Tag Archives: Alan Silvestri

Soundtrack Review: Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

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*Spoilers for Infinity War below, don’t read if you haven’t seen the film yet*

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Alan Silvestri has so far worked on three films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011); The Avengers (2012) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018) (he will also be scoring the currently untitled Avengers 4). Before seeing Infinity War, I didn’t think anything could top the musical excellence that was The Avengers but now I know otherwise. Silvestri has truly outdone himself with his score for Infinity War.

The score contains callbacks to Silvestri’s previous entries in the MCU including a re-appearance of the original Captain America theme (which visibly excited the audience in the theater I sat in). There is also, naturally, several recurrences of the main “Avengers” theme that debuted (so far as I know) in the 2012 film of the same name. But the callbacks don’t stop with Silvestri’s material; there is also a reprise of Ludwig Göransson’s Black Panther theme when the film moves to Wakanda. Even the entrance of the Guardians of the Galaxy is in line with their previous films. While “Rubberband Man”  (performed by The Spinners) does not feature in Vol. 1 or 2 of Guardians of the Galaxy, it did come from a list of compiled songs that could be used in future GoTG entries. So musically the score ties back to the MCU’s past.

 

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As for the new music in Infinity War, I hate to do this but we need to talk about THAT scene on Vormir, because that is the section that drove me to the point of tears. It was all going normally enough until Thanos learned that he needed to sacrifice what he loved most to get the Soul Stone. In the moment when he grabbed Gamora’s arm, the music just exploded into this cacophony of pain and sorrow. I’ve mentioned before that this scene humanized Thanos for me; I should have said it was the music in this scene that did it. The music reflects the pain of Gamora (learning that after all these years Thanos really does love her and because of that she must die) and of Thanos (who must sacrifice the one person he does love in order for his goal to be achieved). This is the kind of music that pierces you like a knife, locking you into the moment so that you can’t look away even if you want to.

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And then there’s the ending scene, where everyone starts to disappear. In contrast to the scene on Vormir, here there is a distinct lack of music that I can remember. There may have been some in the background, but if there was, it wasn’t enough to draw my attention. In fact, right after Thanos vanished from Wakanda, it was so quiet I thought the people had already disappeared. I still can’t get the sounds of the ending scene out of my head. If you recall, many MCU films end with a reprise of the main theme, sometimes subtle, sometimes not so much. But here, at the end of Infinity War, there’s no uplifting music to reassure us that all is right with the world again because everything is now very wrong. The music itself feels “shell-shocked” just like the surviving heroes who are realizing that (for the moment at least) they’ve lost.

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Honestly, I feel like my words are inadequate to describe how amazing the score for Avengers: Infinity War is, but I hope I did enough to give you a rough idea of how this score impacted me. Truthfully I could go on for several more paragraphs but really the best way to experience this score is to go watch the film as many times as possible and listen to the music. I know that can be hard with all the action on the screen but Silvestri does his best to bring the music to your attention.

Let me know what you thought of the music for Avengers: Infinity War in the comments below and have a great day 🙂

See also:

Film Soundtracks A-W

Avengers: Infinity War-Review (no spoilers)

My thoughts on: Avengers: Infinity War (spoilers!!)

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Alan Silvestri talks FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)

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Alan Silvestri and FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)

FernGully: The Last Rainforest is one of my favorite animated films that doesn’t come from the Walt Disney studio. It tells the story of Crysta, a fairy who lives in the untouched rainforest of FernGully.

She is learning to use magic as she will one day be the leader of the fairies. According to their legends, fairies and humans used to be very close until an evil spirit named Hexxus drove them away, presumably to their extinction.

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Of course the humans didn’t go extinct, and they’re very close to FernGully even now in the form of loggers cutting the forest down acre by acre. And when the tree containing the spirit of Hexxus is destroyed and the evil spirit is set loose, it’s up to Crysta and her new human friend Zak to stop him.

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I absolutely LOVE the music for FernGully, it was composed by Alan Silvestri (of Back to the Future fame) and it will stick with you long after the story is over. One of my favorite pieces from the score is “The Spirit of the Trees” and I hope to talk about that piece at some time in the future. But for now, I have a behind the scenes look at making the overall score that I think you will enjoy.

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See also:

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

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Alan Silvestri “Lilo & Stitch” scoring session (2002)

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Alan Silvestri “Lilo & Stitch” (2002)

 Lilo and Stitch (2002) was a Disney film released in the early years after the Disney Renaissance ended (Tarzan (1999) is officially held to be the last film of that era). The film takes place in outer space and in Hawaii and follows escaped genetic experiment 626 as he escapes to planet Earth and passes himself off as a dog to the unsuspecting human populace.

While there, he becomes adopted by a young girl named Lilo (who is having her own social problems while being raised by her older sister Nani) who names him “Stitch.” At the same time, Stitch’s creator, Jumba, is trying to recapture him with the help of Agent Pleakley and various escapades ensue. Captain Gantu (Stitch’s original jailer) is also keen to get him back, and very quickly Lilo finds herself in the middle of a really big situation.

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The score for this film was created by Alan Silvestri (of Back to the Future fame) and the video above shows clips from several days of scoring sessions. What’s cool about this video is you get to see the big screen with footage from the film playing while the recording process is going on. Most of the footage here appears to be complete, but this is not always the case. Sometimes the composer is given “rough cuts” to work with, perhaps the special effects are missing or the animation is incomplete.

I liked this movie when I went to see it in the theaters, though I admit it’s been a while since the last time I saw it. Unlike previous Disney films, Lilo & Stitch used watercolor backgrounds, which created a very different visual look.

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Compared to other Disney films released around this time (like Treasure Planet, Atlantis: The Lost Empire or The Emperor’s New Groove), Lilo & Stitch was relatively well-received by the critics. I hope you enjoy this look at the scoring sessions for Lilo & Stitch!

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See also:

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

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*poster image is the property of Walt Disney Studios

Alan Silvestri talks Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)

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Alan Silvestri talks Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)

I know movies based on video games often get bashed as being sub-par (and for good reason most of the time) but as it happens I really like the Lara Croft Tomb Raider films starring Angelina Jolie. I can’t exactly put my finger on why, but every time I watch either film, it’s a very enjoyable couple of hours. Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, is the sequel and follows Lady Lara Croft as she searches for the mythical Pandora’s Box, a source of overwhelming power, before a rival tries to use it for world domination.

The orchestral score for this film was composed by the legendary Alan Silvestri (perhaps best known for scoring the Back to the Future trilogy and the original Predator, among many other films).

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This making-of interview located above features Silvestri as he explains how he put the main themes of the film together. There are also several side by side sequences comparing the orchestra with the completed scene (I love moments like that).

The Cradle of Life is far from being the best film ever, but there are some great musical moments, particularly at the end when Lara finds Pandora’s Box. If you haven’t seen it before, it’s worth checking out at least once. Enjoy the interview with Alan Silvestri!

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See also:

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

*poster image is the property of Paramount Pictures