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If You Like ‘Hamilton’, Listen to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘Moana’ Soundtrack



If You Like 'Hamilton', Listen to Lin-Manuel Miranda's 'Moana' Soundtrack

Now that Hamilton the movie has been played Disney + for six days, it’s pretty clear that most people who read this have seen it at least once, if not two or three times. And that’s possible after you play the soundtrack without stopping in the two weeks leading up to the film’s release. Chances are, you start to need to rest, especially if you start siding with Leslie Odom Jr. Aaron Burr and / or feel every word from the Renee Elise Goldsberry showstopper “Satisfied”.

May I suggest that you listen to another soundtrack from Lin-Manuel Miranda who debuted a year later Hamilton? Yes, I’m talking about Disney 2016 animated films Moana.

You remember Moana, Well? If you have children under 10, you might know the film and soundtrack by heart. The title character (Auliʻi Cravalho) is the brave daughter of the village chief of the island of Motunui wandering outside the reef around the island, against the wishes of his father, to find a demigod named Maui (Dwayne Johnson). After that, he returned Te Fiti’s heart to its proper place and saved his village.

Miranda wrote most of the songs on the soundtrack, along with Opetaia Foa’i and Mark Mancina. Foa’i is the main singer of Te Vaka, a group that sings modern songs using the language and rhythm used by indigenous peoples throughout the South Pacific, and Mancina is responsible for marrying songs with the scores he writes. Together, the three of them created the best soundtrack for Disney films since 1994 Lion King – and, yes, that includes a soundtrack for both Frozen film.

Why the soundtrack for Moana very good?

It Tells the Story of Moana Without Hitting You with Words

A good example of this is the song “Where You Are.” This is where Moana’s father, Chief Tui (Christopher Jackson is his singing voice) explained to Moana why he was needed so much in Montonui, and that, while he wanted to explore, he had to remember his responsibilities. Like many of the best songs in musical theater and film, it bounces in a very singable way while moving the story together.

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When the song ended, Moana switched from a toddler to a teenager, and, despite the distraction from her grandmother (Rachel House) who tried to convince her that water was her destiny, she decided to stay in her place. It was the story of the “Hakuna Matata” level, where for years the main subject was told very clearly in 3 minutes. Even Hamilton could not achieve that achievement, but that was also because Miranda had more reasons to discuss there, and also because the game was sung, so all the songs would be heavy lyrics based on design. Still, this is quite an achievement to create a song with a span of years that sticks in the listener’s brain immediately to the point where they sing it in the bathroom (um, maybe I gave too much there …)

Songs Have Less Intimacy There Are Other Disney Soundtracks

We mostly talk about Frozen here. When you listen to both Frozen soundtrack, written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and her husband Robert Lopez, you hear great Disney musical songs, such as “Let It Go” or “Into The Unknown.” But the songs, and most of the others, are designed more to be showstoppers to take advantage of the vocal reach of people like Idina Menzel and Jonathan Groff, rather than personal songs that are more about continuing the story than anything else.

MoanaThe songs were intentionally made intimate, careful to include the language and rhythm of the Polynesian, Samoan, and other South Pacific cultures (again, that was the influence of Foa) to move the story. Even a showstopper like “How Far I’ll Go,” sung by Moana first as a peon to “the line where the sky meets the sea … is a call,” then in honor of his recently deceased grandmother to truly become the explorer that he mean to be.

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As much as his true self-declaration as “Let It Go”, Cravalho brakes on vocal histrionics both in his song and reprise; of course, it could be that he reached the peak of his vocal range, but maybe also because Miranda and his friends wanted to emphasize his personal longing and then his sadness rather than just about empowerment.

In subsequent songs, such as “I Am Moana (Song of the Ancestors)” and “Know Who You Are,” Moana sings at the lowest or most dangerous times; in the previous song, his grandmother’s spirit came back to encourage him to continue leaving Maui completely away from their raft, and in the last song, he returned Ti Fiti’s heart to Ti Ka, the lava monster where Ti Fiti turned into after losing his heart. “They have stolen hearts from within you / But this does not define you” is a lyric that Moana can sing for herself as well as for Ti Ka, and Cravalho sings it very smoothly. Sometimes you need to take a strong voice and lower it to make an equal impact, and Miranda knows how to do it here.

Best Song sung by the rock

Do you know the song from the soundtrack that I sing the most to myself? “You’re welcome,” Maui himself, Dwayne Johnson, sang. “You’re Welcome” is an amazing song because Miranda actually wrote it considering Johnson, knowing that The Rock has a vocal range, although it is limited.

The genius of “Thank You” is that, even though it was written for Johnson, it is not an easy song in any way. You have lyrics that are full of words like, “Who has two thumbs and pulls up to the sky / When you walk around as high as this? / This person!” and a rap on the bridge that will spend a lot of time except the most dedicated artists to memorize. But Miranda’s belief in Johnson made her write the most interesting song on the entire soundtrack, despite the fact that the man who sang it has one of the most limited sounds on the Disney soundtrack since Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins.

So, yes, songs written by Miranda Hamilton very interesting, and more or less tells the story of the event even if you have never watched a movie. But the songs he wrote or wrote together Moana is a clearer distillation of how talented Miranda is and how far her songwriting ability is. He does more with less and he makes sure to give each cast member a showcase that suits their abilities and strengths.

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And, to think: LMM is doing a lot of this work because he also starred in the off-Broadway and Broadway incarnations Hamilton. That he could put together one of the best Disney soundtracks from the past quarter century while starring in a musical project he wrote and produced was an achievement that is difficult to ponder. The LMM work ethic might be crazy, but Moana proving that he still has many great songs that are waiting to come out.

Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about food, entertainment, childcare and technology, but he doesn’t fool himself: he’s a TV addict. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Salon,,, Fast,, Billboard and elsewhere.

Genre Moana At Disney +

Genre Hamilton At Disney +

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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