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Amistad Expanded Release - MUSIC Discussion


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Jeeeeesus that “What is Their Story?” alternate sample has me salivating.  I need this in my life pronto.

 

https://johndadlez.com/MP3/Amistad/2_15_WITS_A.mp3

 

If I’m not mistaken this is an alternate of the back half of “Mr. Adams Takes the Case” on the OST right?

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Yep. I don’t need samples the way I don’t need trailers.  I will properly savor this when it’s in my hands. 

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Only seen the movie once and never studied unusedness and unreleasedness... but from the past days it seems to me like it might deserve a restored iso score, no?

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Wow the samples sounded great! I can't wait to hear the whole thing!

 

There will be such a wealth of new music to explore here and for the fan of this score it is an absolute joy. :)   

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8 minutes ago, Jay said:

Between the Tales of Horror samples, and the Discovering The Bible samples, you can hear just two of the many instances where Williams approached the same scene in multiple ways. 

Not to undermine the probably very thoughtfully well-crafted main program before we've even heard it... but you have a spreadsheet with a complete cue breakdown ready to be posted, right?

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The unreleased music sounds great. There's a lot to like about Amistad, but the Americana sections are my least favorite of all JW's Americana music. Not sure why. Maybe the solo brass is too idealistic in terms of melody?

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I literally haven’t spun this disc in years. I want to hear the samples but I’ve already bought it now so there’s no need to convince me. I am just going to wait and hear the new main program.

 

Everyone’s sample-talk has me all riled up though. I’m frothing for this one. And the cover was an instant sell honestly. Really pushed me over this time.

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One nice thing about the samples is that it shows how effortlessly JW can segue from Cinque’s Theme into the Dry Your Tears Afrika song refrain, in the "Discovering The Bible" sample. He does something similar in the end credits, seguiing from Adams' theme into the song refrain at the end of "The Long Road To Justice" 

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3 hours ago, Yavar Moradi said:

I honestly like the Dry Your Tears theme a bit better when it reappears later in The Patriot. I agree that Cinque’s Theme is amazing and the thematic highlight of the score.

 

Yavar

And don't forget American Journey in between--the theme got a bit of a workout during those years.  

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8 hours ago, Jay said:

One nice thing about the samples is that it shows how effortlessly JW can segue from Cinque’s Theme into the Dry Your Tears Afrika song refrain, in the Discovering The Bible sample. He does something similar on the OST album, seguiing from Adams' theme into the song refrain at the end of Long Road To Justice 

Dry Your Tears can somehow sound very Americana, when it is played by horns for example.

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Yes there is a beautiful new orchestral arrangement of it on the new album that I love so much. I almost included it in the samples but decided it'd be better not to spoil it

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I wanted to entice the casual film score fan to want to buy the album, I didn't cater the samples to the hard core JW fans. I hope this is a huge seller for LLL, the score really deserves a lot of crossover appeal, it's just so good. 

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@Jay, I had a question regarding both versions of The Crossing. The final section that scores Cinqué and the other Africans boarding the Amistad: the film seems to utilize mostly the Alternate but also includes a small section of the version as heard in the main sequence. Can you elaborate a bit on this? I’m just curious.

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Same thing happened with Going Home, Spielberg used portions of both versions in the final mix there too

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Cool.


God, when I die, I want to enter Heaven with the climax/ending of Tales of Horror playing. Both the scene in the film and its music makes me shed tears. It’s so powerful, moving and beautiful.

I love the orchestral arrangement as well. This whole score is just another example of why Maestro John Williams is the greatest.

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@Jay, I was wondering, and maybe you have knowledge of this. Since both The Lost World and Amistad utilize percussion heavily, are some of the same players performing in both scores? I was always wondering if that was the case.

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7 hours ago, WampaRat said:

Introduction and Retribution: 

The increasing rhythmic scrapping that starts about 2:25 as the violence amps up. Really sets me on edge. I can see how it would pair perfectly with the captives finding the barrel of cane knives during their attempted escape. Hope we can get some “score restore” videos for these!

 

I hope @Holko wants to do one! 

 

 

7 hours ago, WampaRat said:

The Meeting of the Minds(Memories of Home) theme is so beautiful. I love it in all its iterations. So glad this release lets this theme shine more.

