Tag Archives: Christopher Young





Anything new from composer Christopher Young is always welcomed as far as I am concerned, his latest work is for a Video Game entitled WILSONS HEART. This is a dark addition to the composers already impressive and inventive catalogue of film music, at times the soundtrack being impish and mischievous and although the work does leans towards the apprehensive and fearsome it also contains several musical moments, motifs, nuances, and passages that are lilting, haunting and richly melodic. Young is a master of the music for the macabre, one only has to listen to that grand waltz like theme for HELLRAISER to realise that when Young writes he produces musical themes that are not only perfect for the images on screen but also are wonderful to listen to away from those images. His score for WILSONS HEART is an inventive one, the composer employing sounds that are musical and otherwise to conjure up an otherworldly atmosphere that literally drips fear, distress and foreboding and creates moods that are unsettling and somewhat disturbing in their sound and construction. The composer utilises driving strings at certain points especially in the more symphonic moments of the score, but there are many noises put to effective use and these at times odd and disconcerting sounds are responsible for giving the work a highly original overall sound. Christopher Young is in my opinion one of todays Masters in the field of music for film and television, one only has to see his name on a compact disc to know that this will be a quality score and WILSONS HEART is no exception to this rule, I found it an interesting and entertaining listening experience which is certainly innovative, it is one of those scores that as soon as one has finished listening you immediately reach for the repeat button so that you can savour it all over again. This is a score that is full of musical surprises, dark and ominous, at times a little chaotic (in a good way), but, above all it is original. It is also a work that contains magnificently rich compositions that evoke the days of film scoring as we might remember when the composer first became known to collectors, but it also has a contemporary sound to it as well, the composer fuses both styles with ease to fashion a sound that is all his own. Recommended without reservation.



Composer Christopher Young has been around just a few years now, I remember getting his soundtrack for HELLRAISER and thinking on hearing his macabre sounding waltz like opening for that movie. ” Now here is a talent and a name we will hear a lot more of”. DEF CON 4 followed and also his score for U BOATS then we were treated to a plethora of horror scores that although atonal in places remained attractive and became compulsive listening. It is probably true to say that Young has been involved on a number of lower budget movies during his career and has also worked on numerous made for TV movies but this has certainly not affected the quality of his music, the composer has always produced scores that have served the movies well and as a bonus have been real musical treats for us film music collectors. THE MONKEY KING is a Chinese movie that tells the tale of mystical characters from legends who first came to fruition during the period of the Ming dynasty in the 16th Century, being characters created for the novel JOURNEY TO THE WEST it is an important part of Chinese literature and can be likened to the tales of the Greek Gods and the likes of Jason and the Argonauts and The Minotaur etc filled with mystical and magical events. There have been many incarnations of THE MONKEY KING in film one in particular that I remember was aired on the BBC during the 1980,s and entitled simply MONKEY. This latest version of the story is a rather more lavish and colourful re telling of the tale and is said to be the first in a series of movies charting the adventures of THE MONKEY KING. The movie which is shot in 3D contains a really beautifully written soundtrack. Composer Christopher Young creating lilting and haunting Oriental flavoured themes which underline and punctuate the action wonderfully but also lend much emotion and fragility to the films storyline. Young has fashioned a work that is a combination of Chinese sounding musical passages and has fused these seamlessly with a more Western sound by utilising romantic strings and also introducing fierce brass at certain points within the score interweaving these with Eastern musical trademarks the end result is stunning and I think he has got the balance perfectly correct. The opening track for example YU HUANG DA DI THE JADE EMPORER is a dramatic and exhilarating piece with a backing rhythm that could be straight out of THE PLANETS suite (MARS THE BRINGER OF WAR) but is more contemporary having a modern sounding tempo or beat but it remains a driving and ominous foundation on which the composer begins to build his composition, powerful brass and percussion combine to create the said pulsating rhythmic backing as the composer introduces strings and choir, building the tension gradually and layering the cue with a sound that is filled with urgency, gusto and anticipation.


The cue then steps up the tempo and Young lifts the whole persona of the composition with one of the core themes from his score bringing into the proceedings flyaway sounding woods even more urgent strings foreboding choral support and the ever present brass flourishes and stabs. This is an imposing and powerful opening to the compact disc and establishes the fact that this is a work of quality, it also sets the scene perfectly for much of what follows the composer being unrelenting in providing infectious themes and dramatic passages that are accompanied and punctuated by glimpses of emotive and romantic nuances which evoke his past works such as HAUNTED SUMMER and more recently CREATION. Of course being a tale from Chinese mythology the composer also employs a number of ethnic instruments throughout the score that give weight and credence to the work. The composer also has written sections where soloists take the floor and these sections not only include traditional Chinese instruments but also electric guitars and violin, harp etc. This is a score that will enrich any film music collection and even if you are not a fan of Christopher Young or maybe are unfamiliar with his music I am confident you will be impressed by this addition to his canon and also will want to seek out other works from his pen. Young I think you will agree was probably an unlikely choice as composer for this project and how he actually became involved is unclear. However I am pleased that he was chosen to work on the movie as he has produced one of his most accomplished scores which is quite something as he has as most of us are aware one of the most impressive lists of credits to his name. It is a score that is filled with emotion and jam packed with expressive and haunting themes and one that I know once listened to will not easily be forgotten and will be returned to again and again.



Our September releases include the following titles:
A Single Shot (CD and digital): An atonal score for the Sam Rockwell thriller, written by Icelandic-born composer by Atli Örvarsson.


Colette (CD and digital): Our second release with Atli Örvarsson was written for a tragic Holocaust film, based on the novella by Arnost Lustig.




The Tall Man (CD): Previously issued as a download, here’s the CD premiere of the wonderful horror score by Todd Bryanton, Joel Douk and Christopher Young.


Conspiracy (digital): And finally a digital release by newcomer Darren Baker, who combines the sound of Ligeti with Nine Inch Nails in his gripping debut.

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