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Discussion in 'Batman World' started by Merkel, Jun 30, 2012.
The album art and track listing of BTAS Vol. 3 has finally been revealed.
Interview about BTAS Vol.3 with co-producer John Takis, who also wrote the liner notes for it.
Well B:TAS Vol. 3 (4-CD SET) was released today. http://lalalandrecords.com/Site/BTAS3.html
And looks like the autograph copies have already sold out, but LLLR is offering a discount on Volumes 1 and 2 when purchasing Vol. 3 from their site. Check it out:
Looking forward to Vol. 3 so much.
Yesterday I began listening to the 4-CD set of BTAS Vol. 3, but not all 4 discs on one listen like Vol. 2. I figured it would be easier to process each individual disc on separate days instead of one. Still plenty to take in on disc 1 but what a way to kick off Vol. 3.
The score to part 1 of Robin’s Reckoning is a lot more emotional than action driven. It also highlights Dick/Robin’s inner turmoil and pain for the loss of his parents. The score to part 2 is a little more adventurous with Robin gaining a more courageous theme. Even though Batman is also featured in this ep. I like that RR pt. 2 withholds from using Batman’s theme. And allows both Robin’s and Zucco’s individual themes to drive this score. Which make sense with it being a Robin and Zucco centered ep. The score to POV has always been one I’ve wanted to hear outside the episode itself. Walker’s music impeccably complimented and blended with the animation, story, and action on screen. And added an extra layer of excitement to the officers flashbacks with the brief amount of dialogue in ‘em. And hearing Elfman’s original main theme make a cameo put a smile on my face as did most of the score. The theme for Clock King from “The Clock King” is a somewhat malevolent theme that depicts Fugate’s intellect and motives. The tick tock sounds that plays along with the theme conveys Fugate being a bit cuckoo (pun intended) with his vendetta against Mayor Hill for making him late one day in the past. It was another treat hearing the climax music that takes place between Batman and Fugate. Especially when Batman escapes death and rescues Hill. “Tyger, Tyger” is a change of pace pertaining to both the show and score. It mostly centers around Tygrus’ theme. As well as outlines the gloomy island atmosphere of diabolical scientist Emil Dorian. “See No Evil” was another score I’ve wanted to hear outside of the episode for a while. I love how Ventrix/Mojo’s theme ushers both showdowns between Batman and him. The theme easily holds it own with Walker’s various popular villain themes. I plan on going in more detail later on the whole volume, but great scores overall with a lot to offer from each. Three more discs to go! t:
Listened to disc 2 of Vol. 3. And enjoyed every minute of it. Won’t go in depth on each score yet until I find the time, but will say I’m glad to finally to hear the scores to “Cat Scratch Fever” (particularly during the touching ending ) “The Forgotten” (particularly the moment Bruce gets his memory back and the climax), “Be A Clown” (particularly the swift opening action sequence, as well as when Bruce somewhat defuses the dynamite on the cake at Jordan’s birthday party, and the final showdown between Batman and Joker at the abandoned carnival), “Dreams In Darkness” (particularly the moment during Batman’s ultimate fear/nightmare sequence) “The Underwellers” (particularly during the opening when Batman saves a juvenile boy from facing death above a moving locomotive, as well as during Batman’s first sighting of an underweller or what Batman mistake’s for a leprechaun, when Batman canvasses the sewers and saves an underweller’s life, and during the final showdown between Batman, the Sewer King and his ferocious crocodiles), “Terror In The Sky”(particularly the first confrontation between Batman and the woman bat, the plane rescue scene, the aerial attack between the batwing and woman bat, and the final confrontation between Batman and woman bat on top of the bridge). Two more discs to go.
I've already listened to Vol. 3 for a third time now. Of course I've been enjoying the music and experience of each listen, which also has me craving for certain episodes again. I plan on sharing my thoughts on Vol. 3 (as I did with Vol. 2) whenever I find the opportunity to do so.
Hopefully someday LLLR decides to release the rest of the scores, which are "Fear Of Victory", "The Cape & Cowl Conspiracy", "Moon Of The Wolf", "Joker's Wild", "His Silicone Soul", "Off Balance", "The Mechanic", "Zatanna", "The Worry Men", "House And Garden", "Sideshow", "Avatar", "Trial", and "Harlequinade", from the rest of the 65 eps of B:TAS.
