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 Posted:   Aug 6, 2014 - 4:37 AM   
 By:   Mike West   (Member)

.... shapes a certain idea of the movie. Sometimes even for certain events in the story.
And sometimes reading the track titles also influences our idea of what will happen in the movie, not only
with the well-known spoilers indicating the death of one of the characters.
Do you remember certain films you had experiences with like this?

How to train your Dragon 2 is a recent exsample of mine, where I had different ideas about Toothless lost and found and about Stoick saves Hiccup and Two New Alphas.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 6, 2014 - 5:19 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

To be perfectly honest, the movie has no bearing whatsoever on my listening. Sometimes, I've seen it, sometimes I've not. And I only casually glance the track titles once upon getting the album, maybe again if there's a brilliant track and I want to memorize its name for future reference.

Beyond that, I approach each and every soundtrack as an independent concept album. The movie couldn't even exist, for all I care. I'm probably alone in that approach, but it works for me.

 
 Posted:   Aug 6, 2014 - 5:30 AM   
 By:   pete   (Member)

I generally don't care as well. I'm a music fan first and a movie fan 7th or 8th.

But I do remember one case when seeing the movie changed my opinion of the score quite significantly. I first listened to Schindler's List days after a nasty achybreaky heart breakup, and it all just sounded soooo depressing. I just wasn't in the right headspace to appreciate the music. I think Throne Room and Finale from Star Wars would have sounded depressing to me that week. (I got over her pretty quickly^).

My opinion of Schindler's List changed when I saw the film. Of course, some parts still sound depressing, but seeing the movie removed the association that had formed in my mind between the music and that breakup.

There have been other cases when I have come to appreciate and enjoy a score after seeing it in its context, but I've never held off listening to a score because I've yet to see the film. But yeah, certainly track titles can shape expectations that sometimes turn out to be completely false both in terms of the scene and the movie. I remember looking forward to one particular track on Williams Lincoln score... I listened to it with high expectations... and .... there were banjos!

 
 Posted:   Aug 6, 2014 - 5:32 AM   
 By:   mgh   (Member)

To be perfectly honest, the movie has no bearing whatsoever on my listening. Sometimes, I've seen it, sometimes I've not. And I only casually glance the track titles once upon getting the album, maybe again if there's a brilliant track and I want to memorize its name for future reference.

Beyond that, I approach each and every soundtrack as an independent concept album. The movie couldn't even exist, for all I care. I'm probably alone in that approach, but it works for me.


Well, you're not alone. I happen to agree. I very rarely think of the film when I listen to the score. I have many scores to films that I have never seen and enjoy them greatly.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 6, 2014 - 5:39 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

There's no one answer for me.
Some scores are so ingrained with the film, I can't hear the music without seeing the scene (the JW classics like SW, Indy, Jaws etc, ditto the classic Goldsmith, Horner, Barry Morricone films) while others, like the John Scott scores I'm hearing for the first time and falling in love with now (Scarlet Tunic, Mill On The Floss) are all music-only experiences with an imagined scene or feeling in my head. Likewise, there are many Pino Donaggio scores to Italian films that I've never seen, so the music is the soundtrack to MY life (sorry for the cliche).
So (once again) Yeah but No wink

 
 Posted:   Aug 6, 2014 - 5:49 AM   
 By:   pete   (Member)

Oh yeah me too, and perhaps all of us? have certain scores that just can't be separated from the film because they're just so iconic and feel like they weren't so much composed as drawn from the images through witchcraft.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 6, 2014 - 6:07 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Well, over the years I've become increasingly good at separating the images even from the iconic titles like STAR WARS, ALIENS etc. that they exist in separate universes. I think less of the concrete images in STAR WARS than I approach it like an operatic piece in its own right, with my own images or feelings to accompany it.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 6, 2014 - 7:47 AM   
 By:   GoblinScore   (Member)

I tend to play 'psychic' on this topic, since I love film & music almost equally.

If I think its a film I won't care for, and the music will possibly be strong enough to
work on its own (Goldsmith!) I'll run the album and probably never even see the film.

If it looks like something that will be more integral, or a big FX tentpole type picture
where the score will be tied into things more (the Harry Potter films were perfect examples), I'll go the extra mile to see the film first. Godzilla is also a recent example for me - I read some of the comments that confirmed my fear - the album is just thrashing, big chord violence. After seeing the film and being able to connect images to it - cd is on the way to me soon.

Of course all that doesn't matter now, since most current scores are wallpaper, so when
I need a new ambient sound design record, buy current! lol

 
 Posted:   Aug 6, 2014 - 7:57 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

There's no one answer for me.
Some scores are so ingrained with the film, I can't hear the music without seeing the scene (the JW classics like SW, Indy, Jaws etc, ditto the classic Goldsmith, Horner, Barry Morricone films) while others, like the John Scott scores I'm hearing for the first time and falling in love with now (Scarlet Tunic, Mill On The Floss) are all music-only experiences with an imagined scene or feeling in my head. Likewise, there are many Pino Donaggio scores to Italian films that I've never seen, so the music is the soundtrack to MY life (sorry for the cliche).
So (once again) Yeah but No wink


This pretty much sums it up for me!

