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Author Topic: The Musical Score  (Read 240288 times)

Offline BigEd

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Re: Element: The Musical Score
« Reply #30 on: January 21, 2006, 02:22:15 PM »
As a musician by profession, I am always intrigued with the musical score when watching a film.  The impact of this score almost goes unnoticed ... it's there to enhance but not get in the way.  Gustavo Santaolalla has done this beautifully in BBM.  The music he used in the bar/restaurant scenes is obvious country fair and fits the atmosphere well.  What I am most intrigued with is the rest of the score .  There is not much in the way of lush orchestration. He uses it sparingly, mainly to enhance large scenic shots. Otherwise, the music itself is almost minimalistic in nature.  Simple is the word ... and fits the simplicity of the way of  life in rural Wyoming.  In these moments, the music is sparse .... often only a guitar .... two or three voices intertwined with each other.  The timing and entry of the music is so subtle that one almost doesn't even realize it's there.  If you listen carefully enough, Santaolalla foreshadows emotionally pivotal moments in the story.  One that comes to mind is the scene near the end of the movie when Ennis is about to discover the shirts in Jack's closet.  As Ennis is kneeling in the closet and is about to discover them, there is a single note ... plucked on the guitar. It's as though at that very moment, Ennis sees the shirts, and the realization of their meaning all comes together.  There are moments like this sprinkled throughout the movie. 

In an interview of Santaolalla that I read, he stated that the scoring of most movies is done after the entire film has been shot.  He is sent the first cut of the film ... watches it and then starts composing.  BBM was different.  He and Ang Lee met before the film was shot ... he read the screenplay and talked with Lee about what he wanted to convey ... scene by scene.  It was after this conversation that Santaolalla set pen to paper.  Next time you see BBM, listen carefully to the score .... to the sparseness of the writing and the exquisite timing.  It's truly amazing writing.

There is so much more to the music that I could talk about but I'll spare you all .... at least for the moment.

I was blown away by the score. Those beautiful, haunting, guitar chords. Minimalistic indeed, partiucularly as they go up the mountain for the first time, herding the sheep. Those guitar licks in BBM1 just wept of innoncence (they were herding sheep and carrying lambs on their saddles, which completed the imagery) and the minimalistic score mirrored, I thought, the big empty spaces that they were living in. Brilliant!

My only disappointment is that "A Love that Will Never Grow Old" does not play long enough in the movie to qualify for an Oscar.  Its the most beautiful love song I've ever heard, and I'm not a fan of country music (no flames please, we all have our own tastes).

And Jim, please talk about it all you want to - I'd love to hear the insights of a musical professional about this score.
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Offline andyincolorado

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Re: Element: The Musical Score
« Reply #31 on: January 21, 2006, 02:55:57 PM »
Apparently, "A Love That Will Never Grow Old" was good enough to win a Golden Globe award even though it is heard for a few seconds on Jack's truck radio as he's driving away from Ennis and his daughters. I think it will get nominated and possibly WIN an Oscar for best song!
Emmy Lou Harris is such a classic singer!
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Offline canmark

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Re: Element: The Musical Score
« Reply #32 on: January 21, 2006, 04:06:26 PM »
I just discovered this thread and had some questions and a comment. Gustavo Santaolalla has said he composed "99 percent" of the music before the film was made, which is remarkable to me. It's so haunting and so perfectly underlines the key scenes in the film.

http://www.canada.com/topics/entertainment/story.html?id=ed52d059-28fa-42af-b217-24907184b3c3&k=90002

Question: was there a music supervisor (I think that's the name of the position) who was responsible for finding the other music in the film (ie. previously recorded music like Linda Ronstadt's version of "It's so easy") or was it Santaolalla or Ang Lee that found and chose all those songs?

Question: is there a possibility of a second soundtrack CD ("Titanic," for example, released "Back to Titanic" after the success of the first soundtrack CD)? Given the number of songs from the film that are not on the soundtrack (Melissa, D.I.V.O.R.C.E, Quizas Quizas Quizas, King of the Road (the Roger Miller version), etc), plus additional intstrumental tracks, they could easily put out another CD.

Question: how did Rufus Wainwright become involved? Did they ask him to write a song? Was "The Maker Makes" written especially for the film, or had he written it previously?