With it being Christmas Eve and all I listened to the "Christmas With The Joker" score earlier this evening.
La La Land Records posted (on their Facebook page) the top 10 best selling LLLR releases of 2014. And Batman The Animated Series Volume 3 was #2.
ROBINS RECKONING, PART I (Carlos Rodriguez)
The doleful motif that carries most of Robins Reckoning Part I represents Robin/Dicks inner turmoil and guilt of tragically losing his parents through murder. The motif never becomes cheerful. Not even during the flashbacks before the murder (when the audience is introduced to the Flying Graysons in Boy Wonder) because its Dicks repressed memories he already knows the fate of his family. So the foreboding score basically reflects that.
With it being more focused on Robins back-story, Walkers Batman theme takes a backseat for most of part 1. The theme briefly appears with a bold statement as Batman shows up behind one of Zuccos henchmen (Crap Shoot) after Matches Malone aka Batmans cover gets blown in the middle of a Crap Shoot game . And lastly during a moving and crucial moment as Bruce and Dick begin to bond (The Bonding) and express how much they have in common with being orphans derived from murder.
In the track Yahoo theres a brief motif for Zuccos thugs as they take on Batman and Robin at a construction site. Its only used in this cue but its efficient for this scene and heightens the action till most of the goons get away, except for one.
I like how the main motif for Dick and Robin closes part 1 as Dick disobeys Batman and decides to go after Zucco with the final shot of Alfreds reaction. The motif becomes very haunting and discouraging because Alfred fears the path Dicks about to embark on is the same path he feared Bruce would take when he began his crusade as Batman. Similar to what Alfred told Bruce about Andrea (who also took a vengeful path over her own fathers murder) in Mask Of The Phantasm about vengeance blackening the soul and falling into that pit. And now Alfreds fearful of Dick choosing vengeance over justice. Im sure the viewer felt the same.
ROBIN’S RECKONING, PART II (Peter Tomashek)
In Robin’s Reckoning Part II Robin/Dick is finally given his own heroic theme that portrays his more vengeful and darker side. It was the appropriate time for Robin to finally have a theme since he’s going after the man responsible for him becoming a crime fighter in the first place. Also Robin stepping outside of Batman’s shadow to go after Zucco solo against Batman’s wishes proves Robin‘s earned his own theme by now. In this episode Dick somewhat becomes his own man. And in a way foreshadows Nightwing.
It’s interesting that before this ep. Robin never had his own theme before or since this ep. I know it portrays his more vindictive side. But I have a theory about the purpose of his theme. It disappeared when his hunger for revenge vanished. Robin’s theme was used during the flashbacks as young Dick goes after Zucco by himself to get revenge. And once Batman trained and appointed him his sidekick Robin’s appetite for revenge temporarily dissolved. Not to mention the trail on Zucco went cold until Robin’s Reckoning Part 1. The emotional theme/motif for Dick in part 1 represented his innocent and lonely side while the main theme for part two depicts his more courageous and rebellious side. It plays during most of the flashbacks of young Dick. As well as in the present when Robin finally confronts Zucco during the gripping climax. That theme was given a somewhat swashbuckling tone ala The Adventures Of Robin Hood (1938), which makes a lot of sense b/c Robin Hood was an inspiration for the Robin character, in “Fencing Memory” during a flashback of Bruce and young Dick having a friendly fencing match.
Zucco earns his own theme as well. It’s very menacing and threatening. It gives me an “uh oh!” feeling especially during the flashback where young Dick crosses paths with Zucco. And when Batman twisted his knee or ankle when Zucco gets the drop on Batman instead of the other way around.
Both Robin’s and Zucco’s theme carry part 2, while Batman’s is absent the whole episode. Understandable b/c this is Robin’s personal episode and vendetta, which is between him and Zucco.
P.O.V. (Shirley Walker)
POV is an episode where both the animation and score benefit from one another. This score ( as most of the scores on this show) makes POV seem as if it was written for a big adventure movie instead of a 30 minute cartoon, which is a compliment.
