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46 minutes ago, Holko said:

 

Right, but if somebody does this for you, that suddenly becomes the only acceptable way to listen to it.

 

Somebody does this for me? As in 'somebody' sits next to my CD player or iTunes player and skips/repeats tracks'? LOL!

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If I were a composer and had the option, I'd release everything I wrote on release. If some fans (a very microscopic amount I would imagine) want less music, then they have the option to edit their ow

What bothers me is the prevailing attitude that only the C&C matters and the composer's original album was a mistake that should be thrown to the dustbin of history. It just reeks of disrespect to

The Peter Pettigrew harpsichord "theme" not being on the POA album also struck me as weird considering its use in the film. I don't think it is even hinted at.

I had a nice small CD player with a stereo system, but along the way it has become more convenient to listen to my music on the go, with my CD's acting as collector's items and because I rarely play them and rip them instead, they're always in good condition!

 

 

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Williams is all too frequently a poor judge of his own excellent compositions and how to present them (or whether to present them at all).  An OST to me is just a starting point on how best to listen, sometimes it works but often it is lacking.

 

As for CDs, I still buy them but I never listen to them.  I only rip them. I just don't have the time to sit in one place and listen to an actual spinning disc anymore. I envy those that can.

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10 hours ago, Sally Spectra said:

The Abyss is a prime example of this. The OST was already a fairly difficult listen until the more engaging music kicks in at the end. But the C&C version is one of the hardest pills I've ever swallowed as a film score listener. The final 15 or so minutes are great, but I've never touched the first disc since first hearing it.

 

And oddly all I've heard is praise for how much of a "relevation" it is. It's not! It's the same atmospheric droning, just more of it. And I'm not talking about Zimmer drones, who often has something relatively interesting to do with them, Silvestri's drones are coma-inducing on their own. It's best served in the film where it belongs.

 

Aha, I think you missed something crucial!  The revelation aspect of The Abyss: DE isn't the main program, but the bonus tracks!  To be more clear, the revelation was that originally Silvestri scored the film in a more "traditional" way, weaving the love theme throughout the entire score including the action cues, and generally just having more melody and standard orchestral writing throughout.  But then Cameron had him rewrite a lot of that stuff and the result is, as you said "a lot of droning".... and the love theme not appearing until after the drowning scene!


So, this is what makes the release so important:  Now, we can swap out the main program droning versions of cues with the more melodic bonus tracks versions and create a new score presentation that is a pretty big difference from listening to the one as-presented, with all the droning cues in the main program.  Try it out, its a fascinating - and fantastic - listen.

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44 minutes ago, Jay said:

 

Aha, I think you missed something crucial!  The revelation aspect of The Abyss: DE isn't the main program, but the bonus tracks!  To be more clear, the revelation was that originally Silvestri scored the film in a more "traditional" way, weaving the love theme throughout the entire score including the action cues, and generally just having more melody and standard orchestral writing throughout.  But then Cameron had him rewrite a lot of that stuff and the result is, as you said "a lot of droning".... and the love theme not appearing until after the drowning scene!


So, this is what makes the release so important:  Now, we can swap out the main program droning versions of cues with the more melodic bonus tracks versions and create a new score presentation that is a pretty big difference from listening to the one as-presented, with all the droning cues in the main program.  Try it out, its a fascinating - and fantastic - listen.

 

No! We must now and forever be locked into the OST!

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IMO C&C's have a point... They can just be a bit much to swallow, if one is unfamiliar with the OST.

 

Which is case in point! The OST often serves as a guideline: highlighting the best tracks (well, ehrm, for the most part) and presenting them in an order that's easy to digest. Which is my point in saying that OSTs are often better as a whole.

 

Which doesn't mean I don't enjoy a C&C.

 

In theory anyway. ;) When it comes to practice, I prefer to be in control of what I listen to. I rarely listen to a full program from start to finish, OST or otherwise. I usually make my own playlists... picking an order that I think makes sense, excluding what I think don't...

 

Doesn't everyone? :P

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1 hour ago, Jay said:

 

Aha, I think you missed something crucial!  The revelation aspect of The Abyss: DE isn't the main program, but the bonus tracks!  To be more clear, the revelation was that originally Silvestri scored the film in a more "traditional" way, weaving the love theme throughout the entire score including the action cues, and generally just having more melody and standard orchestral writing throughout.  But then Cameron had him rewrite a lot of that stuff and the result is, as you said "a lot of droning".... and the love theme not appearing until after the drowning scene!


