How to score a sequel…

It has been a long time since I originally posted about Geoff Zanelli. In that time he has worked on a number of films, taking on an increasingly prominent role. When I heard that he was taking over as lead composer for the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film (Dead Men Tell No Tales/Salazar’s Revenge), I was excited to listen to the result. Just over a month ago1 I was lucky enough to see the film2 and I was not disappointed.

An extract from some Piratey music I wrote back in 2008. © 2008 Mark Hogan.

An extract from some Piratey music I wrote back in 2008. © 2008 Mark Hogan.

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  1. I’ve been busy writing music for an event, otherwise I would have finished this post much sooner. []
  2. I’ve seen it twice now: once in an IMAX screen and once in a more normal screen. I won’t go into the visual merits of one screen over another, but the soundtrack was unexpectedly much more vibrant in the IMAX screen. []

Radio Garden…

Radio Garden is an interesting website I came across a while ago that allows the exploration of radio around the globe with ease. While it does have sections on History, Jingles and Stories, the most interesting feature is the ability to browse radio stations geographically and listen to them live. The website seems very well put together, working smoothly across a range of devices, making it useful for general purpose browsing and playing if your favourite stations are geographically spread.

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An early look at Pirates of the Caribbean 5…

Joachim Rønning, one of the directors of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, recently posted this brief but exciting video of the score for the movie being recorded. A sneak peak of the start of the movie can be seen in the background: most is not too interesting (the usual Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Films logos), but you do get a few seconds of the first scene.

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Cambridge Connect…

I recently stumbled across the website of Cambridge Connect, an initiative “to help create an enduring system of rapid and sustainable transit that would help address the transport challenges facing Cambridge, while ensuring that the social, educational, economic, environmental, historic and cultural qualities that define the City are maintained and enhanced”. So far the energies of Cambridge Connect seem to have been mostly spent investigating and proposing a light rail rapid transit system for Cambridge, something that I agree needs to be pursued as a long-term transport solution for the city and surrounding areas. It’s also probably a good time to propose the idea again because, as I initially feared, it looks like Cambridge’s city deal money is almost certainly going to be mostly spent on relatively piecemeal improvements that make Cambridge a less attractive place to live for most people1.

A Dublin Bus bus in Cambridge

An old Dublin Bus bus (now Go Whippet branded) in Cambridge

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  1. Buses (at least the ones in Cambridge) are mostly unpleasant for anyone on or near them and much of the cycle infrastructure in Cambridge is dangerous when combined with drivers not familiar with the city. Also, as argued previously, the prevalence is cycling in Cambridge is probably contributed to by the poor public transport. []

Listen to Huntingdonshire…

Huntingdon Community Radio is a useful radio station to listen to when using the soon to be upgraded section of the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon (though the signal is a bit weak beyond Bar Hill). As well as playing one of the best ranges of music that I’ve heard on radio, it provides detailed information on the roads and rails around Huntingdon. However, until recently, I was puzzled by a daily occurrence on the radio station that was never announced nor acknowledged.

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Alternative cues…

I really love it when alternative cues from soundtracks, like the one below, are leaked. It’s nice to hear “fresh” developments and explorations of themes, and some of the different aspects of the corresponding scene that the composer was trying to reflect, performed and recorded to the same standard as the original soundtrack. Personally, I think they should be officially released in a similar way to some of the other “behind the scenes” elements of films, like conceptual art and deleted scenes. They’d certainly make a better addition to the soundtrack album than the remixes that some albums inexplicably include.