The GCPD (Officer Montoya, Detective Bullock, and Officer Wilkes) get their own theme, which is a righteous and valiant one. It reflects how much they put their lives on the line for the law. It carries a lot of moments in the show (“Gotham’s Finest”, “Bullocks POV“, Wilkes’ POV, “Batman Fights the Mob” and “Montoya Cleans Up” It’s very dramatic and always has me rooting for the cops to triumph, which is unusual with it being a Batman show.
Walker’s Batman theme makes numerous appearances throughout the score indicating Batman’s on the scene and has the cops covered. One of my favorite uses of Walker’s theme from POV was when Batman saves Bullock’s butt at the end of “Bullock’s POV” gives me chills every time. It enhances Batman’s moments making him seem larger than life, imo.
I also admire Walker’s brief use of the Elfman theme during “Batman Fights the Mob” very hardcore and puts a huge grin on my face.
The malevolent theme for the mob is also fitting and effective in the score as they become a threat for the police officers and Batman. Walker does a magnificent job of alternating between her Batman theme, GCPD theme, and the Mob theme during the climax. The music carries the majority of this episode excluding the debriefing scenes between the Internal Affairs investigator, Bullock, Montoya, and Wilkes.
There’s one other theme/motif that’s used in “Suspended Cops” , briefly during Batman Fights the Mob“ ( as Batman realizes Montoya saved his life as breaks free from his restraints) and “Epilogue”. It’s sort of a somber theme representing the honor Montoya, Bullock, and Wilkes have of wearing their badges. I think Walker points out how their honor and integrity as police officers is being taken from each in “Suspended Cops“. The theme becomes more vindicated as their rewarded back their badges for their courage and duty as police officers in “Epilogue“.
THE CLOCK KING (Carlos Rodriguez)
The theme for the Clock King is very fitting of the villain. It feels very precise as does the character himself feel about every situation. The cuckoo ticking sounds is a clever touch that indicates how cuckoo and paranoid Fugate is about timing. It also indicates the short amount of time he give’s Batman to stabilize situations provoked by Fugate like during that moment in the bank. With this episode being an origin story for Fugate the Clock King theme carries most of the episode.
Even though Batman’s in most of the episode, his theme accompanies him throughout the episode. However when it appears in the exciting climax, where Batman saves the Mayor, always has me on the edge of my seat. The score during that entire sequence (as Batman confronts Fugate inside the clock tower) conveys the perfect amount of suspense, imo.
TYGER, TYGER (Todd Hayen)
Once again Batman appears to be in most of “Tyger, Tyger” but his theme doesn’t. The score and episode center’s around the antagonist turned protagonist Tygrus and his father’s (Emile Dorian) Moreau-esque island instead of Gotham. It has an eerie and tribal score exhibiting the dangers of the island as well as Dorian’s eccentric experiments on wild animals that inhabit the island. Tygrus’ theme isn’t gallant or sinister but somewhat mysterious as is the character.
The score becomes more aggressive in the middle of the story when Tygrus and Batman face off against each other throughout the island.
Catwoman’s theme makes a brief appearance (“Tyger, Tyger” in the score even though she doesn’t don her costume once in this episode. This is more of an atmospheric score that mostly outlines the island, Tygrus, the tone, action, and the adventure itself, which is fine and also a change of pace.
SEE NO EVIL (Shirley Walker)
“See No Evil” is a creepy score that conveys what an ex-con/thief (Lloyd Ventrix) would do if he were invisible. Listening to this score I get the feeling that the invisible man is lurking and watching me. Walker also does a stellar job of showing how (through music) strange and spooky it is of a little girl (Ventrix’s daughter, Kimberly) talking to somebody that her mother (Ventrix’s ex wife) thinks is her imaginary friend in the middle of the night. Especially when it’s a man as dangerous as Ventrix whose been estranged from them since he was sent to prison.
The mischievous main theme for Ventrix impeccably reveals his motives to do whatever it takes to be with his daughter. It also heightens the suspense of both showdowns between Batman and Ventrix. It has some of the best chase music on the show (“Hold on… Batman” as Ventrix takes Batman for a spectacular wild ride through Gotham in the climax as Batman hangs on the roof of an invisible car.
