E.S. Posthumus – Isunova

May 21, 2009

Today’s MSMOTD

E.S. Posthumus – Isunova (from 2008′s “Cartographer”)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Ok, now you’ve definitely heard these guys before.  E.S. Posthumus are actually two brothers out of California who began releasing music around 2000, getting a lot of exposure due to a local radio station.  Their music is a truly epic blend of grandiose orchestration, energetic percussion, pop melodies, mass choirs and synths.  Both of their albums sound like scores to the ultimate movie epic, complete with heart-rending drama, edge-of-your-seat action sequences, lengthy panoramic shots, love scenes and a cast of thousands…  I guess that’s why every single song from E.S. Posthumus’ 2001 debut album of epic electro-symphonies (“Unearthed”) has been licensed and used in movies (especially trailers), television shows and commercials.  Individual songs will start as sweet pastoral themes with oboe and guitar then build all the way up to a percussive fever pitch, horns a-blare and violinists bowing furiously as the melody crashes explosively like North Atlantic surf into a goose-bump inducing conclusion.

The cover of their 2001 debut Unearthed

"Excuse me sir, but I must ask. My query thou must sate. Dost thou know that upon thy head lies an ebony dinner plate?" "Why yes, my son, I do so know. Yon plate perforce lies so. Should any soul remove it hence, it would my bald spot show!"

Isunova is from their second album, 2008′s “Cartographer”.  Cartographer is actually a double disc album, with the first cd featuring the vocal talents of Luna Sans.  Her soothing voice adds a mellow element to ES Posthumus’ work, and is a welcome addition.  The second cd is actually all of the same songs from the first (with a few extra), but in orchestral form, with Luna’s vocal parts replaced by various instruments and choirs.  Isunova is from the first disc and has a dark, mysterious and exotic feel, with some ethnic instrumentation and percussion. Oraanu Pi (below) is from the second disc and is appropriately much more bombastic, with a huge choir erupting right out of the gate, fading back to allow the melody to unwind and relax, then returning for the incredible ending.

I’ve also included Nara, from the first album (“Unearthed”).  It has been featured on numerous shows and trailers, and is the theme song for Cold Case on CBS.  Nara and other songs from “Unearthed” have been used in the trailers for movies from Lord of the Rings, Last King of Scotland and Minority Report, to xXx, Lara Croft and Boondock Saints.  It’s a more deliberate, mood-setting piece, featuring ominous melodic builds, weeping flute/whistle solos and a relentless percussive foundation.  Also check out the incredible video for their single Unstoppable.


E.S. Posthumus – Unstoppable

One other thing that I like about these guys is the whimsical historical themes and inspirations they use.  The name of the group refers to “all things past”, and they take inspiration from Pythagorean Philosophy which states that “music is the harmonization of opposites; the conciliation of warring elements”.  The songs from “Unearthed” are all named after dead/lost cities, and “Cartographer” was inspired by the discovery of the early 16th century Piri Reis Map, which some believe shows the coast of Antarctica free of ice.  The album is thus ostensibly about an imaginary lost civilization of navigators who might have originally created the map.

I already know that you’ll like these guys, but don’t let that stop you from leaving a comment!

- Mons

More Music from E.S. Posthumus

E.S. Posthumus – Oraanu Pi (from “Cartographer”)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

E.S. Posthumus – Nara (from 2001′s “Unearthed”)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Further info about today’s MSMOTD

Official Website: http://www.esposthumus.com/

Wikipedia Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.S._Posthumus

You can purchase Unearthed and Cartographer from Amazon.com. The songs from Cartographer don’t appear to be available individually on their MP3 service, but those from Unearthed are, so you can download Nara.

5 Responses to “E.S. Posthumus – Isunova”

  1. I quite enjoyed “Unstoppable” and “Oraanu Pi”, however even after just listening to “Unstoppable”, “oraanu Pi” was predictable and not different enough to be considered unique within E.S. Posthumous’ repetoir which you showcased. Nara was different, but it failed to capture my imagination – or could you say, it failed to unearth any emotive response from me. I thoroughly enjoyed your caption for the album cover for “unearthed”.

  2. I liked the foreign language flavour of “Isunova”, “Nara” was beautiful, and I thought the football imagery was very interesting paired with the orchestral multitudes creating the music for “Unstoppable”. Still, “Oraanu Pi” was my absolute favourite. The choral strains rising and rising right off the bat captured and held my attention (I can feel some poetry cooking), and the quiet ending was perfect as an end to all of that energy.

  3. Oh yeah, I also forgot to add: nice rhyme scheme, though I’m not quite sure about the placement of some of the words. but it was funny, so i guess that doesn’t really matter.

  4. I’m glad you both enjoyed my little impromptu poem. I had originally written “The cover to blah blah boring whatever”, but then I saw the dinner plate. :D

  5. Great stuff.