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The Five Tones

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  1. Finished listening to the set. Planet is still head and shoulders and maybe knees and toes above the other scores, but of those, Battle I find the most compelling, right through to the saga closure of that final brass pyramid. Maybe it's at the other end of the budget spectrum from Planet, but Rosenman found a way to give it some real character and bite. Escape's Main Title is classic Goldsmith down to the octatonic sound, perhaps suggesting that modern day Earth isn't going to be any less dystopic than anywhere else in the franchise or the genre of the period. I can't say much about the rest of that score. Beneath doesn't truly come to life for me other than the unforgettably vivid choral harmonies which everyone loves to hate while I genuinely... um, hate love. And that said, I'd never heard the wacked album versions of Beneath which are fun and certainly good for a healthy laugh here and there. It's worth it for me to remember none of this was created to be listened to out of context - it was intended to enhance or promote the sci-fi nature of the visual story and it did (still does?) that effectively. I'm grateful to be able to experience the complete set of scores in a definitive presentation.
  2. It is true. I first noticed it on the 1998 CD, which was my first exposure to it. You hear the cellos play the first three* notes of the mountain theme exactly as they have in earlier readings of the theme during the finale, expecting another reading, then that fourth note catches your attention as... a "variation" of the theme? No, it's a different tune altogether! And there is even a harmony present in the When You Wish bridge that pre/echoes the half-diminished chord in the mountain theme (discussed in the favourite JW harmonies thread). *I'm counting the pickup note that isn't shown in the score example in your comment. (at 3:50) Yes. Also, here's a quote from @Falstaft's latest edition of his leitmotif catalogue, to that point: "In a few cases, One-Scene-Wonders may even be promoted to leitmotivic status through repetition and variation in later films (ex. "Throne Room" in ANH being transformed in ROTJ..."
  3. I'd love to hear DOTF return in TROS, but aged into something less Orff sounding, perhaps fused with Emperor/Dark Side Beckons. And my nightmare cameo would the Emperor's theme in its Augie's band version.
  4. I've only been able to sit down to hear the first section of PotA that builds up to and culminates in The Hunt. Incredibly good, was an experience not unlike encountering the film for the first time when it was still relatively recent. The usual on point restoration job from MM, so much more depth and clarity than previously. This was the only film score my instrumental composition teacher admired; there are so many similarities to the sound worlds of Varese and Rite-era Stravinsky. I went to school when tonal/film music was way less legitimized in composition programs than it is today. Among many musicians today the older style boundaries aren't an issue, but in some ways atonal music is an even weirder proposition to general 21st century audiences than late 20th, no? We have been so steeped in diatonic, increasingly less chromatic pop and film music in mass culture for the last 20-25 years. That said, I still marvel at what Goldsmith created in 1968 no matter the context.
  5. Oh, well look! Arrived two days ago, picked up from the post office last night and hopefully will be listened to over the next few evenings once the kids are asleep.
  6. The series was undoubtedly of declining quality as it wore on (and into a TV spinoff) but it the idea of a series arc, time-travel prequels, near future dystopias, Twilight Zone-twists, retroactive continuity, class/race allegory, etc. all in one package was groundbreaking. All of those things seem commonplace now in the glut of science fiction actioners we have, but Apes was unique at the time. Even Dr. Who wasn't that sophisticated in its storytelling at the time. As great as some of the rebooted films are (let's not talk about Tim Burton), they are still in the shadow of the originals... dated and increasingly low budget as they may seem. I'm also curious to know how many other feature films have a score featuring a 12-tone theme (the first film). Whether or not it's your cup of tea, that was also radical. (There are earlier and later examples, including David Shire's dystopic funk for the original Taking of Pelham One Two Three.
  7. Co-sign and orderrred! (even though the Tuesday announcement email hit my inbox about 8 hours late just now, it took me 60 seconds to confirmation and I haven't even checked the samples yet) I'm not surprised some JW fans will be turned off by this - whatever combinations of Goldsmith / Rosenman / modernism / atonality / weird 70s. There's very little to no sentimentality here, but it is gorgeous music. Definitely a holy grail.
  8. I'm not surprised there is a bit of defensiveness in your response to my response but I appreciate you wanting to dialogue.
