If you couldn't tell from the heat (and the accompanying humidity), we're smack in the middle of summer, which means it's prime time for people to go on vacation. And who doesn't want to take along the video camera and capture those vacation memories for posterity? Given the advent of home video editing technology—like iMovie, Final Cut and Adobe Premiere—making the images of your travels entertaining for others has drastically evolved since the dark ages of slide projectors and super 8 film.
So, let's say you're an aspiring Orson Welles-type hoping to fashion a Citizen Kane out of the film footage you shot at Niagara Falls. You edit together dramatic mise-en-scene, yet your movie is missing a little panache. What could it be? Music! As luck would have it, John Williams isn't returning your phone messages asking him to score your little opus. But never fear, Smithsonian Folkways is here with not one, but TWO volumes of background music to accompany your home movie!
Volume 1 has an open buffet of musical offerings to suit the many moods and locales of your home movies, from the sprightly to the spiritual, from metropolitan sights to the grandeur of the wilderness. Have some great footage of kittens and birds? There's a track for that. Take a trip to England and tour the Leith Hill Tower in southwest Surrey? Oddly enough, there's a track for that too.
Volume 2 has a bit more colorful palette of sonic selections with titles like "Penthouse Affair" and "Shopping Spree." There's even a theme song for some lady named Patricia. (And if you currently don't know anyone named Patricia, I strongly recommend that you find one and let her know she has her very own theme music.)
Also, keep in mind that these recordings are intended for the home movie enthusiast. If you're looking to use these pieces for a commercial venture of your own, please contact the good folks at Folkways to inquire about securing any and all rights to the music. That said, go forth this holiday weekend and impress your friends and coworkers by making a movie.
To learn more about these titles, visit the respective webpages for Background Music for Home Movies Vol. 1 and Background Music for Home Movies Vol. 2.