Question: how did Bernie Taupin become involved?   
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Offline BigEd

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Re: Element: The Musical Score
« Reply #33 on: January 22, 2006, 02:47:12 PM »
Apparently, "A Love That Will Never Grow Old" was good enough to win a Golden Globe award even though it is heard for a few seconds on Jack's truck radio as he's driving away from Ennis and his daughters. I think it will get nominated and possibly WIN an Oscar for best song!
Emmy Lou Harris is such a classic singer!

Hi Andy:
Although the song won a Golden Globe, the rules for the Oscars are different. Here are the Academy Awards rules for best song, copied from http://oscars.org/78academyawards/rules/rule16.html

"An original song consists of words and music, both of which are original and written specifically for the film. There must be a clearly audible, intelligible, substantive rendition (not necessarily visually presented) of both lyric and melody, used in the body of the film or as the first music cue in the end credits."

I'm afraid that only a few seconds of the song, and its not all that audible either, renders it ineligible. A pity, since I think it could have had a good shot.
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Offline Ross:Broken

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Re: Element: The Musical Score
« Reply #34 on: January 22, 2006, 08:16:57 PM »
Apparently, "A Love That Will Never Grow Old" was good enough to win a Golden Globe award even though it is heard for a few seconds on Jack's truck radio as he's driving away from Ennis and his daughters. I think it will get nominated and possibly WIN an Oscar for best song!
Emmy Lou Harris is such a classic singer!

Hi Andy:
Although the song won a Golden Globe, the rules for the Oscars are different. Here are the Academy Awards rules for best song, copied from http://oscars.org/78academyawards/rules/rule16.html

"An original song consists of words and music, both of which are original and written specifically for the film. There must be a clearly audible, intelligible, substantive rendition (not necessarily visually presented) of both lyric and melody, used in the body of the film or as the first music cue in the end credits."

I'm afraid that only a few seconds of the song, and its not all that audible either, renders it ineligible. A pity, since I think it could have had a good shot.

Yeah, this is a real shame.  If it were eligible, I'd place it as the frontrunner for the Oscar.

Hopefully, voters who like the song will throw their support behind the score...
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Offline chaya

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Re: Element: The Musical Score
« Reply #35 on: January 23, 2006, 11:47:06 AM »
Here are the words to the Mexican song we hear as Jack meets the hustler in the alley (thanks to many who have posted these words in various places including Jack and In Tears). This song is also brilliantly selected and placed.

"Quizas, Quizas, Quizas"....


Thank you thank you thank you peteinportland! Knowing that nothing in this movie is accidental, it was killing me that I didn't know what the lyrics to this song were!
"Three puppies belonging to one of the blue heelers went in a pack basket, the runt inside Jack's coat, for he loved a little dog." Annie Proulx, BBM

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Offline DeeGilles

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Re: Element: The Musical Score
« Reply #36 on: January 23, 2006, 06:47:24 PM »
Thought I'd post "He was a Friend of Mine." It's funny how the older I get,the more profound Dyland gets!   :)

I can't decide who the lyrics apply to more, Ennis or Jack.  Thoughts?



http://www.bobdylan.com/songs/wasafriend.html

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kumari

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Re: Element: The Musical Score
« Reply #37 on: January 23, 2006, 07:43:50 PM »
Thought I'd post "He was a Friend of Mine." It's funny how the older I get,the more profound Dyland gets!   :)

I can't decide who the lyrics apply to more, Ennis or Jack.  Thoughts?



http://www.bobdylan.com/songs/wasafriend.html



I adore this song because it encompasses emotions from both characters.
But I have to admit that I think of Ennis when I hear it. Growing up so lonely, he never expected to find a friend on Brokeback Mountain. And I love how Jack called Ennis "Friend" on the first postcard.
Just goes to show you that friendship is sexy and the best way to start an affair, no matter what the gender of the people involved.

Offline M. Alexander

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Re: Element: The Musical Score
« Reply #38 on: January 23, 2006, 08:05:16 PM »
Opening notes......minor second...........A to A flat.

The closest two notes can be to one another.

An echo across a lonely span....

"Two deuces going nowhere."

Final resolution in a majestic major chord.
 

