Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Ghost And The Darkness: Music From The Motion Picture
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
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This is Africa for you!
Joseph Payne | 05/02/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Ghost in the Darkness. Using a mix of Celtic and Irish music style, Jerry Goldsmith came out with a great music score at his fingertips. Originally released in 1996, The Ghost in the Darkness is probably not Goldsmith's best, but very entertaining. The main title begins with African drums, and withen a few seconds, percussion begins the main title and continues to build until it comes to its peak in the middle of the main theme. Using both brass an percussion, and the African drums and an occasional "sickel" striking against iron, this track is very swift and has a downright amazing sound. The two first tracks are very graceful and beautiful, while the rest of the CD is tense music. (Just about the whole movie is tense, which is why) Using strange sound affects in some of the tracks, Goldsmith was able to depict the lions that made up the main storyline of the movie. This is a great soundtrack, and if you like Celtic and Irish style music, this is the CD for you. I have enjoyed it from the start, and any collector who is big on Goldsmith should have this soundtrack."
Superlative Score of a fine motion picture
A. Andersen | Bellows Falls, VT USA | 08/06/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the finest film scores of the decade. Extremely atmospheric, at times lyrical, at times ominous - recorded in state of the art sound. This is a film that should have won Oscars for Cinematography, Editing, Sound and Score - One of Jerry Goldsmith's most exceptional achievements."
Eloquent and authentic
Jason | CaLiFoRNIA | 09/28/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"'The Ghost and the Darkness' has got to be one of my favorite Goldsmith scores, especially when paired up with the striking visuals from the film. Perhaps Goldsmith's score is at best a glaring example of a composition that really REEKS of sheer ingenuity. In a day when the musical force of a film is at best acknowledged -- at worst, completely thrown to the basement in terms of filmic importance -- 'Ghost' comes off as a project in which it is so awesomely obvious that the musical contribution to the film was as important as any other aspect of filmmaking. I truly think that, reverting back to the handful of contemporary Hollywood movie experiences I've had in my short time, very few films of this day retain the reverence 'Ghost' displays when regarding the musical counterpart of a motion picture.
So many elements make this score as haunting a work as it is. The African landscapes and historical setting in which the film take place give way to what sounds and FEELS like music from another time and place entirely -- amongst the ground of this very earth. Goldsmith so meticulously uses his orchestra, commendably giving particular instruments the limelight whilst shunning the inappropriate, a task which few other modern composers could handle, I think. It's a score that's at once full in sound, yet simultaneously sparse in orchestration; the few chosen instruments surrounding the score provide for hefty bursts of sound, but never does Goldsmith insult the film with arbitrary noise to 'fill in the gaps', or rather, disguise the lack of ideas and marksmanship that truly are at work here. Likewise, Goldsmith consistently manages to make things feel both credible and intoxicating without any resort to gross theatrics or artificial sentiment. It pulsates, as any real breathing work of art should. Goldsmith, to me, was possibly 'the' least pretentious composer to ever grace Hollywood (and arguably the greatest because of that), and 'Ghost' is exemplary of that.
Despite painting such true shades of a captivating, otherworldly reality, the score is also stunning for its dramatic prowess. Respectfully grand and sweeping in its opening moments, Goldsmith unlocks his romantic sensibilities for the vast, unraveling land of Africa. For the more intimate moments -- of which there are few -- Goldsmith shows how unparalleled he is with his restraint and honesty ("Starling's Death" is a gentle, moving requiem bereft of emotional bombast). Being somewhat of a monster film (hey, they 'did' devour over a hundred people), Goldsmith also commands the lions' moments with overpowering, dissonant brass motifs that, had they not recalled the horrific images of the beasts and their actions so individually, so precisely, so viscously, would never have possessed as much musical pizzazz as they have here on the disc. And lastly, as the film comes to its inevitable climactic moments, Goldsmith interweaves all of these sentiments and tops it off with inspiring moments of, how shall I say, a 'you just ate hundreds of innocent humans and for F@*# sake I'm not going to take it' sentiment that, well, is about as perfect as you can get within this spectrum of feeling. If Kilmer's character is going to take down these demons with any sort of plausibility, he himself has to pertain the sort of delusional train of thought in which any sort of rational thought escapes him -- 'I'm a hero. You killed my brother (platonically speaking...). I loved my brother. I'm a hero. I am angry. I'm a hero. God demands you be stricken down. I am carrying out Divine will.' It is, truly, this sort of subjective perspective that Goldsmith can bring out so amazingly well musically, and such that, as insane as the emotions expressed might be, envelope the listener 'till he's breathless because, well, Goldsmith is a master and commander of such an art.
All in all, though, 'The Ghost and the Darkness' is just an excellent, quintessential adventure score with the effortless ability to transport the listener to another world within this one. It requires an inherent liking for the sounds we've come to associate with Africa, but with that in check the score then impresses on endless fronts. Goldsmith was a master, and this is more or less a masterwork."