Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332

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Soaring

It has been many years since I originally compiled one of my first concept albums Flight. Along with Songs of the Heavens and The Farthest Reaches, this remained a personal favorite of mine of that particular vintage. However, due to some of the complications involved with the Great Computer Crash of 2010, it never made it on to my iPod. I wanted to rectify this, but when I actually listened to my master, I realized something: it sounded terrible.

I'm not saying that there was a specific problem with the sound quality on the disc, but rather that there are many tracks on it that were of less than optimum sound quality, so much so that the original disc artwork contained a legend that the music spans several decades of recording technology and sound quality would not always be consistent. The thing of it is, most of the worst offenders had been remastered, and anything left over would have been well within my abilities to correct for. So I decided that I might try to re-create Flight from scratch using better masters, and improving some of the more primitive transitions from the original (only a few) and recreating most of the rest of the original transitions, as I quite liked them.

The more I thought about doing it, though, the more I felt that the original Flight had room for expansion, while my sequel didn't really come together as well as I'd hoped. It occurred to me that I could easily combine the best elements of both discs, while adding a few new tracks that fit the concept. In the end, I used long sequences from Flight as it appeared on the original disc, but with a few deviations where I used material from Flight II: Conquering the Skies (The Right Stuff, Explorers, The Aviator), or that wasn't a part of the original assemblies (Empire of the Sun, Slipstream), or that hadn't been written yet when the original two discs were created (Up, How To Train Your Dragon, The Avengers).

This is a project specific to Flight. Don't expect either Songs of the Heavens or The Farthest Reaches to get similar treatment; I have listened to those albums recently and I am quite satisfied with how they sound and play.



  1. JAMES HORNER: The Ride of the Firemares (Krull — 1983) 3:19
    The London Symphony Orchestra and Ambrosian Singers Conducted by James Horner


  2. LEE HOLDRIDGE: The Eagle (The Beastmaster — 1982) 2:52
    The Academy of Santa Cecelia Orchestra and the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Rome Conducted by Lee Holdridge


  3. ALAN SILVESTRI: The Helicarrier (The Avengers — 2012) 2:02
    Orchestra Conducted by Alan Silvestri


  4. HOWARD SHORE: H-1 Racer Plane (The Aviator — 2004) 3:09
    The Flemish Radio Orchestra Conducted by Howard Shore


  5. JOHN WILLIAMS: The Ballroom Scene (The Witches of Eastwick — 1987) 5:27
    Orchestra Conducted by John Williams


  6. JERRY GOLDSMITH: Overture (The Blue Max — 1966) 2:16
    The Philharmonia Orchestra Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith


  7. LAURENCE ROSENTHAL: Pegasus (Clash of the Titans — 1981) 2:38
    The London Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Laurence Rosenthal


  8. GEORGE FENTON: The Londonderry Air (Memphis Belle — 1990) 3:50
    Orchestra Conducted by George Fenton


  9. ELMER BERNSTEIN: Flight To the Temple (Heavy Metal: Taarna — 1981) 2:15
    The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and London Voices Conducted by Elmer Bernstein
    Jeanne Loriod, Ondes Martenot


  10. BASIL POLEDOURIS: Plane To Vegas (Cherry 2000 — 1987) 0:54
    The Hungarian State Opera Orchestra Conducted by Basil Poledouris


  11. JOHN WILLIAMS: Buckbeak's Flight (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban — 2004) 1:51
    Orchestra Conducted by John Williams


  12. LEE HOLDRIDGE: Leaving Home (The Tuskegee Airmen — 1995) 4:06
    Orchestra Conducted by Lee Holdridge


  13. JERRY GOLDSMITH: No, Thanks (The Secret of N.I.M.H. — 1982) 1:58
    The National Philharmonic Orchestra of London and Ambrosian Singers Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith


  14. MICHAEL KAMEN: The Balloon (The Adventures of Baron Münchausen — 1988) 1:04
    The Graunke Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Michael Kamen


  15. JOHN WILLIAMS: The Magic of Halloween (E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial — 1982) 1:52
    Orchestra Conducted by John Williams


  16. JERRY GOLDSMITH: The Mountain (Total Recall — 1990) 0:41
    The National Philharmonic Orchestra of London Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith


  17. VANGELIS: Los Angeles, 2019 (Blade Runner — 1982) 2:37
    Performed by Vangelis


  18. JOHN WILLIAMS: Imaginary Air Battle (Empire of the Sun — 1987) 2:33
    Orchestra and Choir Conducted by John Williams


