Thursday, December 10, 2009

Women Composers

Where are all the women composers? As I scroll through my ipod, the apparent lack of a female presence seems glaring and disappointing. Why haven't more ladies taken up the big orchestra sound?

Well, that's not exactly the case. Don't forget the venerable Shirley Walker. Haven't heard of her? Well, if your childhood was anything like mine, then you've most certainly heard her music. Ms. Walker was responsible for the amazing soundtrack blasting behind Batman: the Animated Series, the animated movie spinoffs, and the Superman cartoon, among other things.

Let's listen to some samples, shall we?

She's also responsible for my favorite Joker theme, the carnival-like music that is woven into the following rhythmic piece:

More Joker theme:

Her Superman Theme is so good it demands a place next to John William's famous theme.

Listen to Shirley herself as she deconstructs the Batman theme:


Oh, and I almost forgot! Yoko Kanno deserves a shout out. How about her stirring choral piece Escaflowne: Dance of Curse:

Her work on Cowboy Bebop is as varied as it is genius:

Green Bird (Spoiler alert)