Thursday, 4 June 2015

Thoughts On Theme Tunes

You may remember my excitement back in February after I'd watched the first episode of Fortitude. Well, it wasn't misplaced. Week after week I eagerly awaited the next installment, and I was completely hooked. I wouldn't have predicted the ending, and possibly wish there had been a different explanation for everything that happened (although I don't know what), but the series definitely didn't disappoint, and I hope there will be a Season Two.

I'd planned to write a proper review of Fortitude, but it ended on April 9th and I feel that a bit too much time has passed now. (This post has been sitting here as a 'draft' for weeks, the only words I'd written were 'Fortitude - a review').

Instead, I thought I'd just mention one other thing that I loved about Fortitude - the theme tune. As excited as I was to watch each episode, I always let the opening credits play all the way through so that I got to hear the song, which just seemed so evocative of the bleak and freezing landscape of Fortitude. The song is called Peeling Off The Layers, and it's by a band called Wildbirds and Peacedrums.

I hope this video plays ok:

It got me thinking about another theme tune that I really liked, for a similar(ish) series - The Bridge. I found it by accident whilst looking for something to watch on iPlayer a few years back, and became instantly hooked. Once again, the theme tune seemed to be perfectly matched to the series.

This is Hollow Talk by the Choir of Young Believers:

I'm not convinced about some of those lyrics, but hey-ho...

My latest theme tune obsession is from my latest obsession, full stop - Outlander. I discovered it on Amazon Instant Video. I signed up for Amazon Prime, so I'm trying to get my money's worth by finding things to watch (it's also introduced me to Last Tango In Halifax, which I love).

Outlander is a novel written by Diana Gabaldon. In the UK, it was originally called Cross-Stitch. I actually had a copy of Cross-Stitch years ago, although I can't remember if I read the whole book or not. I may have been too young to appreciate it at the time. The story begins in the 20th century, where Claire Randall and her husband Frank are enjoying a second honeymoon in Inverness, after the end of the Second World War. After fainting in the middle of a stone circle, Claire wakes to find that she has somehow travelled back in time to the 18th century, and so begins her adventure as a 'Sassenach', an Outlander, amongst the Clans of the Highlands.

I found the series on Amazon, and binge-watched the first 8 episodes over a few evenings, before watching the rest of the series each Sunday. It was fantastic, and as I said, I'm now obsessed! I've downloaded the first two novels onto my Kindle (I think there are 8 in total, and possibly a 9th one on the way), and I'll see how I go with them before moving onto the remaining books. Part of the appeal of the first novel/series was that it was set in the Highlands, however the next book is set in Paris, and I'm not sure if it will hold my interest the same way. However, I think I've well and truly fallen in love with the characters this time, so the Outlander series may be a long-standing love affair for me!

And as this post is about the theme tunes, have a listen to this, and if it doesn't get you humming along and tapping your foot, and doesn't stir something inside you, and make you feel a bit happy and a bit sad all at the same time, well, I just don't know what to do with you! ;-) It's composed by Bear McCreary and sung by Raya Yarbrough (who happens to be his wife). It's an adaptation of a Robert Louis Stevenson poem, set to the tune of The Skye Boat Song.

Ooh, it sends shivers down my spine! Utterly gorgeous!!

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