Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Operation Ajax - Graphic Novels with an Original Score? Yes!

Operation Ajax from Operation Ajax on Vimeo.

Ever pop on a good original score while plowing through your latest read?  It's something that has become somewhat of a habit for me in recent years.  I had ISAO TOMITA's music from Yoji Yamada's samurai trilogy on constantly while reading trough Lian Hearn's TALES OF THE OTORI, HOWARD SHORE's epic work for THE LORD OF THE RINGS on as I read THE CHILDREN OF HURIN and re-read THE SILMARILLION, even ZIMMER's work for THE DA VINCI CODE and ANGELS AND DEMONS as I read THE LOST SYMBOL (well, at least until I got to the half way point and decided I knew what the ending was going to be.)  Yes. The combination of a good read and a good score can be an intriguing experience, but a book and an iPod-device is soooo 2007...

In 2011, it's a new world for readers, with Kindles, Nooks, iPads, and even smartphones becoming a significant means of consuming the latest novels, how-tos, and social media books.  With this electronic invasion comes some new opportunities to potentially enhance the reading experience.

A great example of, what I consider, a revolutionary trend in the "reading" experience is OPERATION AJAX.  This is a graphic novel for the iPad that tells the true story of the 1953 Iranian Coup.  And what's so special about this?  Well, if you haven't already done so, check out the video preview above and see for yourself.  This is no ordinary graphic novel.  Besides the obvious motion, did you notice any thing else?  Right.  There's sound.  Very good.  Anything else?  Yes...along with the narration and sound effects, there is a score.

Now this excites me to no end.  Beyond whatever interactivities such titles may possess, I'm excited for the potential of the this new medium - the potential as another venue for original scores to be composed AND released.  It's more opportunities for talented men and women to write compelling music to picture.

Of course, pioneering credit must be given to RYAN SCHIFRIN for including a score for his graphic novel, SPOOKS, several years ago...and not only that, but having he had his father, LALO SCHIFRIN, pen the score.  As innovative as that move was, they were just a bit before there time...before the advent of iPad-family of devices.

While I eagerly look forward to seeing what titles like OPERATION AJAX have to offer, there are others on the way...and not just novels.  Al Gore's book, OUR CHOICE, will also be released in this new interactive format by Pop Up Press and Melcher Media.  And with the XOOM and iPAD2 getting everyone  buzzed, it will only take one or two successful titles to get the calvacade going.

I look forward to seeing that happen...and seeing Tracksounds populated with a brand new type of soundtrack review.

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