  19. ELMER BERNSTEIN: Escape (Slipstream — 1989) 2:22
    The London Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Elmer Bernstein
    Cynthia Millar, Ondes Martenot


  20. MICHAEL GIACCHINO: Carl Goes Up (Up — 2009) 3:30
    Orchestra Conducted by Tim Simonec


  21. JOHN BARRY: Main Title (High Road to China — 1983) 1:17
    Orchestra Conducted by John Barry


  22. JOHN WILLIAMS: The Flying Sequence (Superman — 1978) 8:04
    The London Symphony Orchestra Conducted by John Williams


  23. JERRY GOLDSMITH: Flying Ballet (Supergirl — 1984) 4:10
    The National Philharmonic Orchestra of London Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith


  24. BASIL POLEDOURIS: Night Bird (Conan the Destroyer — 1984) 2:19
    El Unione Musicisti di Roma Conducted by Basil Poledouris


  25. JOHN POWELL: Test Drive (How To Train Your Dragon — 2010) 2:27
    Orchestra Conducted by Gavin Greenaway


  26. JOHN WILLIAMS: Remembering Childhood (Hook — 1991) 2:18
    Orchestra Conducted by John Williams


  27. JERRY GOLDSMITH: Have A Nice Trip (Explorers — 1985) 5:41
    Orchestra Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith


  28. BILL CONTI: Yeager's Triumph The Right Stuff — 1983) 5:10
    The London Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Bill Conti


(83:12)


  1. JAMES HORNER: The Ride of the Firemares (Krull — 1983) 3:19
    The London Symphony Orchestra and Ambrosian Singers Conducted by James Horner


    In order to open the album with a big bang is a cue from towards the end of Krull, but which started off the original soundtrack LP (subsequent expansions have all opened with the film's rousing main title). One can savor the richness and energy of this early James Horner score, as thunderous basses and brass herald a herd of horses as they gallop through the air, leaving trails of fire in their wake. This was the opening track of the original Flight compilation, although I have used the slightly more detailed La-La Land master as my source and added a smoother "exit" for the cue than I was previously able to.


  2. LEE HOLDRIDGE: The Eagle (The Beastmaster — 1982) 2:52
    The Academy of Santa Cecelia Orchestra and the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Rome Conducted by Lee Holdridge


    A more introspective cue follows as the titular Beastmaster Dar (Marc Singer) begins to understand his powers, he shares consciousness with an eagle, who then scouts ahead for him during a night journey. Lee Holdridge supplied an appropriately soaring melody for strings and woodwinds, which here interacts with the materia primoris for Dar. Despite an extended opening and conclusion, the bulk of this track is the same as "Night Journey" on the original Flight disc, the edits are much more refined (the new title is actually more accurate, as well as being more appropriate for an album of this topic).



  3. ALAN SILVESTRI: The Helicarrier (The Avengers — 2012) 2:02
    Orchestra Conducted by Alan Silvestri


    This is the most recent score represented on this disc, and it deserves special mention because it was the main impetus from turning this project from a simple restoration of Flight into an almost complete rethinking of the entire concept. In one of the show-stopping moments in the film, the Helicarrier transforms from a traditional, if enormous, aircraft carrier into a flying vehicle. Alan Silvestri illustrates both the power of the Helicarrier as well as the awe of the protagonists at the feat of engineering it represents with a series of noble calls for the brass section over a busy string ostinato related to the theme for S.H.I.E.L.D.



  4. HOWARD SHORE: H-1 Racer Plane (The Aviator — 2004) 3:09
    The Flemish Radio Orchestra Conducted by Howard Shore


    This cue appeared on Flight II: Conquering the Skies, and was perhaps the music that was programmatically related closest to the Icarus theme of that album. In this cue for one of the test flights in the film, Howard Shore captures Howard Hughes' (Leonardo DiCaprio) passion for flight with strident brass passages, but offsets it with the castanets emphasizing the character's instability. It is about his drive for speed.



  5. JOHN WILLIAMS: The Ballroom Scene (The Witches of Eastwick — 1987) 5:27
    Orchestra Conducted by John Williams


    The album takes a quieter turn; after a slinky passage of introduction, the three "witches" of the title (Susan Sarandon, Cher and Michelle Pfeiffer) find themselves cavorting with Darryl (Jack Nicholson) by his pool late at night only to find themselves floating in the air. Although much of this cue was dialed out of the film in favor of yet another iteration of "Nessun Dorma," John Williams builds a euphoric sense of freedom in an extended sequence that is one of his most gorgeous works. The previous edition of Flight featured this cue as mastered from a copy of the original Warner Brothers CD, while this is the (corrected pressing) Collector's Choice remaster; this begins a long sequence that closely follows the original Flight compilation.



