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LOST - the music


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Giacchino was on fire when he was writing Lost. It has some of the best musical writing in television and he handles all the thematic material beautifully. Great scoring.

I've heard the sample on iTunes, excellent. Hopefully it has the second part of the prologue, too, though!

Just saw there's only one cue from the Miles episode, which is kind of strange, since that struck me as one of the most interesting new themes and one of the episodes with the most 'original' music.

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Someone on Lostpedia has started to note which episode each Season 5 OST track belongs to:

http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Lost_Season_5_%28Original_Television_Soundtrack%29#Track_list

I'm fairly sure "Locke's Excellent Adventure" is from "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham", when Locke turns the donkey wheel then wakes up Tunisia and is picked up by Widmore's men.

This I-tunes release couldn't have come at a better time - had the day off from work today, and was not expecting this. What a lovely surprise!

As for the album itself, it's awesome. In terms of new themes, we've got Sawyer and Juliet's love theme, Miles' theme, the sub motif, Faraday and Charlotte's love theme, Jacob's theme, the destiny theme from "The Incident," a sort of Dharma theme during "Dharma delinquent" that has often been used this season during scenes involving Widmore's people.

Plus some great iterations of Ben's theme (especially in "Jacob's Stabber"), lots of Locke material in the first half of the album, finally Sawyer's theme (which briefly but gloriously caps off "Dharma Delinquent") and the Ajira takeoff and landing music.

In terms of new things I picked up on, while I had noticed the ascending and descending motif that follows Ben's theme in "Making Up for Lost Time" when the episode first aired, I had never noticed that that motif - which seems to play during scenes having to do with time displacement or time travelling - appears several other times in the season, most notably in the track called "Your Kharma Hit My Dharma."

Also, the Man in Black theme (really just a darker, slower variation of a section of Locke's original theme) makes its first appearance in season 5, not season 6, in the episode and track "Follow the Leader." Hadn't rewatched that episode since viewing season 6, so never noticed, but very cool.

All in all, a great addition the Lost soundtrack canon, though deciding to go with the digital download over the album was a hard decision, as I did still consider myself a diehard who enjoys having the physical album. I will eventually buy it, but being in Canada - and juding by the delay in getting my Fringe soundtrack from Amazon - I wouldn't have received the physical Lost album in the email until a week before the finale. But I wanted to have the album as early as possible. Only human.

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I'm two behind (three if you include this evening's). I was somewhat disappointed, for instance, by that motif that was playing when Jack et al. got captured in those underground passages right before they were being taken to the temple.

You have bad taste. Considering brushing your teeth and mouth before delving into great things.

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Well, on the whole, this is probably my least favorite Lost OST so far, but that's not wholly unexpected. I felt more or less the same about the music in the context of the show. It's not bad or anything...it just doesn't have as many moments of new greatness. I'm very glad the themes for Eloise, Jacob, and even Sawyer made it into the album, but a lot of it is either very quiet underscore or (very good) rehashes of material from past seasons. And the ending is just WRONG! Why the heck didn't they conclude it with the last cue of "The Incident, Part 2"? It sounds like there should be a whole track missing or something! It's totally anticlimactic!

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From the samples it sounds pretty weak aside from a couple of outstanding tracks.

I have to say I've fallen in love with the minimalistic "Together or Not Together" sample on iTunes.

Looking forward to Tangled Web and the season finale stuff. But the rest just sounds a bit....dull.

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Unfortunately, I agree. But I have utmost confidence in the excellence of the sixth and final OST, whenever that's eventually released! :( And oh man...the trend lately has been for the music to get WAY better for the finale. If that trend continues this year, I don't know if my brain will be able to handle it. I mean, the music has already been so great as it is!

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Yea, the S5 OST only has the music for Jacob making his tapestry; The cue that comes in after their conversion leading up to the LOST title is not included.

