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 Posted:   Mar 27, 2014 - 4:46 PM   
 By:   nuts_score   (Member)

I certainly wouldn't compare this to anything golden age but it is big all right.

Of course stated in my initial comments I'm hesitant to tell this board anything about it sounding big and Biblical and like scores of yore, but tracks like "Make Thee an Ark" and "Every Creeping Thing That Creeps" inspire a sort of majesty that is sacrosanct for these types of epics. I'd also add that the memorable themes appear to be something which you must listen for. I don't pretend to know why so many of you subscribe to "themes, themes, and MORE THEMES" but I get so frustrated wondering in what environments must you be listening to this music and not hearing the thematic material.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 27, 2014 - 5:00 PM   
 By:   Spymaster   (Member)

I don't pretend to know why so many of you subscribe to "themes, themes, and MORE THEMES" but I get so frustrated wondering in what environments must you be listening to this music and not hearing the thematic material.

Perhaps folks are so pre-occupied with playlists and "agile" listening that they're missing the good stuff. Looking forward to this!

 
 Posted:   Mar 27, 2014 - 6:26 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

I don't pretend to know why so many of you subscribe to "themes, themes, and MORE THEMES" but I get so frustrated wondering in what environments must you be listening to this music and not hearing the thematic material.

Oh I heard a theme at the beginning, which was strange in the instrument he decided to use to present it. After that, it all blended together. If he wrote themes for this he did a horrible job presenting them. Maybe I'll notice some themes in the film this weekend but I certainly won't be listening to this music again. It didn't grab me in the slightest.

Also perhaps your standard for themes is really low. To me a theme must be fairly lengthy, at least a few bars, or otherwise it is just a short motif. And I didn't hear many motifs in this score either.

And I listened to this score on my home stereo system on my new speakers. It was a relatively quiet environment. I blame the mix or the composer for the problems more than anything.

 
 Posted:   Mar 27, 2014 - 7:54 PM   
 By:   Khan   (Member)

I streamed this on Spotify today and came away very impressed. Will be listening to it again soon!

 
 Posted:   Mar 28, 2014 - 4:01 PM   
 By:   nuts_score   (Member)


Also perhaps your standard for themes is really low.


I don't intend to sound like an ass, SiriusJr, but this statement is pretty hollow don't you think? It just doesn't seem right to make a statement like that towards a fellow aficionado. I don't want to look at things as "standards," and if something speaks to me and it engages me as a listener, that's what counts -- not its inclusion of themes, or no themes, or arpeggios, adagios, etc.

 
 Posted:   Mar 28, 2014 - 4:32 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)


Also perhaps your standard for themes is really low.


I don't intend to sound like an ass, SiriusJr, but this statement is pretty hollow don't you think? It just doesn't seem right to make a statement like that towards a fellow aficionado. I don't want to look at things as "standards," and if something speaks to me and it engages me as a listener, that's what counts -- not its inclusion of themes, or no themes, or arpeggios, adagios, etc.


What I meant was mostly we must mean totally different things by the word theme because that would explain why you hear themes in this score and I don't. Meanings are important or we can't have a clear discussion about anything. I've dismissed a number of scores as theme-less and boring only to see a few people on the discussion thread call me crazy for not hearing themes. Either we have different definitions for themes or I am missing something.

With Noah I hear one theme at the beginning but then it all blends together. This could be because I am not listening to it with my full attention but I rarely do that for any score and I still hear plenty of themes in my favorites. Admittedly not all themes are going to be noticeable the first time through a score but if a new score doesn't grab me in the first listen I tend to move on to something else.

Most of my favorite scores are 80% themes. With multiple interesting themes a lengthy score like Wyatt Earp can hold my interest throughout the score. What keeps me coming back is recognizing the variations in the themes as they change throughout the score.

Of course all that really matters is that a score engages you like you say. It just happens that most modern composers fail to engage me when they don't use themes because their structure of writing is already fairly simplistic. With Noah, Mansell is primarily pushing for big emotions through the textures he uses. I think the textures are quite effective at creating those emotions but the score could be a lot stronger if it was more direct in its presentation.

 
 Posted:   Mar 29, 2014 - 7:16 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

So I watched the film today and I must say it didn't increase my appreciation of the score much if at all. I had a hard time remembering the one lengthy theme by the time I was done. For the most part the music spent a long time using the boring two note motif for Noah's character that didn't seem particularly unique. I left the film feeling like the music was unnecessarily cheap. It could have been more effective if it was a bit different.

 
 Posted:   Mar 29, 2014 - 7:37 PM   
 By:   nuts_score   (Member)

So I watched the film today and I must say it didn't increase my appreciation of the score much if at all. I had a hard time remembering the one lengthy theme by the time I was done. For the most part the music spent a long time using the boring two note motif for Noah's character that didn't seem particularly unique. I left the film feeling like the music was unnecessarily cheap. It could have been more effective if it was a bit different.

My personal opinion of the film is mixed. Overall it is the most noble attempt of co-writer and director Darren Aronofsky's best and worst traits. The first half of the film, which details Noah's faith, visions, and building of the Ark is filled with beautiful and strange mysticism. This is also where the story and performances are strongest. After the Flood occurs and Noah's family find themselves at sea, I nearly lost interest.

From here on it collapses into overwrought melodrama which I think Aronofsky is guilty of each time he's got a film out. Despite the Oscar win for Natalie Portman's performance in Black Swan (which retro-actively feels more and more like a "career win") I find Mr. Aronofsky to be he is a flawed director of women. His depictions of female characters are miserable and un-involving, and Jennifer Connelly feels entirely unconvincing in the second half of the film. Likewise for Emma Watson. I found Russell Crowe and Ray Winstone to be the most capable overall, with Crowe's performance being very grounded, emotional, and even inspiring.