Brilliant Petetown. Just reading this post for the first time and you nailed it. I love that quote "two deuces going nowhere" - these poor "minor" characters - but first Annie, then McMurty/Ossana, then Ang, and finally Heath and Jake raise them to Major Heights indeed. We love these men and ache for them. Santaolalla honors them too and your description does as well. Bravo.

Offline Carissa

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Re: Element: The Musical Score
« Reply #39 on: January 23, 2006, 08:06:30 PM »
Thought I'd post "He was a Friend of Mine." It's funny how the older I get,the more profound Dyland gets!   :)

I can't decide who the lyrics apply to more, Ennis or Jack.  Thoughts?

http://www.bobdylan.com/songs/wasafriend.html

I always think of Ennis thinking of Jack when I hear this. 
Give me my Romeo; and, when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.
- Romeo and Juliet (Juliet at III, ii)

Offline crcj

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Re: Element: The Musical Score
« Reply #40 on: January 23, 2006, 08:27:17 PM »
I agree that Ennis absolutely is the one I think of when the song plays over the end credits.  Especially the haunting lines:

Everytime I think of him,
I just can't keep from crying.

and then

I stole away and cried.
Never had too much money,
never felt quite satisfied.

You can just see Ennis sitting in his trailer at the end of the day staring out that window, tears in his eyes as he thinks about his lost love.

I had been trying to think about song placement throughout the scenes.  Some songs just don't seem to make sense where they are positioned.  Then it sort of hit me -- when the two are together we get all the beautiful and peaceful bridge music.  Everything is good (or relatively).

Then when the two are apart we get all the beautiful ballads and songs of loves that will never grow old and not wanting to say goodbye.  When the two are apart, they have all the misery and anguish of being separated.  And the music reflects that.  Even when Jack is dancing with Lureen when he meets her -- the second song is a slow one ("Noone will Love You Like Me").  He pulls her close and then looks off in the distance and has the saddest look on his face.  He had not even had his reunion yet, but he was thinking of Ennis.

I play the soundtrack everyday.  It is a little bit therapy, and a little bit of an opportunity to stew in the juices of all the emotions from the movie.  I still have moments where I just want to break down and cry myself.

Offline peteinportland

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Re: Element: The Musical Score
« Reply #41 on: January 23, 2006, 08:57:53 PM »
Crcj, that moment with that song is one of Ang's parallels. We see that look when she sings, "you used to be so lonely."

Contrast this exact same look on Ennis face with Alma behind him on the bed saying "you don't want it to be lonely, do you?"

It is a beautiful, heart wrenching comparison, seeing these two men thinking of each other to fill the loneliness, even when they are with their wives (heck, for Jack, it was during his and Lureen's first dance together).

That song is perfectly paced and measured for this scene.

Offline jim ...

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Re: Element: The Musical Score
« Reply #42 on: January 24, 2006, 10:12:24 AM »

And Jim, please talk about it all you want to - I'd love to hear the insights of a musical professional about this score.

ok folks ... by all means, let me know if I'm getting to technical or boring you!

In listening to the soundtrack again, there are so many technical/theory type elements that enhance the film. Santaolalla is so adept at provoking emotion from the listener.  In much of the score he takes the listener/viewer on an emotional roller coaster.  In most "traditional" music there are very standard chord progressions .... one chord leads naturally to the next. Santaolalla toys with us here ... often he'll start a progression in the traditional way but then throws us a curve.... gives us something totally unexpected. He mixes major (happy/hopeful) with minor (sad/hopeless) in the same "sentence".  Just as our emotions in the film go from hope for Jack and Ennis to utter despair. The music mirrors this beautifully.  He does this continually .... and shows it as well with the orchestration. In one moment he scores the music with a lushness of full strings and the music swells with optimism ... and in the next breath leaves us with a lone guitar .... lamenting.  A very simple example of this emotional "roller coaster" can be found in the fist 6 notes of the "main" theme.  For those of you have a any instrument at hand: play the notes, b,c,d,f_e_d__. Right there you see how Santaolallla starts upward with the first four notes ... a feeling of hopefulness ... but then descends downward in sadness with the last two.  Man, I hope I'm not getting too technical with you guys!  A couple of other quick thoughts and then I'll shut up!  Much of the score (other than the country tunes/songs) is really unmetered ... meaning there is no real beat or rhythm. This shows the vastness of the setting ... open expanses of the mountains .. etc. There are no rhythmical restrictions here ... much the same for Jack and Ennis when they are alone ... no restrictions ... they can be together freely.  Lastly (for now), Santaolalla uses so many "open" chords in this score. Most chords have at least three notes to them ... the chords feels "filled in" ... however in the BBM score, often one of those three notes is left out ... making it less complete (much the way Jack and Ennie must have felt at times throughout their lives)  ... less "filled in".  Copland does this often in his music. If you ever hear Appalachian Spring you'll notice many 4th and 5th intervals (an interval is the distance between two notes).  By not filling these intervals in, it gives the listener the feeling of openness .... simplicity ... expanse.  You'll hear this often in the score and of course it "fits" with the scenic vastness shown in the film.

