Saturday, June 27, 2009

James Newton Howard's music in teaser trailer of "The Last Airbender"

The teaser trailer for M. Night Shyamalan's upcoming film, The Last Airbender, was released a few days ago, featuring music by the director's composer of choice, James Newton Howard, who will also be scoring the film.

The film is an adaptation of a Nickelodeon anime titled Avatar: The Last Airbender. I am not familiar with the story but from what I read on the internet, it deals with the adventures of Aang, a ten year old successor to a long line of Avatars, who must put his childhood ways aside and stop the Fire Nation from enslaving the Water, Earth and Air nations. James Newton Howard, who delivered wonderful scores to Shyamalan's previous scores like The Village (my personal favourite), The Sixth Sense, Lady In The Water and last year's The Happening, is now back to score this one.

The opening ethnic woodwinds and strings immediately gave me a chill of foreboding - this is going to be something to reckon with! Scoring the action in the trailer, we have a martial cue with heavy usage of Taiko drums and ethnic percussion, even the woodwinds playing rapid, dissonant notes, reminding me of Goldsmith's Mulan and Tan Dun's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Fans of the composer (like me) will rejoice at the appearance of his classic styled action music, as the music shifts to a powerful orchestral cue along the lines of Dinosaur and Atlantis with loud horns, strings and Goldenthal-esque brass trills. The brief theme with staccato choir and brass had me practically drooling in excitement!

It certainly seems this might well be remembered as one of the maestro's best scores. The tone of the movie suits his style and the current track in the trailer sounds very promising. Looking forward to more news/clips of the score and movie!

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