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{NOW AVAILABLE} Tim Burden Interviews Mike Matessino on Cinematic Sound for E.T. & CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND and more!


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Altough English is not my first language and that I never speak it, I understand pretty much everything.


The most difficult part for me, is the written English (and of course spoken English!). I will simply never get the right syntax and the right tonic accent. :D

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13 hours ago, artguy360 said:

Has MM done any other audio interviews about ET or Close Encounters?


There will be another excerpt this weekend where we will hear discussion on CE3K. The WHOLE interview will come out around Mid Jan 2018.

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What a great interview... really looking forward to the full thing.

Here's a transcript of one of my favorite parts:



I would dare say that Close Encounters was actually more of an influence on the evolution of film scores than Star Wars was. I think Star Wars got everybody to want big orchestras again, but I think in terms of what you can actually do with film composition, which was sort of locked into this rhythmic, thematic -you had to have a love theme, you had to have a hero theme, you know, that kind of approach from the past, we were sort of locked into that. I think in a way Close Encounters sort of freed it up, where a big orchestra can now do this very kind of nebulous experimental-sounding music, and audiences would now accept it.


Even if you compare, say, the first Star Wars, which almost does not have an atonal bar in it -maybe some experimental percussion like for the sand people, but that's about it. But by the time you get to Empire you get dissonance right from the get go almost in some scenes. So just in the space of three years there was some change going on there. But I think that just opened it up. What it made you just feel in Close Encounters was that a conversation was going on, but you didn't have the ability to interpret it. We know it's music, but we don't know what it's saying, we haven't been given the ability to understand it. It's a musical representation of this vision that's implanted into the characters heads, you see these UFOs... They don't know... "This means something", that's what they keep saying, "this means something, this is important", but they can't articulate it. And that's what this music is. It's trying to say something, but even some of the low-end rumbling... it sounds just like rumbling, but it's actually the notes are all written out. But it's so low in the register, that it's almost below the human ear's ability to comprehend the modulations there... So, again, a conversation is going on, but we don't have the ability to hear it.



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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...



This interview is amazing, one of the best!


Even though I knew many of the stories (I'm starting to realize a lot of Mike and I's private conversations about these releases are like a dry run for the stories he'll eventually tell on podcasts :lol: ), there were plenty I didn't know, and the whole thing was quite fascinating.


It wasn't entirely focused on CE3K and ET, many other things come up such as 2001, Superman, Raiders, The Accidental Tourist, and more!


Some tidbits that come to mind that are especially interesting:

  • How the use of dissonance in the CE3K score makes the melody of the 5 notes stand out even more, be even more important and prominent
  • That the french audio track of the Raiders Blu Ray has the original 1981 sound mix instead of the modern mix?
  • That "Lava Flow" was named after Bill Lava, famous WB cartoon composer, much like "Stalling Around" from JP was named after Carl Stalling.  Wow!
  • That nobody knows WHERE the ET Adventure ride music was recorded, but they suspect it might have been recorded in Boston. maybe during the sessions for the Spielberg/Williams Collaboration album in 1990
  • That the Dialogue cue was edited note by note to create a Jaws reference in the final film (!)

Nice to finally have all the details of the early cut of CE3K (IE the original plane opening, how Bob Balaban's character changed, what TV Western was written for, what shots were pickup shots, etc).


This is a MUST LISTEN, JWFanners, I promise!

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Sorry, what I meant was: The Blu Ray edition of Raiders has a new sound mix, but if you choose the French track instead, you can still hear the original 1981 mix

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Yes terrific interview. Nicely recorded too. Lovely stories. Some interesting feelers on the RCA STAR WARS Special Edition sets. Some interesting points on how remastering process has changed in the last 10 years. I can understand how Matessino feels about revisiting certain projects he did back then. It would be quite amazing if SUPERMAN gets another take. 

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36 minutes ago, Lacoq said:

Can anyone identify the track played at the 2:01:12 mark in the interview? Thank you.....


"The Dome Opens (Alternate)" from SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE.



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Terrific interview, MM is always very engaging. Love the shout out to Superman at the end, hope the 4K release is truly forthcoming this year.


At least now I know what Lava Flows and The Eleventh Commandment are...

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So we kind of have the proof he isn't doing an expanded Star Wars score at the moment, since he said "if we whatever do it, which I hope to someday get to redo".

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