Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Musical Similarities

Back when Lillian was still in the NICU [1] I heard the song "New Soul" by Yael Naïm (יעל נעים) on the radio in my car.[2] I'd heard it before (most notably on the commercial for the Apple MacBook Air), but never bothered to listen to the whole thing. When it reached the end, I was surprised to hear the music switch to a choral strain that sounded eerily familiar. I immediately turned off the radio before another song could come on and interfere with my ability to analyze what I'd just heard. After batting it around in my head for a while, I decided that it reminded me of "It Was Always You, Helen", which Philip Glass wrote for the movie Candyman.[3] See if you agree.

Here is "New Soul" (skip to 3:22).

And here is "It Was Always You, Helen" (skip to 0:35).

They're not exactly the same. But there's more to their similarity than just the fact that they're both choral. Alas, I've little training in music theory, so I can't tell you what more they have in common. Any ideas?


[1] To learn more, start reading here.

[2] This was in my old car (i.e. before the accident). See my post Out of the Old and Into the New II.

[3] I've never seen the movie, nor do I think I ever will (it's an R-rated slasher film). I've only listened to the soundtrack because I'm familiar with some of Glass' other work.

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