It’s old news to most, but a few months ago an album was released called Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Score, containing selected work from the show by composer Christophe Beck. I admit that hearing this news got me pretty excited – such a CD had been on my wish list for years. Not just because I’m a fan of the show, but because the work Christophe Beck produced for it over the years counts as some of the most beautiful, engaging and expressive instrumental pieces I know.
So, I immediately set about finding a copy. No such luck – it wasn’t released in Australia. I tried several local CD stores, but the current economic situation saw a lot of small, independent retailers forced out of business by bigger chains who rarely, if ever, carry imports. Not one local store could or would acquire the CD on my behalf, nor did I have the means to purchase from overseas. I waited and hoped in vain for a distribution company in Australia to come to their senses and release the album here.
Then, about a month ago, I had one of those ‘d’oh!’ moments. There are, of course, online options in Australia to purchase import CD’s. I went looking and found a store interstate that would do so. By that stage, I didn’t even care how much it was going to cost me, I just wanted it – and now!
This week, the CD finally arrived…and what an epic CD it is. Containing a total of 29 tracks, from seasons 2-5, it’s a generous selection from an impressive body of work. As to be expected, top favourites like Remembering Jenny, Lonliness of Six (sometimes credited as Lover’s Walk, which is actually the episode title it appears in), and Sacrifice (an alternate version to the one previously available on the Once More, With Feeling! soundtrack) all make an appearance, along with more from his Emmy award-winning work on the episode Hush. With a running time of just under an hour, the album as a whole is an immersive listening experience – one, I suspect, heightened by my love for the show.
Being a fan of Buffy is most certainly not a pre-requisite to appreciate and enjoy the album, though. Often deceptively simple in composition, the language of Beck’s work is highly emotional, speaking to joy, sadness, fear, excitemet, grief and sensuality. The nature of Buffy, however, also allows for the music to delve into more dream-like, almost celestial sounds. All this together not only served to highlight and illustrate perfectly the respective moments in the show, but lets this album stand independently as a walk through an emotion-driven, ethereal landscape. A rich experience, indeed.
Sacrifice by Christophe Beck – From the Season 5 finale “The Gift”, Sacrifice is arguably Christophe Beck’s most popular piece from BtVS.
Christophe Beck has also worked on the following TV and film soundtracks:
-We Are Marshall
-The Pink Panther