So I had a day off work this past Friday and I thought, wouldn't it be nice to watch a film with my father. So a film I watched. Oh how I watched, seriously, I watched the fuck out of Monsters and I will give a full run down of it in the podcast, but that isn't why I'm making this post. Oh no. There's a different, more Tron related story to tell.
On this same day I decided that food was a good idea, as you do, and headed to an alliterative fusion fast food restaurant which lay beyond the local branch of a major high street music and entertainment vendor. Of course I mean HMV but to say so would imply that I was advertising them and that I sold out to them, thus becoming the very thing we totally do not support here at easing it in unless it's ironic. Anyway, I was pulled into this store like I always am I caught a glimpse of the Tron soundtrack. It was eyeing me from the shelves like an eye on a shelf. having heard it was by Daft Punk and noticing the low-low price of £9.99 I knew a copy had to be mine. I walked up to the till and turned directly around. A massive queue was ahead of me. Not to worry, this is a big store with two levels, the other level won't have as big a queue. It did. I turned directly around. Not to worry, this is a big store, the classical section has a dedicated till, they won't have a queue. I was right. (of course I was, no one likes classical music). What I made up for in wait time however I lost with the look given by the cashier. It seemed to say "How dare you come into my sophisticated zone of the store carrying that dross. Never darken my door again, never bring my tone down, never insult me again with your Daft Punks and your electronic music, and certainly don't wear a fucking hoodie when you do". I would have said something to this effect as a light, self-depreciating joke had the cashier been an attractive lady but it was a middle aged man with a bald spot and I felt no such compulsion to make my presence any less obnoxious. I watched him hold the CD in two fingers at arms length and drop it in a bag whilst averting his eyes, paid my money and left.
My purchase of this compact audio disk led my Dad to bring up a rather interesting point about the tragically inaccessible nature of the classical music scene. Whilst I joked earlier about no one liking it, this is unfortunately not far from the truth. He feels that most of today's generation are not interested in classical music mostly because of it's image. It has connotations of stuffy concert halls with hundreds of suited old couples reading the sheet music as it is played, of bow ties and of the dull ballrooms of posh families in films. My Dad's point was that because Daft Punk produced an orchestrally led album, they may encourage younger generations, who are existing fans, to purchase other movie scores and from there branch into classical. It is the new kind of image classical music needs. You need only look at Daft Punk's live show, where a giant pyramid opens to reveal two robot-masked men and a laser light display, to realise that what is actually fairly minimal music can be vitalised massively by a dab of showmanship, the touch of a performance and and large quantities of lasers. Mostly lasers though because lasers are cool. What I'm saying and what my Dad was talking about was the clear lack of lasers in classical music. When lasers and giant light shows that come out of pyramids arrive on the classical scene more young people will be interested. I personally do hope Daft Punk pave the way for more artists to do the same, Evil Nine to score a blockbuster? I would definitely buy that CD and watch that film.
When I was listening to the CD in the car on the journey home I thought of the potential held within, the hope for a dying genre to be reborn for today's audience. It does help that this disc has almost everything you could want from music. It has huge orchestral sweeps coupled with rasping, thumping bass, a crisp sound that flows smoothly one moment then fights back with the wrenching stab of a distorted synthesiser the next. It even has Jeff Bridges talking over some sections. It is absolutely not what you think of when someone says Daft Punk though. You can see the influence they have but it definitely isn't their usual affair of beats and breaks, it's altogether more moody and powerful than any of their previous work. In short it is a brilliant showcase of their ability as producers and writers of music. Weather the film lives up to the score remains to be seen but the score is definitely worth purchasing from your retailer of choice.