So, this is what makes the release so important:  Now, we can swap out the main program droning versions of cues with the more melodic bonus tracks versions and create a new score presentation that is a pretty big difference from listening to the one as-presented, with all the droning cues in the main program.  Try it out, its a fascinating - and fantastic - listen.

 

The original THE ABYSS album is a cornerstone of my film music interest (it was one of the first soundtracks I got). I actually like the first part of it too -- all that militaristic percussion and noodling synth textures. But the great thing about it is that it leaves way to the big and epic stuff at just the appropriate time. I probably couldn't listen to the first part stuff for hours on end. While the expansion is not for me, I'd be interested to see if you could "insert" some of that love theme material among the noodling textures, for example. Just for curiousity's sake. I'm not going to replace the original album program at any point. It is "holy".

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14 hours ago, Thor said:

 

Same here. Goes for my playing in iTunes too! I hate that kind of "piecemeal" approach to soundtracks (skipping tracks, playing single tracks over again etc.), which really goes against the whole 'concept' idea. As if it was some kind of compilation of 80s hit songs or whatever. To me, It's ONE musical experience, played from start to finish -- unless other external factors disturb me midway.

In an ideal world, where albums would be perfectly put together and I'd have time to listen to them like that, I'd agree with you.

As it is, many albums leave something to be desired. And so does my available time.

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I thought about this while listening to the Purge scores on Spotify the other night. They appear to be C&C releases (first one is, not sure about the sequels) and they have some periods where the underscore is so dull and unnoticeable that if I get round to buying them I'll probably cut out some material. It's the sort of score that would work quite well as a rearranged concept album.

 

*But*, I love the idea that I can watch the film and be pretty sure that even the smallest piece of underscore is on there somewhere. I would personally find great enjoyment in making my own little playlist of the best bits.

 

And that's a key point to this debate - whether you relate the score to its role in the film.

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The age-old argument! ("Make your own album!"). This was so common, I actually made this FAQ poster about it back in the early 2000s -- which I could just paste in whenever it came up: 

 

http://celluloidtunes.no/non-website/faq.jpg

 

That being said, I've made plenty of playlists myself over the years. When all other options are exhausted (there is no OST from which to program your tracks, there are no guidelines from the composer or record producer), I'll try to set aside time for it. A playlist does not an album make, but it's better than the alternative.

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5 hours ago, Thor said:

The age-old argument! ("Make your own album!"). This was so common, I actually made this FAQ poster about it back in the early 2000s -- which I could just paste in whenever it came up: 

 

http://celluloidtunes.no/non-website/faq.jpg

 

The phrase you keep using 'complete the product' is one that, while I understand where you're coming from, where do you draw the line?

 

Your comparisons to making a car or a sink are referring to things that do have an identifiable 'completed' sense. Albums don't - I refer you to an earlier comment of mine that every score and every album creator will have a different idea.

 

I'd say actually that most scores fall somewhere in between, and it's not just that the C&C releases are bad and OSTs are good.

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38 minutes ago, Richard Penna said:

Your comparisons to making a car or a sink are referring to things that do have an identifiable 'completed' sense. Albums don't - I refer you to an earlier comment of mine that every score and every album creator will have a different idea.

 

Well, I think they ARE an entity onto itself. Just as I consider a painting incomplete if I'm required to fill in the colours myself. The artist's vision of the score in the film is one thing, his vision of the score on album is another. I've never subscribed to the idea that film music -- once divorced from the film -- is just raw material that everyone can do with what they want. For me, it's about adaptation. Adapting the music from one medium to another, similar to how you adapt a book to film, for example. Same story, different ways to realize it. Doesn't mean I HAVE to like the way it's adapted, but I require adaption in the first place.

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Oh I'm not disputing that many do need adaptation to be digestible.

 

I'm pondering how much adaptation is enough - what's the minimum you have to do to a score to present it 'properly'? With so many variations, how can one say that yes, this album is 'finished'? Browsing quickly through my folders, in some cases it seems to be as simple as removing 3 or 4 cues and leaving the rest intact. I think the idea of combining and rearranging cues is largely restricted to JW and Zimmer.

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2 hours ago, Richard Penna said:

I'm pondering how much adaptation is enough - what's the minimum you have to do to a score to present it 'properly'? With so many variations, how can one say that yes, this album is 'finished'? 

 

How can you say that any film is finished with its editing? A painting is painted? A book is written? A screenwriter has finished his adaptation of the book to film?

