Howl’s Moving Music
Howl’s Moving Castle.
One of the greatest books I have ever read. It was written by British author Diana Wynne Jones, who died earlier this year from cancer. When I found out, I was devastated – I actually think a little piece of my soul died that day. She was one of those authors who could write a novel on two levels – adults would fall in love with her storytelling (she had a very distinct and whisical writer’s voice) and children would fall in love with the sense of adventure. She created worlds that were rich a magical, her ideas were beyond imagination, and her characters were ones you could fall in love with.
Even though I found out after the fact, I think the literary world gave a collective sob when she died – but her legacy lives on!
In addition to her book, world-renowned Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki brought her story to life in one of his most famous animated pictures. His meticulous eye for detail and vivid creative style truly captured the essence of Jones’ beloved novel – grand, picturesque vistas, towns teeming with life – all while adding his own Japanese flair to the visuals. While he does deviate from the source material in terms of story, it is very clear he had great respect for the book and the world she created.
But, in my opinon, it is the music that shines brightest.
Composer Joe Hisaishi wonderfully scored the film, and I believe it captures the feeling of the story, remaining unbiased toward movie or book. Whimsical, magical, sorrow-filled, and triumphant, his music conveys every emotion of the story – whether you’re watching the movie or not! – and I think that in and of itself is a testament to how talented a composer he is. His is a truly memorable theme for the film and it is one of my favorite pieces of music in recent memory. A friend of mine gave me the soundtrack, and I can’t stop listening to it, nor can I get the waltzy theme out of my head.
But enough talk, have a listen for yourself. :)