  6. JERRY GOLDSMITH: Overture (The Blue Max — 1966) 2:16
    The Philharmonia Orchestra Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith


    The main title from Jerry Goldsmith's classic score from the World War I airplane picture The Blue Max presents the primary theme of that film. This score, with its expansive sense of freedom, was one of the original inspirations for the original version of Flight (where it appeared between the same two tracks it does here), which used the Sony Legacy version of the original soundtrack recording. The initial assembly of this disc had featured Intrada's remaster of the original soundtrack recording. Upon deeper examination of my options, I found that not only were the sonics of the Suites and Themes recording much better, it was a very similar performance (so close in tempo, in fact, that I was able to slide the different recording into the spot where I had taken away the main title and it fit perfectly).



  7. LAURENCE ROSENTHAL: Pegasus (Clash of the Titans — 1981) 2:38
    The London Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Laurence Rosenthal


    Ray Harryhausen's final project was graced with a glorious Romantic score by Laurence Rosenthal. This cue accompanies the sequence during which Perseus (Harry Hamlin) taming the Pegasus; in a score bristling with memorable themes, the illustrative melody for Pegaus soars above all of them. This is the Intrada remaster of the score, which is much cleaner and more detailed than the PEG CD that was the source for this cue's appearance on the original Flight compilation, but I did use the PEG CD (albeit with some extensive equalization) to get a clean finale to "Pegaus," as the Intrada crossfades into the next cue.



  8. GEORGE FENTON: The Londonderry Air (Memphis Belle — 1990) 3:50
    Orchestra Conducted by George Fenton


    Continuing the sequence from the original Flight compilation, from here we slow a bit down for the more reflective, but no less rousing opening from Memphis Belle. George Fenton's old-fashioned sensibilities create a lush musical portrait for the last voyage of a World War II bomber, incorporating elements of "Danny Boy" into his main theme.



  9. ELMER BERNSTEIN: Flight To the Temple (Heavy Metal: Taarna — 1981) 2:15
    The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and London Voices Conducted by Elmer Bernstein
    Jeanne Loriod, Ondes Martenot


    Elmer Bernstein brings us back to a larger scale, with "Flight" from the Taarna sequence in Heavy Metal. The music was based on a theme written and recorded, but not used for a previous science fiction project, Stanley Donen's Saturn 3, and here is reworked into a theme for the mute warrior Taarna as she is introduced flying a giant winged beast over a landscape dominated by a gigantic skeleton. The music is a grand accompaniment to the ambitious scope of the visuals, which at the time, were impossible for a live-action film to achieve. The original Flight compilation featured an LP rip of this cue; this was mastered from the FSM release of the complete score.



  10. BASIL POLEDOURIS: Plane To Vegas (Cherry 2000 — 1987) 0:54
    The Hungarian State Opera Orchestra Conducted by Basil Poledouris


    Basil Poledouris' score for the science-fiction misfire Cherry 2000 had a more modern sound, here presenting a lyrical exploration of his dreamy "Cherry" theme as the film's protagonists near their final goal. The original Flight compilation featured this cue but mastered from a copy of the Varese Club edition; this was taken from the much cleaner Prometheus/Intrada master.



  11. JOHN WILLIAMS: Buckbeak's Flight (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban — 2004) 1:51
    Orchestra Conducted by John Williams


    This was the one cue that inspired the original Flight compilation in the first place. Alfonso Cuarón's adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban transformed a difficult and trying experience in the book into an amazing visual tour de force during which Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) finds himself gliding over Hogwarts castle and the lake. John Williams scores the moment with a busy, ascending theme for Buckbeak (a stirring reprise of which at the climax of the film is sadly missing from the album).



  12. LEE HOLDRIDGE: Leaving Home (The Tuskegee Airmen — 1995) 4:06
    Orchestra Conducted by Lee Holdridge


    Lee Holdridge's expansive main title for this telefilm illustrates the big sky and its call to the young men of color who joined the Air Force during World War II in the hopes of being able to fly and fight in the war, unfettered by the social inequalities of the era. This was another of the tracks that were amongst the main inspirations for the original project; I had seen the telefilm and sought out the promo of the score because the theme had stayed with me.