 

It's finished once the composer (or the record producer) presents it to us, and there's been some creative re-structuring involved. Then it's HIS vision of the score on album. Again, I consider an album a finished piece, just as I do any other album in any other genre. I'm not "butting in" midway to tell the artist how he should do this or that. I'll let him present it to me first, and then I'll decide if I like it or not. Again, this sort of "interactive" approach to soundtracks is not an idea I subscribe to.

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3 hours ago, Thor said:

 

Well, I think they ARE an entity onto itself. Just as I consider a painting incomplete if I'm required to fill in the colours myself. The artist's vision of the score in the film is one thing, his vision of the score on album is another. I've never subscribed to the idea that film music -- once divorced from the film -- is just raw material that everyone can do with what they want. For me, it's about adaptation. Adapting the music from one medium to another, similar to how you adapt a book to film, for example. Same story, different ways to realize it. Doesn't mean I HAVE to like the way it's adapted, but I require adaption in the first place.

It's just weird how you praise every OST assembly. I mean, isn't it a fact that oneself can never really evalue one's own creations. John Williams is extremely modest and thus he thinks some compositions of him aren't good enought although they are. Somebody that knows the score very well who knows how to create an OST presentation and who appreciates Williams' work (more than Williams himself does) should be the producer and creator of the OST. He'd probably do a better job than the composer himself.

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I'd say JW is fairly alone in having such modesty that he actively doesn't want sections of cues released.

 

The more common practice seems to me to just be removing shorter/more incidental cues, and maybe moving the odd thing around, but still largely keeping the score intact. There's not a lot of creative restructuring going on there.

 

Random example: Contact. Silvestri removed around 4 cues, and moved one to the middle of the album. Overall it's a very accurate representation of what's in the film, and yet it works well as a listening experience.

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5 hours ago, Richard Penna said:

I think the idea of combining and rearranging cues is largely restricted to JW and Zimmer.

 

Christopher Young and Elliott Goldenthal often do this as well.

3 hours ago, Thor said:

 

How can you say that any film is finished with its editing? A painting is painted? A book is written? A screenwriter has finished his adaptation of the book to film?

 

It's finished once the composer (or the record producer) presents it to us, and there's been some creative re-structuring involved. Then it's HIS vision of the score on album. Again, I consider an album a finished piece, just as I do any other album in any other genre. I'm not "butting in" midway to tell the artist how he should do this or that. I'll let him present it to me first, and then I'll decide if I like it or not. Again, this sort of "interactive" approach to soundtracks is not an idea I subscribe to.

 

I'm just being pedantic here, but there are many notable rushed film productions that either never had a finished script, or they were working from a script that seemed like a first draft and needed either a polish or a re-write, hence it was unfinished.

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40 minutes ago, Manakin Skywalker said:

In most cases album edits only serve the purpose of removing music to fit the music on one disk. I don't really see at as "art" or a creative decision... it's clearly more of a business decision.

 

Yup. Comparing a painting to a score album is a pretty ridiculous statement. 

 

The film score itself *could* be compared to a painting, though.

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lagarto-zonuro-armadillo-cola-boca.jpg

 

5 hours ago, Manakin Skywalker said:

In most cases album edits only serve the purpose of removing music to fit the music on one disk.

 

That's not true. If it was, most OST releases would be approximately 79 minutes long, with all the music presented in chronological order. And we know that more often than not, it's not the case. OST releases are meant by composers as a way to present their score in a digestible 40-70 minutes long (generally) listening experience. Even if you think every score should be released in complete form, that doesn't mean all composers think the same way. In fact, a lot of them think some of their scores don't need/deserve a lengthy release.

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9 hours ago, Brundlefly said:

It's just weird how you praise every OST assembly. I mean, isn't it a fact that oneself can never really evalue one's own creations. John Williams is extremely modest and thus he thinks some compositions of him aren't good enought although they are. Somebody that knows the score very well who knows how to create an OST presentation and who appreciates Williams' work (more than Williams himself does) should be the producer and creator of the OST. He'd probably do a better job than the composer himself.

 

I do not praise every OST assembly. But in order for me to get anything out of it, I do require that there HAS been an assembly in the first place, and one that isn't merely transferring the music verbatim from one medium to another. The other argument you make can me made of any artist, e.g. "somebody that knows Michael Kahn's editing very well and knows how to edit and who appreciates Kahn's work, should be the editor of Spielberg's film!". As you can see, it doesn't really work. Although I do agree that if the composer himself isn't available, I'd have an experienced album producer re-conceptualize the score instead. That sort of fits your category.

 

5 hours ago, Muad'Dib said:

 

Yup. Comparing a painting to a score album is a pretty ridiculous statement. 

