Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Bourne Identity/The Bourne Supremacy (Powell, 2002/2004)

The Bourne Identity
     John Powell was asked to score 2002's "The Bourne Identity" on very short notice and with a very small budget, and thus created a very lean, electronica-based soundtrack.  Later in production, some additional funds were found for live strings, and this would ultimately produce the signature "Bourne" sound.


     The plot of the "The Bourne Identity" revolves around Jason Bourne's search for his identity after being found at sea as an amnesiac.  He finds he has "secret agent skills" and with the help of the friendly Marie, is able to find out who he was.  The middle part of the film finds Bourne pitted against various assassins who have been assigned to eliminate him.  Eventually he faces his original commander and manages to extricate himself from the life of a trained killer.


     Theme-wise, the Bourne films depend on only a few major melodic ideas, but skillfully develop them on various electronic and instrumental textures.
  • Bourne theme: winding theme opening with a falling figure.
  • Bourne ostinato: 8-accent (sometimes 6), double-stroked staccato theme, often developed with a leisurely bass line similar to Treadstone figure.
  • Treadstone theme: guitar-driven, somewhat "rock" theme.
Trk Dur Title Film Sequence
1 4:20 Main Titles A floating body is sighted and recovered at at sea on a rainy night, main titles, the ship's doctor cuts off Bourne's wetsuit to reveal bullet holes.
Bourne theme in bassoon over strings, rhythmic Bourne ostinato in marimba/strings/slams/percussion, various string themes in layers, ending with bassoon Bourne theme reprise.
2 1:21 Bourne Gets Well Bourne helps out on the fishing boat and tries to recover his memory. (followed by 5)
Held violins/ambient electronics, joined by bassoon theme/electronic percussion/strings.
3 2:12 Treadstone Assassins Conklin inspects surveillance tapes looking for Bourne.  He orders assassins to take out Bourne.  Agents around Europe are activated. (followed by 7)
Falling Treadstone theme in synth/piano/guitar, developed with drums/synth/organ/strings, joined by violin counter melody.
4 4:07 At The Bank 0:00: Bourne opens a safe deposit box and finds his ID.
Low textures/layered string figures.
1:00: In a hidden drawer he finds ID for several other identities, money and a gun.  He leaves the bank, and is followed.
Bourne ostinato in low rhythmic strings/low winds, joined by Bourne theme in violins, percussion, Bourne ostinato joined by violins, bass/electronica. 
2:53: (Alternate) Bourne heads towards the American embassy to lose his pursuers. (followed by 6)
Electronics/percussion joined by rhythmic strings/drums, synth, ending in string accents.
5 1:42 Bourne On Land After leaving the French boat, Bourne gets on a train, wondering who he is.  He arrives at a dark snowy street. (followed by 4)
High rhythmic textures, joined by rhythmic strings/synth/piano theme.
6 3:13 Escape From Embassy 0:00: Bourne disarms some guards at the American embassy and runs, taking out people as he goes.  Bourne proceeds up stairs and is tracked by soldiers. 
Electronics/percussion into industrial/tribal synth/drums with ethnic string accents/Treadstone theme in synth/organ, building string accents.
1:54: (Alternate) He makes it to a fire escape and escapes by clinging to the wall. (followed by 3)
More subdued electronics/percussion, joined by steel drum ostinato layers, ending in strings.
7 1:31 The Drive To Paris Marie drives Bourne at night.
Ambient textures with wordless male vocal, rhythmic marimba/string swells/bends. 
8 3:27 The Apartment 0:00: Bourne is attacked by a blonde Treadstone assassin.  The assassin goes out the window.  Bourne tells Marie they must leave immediately.
Electronics/drums action groove developed through various dynamics/slams/strings.
1:47: Bourne helps a stunned Marie leave the building. 
Low piano/strings/col legno accents/percussion, joined by string accents/ambients.
2:39: Nicky reports to Conklin that their assassin is dead.
Electronics/percussion with subtle Bourne theme elements.
(followed by car chase scene with Paul Oakenfold - Ready Steady Go)
9 1:31 At The Hairdressers After Bourne dyes and cuts Marie's hair, they get intimate.
Low ambient textures joined by marimba tremolo/acoustic guitar/strings.
10 2:12 Hotel Regina 0:00: Bourne prepares Marie to enter the hotel to get info.  Marie enters the hotel to recon the room.
Playful electronics/percussion/synth, joined by synth bass "mission" figure, snare, etc.
1:31: Bourne calls Marie inside the lobby for intel, but there is no answer (she meets him outside).
Bourne ostinato in strings developed.
1:46: Unused.
Fast percussion/electronics.
11 1:41 The Investigation 0:00: Nicky learns that the police have found Bourne's car.  A dark-haired assassin (the Professor) gets a message from Conklin.
Synth groove with high metallic percussion motif/drums, joined by strings/bass/electronics.
1:21: Bourne pursues a lead in Paris and enters a building.
Bourne ostinato in strings, string harmonics.
12 3:44 Taxi Ride Bourne deduces that he was an assassin who failed in killing a dictator.  They ride a cab in silence.  Bourne stops the cab and escapes when he sees police ahead waiting at their hotel.  Marie begins to freak out, but Bourne calms her down.
Reflective/somber Bourne ostinato extended variation/ambient textures developed with acoustic guitar/drum/percussion and synth groove/extended.  Bourne ostinato in strings, electric guitar arpeggios/ambient bass pulses.
13 2:55 At The Farmhouse 0:00: In the morning, Bourne senses that something is wrong at the farmhouse.  Bourne begins arming himself.
Percussion/electronics rhythm joined by extended Bourne ostinato in strings, developed with accents, drums.
1:35: Bourne blows up a gas tank to create smoke cover and walks into the woods.  The Professor fires on Bourne and pursues.
Tribal drums/percussion with synth ambients.
14 3:05 Jason Phones It In Bourne calls Treadstone and asks what's going on.  He tries to set up a meeting.  Conklin prepares to eliminate him at the meeting.
Vibraphone-driven rhythm with male vocal humming, joined by strings/female humming/percussion/synth/acoustic guitar scrapes, synth/percussion/acoustic guitar groove with piano figure, string, synth.
15 3:45 On Bridge Number 9 0:00: Conklin boards a plane to Paris.  Bourne approaches the meeting place bridge as Conklin gets armed up.  Bourne surveills the location as Conklin's men check in.
Electronics/synth/percussion, rhythmic strings into groove with Bourne theme elements, Bourne ostinato in strings, developed in marimba/percussion groove with strings, piano, electronics/percussion/violins joined by low swells.
2:24: Bourne cancels the meeting and puts a tracker on Conklin's car.  Conklin calls Nicky.  Conklin enters his local office as Bourne observes.  Another assassin arrives.
Accented/delayed electronics/synth/percussion with accented string rhythms/figures, ending in ambients/strings.
16 2:21 Jason's Theme Unused.  Ambient electronics/electronic drums/synth bass, developed with strings/drums.
17 3:37 Mood Build Unused.  Electronic drums/synth bass with wordless male humming/soft strings, developed with ambient "dub" electronics/drums.
18 5:59 The Bourne Identity Unused.
0:00: Held strings joined by distant Bourne theme in electric guitar, children's choir/delayed drums, Bourne theme element in bass groove with electronic ornaments, developed drums, intercut with tribal drum groove, synth bass variation of Treadstone theme
3:38: Treadstone theme variation in synth bass/vibraphone/string textures/electronics, joined by electronics/drums, Bourne theme fragment in bass joined by falling ambient textures.
19 2:16 Drum And Bass Remix Unused, remix of "At the Bank" part 2.  Bourne bass fragment groove with col legno strings/electronica, bass synth/electronics, Bourne ostinato in strings, accents.


