Do you remember Claire giving birth while Boone died during Lost? How about George Kirk’s last words on board the Kelvin after his wife gives birth to James T. Kirk in Star Trek? How about Carl and Elly’s montage in Up? Chances are if you cried at these moment, or at its brink, Michael Giacchino provided the soundtrack.
Giacchino provides the musical push for many movies, notably in his work with J.J. Abrams and Brad Bird. Check either film and one will notice ‘Music by’ next to his name. If John Williams has these soaring scores to go with heroic moments, Michael Giacchino seems to write music for tragic moments, or those sad moments in the story. The music feels genuinely sad for the people in the scene. They strings seem to cry as the Kelvin’s captain, and new father, will not see his son. The horn section remembers married life, and the piano seems to grieve with Carl as he loses his wife.
In Greek plays, the Chorus serve to comment on the tragedies befalling the characters. Michael Giacchino’s music serves the same function. It not only informs, it seems to play its part in the scene in place of words for characters characters, or even moviegoers.
On a related note, check out the titles Giacchino gives his pieces. They are chock-full of puns, and allusions to pop culture, showing a musician with a cheeky sense of humour.
I can’t choose one by Michael Giacchino so I went with three:
Win One for the Reaper from Lost (2004)
Labor of Love from Star Trek (2009)
Married Life From Up (2009)