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Comments about the soundtrack for Avatar (James Horner)

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unremarkable sales figures for Avatar
• Posted by: ken wiggins   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Saturday, February 6, 2010, at 5:49 a.m.
• IP Address:
• Now Playing: Windtalkers

The film world headlines have been dominated of late by the extraordinary global success of ‘Avatar’. Yet it is a surprise and a puzzle that sales of the soundtrack cd for the film fall well short of the box office triumph of the film itself. James Horner’s score is an immense achievement that should be reflected in much greater appreciation of his contribution to the film’s spectacular worldwide performance. Right for the opening section of the magnificent ‘You Don’t Dream in Cryo...’, with its eerie, unearthly female vocal, the listener is transported into the beating heart of Avatar, as the music unfolds into a taut, evocative orchestral passage, before flowing into a memorable stream of woodwind, synthesizers and strings. And that’s just the first track! Tension and suspense are built into ‘Jake Enters his Avatar World’, by skilful working together of percussion, woodwind, strings and disembodied voice, then launching into a sublime statement of the main theme in a rich, pulsating burst of orchestral power. Resistance is futile! Horner masterminds a hugely sweeping, ambitious score with all the expertise and experience at his fingertips. He combines synthesizers, ethnic instrumentation, percussion, solo voice, chorus, and full orchestra into a densely woven aural tapestry that is a beautiful and powerful companion to the compelling visualisations conjured up by Cameron himself. One of the themes of the film is the unique and strange mystery of the dream, and Horner’s music perfectly captures the sensation of being immersed into a dreaming state, freeing the imagination to fly wherever it chooses to go. I feel that the majority of people who have watched and enjoyed the movie must be eagerly seeking out and appreciating the stunning music contained on the soundtrack cd, but unremarkable sales figures show this not to be the case. I went to see the film in its first week of release, and I have listened to the cd dozens of times since; it is a highly addictive and rewarding experience! Many serious ‘Avatar’ fans and the cinema-going public in general seem to be overlooking the extent to which James Horner’s music forms a significant component of the film and its remarkable success. The soundtrack is out there right now–go out and buy it, and let its luminous music envelope you and recreate the dream of Avatar.

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