Saturday, 7 September 2013

"London Calling" (from Star Trek: Into Darkness) arranged for piano

The film Star Trek into Darkness (2013) has a scene in which a couple wake up in a future London and leave home to visit their dying daughter. The view from the window in their apartment shows one recognizable building, St. Paul's, but the spires around it are reminiscent of present London buildings such as the Shard and the Gherkin.
The piano music that plays in the background as this happens is "London Calling." A later scene continues the music. In it, the father administers what he hopes will be a cure for his daughter, kisses her good-bye, then pays the price for that cure.
The music is, I think, quite lovely, and very unconventional for a Star Trek movie. The composer, Michael Giacchino, should be proud.

The unified version for piano and orchestra that is found on the CD is nice, but a Youtube user called ThePandaTooth adapted it for piano alone. He plays it faster than it is played in the movie but is, again, worth listening to.

Sheet music of his arrangement is on-line. You can find a couple of other sheet music transcriptions if you poke around the Internet. I don't know enough about written music to tell you which is best.

Update: Well, aren't I the cultural illiterate! I didn't realize that the title of this piece, "London Calling," was a reference to an album by The Clash. It makes sense, though: Another piece from Star Trek into Darkness is "The Kronos Wartet," an obvious reference to the Klingon Home World Kronos (or Qo'noS), the Klingons' favourite activity (war), and the Kronos Quartet.

If you're not familiar with the Kronos Quartet, their rendition of "Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix may come as a pleasant surprise.

Friday, 6 September 2013

New MusOpen Project to Create Free Chopin Recordings

It has been three years since MusOpen concluded its project to release massive amounts of classical music as high-quality recordings of high-quality performances. The project was a huge success, bringing in much more money in donations than it intended. The additional largesse went into recording additional music.

Now, there's another project being started, the recording and release of all of Chopin's music as free files, available to be used for any purpose. Like the previous effort, this one starts as a Kickstarter campaign to raise the necessary funds. Anyone who enjoys classical music and appreciates the idea of freely available and freely reusable files should consider making a donation.

Update: More than $90,000 were raised in the campaign. Success, and the recording process can begin!

Sunday, 1 September 2013


At church today was sung a hymn with a lovely tune and, I add, good words. The title is "Let Streams of Living Justice," and the composer was Gustav Holst. I made note of that and checked it out using Google when I got home. It turns out that the tune is called "Thaxted" and is based on a theme in the "Jupiter" section of the composer's suite The Planets. The Wikipedia page on the tune lists fourteen hymns and four secular lyrics for the tune, so it seems very popular. As mentioned, though, I like the lyrics to "Let Streams of Living Justice." They remind me that Christianity is, or should be, a radical set of beliefs, not a complacent, conservative, mainstream one.