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      CommentAuthorErik Woods
    • CommentTimeJan 2nd 2008
    tjguitar wrote
    Erik Woods wrote
    For me... the truly GREAT scores are the ones that make a great first impression. Most of, if not, ALL of my favorite score of all time made an immediate impact on me. However, there have been some scores that need multiple listens to truly appreciate but NONE of those are going to be on my ALL TIME list.

    -Erik-



    Absolutely agree with Erik.


    Thanks. wink

    -Erik-
    host and producer of CINEMATIC SOUND RADIO | www.cinematicsound.net | www.facebook.com/cinematicsound | I HAVE TINNITUS!
  1. Erik Woods wrote
    Joep wrote
    ...and can spot a masterpiece right away.


    Exactly!

    -Erik-


    The funny thing is that the two of you will never agree on what a masterpiece score is. So who is right? wink

    Personally, I can't tell a great score from the first listen. It usually takes me to either see the film it's attached to and love it there, or to play it 20 times and find it better than when I first heard it. Then I'll really start singing its praises. I don't assume I can recognise the truly remarkable from the average on one pass, because like most people I can be a sucker for a nice bunch of themes the first time round and let that blind me to what is pretty ordinary. Also, sometimes you're just not in a mood for a certain type of score.

    The 20 listen test is why BATTLESTAR GALACTICA 2 is as dull as the day I first heard it, why THE FOUNTAIN lost me despite a very impressive first listen, why I learned to admire Alex North, and why I started off being ambivalent about THE GOLDEN COMPASS and ended up writing 10000 words on it.
    A butterfly thinks therefore I am
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      CommentAuthorBhelPuri
    • CommentTimeJan 2nd 2008
    I think those of you for whom the first listen turns out to be the most important, are really fortunate! It makes life easy in the sense that if you don't like it at first listen you can move onto something else (and get rid of the score if you bought it)

    My tastes and appreciation for scores have changed over time and I'm glad that I retained many scores that did not make much of an impact then, only to be utterly charmed by them now. I think I got Morricone's Mission To Mars based on Southall's review and could not go beyond the first few cues (you know.. when Ennio pulls out his tension devices). I might have cursed Southall for a long while! In the end it just took a certain frame of mind to sit through the whole album and then you get it! Today it's one of my favorite scores of all time smile
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      CommentAuthorErik Woods
    • CommentTimeJan 2nd 2008
    franz_conrad wrote
    I don't assume I can recognise the truly remarkable from the average on one pass, because like most people I can be a sucker for a nice bunch of themes the first time round and let that blind me to what is pretty ordinary.


    I'll tell you right now that the following scores knocked me flat on my ass when I first heard them...

    Indiana Jones Trilogy (John Williams)
    Star Wars Trilogy (John Williams)
    CutThroat Island (John Debney)
    Back To The Future (Alan Silvestri)
    Medal of Honor Series (Michael Giacchino)
    Dances With Wolves (John Barry)
    Braveheart (James Horner)
    The Sea Hawk (Erich Wolfgang Korngold)
    Mutiny on the Bounty (Bronislau Kaper)
    Prince Valiant (Franz Waxman)

    ... and as you might know those are my favorite scores of all time. I have revisited them many times over the years and they continue to impress me as they did during their first listen. While first impressions aren't EVERYTHING I will still stand by what I said that the truly GREAT scores are the once that have an immediate impact and connects with you instantly. I firmly believe in love at first site (because it happened to me) so I too believe in love at first listen. wink

    -Erik-
    host and producer of CINEMATIC SOUND RADIO | www.cinematicsound.net | www.facebook.com/cinematicsound | I HAVE TINNITUS!
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      CommentAuthorErik Woods
    • CommentTimeJan 2nd 2008
    BhelPuri wrote
    I think I got Morricone's Mission To Mars based on Southall's review and could not go beyond the first few cues (you know.. when Ennio pulls out his tension devices). I might have cursed Southall for a long while! In the end it just took a certain frame of mind to sit through the whole album and then you get it! Today it's one of my favorite scores of all time smile


    He brain washed you, too? Thank God his Jedi mind tricks don't work on me.

    -Erik-
    host and producer of CINEMATIC SOUND RADIO | www.cinematicsound.net | www.facebook.com/cinematicsound | I HAVE TINNITUS!
  2. Erik Woods wrote
    I firmly believe in love at first site (because it happened to me) so I too believe in love at first listen. wink

    -Erik-


    Ah, well you see that's where we differ, as I don't believe in 'love'. biggrin






























    Just kidding. wink





















    Or am I? confused
    A butterfly thinks therefore I am
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      CommentAuthorBregt
    • CommentTimeJan 3rd 2008
    love
    Kazoo
    • CommentAuthordjdave
    • CommentTimeJan 5th 2008 edited
    I think it depends.

