As a millennial living in a meme-heavy culture, sometimes it’s easier for me to express my feelings in images than it is in words. For example, when I want to describe how I feel about this week’s podcast, The Soundtrack Show, all that comes into my head is this clip of Jenny Slate from drunk history:
To translate into Jenny Slate: “I had to stop listening to The Soundtrack Show because it made me too crazy!!! It would just be like “The Nazgul theme mashes together all the notes from the One Ring theme!!!” and I was like *SCREAMS*”
David Collins, the host of The Soundtrack Show, is a full-fledged genius, and it overwhelms me a little bit. I find myself gasping aloud while listening to this podcast as he points out details in movie scores that flew right past me but have such a major subconscious effect on the viewers. The first Fellowship of the Ring episode literally made me scream out loud in my car.
Collins is extremely knowledgeable, but he presents all the information in a way that is accessible to musicians and non-musicians alike. He introduces some basic music theory, but not in ways that will bore the educated or overwhelm the layman, and the way he does it really enriches the listener and makes them feel like an insider. And, his discussions aren’t limited to theory: he also talks about sound mixing, dialogue, and instrument choice, all of which serve to create an amazing deconstructed picture of movie magic.
I’m a movie score obsessive, but I don’t spend a lot of time analyzing why I like certain scores or why they work, and this podcast is all about that. Collins focuses on the “language of music,” and the different ways that music tells stories, whether or not we’re aware of it. It’s a strong reminder of all the different crafts that go into making a movie, and how, when great attention is paid to detail, the end product can be a truly amazing work of art.
Listen if you like: IMDB trivia, Song Exploder, Unspooled
Recommended episodes: Fellowship of the Ring: the Music (Part I), Great Melodies Tell Great Stories, Doom and Gloom: Music has a word for “Death”