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The Force Awakens ALBUM Discussion (No Film Spoilers)


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The greatest legacy of this soundtrack will be, or at the least should be, that the real way of film scoring can still be compatible with the modern cinematic style. I hope it inspires some young classical music students to bring their knowledge and write traditional symphonic music for Hollywood, a la James Horner

The Thinker, you're not too dumb. I agree with your post.

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That's something I have considered.  In the prequels, Williams was compensating.  Now he is supporting.

The only thing Plagious was truly afraid of was losing his hair. Which eventually of course he did. Ironic, he could save the hair of those he cared about, but not his own.

Listened to Ren's Theme on my walk to work this morning. It has a few similarities to Victor Navorski's Theme from "The Terminal" and Going to School from "Memoirs of a Geisha".

I haven't heard the whole album yet, but I thought it was mentioned a few months back that Williams had an operatic song for the film. Is there anything else besides "Snope's Theme" that features vocal parts?

In the second trailer we had the force theme with high voices - were those all sythesized just for the trailer?

I hear definite hints of Chamber of Secrets in it. Not particularly in the melody as such, but the general timbre especially the flute and celeste beginning is really reminiscent of that particular score.

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Does anyone else think the tempi on some of the tracks are a little…slow? Nearly every time I hear Finn's theme I just want to crank it up about 10 bpm, especially its appearance in the end credits. Also, Scherzo for X-Wings starts out pretty rollicking, but the second half is noticeably slower than the first. If it's a concert arrangement, then the visuals aren't a constraint on the pacing—it's just dragging. I think the Army band performance makes it even more painfully clear how much it benefits with the faster tempo.

Am I paranoid to worry this is JW showing his age at the podium? His tempi always seem a bit slower in his recent concerts. Gahhhh. ㅠㅠ

OTOH, cues recorded to picture like I Can Fly Anything and Follow Me/The Falcon seem just as energetic as ever. And Rey's Theme in the credits is the most propulsive rendition anywhere on the album. It almost makes me think Dudamel recorded the end credits up through Rey's Theme, with Williams takes of the rest of the themes edited in.

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Also, Scherzo for X-Wings starts out pretty rollicking, but the second half is noticeably slower than the first. If it's a concert arrangement, then the visuals aren't a constraint on the pacing—it's just dragging.

Its a film cue.

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There's a lovely theme in "Rey Meets BB-8" that sounds strikingly similar to the music in the Fountain Scene in The Terminal. I just bought the score today and can't stop listening. I think I'll have more love invested in it after I see the film.

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Also, Scherzo for X-Wings starts out pretty rollicking, but the second half is noticeably slower than the first. If it's a concert arrangement, then the visuals aren't a constraint on the pacing—it's just dragging.

Its a film cue.

Good to know.

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It's definitely harmonically related to the Force theme.

I too was a non-believer from the commercial bit. I just needed to hear it in musical context. Context is everything!

It's theme for the Jedi Steps of course! ;)

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The Abduction is a great cue.

Gah I don't know how many cues make me go whoah while simultaneously I feel like something is missing.

In that way TFA reminds me of Star Wars. It's a great score, yet something is missing from it. JW didnt get it absolutely right till TESB.

What are you talking about?? If John Williams didn't 'get it right' with Star Wars than no score in history ever did.

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And yet...

When I first watched Star Wars in my early teens I came away with the main theme and nothing else, even though I played the VHS tape 3 times in 3 days. And at the time I was already interested in film music and John Williams

It's brilliant of course, and much loved by many. But it didnt have the impact on me that it had on you. TESB did that. Both the film and score blew me away in a way Star Wars never really did, though I obviously love both.

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And yet...

When I first watched Star Wars in my early teens I came away with the main theme and nothing else, even though I played the VHS tape 3 times in 3 days. And at the time I was already interested in film music and John Williams

It's brilliant of course, and much loved by many. But it didnt have the impact on me that it had on you. TESB did that. Both the film and score blew me away in a way Star Wars never really did, though I obviously love both.

I think the general consensus is that the Star Wars-score was a monumental achievement in film music history, highly succesful and memorable. It was -and still is- regarded as one of the factors that determined the film's huge succes. Williams got it right.

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Star Wars seems a bit held back for me. The only track I ever think about in the soundtrack is 'TIE fighter attack'. Empire on the over hand has some amazing tracks. In fact I listen to almost all of them. Tracks like 'Rescue from cloud city','Departure of Boba Fett' They're dark and exciting. I believe TESB is in John William's best work.

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Has anyone mentioned the big misdirect they pulled with the 60minutes overtime segment. "This is how the new star wars movie begins", J.J saying it literally makes the opening of the movie, and then they used a completely different version. Well at least they have an extra opening or two up their sleeves should the unthinkable occur before Eps VIII and IX are scored.

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Some comments from Wael Binali (Ocelot) about Rey's theme.

OK so, Ray's theme. It's rhythmically the same as the second part of Princess Leia first statement and has that chord you go to from the Force theme and it kept reminding me of something until it clicked, it's has the exact same feel as the B theme from Dvorak's New World symphony, first movement, which is sort of fitting in this new world.
What I mean by princess Leia is look at the ending of each phrase. It's the same rhythm as her theme. Not sure who Ray is in the film so dunno if it's meant to relate or not.
So it's Leia/Force/Dvorak's New World
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Rey's theme does indeed have a connection to the Force theme, made particularly prominent by the major IV chord cadence.

It is also an inversion of Kylo Ren's theme (and vice versa; a similar sense of "inversion", albeit not literal, exists between the Imperial March and Yoda's theme, and I believe this is a continuing game of musical symbolism for Williams: Exploring opposites through material that upon closer examination proves related)

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I read some comments of people who are a little disappointed by the score.

I think it's because they maybe expected a more "heroic" score.

But hey, the score goes with the movie!

I didn't saw the movie yet, but by listening the album, I guess it's not a movie where the good guys win. It seems to be a movie where the good guys, who doesn't seems to know what is going on, are tracked by a bunch of bad guys. I think Every one in this movie have to find who they really are.

But all the things seems not to be totally black or white, like in the other Star Wars movies. The story seems to be "more subtile" (as far as a Star Wars story can be subtile).

So that's my two cents.

A score with more substance and subtility for a movie that goes this way.

I like it very much, it's all about Rey-sistance. ;-)

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I read some comments of people who are a little disappointed by the score.

I think it's because they maybe expected a more "heroic" score.

But hey, the score goes with the movie!

I didn't saw the movie yet, but by listening the album, I guess it's not a movie where the good guys win. It seems to be a movie where the good guys, who doesn't seems to know what is going on, are tracked by a bunch of bad guys. I think Every one in this movie have to find who they really are.

But all the things seems not to be totally black or white, like in the other Star Wars movies. The story seems to be "more subtile" (as far as a Star Wars story can be subtile).

So that's my two cents.

Well said, and actually not far off from the truth!

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Having just listened to the soundtrack for the first time, Rey's Theme more than makes up for the score's action music shortcomings - in fact, it blasts the rest of 2015's film music out of the water.

Also, is the Force theme rehash during the pivotal moment in the duel not on the album? Or did I miss it?

Since it's a direct lift, I hate how it worked quite well in the film.

Or is that the original version that's on the album?

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