Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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Camel Race

I like big, bold, operatic adventure scores. I feel no personal shame or guilt about this, but I must keep it a secret, or I will lose my job on security grounds. I am quite partial to the scores of Jerry Goldsmith and of Alan Silvestri (although I sometimes think the latter mickey-mouses a bit too much), and so I quite enjoyed the scores for the two existing Mummy pictures. Upon learning of the production of a third Mummy movie, my first thought was, "Hey, that means I can finally make a Mummy mix!"

I found Jerry Goldsmith's contribution to be a solid, fun action score with an absolutely gorgeous love theme, with many of the composer's trademark sounds (the score bears more than a passing resemblance to another personal favorite of the same year, The Thirteenth Warrior). Alan Silvestri's follow-up took almost the exact same approach and knocked The Mummy Returns out of the park with an exciting operatic score. Randy Edelman's The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor has some more self-consciously campy aspects, but is likewise built around the fusion of a traditional score (although I would argue that Edelman's is more of a British tradition than Hollywood) and more authentic ethnic elements.

Despite their radically different styles, I had much less trouble blending the music of the three composers together from a musical standpoint than I did from a technical one. Dynamic was a huge issue throughout the creation of this album. The production on all three of these scores are very different. Goldsmith's has a wide range but was mastered much quieter on the original CD, and the Dolby AC-3 source for the complete score was mastered very hot. Silvestri's has what I would almost consider to be too much dynamic, with the quiet portions almost ear-straining. Edelman's is mastered hot with a lot of dynamic compression and clipping. In the case of Silvestri's score, I often found myself adjusting the sound levels to maintain some consistency. I expanded the dynamic range on the Edelman tracks, which was a very intensive process as I had to watchdog the effects of the process on each change in the music. I have to admit that I've always found Edelman's production style to be rather weird, and so I tried to make these tracks sound a little more natural than they do on the original album (nothing major, just a minor tweak here and there). Goldsmith's score just took simple volume adjustments (these tracks are significantly louder than the original Decca CD), though I did some equalization on the tracks exclusive to the complete score to get their sonics to better match those from the album.

Once I saw The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor and heard how the score was used in the film, this disc came together pretty quickly. Many of the ideas I had wanted to try out for years but lacked a third Mummy film to be able to accomplish worked beautifully once they were implemented (the last three tracks on this album are a perfect example of this). The program is exactly the same as the one I initially put together on Sunday night, the only changes I have made to it since then have been extremely minor adjustments to correct technical errors (which is getting easier and easier all the time). In a departure from my tradition, I didn't consciously use the "side one" "side two" approach to this disc (nevertheless, the first half of the disc concentrates on Goldsmith's love theme while the second half focuses on Silvestri's Medjai theme), building the program out of a progressive model... that is, I wanted to keep the experience of listening to the disc a varied and interesting one.

The cover art was actually a fluke. I had been searching for images that would be somewhat evocative of the series as a whole to no avail. The image of the sunset behind the pyramids of Giza popped up on a fairly unrelated search, and I found the image so arresting that I decided that it could represent this disc.

21 Tracks • 81:25

1. THE MEDJAI 2:25
(The Mummy Returns - Silvestri)

(The Mummy - Goldsmith)

(The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - Edelman)

(The Mummy Returns - Silvestri)

(The Mummy - Goldsmith)

6. ALEX AND LIN 1:05
(The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - Edelman)

(The Mummy Returns - Silvestri)

8. CAMEL RACE 3:16
(The Mummy - Goldsmith)

9. SHANGRI-LA 5:10
(The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - Edelman)

(The Mummy Returns - Silvestri)

(The Mummy - Goldsmith)

(The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - Edelman)

(The Mummy Returns - Silvestri)

(The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - Edelman)

(The Mummy - Goldsmith)

(The Mummy Returns - Silvestri)

17. REBIRTH 4:6:29
(The Mummy - Goldsmith)

(The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - Edelman)

(The Mummy Returns - Silvestri)

(The Mummy - Goldsmith)

(The Mummy Returns - Silvestri)