  13. JERRY GOLDSMITH: No, Thanks (The Secret of N.I.M.H. — 1982) 1:58
    The National Philharmonic Orchestra of London and Ambrosian Singers Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith


    Mrs. Brisby the mouse must visit the Great Owl to inquire how to save her family; misterioso textures including choir accompany Nicodemus' observations, a soaring rendition of the film's main theme "Flying Dreams" is then heard for the transition to Mrs. Brisby riding Jeremy the Crow. A busy "fluttering" motif is then heard during the rough landing (an excellent example of Goldsmith's ability to come up with a musical representation of a concept). The original disc featured this cue sourced from the TER disc, the Varese Sarabande re-issue is somewhat less shrill in overall sound.



  14. MICHAEL KAMEN: The Balloon (The Adventures of Baron Münchausen — 1988) 1:04
    The Graunke Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Michael Kamen


    Michael Kamen's varied score for The Adventures of Baron Münchausen contains many points of interest, one of which is this soaring music for a dirigible constructed from ladies' undergarments, featuring a beautiful ascending orchestral passage blending eventually into an interesting synthesizer sequence as the balloon ascends into the kosmos.



  15. JOHN WILLIAMS: The Magic of Halloween (E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial — 1982) 1:52
    Orchestra Conducted by John Williams


    John Williams returns with his famous flying theme from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial in the cue for the iconic sequence in which the alien causes Elliot's bicycle to fly. This cue was mastered from the 1996 edition of the score rather than the 2002 SACD edition because I preferred the balance on the mix for several sequences, particularly the initial appearance of the main theme.



  16. JERRY GOLDSMITH: The Mountain (Total Recall — 1990) 0:41
    The National Philharmonic Orchestra of London Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith


    This cue accompanies an aerial shot of the Martian exterior, for which Jerry Goldsmith composed a piece built around around the oscillating strings and synthesizer motif for the reality versus fantasy theme of the film and the three-note motif associated with Mars. While this track doesn't technically illustrate flying in the same way that the others on this album do, during the assembly of the Flight compilation, I decided to bend the rules a bit because it was a great transitional piece, and so it appears here in the same role.



  17. VANGELIS: Los Angeles, 2019 (Blade Runner — 1982) 2:37
    Performed by Vangelis


    Ridley Scott's vision of the near future featured sky-flying cars called "Spinners" gliding high above the cityscape of Los Angeles. Vangelis' composed a grand sequence based around his main theme for the film for the iconic establishing shot of the film, which is followed on the soundtrack album (and here) for the introspective trip of Deckart (Harrison Ford) and Gaff (Edward James Olmos) to the police headquarters. This is the last of the cues that follow this particular sequence from the Flight compilation.



  18. JOHN WILLIAMS: Imaginary Air Battle (Empire of the Sun — 1987) 2:33
    Orchestra and Choir Conducted by John Williams


    In the category of "how did I miss ever this," this was a track that probably should have been a part of the Flight project from the very beginning; this ethereal piece accompanies one of Jamie's (Christian Bale) reveries. John Williams builds a dreamy portrait with strings and choir, giving the sequence an otherworldly feel. This was on no previous version of this project, and it begins a sequence that diverges from the the Flight assembly.



  19. ELMER BERNSTEIN: Escape (Slipstream — 1989) 2:22
    The London Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Elmer Bernstein
    Cynthia Millar, Ondes Martenot


    This is a case where a great score ended up being buried by a mediocre film; the largely unseen movie is a staple of bargain-big video while the expressive and colorful score remained unreleased due to the disinterest of the rights owners. Even the "official" release of this score from Perseverance wasn't, strictly speaking, official, but it did yield a fine-sounding CD of the original score. This cue is from the opening of the film, and as such it serves as the introduction to Elmer Bernstein's main theme for the film as the films protagonists take to the air for the first time.



  20. MICHAEL GIACCHINO: Carl Goes Up (Up — 2009) 3:30
    Orchestra Conducted by Tim Simonec


    This film hadn't even been made when I put together the first two Flight discs, but it was an obvious inclusion. The cue heard here is the accompaniment to the scene in which Carl (Ed Asner) inflates a gabazillion helium balloons and uses them to fly his endangered house out of the city and to South America. The film's main theme, which is tied to both the house and to the omnipresent Ellie, is here heard in its most pure and uncomplicated (Carl's fantasy playing out before the difficulties of reality interupts).



  21. JOHN BARRY: Main Title (High Road to China — 1983) 1:17
    Orchestra Conducted by John Barry


    John Barry's beautiful main title from the Tom Selleck/Bess Armstrong aerial adventure High Road To China return us to sequence from the Flight compilation. I debated using "Flying Lessons" instead of the main title (which features a different theme), but decided that what I really wanted here was the main theme, which has been a favorite of mine since I saw the film on its original theaterical release. This cue appeared there mastered from the Southern Cross/Label X Gold Disc, while here is is sourced from the Buysoundtrax remaster.



