Thematic Thursday: Gladiator

Welcome back to Thematic Thursdays where I share from my collection of soundtracks. In honour of NaNo’s Week 2 Weepies we’re bringing out some big guns.

That’s right, we’re bringing the Hans Zimmer.

You can do it! FOR ROOOOOME~!

The original Gladiator scoreEveryone needs a Hans Zimmer soundtrack in their back pocket. Which one will be a personal choice, since it hardly matters; after a while they all start to sound eerily similar and unplaceable (what I like to call John Williams Syndrome). For me, that soundtrack is Gladiator, since it was my introduction to H.Z., and also because it was one of his earlier scores so it maintains a sense of originality even today.

Gladiator is one of my workhorses. It was one of the first CDs that I could just lie down and listen to, without needing to be doing anything with my hands. It brought the movie to life, and helped bring more intense emotion and reflection to my stories, setting a great mood even 17 years later. From the unearthly quiet of ‘Wheat’ and ‘Progeny’ to the intense action of ‘the Battle’ (guest star: Gustav Holsts’ Mars), there is a piece on the soundtrack for every mood while writing a fantasy series (yes, Embers revisited the Gladiator soundtrack quite a bit). And then there is the tryptich of ‘Elysium’, ‘Honor Him’ and ‘Now We Are Free’ where Lisa Gerrard’s vocals take the fore and still–after all these years–can give me a choked-up feeling.

There’s a sequel soundtrack too: ‘More Music from Gladiator’ that’s like the B-sides from the score and includes remixes. For some reason they chose to mix in samples of dialogue from the movie, which I find very distracting. But ‘Duduk of the North’ is sample-free and a haunting piece, which IMHO should have been on the first soundtrack. I generally treat the two as a single album.

Good luck with the Weepies, my friends. Stay the course! You can do it!

Hans Zimmer’s Gladiator (YouTube)
Original | More Music (second album)

Gustav Holst’s The Planets: Mars


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