Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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Mix Six

While I had made five discs and worked on a sixth over the past month and a half, in each case, I didn't set out to do so, and the same is true here. I wasn't even thinking about making another disc or anything. Then I had an idea... the discs I had been working on all featured big, bombastic music. Even Watch the Skies, which isn't primarily an action album, had quite a few crashing pieces. I had a yen to make something in direct contrast, something beautiful, quiet and relatively brief. While I could point to Songs of the Heavens and its sequel Grace, or my more recent compilation Connections as a reference point for what this album sounds like, this disc is much more delicate than either of those two. There are serious passages, and there are bouyant passages, but the constant is that this is a gentle album of tender melodies.

21 Tracks - 54:17


  1. WENDY CARLOS: Greetings, Programs (Tron) 1:33
    London Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Douglas Gamley
    UCLA Chorus Conducted by Donn Weiss

  2. LEE HOLDRIDGE: The Serpent (East of Eden) 1:56
    Unione Musicisti di Roma and the Santa Cecelia Orchestra of Rome Conducted by Gianfranco Plenizio

  3. CLIFF EIDELMAN: Cinderella’s Confession (The Beautician and the Beast) 1:39
    London Metropolitan Orchestra Conducted by Cliff Eidelman

  4. RANDY NEWMAN: The Mural (Pleasantville) 1:57
    Orchestra Conducted by Randy Newman

  5. HOWARD SHORE: Willie’s Tears (The Yards) 2:54
    London Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Howard Shore

  6. DAVID ARNOLD: Vesper (Casino Royale) 1:38
    Orchestra Conducted by Nicholas Dodd

  7. BASIL POLEDOURIS: The War Is Over (Farewell to the King) 2:45
    Hungarian State Opera Orchestra Conducted by Basil Poledouris

  8. JOHN BARRY: I’m Not the Man I Seem (The Scarlet Letter) 2:30
    English Chamber Orchestra Conducted by John Barry

  9. BILL CONTI: Kissing in the Closet (F.I.S.T.) 3:00
    London Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Bill Conti

  10. BRUCE BROUGHTON: The Hat (Young Sherlock Holmes) 3:13
    Sinfonia of London Conducted by Bruce Broughton

  11. MIKLÓS RÓZSA: Redwoods (Time After Time) 2:28
    Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Miklós Rózsa

  12. PATRICK DOYLE: Carlito and Gail (Carlito’s Way) 4:01
    Orchestra Conducted by William Kraft


  13. ENNIO MORRICONE: Lolita on Humbert’s Lap (Lolita) 3:32
    Accademia Musicale Italiana Conducted by Ennio Morricone

  14. JAMES HORNER: Night Mists (Field of Dreams) 4:15
    Ensemble Conducted by James Horner

  15. CARLO SILIOTTO: A New Family (The Punisher) 0:56
    Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Carlo Siliotto

  16. ELMER BERNSTEIN: Discovery (The Field) 1:33
    Irish Film Orchestras Conducted by Elmer Bernstein

  17. DON DAVIS: The Lifespring Rhapsody (Warriors of Virtue) 3:18
    Denver Symphony Orchestra and Chorus Conducted by Don Davis

  18. VLADIMIR COSMA: Partridges for Supper (My Father’s Glory) 2:13
    Orchestra Conducted by Vladimir Cosma

  19. JERRY GOLDSMITH: Lost Luggage (Love Field) 2:24
    Orchestra Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith

  20. DANNY ELFMAN: Ice Dance (Edward Scissorhands) 1:42
    Orchestra Conducted by Shirley Walker
    Adult Choir Conducted by Sally Stevens
    Paulist Choristers of California Conducted by Jon Wattenbarger

  21. JOHN WILLIAMS: E.T. and Me (E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial) 4:48
    Orchestra Conducted by John Williams

Given the variable sound quality of the source tracks, I am actually rather surprised myself at how well they fit together once the sound levels were matched. Hiss comes and goes, but I was able to smooth over the transitions (I find that usually if a segue makes musical sense, the technical aspects will tend to be much less noticable). "Greetings Programs" is the first portion of the "Ending Titles" from Tron; I debated retaining the organ passage from the track, but felt that it would have been a bit too grandiose for what is a rather intimate album. I edited "The Lifespring Rhapsody" and "Lost Luggage" as both had passages that didn't fit with the project as a whole. I also included some whimsical pieces such as "The Hat," which is the love theme from Young Sherlock Holmes, and "Partridges for Supper," which balance out the more serious passages of the album.