    I bought Fred Myrow's Soylent Green because I remembered liking the movie. But I couldn't remember the music. However, on playing the CD for the first time, the Prologue/Opening City music just blew me away. I thought: "This is bloody goood!!" Listened to the rest of it and thought it was good.

    At the other extreme, I recently bought Dudley Moore's Bedazzled. I'd heard of the film but hadn't seen it. However, I knew that Moore was a talented musician and was intrigued by it.

    Disappointed at first, I must admit. Nothing "grabbed" me. But I listened to it a few times, and it's grown on me. It's one of my favorites now. The Millionaire is the best cue: a fantastic piece of jazz combo.

    So, in conclusion, it helps if a score grabs you by the balls, but repeated listenings may yield worthwhile results.
    • CommentAuthorTimmer
    • CommentTimeJan 5th 2008
    Erik Woods wrote
    BhelPuri wrote
    I think I got Morricone's Mission To Mars based on Southall's review and could not go beyond the first few cues (you know.. when Ennio pulls out his tension devices). I might have cursed Southall for a long while! In the end it just took a certain frame of mind to sit through the whole album and then you get it! Today it's one of my favorite scores of all time smile


    He brain washed you, too? Thank God his Jedi mind tricks don't work on me.

    -Erik-


    One of those scores that divides people.

    I bought it without any recommendations and loved it from the start, it's a great score! cool
    On Friday I ate a lot of dust and appeared orange near the end of the day ~ Bregt
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      CommentAuthorsdtom
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2008
    Erik Woods wrote
    For me... the truly GREAT scores are the ones that make a great first impression. Most of, if not, ALL of my favorite score of all time made an immediate impact on me. However, there have been some scores that need multiple listens to truly appreciate but NONE of those are going to be on my ALL TIME list.

    -Erik-


    There might be a theme that will make an immediate impact but most scores take what I call the sinking in process. This process can be made easier by watching the film but not always. Ex... I rewatched The Road to Perdition last night mainly to see the Daniel Craig performance but of course paid a tremendous amount of attention to the score. This is a score that works very nicely away from the film.

    Thomas smile
    listen to more classical music!
  3. The first impression is 90% right for me. When you got a good score in, it doesn't need a second shot to be "good". Harder scores to appreciate follow the next 10%, then the last are ones that never got a fiar shot and/or I didn't like the first time around.


    Nick, you just may be listening to the wrong scores, that's all.
    The views and opinions of Ford A. Thaxton are his own and do not necessarily reflect the ones of ANYONE else.
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      CommentAuthormoviescore
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2008 edited
    It's not everything, but usually first impression lasts. These days I receive quite a lot of scores sent to me for possible release on the MovieScore Media label. I always give scores sent to me more than one shot! Sometimes they grow on you, but even in those cases there is usually something - perhaps just a little motif, an interesting instrument choice - that made some kind of impact on first listen.

    Take a score like Loft, for instance. That two-note ostinato motif was just brilliant and Wolfram had me hooked from the first few seconds! It's usually the same with everything that Guy Farley and Jeff Grace does, for instance. I think as a soundtrack producer, trusting your instincts is one of the most important things to do. I have actually turned down offers to release scores from a number of fairly big films and tv shows, where the music simply didn't do anything for me. Sometimes I struggle with these issues... should I release stuff that I believe in artistically and musically, or should I follow the example set by most of the bigger labels where they without any doubt release music that have more commercial value than artistic merits (I don't think I have to mention any examples... you all know what I'm talking about) - after all, it's a matter of taste. Or...?

