Aside from being the best science fiction movie ever made, Blade Runner
is also one of my favorite films of all time (The Directorís Cut, that is). I know this isnít a film website, so I wonít go into great detail about the movie. What makes it so wonderful for me is its intelligence and humanity. I love every single thing about it. I know that sounds naive, but there is genuinely everything to love about Blade Runner. The visionary world of the future so vividly painted by Ridley Scott is morbid and powerful. Blade Runner is one of the many 80ís films about the future, but it isnít a dated vision. The movieís subject matter can only leave one to ponder the human creation of artificial intelligence, and the philosophical and moral implications that follow.
To add to the visuals, acting, superb script, and overall magic cast by Blade Runner, is the soundtrack. When one thinks of the movie, perhaps one of the first things to come to mind will be an image of a huge Coca-Cola advertisement floating through a dark urban metropolis. When I think of Blade Runner, itís not just a picture that comes to mind. It is a combination of images and sounds that collectively make Blade Runner what it is. You can only imagine how happy I was to find the Blade Runner original soundtrack in an old indie record store called ďThe Last Record StoreĒ in Santa Monica (I just got back from Los Angeles visiting family).
The artist is Vangelis, whom Iíve never heard of. I was surprised to find out on the internet that he is a fairly famous renowned musician. For me, the artist didnít matter. Iím not saying that he isnít important, but in this case more than any other it is the music itself that matters, and not the artist. That may seem redundant, but it is especially true. The music goes along with its context; the futuristic world of Blade Runner, not the artist behind it.
By God, is the music wonderful. Vangelis composes ambient songs that gently flow from one to another. They do not all sound the same, though. The album is mostly ambient, but isnít one constant warm ambient sound. Different songs and passages convey different emotions, in correspondence with their role in the film. The closest thing to this album I can think of is probably Selected Ambient Works 85-92
, but I have recently found the Blade Runner soundtrack to be a greater album. It is constantly beautiful all the way through, yet there are dark, intense moments.
The music has such a profound effect on me that it stimulates my imagination. The sound bytes of dialogue from the movie remind me of Blade Runner of course, but it seems that there is some other message within the music. I do not mean some kind of secret code, or anything I can put into words and make sense of. The music simply compels the imagination to look beyond the constructs of humanity and society. It makes me think the future, of the present, the past, technology, human emotion, beauty, and evil. I may seem like Iím going on, and maybe those of you who have heard any of this music donít get the same feeling as I do. I would like to think that this music is open to interpretation, but all I can explain is my individual response to it. I would very much prefer to think that everyone who listens to it is captivated as I am; lost for words. I canít expect everyoneís jaw to drop, but I know there are a lot of people out there who appreciate true beauty, which is often found in ambient music.
Not that this album fits within the confines of ambient. There is almost always a beautiful melody leading the music, as opposed to a big, lush, warped ambient mass of a sound. Elements of blues and jazz can be found in The Blade Runner soundtrack, as well as other kinds of music I canít even begin to explain. There is also some very soft rock, or perhaps progressive. For instance, the song One More Kiss, Dear
seems like a more modern version of a 50ís love ballad. There are also some lovely female vocals on the Rachelís Song
. You must understand that this isnít just a mellow, chillout album to listen to when you go to sleep. True, there are some very peaceful tracks, but a great deal of the music will wake you up more than anything else. Tales Of The Future
is a bizarre, slightly middle-eastern song, with very powerful female vocals. Her voice is soothing and haunting at the same time. It sweeps you into a state that canít be rendered by anything else. This is just one example of the great moments of intensity found of the Blade Runner soundtrack.
It was DJ Shadowís Entroducing
that compelled me to buy the movie in the first place. The very ending of Stem/Long Stem, which I have regarded as a perfect song, sounded remarkably like the music from Blade Runner. I was reminded of how much I love the film and the music, so I bought the Directorís Cut DVD. My love of the music then led me to buy the soundtrack, though it was only a coincidence that led me to find it. I donít believe in fate, but I am quite impressed that the very music I had come to adore and had listened to for years while watching Blade Runner just so happened to be available right in front of me. I have found other rare cdís, but this one just seems like it was meant to be found. The music is so close to my heart, and always has been, and now I can listen to it at my leisure. It may seem like a small thing to some, but the purchase of this album has been one of the single things that have made me the most happy in my life. I doubt that any of you have this album, but maybe some of you have seen the film, and appreciate the music as much as I do. If not, I could not make a greater recommendation to see the movie, not just for the music, but for everything that is Blade Runner. This album is so magical, and sometimes brings a tear to my eye. It would be my dream for everyone to feel the same way, but then it wouldnít be the same. Blade Runner is a very personal experience for everyone who watches or listens to it. For me, itís a dark heaven.