This CD version of Animusic I contains the original tracks from the DVD plus three bonus tracks. Remixed for CD, this album provides a deeply emotional, sonically powerful listening experience that retains its impact even without the DVD’s animations. Three extended submixes add to the fun, giving a peek behind the curtain at the creator’s approach.
The music on this CD is re-mastered from the tracks on the Animusic 2 DVD. For most pieces, the mix is the same as on the DVD. For “Starship Groove” and “Pipe Dream 2”, I removed the sound effects (ship engine rumble for the former, pneumatic air-rushing sound for the latter) for a clearer listening experience. In other cases I left them in because they added to the atmosphere of the piece (e.g. “Pogo Sticks” and “Heavy Light”).
Unlike a couple of pieces on Animusic 1. all of this music was custom written for the graphical instruments (or custom-arranged, in the case of “Pictures”). The structure and models were largely complete when I was composing, so I had a clear visual of what it seemed like they would play. This put some constraints on the composition process, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For instance, each instrument has a certain pre-determined set of notes it can play. So if a bass instrument has only eight notes, I can’t use nine. Another constraint concerns how fast a given instrument is capable of playing, or how many notes it can sound simultaneously.
The bonus tracks on this CD are sub-mixes from two of the animations. They are really intended for musicians to jam over, or play around with in some other way. I don’t expect everyone to want to listen all the way through including the sub-mixes, although of course you can. I actually enjoy listening to the first two submixes quite a bit, as they expose more of what’s going on rhythmically in the original pieces.
A Video Album Soundtrack
The CD, “Animusic 2,” is, in a way, the sequel to the CD they put out of the music from the original “Animusic.” When talking about that album, I covered in detall the idea of why such albums made sense. Even though the music is so tightly tied to the video images of the original DVDs, so too is soundtrack music tied to the movie from which it comes. I haven’t noticed soundtrack sales dropping off lately–have you?
No, like “Animusic,” “Animusic 2” can stand on its own two feet. All of the original tracks from the DVD have been remastered for the CD, and intelligently so. For instance, in the tracks “Starship Groove” and “Pipe Dream 2,” the sound effects so prominent in the video have been removed. But, on other tracks, such as “Pogo Sticks” and “Heavy Light,” the sound effects here, rather than being jarring in any way without their accompanying video, actually add to the atmosphere being created, more part of the music than anything else. And, well, that’s the kinds of things an intelligent remastering job is supposed to take into account-right?
Certainly one thing most will be expecting is the layering in of additional tracks to encourage folks to buy the CD. Like “Animusic,” “Animusic 2” does indeed have bonus tracks. But, they aren’t simply just new tracks featuring new numbers. No, these boys decided to get tricky.
The three new tracks added at the end, instead of placed in between the older pieces, are sub-mixes from two of the original animations. Creator Wayne Lyle humbly thinks no one will want to listen to them. and that they’ll only be of interest to musicians. He is of course, wrong. Set where they are, and in the order they are in, this trio wonderfully close out the album, extending the soft, yet powerful feel of the DVD’s closer, “Heavy Light” for another ten minutes.
This is another simply terrific CD. It won’t do much for the opera crowd, but if music designed to not tell you a story, but to allow you to tell story after story of your own instead, is your cup of tea, then order the finger cookies, because it’s definitely tea time.
Author of “The Encyclopedia Of Science Fiction Movies”