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I think Giacchino's Lost music loses some of its primal force when listened on its own on CD. It's music that reaches its maximum impact when married with the show's visuals and narrative, imho. Giacchino's music is an integral part of Lost's success and it's tied in a very intimate way with the show creators' vision. The music helps to tell the story and to express what is "hidden" behind the screen. So it's music that mostly plays underneath the tension and the mysteries of the show in a very clever and subdued way.

However, there are plenty of lovely cues and great moments that stand out and that it's nice to listen to, esp. the lyrical moments. I agree that Season 5 isn't a strong stand-alone listening experience, even though I quite enjoyed it (but this probably has more to do with my own deep attachment to the show itself). Season 1 and Season 4 are still the best listening experiences, with Season 3 Disc 1 a close second. Season 2 and Season 5 are imho a bit more difficult and harder to get through.

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I think season 2 is brilliant all the way...seasons 4 and especially 5 are the only OSTs that I have any real trouble with. But the quality of the OSTs seems very directly correlated to the overall quality of the score in the show, and since season 6 has featured utterly amazing scoring in every episode, I have utmost confidence in the way the final release will turn out. I hope it gets a two-disc release...and as I've said before, if the quality jumps even higher for the finale as is often the case, I don't think I'll be able to handle it!

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Yea, the S5 OST only has the music for Jacob making his tapestry; The cue that comes in after their conversion leading up to the LOST title is not included.

Yeap. The last 30 seconds or so are missing from the Finale prologue. I bet it was the damn reuse fees that stopped them from putting it there. They would have had to pay for that 30 second cue all over again. It must be the same for the last 1 minute cue when Juliet blows the bomb up.

Also I have no idea where Alex in Chains comes from. I do not remember the cue at all from Dead is Dead. Can anybody place that in the episode?

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I'll give it a few more listens before passing final judgment .I hard good parts but they were scattered in the middle of longer cues

I am going to do the same. I have noted that Lost soundtracks need several listens before I notice every small nuance and detail and warm up to the score outside the show.

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I'm giving it a second shot right now, but my expectations aren't high. I think I'm just going to have to accept that this is a subpar Lost soundtrack, despite a scattering of excellent moments.

Urgh...they didn't even bother adding the boom at the end. Most unsatisfying end to a soundtrack ever. Even worse than the end of Drop Zone.

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Man I would hate to be composer putting together a CD. No matter what you end up doing there's going to be some p'oed person complaining.

I'll take the 70+ minutes of music over a few deleted seconds.

Seriously, so far we have 350+ minutes of music from Lost so far. And I would be willing to bet for Season 6 we'll have another 2 disc set, with the finale episode having it's own disc.

Subpar? Seriously? Wow.....

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Well, 90 percent of the times I don't care and am perfectly happy with the choices made for the album. But in this case, I would happily trade in 20 or 30 minutes for that one cue, yeah. Especially since there's bound to be a lot of rehash on this CD.

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I guess it's just me. I'm to a point where I have so many film scores it doesn't bother me if there is missing music. I've got a lifetime of music to listen to. Plus it seems there has been a spike in complaining about releases.

So apologies all around from this old grouch.

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It's not just missing music in this case, though - it's the overall listening experience. It's gotta be the slowest Lost album yet, with a fair amount of material that's just adapted from other material that was released on previous CDs, and with the most anticlimactic ending ever. The pacing really bugs me.

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I just feel that whenever these complaints come up I can't help but think of this exchange...

Bart: Hey, I know it wasn't great, but what right do you have to complain?

Comic Book Guy: As a loyal viewer, I feel they owe me.

Bart: What? They're giving you thousands of hours of entertainment for free. What could they possibly owe you? I mean, if anything, you owe them!

Comic Book Guy: Worst episode ever.

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;) I apologize if I sound spoiled; it's simply disappointing to pay for a product and then discover that it's not as good as it could have been. I'm not even asking for more effort on their part...I just wish they'd made different choices. Don't let my critique of the album fool you into thinking I'm losing any sleep over it, or that I'm angry at Giacchino and friends, or anything like that. I'm grateful that they released a soundtrack in the first place - has there EVER been another show that's had a full soundtrack released for each season? - and I ultimately don't regret buying this one because it shows my support for their effort, making a season 6 OST incrementally more likely.

