john berkes

“I was really excited when writer John Tellegen hinted pn twitter that we will find out Astrid’s middle name among other things in the future seasons! In a way it makes sense that the next two seasons will explore the riders family backgrounf since that is when they will be returning to Berk from their adventure and “college-life”.”

  1. This Is Berk
  2. Dragon Battle
  3. The Downed Dragon
  4. Dragon Training
  5. Wounded
  6. The Dragon Book
  7. Focus, Hiccup!
  8. Forbidden Friendship
  9. New Tail
  10. See You Tomorrow
  11. Test Drive
  12. Not So Fireproof
  13. This Time For Sure
  14. Astrid Goes For A Spin
  15. Romantic Flight
  16. Dragon Den
  17. The Cove
  18. The Kill Ring
  19. Ready The Ships
  20. Battling The Green Death
  21. Counter Attack
  22. Where’s Hiccup
  23. Coming Back Around
  24. The Vikings Have Their Tea
  25. Sticks & Stones (Performed by Jónsi)
  26. Dragon Suite
6

The soundtrack for How To Train Your Dragon

The soundtrack has a slight Celtic influence that Powell uses throughout the soundtrack, as shown when the bagpipes are played in The Downed Dragon and when the pennywhistle is played in Test Drive. The soundtrack is very orchestral, featuring strong brass, wind, percussion, and string sections. However, Forbidden Friendship stands out from the soundtrack, since it primarily features a xylophone and a harp with a few woodwinds until the last section and final scene, which features strings, percussion, and vocals.,

the woman was a city: a mix for lady sybil ramkin-vimes

this is berk john powell // thrice welcome howard shore // turkish march mozart // your hands are cold l’orchestra numerique // emma howard shore // canon in d major pachelbel // teenage kicks london punkharmonic orchestra // dance of the druids bear mccreary

Analyzing "Dragon Racing" as Art Music

NOTE: While I do mention classical music composition theory, this is written for anyone regardless of musical background.

As you may or may not know, I am a classically trained music composer who has worked on a variety of projects for the concert hall, theatre, film, and video games. You also may or may not know I dislike most movie soundtracks. Even for those soundtracks I do not pass over, I rarely love them.

The reason is that, while they might sound nice, they’re usually not very complex. This includes instrumentation, form, and other devices that separate the quickly-composed modern film realm from the more nuanced pieces you find in the concert hall. I do not mean to discredit the hard work of film composers in the least; their compositions simply are written for a notably different purpose than classical works. The medium of soundtrack music is very different from that of concert hall music and you can hear the difference when you listen to the two genres side-by-side.

John Powell’s “How to Train Your Dragon” and “How to Train Your Dragon 2” scores are an enormous exception to my general ho-hum opinion of film scores. These soundtracks are positively beautifully composed, full of detail and life, intricately and complicatedly layered, and written in a musically refined, sophisticated manner that I rarely see the like of in other movie tracks.

There is a reason I look up to John Powell as a music composition inspiration.

One of his pieces I find the most incredible is “Dragon Racing.” That’s not just because I usually find myself dancing throughout my house listening to it, either. It’s incredibly well-composed on all perspectives! Even if you have little or no musical background, I hope you can appreciate this discussion of exactly why “Dragon Racing” is an exceptionally written musical piece, and why John Powell deserves enormous credit for taking the time and effort to write a piece like few other movie composers do today.

Support or Stand-alone

The majority of soundtrack scores work mostly as accompaniment tracks. That means the music is composed to support the visuals, and without seeing the film, the music’s elements are compromised. The form, key relations, progression of emotions, and so forth are not strong on their own because the notes follow a movie’s storyline. The music is not meant to be the center, but an incidental facet telling the story of the movie.

It is actually pretty rare for soundtrack music to work just as well musically on its own, without the conjunction of audio and vision. However, “Dragon Racing” works incredibly well on its own from a musical studies standpoint. Did I not know this was part of a movie, I would have thought Powell composed “Dragon Racing” for the stage alone.

