May 31, 2018

Part II: Ice Charade's Music Selection for the 2018 - 2019 Season

Every time I hear a unique song (or more likely) an old song I've always thought would be good to skate to and I haven't heard in a long time, I try to make a mental note.

That note: Songs someone should skate to. 

And If you haven't seen Jessica May's excellent and exhaustive posts: Suggestions for Skating Music, Part I & II – Music In the (Warhorse) Danger Zone on the most overused music in figure skating, please read it!

So, continuing with my list from Part I: I give you my choices for movie and Broadway soundtracks.

Top 3 selections from Movie Soundtracks:  I'm going to have to divide this into two parts - old and new:


Soundtrack from Das Boot (pronounced das boat, in German) - Hey, if my memory serves, this was skated to by none other than the hottest coach in the game, Brian Orser.  Sir Brian Orser.  I think this was one of the earliest programs I ever saw him do.  It would be an awesome shout out for someone.  After listening to different versions of this on You Tube, I realize someone will have to listen to the entire album and pick the best 4-5 minutes.  But I'll give you this clip of snippits of the most moving parts of the score.  I see this as best for mens' singles. 

Soundtrack from Out of Africa - This is another old movie with a great instrumental soundtrack.  Again, one needs to listen to the entire album before putting together the right cuts.  Honorable mention: (even by a different composer) The Mission - if you want to add that Latin flair to your soundtrack.

Soundtrack from Ragtime - This is another personal favorite from growing up.  I'm sure there are dozens of other deserving soundtracks like the three (four) I've mentioned, but you have to tell me what they are.  Ragtime is Randy Newman in his orchestral glory.  If you wanted to hit a nostalgic note (especially ice dancers, this could be good.)

New - these are going to be quirky picks as well.  You can Google the best movie soundtracks and get the standard list of standard films, so I'm off-roading here.  Indulge me, please.

Soundtrack from Loving Vincent - this is an odd choice, to be sure, and a personal favorite because I really loved the movie. I'm giving you the opening track, which may be the best for skating.  I also think it could work well if the skater starts with any of the instrumental tracks and ends with Don McLean's version of Starry, Starry Night.  P.S., if you watch Loving Vincent and then listen to this song, you WILL cry.  No doubt. 

Various selections from the soundtrack of Secret Life of Walter Mitty - this is the first of my picks that is mostly vocals.  Again, this movie was a personal favorite, so it makes the list.  Personally, I'd go for tracks #1, 5, and 6 - Lake Michigan by Rogue Wave.  But if you're a Bowie fan or just really liked the song, Space Oddity, you could add this to the second half of the program.  It would have a hip, rock vibe I think.  Pair teams possibly?

For a third movie soundtrack - I'm going to wimp out and give you this list of The 25 most underrated film of the 2000s and leave it there.  Looking over that list makes me want to revisit of few of these films.  How about you?  Donnie Darko anyone?

And just as there is an infinite number of movie soundtracks to chose from, there is a very small supply of Broadway musicals and the good ones have been tapped out.  I recently saw Dear Evan Hasen on Broadway - it was amazing! - and the music is amazing - but I don't think it's skateable.  The play is intense, and at times, very depressing.

But if you want Broadway that's not overdone, check out this compilation of Steven Magenheim's the 10 best Stephen Schwartz songs.  I think he's been overlooked by the skating community.  This list would give any choreographer a lot to chew on.  Hello - Pippin, Wicked, plus the movies - The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Pocahontas?  Good stuff in there, I think.

Okay, I'll stop there, because I need a little more time to come up with pop songs.  I welcome your comments.  Even if you think these are crazy, we're getting a list going, right?

May 11, 2018

Part 1: Ice Charade's Music Suggestions for the 2018 - 2019 Season

If you haven't seen Jessica May's excellent and exhaustive posts: Suggestions for Skating Music, Part I & II – Music In the (Warhorse) Danger Zone on the most overused music in figure skating, click there now and read please.  

I'll wait.  (I hope you come back to this post at some point. please, pretty please.) 

Thank you Jessica for doing all the heavy lifting.

Now that you're back - you'll see I'm offering some suggestions for any skaters and choreography coaches that are looking for something different.  My choices are probably too obscure to ever make it onto the ice at any of the GPF, but, hey, I like these choices.  I hope you will too.  I'm going to take this over to Twitter and I hope others join in with their musical picks.

Let's crowd source a big list so we'll have some fresh music for the upcoming season!!

Since this post is taking a lot longer than I thought (ugh, I have to go to work soon) I'm giving part one of two today.  Stay tuned for pop(ular) songs and movie and Broadway soundtracks in a follow-up post.

Let's see as for my top 3 Classical selections:

Pines of Rome/Fountains of Rome by Ottorino Respighi.  The Pines of Rome itself, is about 21 minutes long, so one has to roll up their sleeves and figure out which 4 - 5 minutes you need.  You may recognize Pines of Rome from the line-up in Fantasia 2000.  If, like me, you're a fan of "Firebird" (thank you Gracie Gold) this could be the new "Firebird" of skating music.  

Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev.  Come on, everyone knows this music, and with very clever editing, this could be a great long program, especially for pairs or dance.

Appalachian Springs by Aaron Copeland.  Another personal favorite of mine, clocking in around 24 minutes, I was glad this was not on Jessica's list.  Sometimes I listen to it at night when I'm trying to fall asleep - which is NOT to say it's boring.  It's elegant and light and would be great for a short program I think.

My top 3 selections, plus a bonus track, from TV theme shows:

Theme song of ER:  Okay, this one is about twenty years old, but it still holds up.  I've always thought someone should skate to this as a short program.  Since most tv theme show songs are short, this one, like others would need to be added to something else or combined with the closing credits.  

Theme song of HBO's John Adams:  If you're a fan of the theme song from Game of Thrones, but you want to stand out from the crowd, this is a beautiful piece.  It's perfect for a short program.  Best for a guy.  Best for an American.  Because history!

Theme song to Peter Gunn by Henry Mancini:  This one goes waaay back.  It's not the more famous Mancini song, The Pink Panther, but it's catchy and familiar.  I would want to scour the internet for a fresh orchestration.  Good for a short program because it's too powerful for a long.  I'm imagining a pair team doing this one.  If you want another similar (read: old tv show) theme song for ice dancers only - how about the theme song to Perry Mason.

Let me know you're thoughts and you're suggestions!  And stay tuned for the second post.

May 7, 2018

Check out these shows!!

(first off, Ice Charades would like to apologize for not posting in over a month ... bad, very bad)

For licensing purposes, I can't show the real ad for Paddington On Ice

By now, you've probably read and seen all about Stars on Ice in both the U.S. and Canada.  And I bet they are both incredible shows ... how could they not be with that caliber of skating?  I wish I could see either of them.

BUT - there are other shows out there. All over the world (and this is by no means a complete list.)

Heading to France in May?  (Sure wish I could get there this spring.)  There's Holiday on Ice France featuring Brian Joubert and Katrina Patchett.  Check them out on Twitter. 
 For a smaller version of Holiday On Ice, no less entertaining, there's "Illusion on Ice" in San Luis Potosi, Puebla or Aguascalientes, Mexico.  Check them out here on Facebook.

Vacationing in Germany?  There are two amusement park shows that have ongoing ice shows.

Ice College at Phantasialand, is located between the cities Bonn and Cologne.  Not to be outdone, Europapark near Düsseldorf is presenting Paddington on Ice.

Yes, bears skating.  Remember, Ice Charades warned you about this.  They learn to skate then take over our jobs!