I need a song . . . .

Okay, great Internets ubermind. I need a rather specific music recommendation.

I’m soundtracking Midnight Never Come, and I don’t seem to have anything appropriate for a particular scene. Of course, I can’t share the details of the scene, but the relevant thing I’m aiming for is the somewhat ominous ringing of bells. Deep bells, not little hand-bells, and it should seem like a threat rather than a triumphant sound. (What can I say? Faeries don’t like church bells.)

I know some of you listen to a great many movie scores, and that’s probably one of my best bets for finding something suitable. Any suggestions I could go looking for?

Edited to clarify: to borrow Deedop’s phrase, I need something aggressively ominous. I also need something that doesn’t sound too modern; I’m not actually using truly period music for this soundtrack (though I listened to some while writing the book), but I’m trying to avoid synthetic sounds.

0 Responses to “I need a song . . . .”

  1. gollumgollum

    AC/DC’s “Hell’s Bells,” of course. 😀

  2. deedop

    I can’t think of anything off of a soundtrack, though I’d think maybe Dracula or The Omen would be up that alley.

    But, I do know that Dead Can Dance incorporates bells into some of their pieces. “Orbis de Ignis” off of The Serpent’s Egg is one — it’s mainly singing with a few bells interspersed, but does sound rather ominous. Also, on Lisa Gerrard’s solo album The Mirror Pool, “Violina: The Last Embrace” is very somber and contains a (small number of) bells. Might not be the mood you’re after, but it’s good writing music.

    Oh, wait — here’s one more (I’m surfing through my iTunes, if you can’t tell) Lisa Gerrard also did the soundtrack for The Insider and there’s a nice piece on it called “Faith,” that’s simply a somber string instrumental with a church bell in the background. Again, not big, loud, multiple bells, but bells, nonetheless. 🙂

    • Marie Brennan

      I hadn’t checked out my DCD yet, actually. Not quite what I’m after, but good suggestions, and I’ll see what I can scrounge up of the scores.

      • deedop

        I kinda figured you probably needed something a little more — for lack of a better term — aggressively ominous, but then I thought, hey, maybe you need music for an aftermath scene, y’know, after the faeries get their asses kicked and end up strewn all over the church yard.

        Okay, that was unnecessarily morbid thinking on my part. Sorry. 😉

    • Marie Brennan

      Actually, “The Summoning of the Muse” is the best prospect I’ve found yet.

  3. countquestions

    Why don’t you try the Manhattan Production Music Library: http://www.mpmmusic.com/html/body_catalogdtl.cfm?cdid=171

    On that page, scroll down to Science Fiction. That has ominous-like bells.

  4. kernezelda

    Tiamat’s “Cain” has a small section of bells during the refrain, and a single toll near the end that’s fairly ominous. http://www.mediafire.com/?dtehj2cgg4t

    Ladyhawke soundtrack has “Bishop’s Procession” with voices raised in solemn chant (no bells). http://www.mediafire.com/?bzdwvcpdzys

  5. danielmc

    there is a memorable church bell sequence from:
    “The War Of The Worlds (1978 Studio Cast)”


    i have it on tape somewhere. i’ll dig it up.
    or i may buy the cd soon anyway. it is rather nice.

    • tooth_and_claw

      The extended mix of Mitternacht by E. Nomine has ominous bells. I’ll stick it up on the depot for you. It’s also not quite so aggressivly techno, butit’s still pretty modern. Dunno if that will work.

  6. selenya

    Carmina Burana perhaps?

  7. adehos_kitchell

    Cenotaph, from this album might work. There’s a large section with chimes in the beginning. Amazon’s preview starts well in the middle of it, but I found a recording of a middle school band’s performance on Imeem:

    • Marie Brennan

      Thanks for hunting that recording down! I love the fact that it’s getting easier to give such things a sample listen.

      • adehos_kitchell

        You’re welcome! It’s hard to get an idea for some from the samples, and that site usually has all sorts of hard-to-find things available. You have to register to listen to things on the site, but registered users can embed files and playlists just about anywhere. 🙂

  8. strangerian

    Flagrantly ignoring the “not actually using truly period music” line, I’d suggest the climax of the Russian Easter overture by Rimsky-Korsakov. It aggressive, and sounds ominous (as traditional bell choirs usually do), and it’s from the late Romantic, i.e., stuff that *ought* to be movie music even if I can’t cite you a particular instance.

    • Marie Brennan

      I’ll see if I can get hold of a copy.

      • strangerian

        Must apologize that the Russian Easter Overture (discovered below by is similar to, but not exactly, what I was remembering when I recommended the music. It has lighter bells than you may want.

        After some poking around among my CDs, the memory is identified (after a false start with “Pictures at an Exhibition,” which does have a terrific climax with brass *drowning out* the bells during the Great Gates of Kiev, at least in my CD of it at home), as the climax instead of the 1812 Overture, Tchaikovksy, wherein a cacaphony of bells clangs and peals over the musical portions of the score between the two cannonades at the end. It’s all in the last three minutes or so of the piece. This is the London label recording with Antal Dorati conducting the Detroit Symphony, made in the 1970s. The special effects on this piece can vary a good deal according to the philosophy and resources of a given performing group, so not all recordings may have the same realism of bells (or canons).

        • Marie Brennan

          Hmmm. My recording of it, at least, is a tad too bright for what I’m after — but thanks for your work, regardless!

          • strangerian

            Good luck finding the right bells, anyway. I wish I could track down the Great Gate at Kiev I thought I remembered, which had much stronger bells over the brass, but it’s either an artifact of memory or inaccessible on vinyl. I didn’t set up my turntable again after I moved, and there are times I regret it.

            Two other suggestions for thought: First, Boris Godonov, Mussorgsky, has a famously ominous scenes with bells (the “clock” scene).
            Second, there’s a really astonishing short sequence of tuned anvils in Das Rheingold, Wagner, suitable for freezing anyone’s marrow. These are bell-like, if not bells, and they are certainly intended as both aggressive and ominous. The short passage (about a minute) takes place during the transition from Scene 2 to Scene 3.

      • strangerian

        Re: Is this the one?

        That’s the Russian Easter Overture, all right. Now that I listen to it, however, it’s not the music I was thinking of. (Similar time, place and idiom, but not the same.) The bells are a lot sprightlier in this one.

        After some poking around among my CDs, it seems I should have been recommending the last section of Pictures at an Exhibition, written as a piano suite by Mussorgsky, which was orchestrated by Ravel with his usual flare.

  9. dr_whom

    Something from the soundtrack from Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame?

  10. khet_tcheba

    “Tower of Stars” from the Chrono Cross game soundtrack comes immediately to mind. Beyond that, I’ll have to think about it a bit…

    • Marie Brennan

      Dead Can Dance’s “Summoning of the Muse” and “Faith” from The Insider are the leading contenders right now, to give you an idea of which way my thoughts are tending.

  11. kleenestar

    Arvo Part’s “Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten” might be perfect for what you’re looking for. It starts soft but has lots of good ominous bell sounds.


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