That said, “Dragon Racing” still follows very closely with the movie visuals. The orchestra loudly punctuates important points like Fishlegs grabbing the sheep, or it softens when Hiccup enters a calm narration.  Somehow, John Powell was able to write music in a manner that is very classically based while still adhering strictly to everything we see on screen.

That is not an easy task. I cannot emphasize that enough. What we see does not have structure in the same way that music compositions are supposed to have structure. For instance, music pieces usually have a climax about two thirds to three quarters the way through their piece. This gives a very satisfying arc to listeners and is proven to be a successful way to compose music in both classical and popular genres. John Powell was able to work with the “Dragon Racing” scene to create his own important melodic climax at about the time we would expect. It comes at 3:28, which is approximately eighty-two percent the way through the scene. That’s a little late, but still within the general time frame to make this climactic point work well.

The result? Music that is solidly composed and perfectly follows the movie’s events!

Suite of Songs

One of the reasons why “Dragon Racing” works so well musically on its own is because of its traditional form. It has a modified rondo form, meaning that a new melody is introduced, then returns to a main theme, then yet another melody is introduced, then returns to the main theme, and so forth. So John Powell isn’t just throwing music here and there willy-nilly or based on visuals alone; he’s crafted a VERY intentionally organized structure to the song. Just look at my quick, reduced diagram of the song below:

The red dots indicate the main repeating melody that you hear in “Dragon Racing.” I have labeled it as “Astrid Goes for a Spin” because it is the same melody that you hear in that track from the HTTYD 1 score. The melody is, very roughly:

Apart from a small introduction in the first thirty seconds, this is also the melody that the piece starts and ends on. It is a connecting element that glues the entire piece together, giving listeners familiar material interspersed with a variety of new melodies. The melody recurs periodically, almost systematically. The ending punctuates the same idea we start on, but we never get bored because we hear other melodies throughout the rest of the piece. And all these melodies are ones we’ve heard before prominently in the first movie’s soundtrack.

This makes “Dragon Racing” something called a suite, which is basically a musical arrangement of many familiar melodies into one cohesive whole. Pieces we hear include “This is Berk” (from 2:26), “The Vikings Have Their Tea,” “New Tail,” and “See You Tomorrow.”

The arrangements of these melodies are not mere rehashes, either. I hate nothing more than composers copying and pasting the exact same music from the first movie into a sequel. Instead, John Powell refreshes first movie melodies with incredibly new variations that are appropriate to the mood of the second movie. He improves upon the original score and adds layers of complexity and compositional sophistication.

Thus, not only are we listening to an engaging composition, but we’re listening to something embedded with strong musical forms.

Intentional Use of Old Themes

Every single time a new theme from the first movie is introduced into “Dragon Racing,” it is very intentionally placed. The music corresponds thematically to what we see on the screen. John Powell is not simply mashing the songs together in a way that sounds nice; instead, he’s drawing thematic parallels from the old movie and pulling those into the opening scene of How to Train Your Dragon 2. On top of that, he’s keeping to the same musical structure and form as “This is Berk.” This is an incredibly complicated and meticulously done task!

While it is impossible to comment on all of these without writing an enormous essay, I’ll bring up several of the themes and their use throughout this scene.

0:27-2:02 “Astrid Goes for a Spin”; also the opening to “This is Berk”

John Powell intentionally opens “How to Train Your Dragon 2” in the same way as the first movie. A slow, quiet version of “Astrid Goes for a Spin” is played by a solo instrument (first movie: bassoon, second movie: flute), and climaxes into a faster-paced version of the same melody. This plus Hiccup’s parallel narrative throws audiences into the same mental framework as the first movie took them; it provides us viewers a way to return to the world of Berk and see how it is still that familiar island from HTTYD 1. However, at the same time, because John Powell uses different orchestration to make the music sound lighter and more excited than the war-like brass of HTTYD 1, we also aurally hear the differences that have happened in Berk in the five year time gap.