The Bourne Supremacy
     John Powell also scored 2004's sequel, "The Bourne Supremacy", and basically developed elements from the first film, adding some new electronic and string textures.  Perhaps most importantly however (at least for fans of the first film), the sequel soundtrack included the end title theme song from the first film, Moby's "Extreme Ways".  Plot-wise, Bourne is framed for a murder in order to cover up an internal CIA issue, but is eventually exonerated.  The assassin Kirill kills Bourne's girlfriend (Marie from the previous film), but Bourne eventually dispatches him at the end of an involved tunnel car chase.


Trk Dur Title Film Sequence
1
3:00
Goa
0:00: Main title, Bourne has images of a Treadstone mission in a dream. 
Held strings with hint of Bourne ostinato/slams, Bourne theme variation in bassoon, electronics.
1:12: Bourne and Marie enjoy life near a Goa beach.  Marie looks at Bourne's notes about his possible past.
Percussion/acoustic guitar groove with guardedly upbeat strings/electric piano, percussion solo/synth textures.
2
3:43
The Drop
0:00: CIA chief Landy monitors a sensitive operation.
Electronics/percussion/ambient textures/low strings/timpani accents, Bourne ostinato variation developed.
1:21: Kirill arrives.  He sabotages the operation and kills Landy's operatives (framing Bourne).
Rhythmic string accents join the Bourne ostinato variation, also ambient percussion/string swells, joined by leisurely Bourne bass theme, drums developed, strings gradually relax, percussion.
3
2:21
Funeral Pyre
Bourne burns all of Marie's records and leaves Goa with a gun.
Poignant strings joined by soft piano chord accents, rising modulations/ambient textures, joined by martial drum groove. 
4
1:55
Gathering Data
Landy begins digging into Treadstone and Jason Bourne on her computer.
Electronics/percussion groove joined by bass synth groove/rhythmic/col legno strings, ending on hint of Bourne in winds.
5
2:40
Nach Deutschland
Landy picks up Nicky in Amsterdam on the way to Berlin.  Bourne drives to Naples.  Landy lands and Nicky gives her a warning about Bourne.
Vibraphone/hihat rhythm joined by Bourne ostinato variation in strings/piano ornaments, distant percussive synth motif, bass groove with string accents/metallic and ambient synth textures, soft violins/drum accents.
6
5:32
To the Roof
0:00: Bourne drives to Berlin.  He tracks down Landy's hotel and enters the lobby.  He observes Landy when she leaves.
Treadstone theme groove in guitar with ambient textures/rising strings, developed into a subtle groove, drums/percussion, then developed on accented strings, Bourne ostinato in strings, developed.
3:11: Bourne follows Landy in a cab.  Landy begins a staff meeting as Bourne heads to the roof of a nearby building.  He puts Landy in his sights and calls her.
Bourne ostinato modulated and with growing layers of rhythmic strings/percussion, low string accents/guitar.
4:38: Bourne asks Landy about Treadstone and she accuses him of murder.  Bourne reveals that he can see her.
Ambient textures/beats, string cluster gliss, drum accent.
(followed by 8)
7
2:48
New Memories
(Partially used) Bourne rides a train to Moscow and thinks about Marie.
Held strings/poignant bassoon, developed.
(followed by 10)
8
5:16
Berlin Foot Chase
0:00: Bourne escapes Berlin police by climbing to the hotel roof.  Landy arrives as Bourne walks away. 
Synth/electronics rhythm, wooden flute theme, Bourne ostinato in strings, joined by additional percussion/string accents, string trills figure, rhythmic strings.
1:35: Bourne is seen on the street.  He eludes the police after an involved chase through a subway station.
Bourne bass theme variation, Bourne ostinato develops with drums/percussion, building with low string accented rhythm/bass synth, accented strings rhythms, falling strings/piano accents, percussion into relaxed groove, hesitant rhythmic bursts on piano/low strings/electronics, electric guitar chord/ambient textures.
9
3:35
Alexander Platz/
Abbotts Confesses
0:00: Landy prepares to have Nicky meet Bourne at Alexanderplatz.  Nicky waits and is told to get on a tram by Bourne on the phone.  Bourne captures Nicky.
Rhythm with low strings/electronics/percussion/piano/synth pulses/distant electric guitar, Bourne ostinato fragments in strings, developed as a faster groove with more drums, ambients/percussion.
2:03: In a hotel, Bourne corners Abbot and gets a confession on tape.
Ambient textures/pulses/strings. 
(followed by 7)
10
6:55
Moscow Wind Up
0:00: Bourne arrives in Moscow and gets into a cab.  Kirill is informed that Bourne is in town.
Ambient texture/strings, vibraphone-hihat groove with relaxed Bourne ostinato variation in violins, joined by bassoon counter melody/low strings, groove with drums/electronics/percussion, Bourne ostinato returns, develops into accented rhythm, joined by full strings, fades.
3:16: Bourne stops at an apartment looking for someone.  The police approach and Bourne leaves.  Kirill shoots at (and hits) Bourne but is delayed by police. 
Subdued groove texture with swelling strings, drum accents/percussion groove, rhythmic low strings, violins/electronics.
5:09: The police let Kirill go and he follows Bourne into the subway mall.  Bourne makes a mess in the mall obtaining supplies.
Accented ethnic string rhythms/ornaments over electronic groove/drum accents, Bourne ostinato accented variation, etc.
11
5:09
Bim Bam Smash
Bourne steals a taxi and drives away.  Kirill commandeers a car and pursues.  The police pursue as well.
Tribal drums with electronics/synth/electric guitar into electronica groove with electric twang guitar, developed with ethnic string accents/distorted electric guitar, taiko slams, low strings trills into tribal drums/string tremoli/percussion developing ethnic motif on synth/strings, Treadstone theme on guitar, Bourne ostinato modulating on strings with brass support, ending in brass accents.
12
1:36
Atonement
Bourne apologizes to the daughter of his first victims as a Treadstone assassin and leaves.
Ambient textures joined by piano/celeste/relaxed strings (Goa beach theme) ending in held strings.
13
3:58
Extreme Ways
(Moby)
Bourne says goodbye to Landy in NYC after telling her she looks tired on the phone.
Moby song with male vocal over string accents/groove/electric piano/guitar/etc.
("I would stand in line for this, there's always room in life for this...Oh baby, oh baby...then it fell apart...like it always does...")



