Following My Bliss

Spoilers for Robin Hood Series 2 & 3

Two days ago someone posted this video on Twitter:

Pompeii by E.S. Posthumus from their Unearthed CD.

I’ve talked about this one before as it’s been one of my favorites since I first saw it almost a year ago. From its finely done editing to its music, this is one of the best Strike Back videos and all around fan videos. There is nothing awkward in it. No moments when the music sounds incidental to the scenes. Just a tightly knit casting of John Porter’s life coming at you. But mostly what draws me is the feeling he has a much greater destiny than the machinations of an MI-6 agent. The sounds of a celestial choir no doubt contribute to this sense.

After I was done watching that one, I moved onto some others that for two to three years I’ve gone back to again and again. Most of them were set to background or theme music and most of them had a sense of the epic, which is what first drew me to fan videos and eventually led me to discovering Richard Armitage. I’ve had an affinity for this musical genre since I was a little kid and dreamed of writing movie scores for a living. One of my fondest childhood memories is spending hours and hours at the piano picking out expansive tunes and trying to perfect them. It’s still one of my favorite pastimes, and I can spend considerable time doing it.

For years after I was grown, I thought this was something entirely frivolous and hoped I would eventually snap out of it. And I did for a couple of years. But I’m coming to understand in a way I didn’t even come close to doing before that this sense of the epic is part of who I am and part of everyone else, and we are all part of it. We’re all part of something epic going on. We were formed to be eternal people with a destiny, and I find myself reveling in this more and more. Although at some points in my life I have considered the antithesis — that we’re a pale mosaic of organisms which has no purpose other than forming some random picture, but I’m not tempted by that any longer and haven’t been for many years. It’s unsatisfying and frankly, boring. Whenever I did feel myself beginning to take the yoke of that thinking, the cells in my body would go into rebellion, and when I examined what was so disturbing, I realized the random picture doesn’t square with the need to seek out my story, our stories, the story.

And how interesting that stories are so important to most of us, and quite a few reading this blog are especially attuned to them. It’s what holds us together as people and more specifically what holds many of us together in our fascination with Richard Armitage. There are plenty of very good looking actors. Plenty of tall actors. Plenty with a wonderful timbre to their voices. Plenty with pleasing personalities. What sets him apart is his determination to get at the story. Of course just like most of us, he’s done things to ensure he didn’t starve, but it seems he’s trying to get at the story as much possible. Or perhaps I’m putting my own views on all of you and should say that I’m fascinated with dear ol’ Richard chiefly because of his infatuation with the story, and certainly by what it is that motivates him so much to get at it and in a way that’s true. I’ll talk more about this later. For now this will have to continue as one of those loose ends along with the others laying around this blog.

So I’ve spent a couple of days rewatching videos that have a sense of the epic, and of all the videographers I’ve watched, none does a better job of putting a finger on the pulse of the story and bringing it to life for others than Angela (aka Spikesbint or Angelfish69).

One of the first that comes to mind:

“Ashielf Pi” by E.S. Posthumus from Cartographer

One of the first I saw of hers:

“Intro” by Caliban from Small Boy and a Grey Heaven

One that does not involve Richard Armitage:

“Central Park” by James Newton Howard from King Kong Soundtrack

One of her birthday tributes to Richard. Be sure to check out her others, and I hope she does one this year. This one made me cry the first several times I saw it:

“Generations” by Immediate from Trailerhead and “The Loss of Yours” by Adrian Johnston from Becoming Jane Soundtrack

And a masterpiece, which I can wax on and on and on about:

“End Music from Atonement” by X Ray Dog from The Vision

Here are some others who have done a superb job of capturing the story with epic music, but I’m only posting one video from each of them in the interest of not having this post go on and on.

JulietD001:

“The Wolsey Commits Suicide / Finale” by Trevor Morris on The Tudors Soundtrack

One of the first North and South videos that was my favorite, and I still love it. By PoleStar00:

“Lake Constance” by Mike Oldfield from Millennium Bell

One by PhoenixLupin, who has some wonderful Richard Armitage videos, but this happens to be about “The Fall”:

“Summoning of the Muse” by the Dead Can Dance from Within the Realm Of A Dying Sun

I’ve labeled all of the videos with their musical pieces, but unfortunately, not all of that music is easily available to the public. That is slowly changing. Some other theme composers who are used by quite a few videographers are Craig Armstrong, Dario Marianelli, Howard Shore of LOTR fame, Ennio Morricone, Jerry Goldsmith, Martin Phipps and Andy Price. There are also artists who frequently can sound epic but do not technically fall into the background or theme music genre. Some of those are Within Temptation, Secret Garden, Tarja, Linkin Park, Muse, and Coldplay.

Oh, and I swear James Newton Howard and Thomas Newman are the same guy, or is it just me who thinks they sound exactly alike? :D

And my mood is expectant as I’m listening to “Unbreakable” by James Newton Howard from the Unbreakable Soundtrack.

5 Comments

  1. I agree about the epic — both about Armitage’s attractiveness relating to his attraction to it, his willing to live it out fully in his performances, and perhaps more importantly about humans as having a larger purpose, not being random. I think his performances put us in mind of this larger context, which is one reason for the intensity of our responses. We think we mean something when we watch him at work.

  2. Thanks for bringing these vids to our attention…I missed some of them the first time around! Once I tried to make a fanvideo by cutting the video first and then adding the music, but it didn’t work very well! At least for me, music comes first. Maybe you can do the score for some fanvideos, RAFrenzy. ;)

  3. Many thanks for posting these videos. As one who studied piano for a mere three years, ballet a bit longer, I’m not always conscious of the impact of music. In participating in the current Armitage retrospective, it became a glaring absence with Sparkhouse. Conscious or not, music is so intrinsic to the mood, as well as to the actual physical response. The limbs, and the body just move in reaction.

    These were beautiful vids. The music – Ah. Thanks.

  4. @Servetus, apt description — especially the last bit.

    @bccmee, I’ll think about it. :D

    @fitzg, glad you enjoy it. Sparkhouse could definitely have used some more music and better music, but what a testatment to RA’s abilities.

  5. Thank you for sharing these beautiful fanvideos, which the music so beautifully harmonizes with pictures.
    I remember that N&S-The story by PoleStar00, was the first that I saw when I started search anything about Richard Armitage.
    Besides, I’m still grateful to you that through yours blog I discovered the music of MUSE


Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Your Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s