  22. JOHN WILLIAMS: The Flying Sequence (Superman — 1978) 8:04
    The London Symphony Orchestra Conducted by John Williams


    You can't really make a compilation about flying without including the one guy who probably does it better than anybody. In case you have lived your entire life under a rock, there is an extended musical sequence in Superman in which Superman (Christopher Reeve) takes reporter Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) out flying that is built around John Williams' love theme "Can You Read My Mind," which was originally supposed to have had sung lyrics, but Ms. Kidder's vocal talents didn't match the requirements of the piece (that is to say, she couldn't sing worth a damn). The original disc had this cue sourced from the Rhino edition; this set has been supplanted by the FSM Blue Box, and it is from there that its appearance on this version has been mastered. I had used a different edit (featuring alternate takes of the cue) on my Man of Steel collection, but I maintained the complete, original version (sans Margot Kidder's spoken word) as I did for the original disc.



  23. JERRY GOLDSMITH: Flying Ballet (Supergirl — 1984) 4:10
    The National Philharmonic Orchestra of London Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith


    Speaking of Superman, his cousin Kara (Helen Slater) got a weak spin-off film that happened to be graced with a glorious Jerry Goldsmith score. In this sequence (deleted from the American version of the film), Kara learns about her abilities on Earth. Goldsmith builds the scene with the heroine's secondary theme and then illustrates her joy at her newfound powers with a powerful statement of his main Supergirl theme. Although this track is the same as the one that appeared on the Flight compilation, I did some mastering work on it so that it better matched the dynamics of the rest of the album.



  24. BASIL POLEDOURIS: Night Bird (Conan the Destroyer — 1984) 2:19
    El Unione Musicisti di Roma Conducted by Basil Poledouris


    Thoth Amon (Pat Roach) uses his magic to perform an avian kidnapping of Princess Jehnna (Olivia d'Abo). Basil Poledouris' sinister cue is built around an insistent harpsichord motif associate with the wizard and his ice castle. This track concludes the second of the two extended sequences from my original Flight compilation.



  25. JOHN POWELL: Test Drive (How To Train Your Dragon — 2010) 2:27
    Orchestra Conducted by Gavin Greenaway


    This is another score that hadn't been written when I compiled the original two Flight albums, but like Up, it was a case in which as soon as I decided that I would revisit this project, the inclusion was obvious. The cue here showcases euphoric variations on John Powell's main theme as Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) tests out a prosthetic tail for Toothless, with all of the tumbles and eventual triumph that entails.



  26. JOHN WILLIAMS: Remembering Childhood (Hook — 1991) 2:18
    Orchestra Conducted by John Williams


    Peter Banning (Robin Williams) remembers his boyhood as Peter Pan, and mischievously flits around Never-Never Land accompanied by one of John Williams' most swashbuckling themes. This track appeared on my original Flight compilation, although there it was mastered from the original Epic Soundtrax CD, while here it was sourced from La-La Land's new edition.



  27. JERRY GOLDSMITH: Have A Nice Trip (Explorers — 1985) 5:41
    Orchestra Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith


    For the endgame of this album, I looked toward my Flight II: Conquering the Skies, which was the first time I made this particular edit, which omits the shuffleboard alien music to concentrate on the soaring orchestral theme Jerry Goldsmith composed for the adolescent protagonists. This is the finale of the film, in which the three boys (Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix and Bobby Fite) are joined by Lori Swenson (Amanda Peterson) as they fly over circuits that will form the basis of some unknown future adventure.



  28. BILL CONTI: Yeager's Triumph The Right Stuff — 1983) 5:10
    The London Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Bill Conti


    The finale of this disc is the same as that of Flight II: Conquering the Skies; the rousing conclusion to Philip Kaufman's The Right Stuff, a fantasia of Bill Conti's noble themes for the film, incorporating Robert MacArthur Crawford's "Wild Blue Yonder." Conti won the Academy Award for Best Original Score for his work on this film. Since I assembled the original, Varese Sarabande has released a soundtrack album for The Right Stuff. I decided that I would stick with the London Symphony Orchestra recording for the better sonics and more spirited performance.



THE END
Tags: alan silvestri, basil poledouris, bill conti, conan, elmer bernstein, film music, george fenton, harry potter, howard shore, james horner, jerry goldsmith, john barry, john powell, john williams, laurence rosenthal, lee holdridge, martin scorsese, michael giacchino, michael kamen, my mixes, superman, vangelis
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