 

I just love this theme. It's somehow calming while also a little mischievous or something. It's hard to put into words! 

 

7 hours ago, WampaRat said:

Prisoner’s Song. Jay you mentioned one of the best moments of this score is a “non-thematic” one. Was this the one you refer too?

 

I didn't say "best", I said "one of my favorite cues", which, yes, was referring to "Prisoner's Song". I love it! And I'm so glad it's in the main program, and not the bonus tracks (since it's technically source music). 

 

 

7 hours ago, WampaRat said:

 

It’s brief. But it cuts me to the core. I don’t know what it is about it. There’s something in it that makes me feel like it’s an evolution of the Meeting of the Minds/Memories of home theme (Anyone want to try and transcribe the two?) Where “Meetings” evokes their old homeland, “Prisoner’s Song” seems to elude to their new home and the African culture that will develop in North America. Religious Spirituals having evolved from traditional songs of their homeland. Wish it became a reoccurring theme. Damn is it moving.

 

Wow, an astute analysis, well said! 

 

7 hours ago, WampaRat said:

Comparing the two versions of Tales of Horror, it’s interesting to see the two approaches. The film version seems to score the first half of the cue with a more paranoid vibe. It helps you feel Cinque’s perspective a bit more as he sits uncomfortably on the stand. Then it explodes into the “Dry Your Tears” theme backed by the choir as he summons the courage to speak. The alternate is flipped in it’s choral usage. The first half has the momentous choral building of Cinque’s theme. Heavy with sorrow. But then a more subdued version of the “Dry Your Tears” theme plays sans-choir as Cinque stands and declares “Give Us Free!” Id be very curious to see a score restore with this version.

 

Oh, man, that's not how it worked at all, and now I feel that I failed to explain it properly in the liner notes (unless you didn't read them) 

 

The first 6 minutes of the track is the original version of the cue, where the "Give Us, Us Free!" scene was scored with an orchestral version of Cinque's theme. After that in the track is a revised ending that replaced all the music for the "Give Us, Us Free! " scene with a choral rendition of the Dry Your Tears Africa theme. This replacement happened in both the film and original OST album; the original instrumental Cinque's theme ending had never been heard before now. 

 

The bonus track contains two other options that were recorded for the "Give Us, Us Free" scene - first a powerful choral version of Cinque's theme, then an awesome instrumental rendition of the Dry Your Tears Africa theme. Neither was used anywhere and have never been heard until now. 

 

There is no alternate for the majority of the Tales of Horror cue, only the ending was revised. 

 

7 hours ago, WampaRat said:

The brutal Spanish Guitar strums that clash with the African instruments about 3:08 into The Crossing is just a master stroke of genius!

 

Yea! That part is so neat! 

 

7 hours ago, WampaRat said:

  
That’s all I got so far. I’m sure more will pop out as I revisit it again. Now. Back to Tomorrow Never Dies! 😃

 

 

Do share your thoughts on that release, too! 

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10 minutes ago, Jay said:

I hope @Holko wants to do one! 

 

On 30/11/2022 at 6:16 AM, Holko said:

Only seen the movie once and never studied unusedness and unreleasedness... but from the past days it seems to me like it might deserve a restored iso score, no?

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7 hours ago, Jay said:

 

Oh, man, that's not how it worked at all, and now I feel that I failed to explain it properly in the liner notes (unless you didn't read them) 

No worries! I’m sure you explained it  clearly. It was late when I finally was able to rip the CDs and skimmed the booklet. Then I did my listening at work the next day (didn’t have the booklet with me to refer to). Didn’t remember the specifics at the time.

7 hours ago, Jay said:

 

Do share your thoughts on that release, too

How do you do that hyperlink text thing that takes you to a specific post on another thread? (I shared my thoughts on page 3 of the LLL TND thread. They’re about 3/4 of the way down lol)
 

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1 hour ago, WampaRat said:

How do you do that hyperlink text thing that takes you to a specific post on another thread?

 

You just click on the timestamp of a post, and your URL becomes a link right to that post 

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This new album flows really well, even in the alternates section. I really love how in its new chronological presentation the score starts out darker and saves Dry Your Tears as a triumphant finale.

