An excellent soundtrack will work so well that you aren’t aware of how it’s manipulating you. Oh, you’ll hear it and perhaps enjoy it, but you aren’t truly cognizant of how essential it is to the experience until you see raw footage and realize most of the emotional thrust of a moment was the music. Without that, and a good sound effect engineer, you just have uncomfortably awkward moments with Chewbacca screeching like a cockatiel.
Good Lord! How pivotal were John Williams and Ben Burtt?!!! Yeesh!
In Star Trek III: The Search For Spock, there’s a…
Okay, I know it’s not a great movie. It’s a good movie, and at the time we all appreciated that it gave everyone in the cast a moment or two to shine, but the ending is a snoozer. Still, it’s got some great moments. One of the highlights is “Stealing the Enterprise,” mainly due to the soundtrack by James Horner.
Why the soundtrack? It’s not just the thrill of the soaring horns once the doors open, it’s the entire piece…and how it plays you. Because this scene shouldn’t work at all.
How much tension is there, really, in Scotty’s trouble getting the doors to open? Is the Enterprise going to smash into the doors? Are they going to fail in their attempt and all go to prison? So how can there be tension in this scene?
But James Horner pulls it off.
James Horner composed the sountracks to 125 films, many of which played a big part of my life, including many hours spent listening to them on CD. He died Monday in a plane crash, only 61 years of age. R.I.P.