One thing that always annoys me is when a track title insinuates an action sequence and it's not an action cue. That's always a let down.

 
 Posted:   Aug 6, 2014 - 8:07 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Well, it greatly depends on the music as well as the movie. There are soundtracks, where I don't have all that much interest in the movie, so I may not see the movie at all. There are also those where I listen to the score first, and see the movie later.

It also depends at the type of film score it is. Most film music is easily identifiable as film music when listening to it, and if it is unusual, I find it sometimes interesting to seek out the context when it was written and what it was written for.

It's the same with any other type of music,... finding out about when and why a particular composer chose to write a particular music at a certain moment in time can be very interesting and illuminating, though it is of course no prerequisite to enjoying the music in the first place.

I basically agree with Thor that when I listen to a soundtrack album, it has to stand on its own as a composition, but knowing about the movie it was written for certainly has an influence on my reception of the music.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 6, 2014 - 10:38 AM   
 By:   jkannry   (Member)

Ill do it for some movies like all Bond movies and certain scifi/superhero/action movies. For these movies I know I will see the movie or I can picture what the themes are about or simply cant wait till I see the movie. More likely will hear score than get to movie while still in theaters. Did for Iron Man 3 though quite surpised how themes played out compared to how I pictured them. Did for Skyfall and again didnt quite get how it would be used till I saw it. Same for Captain America (first one)

Actually my favorite part of bond movies is music and actually await soundtrack. Hope series keeps going just for the music alone.

For older movies with composers I like its frequently sight unseen. Sometimes if lucky PBS is rerunning an old movie that I got the soundtrack for and havent opened and now finally play. Or I heard the score a long time ago and decided to finally watch on PBS.

Bond movies as well as Iron Man 3 and Captain America (first one) stood on their own as compositions. And as noted above it helps if I know context. And many I referenced in this post context is known even before seeing movie.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 6, 2014 - 12:18 PM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

lots of Goldsmith titles I listened to without ever seeing the movie.
Then I saw lots of his movies because of his score, before I ever got the score.

 
 Posted:   Aug 6, 2014 - 1:30 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

I'm with Thor and others on this one. To me the music is interesting to me first as music, thus my focus on the themes presented, which tend to be what grabs me. There are too many great scores to horrible movies for me to ever worry about seeing every single film that has a score I like. Also there are too many delightful scores for obscure Japanese movies that I don't really care to ever see.

There is something magical though about experiencing a score for the first time in a film and then getting the itch to seek it out to own. For example, somehow a few years ago I randomly bought Legends of the Fall on DVD when I hadn't really known the score and fell in love with it. The same thing happened to Wyatt Earp around the same time. So I do think for some scores the emotions you feel from the film will help you appreciate the music more but usually the more interesting scores are going to satisfy no matter what.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 6, 2014 - 4:04 PM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

I would venture to guess that AT LEAST half of the scores that I have were acquired and listened to prior to seeing the movie. Sometimes I seek out the film right away; sometimes I eventually see it.

I love certain scores that were done for truly awful films. I will never see "Green Mansions." I don't want the film to ruin the album.

I was told to avoid seeing one particular film at all costs. I loved the score, and eventually broke down and couldn't help myself. It wrecked the score for me. I haven't played it in ages. Maybe some day.

I grew up in the LP era, so those giant colorful sleeves made an impression at a young age. If "Norwegian Wood" comes on the radio, I see the cover of "Rubber Soul" instantly. That's how I am wired. So of course film images will creep into the listening experience, whether I want them to or not.

My wife and I share similar taste in both films and music. When we see a film together, and we like both the film and the music, having the soundtrack is a way to relive that experience while I'm driving or at the computer.

Similarly, when I was growing up, I saw a lot of films with my family, most of whom are sadly gone now. The album is a way of bringing them back.

There are some films with iconic images that I wouldn't want to forget. "The Day The Earth Stood Still" is easily in my top 50 scores. I love the image of Gort walking out of the flying saucer. Why would I want to or need to forget that image when listening to the music?

I think that the best soundtrack/score albums work on their own terms plus convey something of the film. Others may disagree; this is my opinion. Of course, if I never see the film, it doesn't affect my perception of the music if I like the music.

 
 Posted:   Aug 6, 2014 - 4:24 PM   
 By:   TominAtl   (Member)

One score in particular that I listened to well before seeing the film was Goldsmiths "Lionheart". It was years before I saw it in the video store.

