The Matrix (Davis, 1999)

The Matrix The Matrix Reloaded The Matrix Revolutions

All screenshot images of The Matrix copyright © 1999 - 2015, Warner Bros.
     Don Davis really put himself on the map with his 3 Matrix scores, and their successful mix of avant-garde, post modern minimalist, late Romantic, ethnic percussion-based and industrial music was well-suited to the kaleidoscopic influences permeating the films themselves.  In order to prepare music for test screenings, Davis demoed all of his cues on synthesizer tracks for the Wachowski Brothers (now siblings) before fully orchestrating them.  He also wrote cues for sequences which were slated to be accompanied by rock songs, just in case the songs ended up being unavailable.  These temporary "place-holding" cues have never surfaced anywhere as far as I know (but I sure would love to hear them, if they were ever actually recorded!).  The temp cues were composed over a 10-week period and the orchestration was completed in a second much more compressed time frame.  The score was ultimately recorded in 14 sessions over 7 days with a 90-piece orchestra and a 40-member chorus.

     The score for the first Matrix movie was first released on a 30-minute score CD of "highlights" in 1999, but an isolated music track on the DVD release of The Matrix (with commentary from Davis in between the music cues) was obviously more rewarding.  In 2008, Varese Sarabande released an expanded 78-minute "Deluxe Edition" of the score, which, although still not totally complete, is probably the best version we'll see for awhile (although the 1999 score release does have one track, "The Cure/A Virus", not included on the Deluxe Edition).  This release was limited to only 3000 copies, and is the release described below. The tracks included in the 1999 release are marked with an "*".  Unreleased cues and source music tracks (rock songs, essentially) are also listed at the appropriate chronological points.

     On a surface level, Davis' score does not have alot of "tunes", but with careful listening, alot of signature textures, effects and motifs can be found, as well as a memorable Trinity love theme (which gets much more developed in the 2 sequels).  The most recognizable motif is the "reflective brass" motif, where 2 chords are somewhat cross-faded back and forth between two brass groups.  This happens alot during the slow-motion "bullet time" sequences.  Another of my favorite motifs is what I call the "Mission motif", which is a pattern of even rising notes in 7/8 meter (first appearing on track 4), often paired with an echoing, layered 2-note descending figure in the violins (first appearing on track 2).  The squid-like machine Sentinels also get an unmistakable thematic texture of fast, isolated (but closely spaced) atonal 3-note fragments in chromatic (12-tone?) patterns (clearly in track 4, but hinted at earlier in track 3).  Here's a summary of the main "themes" which occur more than once, in their order of appearance:
  • Reflective brass motif: swelling brass on 1 or 2 chords from different brass sections (trumpets vs horns)
  • Metallic whistling motif: electronically-processed cymbal scrapes
  • Matrix ostinato: rising, repeated, roughly 4-note figures, churning feeling
  • Echoed, 2-note-based falling violin figures motif
  • Sentinel motif: atonal layers of rising chromatic fragments in independent patterns in different instruments
  • Mission motif: 7/8 rising figure in even notes, often with the 2-note falling violin figure
  • Trinity love theme: rising 3-note phrases
  • Escape fanfare: big brass with heavy accents, sometimes with rising flute ornaments
  • Load Up motif: usually backed by metal percussion rhythm
  • Nebuchadnezzar theme: tense adventure feeling
  • Agent "snarling" texture: whenever Agents talk this happens, not sure exactly how he did it, something with dry ice?
  • Fight theme: swelling, rising trumpet stabs with irregular piledriver/slam accents
  • Fast forward motif: rising falling trumpets, used when the Matrix speeds past very fast, such as in the "Guns.  Lots of guns." scene.
  • Noble trumpet theme: not sure if this is an actual theme, but it's a repeated at least once
  • Rising power theme: usually on brass, many variations
  • The One theme : sweeping, somewhat mystical feeling
  • probably a few more - will update when I get to Reloaded and Revolutions...
Trk Dur Title Film Action and Themes
1 3:49 Main Title/
  • 0:00: Warner/Village Roadshow logos (reflective brass motif, metallic whistling motif, subtle, low Matrix ostinato motif, etc...)
  • 0:29: Green rain and MATRIX logo (Matrix ostinato clearer in strings)
  • 0:41: Trinity Infinity: Phone conversation - "Are you sure this line is clean?" (Matrix ostinato variations, offset layers: low winds, strings)
  • 1:17: POV into green data into police flashlight (segue edit) (piano chords, swelling brass)
  • 1:28: Trinity dispatches police officers, confers with Morpheus on phone - "You have to focus Trinity... You can make it." (atonal, frenetic piano and percussion rhythms with swelling horns and "piledrivers/slams", then fast low ostinati)
  • 2:15: Agents appear and pursue Trinity onto the rooftops (brass fanfare, rhythmic Matrix ostinati texture returns in piano with building layers of brass accents/tremolo figures)
  • 3:04: "Impossible" leaps (reflective brass motif, Matrix ostinato, etc...)
  • 3:27: final sprint (brass fanfare, timpani, reflective brass motif)
  • Dissolved Girl: Trinity escapes through the phone just as a truck crashes into the phone booth (edited out, not released)

Dissolved Girl
  • Performed by Massive Attack: Headphone source music - "Follow the white rabbit."
Neo Con Brio,
Follow The White Rabbit
  • Neo puzzled by his computer, invited to go club-hopping (not released)
(Hot Rod Herman Remix)
  • Performed by Rob Zombie: Club music source as Neo meets Trinity (on song soundtrack)
  • Performed by The Prodigy: Club music source - "What is the Matrix."  (on song soundtrack)
2 3:23 Neo On The Edge 
  • 0:00: At his desk job, Neo gets a call from Morpheus ("They're coming for you, Neo, and I don't know what they are going to do.."), who helps him evade approaching Agents (metallic whistling motif, piano/harp arpeggio, ostinato motif)
  • 1:36: Neo finds cover in an office, but is instructed to escape out the window (ostinato motif, echoed, 2-note-based falling violin figures motif)
  • 2:42: Neo looks down at the pavement and eventually changes his mind (reflective brass motif, falling figures motif, Agents sizzle motif)