 

The film score itself *could* be compared to a painting, though.

 

I disagree. I'm often amazed by the degree to which people like yourself underestimate the artform that is album production. For some reason, this doesn't happen that often in other music genres. It's only with film music that people somehow feel they're part of the process in assembling the album structure. I find that rather bizarre. As if making playlists of favourite tracks is the same as a produced album (with microedits and whatnot).

 

I've always considered TWO artforms in play here. One is the creation of the score itself, in the movie. The other is assembling/adapting that score to work in a completely different medium. They're both important and independent.

 

The great irony in all of this is that C&C enthusiasts don't consider a release 'complete' unless it has every second of music, in the exact order of the movie, while for people like me (and Sally Spectra and a few others), it isn't really 'complete' unless there has been some conscious selection and re-structuring of tracks, for most fluid listening experience.

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It's not about underestimating the artform of the album presentation, i think many here would agree with you on how special the OST presentations are.

 

Which is why I would advocate for deluxe score representations which provide an album program alongside a C&C program. 

 

It's less likely to happen, but at least we'd have the music which is all I care about.

 

 

 

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I'll offer another example, Jerry Goldsmith's score to Coma. For some time I've had the FSM complete and chronological release, and while it's good music, I always felt it could have used some "album production" to give it that final polish to give it some musical narrative structure. So I sought out the OST, and found it was a more satisfying and engaging presentation of the same music. Amazing what that magical touch can achieve! My exploration of Capricorn One is a similar story.

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I tend to listen to scores I have a passing interest in using the album because the music is presented in an accessible way, concert suites etc. If I become fully invested in a score, then I'll seek out the C&C because naturally, I want to hear more or all of it. 

 

Most of my Zimmer listening experiences are comprised solely of theme suites from the album because it's accessible and doesn't sound nearly as discordant as taking individual cues.

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2 hours ago, Arpy said:

It's not about underestimating the artform of the album presentation, i think many here would agree with you on how special the OST presentations are.

 

Well, I do think that every time I encounter the "just arrange your own album!" argument (which is plenty of times in this thread alone), that is an underestimation of the artform of album production, because it equates 'playlists of favourite tracks' with 'proper albums'.

 

Quote

Which is why I would advocate for deluxe score representations which provide an album program alongside a C&C program. 

 

I agree. It's a good compromise solution. But I assume it's a more costly affair than just doing it either way (and more costly for the consumer too), which is why it doesn't happen as often as it should.

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20 minutes ago, Thor said:

 

Well, I do think that every time I encounter the "just arrange your own album!" argument (which is plenty of times in this thread alone), that is an underestimation of the artform of album production, because it equates 'playlists of favourite tracks' with 'proper albums'.

 

What if one were to have a playlist of favourite album tracks? Then the OST programming experience is only as fickle or effective as the person listening to it!

Which is where the OST versus C&C argument falters because Williams can't stop listeners from experiencing it outside of his design other than keeping complete albums from exposure!

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28 minutes ago, Arpy said:

What if one were to have a playlist of favourite album tracks? Then the OST programming experience is only as fickle or effective as the person listening to it!

Which is where the OST versus C&C argument falters because Williams can't stop listeners from experiencing it outside of his design other than keeping complete albums from exposure!

 

You say "can't stop listeners from experiencing it outside his design". This is a curious argument to me, because it equates to, say, "can't stop viewers from experiencing the film outside the edit provided by the editor". If you see an album as self-contained thing, an artistic expression in and of itself -- like I do -- then his word is final. NOTICE: That doesn't mean you can't disagree with or dislike the arrangement, just as you can when viewing a film, reading a book, watching a painting etc.

 

Again, it's a sort of interactive relationship to artistic creation/adaptation, which I personally find curious. You rarely, if ever, see it in any other forms of adaptation.

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I simply prefer the C&C because it is the final result of the artistic creation, for better or worse of the composer/director/producer - warts and all.


Just as you say the album is an artistic expression (which I agree with) I see the original full score as the primary artistic expression. 

 

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40 minutes ago, Arpy said:

I simply prefer the C&C because it is the final result of the artistic creation, for better or worse of the composer/director/producer - warts and all.


Just as you say the album is an artistic expression (which I agree with) I see the original full score as the primary artistic expression. 

 

 

Yeah, that relates to my 'irony' comment earlier -- we both see a soundtrack as 'complete' in two very different ways. But that's OK. We all have our rationale behind our preferences, and it would be presumptous of me to say that one is more worthy than the other. It is for ME, obviously, but I can't speak for everyone.

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