I'm just saying...it could have been better. Since this is a thread for discussing the music of the show, I don't think that's an inappropriate opinion to be expressing. :)

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I guess it's just me. I'm to a point where I have so many film scores it doesn't bother me if there is missing music. I've got a lifetime of music to listen to. Plus it seems there has been a spike in complaining about releases.

So apologies all around from this old grouch.

I'm also content with like 99% of score releases as well. If there's more music, that's great, but I'm not going crazy over it. Even though I have tons of unofficially expanded and complete scores, I always listen to the OST for some reason.

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I'm just saying...it could have been better. Since this is a thread for discussing the music of the show, I don't think that's an inappropriate opinion to be expressing. ;)

Absolutely, and I didn't mean to whine about people being ungrateful. I just like to put things in perspective for myself. :)

Personally I haven't heard the new album; I'm waiting till I'm able to afford it. Which will likely be sometime in 2015. I'm not expecting to love it at first either; pretty much all of the LOST albums except for the first one have left me slightly cold on the first listen. For the last three releases the real treat has been in the subtle and carefully constructed musical development, which is not easy to recognise straight away.

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Fair enough. ;) For me personally, it's partly the fact that the first three albums have NEVER left me cold that makes the fifth (and, to a degree, fourth) soundtrack disappointing. They're really well constructed albums, too, though the listening experience is sacrificed in the second disc of S3 so that all the music from the finale can be presented - a sacrifice I'll always support when I really like the music.

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Well having listened to the season 5 OST a few times I find it to be very entertaining even if it does not include all my favourite moments. It actually includes enough of them and has several highlights from the show I wanted. But in Joe's defense film score fans are incredibly picky when it comes to their hobby and even more picky when it comes to something they really love. I would have loved the missing 30 seconds of the Finale prologue (yeap that is one important gripe) and more music from episode Dead is Dead but understand that there has to be a balance and variety on the album.

But all in all I am really enjoying this album after initial luke warm reception. I guess this music has to sink in slowly as the most subtle Lost underscore takes its time to pack a punch. Also it takes time for me to remember the context of the music as the track titles are not always a big help there and for me the context is very much the key to the music of Lost. It adds enourmously to the impact of this music.

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Context is key with LOST, you're right. And after giving the album a second chance, I feel less disappointed by it - there's certainly a lot of sweet material in there, in the form of new themes and adaptations of old ones. And heck, at least Sawyer's theme finally made it onto a CD...if in the briefest way imaginable! ;)

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Well I finally figured out from which scene in Dead is Dead Alex in Chains comes. It is the scene where Ben robs Alex from Rousseau in the beginning half of the episode. I would have preferred music from the scenes under the Temple with that dark twisted version of Locke's theme and Ben's theme variation when he is judged but hey, you can't win them all.

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Context is key with LOST, you're right. And after giving the album a second chance, I feel less disappointed by it - there's certainly a lot of sweet material in there, in the form of new themes and adaptations of old ones. And heck, at least Sawyer's theme finally made it onto a CD...if in the briefest way imaginable! :)

Incanus!

Thanks for figuring that cue out. On the day of the I-tunes release, I actually went track by track, listening to the track and then listening to it in the episode itself. For almost all the cues, I knew where to look, with the exeception of this one. I was so convinced it was played in the sequence with Ben under the temple wall, and when it wasn't, I gave up in anger! :lol: So thanks for confirming that. I can rest easy now.