Music Composed and Conducted by JERRY GOLDSMITH

Orchestrations by ALEXANDER COURAGE
Engineered by MIKE ROSS-TREVOR
Recorded at Air Studios and Whitfield Street Recording Studios, London, England



Music Composed and Conducted by ALAN SILVESTRI

Engineered by DENNIS SANDS
Recorded at C.T.S. Colosseum, England



Music Composed and Conducted by RANDY EDELMAN

Engineered by ELTON AHI and PETER COBBIN
Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London

  1. THE MEDJAI 2:25 (The Mummy Returns - Alan Silvestri)
    The album opens with a bang, in this case the introduction Silvestri wrote for the end titles of The Mummy Returns. This track features a euphoric reading of his music for the Medjai for orchestra, choir and percussion ensemble, and incorporates the love theme as well. The Arabian-styled melodies and instrumentation work perfectly as a prelude that sets the stage for the rest of the disc. It is also programmed intentionally so that if one is playing the CD in a car or on repeat, the transition from "Happy Ending" (track 21) to this one would match the sequence as it appears in the film. This is one of the cues not included on the original The Mummy Returns soundtrack album.

  2. JOURNEY TO HAMUNAPTRA 3:17 (The Mummy - Jerry Goldsmith)
    This track, which kicks off the album proper, was actually a big decision on my part. One of my first attempts at the suite-building that I now often do was the "To Hamunaptra" track on my The Farthest Reaches compilation. It was a combination of material from "Giza Port," "The Caravan" and "Camel Race," and I was very pleased with the track, so much so that I more recently made an 'update' of sorts for my expanded version of The Mummy score for my iPod. I wasn't sure if I wanted to keep that same arrangement, and ended up dropping "Camel Race" (which became track 8) and instead editing elements of "Giza Port" and "The Caravan." A new addition is that the track opens with a reading of the love theme from the introduction of "The Caravan," which then proceeds to the lyrical portions of "Giza Port," featuring Goldsmith's love theme illustrating the attraction between Evy (Rachel Weisz) and Rick (Brendan Fraser) before the remainder of "The Caravan" plays out. The ominous passage heard as Ardeth Bey (Oded Fehr) tracks the heroes' party has been abridged.

  3. A NEW ASSIGNMENT 2:47 (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - Randy Edelman)
    An flavor of the Far East is introduced in the first cue from Edelman's score for the third film. His treatment of the O'Connells, called 'A Call To Adventure,' is different from either Goldsmith or Silvestri's, concentrating more on their taste for perilous encounters. A representative of the Foreign Legion appears to offer Rick and Evy (Maria Bello in this film) a chance for some more danger (for which the couple, grown bored senseless by their retirement, is completely game) and so this theme has more of the feeling of a British light march, along the lines of Ron Goodwin.

  4. JUST AN OASIS 1:35 (The Mummy Returns - Alan Silvestri)
    Silvestri's love theme was heard in a form in "The Medjai" (track 1), but here it is given a much more serene setting. I expanded this track slightly by including a segment of "Have I Kissed You" sandwiched between two portions of "Just An Oasis" as it appears on the soundtrack album (upon which "Have I Kissed You" did not appear). In addition to the connection to the Medjai theme, Silvestri's love theme shares a bridge with his heroic theme.

  5. NIGHT BOARDERS 3:54 (The Mummy - Jerry Goldsmith)
    The appearance of raiders on board the riverboat with our heroes yields the first appearance in Goldsmith's score of the full-blown arrangement of his heroic theme, which had only been hinted at earlier in the score (both the heroic and love themes are alluded to but not heard as such until Rick and Evy begin working together. His theme for the Mumia, which hearkens back to his classic work on John Milius' The Wind and the Lion, plays a significant role in this track as well.

  6. ALEX AND LIN 1:05 (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - Randy Edelman)
    Edelman's Morricone-esque treatment of the romance between Alex O'Connell (played in this film by Luke Ford) and Lin (Isabella Leong) is analogous to both Goldsmith and Silvestri's takes on Rick and Evy's, but where those themes allude to an Arabian setting, this one evokes the Chinese setting. This introspective piece serves as a rest after the relentless action of the previous track and the absolute mayhem that is about to follow in...

