Continuing the alphabetical listings of the lives of digital piano players (tongue in cheek) exploring letter L:
The Last Song (2010)
This film is centred around Veronica, pet named Ronnie, a teenager with attitude and musical talent on the digital piano. During the summer holidays she and her younger brother go to spend time with their father who shares Ronnie’s passion for music.
Ronnie strikes up a relationship with the ‘boy next door’ Will. The storyline winds itself around various events that ultimately bring Ronnie to make a decision to take her digital piano playing more seriously.
The film is made up of a montage of at least eighteen soundtracks entitled ‘’Last Song’’. They range from the ‘90s song of Elton John to JLS’s ‘’Outta This World’’ album. Elton John sits on his piano stool painting the lives in words of a father and son relationship summoned up in a predictable ballad. The digital piano plays its usual role with a strident chordal accompaniment in mid-range heard during the chorus and verse interspersed with the usual improvised fills between lines. The introduction is scored for a sustained ‘synth’ and a ‘panpipe’ sound played with generous reverb on an electric piano as Elton John gives his tender rendition.
In contrast, JLS can be heard singing a rap-influenced song at a similar tempo. Again the use of a sustained chord ‘synth’ sound played on the electric piano can be heard from the onset. It gives an ethereal feel to the music despite the heavily-accented syncopated rhythms.
The Legend of 1900 (1998)
This film translates from its Italian source as ‘La leggenda del pianista sull’oceano’ – the legend of the digital piano player on the ocean.
The storyline covers the usual flashbacks and opens as Max Tooney, musician needs to pawn his trumpet. He plays his instrument for the last time and the shopkeeper recognises the music being from a wax master of an unreleased recording, discovered in a digital piano salvaged from a cruise ship. The story begins with 1900; a baby that was born on the SS Virginian; his life, death and musical journey.
The years roll by and 1900 grows into a talented digital piano player. In all this time he has never left the ship. He joins the ships orchestra and the audience love him. A recording of 1990’s music is what the rest of this film hinges on…
The story moves on to the 1940s and the end of the end of W.W. II, as the ship has come to the end of its useful life. The SS Virginian is sunk off shore and 1900’s fate is sealed as he goes down with the ship. 1990 and his floating city are finally abandoned.
We are finally transported back to the pawn shop and as Max leaves the shop, the shopkeeper returns the trumpet to him.
Ennio Morricone was nominated for a Golden Satelitte Award for Best Original Score. His orchestral music is moody and haunting; his music for digital piano resurrects that of New Orleans Jazz and typifies the music of the age.