This is part of a series of blog posts written to share songs, bands and musical experiences that have shaped me as a musician and artist.
I just wanted to share 2 additional songs that are simliar to a song in my previous post, “The Falls” from the Mission Soundtrack. The two tracks are from different movies: “Glory” and “Braveheart” but both composed by James Horner. It’s common, in James Horner’s compositions and movie themes, to hear a simple melodic phrase repeated over and over and over, underscored by moving chord progressions, or even other themes from the movie.
In the Braveheart piece “Freedom / The Excecution / Bannockburn” Horner goes through a few different themes and does what Ennio Morricone did – layering multiple themes together that previously we heard played independently. This piece is at the climax of the movie and after 2+ hours of following the story, brings the audience to an emotional moment. Though the end of the story seems to tell of failure the music clearly speaks of victory. It’s no wonder the film won so many awards.
The Glory soundtrack holds to all the classic James Horner conventions. Note around 1:56, the repeated theme begins in the low strings and continues on through the build and the climax. These are the kinds of songs I turn up and close my eyes. It’s interesting how similar these pieces are compared to The Mission soundtrack. It makes you wonder if there is musical influence going on. The Mission came out in the 80s and James Horner was clearly hard at work composing film scores, some of which are my all-time favorites: The Journey of Natty Gann, Land Before Time, Braveheart, Willow.