Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Filmtracks Tribute

There was a time when I thought I was alone in the universe. A freak of nature. Someone to be avoided at all costs. That was around the late 1990s, after I had discovered the realm of film music.

Then shortly after my depressing self-imaging, I found a website dedicated to my new found passion. Chrisitan Clemmensen's showed me that I wasn't a freak of nature after all, or at least, not the only one.

There were others who shared the same interest. I visited the site once or twice a week. I loved to read about new works. I wanted to know more about those few composers I had just gotten to appreciate; Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, James Horner and James Newton Howard were some of the first. It was through this site that I learned of other composers; Joel McNeely, John Debney, Bruce Broughton. I continued to learn with each visit.

I would tell my parent of the scores I wanted to try, based solely on the reviews of "that Filmtracks guy". They must have gotten sick of me telling them all the time. I eventually compiled my wish list, which eventually evolved into ReelMusic Magazine.

Years passed. I grew up. I visited other sites, started writing for some of them. Still, I kept coming back to Filmtracks. I met new people, such as Craig Richard Lysy, Jonathan Broxton and Kalaisan Kalaichelvan, among others. Though I have never met these men in person, I feel indebted to them for their words of wisdom and friendship (and KK's composer competitions). 

Years ago, the places I visited for information on film music began to die off. The market seemed doomed, especially when Film Score Monthly ceased publication. I hoped that my first love would never cease to be. Not long ago, Christian Clemmensen acknowledged that his site needed funds in order to survive. This was terrible news. I could hear the words of Isildur, "Our list of allies grows thin."

It is true that Clemmensen can be a bit snarky, especially when dealing with religion or politics. He can offend with a snide phrase or two in his reviews or occasional scoreboard post. He may allow too much "adult" material to slip through to the forum (those pesky profile pictures). These minor quibbles should not spell the end to what has been a bulwark for the film music industry.

So if you haven't been to the site before, and you have any interest in film music, I suggest you take a look at Tell them I sent you. 

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