Through The Surveillance Monitor
  • Neo interrogated by Agent Smith (not released)
3 1:13 "Unable To Speak"*
  • 0:00: Agent Smith watches as Neo's mouth melds together, and the Agents put a mechanical "bug" into Neo's stomach - "Tell me, Mr. Anderson… What good is a phone call...if you're unable to speak?" (hint of Sentinel motif (atonal layers of rising chromatic fragments), building to intersecting layers of rising clusters in piano, brass, percussion, high winds, rattling, etc...)
4 3:15 Bait And Switch 
  • 0:00: Neo is picked up by Trinity and her friends in a car, Neo resists Switch's bedside manner - "Listen to me, coppertop, we don't have time for 20 questions." (2-note-based echo/falling violin motif layered on top of undeveloped Mission motif in low winds, metallic whistling motif)
  • 1:00: Trinity asks Neo for trust   - "You have been down that road, know exactly where it ends...I know that's not where you wanna be." (hint of Trinity love theme in cellos)
  • 1:23: Trinity proceeds to remove the Agents' cybernetic bug from Neo's torso - "I think you're bugged..." (Sentinel motif (atonal triplet fragments) in low strings, brass, increasingly higher instrumentation, and then a low string coda)
  • 2:28: Neo arrives at a rain-swept building and goes up a spiral stairwell to meet Morpheus (full 7/8 Mission motif in piano with 2-note falling violins figure)
5 3:35 Switched For Life 
  • 0:00: Morpheus offers Neo a choice of pills - "You take the Red Pill…you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes…" (after suspense strings, prepared piano pulses, atmospheric textures)
  • 1:00: Neo takes the Red Pill, and Morpheus takes Neo into a room filled with weird machinery - "Buckle your seat-belt Dorothy, cause goin' Bye-Bye." (hypnotic Mission motif variation in piano with polymetric counter-melody, strings, harp, etc.., eventually switching to 6/8)
  • 2:22: Neo begins having bizarre visions of things melting - "How would you know the difference between the dream world... and the real world?" (metallic whistling motif, rising mixed-meter figures (with somewhat Philip Glass-like patterns), trumpet fanfares, horn accents)
6 2:40 Switched At Birth
(The Power Plant)*
  • 0:00: Neo wakes up in a pod under post-apocalyptic skies, plugged into a machine (eerie strings, ominous brass, wordless chorus)
  • 1:00: Neo sees rows and rows of pods.  A robot harvester descends and unplugs him, after which he is dumped into a pool (tutti accents, metallic whistling motif, Sentinel theme variation on trumpets, churning string/brass figures)
  • 2:04: Morpheus' ship, the Nebuchadnezzar, fishes Neo out of the water - "Welcome to the real world." (Escape fanfare, ending in reflective brass motif)
7 2:26 Switch's Brew
(Welcome to the Real World)*
  • 0:00: Neo's body is rehabilitated under Morpheus and the others' care (soft strings, boy soloist over brass and arpeggiated strings)
  • 1:39: Neo wakes up and touches the jack in the back of his neck, realizing it's all real (soft strings, metallic whistling motif)
8 1:38 Cold Hearted Switch 
  • 0:00: Morpheus introduces Neo to his ship, then his crew, and then plugs Neo into the "construct" (Matrix loading program) - "This will feel…a little weird." (slow strings over arpeggiated figure, then noble brass figure, nervous strings into brass accent)
9 2:05 Nascent Nauseous Neo 
  • 0:00: In front of a vintage TV, Morpheus gives Neo an explanation of what the Matrix is - "The world that you know only exists as a neural interactive simulation..." (segue into...) (brass swells with wind/harp ostinati)
  • 0:18: Morpheus and Neo talk in a desolate crater - "Welcome to the desert of the real.", segue into... (sustained strings and rising wordless chorus)
  • 0:52: In a montage of human pod farms, Morpheus explains how the machines grow humans as battery cells (distressed strings, brass and chorus, into soft vocals and bell (sync with Duracell battery image))
10 1:30 A Morpheus Moment 
  • 0:00: Morpheus tells Neo about the prophecy of "the One" - "It was he who freed the first of us, told us the truth." (eerie strings, soft winds)
  • 1:05: Morpheus hints that he believes Neo is "the One" - "I believe that search is over." (noble, hopeful brass and strings)
11 1:03 Bow Whisk Orchestra 
  • 0:00: Tank begins loading up Neo with "software" (combat skills) - "Hey Mikey, I think he likes it…" (soft trills with high percussion pulse, metallic whistling motif into big chord, then "Load up" motif (synth/metal percussion rhythm), gong)
"I know kung fu."
"Show me."
12 1:14 Domo Showdown 
  • 0:00: Morpheus and Neo begin to spar - "Hit me.  If you can." (ethnic percussion, Taiko, bells, chimes, metal plates, etc…) "Good… However, your weakness is not your technique…"

Morpheus Vs. Neo 
  • (see below)
Leave You Far Behind
  • Performed by Lunatic Calm: Sparring sequence in earnest (original mix on song soundtrack)
13 1:04 Switch Or Break Show 
  • 0:00: Sparring continues, with Neo finally getting the better of Morpheus - "You're faster than this…don't THINK you are - KNOW you are." (tuned drums/toms, joined by rhythmic rising string figures (staccato tremoli))
14 0:33 Shake, Borrow, Switch 
  • 0:00: Morpheus takes Neo to the top of a building to attempt the "Jump" program - "Free your mind." (staccato tremolo strings continue, with Fast Forward brass/wind ostinati rising and then falling)

