Variety Hour

Off the heels of a week featuring only links to bluegrass artists (okay, 2 bluegrass and 1 folk) and a podcast dedicated entirely to swing music, I decided it would be a good time to throw in some completely different music to start your week.  And then I decided to wait until Tuesday, after your week had already started (or I could just convince everyone that in the music business, Tuesday is the start of the week…right?).  All that to say, this week I have a bit of a mixed bag to reach into.

Today, we are listening to the works of Spanish composer Roger Subirana Mata.

Mata creates what is easiest described as soundtrack music.  I found his work in the laziest way possible – I decided to see what was number one on Jamendo’s Top 100, and found “Shedneryan 1/4” at the top.  The tags are as follows: piano, newage, instrumental, soundtrack, bandasonara.  Very appropriate, if you ask me (but don’t ask me what bandasonara means).

Since the EP is called Shedneryan and all of the tracks carry that name with a number, I’m just going to refer to each piece by number.  #1 starts off very Burton-esque (or rather, Elfman-esque), and gave me a sort of “Nightmare Before Christmas” vibe, but veered off that path for good early on.  The path it eventually sticks with is very big sounding, like a major movie soundtrack – while still feeling soft and thoughtful.

I probably shouldn’t really even be comparing this to a movie soundtrack, but that’s exactly what this reminds me of – a movie score.  Somehow I don’t think that was Mata’s intention, but I think someone making an epic movie could stand to do very well licensing Mata’s music for their score.

Moving along – #2 continues right where #1 leaves off, but introduces some new elements.  There are some slightly more intense beats, and a few eastern elements involved.  A piece to go along with an intense chase sequence if I ever heard one.  It finishes off with a sort of ghostly sound, and is kind of creepy.  Like it’s overlooking a foggy battlefield full of mangled corpses.  Excuse me while I shudder.

#2 sort of ends on a “the hero is at his lowest” kind of thing.  #3 continues that, but in this one, the hero is more or less dusting himself off a little.  Probably taking a breather, and getting some help from a previously minor character who reminds him of his true nature / abilities or whatever.  Something cheesy like that.  And then he runs back to face his demons (or the demon, as it were) alongside some more very intense music.  I don’t know, sort of like the Lion King maybe?  Anyway, we must be at the big boss battle by the end of #3, because it gets REALLY intense.

Naturally then, #4 is the dénouement.  Everything’s calmed down, and the hero is going to go save his girl (or guy, if you prefer).  It’s a little sad sounding, which means maybe one of his friends might have been hurt – or killed.  But small tragedies aside, the bigger picture is that the evil has been defeated, and all is right in the world.

Man, I’m glad I reviewed this music – I need some good practice for some stories I’m going to write coming up.  Anyway, there is a rather lengthy description of the project (in English after the Spanish text, thankfully) which probably debunks 99% of what I was thinking of throughout my listening.  However reading further, the purpose of the project is to let each listener create his/own story, so I’d say Mata did an excellent job.

What stories might you derive from it?

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