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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

To Zach Ruffer, soundtracks are un-beat-able

Zach Ruffer
Junior Zach Ruffer, movie soundtracks enthusiast, poses for a selfie.

For six straight Halloweens, junior Zach Ruffer dressed as Superman. 

Zach grew up watching the Superman movies often. While he did find the hero and plot entertaining, another element stuck with him—the soundtrack. 

Since Zach was young, he has been surrounded by movie soundtracks as both of his parents received music degrees from the University of Michigan. 

“When the good part in the movie comes on,” Zach said, “my dad would always turn up the stereo, and we would listen to it.”

Learning about soundtracks as he watches movies with his family, Zach has especially enjoyed soundtracks written by John Williams from popular movies like Star Wars, E.T., and Jurassic Park.

His parents’ interest in music has spread to him and has increased his admiration for it. He has found that these soundtracks highlight the instrument that both of his parents play: the French horn.

“It’s a pretty beautiful instrument,” Zach said. “Generally, those [soundtracks] utilize the French horn very well. It’s really cool when you have the French horn solos or just [the French horn] in general. Some composers can really put together a great-sounding melody and a theme. It’s comforting to listen to.” 

Apart from watching films with his family, Zach listens to soundtracks whenever he has the chance, such as when he’s doing homework or driving to school. 

Even as he listens to these songs apart from their visual scenes, he finds there is a lasting connection that makes listening all the better. 

“I think [because soundtracks do] not have lyrics, you have to work to visualize it yourself,” Zach said. “You can kind of put together your own thing. If you’ve seen the movie, you can put together the part in the movie that it happens.”

Without the lyrics, more imagination and expression are possible. Zach feels that it is the complex instrumental composition of various melodies and players that make soundtracks so unique and captivating. 

Because of this, Zach prefers instrumental and older music that puts more emphasis on the instrumentation over the vocals and lyrics. 

“I personally don’t think rap is good music,” Zach said. “I believe that it’s basically just someone reading off a poem with a beat behind it. And, I think it takes a lot more talent to write classical music.”

Zach sees modern pop following the same path as rap, so he sticks to the soundtracks he loves. 

While soundtracks may be an unpopular choice, they do bring an unmatchable value. 

“I understand people find [soundtracks] boring, but you wouldn’t have a good movie if it wasn’t for a soundtrack,” Zach said. “Sometimes, a soundtrack makes the movie. I don’t think you could have Star Wars without the music. [For] the iconic opening with the Star Wars logo, you need the music there. It just adds so much. [For] Harry Potter, I don’t feel like it would be very magical. [The soundtrack] gives you that magical feeling.”

Sometimes, a soundtrack makes the movie. I don’t think you could have Star Wars without the music.

— Zach Ruffer

With the importance of soundtracks, Zach has come to appreciate them even more.

Now, as a trumpet player in the FHC band, he gets the opportunity to play a part in the soundtracks he would always listen to, including Phantom of the Opera and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

“I like looking at the parts of the stuff that I’ve listened to a lot,” Zach said, “and now, playing it is really fun. I always hope that every time we get new music, we get a soundtrack.”

Through listening to soundtracks and playing them himself, Zach has grown to love this genre, an uncommon favorite. 

From when his parents made him interested in music to his continued exploration of it in the band, ultimately, Zach finds joy in soundtracks. 

“I feel like [soundtracks] can really help your mood,” Zach said. “Sometimes, when you’re feeling sad, you can just listen to some really happy music that can actually change your mood.”

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About the Contributor
Saniya Mishra, Copy-Editing Manager
Saniya Mishra is a senior, writing for her third and final year on staff, busied by her many passions. She is an artist who cares deeply about the world. But there's one love she especially enjoys, loses herself in completely, only to resurface with a newfound perspective and a couple hundred words vomited on a Google Doc. Ever since third grade, she's fallen head over heels for writing. It is her escape. It is her adventure. It is her everything. Favorite writers: Ruta Sepetys, Amanda Gorman Favorite books: 1984 by George Orwell, Salt to the Sea Ruta Sepetys, I'll Give You The Sun Jandy Nelson, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins Favorite colors: maroon, emerald, navy blue, lavender Favorite songs: "hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me" by Lana Del Rey, "Can I Call You Tonight?"  by Dayglow, and "Growing Sideways" by Noah Kahan

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    Sawyer McCarthyNov 9, 2023 at 8:11 am

    I agree, soundtracks are cool.