Links
John Powell Wiki Entry
John Powell IMDB Entry
The Bourne Identity Filmtracks Review
The Bourne Supremacy Filmtracks Review

Monday, June 20, 2016

Harlock Saga: DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN (Wada, 1999)


     Leiji Matsumoto's manga character Space Pirate Captain Harlock has seen many different incarnations and adaptations, but one of the most fascinating was the 6 episode animated OAV (straight-to-video) "Harlock Saga" (Japanese: ハーロック・サーガ ニーベルングの指環), which was a very loose adaptation of Richard Wagner's "Das Rheingold" opera into a literal space opera.  In this epic,  Matsumoto's original manga and TV characters (Captain Harlock, his best friend Tochiro Ooyama, female pirate Emeraldas, mystery woman Maetel and alien muse Mime) encounter Wotan, Alberich and the other characters from Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen opera tetralogy.  Originally planned to encompass all 4 Wagner operas, this miniseries recreates the basic plot of the first, "Das Rheingold", and takes it into the realm of a struggle between humans and gods (essentially the same as Wagner's premise, except with spaceships).

     Musically, composer Kauru Wada's score uses one motif and one variation of a theme from Wagner's opera "Gotterdammerung" (actually the 4th and last of the Nibelung Ring operas), specifically material from "Siegfried's Funeral March".  In other words, this series is a loose adaptation of the first opera's story, but not so much the music.  The score was performed by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Kontantin Krimets, and the recording was released on 2 CDs with the below (somewhat misleading) titles:
  • DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN I: ハーロック・サーガ~ニーベルングの指輪~ラインの黄金 オリジナル・サウンド・トラック第1弾, Harlock Saga ~Nibelung no Yubiwa~ Rhein no Ougon Original Sound Track Vol.1
  • DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN II: ハーロック・サーガ~ニーベルングの指輪~ラインの黄金 オリジナル・サウンド・トラック第2弾, Harlock Saga ~Nibelung no Yubiwa~ Rhein no Ougon Original Sound Track Vol.2

     Wada skillfully extrapolates two melodic ideas from Siegfried's Funeral March and generates a grand and gothic score mixing suspense with swashbuckling "naval" textures.  In the CD booklet to Vol. 2, transcriptions of several themes are found, but I pretty much ignored them and used my own judgment (since I personally found the notes confusing or misleading).
  • Ring theme: 9-note rising-falling figure taken from Wagner's "Siegfried's Funeral March"
  • Ring fanfare: Brass accents preceding the Ring theme
  • Harlock theme: Noble, gothic rising theme derived from a variation of a theme from "Siegfried's Funeral March". 
  • Harlock March: Various propulsive march rhythms often leading to Harlock's theme.
  • Alberich theme: Mysterious suspense theme.
  • Nibelung theme: Winding theme often on organ (arpeggio ostinato labelled Mime's theme in booklet).
  • Freia theme: Variation of the Nibelung theme.
  • Wotan motif: Rising-falling motif, usually developed in winding lines.
  • Fasolt and Fafner theme: Poignant string theme.
  