Wow, what I had imagined in film as to what I heard on CD was almost nothing like what the movie was. The film itself is very cheap looking, dull and lethargic. The score sounded and still sounds like a massive adventure epic. It's one of Goldsmiths best works and yet it landed on a stinker of a film. Which happened a lot in his career unfortunately.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 6, 2014 - 8:46 PM   
 By:   Don Norman   (Member)

This happened to me with the main title of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. I was late in going in to see the movie for the first time and I missed the beginning; entering the theatre during the scenes with O'Toole and Rains just before they entered Dryden's office. I didn't see the beginning of the movie until several years later. In the meantime, I had the opportunity to listen to the original soundtrack recording many times and I really got "into" the Main Title track. From reviews, I knew that in the beginning Lawrence is in a motorcycle sequence and I had assumed that the main title music would accompany scenes of Lawrence riding his motorcycle. So when I finally saw the main titles, it wasn't what I had imagined and I was a little disappointed. Over the years, however, I grew to appreciate the sequence's visuals and enjoy them just as they are. I still find the Main Title music engrossing and even inspiring.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 7, 2014 - 10:51 PM   
 By:   Mike West   (Member)

very interesting thoughts, habits and experiences.

What I wanted to head to with my OP was more along the lines of the last two posts of TominAtl and Don Norman.

I think everybody at some point in his filmmusic history has listened to A certain score before watching the film once or twice and was surprised in a way, because the listening experience in this particular case shaped specific images or happenings.

Of course in general it is more along the lines of most of the posts, that mood and atmosphere usually is not surprising, and that often you don't even know the film, or often there is kind of a separation from movie and music.

I wonder how many guys here really don't need the film, and how you feel about the music-design-thing called filmmusic in that respect. Is it not a pleasure to exeperience film and music in scenes both are married in a great way?
Two examples from the top of my head and of course in my own perception and experience with movies and music
are The Dark Knight and Godzilla.
In the former, the sequence introducing the "truck fight", with the helicopter shot and the burning truck on the street and that slow rising crescendo. It is fantastic to experience that scene. But I would not listen to the music alone often (I think).
Similar with a lot of that old school Godzilla scoring moments.

So sometimes the music can be fantastic married with the picture but you would not listen to it standing on its own.
Just thinking.

 
 Posted:   Aug 8, 2014 - 10:45 AM   
 By:   BornOfAJackal   (Member)

This happened to me with the main title of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA...I still find the Main Title music engrossing and even inspiring.

Same here. That retard with the stacatto horns just before the final statement of the Lawrence theme is one of the best movie music moments ever.

But it had even more punch after I saw the '89 restoration in 6-track Dolby SR. I had been playing the "Bell" label pressing of the LAWRENCE soundtrack, and the soon-to-come Varese re-release of that program really wasn't much of an improvement.

So, to this day, to really get that moment right I have to play the LaserDisc (since replaced by Blu-Ray) to get what I want out of that superb retard-and-theme (with cymbal crash, no less).

I did, however, ruin my first viewing of E.T.: THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL by playing the LP for a month before I saw the movie. With John Williams putting some great custom arrangements together for the album, some of the musical moments in the movie didn't measure up for me. A hard-learned lesson.

 
 Posted:   Aug 8, 2014 - 11:05 AM   
 By:   petek66   (Member)



I did, however, ruin my first viewing of E.T.: THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL by playing the LP for a month before I saw the movie. With John Williams putting some great custom arrangements together for the album, some of the musical moments in the movie didn't measure up for me. A hard-learned lesson.


I remember being so surprised to hear Yoda's Theme pop up in "E.T.'s Halloween" and we speculated that the alien would go trick-or-treating as Yoda. Close.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 11, 2014 - 7:38 PM   
 By:   alexp   (Member)

My first score that I listened to before watching the movie was Star Trek The Motion Picture. I saw the TV ads for the film and the theme was catchy. I was 9 years old at the time the movie came out in 1979. I asked my mother, who was the only parent raising me, if we could go and see it. She said maybe. We never did go, although, we did see The Black Hole sometime later (go figure).
By 1980, after getting my first record player, I was at a record store and I saw the LP of ST-TMP. The artwork looked irresistible, so, I bought it, not knowing who the composer was. I played the album and I enjoyed the majestic main theme--the first track on side 1 and the last track on side 2 got the most playing time. (This was how I discovered the music of Jerry Goldsmith, folks). There were a few more tracks on the album that I found interesting—Spock Walk and Leaving Drydock—and they were enough to give me an obsession on what the scope of this movie would be like. Looking at the photos of the film from the album’s disc sleeve would only intensify the obsession.

By 1983, my need would be fulfilled when I finally saw the movie, on my 12-inch TV, courtesy of an ABC-TV broadcast. The movie was entertaining in a visual kind of way and it was interesting to see how the music that I listened over the years was used in the film.

 
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