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Comments about the soundtrack for The Hurt Locker (Marco Beltrami/Buck Sanders)

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One More Thing!
• Posted by: Scott W. Williams   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Tuesday, March 2, 2010, at 2:25 p.m.
• IP Address: adsl-250-182-99.ard.bellsouth.net
• In Response to: Re: Solid effort, but... strange (Scott W. Williams)

One more thing that I love about Beltrami (and yes I'm aware that I have too much time on my hands for writing all of this and I'm sure not that many people will even read it but I rarely get a chance to praise Beltrami publicly)...what he did with the Scream trilogy. I've had the intense pleasure of hearing all three complete scores, which I don't think a lot of people have unfortunately. I thought his score for the first Scream was very intelligent and brave for his first big film score. His sound wasn't as mature but you could hear so much promise. If you examine the complete scores for the trilogy, you discover how hard he worked on all three, never getting lazy but continuing to challenge himself. He could have easily done cut-and-paste but he developed each score from the previous, and made it increasingly large scale. There are at least a dozen small motifs that are peppered throughout the trilogy in different variations as well as a few great themes that are given different orchestrations or power as the series went on. The way Beltrami adapts while honoring his main theme for Sidney is incredible, utilizing a female vocal in many different ways, including adding a harmonious male vocal in the third movie to represent Sidney's brother, culminating in a glorious and heavenly presentation at the end of the trilogy, eliminating subtle dread and replacing it with triumph. James Horner recently said in an interview that the "operatic" type of film scoring done in films like Star Wars, where each character or mood had it's own theme, isn't done anymore. Beltrami did it in the Scream trilogy, only not as recognizably or as easy to whistle after hearing. He had a theme for Sidney, a western motif for Dewey (that was mangled by Zimmer's replacement), a love theme for Dewey and Gale, a descending-note motif for Ghostface, a mystery theme, countless motifs and recurring sounds, interpreted differently as the trilogy went on. I'm terribly excited to see what they would do with Scream 4, which I predict will happen with Beltrami. I enjoy complete scores because I find it intellectually rewarding and relentlessly entertaining to see each tiny detail, from incidental 0:30 second cues to 10:00 extravaganzas, and appreciate how it can (if done well) come together. For a lot of scores, in my opinion, hearing partial scores is like reading a novel with chapters missing...you might get the overall point and hit the high notes, but it's not as rich and rewarding and deep an experience without all of the colors and details. Certainly a lot of cues in a score are written and recorded only because the director insisted and I can't blame a composer for not wanting to release those cues or cues that the composer feels aren't interesting, but for a guy like me who revels in exploring all of the details of a film score complete scores are a gift. That's why I wish there would be a complete presentation of the Scream trilogy, to showcase how not one but three scores can be tied together, expanded upon, developed, and explored by a composer who is really working hard to come up with new and exciting material and new and exciting variations on original content. Thanks for reading, just a fan!




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