ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (2001) – A Complete Score Analysis
By Mikko Ojala
A.I. was a project long nurtured (the idea was produced as early as 1980’s) by the late Stanley Kubrick but eventually he chose only to produce it as he was busy with other projects and let his friend Steven Spielberg step into the director’s seat and further developed the material in collaboration. The sudden demise of the great and eccentric director in 1999 was a setback for the production, but with Spielberg firmly at the helm the film went into production in spite of it. Now it became a dedication of respect and a partial homage from Spielberg to Kubrick and indeed this film was dedicated to Kubrick’s memory.
In the 1990’s Spielberg and Kubrick collaborated and presented ideas to each other via fax and phone and so the story evolved over the period of several years. Kubrick had also had the screen story partially story boarded and so the world of the film was quite extensively visually defined, so that even after the director’s death Spielberg was left with a clear idea of what Kubrick had wanted to achieve. A.I. – Artificial Intelligence is based on two short stories by Brian Aldiss (especially on the other, Supertoys Last All Summer Long), whom Kubrick encouraged to expand them but subsequently they were adapted by Ian Watson into a screen story and finally by Spielberg himself into script form.
It is an extraordinary story of a robot boy named David, who was build to feel affection and love for his owners and of his odyssey to become human and to earn the acceptance and love of his human mother. Although set in the far future, the film is essentially a fairy story with parallels to the classic tale of Pinocchio as the character also strove to become a real boy. The film does not however follow the book’s plot per se in other details than in the idea of a fantastical journey the protagonist goes on. The movie garnered mixed reviews from positive to lukewarm although it has received an average rating on most popular movie review sites such as Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic and became a modest financial success both domestically and around the world. But perhaps most importantly it yielded one of the most significant scores of the year (and could be said of the decade) that was composed by John Williams.
A.I. – Artificial Intelligence is the 17th collaboration between director Steven Spielberg and composer John Williams. Their working relationship is nowadays very mature one and Spielberg has perhaps served Williams music over the years better than any other filmmaker and inspired the composer to write some of the most memorable and iconic film music in the history of cinema. As Williams himself puts it, Steven Spielberg loves music and likes to use as much as possible of it in his movies. The composer remarks that the director always feels that the music adds something to a film instead of taking away from the experience and his films seem to lend themselves very easily to and embrace and accomodate the use of music and it often becomes an important storytelling element, almost like another character. This offers, as Williams has said a number of times, generous opportunities for the film composer to express himself.
Spielberg, who unlike many directors is in very close contact with Williams throughout the whole period of the compositional process, likes to hear the musical ideas early on and have constant dialogue about the music with the composer. Spielberg is described by Williams as a very supportive and musically knowledgeable director, who allows him a lot of creative freedom. The composer has often remarked how Spielberg discusses mainly about the pacing of the scenes, the rhythmic and kinetic aspects of the music, leaving the thematic material, ambience and emotion to Williams’ expertise. This working method and their close friendship and camaraderie has yielded many memorable and intricate film scores in the past and their working relationship seems to grow stronger with each new score.
There is a flipside to this coin, this love of music. Because Steven Spielberg loves film music so much and directs movies almost with the composer and his dramatic input in mind, Williams is often called upon to write large amounts of music for his films. A.I. contains by the composer’s own estimate well over two hours of score. This is an admirable feat considering that Williams had another big project slated in 2001, the franchise starting fantasy film Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone based on the immensely succesful fantasy novel by J.K. Rowling. For Harry Potter he wrote also over a 2 hour score, not taking into account the Harry Potter and Philosopher Stone Children’s Suite for Orchestra which is an “Introduction to the Orchestra for Young People”-styled 9-movement suite based on the themes of Harry Potter, which was also recorded during the recording sessions of the film. But it seems that as Williams gets older, he just quickens his work pace and challenges himself with the projects he takes on. And this hard work earned him 2 Oscar nominations in 2002 for both of these scores but sadly he lost to Howard Shore’s Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring, another larger than life movie score.
A.I.-Artificial Intelligence was certainly to some extent a departure from the usual Spielberg style, perhaps Kubrick’s influence still hovering over the project after all, and thus Williams had from the beginning an opportunity to explore a wide range of musical possibilities. The score (orchestrated by John Neufeld, Conrad Pope) does utilize quite extensively the 20th century art music styles and techniques like minimalism in the spirit of Steve Reich and John Adams and atonalism and avant garde techniques of György Ligeti and his school. The music also utilizes techno beats and synthesizers at some instances, a rare occurrence in Williams scores in the past, and in this aspect the composer leans on the expertise of his son Joseph, who is an accomplished musician, singer and a music producer with whom maestro has collaborated on several projects e.g. The Fury (1978) Return of the Jedi (1983) and the most recently with the first two Star Wars Prequels Episode I The Phantom Menace (1999) and Episode II The Attack of the Clones (2002). At the heart of the score is of course the melodic and romantic symphonic ingenuity of Williams himself as he creates the varied soundscapes for the world of the film and captures the spirit and heart of the story with his themes. The composer has said that in his mind the score stands apart from his other works with exception of Close Encounters of the Third Kind in it’s timbral qualities and this can certainly be said to be true for in creating the often unsettling soundscapes he taps into not only the same avant garde but also the same human warmth as he did with the Close Encounters when expressing the slow transformation of fear into awe and wonder. It could also be said that while Spielberg paid homage to Kubrick’s visual style and story telling, Williams followed suit in the music as the score contains some Kubrickian moments such as some choral sections reminiscent of Ligeti and the use of classical music as part of the story telling in several sequences. Despite the multifaceted nature of the score the music retains its cohesion through the unifying element of Williams’ own style and voice.
The Themes of A.I. – Artificial Intelligence
John Williams as is his wont created several themes for different characters, places and situations in the film and they develop and change throughout the movie and range from minimalistic explorations to romantic and lullaby-like pieces illustrating the different facets of the movie’s world, plot and subtext.
1. Cryogenics theme:
Played solely on strings this musical idea represents the Cryogenics Institute and the unchanging and unending cryogenic suspension it provides. The theme is minor moded with a minimalistically repeating and alternating core of constantly rising and falling series of six and seven notes. This creates a very uneasy, emotionally aloof, mechanized and unchanging atmosphere like the containment where Martin, the Swinton’s real boy, is kept. The musical stillness it creates is ominous and gains a sense of fear and foreboding during the film as the cryogenic sleep is referred to, linking to Martin in a more menacing way.
2. Martin’s Jealousy/Abandonment theme:
This theme depicts the jealousy and malice Martin, the son of Swinton family, feels toward David. To Martin David is a rival for his mother’s affections and as he is artificial, Martin regards him more as a strange and curious toy than a person. When his attempts to oust the robot boy from the family finally succeed, the motif turns into a fully developed theme for the abandonment sequence where it describes David’s horror, shock and desperation of being abandoned by his mother and Monica’s inner turmoil since she has genuinely become emotionally attached to this robot child. Subtly malevolent and ominous theme which Williams infuses with delicate foreboding is malleable enough to go from smallest gesture at Martin’s arrival to those operatic heights in the Abandonment scene but its message is always a sense of dread and tragedy.
