Even though I am a big fan of Indian classical music (at least one kind), I cannot say the same about western classical music. I do recognize the greatness of the composers thanks to some well-informed colleagues – that they could “imagine” how a full-ensemble would be and sort of experience it “in their minds” while composing pieces on their own is mind boggling. But I hardy listen to any – it does not appeal to me that highly (yet).

However, there is one western classical piece that has always enamored me with the sheer, raw power it has. It gripped me the very first time I heard it – and that was to an very old Old Spice commercial, the one showing a surfer. After a long time, one of my friends told me it was called O Fortuna (Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi) , and was part of Carmina Burana by Carl Orff . I ordered a CD and as soon as I received it, I must have listened to it like a hundred times – and each time the energy of the piece just blew me away. Even though I know that the lyrics do not imply it, the music of the song just only cried war, battle, doom and destruction to me! Of course, I am not alone in that interpretation, as you do see this piece being “mixed” into battle scenes. In general the music in itself is highly suggestive of that imagery.

However my imagery for this song has always been more specific. I have always imagined that an army advancement, particularly in medieval/ancient times, involving cavalry is the perfect situation to match the music of the songΒ (btw, I think horses are the most majestic of all animals – perfect beasts) . This associative of imagery with Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi has been with me for a very lo……ng time.

Fast forward to a few years ago, when I was absolutely exhilarated watching the cavalry charge as part of that Ride of the Rohirrim, the Lord of the Rings (Return of the King). I have watched that scene (by itself) many, many, many times and it always gives me goose bumps. I think this is the greatest battle scene ever! At times, I would imagine being part of that charge in real life, in an earlier life, with Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi somehow being the musical backdrop for it (yes, in real-life). Fantasies upon a fantasy indeed!

Well, having seen many mixes of such kinds on YouTube and being impressed by it (e.g. Sheep by Pink Floyd to the first battlescene of Saving Private Ryan), I decided to do my “dream mix”. I mixed Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi‘s music to the Ride of the Rohirrim, It actually took surprisingly short time – I guess that itself tells that the two were a natural fit. There was some editing out of scenes, but mostly ones where the bad guys landed a few punches. I was happy to remove them !

Here it is. Watch it! I hope you find it as exhilarating as I do. Play the video in full screen mode, and have the sound through (a good) headphones for maximum effect:

Not to toot my horn, but I think every part fits the mood of the song. The preparations for the charge, the fear in Eowyn and Merry’s eyes, the resolve in Theoden‘s eyes, they all seem to perfectly match the mood of the first half of the song. Of and btw, in case you feel it be loud, yes, I purposely made the sound louder – because my next-to-ultimate (i.e. besides actually living it πŸ˜‰ ) dream is to see it on the biggest screen powered by the biggest, baddest sound system.

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