By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
HOLLYWOOD—Mondo’s Death Waltz Originals is the home for Academy Award winning composer Michael Giacchino’s debut non-soundtrack album, an intriguing and masterfully constructed concept album titled “Travelogue Volume 1.”
The highly acclaimed modern composer is known for his iconic scores for film and television including “The Incredibles,” “Lost,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Star Trek,” “Up.” “Travelogue Volume 1” marks the New Jersey born Italian-American’s debut solo album.
Pressed on 2x 180 Gram colored vinyl, “Travelogue Volume 1” is available at MondoShip.com, as well as on all streaming platforms, digital retailers and independent record stores. The album contains 11 tracks that tell a story, with a total running time of 55 minutes.
The first single from the album “Sidereal Day: 2” is available on Spotify, and a teaser video for the album is available as well.
The album design features animation commissioned by Giacchino from recent CalArts Animation Program graduates Joey Karwal, Lorenzo Fresta and Gobelins graduate Bruno Cohen Castelnuovo.
The songs have a beautiful, timeless, hazy feeling that transports the listener to his or her own imagination. Musically, it’s indebted to the easy listening wonders of such legendary musicians as Martin Denny and Lex Baxter, pioneers of lounge music of the ‘50s and ‘60s, with ethereal, outer-space-like sounds. While Giacchino continues the tradition of using driving jazz-infused rhythms, he updates the timeless music genre with synths, samples and a full string orchestra, bringing it into the 21st century and making it his own.
Giacchino’s melodies weave in and out of tracks with a boundless fluidity. Backed by the Nouvelle Modernica Orchestra, “Travelogue Volume 1” transports the listener to a place both familiar and strange, allowing the sounds of a bygone era to take them into the future. The narration was written by Alison-Eve Hammersley based on an original story by Giacchino, with Janina Gavankar providing the clear, crisp narration as a mysterious traveler.
The album artwork by Henry Abrams complements the music perfectly, with its exquisite beauty. Max Pescherine provided additional illustrations, symbols and track titles.
Among his many accolades Giacchino’s 2009 score for Disney Pixar’s animated hit “Up,” earned him an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, the BAFTA, the Broadcast Film Critics’ Choice Award and two Grammys. “JoJo Rabbit,” the critically acclaimed Fox Searchlight film written and directed by Taika Waititi, earned Giacchino a BAFTA nomination earlier this year. His upcoming film projects include Matt Reeves’ “The Batman.”