3. Yearning for a Lost Child/Memory of a Child theme:
Theme for both Monica’s and Professor Hobby’s longing for a lost child, in Monica’s instance for Martin and in Professor Hobby’s David (his dead son who was the model for the Mecha child). This is a sad, nostalgic piano melody which is varied throughout the first part of the movie. The style of the theme is always dreamy, wistful and slightly melancholic, a delicate and warm reminder of a child lost. Noteworthy is that as this idea presents an idealised and nostalgic image of a lost child, it changes very little in mood (and instrumentation) as the emotion it illustrates is always the same. The musical idea drifts off into silence in the second act of the story as the character of Monica leaves the film until the finale and Dr. Hobby’s yearning for his child is not emphasized although we see him later in the film. Yearning for a Lost Child Theme is also the only major theme to be left out of the original soundtrack album which is truly a loss because it is one of the most delicate and beautiful pieces in the score.
4. Monica’s theme:
This melody is associated with Monica and David, David’s love for his mother and Monica’s feelings toward David. A warm lilting theme with a touch of lullaby to it is the real centerpiece of the score and the thematic core (alongside with the Blue Fairy’s theme) of the last third of the movie. By their own words Williams and Spielberg searched a long time for the correct melody for the last scene with Monica and David and Williams wrote 6 or 7 melodies and played them to the film. Finally this one piece seemed to sound right and it became the cantilena-like Monica’s theme. This comment also illustrates how Williams’ collaboration with Steven Spielberg works and how he very often starts his scoring process in a backward fashion, working from the end of the film towards the beginning, which allows it to be architecturally cohesive and have that natural dramatic musical development. The theme itself is a long melody that is applied to the mother/child relationship as soon as Monica imprints David to herself. Williams’ orchestrations range from tender chimes and string readings to the lullaby waltz on piano for the film’s finale and a solo soprano interpretation for the end credits.
5. David’s Theme and the Mecha motif:
David, the main protagonist of the film, has two thematic identifications to describe his dual nature. The first theme is used to describe the more human side of him and his wish to be and become human. It is a wistful, playful melody full of innocence and it is in close connection with Monica’s theme but also illustrating certain childish simplicity and wonder in its progression. Williams uses it sparingly but effectively through the movie and it receives its final full rendition in the last scene of the film coupled with Monica’s theme, finally uniting the two melodes as the characters are finally reunited.
The second theme/motif associated with David is a simple and clear 7-note synthesized piano motif to represent his robotic side, which cleverly resembles the first phrase of David’s Theme. It is stated often when David’s Mecha origin is implied and creates a sort of minimalistic repeating inorganic robotic effect to remind the audience he is originally a machine. This is the theme that is also heard underscoring his first appearance. It creates a sense of curious wonder of the robotic child and has a searching quality to it, repeating in minimalistic fashion over and over.
6. The Blue Fairy theme:
Another cantilena-like theme Williams composed for the movie. The character is taken directly from the story of Pinocchio and she is the person who first breathes life into the wooden puppet when Gepetto wishes to have a son and finally transforms the puppet into a real boy after his long journey. In the film Monica reads the story of Pinocchio to David and Martin and it is this where David gets the idea of the Blue Fairy. The theme portrays gentleness of the character of the Blue Fairy but also on a deeper level David’s wish to become a real boy and the hope of reuniting with his mother. Her theme has a fairytale-like quality and like Monica’s theme it resembles a lullaby, being slow, lilting and full of warmth but also sorrow, for it implies that David’s hopes are ultimately impossible. It is one of the most touching themes Williams wrote for the movie and has a spiritual depth which is further enhanced by the use of solo soprano voice. The soprano soloist Barbara Bonney’s voice seems to be keyed to the Blue Fairy as she gently hums and sings in the scenes involving the character, giving her a magical voice of her own.
7. The Travelling theme/Mecha World theme:
Theme or a musical identification of the world of A.I. this theme represents the mechanized age of the future and is used when ever David is seen travelling with vehicles (namely in the cues Rouge City and The Mecha World.). The theme consists of a repeating motif on percussion, most pronouncedly marimba, and strings augmented by the whole orchestra. Williams varies this musical idea in the travelling sequences and it becomes more of a textural and motivic than strictly a theme for the world of the future. Minimalistic repetition adds to the feeling of movement and busy atmosphere to the traveling scenes.
Other musical identifications:
Williams uses cor anglais, the warmer and less sharper sounding cousin of oboe, to evoke the feeling of home, family relationships between mother and child and he very often associates it to the character of mother specifically. He uses this instrumentation e.g. in Stepmom, JFK, Angela’s Ashes, Minority Report and Star Wars Episodes I and II. In many scenes Monica receives oboe and cor anglais underscore and the instrument is naturally suitable for lyrical warm musical gestures. Also Teddy, the mechanical teddybear, receives similar whimsical woodwind underscore.
The actual cue titles are only partially available and they are provided for the tracks they are known along with cue number. Otherwise the track titles correspond to the names given on various expanded versions of the score.
The movie starts with silence and the sounds of crashing waves as Ben Kingsley’s narrator voice begins the story with a prologue describing the world of the future. Then the film moves to a meeting between Professor Hobby and his collegues as they discuss the Mechas, their capabilities and defects and finally about Hobby’s proposition of building a robot that can love, one trait a Mecha has lacked in the past.
Music starts just as the scene ends and when we see Monica and his husband Henry driving to visit their son, who is terminally ill and is therefore in cryogenic suspension, in the (Cybertronics) Cryogenic labs. We hear first a snippet from Waltz from Sleeping Beauty by Pjotr Tshaikovsky as a source cue as Monica reads to Martin though the music is cut around the first Williams cue:
1. Cryogenics (1mA)/Henry is Selected (1m2) (3;30) (OST track Cybertronics, Oscar Promo Disc 1 track 2):
This is the first instance where the Cryogenics theme is used. As mentioned above this theme is played solely on strings and features a series of 6 and 7 notes ascending descending to create a clinical cold and mechanized atmosphere. Music without passion, repeating, slow, almost emotionally detached. Around 1;47 a constant repeating motif appears to create the sense of unending cryogenic sleep, cold and emotionless. This is the scene where Dr. Frazier of the Cryogenic institute suggests to Henry the horrible possibility that Martin may be never healed and that there are alternatives to a real child. Here Williams establishes minimalism as one of the main musical styles of the score and adds a subtle layer of mood and meaning into the scene. The score is almost asking a question when Henry ponders on the possibilities.
2. David’s Arrival (1m3+4)(3;50) (Officially unreleased, Oscar Promo Disc 2 track 3 (Alternate/Original Version?); film version unreleased):
The cue begins quietly with austere electronics and high strings, creating a subtly uneasy atmosphere as Henry brings the Mecha boy home and David steps into the room. Yearning for a Child theme is heard for the first time but in a fragmented form on celesta as Monica looks at the boy in amazement and disbelief which is followed by a reflective cor anglais melody to underscore her sadness and emotional confusion. As she claims that the boy is not real Henry concurs saying that he is a Mecha child and we hear David’s Mecha motif for the first time informing us of his origin. Yearning theme appears again and this time in a more developed guise on piano with a little more warmth as the couple notices David watching the family pictures of Monica, Henry and Martin, the music drawing a connection to their real son.