We can even divide up the idea of when the slower and faster versions of the melody appear. As before mentioned, the start of Hiccup’s narrative in both the first and second movies corresponds with the start of the slow melody. But the time when the music bursts into fast-paced, full-orchestra blaring is a parallel, too, between when Hiccup exclaims “dragons!” in HTTYD 1 and when he shouts “dragon racing!” in HTTYD 2. Yet again, the music cues what else is happening on screen.

2:34-2:58 See You Tomorrow

The jocular jig in “See You Tomorrow” occurs only once in the first movie’s score. However, since we first heard it during an instrumental, and since it represents a key moment where Hiccup is developing Toothless’ flight gear, it’s an important melody to include in the “Dragon Racing” suite, too. The song is all about Hiccup inventing a custom saddle and tail to improve the life of his dragon.

The moment this melody arrives in the HTTYD 2 score is also about developing better technologies and improving dragons’ lives. Right as the dragons fly into the hangar and Hiccup describes the custom stalls, this theme arises in the violin. Industrious Hiccup strikes again with the same melody accompanying him.

4:02-4:18 Romantic Flight

“Romantic Flight”, though often associated by fans as the song about Hiccup and Astrid’s relationship, actually more closely motivically describes Astrid Hofferson alone. Right at the moment Astrid charges in to take Ruffnut’s black sheep - Astrid’s big, defining moment in the dragon races - her theme pops up. Intentional? Absolutely.

But there’s something even more amazing about this. It’s a musical parallel going back to the moment Astrid is introduced in HTTYD 1, where that SAME melody also accompanies her. Each time Astrid first steps to the foreground of audience attention, the music reinforces her central role in the action.

Concluding Remarks

Everything about this piece is enthralling. I could talk forever about it, really. This is only touching the surface! Powell’s use of orchestra plus folk music instruments like the Uilleann pipes and bagpipes builds an enchanting aural landscape. Instruments constantly but smoothly swap their roles as melody and support to keep the ear interested with new textures and colors. The background, midground, and foreground of the piece is a complicated mass of interlocked layers. Everything matches with the movie voice-overs and visuals perfectly. Powell recapitulates the entire first movie’s score by inserting in many of its key melodies in four and a half minutes. Not only that, but he does so with a clear pattern, well-thought-out structure, and thematic intention.

This isn’t just a song to jam to. This is art.

ordinarilygraceful  asked:

Prompt: Molly gets her period and a Sherlock panics and thinks she's dying. Idk it's a little cracky I guess?

Ahem. Yes. Well. I blame this prompt and this book for what is about to follow…


Observation - timescale for habituation to adjustments necessary when co-habiting with a female romantic partner – three weeks. Changes in furniture arrangements, food storage habits and frequency of bathroom cleaning appear to be mandatory, but can be quickly assimilated. [Useful for casework? Store under habits of attached males?]

  Daydreaming, he wandered through the halls of his mind palace; the thread of truthfulness lost in the white lies of a fledgling love. Caught in the enchantment woven by the light of the full moon the night before. Passionate kisses that bordered on demanding, frustration released in the most positive of all expressions. But, reaching out for his sorceress, he found himself alone.

  Bundled up, white cotton wrapping itself around his lithe frame, he barely noted the rusty stain that spread its way around his leg.

That’s blood. What on earth have you done to yourself now?

Shut up, John!

You might need a doctor, you berk. THINK!

John, will you kindly get out of my head? No dangerous cases since Molly moved in, therefore no healing wounds to reopen. No injuries sustained in the past 24 hours. Gun shot wound to the chest - fully healed. I don’t need a doctor, because I am not bleeding.

Then who is, mate?

  “Molly? Where are you?” Tracking faint mumbles through the flat, horror raced up his spine as he saw his girlfriend doubled up on the couch, one hand pressed to her abdomen. “Who did this to you?”

  “Wha-?”