Switch Works Her Boa (1)
  • Neo fails the Jump program and falls (not released)
Bring Me Dinner
  • Cypher complains that Trinity never brought him dinner (not released)
The System
  • ie - "Clubbed to Death (Kurayamino Mix)", Performed by Rob Dougan: Neo is distracted by a woman in a red dress. (on song soundtrack)
15 1:48 Freeze Face 
  • 0:00: As a virtual Agent Smith points a gun at Neo's head, Morpheus freezes the scene to explain what Agents can do, and what Neo can (hopefully) do - "What are you trying tell me?  That I can dodge bullets?" (brief brass swell to piledriver hit, ominous winds and strings) - 
  • 1:10: "No Neo, I'm trying to tell you that, when you're ready, you won’t have to." (2-note rising motif in high strings)
16 2:03 Switch Woks Her Boa (2)
  • 0:00: The Nebuchadnezzar runs and hides from killer machine Sentinels hunting humans in the sewer tunnels - "We got trouble." - (rhythmic brass pulses, falling/echoing string figure with piano ostinato, Sentinel theme variation, Nebuchadnezzar theme in high strings (0:37), suspense strings, etc..
  • 1:40: A Sentinel comes close, but then departs (low string tremoli, brass accents)

Cypher Cybernetic
  • Neo talks with Cypher (not released)
"Ignorance Is Bliss"
  • Cypher secretly meets with Smith (not released)
See Who?
  • ie - "Prime Audio Soup", Performed by Meat Beat Manifesto: Morpheus, Neo and the others jack in to the Matrix to seek out the Oracle (on song soundtrack)
17 2:56 Switch Out 
  • 0:00: The team exits the building, but Cypher drops a clue for the Agents to find them (multiple piano-driven trill/tremolo motif, falling electronic glissando)
  • 0:24: Neo looks out a car window, seeing reflections of his past (brass swells, backwards tape sounds, strings and percussion)
  • 1:09: Neo asks Trinity about her experience with the Oracle (Trinity love motif in low brass over trill/tremoli, soft strings)
  • 1:32: On the elevator ride to see the Oracle, Morpheus and Neo discuss how "accurate" the Oracle may be (soft arpeggiated patterns into slow versions of tremolo figure, modulating, swelling strings into piano ostinato figure)
18 1:06 Boon Spoy 
  • 0:00: In the Oracle's anteroom, an elfin young boy mentally bends a spoon - "It is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself." (high strings and chimes, sound effects, wide, held chords into eerie metallic/wind effects)

Minor Swing/
I'm Beginning to See the Light
  • Composed by Django Reinhardt\Duke Ellington: Oracle kitchen source music
19 1:26 Oracle Cookies 
  • 0:00: The Oracle tells Neo that, due to his beliefs, Morpheus will sacrifice his own life to save Neo's, and that he will have to make a choice - "You're in control of your own life, remember?  Here, take a cookie." (soft strings, thoughtful brass, delicate harp over strings/harmonics)
20 5:24 Threat Mix
(The Hotel Ambush)
  • 0:00: Morpheus, Neo and Trinity return to the jack in point in order to leave the Matrix (7/8 Mission theme over drums/bongos , swelling brass)
  • 0:46: Neo has "déjà vu" with a black cat (hesitant, rising piano with nervous strings and followed by low brass accents)
  • 1:27: Morpheus realizes it's a trap and the heroes discover that their exit has been cut off (Load up rhythm motif, Matrix ostinato rising figure, swelling brass piledrivers
  • 1:50: Mouse is killed by soldiers. (brass piledrivers).  The team tries to come up with an escape plan, as Agents arrive - "I hope the Oracle gave you some good news..." (Load up rhythm/Matrix ostinato resumes, becomes variation of Matrix ostinato in strings, whistling metal, reflective brass)
  • 2:53: Soldiers begin a room to room search, Morpheus and Co. hide in the walls (low, hammered, prepared piano notes, eerie strings, Agents "snarling" low sound effect motif, soft suspense strings, low, hammered piano notes
  • 4:15: Cypher gives them away. Morpheus attacks Smith so that Neo and the others can escape. (brass tremolo accents, falling textures, Neb brass tremolo fanfare, sinister rising brass figures, brass reflective motif, rising Matrix ostinato)
21 1:16 Exit Mr. Hat*
  • 0:00: Morpheus and Agent Smith fight.  Morpheus is captured - "You all look the same to me." (Agents snarling texture, Fight theme (swelling tremolo brass with piledriver accents), metallic whistling, defeated horn/strings)
22 4:45 On Your Knees, Switch 
  • 0:00: On the Nebuchadnezzar, Cypher shoots Tank and Dozer, and calls up Trinity (atmospheric texture, dissonant string accents with light metal percussion)
  • 1:14: Cypher yells at Morpheus' helpless, jacked-in body - "Surprise asshole! I bet you never saw this comin'. Didja?" (piano figure into low textures, then with various swelling brass, string tremoli)
  • 2:25: Cypher unplugs Apoc and then Switch, and then threatens to unplug Neo - "I mean, how can he be 'the One'...if he's dead?" (percussive accents and eerie metallic whistling, desolate strings, tolling bell over high string tremoli, dissonant brass swells, etc..)
  • 3:55: Tank gets up and shoots Cypher before he can kill Neo.  Trinity returns to the ship and comforts Tank over Dozer's death. (rising brass figure, fragment of Trinity motif, sad horns)
23 1:27 Mix The Art 
  • 0:00: Inside the top floor of a skyscraper with a bound and drugged Morpheus, Agent Smith reflects on the history of Mankind and the Matrix - "…billions of people just living out their lives…oblivious…" (brass tremoli variation of reflection motif, various string tremoli/glissandi, metallic whistling motif, eerie strings, brass swells)
24 4:01 Whoa, Switch Brokers 
  • 0:00: On the Nebuchadnezzar, Tank, Trinity and Neo discuss pulling Morpheus' plug.  (despondent low strings, winds/brass)
  • 0:57: The Agents learn of their spy's demise and order Sentinels to be deployed to destroy the Neb before Morpheus can be unplugged. - "Never send a human to do a machine's job..." (Agents snarling texture, metallic whistling)
  • 1:15: Back on the Neb, Neo stops Tank from unplugging Morpheus and decides to stage a rescue instead - "I'm going in." (horns descend as strings rise, soft chords)
  • 2:00: Trinity decides to join him and brooks no objections from Neo - "Tank, load us up." (Load up percussive theme, suspenseful but noble textures, noble trumpet solo, Load up theme resumes with noble trumpet, brass takes up noble motif)