There’s also a secondary theme for Ventrix that embodies (Ventrix’s persona to Kimberly as) Mojo. It’s an ominous and eerie theme that’s very effective throughout the score but especially when Ventrix is watching Kimberly being taken to school. The theme becomes more amicable in “Safe And Sound” as Kimberly is busted talking to what her mom thinks is another imaginary friend but is actually Batman, which is also kind of creepy when you think about.
Kimberly was also given a cheerful and innocent theme that perfectly describes her character, which is just that a happy and innocent little girl. Kimberly’s
theme whenever it appears brightens the mood in this otherwise gloomy score.
Walker utilizes her Batman theme whenever necessary. Also Walker titled one of her tracks “Memoirs of an Invisible Con” which is an in joke b/c she scored John Carpenter’s “Memoirs Of An Invisible Man” movie a year prior to this episode.
CAT SCRATCH FEVER (Harvey R. Cohen)
The main theme of “Cat Scratch Fever” could represent a few things/characters/situations. It could depict the mission/adventure/plot of Batman/Catwoman preventing the drug testing of the stray cats and animals. As well as be an emotional theme for Isis ( Selina’s pet cat ), when it turns up missing and is infected with the virus . It also can be considered a noble theme for Catwoman, which later becomes Batman’s by the finale as he takes over for Selina (who later becomes infected) to find the antidote and stop the villains.
The fever caused by the effects of the virus gets a motif as well when Selina begins feeling the symptoms. The villains and anything associated with them (that is Milo’s infected dogs) get a more aggressive theme which delineates them as Batman’s threat. Catwoman’s as well as Batman’s own main theme are used sparingly.
THE FORGOTTEN (Shirley Walker)
The score to “The Forgotten” was always one that stayed in my memory as a kid b/c it was such a change of pace with what I’d expect from the show, which could also be said about the episode itself. Bruce gets amnesia for most of the episode and is reduced to slave labor along with the other abducted homeless men he was performing an investigation on. As well as Batman appearing only in the 3rd act. It also didn‘t feature a villain from Batman‘s rogues, but an overweight glutton, who was a one off creation of the show’s, named Boss Biggis.
The steel guitar and harmonica perfectly explores the southern scenery. As well as Boss Biggis’ strict and despicable attitude. Minus the harmonica and steel guitar of the main theme and modify it to be more orchestral. It becomes more innocent, emotional, and helpless therefore symbolizing the homeless Bruce is trying to help.
The abductors are given a menacing theme that can be heard as they eventually capture Bruce in "Bruce Is Blackjacked". Also after locating Bruce's car Alfred bugs one of the vehicles taken by Biggis' goons in "Alfred Finds Bruce's Car". And briefly (in "Mining For Batman") during the final showdown between Batman and Biggis' henchmen in the mine.
Batman/Bruce is given a more suspicious and inquisitive motif which is introduced as Bruce investigates (while incognito) the alleys where the missing homeless men have been abducted (“Bruce Becomes Homeless), as well as in the beginning of Bruce’s dream sequence (“The Dream Sequence“, and during the climax (“Mining for Batman” when Biggis‘ men turned off the lights in the mine believing they‘d have the upper hand against Batman. Walker was able to interweave her Batman theme smoothly with it at certain points.
Two stand out moments of Walker’s Batman theme featured in The Forgotten are featured in “Bruce’s Family Flashback” and “Master Bruce”. The various transitions in tone of the Batman theme (in “Bruce’s Family Flashback”, which is a little over 30 seconds begins bittersweet exhibiting the happiness young Bruce once shared with his parents. Then becomes tragic when it fades to darkness, which implies the loss of his parents. As it pans on the back of a being with a cape and cowl the theme becomes more grim basically exploring the dark path Bruce took to avenge his parents. And finally as Batman’s revealed to the viewer in a close up of his face the theme makes a bold triumphant statement.
And during the finale at the homeless shelter Bruce’s two friends (from Biggis' mining camp) and their family find out Bruce wasn’t homeless but a billionaire. Before leaving Bruce gives them a job offer. The Batman theme closes the episode in very emotional and optimistic manner showing that both Bruce Wayne and Batman both can make difference in Gotham.