  “Don’t worry about anything. I’m calling an ambulance, and Lestrade. You’ll be okay.”

  “What are you… hang on, don’t call an ambulance! Give me that phone and tell me what in God’s name you are talking about.”

  “Look - blood, you’re clearly in pain, but you were fine last night. Whoever did this to you is going to… why are you laughing?”

  “Sherlock, I’m fine. It’s just… that time of the month.”

  “What time?”

  “Y’know… aunt Flo is here? The painters are in?” At his bewildered stare, she huffed out a sigh. “You’re gonna make me say it, aren’t you?”

  “Molly, while at most times I find your rambling discourse charming, it is infinitely less endearing when I am afraid for your life. Will you please just tell me what is going on!”

  “Fine! My period started this morning. Happy?”

  “I fail to understand what that has to do with anything –“

  “What?”

  “Basic deduction, Molly! Women are subject to monthly changes in disposition, characterised by inability to make rational decisions, rapidly shifting moods and increased food consumption; commonly known as ‘a period’ – I assume, of time? Something to do with hormones, I recall? But that fails to explain all of this…”

  Moved to laughter again, Molly heaved to her feet, crossing the room to pull down her copy of ‘Human Anatomy and Physiology’ before throwing it at her clueless partner.

  “As delightfully sexist as that behavioural description was, love, you seem to have deleted some basic biology. Look it up, under m for menstruation.”

  As he read, she pulled the blanket down from the back of the chair to wrap, shawl-style, around her arms, stilling on the sofa once more.  Her body craving the sleep cut short by the panicked outburst.

  “Oh… Oh! But… every month? It does that? And… how much?! Molly… you stay here and rest. You need… things.” And with that, he pulled on the shirt and trousers strewn casually around the room the night before. “I won’t be long, just… Tescos.”

  Molly shook her head, part affection, part bemusement, at her whirlwind lover, spinning chaos in his wake with every new thing he learned. But as the silence fell heavy around Baker Street in moment left behind him, twirling dust motes in a beam of light the only movement, she found a new peace. Withdrawn from this mundane moment, yes, but without any negativity. In his fumbling care, she found a sense of acceptance, for once truly fitting into her place in the world.

  Lost in contemplation, she was jolted back to her home as the tornado touched down once more, dropping handfuls of carrier bags at her feet. Curious as to what ‘things’ Sherlock would deem necessary with his newfound biological knowledge, she nudged the closest bag open. Enough sanitary products to open up her own chemists - fairly predictable. A hot water bottle in a whimsical owl cover - less so. Spinach? For iron, maybe? But the scarf would definitely need an explanation…

Observation – three week timescale insufficient for fully understanding how women work. However, smile received for appropriate behaviour? The best reward…

This is berk

Me: 

*Playing “This is berk” in the guitar happily*

A little kid from the class: I know that song!!!

Me:  

Really?? You’ll be the first one

The little kid: 

YEAH!!! IT’S THE DRAGONS OF BERK’S SONG!!

Me:  

Exactly,,you’re awesome!!

homework instrumentals (◕‿◕✿) // this is a playlist of some soundtrack/epic songs and some classical songs to help you get through homework and studying!

Pirates of the Caribbean medley Hans Zimmer / A Fuoco Ludovico Einaudi / Fireworks Nicholas Hopper / Only the Beginning of the Adventure Harry Gregson-Williams / The Shire Howard Shore / Some People Are Worth Melting For Christopher Beck / Waltz of the Flowers Tchaikovsky / This is Berk John Powell / Tangled Medley Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra / River Flows in You Yiruma / With Love, Vincent Murray Gold / Road to Glory Audiomachine / Summer 78 Yann Tiersen / Battle Finale Brian Tyler / Atlantico Roberto Cacciapaglia / I Am the Doctor Murray Gold / Lamentations of the Heart Philip Wesley / The Empire Strikes Back: The Imperial March John Williams / Clair De Lune Claude Debussy / Shenzou Steven Price / Reunion of Friends John Williams