In Traffic Jams of old, we’ve covered some pretty great bands and artists. There’s been some catchy synth lines, fantastic guitar riffs and eloquent lyrics. But we’ve so far lacked excellent timpani arrangements. That changes today.
Five years ago, if you’d asked anyone, anywhere what the theme to Formula 1 was, you’d be met with a range of responses. For me, it was ‘The Chain’ by Fleetwood Mac, an incredible song with one of the most famous basslines in history. And, it’s that bassline that signaled the start of a race on the BBC.
But then, in 2018 after Liberty Media took over the rights to F1, management decided that the sport needed a unified soundtrack. An anthem so iconic that even the opening few notes could get your heart racing.
Naturally, this called for an artist of epic proportions. So the sport sought the help of composer Brian Tyler, who had previously worked on the soundtrack to Avengers movies and other Hollywood blockbusters.
What begins with sweeping strings and overlaid engine notes quickly rises into a chorus of epic proportions. There are fast, staccato strings that get the heart racing, followed by a few bars of legato horns. It’s as if Tyler is emulating the lull in a race after the excitement of the start.
Then, as if the lap counter was ticking down, the horns begin to rise once more. The timpani come crashing in and the melody thunders into life once more.
There are key changes, as if the lead of the race has switched hands, and a blend of musical textures, which you might think of as the varying strategies through a grand prix.
It’s a piece of music of epic proportions, and one that would look at home soundtracking the excitement of the silver screen.
As the F1 season roars into life again this weekend, there was no better choice for today’s Traffic Jams. So turn it up to 11 and feel epic for three minutes and 27 seconds.