CD.Trk Ep. Title Film Sequence
1.1 1-6 Overture Opening Credits, soundless images of the Arcadia and Wotan's base, battle, etc.
Low accents joined by Ring theme in bass, then joined by Harlock theme in horns/trombones, rising in brass layers, accents with added choir/drums.
1.2 1 The Planet 0:00: Recent transmissions of the an asteroid's interior urban traffic are reviewed on monitors.  However the patrol ship's sensors report that all life has now been extinguished.  The captain is informed a shuttle is approaching from behind (also when the Arcadia follows the enemy battleship to a dark planet in Ep. 3).
Wavering suspense string figures, joined by wind/brass dialogues, harp, pizz bass.
1:00: Sensors scan the ship and detect a bomb, as well as Emeraldas and Tochiro.  Tochiro asks the captain help them investigate the asteroid by blasting open a hole so they can enter.
Tremolo/pizz strings, brass/wind ornaments lead to accented Harlock March with jaunty Harlock theme variation (Tochiro theme) in solo winds (bassoon, clarinet, flute/oboe).
2:26: The space patrol ship blasts open a hole and then enters the asteroid interior.
Alberich theme fragment in suspense winds/strings/muted brass accents/piano accents/celeste joined by eerie cor anglais ornament.
1.3 1 Legend of the Witch 0:00: The captain explains that Mime is from an ancient race (the Nibelungen) which would destroy the universe if it arose again.  She wonders if Mime is on the asteroid.
Nibelung theme harmony developed on organ and choir textures.
0:27: Emeraldas and Tochiro enter a building and find a hologram of Mime playing an organ.  She tells them that she is sending the transmission from planet Rhein.  Bandits had destroyed Aclusion to find the location of Rhein in order to obtain the Rhein's gold and are on their way to Rhein.
Nibelung theme on organ as arpeggios and then melody, ending on harmony cadence.
1.4 1 The Fall 0:00: The asteroid begins to self-destruct.  Emeraldas and Tochiro steal a ship and escape the explosion (also when Tochiro escapes the exploding dark planet in Ep. 3).
Percussive action rhythm with strings/brass/winds/tam tam/taiko, developed with low piano, rising brass.
1:25: A mysterious ship flies away.
Ominous brass fanfare derived from Ring harmony.
1.5 1 Three Women 0:00: Emeraldas and Tochiro fly to Rhein and find a watery world.  They find the source of Mime's transmission, but abandoned.
Ring theme in winds/tremolo and bowed strings, joined by Harlock theme in cor anglais/brass.
1:03:Three water nymphs float to the surface and stand on the rocks.
Swirling harp/strings, mysterious winds/brass.
1.6 1 Harlock 0:00: The Arcadia arrives at Rhein.  Harlock asks Mime to return to the ship.
Ring fanfare, Harlock theme in brass ending in brass accent, mysterious strings, Harlock theme in solo winds supported by low strings.
1:07: Back on the Arcadia, Harlock thanks Mime for returning.  He promises to find the bandits.
Harlock theme in brass/tremolo strings, low strings, ending in Ring theme in low strings with wind accents.
1.7 5 Ride of the Valkyries Alberich's battle fleet battles Wotan's space defenses (also when Alberich arrives outside Valhalla and destroys Wotan's fighters).
Richard Wagner:  Opening prelude to Act 3 of the opera "Die Walküre" in the usual arrangement of brassv fanfares, galloping winds, swirling strings and snare rolls.
1.8 2 Prelude Recap of previous episode: Emeraldas and Tochiro leave Rhein and the planet subsequently explodes.
Energetic Harlock March in drums/swirling strings/muted brass joined by Harlock theme in brass, ending in suspense cadence.
1.9 2 The Rhein Gold Emeraldas tells Mime that she is returning to her ship, but will help her if she needs it.  She departs.
Held strings into Nibelung theme in oboe, strings, harp into Harlock theme variation in bassoon.
1.10 2 Maetel 0:00: Harlock learns that the bandit ship is heading for Earth.  Mime tells him that the bandit needs Dr. Daiba to make the Rhein gold into a ring.  Scene cuts to Earth.
Suspense strings joined by Ring theme in contrabassoon, suspense strings, mysterious clarinet, harp/strings.
0:59: Maetel tells Tadashi Daiba that if someone appears asking him to make a ring from gold, that he should refuse.  She tells him it is a message from Harlock.
Low piano accents, Ring harmony in strings/brass, Harlock theme fragment in horns.
1:39: After Tadashi has completed the Ring, Alberich shoots Tadashi and laughs.
Trumpet flourish, into accented and tremolo strings, brass accent, harp, eerie strings.
1.11 2  The Man with a Mask 0:00: Alberich enters Tadashi's metal refinery lab and marvels at the equipment.
Alberich theme in winds/tremolo strings/muted brass accents, joined by Alberich brass figure and Alberich in bass clarinet, harp pluck.
0:40: Alberich causes Tadashi's car to crash (also the Arcadia pursues Alberich's ship in Ep. 3).
Rhythmic string tremoli over bongo rhythm with bass plucks and brass accents/rising figure leading to brass end cadence.
1:17: Tadashi wakes up in his darkened lab and meets Alberich.
Suspense texture in vibraphone/strings/flute, tam tam into foreboding Alberich strings, harp cadence.
1:51: When Alberich asks Tadashi to make a ring from the gold, he hesitates, but Alberich plays on his pride to convince him to make the ring.
String tremoli and low string accents, joined by bass clarinet dialogue with cor anglais motif.
1.12 2 The Golden Ring Tadashi forges the ring using hot and cold metallurgical techniques.  Alberich takes the ring and gloats about his power.
Accented rhythm under fateful versions of Ring theme and Harlock theme developed in drums/strings/brass.
1.13 2 The Journey Tochiro asks Tadashi to come with him to see Harlock.  He gives Tadashi his father's Cosmodragoon pistol and tells him that his father was a member of Harlock's crew.  They take off from Earth and soon approach the Arcadia.
Martial drum/string accent rhythm joined by regal brass theme, developed into a fanfare based on Harlock theme, ending with falling winds/celeste/harp.
1.14 2 Arcadia On the bridge of the Arcadia, Harlock welcomes Tadashi.  The Arcadia launches.
Rhythmic timpani and string accents lead to Harlock theme in trumpets/bassoons, joined by brass/strings, developed with brass accents.
1.15 2 Legend of the Makrokosmos Mime tells Harlock and his friends that she is Alberich's sister and that they are the last of the Nibelung clan.  Alberich plans to use the ring to start a war with Wotan and the gods.
Fateful female choir and cascading harp joined by Harlock theme developed in low strings, strings, tam tam/string cadence, choir leads to Harlock theme in low brass, ending in brass accents.
1.16 3 Great Cosmic Battle 0:00: An enemy battleship prepares to fire on the Arcadia.  Harlock orders the ship to battlestations and makes evasive maneuvers.
Low brass accents joined by drums/gong, suspenseful swirling strings and wind flourishes. 
0:46: Tochiro and Yattaran prepare return fire.
Harlock brass fragments developed into an action rhythm, ending  in a suspense cadence.
1.17 3 The Search At the dark planet, Harlock learns that the center is made of a giant ship.  Tochiro descends in a flyer to investigate.  He finds a giant well and flies in.  He loses contact with the Arcadia.
Low strings, muted brass/bass clarinet/oboe variation of Harlock theme, held strings lead to winding Alberich variation bassoon figures over low wind/string accent rhythm, wavering brass figures and eerie Alberich strings with brass accents/winding high Alberich wind figures.
1.18 3 The Planet-Shaped Spaceship Tochiro finds a smaller planet at the center of the dark planet.  Mime tells Harlock it is a planet-type ship which she and Alberich had stolen from Wotan's palace on Valhalla.  She explains that Alberich wants to show Harlock how Wotan had oppressed the Nibelungs.
Eerie/fateful falling strings/choir leading to winding piano ostinato/bass accents/held strings.
1.19 3 The Secret of the Gods Tochiro reports that the ship is 650 million years old.  Mime explains that the Nibelung had helped mankind rise while Valhalla slept, but now that the Gods have awakened, man will be destroyed in the ensuing conflict.
Low percussion/strings and brass pulses leading to Ring theme in low winds, joined by Harlock theme fragments in brass/strings, developed into a danger fanfare.
1.20 3 Crisis 0:00: Wotan is disgusted at how old he has become.  Fricka tells him it's because the Rheingold has been taken and time now flows again.
Foreboding Wotan motif in low strings in dialogue with violins/violas.
0:40: The Arcadia escapes the exploding dark planet and destroys an approaching debris asteroid.
Fast falling ostinato in strings with brass/drum swells/accents and Harlock fragments in brass layers.
1:08: Mime cries out and the Arcadia is mysteriously drawn into an unknown direction.
Urgent Harlock-derived strings/brass fanfare.
1.21 1-3 Aurifera:
To the Promised Land
End credit song for Episodes 1-3:
Composer: Akira Inoue, Vocal: Nozomu Odagi.


