Wednesday, April 1, 2015

MIDI Week Singles: "????" - ???? (??)

"Manifest Destiny" from the film Ravenous (1999)
Composed by Damon Albarn
Production Studio: Heyday Films
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Get it?  Because it's April Fools Day!  Although rather than do something completely different or dickish by saying that we will no longer be writing MIDI Week Singles or that Dr. Potts and I have decided to close down our site altogether, I thought that doing a MWS-type post with film music instead of video game music would be acceptingly appropriate.

So I chose "Manifest Destiny" from the 1999 film Ravenous.  This song did not feature too prominently in the film, playing in the background while Lieutenant Boyd decides that he would eat to live rather than live to eat.  Apparently the looping that Albarn does in this song is very characteristic of his style, but, even 16 years after buying the soundtrack, I still haven't looked up to see what else he has done.

This really is one of my, not only favorite songs from the soundtrack, but I would put it up there as one of my all time favorite orchestral songs; right up there with "Mvt. II: Allegretto" from Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92.  It's a "simple" song in that nearly everything is looped.  The intro guitar/sitar/demon-possessed banjo plays the exact same thing from the beginning to end with other instruments layering on top of it until the end of the song when nothing else except that one instrument is still playing the same thing, in the same tempo at the end.  I find it brilliant and frustrating at the same time.

If I had a greater musical vocabulary and education, I could write a dissertation on just this one piece and it would be glorious and hailed around the world as a masterpiece in its own right.  It's still April 1st.

Anyway, check out the rest of the soundtrack for Ravenous if "Manifest Destiny" interested you at all.  Michael Nyman composed the other half of the soundtrack that Albarn didn't do (obviously) and the two compliment each other very well.  Your best bet would be to find a new copy (not available through Amazon) or just listen to the album via youtube (cursory search turned up only a handful of songs and not the entire soundtrack); or try to locate it at your local used CD/record store.


P.S. Apologies to those who visited and "tried" to listen to the song before 1pm PDT.  I did not realize that the whole song was not included in the video that I uploaded until listening through after posting.  The song is now up in its entirety.

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