Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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Scoring the Unfamiliar

This mix is the end result of the playlist that I had been working on while I was at my parents' house recovering from my surgery that you may have seen me playing a bit recently.

There are certain genres that require music to play a more active role in a film than others. In general, the cinema of the fantastic tends to lean more on the score to establish the setting. I decided to explore how composers deal with exotic locations. This sent me through my collection looking for music that illustrated extremely strange environments. The resulting collection isn't quite as avante garde as one would think, though. There is some very traditionally written music here; what the criteria was that the music was about how unusual the landscape in the film was.

1. JOHN WILLIAMS: The Glory of Krypton (Superman) 2:45
London Symphony Orchestra Conducted by John Williams

JOHN CHARLES: Sunrise (The Quiet Earth) 2:05
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Conducted by William Southgate

JERRY GOLDSMITH: The Mine (Outland) 3:42
National Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith

ELLIOT GOLDENTHAL: Toccata and Dreamscapes (Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within) 8:23
London Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Dirk Brossé

HENRY MANCINI: Into the Alien Craft (Lifeforce) 3:32
London Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Henry Mancini

TREVOR JONES: The Strangers Are Tuning (Dark City) 3:39
Orchestra Conducted by Geoff Alexander; Gareth Cousins, Synthesizers

JOHN WILLIAMS: The Mecha World (A.I.) 3:49
Orchestra Conducted by John Williams

BERNARD HERRMANN: The Undersea Forest (Beneath the 12-Mile Reef) 4:40
Twentieth Century Fox Studio Orchestra Conducted by Bernard Herrmann

JERRY GOLDSMITH: The Cloud (Star Trek: The Motion Picture) 4:44
Orchestra Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith; Craig Huxley, Blaster Beam

HOWARD BLAKE: The Worlds of Mongo (Flash Gordon) 1:16
National Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Howard Blake

RUSSELL GARCIA: Beautiful Forest (The Time Machine) 1:51
Orchestra Conducted by Russell Garcia

WENDY CARLOS: Scherzo (Tron) 0:58
London Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Douglas Gamley; Wendy Carlos, Electronic Realization

VANGELIS: Tales of the Future (Blade Runner) 4:33
Vangelis, Synthesizers; Demis Roussos, Vocal

JERRY GOLDSMITH: The Search Continues (Planet of the Apes) 4:47
Orchestra Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith

TREVOR JONES: The Power Ceremony (The Dark Crystal) 3:50
London Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Marcus Dods

BRIAN TYLER: The Golden Path (Children of Dune) 2:01
City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Adam Klemens

JOHN BARRY: Into the Hole (The Black Hole) 4:14
Orchestra Conducted by John Barry

JERRY GOLDSMITH: The Alien Planet (Alien) 2:19
National Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Lionel Newman

ALEX NORTH: Moon Shuttle Bus (2001: A Space Odyssey) 4:59
National Philharmonic Orchesta Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith

JOHN WILLIAMS: The Fortress of Solitude (Superman) 8:44
London Symphony Orchestra Conducted by John Williams

JOHN CHARLES: Saturn Rising (The Quiet Earth) 4:20
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Conducted by William Southgate

I did a bit of playing around with some of these tracks. The idea of sandwiching the album with a specific sequence of scores has been something I've been doing on a lot of my mixes lately. In this case, I started and closed with an excerpt from John Williams' Superman followed by one from John Charles' The Quiet Earth. "The Glory of Krypton" is the opening crescendo from "The Planet Krypton" fused with the crystal calling Clark in "Leaving Home." In addition to the grand opening it gives the album, these two moments are the purest presentations of the building blocks that form the breakdown heard in "The Fortress of Solitude," which represented a sort of harmony of two worlds, then The Quiet Earth, in which our world was transformed. "The Worlds of Mongo" is a part of "Flight To Arboria/Harem" from Howard Blake's Flash Gordon. "The Alien Planet" from Jerry Goldsmith's Alien is the original album track, not one of the bootleg cuts.

I found that the finished disc had a very distinct flow that was even more effective than than I was expecting. There is a lot of very exotic sounds heard on this disc, but I programmed the it to have phases it goes through, but the whole is grounded in the more traditional symphonic material. This disc was a pleasure to create, and in a way I feel that it may well have been inspired by my recent medical ordeal, which was a very unfamiliar experience to me.
Tags: alex north, bernard herrmann, elliot goldenthal, film music, henry mancini, jerry goldsmith, john barry, john williams, my mixes

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