CD.Trk Ep. Title Film Sequence
2.1 4 A Warning for the Gods 0:00: The Arcadia is drawn through space towards Valhalla as Freia plays the organ.
Low brass/timpani, Nibelung theme on organ as arpeggios and then as melody.
0:53: Wotan and Fricka discuss the fortress ship which the giant Risenheim brothers are building for them.  Erda appears and gives Wotan a warning. 
Nibelung theme on strings/timpani, tam tam scrape accent into poignant/tremolo strings, joined by muted suspense brass and Wotan motif developed in bass, gong/timpani into bass clarinet ornament (Erda), bass pulses with wavering brass/falling and tremolo strings/vibraphone/bass clarinet ornament motif, joined by muted brass accents.
3:03: She also tells him of Harlock's approach and not to underestimate the humans.  Wotan is dismissive of her warnings.  Erda departs.
Low strings/timpani into Harlock theme in brass/winds/strings/timpani, mysterious winds/strings, tremolo strings under dialogue of brass accents, bass clarinet ornaments and harp, Wotan motif in low strings leading to brass/wind accents and Ring theme in strings.
2.2 4 Appearance
of the Fortress
A giant globe-shaped fortress appears on the Arcadia's screen.  Wotan and Fricka observe the Arcadia's approach.  They decide to visit the unfinished fortress and depart in a glowing globe.
Poignant Wotan motif developed in strings with timpani accents, wind/string trills joined by cor anglais solo based on Wotan motif, developed on low strings/timpani.
2.3 4 Fasolt and Fafner 0:00: The Risenheim brothers ask Wotan about their request to have Freia after the fortress is complete.  They ask to touch her or they will not complete the fortress before Alberich's battle fleet arrives.  Wotan agrees.
Dialogue of poignant string layers (Fasolt and Fafner theme).
2:09: Freia plays the organ and the Risenheim brothers approach.  Freia screams.  Wotan expresses regret.
Freia theme on organ arpeggios, Freia theme on organ, joined by rhythmic strings, timpani roll end cadence.
2.4 4 Invasion/
Landing
0:00: The Arcadia shakes as it arrives at Valhalla and is buffeted by rocks and lightning.  A giant rock shales the ship and Mime is knocked out (also Ep. 6 when Harlock takes a shuttle to reach Alberich's ship inside the fortress' liquid prison).
Rhythmic falling violin ostinato with brass/timpani/cymbal accents/ornaments, percussive rhythm with brass fanfares derived from Harlock theme, danger accents, falling strings ostinato, rising cadence.
1:04: The Arcadia lands and finally skids to a stop.  Harlock asks for a status report.
Rhythmic rising-falling string ostinato with brass fanfares, accents, falling strings/brass/timpani, rhythmic low strings with Harlock ornaments in high winds, low brass/strings with percussion solo, muted suspense brass figures, Harlock fragment in low winds.
2.5 4 Tochiro In Trouble Tochiro and Harlock take off in flying platforms to explore the foggy landscape.  Tochiro is drawn underground by green tentacles.
Wavering strings (derived from "The Planet") and bass plucks, joined by wind ornaments/string swells/bass/brass accents, tremolo strings/harmonic string textures/bass clarinet.
2.6 4 A Large Fleet
of Battleships
Wotan sees Alberich's battle fleet on a monitor, as Tochiro explores an underground forest.
Foreboding Alberich theme in low brass and strings, timpani/wind ornaments, low strings, tremolo strings into brass accent.
2.7 5 Goodbye 0:00: Tochiro finds the pipe organ and a distraught Freia.
Freia theme developed in winding choir/strings, harp cadence.
1:04: Freia tells Tochiro that the organ controls time.  Mime arrives and Freia faints.
Harlock theme in organ, harp arpeggios joined by soft strings.
2.8 5 Emptiness Of Wotan Wotan and Fricka discuss how long they have lived on Valhalla.  Fricka encourages Wotan to stay resolved.
Low piano accents joined by somber Wotan full theme on solo cor anglais.
2.9 5 The Robot's Attack Wotan's assassination robot attacks Tochiro, Mime and Freia.  He is outgunned until the Arcadia arrives.
Harlock March in drums/strings, joined by Harlock theme harmony in brass/gong.
2.10 5 Mystery Of Valhalla And Alberich 0:00: Freia explains that when she plays the organ Valhalla vibrates and resonates with the organ on Rhein, controlling time.
Poignant muted brass, modulating Nibelung arpeggios on organ/ethereal textures/muted brass.
0:39: Mime explains that Wotan banished the Nibelung, but now Alberich will use the Rheingold ring to stop the resonating vibrations.  This will eventually cause Valhalla and the universe to be destroyed.
Ominous low brass Alberich theme layers dialogue with rising strings and brass accents/string tremoli/winds, brass accents into Ring theme in low strings, Harlock theme slowly developed on brass and winds, ending in brass/string/timpani cadence.
2.11 5 Harlock's Decision Harlock promises to restore the Rheingold.
Rhythmic brass/snare accents joined by Harlock theme in brass/timpani.
2.12 5 Power of
the Ring
Alberich uses the Ring to destroy Wotan's space defenses with black light.  A panicked Wotan orders the giant brothers to hand over the fortress.
Fanfare in timpani/falling choir/swirling strings, brass cadence, timpani accents into poignant strings, Wotan theme in winds into fanfare reprise.
2.13 5 The Arcadia's Departure The Arcadia takes off and bursts free of the underground forest.  It heads towards Wotan's fortress.
Harlock March in drums/strings, Harlock theme in brass with wind ornaments, developed with strings and winds, ending in a worried accent.
2.14 6 Anguish of Fasold & Fafner Wotan orders the Risenheim brothers to attack the Arcadia but they resist, especially since Mime and Freia are on board.  Meanwhile Alberich's battle fleet approaches.
Accented low string ornament, low strings with low wind accents/ornaments, joined by violins, low winds.
2.15 6 Entry into the Fortress The Arcadia approaches and enters the space fortress on the Risenheim brothers' invitation.  Wotan wonders why they are not firing on the Arcadia.
Low Wotan brass developed with gong, drums, strings, vibraphone/tam tam accent leads to low string accents/Harlock fragment in low winds, danger accent.
2.16 6 Sentiments For Freia  Fasolt explains that they only did Wotan's bidding for Freia's sake, but now realize that there is too great a difference between themselves and Freia.  Mime and Harlock urge the Risenheim brothers to fight Alberich's forces.
Dialogue of poignant string layers (Fasolt and Fafner theme), low piano/string accents joined by wind/string figures.
2.17 6 Harlock & Wotan Harlock talks to Wotan over the monitor and tells him that he will retrieve the Rheingold ring for the sake of the universe.
Low brass rhythmic accents into Harlock theme in brass layers, joined by strings/winds.
2.18 6 Arcadia vs Alberich Alberich refuses to give up the ring and challenges the Arcadia.  Tochiro orders battle preparations.  The Arcadia and Alberich's ship exchange fire.  The Risenheim brothers use the fortress to trap both ships in a prison of darkness (fluid of the Dragon).
Low winds/strings/drums, Harlock March, joined by Harlock theme in rising brass layers, swirling strings, Harlock March into danger fanfare.
2.19 6 Harlock vs Alberich Harlock confronts Alberich on his ship.  After a brief gun battle he obtains the ring.
String tremoli into Ring theme in low strings/string accents, developed with brass/drum/string accents.
2.20 6 Decision of the Brothers/
Escape
The Risenheim brothers tell Harlock and Tochiro that they will self-destruct the fortress in order to save the Arcadia.  Meanwhile, Freia floats down to Valhalla in a pipe organ space capsule.  The fortress begins to explode.
Low winds/muted brass/violins/timpani/gong into Freia theme arpeggios on organ, Ring theme and Harlock theme in strings/brass/male choir with accents, ending in timpani swell.
2.21 6 End Song The Arcadia departs Valhalla.  Mime vows to return the Rhein gold.  Harlock warns that the destruction of the fortress has released thr Dragon fluid out into the universe, which will revive long-dormant monsters.
Ring fanfare in muted brass, Harlock theme in strings, brass/harp joined by strings and developing into regal Harlock theme fragment.
2.22
"Siegfried's Funeral March" Unused: Richard Wagner: "Siegfried's Funeral March" instrumental interlude from the opera Götterdämmerung, Act 3.
2.23
HARLOCK SAGA
Symphonic Suite
0:00: Ring fanfare on drums/choir/brass accents/swirling strings, Ring theme in strings, Harlock theme in brass, Ring fanfare.
1:19: Freia theme in building organ arpeggios, becoming Nibelung theme arpeggios, joined by harp ornaments/celeste/female choir.
2:21: Low string accents/tremoli, Erda bass clarinet ornament, harp, Alberich theme on cor anglais, strings, Wotan on organ/low brass, joined by martial percussion/brass. 
4:08: Harlock March, joined by Harlock theme in brass, strings with wind ornaments, developed on strings/brass/timpani.
5:49: Ring fanfare on brass/choir/drums, brass accents into Ring theme in strings.
2.24 4-6 Druid:
The Sage of the Oak
End credit song for Episodes 4-6:
Composer: Akira Inoue, Vocal: Nozomu Odagi.