    mc
    • CommentAuthormarkrayen
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2008
    Its an extremely difficult subject, especially since the very definition of "listening" varies from listener to listener. We all have different metaphorical and aesthetical references to our own experiences when listening to music, and our cultural upbringing and surroundings often dictate what sounds "good" to us and what does not, or what sounds "familiar" and what sounds "alien". For example, if you are used to listening to the gospels of Mahalia Jackson or Aretha Franklin you will most likely find the opera tones of Maria Gallas or Renee Fleming to be odd and unnatural. It is not before we have been able to adjust our ideological perception of how music should sound, what it should express, and (in this case) what a musical instrument should sound like, that we are capable of transcending the boundaries of genres. Each piece of music evolves within its own individual framework, and the art of understanding that framework is (paradoxically) often complicated by our subliminally defined pre-conceptions of what music is supposed to express. For example, if you are used to listening to the simplistic (often A-B-A) forms of today's popular music then the internal developments of a classical sonata will likely confuse you. Based on such assumptions, the importance of a "first impression" is (from a scientific point of view) secondary to the importance of cultural circumstance. Therefore, the experience of a first impression isn't really a guideline towards defining the artistic value of a given musical work, it is merely a guideline towards defining ones own musical ideology. My view is that since music is such a deeply abstract, diverse, and multivalent medium of art, there are no absolutes for defining quality.
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      CommentAuthorsdtom
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2008
    I've listened to more than my share of scores and if I went only by first impression I'd have very few I'd enjoy. It is a lot longer process for me
    listen to more classical music!
    • CommentAuthormarkrayen
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2008
    Your signature sums it up pretty neatly, Tom! smile
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      CommentAuthorsdtom
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2008
    Thanks! It is something that everyone on the board should try and follow in life.
    listen to more classical music!
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      CommentAuthorBregt
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2008
    Great to see the "Topic from the Past" being used to continue lost discussions. cheesy
    Kazoo
  4. Yes, that is indeed cool.
    http://www.filmmusic.pl - Polish Film Music Review Website
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      CommentAuthorDemetris
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2008
    The answer is far simple, at least for me; it's not everything but it surely is very important. And it goes for everything and everyone new in one's life.
    Love Maintitles. It's full of Wanders.
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      CommentAuthorDemonStar
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2008
    I started liking many scores after the second or third listen, but my love-at-first-listen scores (like Lion King, Dinosaur, Jurassic Park, Mulan) always remain special for me!
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      CommentAuthorsdtom
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2008
    That first listen for me can be so misleading
    listen to more classical music!
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      CommentAuthorkeky
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2008
    I can name many-many scores that I began to like after the second-third-whatever listen. So I guess it also depends on the score itself if the first impression is the most important or not. There are those very melodic scores one can fell in love with the very first listen and there are those more "complicated" scores where one needs more than one listen to appreciate the music but after that it can become an all-time favourite.
    • CommentAuthormarkrayen
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2008
    keky wrote
    I can name many-many scores that I began to like after the second-third-whatever listen. So I guess it also depends on the score itself if the first impression is the most important or not. There are those very melodic scores one can fell in love with the very first listen and there are those more "complicated" scores where one needs more than one listen to appreciate the music but after that it can become an all-time favourite.


    Good point!

    The nature of a first impression is oftentimes based on heteronomous considerations, such as observations one might make concerning the personal development of a specific composer compared to previous works: what our expectations are prior to listening to something new and unexplored. If we have not already established an aquaintance to the specific composer, genre, or historic period, such observations are non-existant. The listening experience is in that case completely autonomous and therefore would likely result in a completely different experience than the former situation.

    It is like my recent exploration of John Williams' "Duo Concertante" for violin and viola. I was particularly excited about hearing this piece since it was such an unusual deviation for Williams to write chamber music for only two instruments. Even before hearing the piece I had already been stimulated by an overwhelming (partly subliminal) curiosity:

    - How would this work compare to his symphonic scores?
    - How would the textural or structural aspects of the work differ from what I have already become aquainted to?
    - What kind of musical dramaturgy is currently unfolding in the mind of such an accomplished, experienced, and aging composer?

    These pre-considerations helped allow me to enjoy the piece from first listen, simply because there were so many (for me delightful) developments within the music that would either be:

    a) "familiar", like recognizing something that is typical in Williams' music and therefore drawing associations to previous works of which I have a long history of enjoyment,

    or:

    b) "surprising", like the experience of having been conditioned to expect one structural solution based on previous aquaintances to Williams' work, to then hear something new and fresh, and hence both witness and take part in a different direction for Williams' musical thinking.

    These associations are undeniably important to my first impression. Also crucial to the first impression is that I had purchased the written score, and was able to gain a graphical impression of the piece and its intention. I have also composed both chamber music and orchestral music myself, and have some first hand experiences concerning what the specific challenges are when writing for the smallest of ensembles. All these personal experiences and considerations form a highly "pluralistic perception" of a given musical work that is unique to me alone - that is unique to all listeners.