  7. MY FIRST BUS RIDE 7:34 (The Mummy Returns - Alan Silvestri)
    This swashbuckling cue features Silvestri's heroic theme, written in a similar vein as Goldsmith's. As mentioned before, this theme has the same bridge as the love theme, which is here transformed into a rousing fanfare. This propulsive accompaniment for a colorful battle staged on a double-decker bus is features some extremely busy writing that evokes Max Steiner and Erich Wolfgang Korngold.

  8. CAMEL RACE 3:16 (The Mummy - Jerry Goldsmith)
    One of the main musical setpieces of The Mummy is the revelation of Hamunaptra itself, which leads to a spirited race to the ancient city, crescendoing in soaring rendition of the love theme, which is also heard in a more intimate reading at the conclusion of the track. The implication in the music is that while there was an attraction before, the race itself is when Rick and Evy truly fall in love with one another. The decision to include this entire track was what prompted the re-edit that resulted in "Journey To Hamunaptra" (track 2).

  9. SHANGRI-LA 5:10 (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - Randy Edelman)
    After Rick is injured, Lin leads the party to the legenday Shangri-La, home of her mother, sorceress Zi Juan (Michelle Yeoh). This track consists of material from the intense "Open Wound," the spiritual "Mother and Daugher Reunion" and the tender "A Family Presses Close," which features a heartfelt piano solo performed by the composer. The basic idea for this suite occurred to me when I recognized several of my favored cues from the album in succession while watching the film.

  10. EVY REMEMBERS 3:57 (The Mummy Returns - Alan Silvestri)
    This track actually opens with a restrained statement of Silvestri's motif for ancient Egypt culled from "Reconstituted Boyfriend," but plays out as it does on the original album with minor abridgment. Dreamy readings of Silvestri's Egypt material lead to a choral action theme is heard here as Evy witnesses Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo) and Ahnk Su Namun (Patricia Velasquez) murder the Pharoah (Aharon Ipalé) - a scene from the first film recreated in the sequel - that will play a significant role in the climax of the score (and this album). This is the first appearance in the album proper of the Medjai theme.

  11. REGENERATION 2:50 (The Mummy - Jerry Goldsmith)
    This is a combination of three cues, "Mr. Burns' Bad Luck" or "Blood," "The Crowd Parts" and "A Sneaky Mummy" that outlines Imhotep tracking down the Americans and the Egyptologist in Cairo. Imhotep's theme gradually becomes more consonant and authoritative as he builds himself to full strength. None of this material was included on the original soundtrack album; I had originally created this particular assembly for my own listening version of The Mummy for my iPod, as is the case with "A Face of Sand" (track 15).

  12. SHANGHAI CHASE 4:41 (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - Randy Edelman)
    The first thing Emperor Han (Jet Li) does when he is resurrected is tear through Shanghai in his stone chariot, presumably just looking for a cup of coffee, with Rick, Evy and Alex in tow, picking up Jonathan (John Hannah) along the way, of course. It is Edelman's turn to evoke Korngold; the relentless material for Han is contrasted with the cheery nature of the O'Connell theme.

  13. SANDCASTLES AND BREADCRUMBS 5:45 (The Mummy Returns - Alan Silvestri)
    The Medjai theme is featured prominently in this conflation of music from "Medjai Commanders" "Sandcastles" and "We're In Trouble," outlining the O'Connells' aerial pursuit of Alex (played in this film by Freddie Boath), captive but still guiding them with sandcastle replicas of his destinations. I had featured "Sandcastles" on my previous compilation The Farthest Reaches, where it followed the original assembly of "To Hamunaptra" (see track 2). The poetic "Sandcastles and Breadcrumbs" was the title of "Sandcastles" on the copy of the complete score that I have, and I felt it a fitting moniker for this suite, and later the album as a whole.

  14. HEARTBREAK 2:28 (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - Randy Edelman)
    This is one of the most dramatic passages in Edelman's score. A sorrowful 'cello solo by Anthony Bleeth leads into clarion call variations on the Han motif and tragic readings of Zi Juan's material, introduced on this album in "Shangri-La" (track 9). The track builds to an explosive climax, which introduces...