I really loved the more fantastical and mythic representations of these events, especially the wild depiction of Nephilim angels as fallen from the grace of God for assisting in human events and being encased in stone. The visual effects for these golems were incredible, and I felt as though I was watching a new film with Ray Harryhausen effects in the 21st Century. The unique animals were also a brilliant touch, I think. All of this stuff was very inspired, like the visuals.

There is an amazing montage which details the creation of the universe and God's creations which leads into the history and evolution of murder and war which I felt alone was worth the price of admission. I'd liken it to Mr. Aronofsky taking an acid trip with Terence Malick and feeling truly exhilarated. Another scene finds a young Methuselah defeating an army of Cain's descendants with a flaming sword which engulfs the landscape in flames. Composer Clint Mansell and cinematographer Matthew Libatique emerge as the true talents behind this film after all of the good will Aronofsky brought forth in the better parts of the picture, the director inflicts too much of his patented brand of tedium.

 
 Posted:   Mar 29, 2014 - 7:40 PM   
 By:   nuts_score   (Member)

I had a hard time remembering the one lengthy theme by the time I was done. For the most part the music spent a long time using the boring two note motif for Noah's character that didn't seem particularly unique. I left the film feeling like the music was unnecessarily cheap. It could have been more effective if it was a bit different.

SiriusJr, no matter how hard you try and explain your position, I am still baffled. I understand you like themes, but is this the primary reason you listen to music?I have a challenge for you: I'm interested in how you would detail a more effective and different approach, and I want you to avoid using the words "theme" and "motif."

 
 Posted:   Mar 29, 2014 - 7:47 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

Well for this particular film I think it would have been more effective to go with a full orchestra for one. The cheesy overly dark approach he took combined with his overly mystical approach from some of the synths just pulled me further from any attempt at realism. I don't expect the music to get very heroic considering the general tone of the film but it could still have taken on a more unique character.

 
 Posted:   Mar 29, 2014 - 7:48 PM   
 By:   nuts_score   (Member)

And I'm hard-pressed to hear much -- if any -- synth elements in this score. It all sounds very organic, with a huge percussion section, guitars electric and acoustic, organ, piano, and the wonderful work of the Kronos Quartet.

 
 Posted:   Mar 29, 2014 - 7:53 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

Must be the electric and acoustic organ that I'm hearing then but it sounds very similar to a lot of the modern film score sounds.

And since I didn't answer it earlier, yes I'd say I generally listen to scores for the themes. A good theme is the core of most of my favorite scores. In other genres there are other things to draw me, such as lyrics, primary melodies and background melodies.

 
 Posted:   Mar 29, 2014 - 7:55 PM   
 By:   nuts_score   (Member)

Well for this particular film I think it would have been more effective to go with a full orchestra for one. The cheesy overly dark approach he took combined with his overly mystical approach from some of the synths just pulled me further from any attempt at realism.

But could one argue that we have heard time and time again a complete orchestral approach to this kind of film? And that could be considered cheesy and perhaps even overly dark? Unfortunately for the critics a composer is entitled to bring their own unique voice to a project -- this is Mansell's work through and through.

As far as the realism dig is concerned, this is a film dealing with ancient texts which reveal layers and layers of mysticism and even Aronofsky himself hardly shoots for much realism here.

 
 Posted:   Mar 31, 2014 - 6:43 PM   
 By:   nuts_score   (Member)

Any more thoughts on this score from those who have seen the film and/or heard the soundtrack album?

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 1, 2014 - 12:28 PM   
 By:   AMAFilmScoreFan   (Member)

I enjoy Noah. For me, if I had to rank Clint Mansell + Aronofsky efforts, I would arrive at the following.

The Fountain > Noah > Black Swan > Requiem for a Dream

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 2, 2014 - 7:51 PM   
 By:   Jon Broxton   (Member)

My review of NOAH, for anyone who is interested:

http://moviemusicuk.us/2014/04/02/noah-clint-mansell/

Jon

 
 Posted:   Apr 2, 2014 - 8:23 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

My review of NOAH, for anyone who is interested:

http://moviemusicuk.us/2014/04/02/noah-clint-mansell/

Jon


Hmm, some good points even if I don't really agree. I certainly feel all the textures you describe but I'd be hard pressed to call a 2 note motif a theme. It may be just a slip when it is originally referred to as a motif and later a theme but there is certainly a minimum number of notes I would argue is required for a motif to turn into a theme.

I do agree with the part near the end where you say "Some may find the more contemporary aspects of the score anachronistic, or unpleasant in their abrasiveness...However, I feel that this way of composing fits in with Aronofsky’s modernist viewpoint of the story"

Though while it fits with the modern viewpoint I don't think it really fits within the film itself. I found the score to be generally too overbearing to mix well with most of the film.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 2, 2014 - 9:10 PM   
 By:   Jon Broxton   (Member)

I'd be hard pressed to call a 2 note motif a theme. It may be just a slip when it is originally referred to as a motif and later a theme but there is certainly a minimum number of notes I would argue is required for a motif to turn into a theme.

I guess what I'm saying is that those two notes are "the musical identity assigned to Tubal-Cain and his followers". Whether you call it a theme or a motif is just semantics, really. Those two notes represent that aspect of the film's narrative.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 2, 2014 - 9:11 PM   
 By:   Jon Broxton   (Member)

.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 3, 2014 - 4:03 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

I think I will go see this film, it could be a hoot!
I can't stand Ray Winstone (Oy YOU!, It's me, a big hard Cockney, use Bet365 or else, I'll send the boyz round to sort you aaarrrrttttttt!!!) but it sounds bonkers enough to be fun.

 
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