  9. I think there are a ton of assumptions that go into making that kind of score with any sense of entitlement to the tradition, no matter which non-Japanese hard-working-as-hell composer makes it and who likes it. And we rarely examine those assumptions as a dominant culture. This raises questions for me about the compositional and aesthetic aspects of the work. I liked the Indy films as a young person, mostly the first as it arrived when I was barely a teenager. The rest came when I was older and somewhat moved on, minus enjoying my dad's reaction to the third. I enjoy the music, to the extent - and this could bear examination - it lessens the immediacy of the politics of the films it scored. In this case. Where it is meant to conjure "the East," it is hokey but familiar and comforting in the familiarity (a la the Golden Age composers) of that blunt referencing. Sometimes powerful, as in the wonderful Ark theme climaxes. There is plenty of Americana of course and lots of interesting modern technique and action grooves. The Grail theme is pure European liturgical style and it's like JW taking a three-pointer with one hand. Not that you don't have to work hard to make three-pointers, quite the contrary. Because something is problematic, doesn't mean a critique of this aspect precludes participating in other aspects that might be enjoyable. We are capable of multiple modes of meaning here?
  10. Not sure how that's relevant to the point I'm making, if that's your concern with them. At some point a parent allows their children to watch violence, I'm sure you know.
  11. Mine is a cultural academic response perhaps, not exactly what you label politics. I don't judge anyone who likes the score, it's well done with some interesting rhythmic stuff, just not my thing in JW. Seven Years in Tibet more my thing in that dramatic category. No need to dismiss my opinion as silly.
  12. KotCS was a big disappointment, at least what I can remember from 2008. Score wise, not a big fan, but I enjoy Temple Ruins and the Secret Revealed. I *love* the reference to the Map Room - not a straight copy and paste but a brilliant, weird transformation of its elements - and the WotW-like abstract music that follows. That cue had some raw power at least. Steven "get off my lawn you Netflix kids" Spielberg has pretty much trolled himself out of a making another relevant film, though I'd watch Indy 5 if Harrison Ford gets another good screen death, and JW a chance to write a proper elegy for a character he clearly loved. I haven't wanted to watch the IJ films or show them to my kids because they are so racist, sexist and culturally problematic (the first two at least) and not something I need to go back to as a descendant of the global South. I loved watching them with my adopted dad in the 80s because he grew up going to the theatre to see serials and loved the throwback aspect and that helped me understand what made him tick as a white man. They told great stories, and that is captured perfectly in the music. Yes, some of the musical Orientalisms I can do without, and then again like the films, they have their context in classical music/film scoring/JW history (On that note, I can't really spend too much time with Memoirs of a Geisha even as a score because there is so much cultural appropriation. Something like Rosewood I can appreciate because of the internal dynamics in American history and musical discourse, and JW's respect for Black American music.) Now, an MM IJ boxset would be its own reward. We know that the sourcing, restoration, editing and sequencing would be A1 and result in the definitive edition for generations to come. Most importantly, it would present the music *exactly* as JW wants it to be heard, which can't be overlooked. MM's full-scale projects always give me a totally new way to appreciate the score(s) and put them in a better context. We can only *hope* Disney doesn't mess it up by getting in MM's way.
  13. That's an interesting perspective there in the second paragraph. Do you have any particular examples that feel inappropriate to you? Gosh, it could potentially be a long list, and if/when I had the time I would probably start a thread to explore the idea. Let me define inappropriate as something reflecting my personal perceptual and aesthetic response to the music, but also in respect of classical tonality. Leaving aside many examples in OSTs/concert suites, it would generally be in shorter cues where the harmony is meaningfully removed from an overt tonic-dominant trajectory, where a tonic major final chord feels contrived, or at least a repetitive use of a Romantic era convention. It feels less jarring when the ending is less audible as a tonic major as opposed to just a tonic root/octaves, whether due to voicings or a piano/pianissimo dynamic. Or when, there is an added dissonance (here we go again) such as a flat supertonic degree (or triad built on same). I am definitely not speaking of the big endings, either, whether of the entire score or a key moment like Battle of Yavin. In those cases, the need for a sense of resolution is clearer. Let me put it another way than "inappropriate" - I often wish there were a more inventive or ambiguous chord/sonority JW could end such a cue on while still providing a sense of finality to the cue, rather than a formal resolution. As though he didn't have to cut his vivid harmonic imagination off at that moment. I'll definitely give some thought as to what are some of the best examples for me, though. On the other hand, here's a great example of where a tonic minor chord or unison might've been the obvious conclusion, but JW leaves off on a suspended fourth.
  14. JW: 1. CE3K 2. ESB 3. ANH 4. E.T. 5. Superman Non-JW: 1. The Day the Earth Stood Still (Bernard Herrmann) 2. Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Jerry Goldsmith) 3. Koyaanisqatsi (Philip Glass) 4. Trouble Man (Marvin Gaye) 5. Black Panther (Ludwig Göransson) The combined would simply look the same. The top 3 have never changed. The non-JW depends on which week and which comfort zone.
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