    The nature of a first impression is therefore merely a guideline towards defining ones own musical ideology, and in my opinion uninteresting as an argument towards defining musical quality outside ones own unique frame of mind. To place judgement on music based on first impression is like "locking oneself in a box". Music is uniquely multivalent and all-encompassing. It can sometimes pose a challenge, or even a threat, to ones own (often subliminally defined) ideologal viewpoint. Likewise, sometimes it can reassure us of our musical "morality" and comfort us with its confirming familiarity. But a big part of music's function is to challenge us, to stimulate our curiosity. If we aren't curious we are unable to learn, and from that perspective music serves a an educational tool towards the possession of tolerence, understanding, and respect - values that are universally important in all aspects of life and society. Music is truly the most basic, most natural, and at the same time most multivalent of artforms, and in posession of the most wonderful metaphoric possibilities of all mediums.
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      CommentAuthorsdtom
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2008
    I can remember my very first listen to a Stravinsky piece called "Firebird Suite" and the immediate liking of the piece. After many listens I decided that Igor would be one of my favorite composers and with the next paycheck purchased another work "The Rite of Spring." To my surprise it was completely different with no melody and to my ears noise! It was a long time before I was able to fully understand that work and frankly to this day don't fully understand what it has to offer the listener.
    listen to more classical music!
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      CommentAuthorHeeroJF
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2008
    Nick wrote
    Why is the same theme repeated over and over? Why is there some damned chanting going on every couple of minutes in track 4? Stuff like that can be placed in the appropriate context when seeing the visuals that the music was written for. You may continue to hate that element, but what's wrong with having an understanding of why it's there, right?

    Case in point: "The Knight Bus".
    ''The mandate, as well as the benefit, of responsibility is the ability to tell when one can afford to be irresponsible.'' - Me
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      CommentAuthorHeeroJF
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2008 edited
    lp wrote
    1. If you were to buy the music without seeing the movie, then you're treating the score as pure music, not music that was meant to be accompanied with something else. If so, the music should give you something to grasp onto, to maintain your interest, throughout that first listen. Unless....

    I disagree. A huge portion of my collection comes from films I haven't seen. But if I got those scores treating them as "pure music", then I logically would want to get CDs of Schumann and Richard Marx, right? No, to me, even scores of films I haven't seen are still film music. They still tell as story. It's just that I have to let me imagination fill in the blanks. That said, I agree that it still does enhance the experience when I do get around to seeing the visuals. It's just that as many as I have, I can NEVER hope to ever catch up and see every film for my whole soundtrack collection.

    Either way, I agree that a first impression means nothing. For me the best scores are those where themes and motives and melodies start to come into focus after your third and fourth listening and you find yourself "following" along the score. You start hearing the music as if it were songs from a musical you can sing along. That little "magic" moment where the music goes from being inaccessible to familiar is what I strive for.

    Here's the perfect analogy: you know those "3-D images" where you have to unfocus your eyes and a 3D picture gradually comes out? "Getting" a new score after repeated listening is exactly like that moment where you start to see the hidden image in one of those. It's magical.
    ''The mandate, as well as the benefit, of responsibility is the ability to tell when one can afford to be irresponsible.'' - Me
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      CommentAuthorsdtom
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2008
    I've always advocated seeing the film if at all possible. Case in point is I'm not sure if Demetris has seen the original "Day the Earth Stood Still."
    listen to more classical music!
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      CommentAuthorMartijn
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2008
    He has.
    'no passion nor excitement here, despite all the notes and musicians' ~ Falkirkbairn
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      CommentAuthorsdtom
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2008
    Since I saw little comment I'm not sure how impressed he was with that one either.
    listen to more classical music!
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      CommentAuthorHeeroJF
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2008
    Erik Woods wrote
    Joep wrote
    ...and can spot a masterpiece right away.


    Exactly!

    -Erik-

    Personally, I can't make that claim. Some of my current favourites of all time indeed WERE scores that did nothing for me at first. I actually had Paycheck ranked about mid-way through my collection at first, until I saw the light, and now it's in my top 20. My first impressions of Herrmann and North were so cautious and unenthusiastic, but I stuck with them just based on their legendary reputations, and now Psycho and Spartacus are indeed masterpieces to me. Well I mean, they are, obviously, but that wasn't obvious to me at first. I didn't "get it" at first.

    So I can't say I can hear a masterpiece 90% of the time at first or second listening, however, I can usually hear the potential for a masterpiece right away. I'll go: "oh, wow, this sounds like crap!! but I really think this could become quite something with time!" and I'm often right.
    ''The mandate, as well as the benefit, of responsibility is the ability to tell when one can afford to be irresponsible.'' - Me