  15. MUMIA ATTACK 1:57 (The Mummy - Jerry Goldsmith)
    I originally had "A Face of Sand" in this location, but found that it overloaded the second half of the album with Imhotep and heroic themes, which severely cut into their impact in the finale. I instead used "Mumia Attack," which features the thunderous Mumia theme previously heard in "Night Boarders" (track 5) and concludes with a beautiful quote of the love theme. This keeps Goldsmith's score much fresher in the second half of the disc.

  16. A DEATH IN THE FAMILY 4:39 (The Mummy Returns - Alan Silvestri)
    Two tender readings of Silvestri's love theme culled from "Pygmies Converge" and "I Want Him Back" lead to the dramatic account of her death in "Come Back Evy," featuring a theme for the O'Connell family. This theme is given a more optimistic reading in "A Better Place/Sand Warriors" This track concludes with a blossom of the Medjai theme taken from "False Victories (Part 2)" The title "A Death in the Family" is taken from the relevant DVD chapter for the bulk of the action in the suite. "Come Back Evy" was the very last score piece featured on the original album (the running time rounded out by "The Mummy Returns," a suite of music that appeared earlier on the album prepared by Silvestri when it became apparent that the album master would be due before the score was finished), the rest of the cues incorporated into this track were not included on the soundtrack album.

  17. REBIRTH 4:39 (The Mummy - Jerry Goldsmith)
    Rick and Jonathan locate Imhotep, but the wily priest has unleashed the palace guards to prevent them from stopping him from sacrificing Evy to bring Anck Su Namun back to life to the sounds of clunky percussion. The cue is dominated by Imhotep's theme, but there is also choral writing similar to that heard in Poltergeist scores Imhotep's magic, and a powerful statement of the heroic theme heard as Rick battles the guards in a tribute to skeleton fight from The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad.

  18. THE GREAT WALL 4:43 (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - Randy Edelman)
    A merciless ostinato announces the "Formation of the Terra Cotta Army" as the clay soldiers fiercely stomp forth, which then leads into the emphatic "The Emperor Versus Zi Yuan." The track is rounded of with a proud reading of 'A Call To Adventure' in "Rick and Evy in Battle.". Some of these sequences were re-scored by John Debney after the finale had been re-edited.

  19. THE FINAL CONFRONTATION 6:15 (The Mummy Returns - Alan Silvestri)
    The conclusion of The Mummy Returns was full of the kind of music that would make you stand and cheer, but none of it was recorded in time to make the original soundtrack album. This summary of the last conflict between our heroes and Imhotep consists of material from "False Victories (Part 2)" and "Wrong Girlfriend" - which features both a reprise of the O'Connell family theme introduced in "A Death in the Family" (track 16) and a tragic reading of the music for Imhotep and Anck Su Namun introduced in "Evy Remembers" (track 10). The opening portion of "Happy Ending" with its fever-pitch choral writing and triumphant version of the heroism theme finishes off this track.

  20. INTO THE SUNSET 4:46 (The Mummy - Jerry Goldsmith)
    This is an abridgment of "The Sand Volcano" (the title for the revision once again comes from the DVD chapter), starting off at a musical hit that is analogous between the first two scores. The denouement of The Mummy features variations on the love theme, leading into the end title arrangements of both the heroic march and love themes, the latter so rapturous that it was edited in the film to appear before the march. While I understand why this was done, I prefer Goldsmith's original version for listening purposes, which is what appears here. This was the final track on the original album, the music just sort of trails off here as the intention was to then track in music from elsewhere in the film. This lent itself well to a seamless transition to...

  21. HAPPY ENDING 1:40 (The Mummy Returns - Alan Silvestri)
    The conclusion of "Happy Ending," featuring both the Medjai and love themes intertwining, leading to a triumphant crescendo that closes off the album. If this disc is played on repeat (or in a car), "The Medjai," (track 1) will appear immediately after this track, thus replicating the sequence in the film. This cue did not appear on the original soundtrack album.

    1. THE END
Tags: alan silvestri, film music, jerry goldsmith, my mixes, sandy courage

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