You know what happens when the neighborhood is quiet over a weekend? I’m able to think, and actual progress happens. A few more weekends like this one, I might even have something interesting to offer on this blog for you to read.
Saturday was all about monsters. My writing partner and I have hammered (no pun intended) out the beginnings of a through-line for the first two storylines in our series, the first dealing with the aftermath of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the second following in the wake of that into Frankenstein territory. The rules we’ve got in place for ourselves is that we cannot ignore or abandon source material to make our stories work, we can’t knowingly borrow from anything other adaptations have done (and why would we want to?), and we can’t throw in anything cool just because we think it’s cool. Whatever we do has to actually drive the forward momentum of the story. I’m really proud of what we’re doing, so much so that I really wish I could just drop spoilers all over the place. But… no. Story goes, we have no idea where we’re headed with this yet in terms of an endgame, but we’re making good time and having a lot of fun.
Books and music reigned on Sunday. I think the TV was on just long enough to watch the latest episode of Turn: Washington’s Spies. If you’ve not seen them and might be interested, I posted reviews last night for the anthology collection In the Shadow of Frankenstein and The Lord of the Rings. Likewise, I’ve already churned out next Sunday’s Tolkien post for Bilbo’s Last Song and set up draft posts for each chapter of The Silmarillion (one less headache to worry about each week). I also made some progress in the first volume of the Theodore Roosevelt biographies by Edmund Morris. I’m hoping to finish up that first book this week.
The nice thing about operating with audiobooks is that while you listen, you can churn out some mindless work while you do so. Many moons ago, I purchased a 50-CD box set of Medieval & Renaissance music that I’ve been meaning to rip for my digital archives.
I managed to rip about a third of those now. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve not managed to listen to all of it yet, but that’s largely because I bought some other Medieval box sets about the same time and worked through them first. So it’s actually pretty good that I’ve made it this far. Working on it! The nature of being me is that I have so much audio content to wade through, I’m often intimidated by it if I give any thought at all to how much of it there really is. This particular set is wonderful, though. Most of these are CD transfers from 70s and 80s recordings, now offered on the cheap, which is why it worked out to about $2 per album. But they’re really good recordings! There’s a considerable amount of work from the New London Consort and The Medieval Ensemble of London, with a number of other groups mixed in for good measure. I’ve decided my next mission, which is probably going to be a bit futile, is to acquire complete recordings of the Carmina Burana. Most of them have been cherry-picked over the decades since Medieval revival music became a thing, but I honestly don’t know that anyone’s tackled the full manuscripts.
I wrapped up last night by revisiting some of Howard Shore’s magnificent music for The Lord of the Rings. I’m the proud owner of the complete recordings sets because as far as I’m concerned, regardless of what anyone thinks of the films, those scores are absolute masterpieces, worthy of the music of the Ainur.
One of these days I need to sit down and figure out just how much music I’ve actually got, maybe break it down by genre. I think at this point, I might be able to go non-stop five or six years without actually hearing the same track twice.
This morning I’ve been lost in some new film scores. I picked up the latest two offerings from Michael Giacchino, Spider-Man: Homecoming and War for the Planet of the Apes.
I’m hoping to see both films in the relatively near future, especially Apes. Really excited by this one. Of all the recent reboots out there, this Planet of the Apes trilogy has truly impressed me all around. I’m listening to this score right now as I type this. There’s a lot here to take in, and I may be revisiting this multiple times in the next few days to absorb it all. Have to say, I enjoy what I heard in the Spidey score. I applaud the reworking of the old cartoon theme. Nice touch. And you know something? It’s really nice to have a superhero score with bona fide hero and villain themes again. This sort of thing is seemingly such a lost art in the decades since Hans Zimmer changed the film score landscape. I’ll spare that rant. The point is, I love that Giacchino is keeping the traditional / neo-classical sound alive.
As much as I managed to work through, I’m starting this week remarkably relaxed, made better by the fact that the boss is out of the office through Wednesday.
I think that’s all I’ve got to report for now. How’s life in your world?