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What Dreams May Come
Album Cover Art
Composed, Co-Orchestrated, Conducted, Produced, and Performed by:

Additional Music by:
Mark Snow

Co-Orchestrated by:
Robert Elhai

Performed by:
The London Metropolitan Orchestra
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(October 13th, 1998)
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Regular U.S. release, but out of print as of 2005.
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Decorative Nonsense
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if one of Michael Kamen's most robust orchestral scores can lure you away from the popular rejected score by Ennio Morricone for the film.

Avoid it... if you expect the straight forward romanticism that defined some of Kamen's more impressive love themes and accompanying songs.
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WRITTEN 10/15/98, REVISED 3/30/08
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What Dreams May Come: (Michael Kamen) The spiritual side of the concepts of life and death have inspired some of the most compelling films and soundtracks in history, and What Dreams May Come is no exception. The film is perhaps the most thought-provoking display of special effects wizardry in the digital age, using painted illustrations and vivid colors to present fantastic and imaginative visions of the afterlife. As the primary couple played by Robin Williams and Annabella Sciorra navigate their way through Heaven and Hell, they are surrounded by overwhelming visual and aural interaction, giving Vincent Ward's film a unique selling point that, quite surprisingly, failed to gain much box office traction. The film's soundtrack was a source of wild speculation in 1998, with the legendary Italian maestro Ennio Morricone writing a massive orchestral and choral score for the occasion. His melodies and typical use of voices were nothing less than spectacular in their religious fortitude, existing a level of emotional power heard in only the composer's famous efforts. But given that the film itself is already an extremely weighty ride of emotions, the filmmakers determined that Morricone's approach was simply too heavy-handed to make the film attractive to audiences already treated to a sappy ending in the story. With only a matter of weeks before the American opening of the film, veteran Michael Kamen was asked to provide a replacement score that was a little more upbeat and accessible for audiences. Kamen expressed his immense respect and admiration for Morricone at the time, and while he claimed that never heard Morricone's score before embarking on his own emergency work, he acknowledged in a statement at the time that "there are many ways to skin a cat." The score that would result from Kamen's effort treats What Dreams May Come as a love story first and foremost, including a soft and likeable song as the primary melody of the film. Given Kamen's reputation for translating lovely, Oscar-nominated ballads into strong scores, the similar approach here is not surprising. Fans of both Kamen and Morricone will recognize that the maestro's score is an incredibly impressive, superior piece of music. Whether it could have worked in the film or not is another matter.

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Average: 3.59 Stars
***** 672 5 Stars
**** 528 4 Stars
*** 495 3 Stars
** 242 2 Stars
* 187 1 Stars
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Read All Start New Thread Search Comments
Is it true....?
Baby - July 17, 2010, at 6:38 a.m.
1 comment  (1439 views)
My favorite!
Manda - March 16, 2009, at 9:12 a.m.
1 comment  (1734 views)
Extremely beautiful score
Sheridan - August 25, 2006, at 9:31 a.m.
1 comment  (2486 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 60:41
• 1. I Once Met this Beautiful Girl by the Lake (2:01)
      That Was the Last Time We Saw the Children Alive (3:23)
• 2. Children's Melody (0:34)
      Tunnel Crash/Christy's Death/The Journey Begins (3:05)
      I Still Exist (0:40)
      Annie Loses Faith (1:11)
• 3. Summerland - The Painted World (2:56)
      The Painted Bird Files (1:31)
      Christy Flies (1:11)
• 4. Marie's World (Leona is Marie) (2:06)
• 5. Longing (Lost Children) (3:49)
• 6. Annie's Suicide (1:24)
      Soul Mates (3:11)
• 7. In Hell (1:19)
      Stormy Seas (2:55)
      Recognition (Albert is Ian) (1:34)
• 8. Sea of Faces/Falling Through Hell (4:12)
      Annie's Room (1:56)
• 9. Beside You (1:08)
      Divorce (2:40)
• 10. Together in Hell (3:03)
      Death and Transfiguration (2:52)
      Together in Heaven (2:33)
• 11. Reunited/Reincarnation/When I was Young (3:55)
• 12. Beside You - performed by Mick Hucknell (4:42)
(Cues are combined into suites for the album tracks)

Notes Icon
The insert includes no extra information about the score or film. In an interview conducted late in 1998, Michael Kamen stated the following about the circumstances of his hiring:

    [How did you get involved with the project?] "By accident. I think some of the best things in life happen by accident. It was at the expense of a man that I admire tremendously, and I have to be as philosophical and self-aggrandising at the same time as I can be. I'm happy that I got that score. I probably would have been happier had they come to me first, but the fact that they went to Ennio Morricone, whose work I really admire, personally admire, and enjoy, the fact that they went to him for the score was understandable. The fact that his score, for one reason or another, didn't fit their bill, was also kind of understandable, because he chose... you know... a film composer looks at the story and comes up with musical solutions for that story. There are many, many solutions that one could choose - there are many ways to skin a cat, you know.

    What Ennio reacted to, I think, was the very serious, touching, philosophical and metaphysical nature of the film. The film is a very serious one, and concerns death and love, two fantastic themes to be involved in musically. The first time I looked at the film, the first event you see in the film of any significance, two minutes in, is the children, who are the product of this whirlwind relationship you see forming, a fifteen year marriage takes place and you meet the family and their kids at breakfast and, two minutes later, he's waving goodbye to them in the car, and the camera suddenly slows down and he says "that's the last time we saw the children alive". And that's the beginning of the film, that's the first thing you see and it knocks you for six, it just takes all the stuffing out of you. As a father, to even contemplate that reality is so beyond the bounds of reason. If you choose to dwell on the tragedy of that moment, if you choose to dwell on the profound sadness and sense of loss, you could easily write a very profound piece of music that would make the rest of the film unwatchable. You can't go any further."
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The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from What Dreams May Come are Copyright © 1998, Beyond/BMG and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 10/15/98 and last updated 3/30/08.
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