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Images (1972 score) - 2007 Prometheus Records, 2012 BSX Records


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Saw the film on Sunday and loved the score. In comparison to the album, there are some missing cues, notably a harpsichord cue featuring the main theme, but the majority seems to be more percussion music by Yamash'ta. And some of the album tracks are different from their film versions.

 

Any hope that JW enlists Mike Matessino to find the original elements for this score? :)

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I just listened through the whole score for the first time. And I frequently was thinking what Shark recently said, that at Williams music there is mostly something interesting happening in the music.

It's not one of my favorite Altman films, it comes across as an elaborate acting exercise, but it's fundamentally good. It's just made more interesting by the music. The Blu-ray looks great, consideri

The film is imho very good, it has a very interesting psychological premise and it constantly makes you feel unsettled. It almost feel like a hallucinated stage drama. The music works beautifully in t

Out of curiosity I revisited the Blu-ray of Images today, and in the booklet it says that the mono soundtrack was remastered from the D/M/E (dialog/music/effects) reels. While it's obviously preferable to have the original master tapes, I wonder if any of the labels considered reissuing the long-OOP Prometheus album with the missing cues from the music stem of the film, similar to Quartet's release for The Long Goodbye

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5 hours ago, Bespin said:

No one likes that album, why reissue it? 😜

For shame Bespin! For shame!

 

It would be great if they revisited this score with the possibility of a complete presentation although I am already very happy with the Prometheus version.

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So is this film any good, or just a curiosity worth seeing to get the context for the score?

 

And are any bits of score heard in the movie really interesting, or significantly different from what's on the album?

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The film is a masterpiece, my favourite of Altman -- even if it's a take on Polanski's REPULSION in many ways.

 

Not sure there are any pieces in the film that are significantly different from what's on the album (I've never really done a comparison), but there are - as you may know - tracks on the album that do not feature in the film, like the beautiful "Blood Moon". But Williams communicates all kinds of lofty subtext ideas in his score, so it's a film and score to get lost in (in a positive sense).

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It's not one of my favorite Altman films, it comes across as an elaborate acting exercise, but it's fundamentally good. It's just made more interesting by the music. The Blu-ray looks great, considering the source.

 

There are about 12 minutes of unreleased material, nothing too significant, but still nice to have. From memory, what stood out to me is a harpsichord cue that features the "B theme" from the main titles, an all-percussion cue when Susannah York looks at the fireplace, and the film version of "Night Witch Ride" with its different bursts of percussion

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18 minutes ago, Jay said:

So is this film any good, or just a curiosity worth seeing to get the context for the score?

 

As I said, the waterfall is gorgeous to look at, my main problem was that the male actors somehow don't fit their part. It's an interesting movie, for sure, just not really rounded. The score and the location are the best thing about it.

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15 minutes ago, Corellian2019 said:

From memory, what stood out to me is a harpsichord cue that features the "B theme" from the main titles, an all-percussion cue when Susannah York looks at the fireplace, and the film version of "Night Witch Ride" with its different bursts of percussion

 

Well all those sound interesting to me!  Damn!

 

 

It was interesting to read in the liner notes that John Williams played all the various keyboard parts himself.  That's pretty damn cool

 

Also, I don't think I've ever heard vocals used in a score quite like this one before.

 

The Prometheus CD has surprisingly good sound quality for being a vinyl transfer

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I think I am going to watch the film soon, and many more listens of this album are in order!

It's too bad he never did a whole avant-garde, experimental score like this again

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2 minutes ago, Jay said:

It's too bad he never did a whole avant-garde, experimental score like this again

 

It is, although he displays it somewhat in certain individual score tracks, and some concert works.

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Does anybody know why the front cover of the BSX reissue says "Performed by the London Studio Symphony Orchestra" but Burlingame's liner notes in the Prometheus CD state that the strings were performed by "the BBC Symphony"?

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I dunno.  The score is just a small string section, then Williams playing keyboards and Stomu playing all the percussion.  A full size orchestra wasn't used

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I got the OST used, years back, and it's been a most welcome (and unusual) part of my collection ever since. I'd love to get an expanded release someday. I doubt it would improve the overall listening experience - the risk of fatigue is greater with challenging material like this - but it's just such interesting and compelling music that I'd love to hear more of it.

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18 hours ago, Jay said:

So is this film any good, or just a curiosity worth seeing to get the context for the score?

 

And are any bits of score heard in the movie really interesting, or significantly different from what's on the album?

 

The film is imho very good, it has a very interesting psychological premise and it constantly makes you feel unsettled. It almost feel like a hallucinated stage drama. The music works beautifully in the film and it fits the storytelling like a glove. It's indeed Williams' only venture into pure avantgarde Boulez-style, with lots of moments written as aleatoric (i.e. improvised) passages.

 

As a separate listen, the music is very difficult to get through, save for the more lyrical sequences of course (I particulary love the setting of the main theme for celeste, guitar and strings, the cue is called "Ponies and Unicorns" or something like that, I don't have the CD at hand right now). However, it's very interesting to hear Williams in this mode.

 

The credit "London Studio Symphony" looks like a made-up name by whoever designed that cover art. The score was indeed recorded in London at CTS Bayswater Studios, with elements of the BBC Symphony playing in the string section in addition to a handful of studio players (including Williams himself at the piano) and crazy Stomu Yamashita playing the Baschet sculptures and other percussion instruments.

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When watching the film, pay particular attention to this musical mechanism:

 

Cathryn (York's character) is an author that suffers from some sort of schizophrenia, and is often unable to separate between fantasy and reality. So you'll find that for all the segments that center on her writing or reading from her own fairytale book, Williams employs this beautiful waltz - signalling that this is a 'safe space' for her. Vice versa, everything that is REAL is harsh and alien and dissonant. This is particularly evident in the main titles - her internal voiceover is accompanied by the waltz, the shots of everyday objects (a telephone, a lamp, a typewriter etc.) have Stomu's weird percussive and vocal effects. Oftentimes, the harsh - i.e. the reality - intrudes on her safe space tonality. There are more details, of course, but that basic, schizophrenic mechanism is a marvel to behold throughout the film.

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The cover in my avatar is the BSX digital release, which I just linked to 5 places you can stream/buy it

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