Links
Harlock Saga Wiki Entry 
Leiji Matsumoto Wiki Entry
Harlock Saga 1 (DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN I) on VGMDB
Harlock Saga 2 (DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN II) on VGMDB
Moscow Symphony Orchestra
Der Ring des Nibelungen (Wagner's opera cycle) Wiki Entry

Friday, June 17, 2016

X-Men (Kamen, 2000)


     In 2000, the late Michael Kamen was asked to score the first "X-Men" film, replacing original choice John Ottman due to scheduling conflicts.  Despite last-minute studio requests to add more electronic elements to the score (with material supposedly provided by Klaus Badelt), he did a very effective job of starting the franchise off with some memorable thematic material.  However, due to all of these late-in-the-day changes, much of score prepared for the soundtrack was replaced, resulting in lots of "alternates" being used.  Nonetheless it's an enjoyable score and presents all of the major themes, while staying within a comfortable length.


     Plotwise, a young Eric Lehnsherr (Magneto) is separated from his parents in Poland during WWII and develops mutant magnetic powers (as well as a sensitivity to racial prejudice).  Years later, he plots to activate a device which will make other people into mutants like himself.  At the same time, a young mutant named Rogue meets Logan (Wolverine), and after they are attacked by Magneto's "Brotherhood of Mutants", they are taken in by Charles Xavier's more humanitarian group, the X-Men.  Rogue is eventually lured away from Xavier's school and captured by Magneto.  At the Statue of Liberty, the X-Men fight Magneto's mutants and eventually foil Magneto's plan and save Rogue.