The film version of the music is created editorially by using the original version and tracked music from a later scene Imprinting Protocol (2m1 Reading the Words).
There is a shorter alternate (possibly the original version) of Arrival of David (2:45) found on the 2 disc Oscar Promo set where the music begins the same but we hear first Mecha motif on the synthesizers interspersed with David’s theme on oboe to announce his arrival. The music continues warm and homely on the cor anglais as Monica meets David but as she sees this child she remembers her own and we hear Monica’s Yearning theme on the piano which ends the cue tentatively. This is an alternate beginning of the piece which Williams wrote after the original version (marked on the score 1m3 new start) which segues to the original version at bar 21 but they ended up using the original opening in the film.
3. Of Course I’m Not Sure (1m5) (2;42) (Officially unreleased, Oscar Promo Disc 2 track 4):
A cor anglais melody reflects Monica’s initial apprehension of taking David in and cold electronics describe her discomfort and doubt as Henry tells her of the imprinting protocol which supposedly will make the robot to identify to a person like to a real parent, simulating love and affection. Strings and woodwinds continue creating an airy and warm mood which suddenly alternates between homely and positive, hesitant and uneasy. As David asks Monica to dress him in pyjamas when it is his bedtime, she declines and flees outside the bed room leaving his husband to take care of the boy. This is first part of the cue which continues to an…
4. Intro to (0;36):
We see Monica looking through the glass bedroom door frightened and unsure of her feelings and we hear the cold piano and synthesizer music playing as if signifying her sense of guilt and fear. This leads to…
5. Hide and Seek (1m6) (3;23) (OST track Hide and Seek, Oscar Promo Disc 1 Track 3):
Monica spends a day with David and as she does the household chores, the curious robot following her silently everywhere. This is one of the scenes where Monica bonds with David after feeling reluctant to be a mother to a robot boy. This creates many humorous situations for both of them and Williams’ cue captures the lighthearted scene perfectly by counterpointing the Mecha motif with David’s theme and earliest hints of Monica’s theme to create a duet of synthesized piano playing Mecha motif and real piano and orchestra playing the two more human themes, light strings twirling about airily to depict the gradual disappearance of Monica’s apprehension towards David and the relationship that is slowly forming between the two.
6. David Studies Monica (1m7) (2:01) (Unused in the scene. Officially unreleased, Oscar Promo Disc 2 track 5):
Lengthy and ominous development of Martin’s Jealousy/Abandonment theme on strings, subtle synthesizers, woodwinds and harp
underscoring a dinner scene with Henry, Monica and David, who starts to observe and imitate his foster mother as she eats. This provokes some unintentional humor with spaghetti and also a mechanical laughter from David, which evokes nervous laughs from the parents as well. Williams originally coloured this uncomfortable scene with the Abandonment Theme, delving into the psychology of the moment, forming a link to the family that was and how these parents still feel awkward with the robotic boy. His tone for the scene is ominous and the swelling ending underscoring the laughter leaves the listener perturbed at the event, hinting the unnatural, the still lingering apprehesions Henry and Monica have although the image might tell otherwise.
This cue went unused in this scene as it was left unscored, letting the awkward and uncomfortable feel come from the actors’ performances rather than forcing it with music. However this piece gained a new role later in the film as it partly underscores Martin’s return home (Martin is Alive, 2m4), the Abandonment theme becoming this way more and more linked to the real boy of the Swinton family.
7. Reading the Words (2m1) (3;43) (Officially unreleased, Oscar Promo Disc 2 track 4 (4:00) (Alternate/Original?), film version unreleased):
This cue starts of with the harp playing gently the Yearning theme to express Monica’s longing for her son and need to have a child in her life as she tucks David in his bed at night. Another cor anglais solo is heard expressing warmth and affection Monica is now feeling for the Mecha child.
Suddenly the cue turns more atonal and slightly cold as Monica’s conviction wavers when she thinks of her real son and feels like she is betraying him. A fragment of the Yearning theme is heard as we see how torn she is between her need for a child and the thoughts of her real son. Eerie electronic effects and twinkling celesta create a subtle suspence to the scene where she finally imprints David. The music is reminiscent of the dramatic underscoring of the previous cues, reflecting the apprehension and yearning in much the same balance. A cor anglais solo and a wash of synthesized voices underscore this moment of indecision. But as Monica completes the protocol and it is succesful we hear the melody of Monica’s theme for the first time subtly on piano backed by celesta to imply David’s awakened love and affection for her. It is a love theme in a way, dreamy and innocent, depiction of child’s love for his mother.
Williams rewrote the ending of the piece and in the process the composition and thus the film version was slightly shortened compared to the original version.
8. Wearing Perfume (2m3) (4;10) (Officially unreleased, Oscar Promo Disc 1 track 8):
The Swintons are leaving for a party and David is left home for the evening. The robot boy observes Monica applying some perfume and as Henry complements her for it, David decides to imitate. Synth celesta plays as he pours the whole bottle full on himself and we hear the Mecha motif, the music reminding us of his naiveté and robotic way of thinking, and as Monica notices this, celesta, xylophone and cor anglais are heard. Cor anglais representing Monica interplays lyrically with Mecha motif on synthetic celesta with string and harp accompaniment until the Yearning/Memory theme takes over on piano as David suddenly inquires from her mother ”Will you die?” Here begins the lengthiest development of the Yearning theme on piano full of melancholy and nostalgia (marked gently in the score) as Monica explains to him that she will live for many many years, but yes, she will eventually die. The music offers heartfelt commentary on the notion tinged in longing, perhaps mirroring Monica’s growing affection for the robotic boy and vice versa. And to comfort the somewhat shocked boy she produces Martin’s old toy bear, Teddy from the closet, to keep him company. Oboe introduces a playful element, a lilting little melody full of childish whimsy, the piano, strings and harp taking over the music and carrying it to a delicate finish.
The Oscar promo contains what are most likely the original versions of both 2m1 Reading the Words and 2m3 Wearing Perfume.
9. Martin is Alive (2m4) (0:50) (film edit):
David’s life changes rapidly when Swinton’s real son Martin is suddenly cured and brought home. As Martin comes back he immediately feels jealous towards this new family member. Gradually the boys begin to compete for their mother’s affection. The film cue starts as Henry in frantic haste calls Monica and she hears that Martin has awoken and cured. This is underscored by subtle lilting piano motif and as Martin is brought home the cor anglais introduces Martin’s Jealousy/Abandonment theme. This material is tracked from a later cue called A Drive. After this the music takes an ominous and dark turn as the score describes the threat David now feels. This film version of the cue was created editorially, a composite of two different segments edited together, taken from the cues A Drive and David Studies Monica (1m7).
Martin Is Alive (2m4) (1:27) (Officially unreleased, Oscar Promo Disc 2 track 7):
The original version does not use Martin’s Jealousy/Abandonment theme at all and runs without themes as dark underscore. Bubbling clarinets under a wash of strings evoke the threat David feels, the wailing synthesizer motif enhancing the emotion. Chimes and a lone cold violin line and a few rambling piano notes trying to announce a melody end the piece with a sense of unease. All will not be well in the Swinton family. This cue was partially used in the film.