The Cure
(A Virus)*
  • Smith describes Mankind as a virus.  Neo and Trinity gather weapons -  (metallic whistling, atmospheric string cluster glissandi, rhythmic strings with high percussion, Fast Forward rising/falling fanfare, Agents snarling texture mixed with metallic whistling, brass swells, etc...(released ONLY on original 1999 score release)
"What do you need?"
"Guns.  LOTS of guns."
"It's The Smell"/
  • Smith complains to Morpheus about how much he hates being in the Matrix.  Neo and Trinity enter the building security corridor (percussive piledrivers, not released)
  • ie - "Spybreak (Short One)", Performed by Propellerheads (on song soundtrack)
25 1:00 No More Spoons 
  • 0:00: Inside an elevator, Neo and Trinity prepare to ride up an elevator shaft to the roof, as a counter-weighted bomb is sent to the ground floor - "There is no spoon..." (low textures, Matrix ostinato with piano, brief reflective brass motif, undeveloped Rising power brass motif (0:20), etc...) - "Find them and destroy them."
26 1:06 "Dodge This" (Bullet Time)*
  • 0:00: On the roof, Neo and Trinity fight soldiers and an Agent.  Neo somehow begins developing impossibly fast "bullet-time" reflexes (brass tremolo accents, sinister layers of low brass, rising strings, reflective brass motif, Agent snarling texture) 
"Only human."   
"Dodge this."
27 3:29 Ontological Shock*
  • 0:00: After Neo shoots up the interrogation room with a helicopter-mounted Gatling gun, Morpheus breaks free of his chains and leaps for the helicopter.  Shot by Smith, he begins falling, but Neo leaps out to catch him. (full Rising power theme on brass, interrupted by various action tremoli, a brief reflective brass motif, then a Rising power motif variation)
  • 1:07: Trinity begins piloting the copter away but Smith's gunshots send it out of control (Escape fanfare: percussive chords of low repeating brass accents and high wind ornaments)
  • 1:49: Morpheus and Neo land on a rooftop.  The copter veers into a glass building but Neo saves Trinity before it explodes - "Do you believe it now, Trinity?" (Rising power brass variation, tremolo brass version with snare, brass swells, "The One" theme (2:45), soft brass swells and string tremoli)
28 5:16 That's Gotta Hurt 
  • 0:00: After Morpheus jacks out on a subway platform, Trinity begins to tell Neo of her feelings for him (dramatic chord into suddenly subdued strings)
  • 0:47: Smith appears and shoots the phone hard line immediately after Trinity jacks out.  Neo faces Smith alone in a "High Noon" showdown - "Mr. Anderson..." (dissonant horns into brass accents/fanfares and tense strings, followed by a "Western showdown"-like pause with tumbleweed castanet accents)
  • 1:33: The battle begins in earnest as the fighters launch themselves into the air and at each other - "I'm going to enjoy watching you die, Mr. Anderson." (Fight theme with rising tremolo brass hits, reflective brass motif, a pause and then extended Fight motives underlined by snare/piledrivers, and punctuated by low chord "breathers")
  • 3:05: Neo takes a big hit and spits blood, but keeps on fighting (falling horn figure, rising strings, the One motif variant, Fight theme continued)
  • 3:57: Smith riddles Neo with multiple-exposure punches and pins him on the subway tracks in front of an oncoming train - "Do you hear that, Mr. Anderson?  That is the sound of inevitability...of your death.  Goodbye, Mr. Anderson." (low brass with trumpet tremoli on top, then distressed, atmospheric textures/swells punctuated by piledrivers)
  • 5:00: Neo escapes Smith's chokehold and jumps out of the way of the train - "My NEO." (pulsing brass, similar to Neb fanfare)
29 4:04 Surprise! 
  • 0:00: As Neo runs from the Agents, the Nebuchadnezzaer is notified of approaching Sentinels (Swells/accents, then Sentinel theme, low rhythmic figures with keening high strings)
  • 0:43: Neo runs from Smith and calls up Tank for directions to an exit - "Mr. Wizard!  Get me the Hell out of here!" (churning strings, piano and metal percussion, rising brass)
  • 1:05: Agents chase Neo through a busy crowd and then into a building and up the stairs.  Neo jumps out a window (Escape fanfare: percussive chords of repeating brass accents, reflective brass motif, variant of Load up rhythm motif with brass tremoli, reflective brass, piledrivers, etc...)
  • 2:24: Sentinels begin attacking the Neb ("Here they come.") and Morpheus prepares an EMP (Sentinel theme with rising strings/horns, brass fanfare, low textures)
  • 2:54: Neo is pursued into an alley and up a fire escape.  Sentinels breach the ship's hull, etc... Neo eventually runs into a room and Smith ambushes him, shooting him in the chest.  (Matrix ostinato variation in fast low piano, Rising power brass motifs, piledriver brass hits, Sentinel theme, low solo Sentinel wind figures, repeating piledrivers as Smith shoots Neo)
30 6:47 He's The One Alright (Anything Is Possible)*
  • 0:00: Smith shoots Neo a few more times to be sure (tense strings, metallic bell tolling accent)
  • 0:28: Neo flatlines, ("Goodbye, Mr. Anderson."), the Sentinels enter the ship and begin cutting it apart (sad brass/strings over low rumbling, falling brass figures)
  • 1:06: Trinity tells Neo that she loves him, kisses him (1:42) (quiet strings joined by tender wind/harp figures, Trinity theme on horns)
  • 1:56: Neo revives and stops bullets in mid-air. Smith attacks, but is easily blocked - "He is the One." (the One theme developed with reflective brass, 2-note falling/echoing strings motif, chorus, and brass, ending in a huge operatic/choral cadence, somewhat related to the end of Handel's "Alleluia Chorus")
  • 3:21: Neo dives into Smith, Smith deforms and explodes (rising brass figures, Agent snarling, brass/wind/choir crescendo, swelling brass)
  • 4:07: Sentinels breach the Neb cockpit and Morpheus sets up the EMP just as Neo jacks out of the Matrix (rising Sentinel brass figures, Sentinel theme with more clusters, suddenly quiet textures with Trinity love theme motif)
  • 5:06: Neo on the phone with a warning to the Matrix - "I know you're out there.  I can feel you now.  I know that you're afraid...I'm going to show them a world where anything is possible.  Where we go from there, is a choice I leave to you." (low Matrix ostinato in winds/low strings, high tremolo strings and brass swells)
  • 5:59: Post rock songs additional credit music (noble brass fanfares and falling strings (Davis cites the end of Mahler's "Resurrection" symphony as an influence), reflective brass motif, final piledriver accent)