     Although this would be the only X-Men film to be scored by Kamen, his X-Men theme will eventually "mutate" (pun intended) into a new version created by John Ottman for the sequel, "X2: X-Men United".  In any case, the themes in this score include the below:
  • X-Men theme: Hero march theme based on rising figures with a falling end note, highlighted in "The X-Jet". 
  • Cerebro theme: Swirling, layered theme on piano and strings, featured in the Main Title (not on album) and in "Cerebro".
  • Logan theme: Romantic, noble theme, used in poignant intimate scenes, but also soars in the film's climax (featured in several cues not included on the album). 
  • Magneto March: String accent rhythm used when Magneto is walking somewhere "with a mission".
  • Attack figure: 4-note staccatto rhythmic figure on strings.
  • Mystique motif: Short string motif treated with electronic effects (filtered).
  • Sabretooth fight texture: Electronic percussion using samples and noise elements.
     The table below describes the official soundtrack which, as mentioned earlier, contains many tracks that are not actually found in the final film.  I labeled some of the sections I couldn't identify as "Alternates" and gave my best guess as to what these cues were probably used for.  Some of the alternates only differ in the mix/orchestration, while some are completely different cues than what's in the film.  In any case, I'm happy to make any corrections if anybody has better ideas.
Trk Dur Title Film Sequence
1 3:05 Death
Camp
0:00: (Unused) In Poland, 1944, a crowd of Jews is forced to march down a fenced corridor in the muddy rain (soft falling piano accents leading to low strings, ending with rising oboe figure).
0:37: Eric (young Magneto) sees Jews wheeling carts and digging.  He is separated from his parents by soldiers (tuba figure into foreboding strings/low piano accents, building with muted brass/timpani rhythm into a march of doom, brass cadence).
2:00: The gate is closed, but Eric uses his power to bend the metal (march pulse joined by brass accents and swirling strings, hint of X-Men theme).
2:25: Eric is knocked out by a guard.  Scene transitions to Mississippi and young Rogue (accents into subdued low strings, X-Men theme fragment in low strings/brass, high held strings/soft opening piano accents figure).
2 3:26 Ambush 0:00: In his truck, Rogue asks Logan (Wolverine) about his claws.  They make introductions (high strings/ambient textures becoming more relaxed with harp plucks/winds/muted brass). 
0:40: (Partial) Something hits the windshield and the truck crashes (percussive string accent into rising-falling strings).  Logan is thrown clear.  Flames appear (swirling string harmonics, ambient textures).  Logan slowly gets up and heals (string harmonics/ambients/choir).  Rogue is trapped in the truck.  Logan smells an intruder (ambient sounds).
2:05: Sabretooth attacks Logan and Logan is knocked out (electric guitar accent, string/brass accents/electronics, Attack string rhythm figure, string tremoli).  Sabretooth approaches the truck but Storm and Cyclops (Scott) arrive (electronic rhythm/string accents leading to X-Men theme in brass, accented strings).  They drive Sabretooth away and then save Rogue and Logan, just as the truck explodes (suspense accents/ambient textures).
3 3:48 Mutant
School
0:00: (Alternate) Charles asks Logan about his missing past and offers help (falling/arpeggiated high strings/harp accents/metallic ambient textures).  Charles describes the school's mission over a montage of students and teachers with powers (sprightly, lilting piano/celeste/string ostinato with noble horn figure). 
1:26: (Alternate) Logan is examined by Jean in her lab (howling metallic echoes into high strings, becoming warmer with harp/chimes/brass, with X-Men theme fragment surfacing).  He wakes up and grabs Jean.  He then escapes into the corridor and hears voices (low pulses and suspense strings).  He finds clothing and then hears Charles' voice leading him on.  He eventually finds his way to Charles' classroom (string tremolo, pause).
2:50: (Unused: Falling wind figure into suspense strings/cymbals joined by synth pulses/tremolo strings/winds/muted brass).
4 5:01 Magneto's
Lair
0:00: In a cell, the Senator finds out he now has "pliable" bones (Mystique motif in processed string figures and flanged metallic ambients).  
0:43: Magneto returns and finds him hanging out the window (Magneto March in string accents with electronic noises).  He tells the Senator that he is now a mutant.  The Senator falls into the water (string accents into poignant figures/brass swells, string tremoli, swell).
1:41: The Senator wakes up in a dark room and meets Magneto and his Brotherhood of Mutants (Mystique motif in filtered violin/ambient textures, string accents with filtered cello/foreboding strings).  
2:43: Magneto gets into a large device and activates it with his powers (ominous low brass/string/piano figures, hint of X-Men fragment, synth choir/strings, building strings/timpani/choir leading to low rhythmic accents).  
3:57: Radiation spreads out, and then dissipates (clanking noises/string accents and X-Men fragment, fateful falling figures, held textures with low string accents).
5 2:13 Cerebro 0:00: Charles enters Cerebro's chamber to look for Rogue (tremolo strings, X-Men fragments, low textures with ambient voice samples). 
0:50: He begins scanning minds and sees her at the train station (theme also used for Main Title) (Cerebro theme in electronic drums with rising filtered string figures, building and becoming low brass, celeste/harp).
