Canadian born composer Howard Shore has been puzzling me for a number of years now. No one ever comes close to the moods the mysterious Mr Shore can compose. I´m having a hard time figuring out what the hell is going on!
Layers and layers of strange combinations of instruments and harmonies, whether using a huge orchestra or having a somewhat minimalistic approach, Howard Shore creates his own unique musical universe.

I believe Shore´s amazing music is one of the reasons David Cronenberg´s movies are so darn powerful. The man simply understands what´s going on inside the head of Cronenberg and manages to manifest his visions into truly remarkable scores.

I am not a particular fan of "movie music", especially not the full-blown, often pretentious (and almost embarrasing), cheesy American kind of hamburger film scores (you know what I´m talking about). Of course there are many, many wonderful movie scores out there but Howard Shore´s works are something completely different...

Below are some of my personal favourites. I´m happy as shit for the moment as the music of Videodrome finally has been released on cd, some 16 bloody years after the movies release. I don´t know the story behind this very late cd release but the score for the 1988 Cronenberg movie Dead Ringers suffered from tons of legal bullshit and finally ended up as part of a cd with music from two other Howard Shore scores; Scanners and The Brood.



NAKED LUNCH


Shore, without doubt, was the right man for the slippery job of putting together music that would match a film like Naked Lunch (1991. Written and directed by David Cronenberg).
To team up with legendary saxophone player Ornette Coleman was a masterstroke. Coleman's inspired improvisations over the un-orthodox "waves" of strange harmonies (performed by The London Philharmonic Orchestra, Shore's regular orchestra) makes the music of Naked Lunch a bloody innovative and potent score. It may take a while to "digest" but if you take the time of letting it in to your system, you´ll be properly rewarded. Once inside, it works like some kind of mental super glue.



CRASH


Another astounding work! Being a guitar player myself, this score opened my ears for serious guitar orchestration.
The music is basically performed by six guitarists, three harpists, three woodwind players and two percussionists. My eyebrows really went up and down at the opening night of Crash when I first heard it. It captures the stone cold feel of the movie perfect. When you think you´re safe, when you think you´ve got a hold of this (sometimes hypnotic) music, all of a sudden one little dissonant mutherfucker of a note pops up and grabs you in the crotch. The guitar sounds are fantastic throughout.



MORE GROOVY HOWARD SHORE MUSIC



Dead Ringers/Scanners/The Brood



The Lord of the Rings



eXistenZ



Ed Wood



Before and After



The Game



Se7en




M Butterfly



Videodrome



The Cell




Copland



The Silence of the Lambs



The Return of the King




A History of Violence



Spider