Wake Up
  • Performed by Rage Against The Machine: End credit song 1 (on song soundtrack)
Rock Is Dead
  • Performed by Marilyn Manson: End credit song 2 (on song soundtrack)

Complete Recording Sessions
     As listed on the Wikipedia page for this soundtrack, a promotional CD was available in a very exclusive release.  The titles on that 2-disc release are listed below with the actual cue titles (which are from the "Film Cue Database").
1 Opening Sequence (Logos/Main Title) 0:50
1 Choices (Oracle Cookies) 1:26
2 Trinity In A Jam
(Trinity Infinity/Dissolved Girl (4:44))
2 The Hotel Ambush
(Threat Mix)
3 The Matrix Has You (Neo Con Brio) 0:31
3 Smith vs Morpheus (Exit Mr. Hat) 2:55
4 The White Rabbit 
(Follow The White Rabbit)
4 Cypher's Burnout 
(On Your Knees, Switch)
5 They're Coming For You 
(Neo On The Edge)
5 Perfect World 
(Mix The Art)
6 In Custody 
(Through The Surveillance Monitor)
6 Matters Of Belief
(Whoa, Switch Brokers)
7 Unable To Speak 1:12
7 A Virus (The Cure) 1:36
8 Getting The Bug Out (Bait and Switch) 3:15
8 The Key (It's The Smell) 1:55
9 Down The Rabbit Hole 
(Switched For Life)
9 Lobby Shooting Spree
10 Rebirth (Switched At Birth) 2:39
10 Saving Morpheus (No More Spoons) 1:00
11 Welcome (Switches Brew) 2:20
11 Bullet-Time (Dodge This) 1:06
12 The Nebuchadnezzar Crew 
(Cold-Hearted Switch)
12 B-212 Helicopter 
(Fast Learning)
13 The Real World (Nascent Nauseous Neo) 3:58
13 Morpheus Rescue (Ontological Shock) 4:16
14 The Search Is Over (A Morpheus Moment) 1:30
14 The Subway Showdown (That's Gotta Hurt) 5:15
15 Training Begins (Bow Whisk Orchestra) 1:20
15 The Sentinels Attack (Surprise) 4:04
16 Bow Whisk Orchestra
(Domo Showdown)
16 Anything Is Possible 
(He's The One Alright/End Credits )
17 Domo Showdown 2 
(Switch Or Break Show)

18 Free Your Mind (Shake, Borrow, Switch) 0:33

19 First Jump (Switch Works Her Boa (1)) 0:54

20 Dinner (Bring Me Dinner) 0:36

21 The Gatekeepers (Freeze Face) 1:48

22 Sentinels (Switch Works Her Boa (2)) 2:03

23 A Drink With Cypher (Cypher Cybernetic) 0:57

24 Dealing For Bliss (Ignorance Is Bliss) 0:37

25 Off To See The Oracle (Switch Out) 2:56

26 There Is No Spoon (Boon Spoy) 1:05

Don Davis Page
YouTube Playlist of 1999 Soundtrack (Songs)
YouTube Playlist of 1999 Score
Filmtracks Review
Music From the Movies Nos. 24, 39 (1999, 2003) Don Davis Interviews
Red Pill 2000 Interview
Tracksounds 1999 Davis Interview


Return of the Jedi (Williams, 1983)

Star Wars Ep. IV:
A New Hope
Star Wars Ep. V:
The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars Ep. VI:
Return of the Jedi

(Early poster before "Revenge" was changed to "Return")

     After scoring "Star Wars" (1977) and "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980), it was natural for John Williams to return and finish out the trilogy, summarizing his thematic material from these first 2 films and adding new themes for the climax.  Like the recording for "Star Wars", and "Empire", this score was also orchestrated by Herbert Spencer, conducted by Williams himself, and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra (10 days over January and February of 1983).

     The music for "Return of the Jedi" has been released in several forms, with the most complete being the Special Edition double CD released in 1997 (also re-packaged in 2004 and just recently in a digital collection, but both without the excellent liner notes).  The initial version of this score was a single LP, in which Williams re-combined and re-sequenced cues to create a "listening experience".  The 1997 Special Edition is basically in film order (with some bonus cues and concert arrangements placed in between and at the end of the 2 discs), and this is what I'll be describing below.  "Return of the Jedi" also features 2 new recordings specific to the 1997 Special Edition release of "Return of the Jedi": "Jedi Rocks" and "Victory Celebration".  Consequently, a few cues ("Lapti Nek" remix from Jabba's palace, Ewok Celebration music...) from the original release were left off (but can be found on the "Star Wars Anthology" from 1993).