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Just a heads up--Giacchino has a feature profile in this week's issue of The New Yorker, written by their music critic Alex Ross (author of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated history of 20th century music The Rest is Noise). You need to be a subscriber to access the full article...or buy access to the online edition of the issue for $6...or, I suppose, you could buy it in stores, where it apparently sits on these old-fashioned things my grandpa used to tell me about called newsstands. Here's the abstract:

ABSTRACT: ONWARD AND UPWARD WITH THE ARTS about film and television composer Michael Giacchino, who writes the music for the ABC series “Lost.” In the six years that Giacchino has been working on “Lost,” he has mobilized an army of compositional devices, from the harshly dissonant to the plaintively lyrical, helping to keep millions of people addicted to an often delirious plot. The writer visits Giacchino at his home in Tarzana, California, and observes him as he writes the music for an episode of the show. Viewers who struggle with the twists and turns of “Lost” may find it reassuring that Giacchino, too, sometimes scratches his head over the fine points of the plot. Giacchino has only two or three days to write thirty or more minutes of music. “It’s a little crazy working like this,” Giacchino said. “But there’s something to be said for not laboring over everything endlessly. It’s how composers used to operate.” Writer gives a brief history of film scoring, from the 1908 film “The Assassination of the Duke of Guise” to the scores written by John Williams for movies made by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Mentions a recent panel discussion at the Sundance Film Festival. Giacchino is popular among studio players, because he almost always draws on local talent, preferring musicians who played on soundtracks he heard as a kid. “To work with me, you have to be seventy or older,” he joked. (Jack Hayes, his favorite orchestrator, is ninety-one.) Giacchino grew up in Edgewater Park, New Jersey. His parents were schoolteachers. Giacchino listened to classical-music radio stations but didn’t care for rock. His first ambition was to be a filmmaker. He attended the School of Visual Arts in New York, majoring in film production. Only after college did his interest in composing deepen to the point that he began studying harmony and orchestration in earnest. Giacchino moved to Los Angeles in 1992 and continued to work in film by day and study music by night. Tells about the music he wrote for the video games “The Lost World” and “Medal of Honor.” Among the fans of “Medal of Honor” were J. J. Abrams and his partner, Bryan Burk, who, in 2001, were looking for a composer for the show “Alias.” Writer describes the “Lost” orchestra recording the music for an episode. Tells about some of the musicians, including the percussionist Emil Richards, the trombonist Alex Iles, and the harpist Gayle Levant. Menions Giacchino winning an Oscar earlier this year for “Up.”

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/05/17/100517fa_fact_ross#ixzz0nWIsJV8k

There's also a podcast interview with Ross where he gives a general overview of Lost's music and film music in general (nothing that won't already be familiar to most members here :)), and also an accompanying video clip where he describes the techniques Giacchino uses in an example scene with Sayid. Again, nothing quite unfamiliar to most of us in this thread, but I think it's neat to see any film composer get recognition from a serious classical music critic. :lol:

It's also not the first time Ross has thrown Giacchino some New Yorker love... :)

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I guess it's just me. I'm to a point where I have so many film scores it doesn't bother me if there is missing music. I've got a lifetime of music to listen to. Plus it seems there has been a spike in complaining about releases.

So apologies all around from this old grouch.

You have a valid point Mark, but I'm looking at this from the perspective that music doesn't have to be pressed on a CD any more to be heard and that it's getting easier to make custom playlists, so we focus just on what we do want.

TV scores give us an unfortunate situation. You have upwards of 10 hours of music written for just one season, and yet most of the time, 95% of that will never see the light of day. We have no automatic right to hear it, and given how time pressured TV scoring it, maybe the composer doesn't want it released as they don't feel it represents their talent.

However, I believe a composer should be able to pick the moments he wants to release from his work, and not have to worry about the label can't pay the union the extravagant upfront fees it demands. What I'm hearing in this thread is that Varese is trying to keep costs low, and that's having noticeable creative limitations (if they're not just some strange choices by Giacchino of course).

I believe LE releases are charged per unit. Why the hell can't regular releases do that too? I know the union is concerned about reduced income, but I'd argue that it just makes the whole business much more fair - the union is paid for what sells.

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