6 2:36 Train 0:00: In the train station terminal, Sabretooth grabs Storm and Toad knocks off Scott's visor.  Storm takes out Sabretooth with a lightning bolt (electronic ambient effects and beats with tremolo strings, rising string gliss becoming synth/string/brass accent). 
0:56: (Partially used) Magneto peels open up the subway car holding Logan and Rogue (slashing layers of string accents joined by electronic beats/tremolo strings, hint of X-Men theme in low brass ending in choir).
1:49: He dispatches Logan and then uses a syringe to knock out Rogue (electronics/strings/choir into tremolo strings, fateful strings/brass, electronic beats return and end after a final percussive string strike).
7 3:02 Magneto
Stand Off
0:00: When Magneto and his men try to leave the train station they are stopped by police (Magneto March in accented strings, joined by X-Men fragment and then developed).  Magneto uses his powers to disarm the police and turn their guns against them.  Charles takes control of Toad and Sabretooth and makes them threaten Magneto (low piano tremoli/choir, strings building to cymbal swell).
0:54: Magneto calls Charles' bluff when he threatens the police and wins out (suspenseful low choir/strings with rhythmic piano/timpani accents, high string accents become tremoli and then pause, low tremolo strings/low brass joined by high strings/piano accent, ending in tense strings and hint of Mystique).
2:28: Mystique arrives in a helicopter and they escape (rhythmic timpani/subtle X-Men motif).
8 3:47 The X-Jet 0:00: The X-Jet takes off from underneath the school basketball court.  As the jet approaches Ellis Island, Storm provides weather cover.  Magneto tells his team that he senses the X-Men (rhythmic violins/electronic pulses/percussion joined by brass/strings and building to X-Men theme in rising brass figures, fanfare accents/electric guitar, string/piano cadence figures, low strings).
1:55: (Unused)  The X-Jet lands in the fog near the statue (low string accents, suspense string figures/tremoli).
2:21: (Hesitant violin joined by electronics/strings/timpani accents, poignant piano/violin into low strings and brass accent).  
3:03: The X-Men explore the museum floor but are observed by Mystique (suspense strings, Mystique motif in filtered cello, low string accents/high string tremoli). 
9 2:22 Museum
Fight
0:00: (Alternate)  Logan fights a fake Logan (Mystique).  Toad fights the other X-Men (syncopated low string rhythm with Mystique motif/various string/percussion accents, developed with some added brass/piano elements, string gliss, low tremolo strings/Attack motif in rhythmic strings into high trills, low accent). 
1:00: Storm rises from an elevator shaft and eventually takes out Toad with lightning (high falling violin trills into X-Men theme in strings/brass, falling strings and brass clusters/col legno string accents, low string/timpani accents, rhythmic bass/low brass).
10 2:38 The Statue
Of Liberty
0:00: (Alternate) Logan and Sabretooth fight on top of the Statue of Liberty, intercut with Eric giving Rogue his power to activate the mutation device.  Scott and Jean eventually take out Sabretooth with an optic eye-blast (Sabretooth electronics/strings texture, intercut with action brass and string figures/accents, choir textures, rising brass lines, drum and brass, tremolo strings, syncopated string action figures, rising string figures, etc).
11 2:31 Final Showdown 0:00: (Alternate) Logan volunteers to have Storm levitate him to Rogue (syncopated low string rhythm with string/brass accents).
0:23: Storm and Jean work together to throw Logan up to free Rogue from the mutation device (X-Men theme in brass over rhythmic strings/brass, developed, rising figures).  The device activates and Logan fights Magneto as the radiation spreads (swirling figures/brass tremoli/danger fanfares).  The UN audience panics.  Scott blasts Magneto and Logan destroys the machine (fateful brass/string layers, syncopated strings joined by brass, fanfare into subdued strings).
12 5:58 Logan And Rogue 0:00: Logan holds an unresponsive Rogue (Logan theme surfaces in oboe over arpeggio in harp/strings/piano, Logan theme develops in strings).  He gives her his healing power to recover (low brass figure leads into Logan theme with additional brass layers/ornaments).  She revives and the X-men leave.  Back at the school, Charles wakes up (soft strings, low brass tremoli, resigned winds/strings).
2:38: (Alternate) Logan lies injured on a bed but eventually heals and is greeted by Jean.  He flirts with Jean (piano accent into playful/pastoral high strings/harp/bassoon).  Charles gives Logan a clue to his past.  Storm identifies a fake Senator Kelly on TVLogan leaves and Rogue follows him to say goodbye.  Logan gives her his dog-chain and departs on Scott's motorcycle (low string accents into low strings).
3:54: (Partial) Charles and Magneto play chess in Magneto's plastic prison.  They discuss the future (low strings into violins/flute/soft high piano ostinato, developed into strings).  Magneto warns Charles that the war is still coming.  Charles leaves, after assuring him that the school is safe from intruders(low timpani rhythm with subdued X-Men theme in winds, low strings/timpani, fateful strings/winds, soft falling piano from opening leading into strings/harp).


Links
Michael Kamen Wiki Entry
Michael Kamen's original home page