     The most important themes introduced in Episode VI are the Luke-Leia "sibling" theme, the Emperor's sinister, male chorus-driven theme, Jabba the Hutt's theme, the propulsive "Trap" theme and the Ewok themes.  The Luke-Leia theme and 2 versions of the Ewok theme (march and fight) each get concert arrangements.

Trk Dur Title Film Action and Themes
1 0:23 20th Century Fox Fanfare 
(Alfred Newman 1933/54)
  • 0:00: Fox logo (from 1980 ESB recording)
2 9:17 Main Title STAR WARS logo followed by scrolling text (Luke theme, brassy and noble)
  • 0:00: Fanfare
  • 0:07: Luke theme
  • 0:26: Luke B theme
  • 0:48: Luke theme
Approaching The Death Star
  • 1:26: Darth Vader's shuttle arrives at the new Death Star station (atmospheric textures, high and low figures dialogue, Trap theme (2:26) interrupted by Vader theme at 2:55, followed by various arrangements of the Vader theme)
"Death Star in Disarray"
  • 5:15: Unused here, possibly re-purposed in Battle of Endor sequence (hint of Trap theme, Vader theme, synths)
Tatooine Rendezvous
  • 5:43: Deleted scene: Darth Vader tries to mentally reach Luke on Tatooine (eerie strings, low brass, flute)
  • 6:36: Deleted scene: Luke assembles a new lightsaber and secretly places it inside Artoo (Luke theme fragment, new light Droids wind theme on trumpet)
  • 7:16: Artoo and Threepio travel to Jabba the Hutt's palace (droid theme slightly more lively)
  • 7:47: The Droids come to a massive door, and are then escorted into Jabba's shadowy palace by Bib Fortuna to an audience with the massive Hutt (dissonant, heavy wind/brass textures, low and high dialogue figures ending in Jabba tuba figure, unused)
3 1:17 The Droids are Captured
  • 0:00: Jabba points out Han Solo's frozen body against the wall, Artoo and Threepio are assigned to Jabba's droid labor pool (distressed strings and brass, leading to some brief exotic scales and rhythms)
4 2:50 Bounty for a Wookiee
  • 0:00: A mysterious bounty hunter (Leia in disguise) arrives with Chewbacca as prisoner (high percussive/wind texture into wind/brass figures, Jabba's "jocular" theme from 0:20 on tuba, then later also on winds
  • 1:52: The bounty hunter forces Jabba to renegotiate Chewie's price with a thermal detonator (tense brass, eventually becoming timpani rolls and low winds)
5 4:01 Han Solo Returns
  • 0:00: Leia secretly frees Han from the carbon freeze unit (atmospheric brass, strings and percussion, brass-reinforced accents when Han is revealed and then "defrosted")
  • 2:24: Leia removes her mask to reveal her true identity to Han, but Jabba reveals that it was a trap and all are taken prisoner (Han-Leia Love theme, Jabba theme)
6 8:49 Luke Confronts Jabba
  • 0:00: Luke arrives at Jabba's palace and attempts to "negotiate", but his Jedi mind powers don't work on Jabba (various transient figures over low textures and synth, muted brass, fragments of Jabba theme)
Den of the Rancor
  • 3:14: Luke falls into the Rancor pit and battles the giant creature (lurching brass and clanking percussion action cue with some wind ornaments)
  • 5:17: Luke manages to wedge a big bone into the Rancor's jaws (Force and Luke theme fragments, pulsing rhythm, etc..., speeding up)
  • 6:40: Luke kills the Rancor by crushing it under a falling gate (timpani rolls, synth)
Sarlacc Sentence
  • 7:01: Jabba sentences the heroes to death at the Sarlacc pit (atmospheric, dissonant string/muted brass textures, tolling bells)
7 6:02 The Pit of Carkoon
  • 0:00: As Luke is forced onto a gangplank over the hungry sand creature, Jabba asks that they die honorably (low textures, Jabba theme) 
Sail Barge Assault
  • 0:58: With Luke at the end of the gangplank, Artoo sends him his lightsaber, and Luke proceeds to fight off Jabba's henchmen (patient horn accents lead to Luke theme, Rebel fanfare, Imperial rhythm theme, Luke theme, etc)
  • 2:48: Leia begins strangling Jabba with her chain (Jabba motif, TIE fighter attack motif, Rebel fanfare material, Luke theme, etc.)
  • 4:51: Han frees Lando from the Sarlacc (rising tension string tremoli, victory fanfare, Rebel fanfare)
  • 5:24: Leia and Luke swing from Jabba's sandbarge to the escape boat, as Jabba's barge explodes.  The heroes split up in space (Luke swashbuckling motif, victory theme)
8 10:57 The Emperor Arrives
  • 0:00: The Emperor's shuttle lands on the new Death Star (2 bold statements of Vader theme bookend echoing trumpet and horn solo figures, leading to eerie atmospheric textures)
  • 1:05: Vader greets the Emperor and they discuss Luke - "Only together can we turn him to the Dark side of the Force" (Emperor theme with low male wordless choir, ending with Vader motif)
The Death of Yoda
  • 2:03: Luke returns to Dagobah and visits the old and dying Yoda - "Soon will I rest…forever sleep.  Earned it I have." (Luke theme (unused), Yoda theme, Force theme, Yoda theme)
  • 3:45: Luke asks Yoda if Vader is really his father (subtle Vader hint with timpani, Luke fragment, sustained high harmonies with harp and bells) - "Your father he is.  Told you did he?" (Force theme, Yoda theme, Force theme, etc)
  • 5:55: Yoda warns Luke about the Emperor, hints of another Skywalker, and then finally becomes "one with the Force".  Soon Obi-Wan's ghost appears... (low strings, the Force theme with high counter-melody pattern, altered Yoda theme with solemn "spirit" cadence (7:13), Force theme)
Obi-Wan's Revelation
  • 8:05: Luke confers with Ben Kenobi about Vader (swooping winds, glockenspiel, ethereal, questioning Force theme variations, unused)
  • 10:13: Luke realizes that Leia is his sister.  Scene cuts back to Rebel forces (Leia theme, wind fanfare)
9 2:11 Alliance Assembly
  • 0:00: The Rebel leadership plan an attack on the Death Star with the Emperor aboard ("Many Bothans died to bring us this information...").  Luke arrives just in time to join Han's ground force to Endor (pensive brass/strings, subtle Rebel fanfare variation... Luke theme on flute, understated snare texture)
10 4:07 Shuttle Tydirium Approaches Endor
  • 0:00: The heroes depart for Endor in a stolen Imperial shuttle - "Here we go again..." (tense textures, descending horns, etc.)
  • 0:36: Vader speaks with the Emperor about setting a trap for the Rebels (low moaning textures from strings, winds and wordless choir)
  • 1:12: The stolen shuttle approaches the Death Star, Vader senses Luke aboard it (descending horns/strings and swelling suspense textures, Force theme, Vader theme, Force theme, hints of Trap theme in strings rhythm, Vader motif)
11 9:38 Speeder Bike Chase
  • 0:00: A surprise attack on some Stormtroopers fails and a speeder bike chase ensues (quiet textures break into trumpeting brass alarms, action strings)
Land of the Ewoks
  • 1:20: Luke returns after the chase but Leia is missing.  The squad goes off in search of her with the Droids (light underscore with descending horns/winds)
  • 2:11: Leia encounters an Ewok (suspenseful strings alternating with "tip-toe" winds, synth figures)
  • 3:26: Leia gives the Ewok some food (whimsical Ewok march on ethnic winds/percussion)
  • 4:15: A Stormtrooper interrupts but the Ewok helps Leia escape (tension and accents, Leia theme, Ewok march)
  • 5:20: Vader meets with the Emperor about Luke - "I wonder if your feelings on this matter are clear, Lord Vader..." (announced by trumpet blasts, then low textures, Vader fragment, Emperor theme)
  • 7:01: Back on Endor, Luke and Han find signs of Leia, but are soon caught in a suspended Ewok animal trap - "Great Chewie, always thinking with your stomach!" (Leia theme, Han-Leia Love theme, suspenseful to playful wind/string textures and accents, ending with falling strings and Han-Leia Love theme as Artoo frees them from the net)
  • 8:53: Surrounded by Ewoks (low textures with trilling winds/string harmonics, hint of Ewok motif)
12 2:45 The Levitation
  • 0:00: In order to impress the Ewoks, Luke uses the Force to levitate Threepio, Leia appears and they all become friends (eerie rising strings/synth, Force theme, light melodic flourishes)
Threepio's Bedtime Story
  • 1:27: Threepio tells the Ewoks about the heroes' previous adventures (Luke theme, Vader theme, Force theme, Luke theme, Han-Leia theme, all in light, "primitive" arrangements)
13 3:04 Jabba's Baroque Recital
  • Source music for Artoo and Threepio's initial audience with Jabba the Hutt, somewhat muzak-ey
14 2:50 Jedi Rocks
(Jerry Hey)
  • Source music in Jabba's palace before Jabba sacrifices one of his slaves to the Rancor (Special Edition rerecording)
15 5:06 Sail Barge Assault
(first version)
  • Original version with less Episode IV thematic material (dark brass/winds, low strings, Rebel fanfare, action accents, Luke theme, various brass/string percussion figures, Jabba theme, etc…light jumpy motif (3:14), victory theme)