In the film most of the scene is underscored by the statements of Martin’s/Abandonment theme tracked from the above mentioned cues, creating in the process a stronger melodic connection with Martin and his plan to oust David out of the family, his arrival spelling foreboding from the start. This is a good example of how editorial process can affect the compositions and how music can be shaped to form narrative paths.
10. David and Martin (2m5) (2:18) (Officially unreleased, Oscar Promo Disc 2 track 8):
Martin and David spend time together and Martin asks where David came from and who made him. David answers that the first thing he remembers is a bird. Martin urges him to draw it. Music is very light and ethereal using oboe, flute, celesta, strings and electronics to create a suitably mysterious and airy atmosphere for the discussion of the two boys. The music builds to a light crescendo with a bubbling clarinet line supported by the strings and a synthesized choir that is cut off when Martin remarks on David’s origins making the robot boy yet more insecure about his status in the family.
11. Canoeing with Pinocchio (3m1) (1:37) (Officially unreleased, Oscar Promo Disc 2 track 9):
Martin, knowing how desperately David wants his mother to love him, brings a book to Monica to read. It is Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. Cryogenic’s theme is restated as if to remind of the time when Monica used to read to Martin in the Cryogenics lab but here it is also used to imply Martin’s evil intent. The picture here is totally opposite of the music to suggest something is wrong as we see Monica reading to the boys in a boat bobbing on a pond on a sunny afternoon and yet we hear the coldness of the music. Soon it subsides as we see Monica reading by Martin’s bedside and David listening on the floor. Here we hear Monica’s theme which expresses David’s wish to become a real boy as she reads the segment where Pinocchio pleads for the Blue Fairy for the same thing. And it is here that David’s first idea or dream of becoming real is formed through which he hopes to achieve his mother’s complete love.
12. David and the Spinach (3m1) (1:02) (Officially unreleased, Oscar Promo Disc 2 track 10):
The Swintons are having a dinner and Martin goads David into an eating contest with him. As he wants so very much to act like a real human child and possibly best his adversary David gives in to Martin’s bullying. First the ever level-headed Teddy and then both parents try to stop it but David wants to show his mother he can eat like a real boy so he in a moment of determined anger shoves a spoon full of spinach into his mouth. Suddenly his face melts down as he is not supposed to eat at all and he malfunctions. This short cue is played mainly by the strings rising to a slow crescendo and develops a sense of urgency, shock and dismay as it swells while David’s face prolongs horribly.
13. The Operating Scene (3m3) (2:07) (Unused. Officially unreleased, Oscar Promo Disc 2 track 11):
As David is being cleaned after the dinner incident and the family is gathered around the operating table, two mechanics in nonchalant fashion chat around the robot’s opened machinery and chide him playfully for making a mess. Cool ethereal synthesizer sheen and subtle ghostly synth choir evoke alienness of the scene, sizzling of percussion, deep rumbling piano chords and growls from tuba all fashion a mood of apprehension and slight horror, strings sliding slowly in high register, a cool and dispassionate portrait of this slightly off-kilter imagery.
The cue went unused in the movie as again Spielberg lets the scene speak for itself without underscore. But yet again the film makers found another placement for this music, the cue appearing late in the film as Gigolo Joe explains to David in Rouge City how humans hate the Mechas.
14. The Scissor Scene (3m4) (3;46)(Officially unreleased, Oscar Promo Disc 2 track 12):
Dark, ambient cue for the scene where David out of the suggestion from Martin sneaks up to her sleeping mother at night and tries to cut a lock of her hair since according to Martin she would love him for it as it happened in a story about the princess who loved the prince whose lock she had. Martin also promises to tell Monica that he loves David so she’ll love him even more. With ominous orchestral rumble and very atmospheric orchestrations this music conveys perfectly the mood of the scene as David sneaks through the dark house towards his parents’ bedroom. Skittering strings, chimes, rumbling piano, bass flutes all enhance the feel of something wrong in this whole scene. Music turns more busy toward the end of the cue as Monica wakes up just as David cuts her hair and she gets a small cut near her eye from the frightened David’s scissor’s and panicking Henry shakes him angrily demanding an explanation. As Henry had already become suspicious earlier that David was trying to hurt them out of jealousy, he sees his fears confirmed. Monica still has doubts. Piano rises among the low strings and rubbed tam tam. Oboe, harp and chimes play a sympathetic yet disheartened line that suddenly ends in an ominous rumble. The music here tells the story from both sides, the distress of confusion of David and the shock of his parents. The Teddy who is accompanying David on his nightly mission saves the now forgotten lock of hair from the floor.
15. The Pool Rescue (3m5) (1:41) (Officially unreleased, Oscar Promo Disc 2 track 13):
It’s Martin’s birthday and he and his friends are playing beside the pool in the garden. He is showing his robotic brother to his curious friends and because he seems so humanlike they want to see if he has DAS a Damage Avoidance System like other Mechas by stabbing him in the arm. Frightened David cowers behind Martin and grapping him by the hand repeats: “Keep me safe Martin, keep me safe!” as the boys close on him with a sharp cake cutter. Martin tries to pull himself free from David’s grasp but stumbles right into the pool David still holding him. The metallic body of the robot boy pulls Martin underwater and David ceases to function. Music starts with uneasiness in low strings which grows to a skittering sounds of a tam tam as the boys plunge into the pool. Deep brass notes play as they fall to the bottom of the pool and watery dripping synthesizer effects play as we see David still pulling Martin down. Eerie synthesized voices and piano effects play as David has fallen alone to the bottom of the pool and Martin is rescued by frantic Henry who is now sure that the Mecha boy tried to kill Martin.
16. Monica’s Plan (3m6) (3;26)(Officially unreleased, Oscar Promo Disc 2 track 14):
Monica and Henry are now both certain that David poses a threat to their son and family so Henry proposes for him to be demolished at Cybertronics. But Monica has developed feelings for the boy and is hard pressed to carry out this plan. Torn between love and fear she finally comes to David and says they are going for a drive in the country. This cue begins with a new, peaceful yet ominous piano motif which creates a sense of sorrowful unease as we see Monica persuading David to take a drive with her the next day. Then in the next shot Monica sees some writings and drawings David has made for her that almost break her resolve and The Yearning for a Child theme receives a warm and sad reading as Monica’s inner conflict is conveyed musically. Yet she decides to go through with the plan. Next morning the family car is speeding through wooded area and Williams answers with Martin’s Jealousy /Abandonment theme sped up to emulate the visuals of the spinning wheels of the futuristic car. Monica’s emotional conflict reaches its apex and in the end she decides to abandon the boy instead of taking him to be destroyed. Martin’ s Jealousy /Abandonment theme begins in the piano, the melody finding new contours along the way but then the music steadies as does Monica’s resolve and grows to full force as if to show that this was in the end Martin’s doing and to enhance the desperation she is feeling. She stops the car and drives to a different direction and as they drive on, a segment of Martin’s theme is haltingly repeated on the piano and double basses until the cue ends abruptly as they stop in the woods.