OK ... gosh, I feel as though I've really rambled here. Sorry if I've been too technical. I guess you can tell I'm pretty passionate about this! ... and of course, there's more from where all of this came from ... but once again, I'll spare you for the moment.

Offline Ross:Broken

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Re: Element: The Musical Score
« Reply #43 on: January 24, 2006, 10:18:08 AM »
ok folks ... by all means, let me know if I'm getting to technical or boring you!

In listening to the soundtrack again, there are so many technical/theory type elements that enhance the film. Santaolalla is so adept at provoking emotion from the listener.  In much of the score he takes the listener/viewer on an emotional roller coaster.  In most "traditional" music there are very standard chord progressions .... one chord leads naturally to the next. Santaolalla toys with us here ... often he'll start a progression in the traditional way but then throws us a curve.... gives us something totally unexpected. He mixes major (happy/hopeful) with minor (sad/hopeless) in the same "sentence".  Just as our emotions in the film go from hope for Jack and Ennis to utter despair. The music mirrors this beautifully.  He does this continually .... and shows it as well with the orchestration. In one moment he scores the music with a lushness of full strings and the music swells with optimism ... and in the next breath leaves us with a lone guitar .... lamenting.  A very simple example of this emotional "roller coaster" can be found in the fist 6 notes of the "main" theme.  For those of you have a any instrument at hand: play the notes, b,c,d,f_e_d__. Right there you see how Santaolallla starts upward with the first four notes ... a feeling of hopefulness ... but then descends downward in sadness with the last two.  Man, I hope I'm not getting too technical with you guys!  A couple of other quick thoughts and then I'll shut up!  Much of the score (other than the country tunes/songs) is really unmetered ... meaning there is no real beat or rhythm. This shows the vastness of the setting ... open expanses of the mountains .. etc. There are no rhythmical restrictions here ... much the same for Jack and Ennis when they are alone ... no restrictions ... they can be together freely.  Lastly (for now), Santaolalla uses so many "open" chords in this score. Most chords have at least three notes to them ... the chords feels "filled in" ... however in the BBM score, often one of those three notes is left out ... making it less complete (much the way Jack and Ennie must have felt at times throughout their lives)  ... less "filled in".  Copland does this often in his music. If you ever hear Appalachian Spring you'll notice many 4th and 5th intervals (an interval is the distance between two notes).  By not filling these intervals in, it gives the listener the feeling of openness .... simplicity ... expanse.  You'll hear this often in the score and of course it "fits" with the scenic vastness shown in the film.

OK ... gosh, I feel as though I've really rambled here. Sorry if I've been too technical. I guess you can tell I'm pretty passionate about this! ... and of course, there's more from where all of this came from ... but once again, I'll spare you for the moment.

That was fascinating, Jim.  Thanks for the analysis.  I didn't quite understand it all, but a lot of it made sense to this "layperson" who just loves the music.  :)
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Offline rickpouch

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Re: Element: The Musical Score
« Reply #44 on: January 24, 2006, 10:57:27 AM »
HELP !!!!!!
So far I have been able to find the lyrics to "A Love That Will Never Grow Old," "Devil's Right Hand," It's So Easy" and "He Was A Friend of Mine."
However I have attempted in vain to find the lyrics of any of the other songs on the CD----I'm especially interested in finding out the exact lyrics to "I Will Never Let You Go" and "I Don't Want To Say Goodbye" as well as all the others.

HAS ANYONE ELSE HERE HAD ANY LUCK IN FINDING THE LYRICS TO THE OTHER SONGS ????

Rich (Chicago)