Discovering Modern Musical Masterpieces

| 5 mins | Bob
tags: music, opinion

I am known for being quite picky about music and what comes with it. In a past blog I ranted about what hits the charts these days and I tried to understand the psychology of the attractiveness of that kind of music. And I must say that I didn’t really succeed, neither in understanding it nor in delivering my thoughts adequately. So today, I want to show the other side of it and share some pieces that I find particularly interesting and joyful to listen to – personally. Out there, you will find tons of great similar and also very different artists, so of course, I can only show a selection.

If you are logged into Spotify on the browser you are reading this with right now, you can play the full songs from here, otherwise, you’ll only get a short prelisten.

James Paget

Very spacey and emotional tracks that are awesome to listen to whilst reading sci-fi novels. It works especially well with Becky Chambers’ “Wayfarers” series – they share the grand scale of the universe, the special kind of loneliness, the beautiful diversity and the amazing optimism. I just can’t listen to this without getting wet eyes.

Overcome

The Wonder of Gaia (2019)

Look to the Skies

Believe (2015)

Thomas Bergersen

He is one of the two grand dudes of Two Steps From Hell and composes his own creations seemingly with ease. It is a bit different than you might think as his music contains more or less subtle electronic components that I thought I’d never get to like – until I listened to this. Recently, Bergersen started a big project with seven chapters, of which the third is about to get released. Big fan of it!

The Stars Are Coming Home

Humanity – Chapter II (2020)

Empire of Angels

Sun (2014)

Ninja Tracks

Well, what could you say other than their tracks are totally ninja? I think they carry a very unique kind of force through their compositions – I don’t know how you could call it, but it feels very elemental. Their soundstage is epic but what I probably like most is their interpretation of Blues. Listen yourself.

Origin

Forces: Creation (2019)

Got the Shakes

Resist 2.5 (2019)

Joseph William Morgan

Morgan and Villanueva are composing classical interpretations of older popular songs and create massive sounds to emerge in. If you know the originals your jaw will drop track after track and you’ll realise how the true beauty was hidden in the songs all the time but got too little attention.

Crazy Train

Rediscover (2019)

Time after Time

Recover (2016)

Marcus Warner

Very clean and pure classical compositions with both ancient and futuristic elements. Without exception, all of his tracks release positive feelings, are filled with joy and are quite literally stories of hope.

A Tale of Sea Dragons

Oceans (2016)

First Flight

Reprise (2019)

Antti Martikainen

His music is so diverse that I don’t know what to tell you. The scores range from short neo-classical tracks with choirs and lots of percussion over Celtic hymns with an epic touch to instrumental metal that knocks your socks off.

Symphony of the Forest

Adventuria, Vol. 1 (2016)

Lords of Iron

Northern Steel (2017)

More Composers

Here are some other great artists I have to mention when talking about this kind of music. I might have forgotten someone important, so if you are missing anyone, feel free to write a comment – I would appreciate it if you have recommendations for me!

  • Two Steps From Hell: The greatest of all. I couldn’t summarise their music in a short paragraph but mentioning them is a must – here is no way around them.

  • Howard Shore: Probably my first contact with epic classical music was in The Lord Of The Rings of which I got the soundtrack CDs because I loved it so much. After years I still get back to his music again and again.

  • Hans Zimmer: Obviously, he would be in here. How could he not be? He is the definition of modern classical music.

  • Zack Hemsey: This guy manages to put rap into an epic soundstage, even with strong vocals.

  • Really Slow Motion: Top class cinematic music producer you have very likely already listened to without knowing. Their public albums are also superb.

  • Future World Music: Powerful Hollywood-level music catalogue with great sci-fi soundtracks.

  • Audiomachine: Another big trailer music company with epic stuff.

  • more great artists I had in mind when writing this: Immortal Music, Iván Torrent, Hidden Citizens, Soundcitters, Gothic Storm, Epic Score.


random anon, 2021-09-14 17:24

All good composers have fled to videogames. No one hires composers for movies, less than 100 people in existence do that full-time. And for other stuff like series or videogames, there is so much high-quality music in videogames, that videogame composers literally work for free. You probably don’t believe me, but anyway, check the soundtracks of these games (ofc not all songs are hype, but some should definitely fulfill what you say above) []Nier (:Automata) []Kingdom Hearts []Atelier

Smash Bros Ultimate works as well I guess, since it is a compilation of so many videogames, but obviously a 24-hour soundtrack will not have as many good songs xaxaxa

Anyway, hope you find some good songs :)

CodingBobby, 2021-09-14 19:50

Thanks a lot for your comment.

What you say is very true, there are not many high-tier composers left in the cinematic industry. But the indie stuff… Oh dear, I have no idea who is out there waiting for me to listen! I’ve heard a lot of great tracks, indeed most of what I’ve heard in adventure-style video games is awesome – and right now, I’m wondering how there could be so many undiscovered artists!

I know the soundtracks from Nier: Automata (good stuff!) but not from the other games you mentioned, and I’ll check them out. Thank you for the recommendations and have a nice day,

Bob.