Wednesday, November 17, 2010


"Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those who we cannot resemble."
Samuel Johnson

IMAX has a new film out, another one about the ocean. Apparently these are pretty popular because they keep putting new ones out. This one is in 3-D and it features music by Danny Elfman who was only known as part of Oingo Boingo until he did the Batman soundtrack for the 1988 film.

It looks pretty impressive and the music is nice but take a listen to the trailer here, particularly at the 35 second mark or so:

Well that's a pretty song, something nice and pleasant for the ocean and it seems to fit the dancing lights from the sun and fish darting around. Except... its sort of familiar. Listen to this:

That's from the 1999 game Heroes of Might&Magic III (Complete), and its the tune that plays at the beginning of each new game week. HOMM3 is one of the first games that had a soundtrack you actually liked to hear, it is one I have recorded on CD so I can listen to it with other songs (Morrowind is another, so is Fantasy General, although I've not been able to rip those songs yet).

When I saw the trailer on TV I looked at my brother and said "hey, that sounds awfully familiar." Now, is that from Danny Elfman's soundtrack, was it something the guys that did the trailer whipped up? Did they steal it from the guy who wrote the HOMM3 music? Did they pay the writer? I don't even know who did the music for that game, and New World Computing went out of business (sadly, they put out some really good games).

I wonder...


eric said...

Sort of off topic but your post's title made me think of this:

I read somewhere a few weeks ago that Apple is toying around w/ the idea of releasing their entire iTunes music catalouge on a music subscription service (i.e., as long as you pay them $10 or $15 per month you have access to every song on iTunes).

If that happens, I think it will be a game changer in the music industry, though I'm not sure exactly how. I've been on Rhapsody (subscription service with a 9 million song catalog) for about 5 years now, and greatly prefer this method for consuming music... but Rhapsody just can't seem to break the 1 million customer mark (I think they are around 600,000 subscribers). iTunes would probably pull a few million subscribers in its first year of offering such a service.

Just something to keep an eye on.
You think musicians hate the way electronic royalties work now? Just wait until they get paid 1/2 a penny per song for subscription plays.

Christopher Taylor said...

Seems like with that kind of structure they'd end up making more money than they are now off royalties. If I were an estblished artist I'd seriously consider releasing stuff strictly online with that kind of setup.

The Chronicler said...

It's entirely possible that Danny Elfman wrote the music for the Heroes game. I know he did for Fable I, II, and III. You'd be surprised at how many well known composers have done video game background music.

Christopher Taylor said...

That's a slim possibility, I admit (but slim, its not his style), but almost all work done on commission is owned by the company, not the artist, so that might still be problematic.