All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…

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25 Songs, 25 Days: Who is Tyler Durden?

Day 11: A song on the soundtrack of your favourite movie

Who is Tyler Durden? | The Dust Brothers


From the moment I first saw Fight Club, late one evening in the autumn of 1999, I was smitten. Here was a film of such style, such power, such magnificence, that you cannot help but fall in love with it. It is one of those rare films that can only be described as perfect. The casting. The writing. The cinematography. The direction. Everything comes together with such grace and panache that you are left breathless in appreciation.

Fight Club, directed by David Fincher, is a film about an average man, so average that he doesn’t even have a name; in the credits, he is referred to as “The Narrator”. He lives a monotonous life where everything is “a copy of a copy of a copy”. It isn’t until the day where he meets Tyler Durden while traveling on a plane for a business trip that his life gets stirred up. Tyler is everything the Narrator isn’t, and everything the Narrator wishes to be. The Narrator focuses on material things, like how much he can buy from an IKEA catalog, while Tyler lives his life with the belief that “the things you own end up owning you”. Played by Brad Pitt, Tyler embodies the sex appeal that the Narrator (played by Edward Norton) wishes for, and as he works various odd jobs to get by, he isn’t tied down to a big corporation like the Narrator is. The big “twist” at the end of the film is that we find out that the Narrator and Tyler Durden are the same person. From a Freudian stand-point, Tyler represent the Narrator’s id, which is all of his unconscious wants and desires (Cherry). Throughout the entirety of the film, we see how the id, ego, and superego play out in the Narrator’s mind, and how Tyler represents every desire that he has suppressed, whether that be from childhood or adulthood.

~ from Freudian Analysis of Fight Club ~

One of the often forgotten aspects of film is the music. All too often the work of the humble composer is overlooked. The audience too spellbound by the visuals on-screen to pay attention to the compositions that fuel emotional reaction. John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Bernard Herrmann, James Horner, all have composed music for some of the most well-known films in cinema history. Yet so few know their name.

To honor the film composer I have, for today’s installment of the 25 Songs, 25 Days challenge, chosen to showcase a piece of instrumental score, rather than a song, from my favourite movie. Like everything else in Fight Club, the music, by pioneering duo The Dust Brothers, is perfection. It compliments the visual and emotional style of the movie, it burrows into your subconscious and refuses to let go.

It is a haunting, stimulating musical score that demands attention.


Thirteen of the greatest TV soundtracks of all time…

In last week’s Thursday Thirteen post I celebrated the oft-ignored film score, taking you lucky readers on a trip that took in Transforming robots, hungry dinosaurs, mythical sea beasts, time-travelling trains and political assassinations.

Today, I take you on a journey even more exciting. A journey through vampire slayers, immortal Time Agents, ancient magicians, genius filled towns and Canadian Mounties. For today, we celebrate the even more ignored genre that is the television score.

Honestly, how many of you ever take notice of the music that scores your favourite television shows? Because if you don’t, you really should. For even though it’s composed on a much lower budget than film scores and with far less time, it can be equally as impressive.

As these thirteen beautiful tracks prove.

Enjoy :)

The Majestic Tale [of a Madman in a Box] (Doctor Who) – Murray Gold

There are so many tracks I could have chosen from the soundtrack to Doctor Who to showcase the genius of Murray Gold. So why choose a track from my most disliked season? Simple. This is an astonishing piece of music for a television show and fast becoming one of my favourite instrumental tracks of all time.

I cannot get enough of it.

Slayer’s Elegy (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) – Christophe Beck

In similar fashion to Murray Gold’s work on Doctor Who, there are dozens of tracks I could have chosen from Beck’s work on Buffy, but my choice had to be this magnificent piece from the season three episode The Wish. A track I have loved for nearly half my life.

Up and Down Stairs (24) – Sean Callery

Granted the show – especially its dubious gender politics and stance on torture – is often maligned, but there is no denying the brilliance of Sean Callery’s hypnotic score. Only this composer could make running up and stairs so much fun.

Finale; Season 2 (Merlin) – Rob Lane & Rohan Stevenson

As I peer down this list it’s interesting to see how many British shows feature. Perhaps it’s because British Television is the best in the world, perhaps it’s just mere coincidence, perhaps it’s just that the British compose the best television scores.

Whatever the reason, there is no denying the power and beauty of this track from the season 2 finale of Merlin.

Captain Jack’s Theme (Torchwood) – Ben Foster

My second favourite television ‘hero’ theme of all time!

Sherlock Theme (Sherlock) – David Arnold & Michael Price

I have nothing to say about this other than…superb!

The Funeral (Firefly) – Greg Edmonson

The show may be placed second on my “Most Overrated Television Shows of All Time” list, but the score definitely isn’t.

Beautiful. Haunting. Exquisite.

The King’s Arrival (Game of Thrones) – Ramin Djawadi

I may not be as ‘into’ this show as many other people are but it is a magnificent piece of television with a tremendous musical score.

Suite One (Band of Brothers) – Michael Kamen

The only show on his list that I have never seen, but I have listened to the soundtrack many, many times. One of these days I will get around to watching the show to see the visuals that go with the music. But as with all great instrumental scores, all you need to do is close your eyes and allow the magic of the music to tell the story itself.

