Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Golden Gate: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Genres: Blues, Pop, Soundtracks, Gospel
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Eclectic and mournful
Stuart M. Paine | Arlington, VA USA | 05/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"GOLDEN GATE is instantly recognizable (appropriately enough) as Goldenthal. It's spacious, open, new-agey/discordant avant-garde jazzy and unremittingly mournful. The instrumental leads are often taken by Asian plucked string and wind instruments; the first one to enter sounds to me like a cheng (or gu-cheng) which is the Chinese version of the instrument known in Japan as the koto. This being a Goldenthal score, there's plenty of wailing saxophone, too.
The main melody I hear, "The Moon Watches", could have come straight from COBB or ALIEN 3. This score isn't big on simple melody, though; most of it seems to be free and improvisational. Some of the louder parts are purposefully noisy saxophone. I've never seen the film, but it would appear the point of the score is to emphasize some tragic or hopeless aspect of the story. As in other Goldenthal scores, there are a few very self-consciously hip tracks (e.g. "Bopathonix Hex") which serve as the main contrast to the more spacey cues that comprise the bulk of the disc.
There isn't much here that's truly Asian. The whole thing sounds like a Westerner's drugged imagining of the Orient, a good part of it as experienced from within a seedy Asian nightspot. The particular culture is mostly indeterminate. The solo instruments are Chinese but "The Woman Warrior" sounds very Japanese. I guess that's about right for San Francisco.
Of Goldenthal scores, GOLDEN GATE doesn't appeal to me as much as COBB, A TIME TO KILL, ALIEN 3 or SPHERE, but I prefer it to TITUS and BUTCHER BOY. That may give you some idea where my tastes lie. It reminds me a bit of Goldsmith's THE RUSSIA HOUSE in that it's so unrelentingly dour, but unlike that earlier score, it's not at all a loungey, pop-jazz kind of sound. It's much darker and more subversive than that."
A fine experiment for Goldenthal
Jason Kennedy | Albion, MI United States | 01/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yet again, Goldenthal proves why he is one of the most versatile and unique composers in the business. Golden Gate is Goldenthal's first experiment with eastern themes on a released cd. Goldenthal fans will find very recognizable motifs, but this is such an atypical score for Goldenthal in the sense that there is a very significant romantic theme. You will not be disappointed!"