Once again, I used the two-part structure; side two opens with an excerpt from Lolita, which I actually think is one of Morricone's best scores (and the film is a pretty good adaptation of the novel as well). One of the last major editing decisions was to switch the order of the last two tracks. While I initially liked the idea of leaving the album on an unresolved note, "Ice Dance" was somewhat anti-climactic after "E.T. and Me," while the latter piece actually sent the album off with a more pensive tone, which makes it more effective. "E.T. and Me" which was a track that I had prepared for inclusion on Watch the Skies, but ended up not using on that project. The track was from the album re-recording, the MCA CD was very thin-sounding, coming from the LP master without re-equalization (this disc has been replaced by a remaster of the original film tracks). I had already adjusted the volume level and deepened the frequency response of the music with satisfying results, and it ended up finding a home warmly closing off this album.

The title of the disc came about because of a complete coincidence. I had already selected "Redwoods" from Dr. Rózsa's Time After Time, and I recieved the new Excalibur edition of Spellbound during the production. That certainly put Rózsa to the front, but when I was actually assembling the disc and listened to the track, I was struck once again by how pretty the track was. And I had been wondering what to call the album (the project file was named "Pretty Mix"), and "Redwoods" not only was a pleasant name that kind of implied what it might sound like, it also gave me a solid approach to the album artwork. There aren't many things more photogenic than the Redwood Forest.

Incidentally, the creation of this album sent me to revisit Time After Time. I once again found it to be a neat little film, anchored by a great, sympathetic performance by Malcolm McDowell. His idealistic H.G. Wells isn't so much baffled by 1979 as he is horrified at it. In many ways, his need to overcome his own illusions mirror the greater issue of how his old friend John Leslie Stevenson (David Warner, doing sinister in that way that he does so damn well) is none other than Saucy Jack himself, who chides Wells by pointing out that his beliefs are firmly grounded in his naïveté. McDowell and Mary Steenburgen met on and fell in love on this film, and I feel that his performance in the last twenty minutes of the film to be a particularly moving bit of acting for this very reason; he had to appear desperate and vulnerable but still as earnest as the character had been established previously, and it certainly looks as if his genuine feelings for her are coming through. And despite her slow baby voice, which I ordinarily hate, Steenburgen is a great asset to the film. One of the best scenes of the film is one in which Wells, a fairly experienced man of the world for his time finds himself being seduced by a woman whose attitudes about such things are eighty years in advance of his own.

Putting an author into a film with elements of his own work often produces interesting but idiosyncratic works such as David Cronenberg's synthesis of William S. Borroughs into Naked Lunch, Steven Soderberg's placing Franz Kafka into his own clerk's pool in Kafka (the visual style of which is an hommage to Orson Welles' The Trial), and, of course, Charlie Kaufman's extremely self-concious Adaptation, but I think that Time After Time might be one of the more successful entries in the subgenre. Writer/director Nicholas Meyer clearly has a lot of affection for his subject (which is one of the reasons why the character's rude awakening is so effective), and McDowell looks (if not sounds) very much like Herbert George Wells. And what can one say about Miklós Rózsa's score? It is just so perfect in every way, beautifully old-fashioned (matching the deliberately retro visual effects) and evocative. That love theme (featured in "Redwoods") is just gorgeous... and the sound mix in the film favors the score, which actually sounded pretty enveloping in Pro-Logic II Movie. I think I might want to recover my laserdisc of the title, which Raz has, to compare the sound to that of the DVD.
Tags: basil poledouris, bill conti, danny elfman, david arnold, don davis, elmer bernstein, ennio morricone, film music, howard shore, james horner, jerry goldsmith, john barry, john williams, lee holdridge, miklós rózsa, my mixes, patrick doyle, reviews
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