Through the Vortex (Eureka) – Bear McCreary

Certainly, the show is hardly all that well-known or watched, but it is wonderful slice of fun and McCreary’s score is just sublime.

Cabin Music (Due South) – Jay Semko

This Canadian gem has long been a personal favourite television show and the inspired musical score some of my all time favourites. This track inparticular has been listened to thousands of times throughout my life and was pride of place on my mixed tape that I took backpacking around Scotland way back in 1999. An absolute classic.

Love Theme (True Blood) – Nathan Barr

I switched off this show with season four but the music remains something truly special in the world of television.

May the Best World Win (Fringe) – Chris Tilton

A show I used to hate. In fact, when I first watched the first season I could only get half a dozen episodes in before I threw the library DVD across the room because I was so frustrated by how boring, tedious and utterly shite the show was. Ditto for season two. But then I watched season three…and perhaps it was Fauxlivia, perhaps it was Walternate, perhaps it was the inspired nineteenth episode…and completely fell in love with it.

Within four days of watching the third season I had gone back and watched seasons one and two in their entirety and re-watched the entire of season three. Now, having polished off Season Four recently, am eager to see the fifth (and final) season and will punish anyone who reveals any spoilers with absolute severity. The score, including the theme, is some of the finest currently on television.

(I’m being deadly serious about that. I HATE spoilers and have never been able to understand why people invest so much time wanting to know what is going to happen in a show!)

~ and a bonus track ~

This is Gallifrey…This is Home (Doctor Who) – Murray Gold

Yep, this makes today’s Thursday Thirteen post Thursday Fourteen, but I don’t care. This piece of music is one of my all time favourite pieces of television score of all time. I used to love it so much I had it as my telephone ring tone…frequently letting the phone ring for extended periods of time before answering purely so I could relish in Gold’s brilliance.

Simply beautiful :)

What about you? Are there any TV scores (or composers) that rock your world?


Thirteen of the greatest film soundtracks of all time…

In last week’s Sunday Stealing I mentioned (as I’m sure I have before) my love of the oft-ignored film score. Many of the CDs I first purchased as a teenager were soundtrack CDs, so when everyone else was listening to Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Aqua and Chumbawumba, I was delighting myself with John Williams, Alan Silvestri, Anton Karas and James Horner.

Given I am still battling through writer’s block, I decided to share thirteen of my favourite film scores with you all. Most are movies you will have heard of, all are pieces of music worth acquainting yourself with.

Enjoy :)

Journey to the Island (Jurassic Park) – John Williams

One of the most recognisable film composers of all time, John Williams’ work has been heard by billions of people worldwide. Star Wars, Superman, Indiana Jones, E.T, Schindler’s List, Jaws, Close Encounters…all instantly recognisable and magnificent pieces of work.

But none more so for me than this track from one of my favourite movies of all time.

Breaking of the Fellowship (The Fellowship of the Ring) – Howard Shore

Simply one of the greatest soundtrack scores of the last twenty-five years. I could create a Thursday Thirteen list purely from the soundtracks of this trilogy of epic motion pictures, but this piece has always been a particular favourite of mine.

The Third Man – Anton Karas

If you have never seen The Third Man you are not only missing out on one of the greatest films ever made, but also one of the greatest soundtracks ever made. Seriously, everything about this score is a delight. Cue the zither!

Why So Serious? (The Dark Knight) – Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard

One of the greatest Superhero movies ever made. One of the greatest movies ever made. So it’s fitting it also has one of the best soundtracks Hans Zimmer has ever composed (or rather co-composed) to score it.

Hanging / Escape (Plunkett and Maclean) – Craig Armstrong

My love of Craig Armstrong knows no bounds. Most will know him as the composer for Romeo and Juliet or Moulin Rouge, but this track (actually two pieces joined together) has long been one of my favorite of his movie work. Stunning from beginning to end.

The Kraken (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest) – Hans Zimmer

If you were to remove the sublime Journey to the Line from the equation, this is without doubt my favourite track from Hans Zimmer.

Scorponok (Transformers) – Steve Jablonsky

Will forever remind me of the ups and downs of Adelaide ’07 and of psyching myself up for job interviews. A cracking action score that is far better than the movie deserves (although, in all honesty, this and its sequel are two of my guilty pleasures!)

Love Theme (St Elmo’s Fire)

I will not hear a bad word said about this piece of music! Got that?

Point of No Return (Back to the Future III) – Alan Silvestri

Everything about this film trilogy was magnificent, especially Alan Silvestri’s superb soundtrack. Of which this track from the brilliant conclusion to the third installment is a highlight.

Elora Danan (Willow) – James Horner

Viewers of this seminal fantasy film from the 1980s will have seen Warwick Davis in action long before he lit up the screens in Harry Potter, Merlin and Life’s Too Short. Granted, it’s not a movie that is greatly loved (although I cherish it) but Horner’s score is one of the best soundtrack’s of the 1980s, if not ever.

North by Northwest Suite – Bernard Herrmann

Forget Psycho, this is the definitive Hitchcock score. A work of absolute genius and one of the finest film scores ever composed.

Prologue (JFK) – John Williams

Another classic, often overlooked track from legendary composer John Williams. One of my personal favourites.


Going Home (Theme from Local Hero) – Mark Knopfler

My favourite film score of all time. I love this track with an intense and fiery passion!

What about you? Are there any film scores (or composers) that rock your world?