This website was launched in early January 2017, so it’s time to celebrate the second year of its existence. I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on 2018.
I am looking back on last year with positive thoughts. A lot of amazing film music – and music from other media – could be heard, but sadly there were also some disappointments. My main movies of interest are still the big blockbusters in the cinema, and many of their scores were very disappointing to me as can be read, for example, in Pacific Rim: Uprising and Mission Impossible: Fallout, which are both coincidentally composed by Lorne Balfe. He was certainly not the only composer who went the route of taking the more sound design approach, instead of integrating beautiful melodies and themes in his scores. This is actually the reason why I did not review some of these blockbuster scores. If your favorite score is not listed on this site, please keep in mind that I do not have the time and means to review them all. What I can say, though, is that this year was a strong year for orchestral scores for video games, as can be seen in my favorites below in this article.
Like other years I have revisited film music festivals like Film Music Prague, FMF and Fimucité, where I had the opportunity to speak with people in the film music industry and conduct interviews with big composers. At this moment I still have a backlog of 5 interviews from those festivals that I need to transcribe. I will probably skip a soundtrack review or two just to treat the readers with an amazing look into the creative minds of composers like Christopher Young and Oscar-winning composer Elliot Goldenthal. At the FMF I was invited to participate in a panel for the first time, which was extremely fun to do and nerve-racking at the same time. This year, I also had the pleasure to visit MOSMA in Malaga for the first time, which also resulted in an interview with Christophe Beck. Next to meeting one of my favorite composers, John Powell, I also attended fantastic concerts in a gorgeous city and met old and made new friends from Spain, who took me in like I have known them for many years.
The other concerts I attended this year were amazing as well. This year we saw a rise of concerts produced (or at least partly produced) by the composers themselves. Those were The World of Hans Zimmer, Hollywood in Hamburg: John Powell, Brian Tyler Returns and A Celebration of John Williams, which were all wonderful experiences in their own way. Soundtrack World was also a partner for a film music project, called Magic of the Movies, in The Hague and I am looking forward to collaborating with Michiel de Boer for the next edition, to make it even better than this year’s concert.
Looking back on all these experiences, I can only wait in anticipation for what 2019 has to offer. Some amazing concerts have already been planned for the next couple of months.
The content on this site would have been a grammatical nightmare and would still contain quite some spelling mistakes if it were not for my amazing pool of proofreaders. They are:
- Chris Broekema
- Chris Garner
- Dennis van der Laan
- Erik Schreiber
- Gerard Aalbers
- Johannes Oudolf
- Ola Ziółek
- Saskia Schreiber
- Stefan Bosman
I am very grateful for their work and time, since without them the content would not be as good.
I would like to thank the festivals and the publicists for helping me with content for this website as well, by producing fantastic concerts and allowing me to conduct interviews with well-known composers. Lastly, I would like to thank the websites SoundtrackFest, Soundtrack Portal and Movies in Concert for another wonderful year of collaboration, and I hope we will continue our friendship in the future.
Favorites of 2018
Since I am doing this for the second time, I can now say that it is a tradition to share my personal favorites of the year. These are all very personal and probably do not reflect any award nominees.
Favorite concert: A Celebration of John Williams in London
There were a lot of amazing concerts to choose from this year, but this one really stood out. Even without John Williams able to attend, the quality of the orchestra and venue were on another level. The London Symphony Orchestra is by far the best orchestra I have ever had the pleasure to listen to and, of course, I need to mention how magnificent the music of John Williams is. All these factors made this concert one I will not forget for a very long time. More details about this experience can be read in A Celebration of John Williams.
Favorite encounter: Signing session with John Powell during MOSMA
John Powell is one of my favorite composers, and to be able to share just a minute or two with him was a magical moment for me. For him to sign two additional words (namely “Good Luck”) on a CD booklet for my friend who was pregnant at the time, made it even more special than just signing with his name, which he did for the majority of the 100 attendees of the Meet and Greet with Powell.
Favorite track from a score: “God of War” from the game God of War by Bear McCreary
2018 was the year of game scores for me. Where the favorite track of last year made me cry, this year’s track fills me with adrenaline when I am listening to it. It is such a powerful track. The rest of the score is amazing as well, and I almost picked the whole score as my favorite. If you want to know more about my thoughts, you can read them in my God of War review
Favorite score: Marvel’s Spider-Man by John Paesano
The best way for me to determine which score I liked the most in a year is by looking at two factors. Firstly, I look at with scores I bought, next to streaming them on Spotify, and secondly, to which album did I listen the most. With these factors in mind, Marvel’s Spider-Man fits the bill. I listen to it regularly when I am on the road. I am a sucker for leitmotifs and this score integrates them exceptionally well and its storytelling by the music is extremely well done. You can read more about it in my Spider-Man review. I wish more scores for blockbuster movies would have done the same, but sadly that was more often a miss than a hit. I really hope the film industry starts to see how some of the big games are integrating orchestral music. Both Spider-Man and God of War are considered among the best games of 2018, and I am convinced that the music really helped them reach that status.
Here are some of my favorite pictures from 2018