Anyone reading this watch movies just for the music? Or have you ever watched a movie whose music enraptured you so much that you had to buy the soundtrack and memorize the composer’s name? Ever felt the same way about a TV series? I’m talking about the good shows and movies that had their own music rather than most these days that just play songs randomly off of the Top 10 song chart of the month.
One composer that stole my heart is Joseph LoDuca, a man who originally immersed himself into the jazz world, but chose to compose instead of touring with well-known musicians. His passion for composing shows within the soundtracks that he produces for movies and television series. But, also, influences that he has from exposure to music of the world shines the most in his work for the Xena and Hercules series. Yet personally, I appreciate the Xena soundtrack a bit more since it takes place in several places of the world which gives him a chance to showcase more “exotic” instruments and styles.
Case in point, volume 4 of the Xena soundtrack features music for the character’s journey through India so naturally, the sitar and other Indian instruments are present quite a bit. The songs on it are not your standard stereotypical ethnic composition, there is variation and feeling to the music. Which brings me to how he uses vocals in his compositions. Most of the time it’s nothing that is discernible, but they are used like another instrument would be. It layers on the music and adds emotion that flows through the entire song so that you’re either soaring or falling steadily with the music.
The general tone of songs on all volumes of the soundtrack is very sombre but uplifting and often within the same breath. There is something to be said for the almost painfully sad tone that makes me want to break down into tears. It’s not often that classical compositions move me to that point; he has a way of featuring each instrument and making it weep in the most gratifying way. But really, no matter the emotion he is trying to express, LoDuca certainly has the talent and drive to pull it off splendidly. This soundtrack is a crazy ride of emotions ranging from the desire to stand naked atop a mountain with fists pumping ready to take on the world to wanting to sit in a dark secluded corner of my studio reflecting on everything I’ve ever lost in life.
A small note though: the songs on Volume 5 – “Lyre, Lyre, Hearts on Fire” are extremely silly musicals from a battle of the bands episode and Volume 3 – “The Bitter Suite: A Musical Odyssey” is also a musical soundtrack but on a more serious note. Neither is my cup of tea. Otherwise, I recommend this soundtrack to anyone no matter the genre of music they’re into.