 

Also, I don't know if anyone will find it useful, but I made a quick dirty spreadsheet comparing the new album and the OST. I don't have my copy yet to review the liner notes, but I believe this is pretty accurate.

 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1LXgbJAb3MlPu721vmRaf7Jm5C2ucgJvO1vKm5q4sgfY/edit?usp=sharing

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36 minutes ago, BrotherSound said:

‘Introduction and Retribution’ makes for an excellent opener, very tense and atmospheric. Other than The Lost World, this may be the Williams score with the most outstanding hand drumming.


It would make sense since almost all of the percussion players performed on both scores.

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1 hour ago, BrotherSound said:

A few thoughts after living with this release for a few days:

 

’Introduction and Retribution’ makes for an excellent opener, very tense and atmospheric. Other than The Lost World, this may be the Williams score with the most outstanding hand drumming.

 

If anyone is interested in adding the guitar source into the main program, it goes between ‘Introducing John Quincy Adams’ and ‘Meeting of the Minds’, though as the liner notes mention, the two guitar cues are presented in reverse order.

 

I love that we now get several versions of what I didn’t realize was a recurring theme in ‘Cinque’s Memories of Home’: ‘Meeting of the Minds’, ‘Tale of the Lion’s Tooth’, and ‘Cinque’s Legal Mind’, plus two more in the bonus section.

 

@Jay Happen to know which was first? Was ‘Discovering the Bible’ based on the concert arrangement of Cinque’s theme (original title, ‘Tale of the Tiger’), or vice versa? Either way, it’s a stunning cue, and the alternate is equally great, and very different.

 

‘African Violet’ is a definite unreleased highlight. It’s remarkable how when JW evokes Copland, it sounds like something else Copland might have written, rather than a paraphrase of one of his existing works.

 

’Adams’ Address to the Court’ is over 7 minutes, yet flows so effortlessly it doesn’t feel nearly that long.

 

’The Verdict’ contains my favorite single version of Cinque’s theme, a gentle, wondrous statement as he learns of his freedom, with celeste twinkling behind it like all the stars in the night sky.

 

Some expansions contain bonus sections only worth listening through once (if that), but that is not the case here: some of the most stunning music in the collection is to be found here. The standouts are the alternates of ‘What Is Their Story?’, ‘Tales of Horror’, and ‘Discovering the Bible’, and ‘Dry Your Tears, Afrika’. The others are more subtly different, but add up to beautifully constructed program. It’s hard not to wonder what other unheard gems from other scores remain to be discovered whenever treasures like these are unearthed.


As usual, the stunning artwork by Jim Titus, and thoughtful liner notes by Jeff Bond are the icing on the cake. And a new, welcome addition this time is a detailed explanation of all the alternates from @Jay and Mike Matessino. 
 

I really can’t say enough good things about this release; it deserves to sell 5 million copies, not 5 thousand!

 

Thank you for this post, I really feel vindicated in my believe that this score is a masterpiece, and this new album of it is too. And I agree with all of your individual track comments! 

 

"The Tiger's Tale" was the very next cue that was recorded after "The Bible Scene", around a third of the way through recording. The revised version of "The Bible Scene" was recorded towards the end of scoring. 

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Dry Your Tears - for the musicologists amongst us: is there anything harmonically and melodically about the music that suggests African music/culture? Or is it just the percussion, rhythm, and the children's choir singing in general, and specifically the word "Afrika" in the chorus? I've seen the (of course very simplified) piano reduction, and it didn't look at all exotic. I didn't explore in detail, it just looked pretty straight forward. I just can't get my head around the fact that it sounds "Western" in its purely orchestral forms, but totally African with the children's chorus etc in the main piece. 

 

One other issue and problem that I don't think has been discussed is that if this goes into my top 10 or 20 Williams scores, which score loses its place? This is stressing me out!!

 

And what do the other scores think about this release? Are they happy for their sibling or pissed off and jealous? 

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On 1/12/2022 at 3:35 AM, Jay said:

Yes there is a beautiful new orchestral arrangement of it on the new album that I love so much. I almost included it in the samples but decided it'd be better not to spoil it

 

 

Which track Jay?

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