Miyazaki Influenced Music
The above album artwork is to a new album, Ears, by a new synthesizer musician, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. I think it is quite lovely, and really depicts the music that she has created. It's preformed all on synthesizer and you'd expect perhaps it to be cold and sterile, but actually it's quite lush. She does a little singing on it as well, but again, not what one would normally expect. It's closer to maybe a phonetic style of singing and less lyrics oriented. She states about the album, "Gestures echo the musical tropes used by early minimalist composers, the world she creates on EARS is uniquely hypnotic and full of life, not unlike Miyzaki's film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, which she cites as an inspiration." I can hear some of that. Whenever I hear the music I also am reminded of some of those comic characters like Prince Namor, the Sub Mariner or Aquaman that had under the sea adventures and kingdoms. It's a pleasant surprise.
I've also been a Tangerine Dream fan for many years. I think the first album I picked up by them was Phaedra, and then Rubycon. Those are still favorites, among many of their others. But lately I've been listening to Zeit. It's a dark, space album that starts out the album with four celloist. It's not something you'd expect from a synthesizer band. I remember the first time I listened to it after I'd already bought Phaedra and Rubycon, and it totally took me by surprise. I didn't know what to make of it, no less that first track takes up a whole entire side. It's rather brooding and dark, and the synth doesn't really become predominate until the second disc (on vinyl, it's a two-disc set). But now in hindsight, it's a very avant-garde thing to do. That cover, by the way, depicts a solar eclipse. It's a classic.
Movie-wise, I watched an odd, creepy documentary last night called, Cropsey. It was about some children that were murdered and missing up in the Long Island area back in the mid-80s. I don't recall that incident on the news, although it may have been, I just don't recall it. It's a rather dark, documentary, but sort of interesting on some level. It also talks about the mental hospital in that area, and raises the speculation about one of the workers and how he may have committed the murders. He certainly looked the part, but looks alone should not convict a person of a crime. The subject matter of the film probably won't be to everyone's taste, but I tend to like documentaries anyway.
A couple of other films I caught recently are: Cobra--a Sly Stallone action flick. If you haven't watched it before it's okay and worth a watch once. It's not a great movie when compared to some of his other more well known movies, like Rocky, Rambo, and others, but for a B-movie, it's watchable if a little silly.
I used to watch the Dark Shadows series when they were showing them on the SciFi Channel, sometime back in the 90s (you know back when they were good), and started re-watching them again via Netflix. There's something about the Gothic atmosphere I really enjoy, although I'm not sure what modern audiences and teens would think of them now. For me though I can still enjoy them. It has a great cast that works well together. It was a soap opera, so the story plots move pretty slowly. What can I say, I like them.
Also I've been watching the Game of Thrones series five episodes. This series just keeps staying interesting for me, and you never know where it's going, which I love. That's probably why so many fans of the show enjoy it as well. It's an adult take on fantasy, and sometimes I think they may go a bit overboard with the sexual situations or violent depictions. But it's not a program for kids though, and overall I've enjoyed it a great deal.
Fantastic Planet--the Czech/French animation. Hadn't seen it in a while, but it is still amazing cerebral for an animation.