to it while driving or operating heavy machinery (like the balls of The Bear). Loads of folks hitting animal skin with sticks obviously but there are also powerful string ostinati in there as well as some striking themes and Middle Eastern-ish sounding flute injections. Most of the fan love is probably due to the sheer grandeur of the track (not unlike the “Prophet’s Ascension” one from last month’s C&C review) and the sweeping speed it maintains through the whole 8+ minutes. The rousing snare drums don’t hurt either to make this an iconic piece of BSG history. (There is even some ticking kind of sound at 4:30 to emphasize the urgency of the matter, take that, Hans!)

As I said, there is so much more on this disk which is great but you’re not here for thorough reviews (see the blogroll on the side for this sort of thing). You’re here for the gist. And the Sackhoff. I guess.