17. The Abandonment Scene: “I Have to Leave You Here”(1:51) (Officially unreleased)
& Abandoned in the Woods (3m7) (2:00) (OST track 10 Rouge City 0:00-2:00 and track 2 Abandoned in the Woods (Alternate), Oscar Promo Disc 1 track 5 0:00-2:00 and Disc 2 track 1 Abandoned in the Woods (Alternate)):
This cue (or pair of cues) is one of the few centrepieces of the score not released in it’s original form. All other versions are shorter and are missing the 0:00-1:51 portion from beginning half of the scene.
The music starts off heartbroken and despondent, the strings in high register playing a new tragic melody somewhere between the Yearning theme and Abandonment theme as Monica leads the unsuspecting David into the woods. The music is generating a sorrowful sense of foreboding. Emotional version of the Abandonment theme plays on solo piano and strings as she struggle’s to leave him and David pleads her not to. Desperation and horror are both conveyed by Martin’s /Abandonment theme and suddenly music gains a threathning and forceful edge and strings lead the orchestra to a full reading of the theme. The strings section churns in minimalistic style, the woodwinds and brass presenting the Abandonment theme on top of them, growing in intesity with each new iteration of the thematic line, the strings rising and falling almost mercilessly. Horns makes subtle groaning sounds that add to the tension and tragic desperation of the scene. In the final peak of the theme it is joined by the rest of the orchestral brass and a synthetic choir. Struggling to get free from David’s grip she pulls and tugs and the music grows louder showing both her inner conflict and the child’s confusion as Monica gets to her car and drives away sobbing and the when camera shows us David’s horrified expression through the rear view mirror of the departing vehicle the music reaches a shocking climax with hammered hard and cold piano notes.
On the soundtrack album Williams presents a longer variation of Abandoned in the Woods (3:07) which contains a slightly different orchestration than the film counterpart but also features a completely new coda after the crescendo and the staccato piano hits which restates the Abandonment theme on woodwinds and tense brass with the minimalistic string motif slowly winding down to silence. This is most likely a longer concertized arrangement of the theme, further embellished for the soundtrack album by the composer.
The film version of this cue is on the soundtrack album and on the Oscar Promo, coupled on the OST track Rouge City with the music from that later travelling scene.
And so the film moves to the second act:
18. City source cue(1:29) (Unreleased)
There is a short saxophone lead techno piece in the scene where Gigolo Joe is introduced and it is continued further in the subsequent street scenes. This and other techno source music is most likely composed by John Williams’ son Joseph. He is credited for three unnamed cues in his resume on the Schwatz-Gorfaine agency’s site.
19. The Moon Rising (4m5) & 4M6? & The Biker Hounds (4m7) (5;55) (OST track 7 Moon Rising (Album Edit), Oscar Promo Disc 1 track 10):
The only all-action cue of the movie Moon rising begins as David is left in the forest alone and he wanders about in the darkness. He sees a garbage vehicle dumbing something in the woods. Suddenly he sees dozen of abandoned Mechas scavenging for parts from what seems to be a dumbsite for broken robots, a fate David has unbeknownst to him just barely avoided. Here the music starts with dark rising orchestral and synthesizer effects and a very low male choir expressing David’s shock and amazement and it gradually builds into a booming choral, string and brass laden crescendo when the lord Johnson Johnson’s, a Mecha hating showman’s, Moonballoon rises over the edge of the hill at 1:50 and the hunt for the mechas begins. Percussion, forceful brass and churning chaotic strings barks out rhythmic figures full of ruthless menace, followed by rambling low piano coda and a woodwind and brass finale accompanied by a steady threatning synthetic staccato pulse.
At 3:26 the Mechas escape through the woods, scored with techno effects and beats, electric guitar and a lone male voice chanting in the distance. This section is most likely the cue 4m6 and might be co-written with Joseph Williams who lended this project his expertise on a few modern touches and source pieces. In the following chase most of the Mechas are captured by the Wolfbikers (men with motorbikes and Mecha hunting weaponry) and while others try to hide in abandoned buildings amidst the trees they are soon captured.
The orchestra returns with forceful brass, percussion and fervent strings play rolling churning figures as bikers rip off the wall of the shack and net the helpless Mechas (4:15 onwards). Desperation and horror and the terrible efficiency of these hunters is depicted in the music that is full of sharp angles, percussion, and relentless angry brass. At around 5 minute mark groaning double basses play repeatingly a 4 note motif which is then taken up by the lowest brass to create a threathning merciless drive as the Mechas are hauled into the Moonballoon. When it rises we see Teddy hanging outside the net and when David can’t hold on to him, his fall is underscored with swirling strings followed by an oboe melody. This melody is heard as he lands safely and runs after the balloon. In the finished film Teddy’s fall was left unscored.
The soundtrack album version of Moon Rising switches the position of the three sections placing the furious music of the Mecha hunt at the beginning leaving the techno beats and the solo voice in the middle and and ending with the original opening. It also omits the music for Teddy’s fall altogether.
Gigolo Joe, a lover Mecha and David amoung others are carried off to the Fleshfair where disgruntled people who hate all Mecha related artificiality execute Mechas on an arena for entertainment in the style and tradition of Ancient gladiatorial games.
The Fleshfair sequence plays without traditional underscore and all that is heard is source music, namely the band called Ministry (Al Jourgensen, Paul Barker, Max Brody and Deborah Coon) who perform two songs in the film: What About Us? and Dead Practice.
When the time of David’s execution comes and he is brought to the arena to be destroyed, the audience, who has not seen a Mecha child before and does not even know they exist, demands for David to be set free and under the pressure from an outraged angry mob Johson-Johnson has no alternative but to let David and Gigolo Joe go free.
20. Remembering David Hobbie (5m3) (2;20) (Officially unreleased, Oscar Promo Disc 2 track 15):
Joyous warm string melody with horn lines underneath plays as David and Gigolo Joe are freed from the Fleshfair, the music celebrating their freedom and relief. As the film cuts to Professor Hobby’s facilities, where he is watching some photos of his dead son, David, the Yearning/Memory theme is used for the last time, luminous piano and harp dueting in a nostalgic fashion. When his team informs him they have located David, the music continues optimistic and warm, a variation of the Yearning theme melody passing to flute and ghosted by clarinet as we cut back to the woods, where Gigolo Joe and David are trying to make their way to the Blue Fairy. Here can be heard a faint reference to the minimalistic Travelling theme for the first time, presented on piano and shining harp figures as David and Joe talk about the journey. A lyrical dreamily wandering oboe line scores a shot of the night sky and the moon but as David ponders if it is the real moon, remembering the Moonballoon, the music suddenly grows eerie with queasy strings and synthesizer darkening the mood.
21. Mecha, Orga, Man or Woman (0;47) (5m?, Official cue title unknown) (Officially unreleased, Oscar Promo Disc 2 track 16)
Gigolo Joe tells David of the Rouge City and women. This short piece of unused music is whimsical, light and rhythmic and catches Gigolo Joe’s small dance number utilizing the first appearance of Blue Fairy’s theme as they hope to find her in Rouge City, among all those women. Here Williams introduces the theme on flute with ghosting clarinet as a part of the underscore, an inkling of what is to come, a fragment that has yet to reveal its true significance in the story.
