C: “Catching Fire” Film Score, and the One Track Most Worth Buying

hunger-games-catching-fire

C Cinematic scores stand among the greatest musical compositions of our time. I love listening to film scores. Without a single visual, they tell the story of our favorite movies – it’s as if you can hear the plot unfolding.

Which is why I was waiting for the release of James Newton Howard’s Catching Fire film score with great anticipation. I rushed over to iTunes to make a download, and quickly realized that this particular score wasn’t quite as “explosive” as the title suggests.

Don’t get me wrong – there are some wonderful musical moments. But there are also several tracks that leave much to be desired (such as one track that literally lasts for 26 seconds). And paying regular price for a few seconds worth of music, well, sounds like something President Snow himself could have dreamed up.

There was one delightful surprise, however, in Track 6: “The Tour.” Clocking at nearly six minutes in length, this orchestration provides the musical backdrop to Katniss and Peeta’s “victory tour” through the districts of Panem.

The composition’s hollow, minor sound reflects the pain, the hunger, and the deep sorrow of the poverty-stricken districts. Midway through the piece, a lone female voice soars to a high pitch, standing out against the instrumental background, until her piercing cry gradually dies out. But as soon as her voice starts to fade, the melody is picked up by a French Horn (or Hunting Horn) and then by a trumpet, sounding the call to battle. The drums begin a military march, which carries through to the end of the piece. It’s as if the entire orchestra is rising up to take up the call of this lone female voice – a beautiful portrayal of the uprising that takes place in Panem in honor of their Mockingjay.

Whether or not you’re an enduring fan of The Hunger Games, the artistry of this particular composition cannot be denied. If you’d like to capture the gut-wrenching angst and inspirational stand for justice found in these films in a single musical track – then you need to “hop off the fence” and hunt this track down.

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6 thoughts on “C: “Catching Fire” Film Score, and the One Track Most Worth Buying

  1. I listened to the first Hunger Games album on repeat for days after I got it. So good! Good reminder, I should get the Catching Fire one.

    You are great at writing the descriptions of sound, which can be incredibly challenging.

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    1. Thanks Gretchen – I really appreciate that! I was a music major back in the day, and you’re right – those are some of the hardest research papers I ever had to write. Hope you enjoy the second film’s album as much as the first!

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  2. I love film scores as well–Thomas Newman is one of my favorite composers. I saw Catching Fire but need to go and check out the soundtrack. I’m intrigued after reading your post!

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    1. I agree – I love John Williams, Randy Edelman, and James Horner…I read an interview once with Danny Elfman, who composed for the Batman movies, and he said that being a film composer is like having to be a mindreader since they compose before the scenes are actually filmed…it’s a challenging art, to be sure! Thanks for stopping by!

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