Trk Dur Title Film Action and Themes
1 3:28 Parade Of The Ewoks
[Concert Suite]
  • 0:00: Ewok motif
  • 0:27: March
  • 0:44: B theme on brass and strings
  • 1:09: March, development
  • 1:33: Ewok "war calls motif" begin, B theme
  • 2:05: March, bigger strings, then brass
  • 2:37: B theme developed on brass
  • 2:54: March, developed flourishes
  • 3:09: Coda
2 4:46 Luke And Leia
[Concert Suite]
  • 0:00: High winds/trembling strings intro
  • 0:27: Theme on horns and warm strings
  • 0:52: Theme developed with more counter melodies
  • 1:20: Theme developed on winds
  • 2:03: Interlude with lush strings
  • 2:23: Theme developed on warm strings, flute ornaments
  • 3:06: Theme, thicker and developed with more timpani rolls
  • 3:44: Coda 1 on soft horns/winds
  • 4:24: Coda 2 with harp support
3 10:40 Brother And Sister
  • 0:00: Luke and Leia speak about their parents - "The Force is strong in my family." (pensive strings, Force theme on oboe over celeste)
  • 0:56: Luke tells Leia that she is his sister, and then leaves to confront Vader.  Han speaks with Leia after Luke has left (Luke-Leia theme begun on cello (partly developed from Yoda theme), brief Force fragment, then eventually Han-Leia Love theme)
Father And Son
  • 3:07: Luke surrenders to Vader and tries to reach the Sith Lord's good side, but Vader resists (Low textures with percussion, Vader theme variations ("gothic"), Force fragment, brass/wind figures over eerie, determined strings, Vader theme, thoughtful Luke fragment)
The Fleet Enters Hyperspace
  • 6:46: Han and his team spy on the Imperial shield control bunker, aided by Ewoks (staccato winds, percussion, etc..., Ewok march)
  • 7:27: Lando and the Rebellion forces prepare to attack the Death Star (brass fanfares, Rebel preparation theme (derived from Luke B theme))
Heroic Ewok
  • 8:24: Han's team successfully captures the control bunker after an Ewok leads away the guards on a speeder bike chase (suspense textures, with light Droids theme variations on winds, Ewok march melody, Ewok B theme)
4 3:26 Emperor's Throne Room
  • 0:00: On the Death Star, Vader presents Luke to the Emperor, who reveals to Luke that the Rebels are walking into a carefully-laid trap - "Welcome young Skywalker… I have been expecting you." (...Vader theme, Emperor theme)
5 11:51
The Battle Of Endor I:

The Trap
  • 0:00: Han captures the interior of the Imperial bunker, but then is in turn captured in an ambush.  The Rebel fleet arrives and finds out "It's a trap!" (syncopated Trap theme variations with brief instances of Vader and Luke themes)
  • 2:28: The Emperor tries to seduce Luke with hate (low atmospheric, Emperor motif)
  • 3:38: Han and Leia are led outside as prisoners by the Imperial troops (pensive strings, Vader theme)
Scout Walker Scramble
  • 4:31: The Ewoks counterattack on the ground, as Lando and the X-Wings defend the Rebel capital ships  (high metallic percussion with action cues (with hints of Ewok theme))
  • 8:18: The Emperor orders the Death Star to fire on the Rebellion capital ships, as the ground battle continues (Vader theme, action cues)
  • 10:36: The Ewoks take casualties, Lando recommends using the Imperial star destroyers as cover against the Death Star's weapon (keening strings, horns, action brass) 
6 4:31 The
  • 0:00: The Emperor attempts to seduce Luke with his lightsaber - "Take your weapon.  Strike me down with all of your hatred, and your journey to the Dark side will be complete!" (Vader motif, Emperor theme).  Vader's lightsaber clashes with Luke's.
Ewok Battle
  • 1:43: The Ewoks rally and commandeer a Scout Walker (action winds/brass with some synth rhythm, Ewok theme fight variation with "native war calls")
7 10:02
The Battle Of Endor II:

Leia is
  • 0:00: Leia is wounded by stray fire (brass accents surrounding Leia theme, Han-Leia Love theme)
The Duel
  • 1:04: Luke and Vader duel - Luke gains the upper hand - "Obi-Wan has taught you well." (Emperor theme, Force theme)
  • 2:08: Luke again tries to sway Vader away from the Dark side - "Your thoughts betray you, Father, I feel the good in you, the conflict." (tense strings, Force theme), the Emperor cackles (Emperor theme in brass)
Overtaking the Bunker
  • 2:51: The space battle continues.  Han recaptures the Death Star shield control bunker with a little subterfuge (action brass, winds, strings)
Dark Side Beckons
  • 3:49: Back in the Death Star, Vader learns the truth about Luke's sister (low textures, synth)
  • 5:03: Luke attacks (Yoda's choral "one with the Force" motif)
  • 5:35: Luke cuts off Vader's hand, the Emperor laughs (Emperor theme)
  • 6:30: Luke rejects the Dark side and throws away his lightsaber - "You've failed your Highness.  I am a Jedi, like my father before me." (Force theme)
  • 6:49: Han blows up the Death Star shield control bunker and the Rebel ships begin their attack run (dissonant action brass, Rebel fanfare)
The Emperor's Death
  • 7:21: The Emperor decides Luke must die and begins killing him with Force lightning (Emperor theme, voices, then brass, rising evil voices)
  • 9:08: Vader saves Luke by throwing the Emperor down a reactor shaft (Force theme, moaning voices)
8 6:03
The Battle Of Endor III:

Superstructure Chase
  • 0:00: The Falcon and a squadron of X-Wings enter the Death Star superstructure.  The Executor, Vader's Super Star Destroyer, crashes into the Death Star (TIE fighter attack theme, Imperial theme, Force theme canon brass interlude, brass flourish, basically a reprise of Ep. IV battle themes and motifs) 
Darth Vader's
  • 1:53: Luke tries to drag the mortally-injured Vader to an escape shuttle.  The Dark Lord eventually succumbs, but not before he has a final, somewhat redemptive moment with Luke (low textures, Vader theme on various subdued instruments: violins, flute, oboe, horn, harp)
Main Reactor
  • 4:27: The Falcon and the Rebels blow up the Death Star main reactor and make their escape.  Luke escapes in Vader's shuttle.  The Ewoks celebrate on Endor (trumpet fanfares, Vader theme, Luke theme, Victory theme)
9 3:21 Leia's News
  • 0:00: Leia assures Han that Luke is her brother (Luke-Leia theme, Han-Leia Love theme)
Light Of The Force
  • 1:18: Luke lights Vader's remains on fire on a funeral pyre (Force theme, various arrangements, variation)
10 8:34 Victory Celebration
  • 0:00: The heroes celebrate with the Ewoks on Endor, as Luke sees the happy spirit forms of Anakin, Obi-Wan and Yoda (world music fusion pop, newly composed for 1997 Special Edition)
End Title
  • 2:24: Luke theme, Rebel fanfare
  • 3:17: Ewok themes
  • 5:21: Luke-Leia theme
  • 6:46: Luke theme, B theme, Rebel fanfare
  • 7:57: Procession end fanfare
11 4:00 Ewok Feast
  • 0:00: Source music: Luke and Han are carried into the Ewok compound as prisoners to be eaten
Part Of The Tribe
  • 2:25: After Threepio's storytelling scene, the Ewoks make the heroes a part of their tribe (tribal percussion)
12 4:06 The Forest Battle
[Concert Suite]
  • 0:00: Introduction: Rhythmic figures with various brass ornaments
  • 0:59: Brass fanfare into Ewok theme with fight variation
  • 1:45: Ewok "war calls motif" begin
  • 2:10: Ewok march theme and fight variations
  • 2:33: Quirky fight motif variation, plucked strings, brass, etc...
  • 3:07: Brass/percussion-driven variation
  • 3:25: Final tutti and finale, coda

     More information about John Williams' score to Return of the Jedi can be found in the liner notes in the various releases of this soundtrack:
     Another highly useful resource is Doug Adams' article "Sounds of the Empire" on the themes of Star Wars in Film Score Monthly Vol 4, No 5 (June 1999).

YouTube Playlist of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi Special Edition Soundtrack
Wiki entry
Recording the Star Wars Saga (Chris Malone)

John Williams Wiki
John Williams Fan Network forum 
The John Williams Collection (Markus Hable site)