22. Towards the Moon (0;22) (Unreleased)
A short lyrical oboe line backed by strings, solo horn comments and harp is played when we see the moon and the music flows into the rhythmic…
23. The Journey to Rouge City (5m5) (3:26) (OST track 10 Rouge City 2:00-end (Album Edit), Oscar Promo Disc 1 track 5 2:00-end (Film Version)):
Thrumming bass sounds give away to a repeating motif that could be called The Mecha world/Travelling theme ticking away on marimba and other percussion accompanied by the orchestra. A short optimistic interlude for woodwinds seems to remind us of the oboe ideas of the previous tracks before the travelling motif takes over. Most of the cue consists of this theme that steadily and minimalistically grows and grows when David and Joe are seen driving towards Rouge City and suddenly the piece bursts into a grand string statement of Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier waltz theme (taken from Der Rosenkavalier Suite Opus 59 and adapted for the scene by Williams) around 2;12-2;38 as their vehicle dives into a tunnel shaped like a woman’s mouth from which the music flows again to a repeating statement of the Mecha World theme. Rosenkavalier waltz was the one piece of music Kubrick wanted to include in the film and as an homage Williams incorporated it into his score though not knowing where Kubrick had planned to place it. The prominent Mecha world theme is very effective describing the robotic and highly mechanized age of A.I. and providing the propulsion for the journey montage. It also conveys the thrill and excitement of this futuristic travel and David’s marvel at all the wonders he is now experiencing. The cue winds slowly to a close, orchestration gradually becoming sparser until only marimba accompanied by synthesizers is left and fades into silence.
The album version of Rouge City contains as an intro the film version of the Abandoned in the Woods and the Travelling theme is shortened just as it would go into the Rosenkavalier section. Most probable is that Williams didn’t want to present other composer’s work on his album or the rights of the music were an issue though you can clearly hear the clumsy transition from one part of the cue to the next on the soundtrack album.
24. Rouge City source music (1;45) (Unreleased):
Techno flavoured and beat heavy source cue playes as David and Gigolo Joe are walking through the neon sign lighted streets of Rouge City. This piece was most likely composed by Joseph Williams.
25. The Dr. Know Sequence source music (4;49) (Unreleased) (Not confirmed if written by Williams or purely sound effects):
Ambient and mickey-mousy electronics underscore this scene where the animated Dr. Know, voiced by Robin Williams, is seen. Different question categories in Dr Know interface launch different musical effects and the music varies accordingly and there is a repeating motif for the main menu of the programme David is using.
26. To Manhattan (5m8) (1;27) (Officially unreleased, Oscar Promo Disc 2 track 17):
As the curious exchange between Dr. Know and David comes to close the Mecha boy sees a mysterious message appearing on the screen:
Come away,O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a fairy, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping
than you can understand.
Your quest will be perilous
Yet the reward is beyond price.
In his book
‘How Can A Robot Become Human’,
Professor Allen Hobby writes of
the power which will transform Mecha into Orga.
Will you tell me how to find her?
Discovery is quite possible.
Our blue fairy does exist
in one place, and one place only,
At the end of the world
Where the lions weep.
Here is the place dreams are born.
The music would probably start as the message appears, but since the cue went unused in the film it is difficult to tell its exact placement. It begins with swaying figure on the strings but turns into a lovely piano version of the Blue Fairy’s theme that suddenly ends unresolved as David’s hope of becoming a real boy is rekindled but the end of his journey still remains a mystery.
Williams has named two cues To Manhattan, this one, the 5m8 and the soon to follow 6m3.
27. “They Hate Us” (The Operating Scene (3m3)) (2:06) (Tracked, Officially unreleased, Oscar Promo Disc 2 track 11):
This cue starts as Gigolo Joe explains David why humans hate mechas so much and we hear ambient and cold music with electronics, piano, muted brass and strings to underline the conflict between man and the machine.
This piece was originally used to underscore two technicians early in the film cleaning up David after had had his unfortunate eating competition with Martin (David and the Spinach (3M2) but it was later switched for this scene and the operating scene played without any music.
28. Amphibicopter Escape (source) (0:31) (Unreleased):
As soon as the pair exits the Dr. Know parlour the police are waiting outside. Here tracked material from Moon Rising is used. Another source cue begins here as tense synthesized drum beats go to a techno drumming and effects that underscore the hijack and escape in the Amphibicopter. Most likely composed by Joseph Williams.
This cue is immediately followed by…
29. To Manhattan (6m3) (5;14) (OST track 1 Mecha World 0:00-4:42, Oscar Promo Disc 1 track 1 0:00-5:14):
David is seen flying towards Manhattan in the amphibicopter and Williams delivers a forceful variation of the minimalistically inspired constantly building repeating Mecha World/Travelling theme, that is an extension and elaboration on the music of the previous travelling scene. With rhythmic tug of the strings and fanfares from the trumpets and horns the ship is on its way. Long clear string and brass lines supported by the percussive beat of marimbas augment the ride through the skies. It feels like the whole orchestra becomes a giant clockwork machine repeating and modulating the theme as it keeps building and building until it reaches a climax at the 3 minute mark with the combined forces of the orchestra, percussion and the electronics when the flying machine plunges into the full view of a skyscraper that indeed has gigantic lion statues on top of outcropping buttresses “weeping” through their metallic jaws and eyes like enormous fountains. From here the theme continues somewhat subdued and as David and Joe land in the Cybertronics main building in the half submerged Manhattan skyscraper the score changes in tone to gentle with high strings, luminous harp and a dreamy horn line. David seems so close to his goal (or so he thinks). As the gentle music subsides to the clear tones of bell trees and celesta the piece continues on to an interconnected cue…
30. The Reading Room (6m4) (3;15) (~1:23 unreleased; OST track 1 Mecha World 4:42-end, Oscar Promo Disc 1 track 1 5:14-end):
After a probing light figure in string the music grows cold with an electronic pulse as David steps into a room that is revealed to be a library. Suddenly a chair turns and we see a David replica reading. Cruel and hard edged cold strings underscore this revelation with low piano growl underneath. Baffled David is feeling confused and angry since he is not special any more, cold synthesizer sounds and ghostly voices and subtle icy twinkle of a bell tree depicting his emotions. Rubbed tam tams groan, strings and synthesizers rise coldly and as David flies into a fit of uncontrollable rage as he thinks this clone is after his mother’s love as well, he in a moment of fury decapitates the robot with a table lamp. Music turns from apprehension to rage and the wood winds and strings play furiously chirping and screeching, creating the confusion and horror and the percussion hits imitate the blows of the lamp. Then Professor Hobby interferes and stops David. He explains the purpose of the robot boy. He is the test version of imprinted robot capable of love and affection and that there will be many more of his kind. When he mentions David, his real son, was one of a kind, unique, we hear David’s theme on oboe and with a soft string accompaniment swelling (OST track Mecha World 6;00-6;38) which ends the cue on a warm note which makes the next cue a sudden shift in tone. The opening 1:26 of this piece is unreleased.
The music underscoring David’s rage is included in the album version of the Mecha World but is missing the atmospheric middle portion of David Meets David. The Oscar Promo is missing the same section as the OST.
