Monday, May 23, 2016

Gods of Egypt (Beltrami, 2016)

     Alex Proyas' film "Gods of Egypt" was scored by Marco Beltrami, who had also scored his previous films "Knowing" and "I, Robot".  Frankly, the film's characters didn't do much for me, but the music has some themes which tend to grow on you after a few listens.  It's score takes its cue (no pun intended) from classic desert adventures of the past (such as "Lawrence of Arabia", "Raiders of the Lost Ark", "Khartoum", etc...) and features an "Egypt theme" which has an appropriately exotic flavor, as well as an innocent love theme for the two human protagonists, Bek and Zaya.  Mostly orchestral in the "grand tradition", it does get bolstered pretty often by the modern trappings of pounding ethnic drums, overtone vocal choirs and some subtle electronics.  The main themes heard on the soundtrack are as follows:
  • Egypt Theme: Rising 2-note opening motif, then rising-falling-rising figure (ex. Gods of Egypt Prologue, 0:45)
  • Bek and Zaya's Theme: Begins with a 4-note motif, rising and then falling on the 4th note, and develops from there (ex. Bek and Zaya, 0:00)
  • Horus Fanfare: 4-note fanfares (rising twice, sometimes a 3rd time), usually on trumpet or other brass with variations (ex. Set vs Horus, 0:42)
  • Set's Motif: sometimes just a held texture, sometimes as a 4-note descending figure (and variations), in low textures often using overtone male choir (ex. All Quiet On Set, 0:00)
  • Hathor's Theme: 7-8 note melodic variations in rhythmic theme, often a 2-3-2 (-1) note figure (ex. Hathor's Bedroom, 0:00)

Trk Dur Title Film Sequence
1 2:38 Gods Of Egypt Prologue Logos, titles, history of the gods in animated metallic relief, pan over Egypt into marketplace (Egypt theme).  In the marketplace, Bek steals a dress.
2 0:44 Bek And Zaya Zaya tries out the dress Bek has stolen for her.  They embrace (Bek And Zaya's Theme).
3 0:28 Market Chase Bek runs away from a shopkeeper.
4 2:24 Coronation Crowds gather for Horus' coronation.  Hathor, Nephthys, Thoth and Osiris arrive, as well as Bek and Zaya (Egypt theme).  Osiris appears.
5 0:41 All Quiet On Set (unused) Set appears and kills Osiris (Set motif on low overtone vocals).
6 3:39 Set Vs. Horus Horus confronts Set (tense Horus fanfare).  They assume their god-forms (Horus fanfare developed).  Horus is eventually when blinded by Set's mirrors.  Set takes Horus' eyes (Set overtone choir).
7 3:40 Hathor's Bedroom 0:00: Set visits Hathor in her bedroom (Hathor's theme on duduk).
1:56: (partially used) Urshu arrives and presents the magnificent monument to Ra outside the window.
8 4:06 Bek Steals
The Eye
0:00: At night, Bek sneaks his way into Urshu's vault through a treasure cart.
0:58: Inside, he navigates past 3 trap-laden bridges.  He gets one of Horus' eyes and escapes a scorpion pit.  
9 2:59 Shot Through The Heart 0:00: Back at Zaya's, he is confronted by Urshu. 
1:03: He uses the Eye of Horus to enable an escape (Egypt theme).  They steal a chariot but Zaya is hit by Urshu's arrow (Bek and Zaya's theme on choir, strings).  Bek enters Osiris' tomb to find Horus.
10 1:23 Underdog In the tomb, Anubis appears and takes Zaya to the underworld path (Bek And Zaya's Theme in strings).
11 1:39 Red Army Horus and Bek leave the tomb.  Set addresses his troops (low overtone male choir Set motif) and then they begin marching out.
12 2:59 Wings And
A Prayer
0:00: Horus and Bek reach the top of a mountain (extended Horus fanfare development on horns, celli, etc.).  Horus prays to Ra and he is transformed into his god-form (Horus fanfare).
1:45: They fly to Ra's sun barge (Horus fanfare).
13 1:28 Osiris' Garden Horus and Bek stop and talk in Osiris' Temple, a deserted but sunny sand mausoleum (Egypt theme).
14 3:10 Snakes On A Plain Horus and Bek are chased by giant sand cobras (action rhythms based on Egypt theme fragment with a little Horus).  Horus eventually lures one of them over a cliff.
15 3:26 Toth's Library 0:00: Horus, Hathor and Bek arrive at Toth's library, filled with his duplicates.
1:56: Toth gives a speech.  Horus challenges Toth, but Bek convinces him to help.  They leave the library (Horus fanfare).
3:03: The quartet walk through the desert (Egypt theme).
16 2:27 Straight Out
Of Egypt
Unused, possibly alternate version of Main Title (Horus fanfare, Egypt theme).
17 2:28 Channeling Zaya Hathor lets Bek speak to Zaya in a sandcloud vision and gives her hope (Egypt theme variation on duduk, Bek and Zaya theme on cello).  Anubis ends their communication and urges her forward on the path to the Afterlife (Bek and Zaya theme in a brief wail).
18 2:27 Return Of
The Mistress Of The West
0:00: Hathor calls up Anubis and offers her bracelet to help Bek visit Zaya in the Underworld (Bek and Zaya theme in flutes, violins).
1:08: She says farewell to Horus and is taken away by the demons (Hathor's theme variations).  Bek takes the bracelet (Horus fanfare variation).
19 3:41 Chaos 0:00: In the underworld, Anubis senses the chaos that Set has unleashed and sends Bek back to Horus ask for his help (fateful Bek and Zaya's theme).
1:34: Horus is sent a flying chariot by Nephthys (Horus fanfare).  Set returns to Egypt and lures Apophis the giant worm to Earth so that it can drink the Nile and destroy the Afterlife (Set motif in low overtone male choir, Egypt theme).
3:09: Horus, Bek and Ursha sneak into Set's monument to Ra (Horus fanfare on low brass).
20 3:28 Set Confronts Ra Set confronts Ra on his sun barge and expresses his displeasure.  He eventually knocks Ra off the ship and takes his spear.
21 3:05 Elevator Music On the rising elevator, Ursha brags about the monument.  Horus jumps off and begins climbing from the outer wall (Horus fanfares begin and continue in various forms).  Ursha taunts Bek.  They fight.
22 4:11 Obelisk Fight,
Pt. 1
Horus fights Set at the top of Ra's monument (Set descending motif begins).  Bek kills Ursha and ascends on a rope.  He saves Horus from a tight spot (Horus fanfares begin) and obtains Horus' other eye from Set.  They both fall but Horus transforms and saves them both with his wings (Horus fanfare into soaring Egypt theme).
23 3:30 Obelisk Fight,
Pt. 2
Horus and Ra fight in their god-forms (Horus fanfares, Set motifs).  Horus removes Set's wings and he falls.  Horus lands and kills him, with the monument collapsing around them.
24 5:38 God Of The Impossible 0:00: Bek dies (Bek and Zaya theme in violin, developed on winds).  Horus takes him to the Tomb.  Ra appears and offers a reward.
1:51: Bek and Zaya return to life.  Horus coronation resumes with everyone restored (Bek and Zaya theme into Horus fanfares, Egypt theme in violins developed with Horus motifs).  Horus leaves to go rescue Hathor (Egypt theme).
4:13: (Alternate) End credits (Egypt theme developed on brass, strings).
25 4:36 Bek And Zaya's Theme End credit 3.
26 3:35 Hathor's Theme End credit 2.

Marco Beltrami Page
Marco Beltrami Wiki Entry
Review/Analysis at Moviemusicuk

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