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Comments about the soundtrack for The Mummy Returns (Alan Silvestri)
Allright children, let's see what daddy has to say about reel 1...

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  Responses to this Comment:
Mark - 224
Allright children, let's see what daddy has to say about reel 1...   Sunday, August 10, 2003 (7:11 p.m.) 

The Complete Score Analyzed (part 1 of ?)

The Mummy Returns
Alan Silvestri

orch: Ross, Atmajian, McKenzie, Slonaker.

Firstly let me say, at the risk of lambasting, that it's a shame this site can't offer more in the way of a formal analysis. I realize that its focus is on how the score exists as a CD. Unfortunately, for this site, these scores were originally intended to be heard alongside the movie; corporate marketing has determined that selling scores is somewhat profitable, albeit marginal, but in the end useful I shall breakdown the salient points of each cue beginning with the first reel. If there seems to be any interest in time, I shall put the rest of the movie on this site. And without further delay here is the entire Reel 1, cue by cue, broken down:

1M1 v.3
This is an extremely complex cue. Not only must it start the movie, but it must move us through several years of introductory exposition, set the pace, and introduce some themes. It starts with a triplet rhythm in the celli (...G,G, Ab, F#, G). Then moves into it's fanfare. Then the battle music. Then the wandering music, utilizing rub rods and bowed and scraped cymbals. Then the dessert morphing scene. And finally the outro into...

1M2 v.3 Tomb Raider Rick
1M3 v.3 Do it your way
1M3A v.3 Been here before
1M4 v.3 Evy's flashback
1M5 v.3 Just had a vision
1M6 v.3 Slingshot marksman
All these cues are more or less programmed with orchestral sweeteners. The reason I can guess that is because these are the only scores done by computer, therefore they must be a midi transcription that have been filled out. In fact, it might be possible that Alan composed ambient sounds in the computer and temped it for the director and then, in turn, used those files for the final picture.

1M7 v.3 Scorpion shoes
This is the cue that originally got me interested in the flick. This beginng is so effective. Alan scores it for a violin trilling on C#, then snap pizz in the bass, high pizz and random spiccato, wood slap anvil and cymb scrape, trumpet suspended chord, clarinet arpp (G, Ab, C#, D, Eb, G, Ab, C#, D) and flute/picc random high staccato. It eventually slows down but then moves into some really smashing action music. It, in turn, dies down during the part when all the pillars come crashing down, but not before it asserts its dominance as one the finest stand-alone cues of the movie

1M8 v.3 Lock-Nah and Meela
Open on the dig site. Lots of open fifth sounds in the strings; transition material to...

1M8 v.3 Imhotep unearthed
Starts with a high cluster build in the strings along with bowed perc efx, then a chaotic passage.Then an elegant passage for strings and brass on an F phyrigian mode (it's egyptian music). then a wild horn trill with brass support. Then transition until "we found him" which utilizes a quite effective solo man with egyptian whine, used to represent the commoners. There are cues for Fl/oboe/fiddle and e.h./alto fl. at the octave in a great ochestration idea from Bill Ross. The cue ends on a dissolve to London with triplet figures in the high strings and flute. Brass have a fanfare-like motif and it all dies down to bring us to...

2M1 v.3 Just an oasis
(this is just a tease of reel 2. was this all just a horrid waste of time or is there any interest among you for me to conintue?)

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Mark - 224
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  Responses to this Comment:
Jim Ware
a question   Wednesday, September 10, 2003 (1:30 p.m.) 

what does 1M1 mean

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Jim Ware

  In Response to:
Mark - 224
Re: a question   Sunday, September 14, 2003 (5:44 a.m.) 

> what does 1M1 mean

Reel 1, cue 1.

It's the slate number for the cue.

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