31. The Replicas (6m5) & Floating Downwards (6m6) (5;58) (OST track 3 Replicas, Oscar Promo Disc 1 track 9):
The sequence is made of two cues. Professor Hobby leaves David alone as he goes to fetch his team of scientists so they can start to analyze David and his experiences. The robot boy wanders off into a room nearby and makes a startling find: Room full of Mechas, replicas of David, have already been manufactured and packaged for sale. The music is very sparse and eerie. Chilling high voiced choir, almost moaning eerily, piano, sinister percussion, distant queasy brass and high strings underscore the scene where David discovers the Replicas. As he sees the packaged robots his horror and dismay increases. Suddenly David loses heart and when his hopeless horror is revealed camera zooms to his eyes and the choir builds to a literal screaming halt around 3 minute mark.
Subsequent scene sees David sitting on a ledge high up in the Cybertronics building completely heartbroken, the choir now expressing his heart ache in mournful and sympathetic tones. In his despair he plunges down into the ocean that now covers all of Manhattan. Music turns suddenly ethereal and reflective with twinkling piano and luminous strings as David is seen sinking to the bottom through water pierced by clear shafts of sunlight from the surface. Light and luminous orchestration follows when a school of fish swim around him and he is carried by them for a while, the sun light dazzling in the clear blue water, Williams capturing the atmosphere in his music. Subtle fragments of Monica’s theme can be heard amidst the music along with something that sounds like a slight nod to Albinoni’s Adagio for Strings (beginning at around 4:20), creating a solemn musical moment. Just as David hits the ocean floor Joe suddenly comes to his rescue but at that very moment David sees a glimpse of something in the water and the music comes more animated and ending with a hopeful note. He has seen the Blue Fairy!
Alas Gigolo Joe has been tracked by the police because he is wanted for a murder of a client and they descend on him in Manhattan ruins and magnetically capture him. Saying goodbye to David he in his last selfless act of kindness to his diminutive saviour activates the amphibicopter which plunges under the waves towards the place where the Blue Fairy lies!
32. Finding the Blue Fairy (7m1+2) (5;30) (OST track 11 Search for the Blue Fairy (Alternate), Oscar Promo Disc 1 track 7 (Alternate); film version unreleased):
Music takes a murky, meandering underwater quality as David is seen slowly propelling past the old Coney Island amusement park buildings. Slow, deep orchestral sonorities, rumbling piano, tuba, double basses, lower woodwinds and deep horn lines all create the sense of antiquity and age, the higher strings counterpointing the atmosphere with their colors and Williams even adds carnival organ into the orchestral palette to create the atmosphere of the amusement park, a ghostly musical reminder of the bygone eras, harp glittering like sunlight through water above the orchestral textures. At 1:56 the music becomes more agitated and anticipatory. Barbara Bonney’s voice is heard humming softly under the orchestral forces as David closes on his goal and strings and bubbling woodwinds and a wash of sound from the bell tree heralding his arrival to the statue of Blue Fairy with their swirling textures. Suddenly the orchestra gives a way to a humming human voice, solo soprano Barbara Bonney who performs the Blue Fairy theme with the orchestra. Here the soprano voice complements the orchestra with beautiful wordless solos as Ben Kingsley’s narrator voice continues David’s story. The whole scene is musically built on the development of the Blue Fairy theme as David has reached the fulfilment of his dream but as he will not achieve his hopes the theme is full of both hope and sorrow of unimaginable depth and profound spiritual beauty. At the end of the scene as the screen grows dark, David still making his innoncent plea to the statue, the theme closes softly with a tender sense of finality.
This cue is an emotional highlight of the score along with the finale. Williams has here captured all the spiritual depth of David’s quest and also the deep sadness of his search for something he cannot ultimately achieve. The music here with the most powerful sympathy creates a poignant and lyrical moment where it at the same time rejoices and laments for David. The choice of solo voice to represent the Blue Fairy as well as David’s aspiration to become a real boy was a brilliant gesture on Williams’ part and I think it adds a unique and simply beautiful humane aspect to the music. Here Williams gives David’s dream and the character of the Blue Fairy a voice of its own.
There is an alternate version of this piece found on the soundtrack album and it is slightly longer (6;14) marked in the sheet music 7M1+2 Finding the Blue Fairy (Vocal) and the major difference is the solo soprano is given the foreground. Bonney’s voice conveys perfectly the feel and emotion of the scene and gives the piece a fairytale like quality but it also enhances the feeling of sorrow and loss in the scene, echoing powerfully as if from the depths of the sea itself. The cue is also different in orchestration and the soprano is not mixed so low as in the film counterpart. The reason to drop this version must have been the different emphasis Spielberg wanted to give to the scene. The most likely and possible explanations for this alternate are that the album version is a concert arrangement of the piece, much like the Abandoned in the Woods found on the OST album or that the original scene was longer.
The Oscar Promo version contains a slightly different mix of the track with Bonney’s voice coming in earlier in the cue.
33. Journey Through the Ice (7m3)/Stored Images (7m4)(Film Edit)(~5:14) (Officially unreleased):
Stored Memories forms one long 5 minutes track but is created editorially from two different versions Williams wrote of this cue. The film version opens with the original version Williams wrote but at around 2:25 mark it is edited into the revised version of the cue.
For the sake of clarity I have analyzed both versions separately:
Journey Through the Ice (7m3)/Stored Images (7m4)(Original Version)(5:40) (OST track 8 Stored Memories and Monica’s Theme 0:00-5:40, Oscar Promo Disc 1 track 4 0:00-5:40)
The cue starts directly after the previous one as we now see the world of the future and Manhattan all covered in ice 2000 years after David was trapped in the sea in front of the Blue Fairy. A solemn almost spiritual piece for a mixed choir singing wordless melody underscores the flight of the Super Mechas over the glacier and as they land to the site where David is found in the ice the music remains mournful and respectful almost like a funeral hymn as the Super Mechas approach the amphibicopter and brush off a layer of snow to reveal David inside, frozen, staring still at the unattainable Blue Fairy. As one of the Mechas accesses David’s memories and reads them twinkling piano and bell tree underscore his sudden awakening at 2;17-2:25.
Twinkling celesta and other chimes play with the choir and strings presenting a luminous busy feel to the scene as Amphibicopter and David are melted from the ice, the musical atmosphere itself warming and lightening up. Clear flute and clarinet bubbling to life as waters melt and David in amazement looks at the Blue Fairy standing even after all this time before him. As he gets out of the amphibicopter the music retains the sense of awe and as the little boy touches the statue poignant oboe’s lyrical voice is heard over a bed of strings, ruminating but as the statue falls apart David’s horror but most of all sadness is announced when the choir repeats the mournful theme from the beginning of the piece, solemn and stoic, lower strings commenting on the situation as David notices the Super Mechas for the first time. With clear peal of triangle the Mecha’s start to read David’s memories and a lovely duet for cello and piano is heard playing Monica’s theme as images of her from David’s memory are projected through the Super Mechas.
This original take on the material is much more sentimental and warmer than the revised version. Williams scored David’s reawakening with empathy and poignancy that was perhaps considered a bit too emotional by the film makers. The final version underscores David’s horror and discomfort and the ambience of the icy world is emphasized in the orchestration and nearly themeless approach.
Journey Through the Ice Version II (7m3)/Stored Images (7m4)(Revised Version) (4:58) (officially unreleased, Oscar Promo Disc 1 track 6):
This piece opens with a cold high female choir and bell tree, harp and celesta. The music is very cool and emotionally detached, unreadable, depicting the icy world where these Mechas approach the excavation in the ice. The chorus becomes almost a drone and bell tree offers glinting icy accents with harp as the Mechas approach David, celesta presenting few scattered notes here and there and piano rumbles in the cold space. The opening 2:17 of the music was not used in the film.
At 2:18 icy strings, harp, orchestral chimes, bell tree and high female choir continue to create a cold and apprehensive atmosphere as David first stares out with seeing eyes in 2000 years. The Mecha child sees the statue of the Blue Fairy still intact and gets up and out of the vehicle and reaches for his goal just few feet away. As David feels the the frozen statue with his hand the hoar covered edifice crumbles to pieces under his touch which is scored with subtle intensified orchestral rumble but in the film sound effects take precedence over music. David is confused and horrified and icy piano plays fragmented pieces of the Monica’s theme as he suddenly becomes aware of the the Super Mechas around him and indeed the huge icy cavern they are in. The remainder of the cue continues eerie but now more luminous with women’s choir singing in the background and Williams offers small hints of Monica’s theme on piano while the Mechas keep studying David’s memories. This latter portion (from 2:18 onwards) was used in the film where the cold and slightly eerie atmosphere was favoured over direct emotionalism.
34.What Is Your Wish (7m5) (5;59) (OST track 8 Stored Memories and Monica’s Theme 5:40-end, Oscar Promo Disc 1 track 4 5:40-end)
Accompanied by subtle sizzling high strings and icily coruscating synthesizer effects David suddenly appears to be at his own house again. In this familiar environment Williams reiterates Monica’s theme on solo piano as David’s hope to return home to his mother is partly realised. But soon he encounters someone unexpected. He hears the Blue Fairy calling him and finally meets her. The music turns gentle and once again soprano Barbara Bonney provides an emotional performance. Here Bonney’s wordlessly sung melody over a bed of warm string harmonies represents the Blue Fairy instead of her theme, David realizing perhaps that his wish to become a real boy is not in the power of this enchanting figure. As she talks to David the music takes sympathetic tone while remaining magical and luminous as she informs she can’t bring Monica back. But Teddy has saved the lock of hair David cut from Monica’s head, meaning that she can be created anew from its DNA, and as solo harp presents a meaningful melodic phrase he hands it to the Blue Fairy, and we hear Monica’s theme on celesta, soft xylophone and bell tree. It is a poignant moment of innocent hope and determination. The cue ends in anticipatory quickly played deep harp notes and strings when David asks his mother to be brought back alive and the Blue Fairy proclaims that his wish is to be granted.
The complete version of this piece is found on the Oscar Promo. The OST version is slightly truncated.
35. The Specialist Visits (8m1) (3:59) (Officially unreleased, Oscar Promo Disc 2 track 18)
Harp’s crystalline tones open the piece, playing a solo over a wash of strings and for the first minute or so the music is luminous, magical and tender and as the Supermecha explains to David they can bring his mother back for just one day and how it can be done only once, the Blue Fairy theme on strings, celesta and two harps sings out in another beautiful and heartfelt variation and the delicate, sad and gentle orchestration continues throughout the cue. Around 3 minute mark a solo cello enters and performs the theme on last time, closing the piece in to a sense of finality and peacefulness after the decision has been made. Here the Blue Fairy theme has changed clearly from a character theme to a musical identification of David’s dream of reuniting with his mother which his wish to become a real boy has actually been all along.
36. The Reunion (8m2) (7;27) (OST track 12 Reunion (7:45) (Alternate), Oscar Promo Disc 1 track 11(7:00) (Alternate); film version unreleased):
The morning miraculously comes immeadiately after David has uttered his wish and decided that he wants to see Monica once more and as the sun rises Supermecha urges David to go to his mother and spend a day with her as he wished. Williams uses a fleeting variation of the Blue Fairy’s theme here as to signify that David’s impossible dream has after all come true and from this point on piano takes the center stage. Accompanied by oboe, cello and strings a wonderful long development of Monica’s theme is first heard on the piano as she wakes up and David makes her coffee. The solo continues to play with oboe peacefully accompanying, cello ghosting the piano melody, adding a warm texture underneath as the two spend the day together, the music playing almost like a lullaby, lilting warmly in the background. When David tells of his journey to Monica close to the 4 minute mark, with a shimmer of violins Williams weaves David’s theme with Monica’s and so these two musical ideas are finally united. David’s melody continues on solo oboe in a bed of soothing string textures, harp effects and celesta interjections as they bake him a birthday cake since he never had a birthday. But as the night falls and the moment of their parting is drawing nigh David tucks his mother to bed and as she finally says that she loves him Williams presents a small anticipatory harp and string cascade of Monica’s theme, and as she finishes her sentence and the camera closes on them they hug and the soloist begins a piano rendition of the theme full of poignant finality and peace, David’s wish now fullfilled completely. Monica falls asleep, never to wake again and David goes to sleep beside her, closing his eyes for the last time. This final reading of Monica’s theme on piano with warm and tender string and oboe accompaniment brings the cue to a gentle close like a lullaby sending our small protagonist to where dreams are born.
The film version of this piece remains unreleased. Neither OST version nor the Oscar Promo version fits the film’s running time or performance of the music. The OST performance is close to the film version in some portions while the Oscar Promo in others.
37. Opening End Credits/Vocal and Credits (4:24) (OST track 9 Where Dreams Are Born, Oscar Promo Disc 2 track 2):
A hauntingly beautiful and lyrical concert version on Monica’s theme that features soprano Barbara Bonney singing a wordless cantilena version of the theme accompanied by piano, cello, oboe and strings. It is a fitting and poignant farewell to David, the score gently addressing his achivement of humanity at the end, Bonney’s voice lending a spiritual depth to his character and the end of his quest.
38. End Credits part II (2;21):
To accommodate the end credits’ length music was tracked from the cue Stored Memories. It is the segment from the beginning of the cue until 2;20 where the choir piece ends.
Poet Cynthia Weil wrote lyrics to Williams’ Monica’s theme and two different versions of the song were recorded, one with Lara Fabian and the other with Josh Groban and Lara Fabian singing a duet. Neither version of the song appears in the film but were created just for the soundtrack album.
I close my eyes
And there in the shadows I see your light
You come to me out of my dreams across
You take my hand
Though you may be so many stars away
I know that our spirits and souls are one
We’ve circled the moon and we’ve touched the sun
So here we’ll stay
Beyond here and unto eternity
For us there’s no time and no space
No barrier love won’t erase
Wherever you will go
I will know in my heart you will be
From this day on
I’m certain that we’ll never be alone
I know what my heart must have always known
That love has a power that’s all it’s own
And for always
Now we can fly
And for always
We will go on beyond goodbye
Beyond here and on to eternity
You’ll be a part of me
And For Always
One thousand tomorrows may cross the sky
And for always
We will go on beyond goodbye
© Mikko Ojala