BE A CLOWN (Michael McCuistion)
With most of “Be A Clown” taking place at an abandoned amusement park, which the Joker uses as his lair. The score echoes that with some cues sounding like something out a carousel/circus. Especially the four source cues (“Organ Source”, “Water Tank Source”, “Carousel Source” and “Circus Source”.
The Batman theme and even the Joker’s theme take a backseat for most of the score. The story and score centers mostly around Mayor Hill’s son Jordan. Who for most of the episode (b/c of his interest in magic) learns dangerous magic tricks from the Joker, whose incognito as “Jekko the Magnificent“. Besides the carousel music Jordan’s inculpable theme is the most present of the themes. You can hear it in “You, You, You” in “Jordan the Stowaway”, “Batman in Straightjacket”, in the middle of “Rollercoaster Fight” and “Jordan & Mayor Reunited”.
The Joker theme makes brief appearances like when he’s introduced (“Joker the Costume Freak”, when the Joker plants his dynamite on Jordan’s birthday cake it then fades into show’s commercial break. As well as when Bruce spots the dynamite and diffuses it in a clumsy manner.
Jekko the magnificent has a playful carousel-esque theme as that can be heard in “Jekko the Magnificent“ and “Jordan the Stowaway“. There’s a spooky rendition of Jekko’s theme in the middle of “The Show Continues” where Joker was looking and calling out for Jordan (who briefly escaped him) around the abandoned amusement park, while tapping the fences with his cane.
There’s also sort of a danger motif that plays after the final showdown (of “Be A Clown” anyways) between Batman and Joker on an amusement park ride as Batman attempts to save Jordan from doom as there‘s a gap in the middle of the tracks (“Rollercoaster Fight“. That whole track is great with how it interweaves the danger motif, Jordan’s theme, and a mighty rendition of Batman’s theme which closes the cue. You can also briefly hear the danger motif (from “Rollercoaster Fight“ in the middle of “It’s Not A Game, Jordan” (as Jordan takes off after Batman spots him) which took place in the middle of this episode.
DREAMS IN DARKNESS (Todd Hayen)
The depressing and eerie main theme that drives most of “Dreams In Darkness” imitates the paranoia Batman faces for the majority of the episode caused by Scarecrow’s fear toxin. The music mostly highlights the action as well as when Batman’s hallucinations become more and more vivid.
The Batman theme makes brief appearances. A bold statement of the theme (at the opening of “Batman Conquers Fear” really stood out during the climax where Batman, while beneath Arkham Asylum, must stop Crane and his goons from pumping anymore fear toxin into Gotham’s water supply. Sounds familiar? Well screenwriter David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight Trilogy and Man of Steel) obviously borrowed that particular plot point for Batman Begins, which I‘m glad was pointed out in this soundtrack’s liner notes. It was something I‘ve always noticed when I first seen Batman Begins nearly a decade ago. The Batman theme in that moment is so bold and fearless even though Batman still has the fear toxin in his system.
The Scarecrow theme makes brief appearances. The theme becomes wildly wicked at the end of “Mass Madness” (where the countdown begins for the fear toxin to take effect on the Gotham water supply) and at the end of “Batman’s Delusions” (where Batman’s illusions takes a turn for the worse and begins falling into a large hallucination of Scarecrows face and mouth). Which almost feels like something out of Freddy Krueger movie.
Speaking of “Batman’s Delusions” the moment, which is Batman’s ultimate fear/nightmare unfolding, composer Todd Hayen incorporated the Joker theme, Penguin theme, and Two Face theme with a more deranged touch to heighten each appearance after one another in this erratic dream sequence.
THE UNDERDWELLERS (Lars Clutterham & Stuart Balcomb)
“The Underwellers” doesn’t have a particular main theme, but motifs. There’s a more melancholic motif that identifies the underwellers as innocent homeless children taken against their will by the cruel Sewer King to do his evil bidding. It can be heard in “The Underwellers” when we see the children reduced to slave labor in the sewers beneath Gotham.
Another motif which is more urgent, cautious, and sly depicts the children committing robberies and such all over Gotham as Batman canvasses the sewers. The motif occurs during “Blinded By The Light”, “Batman Saves Frog”, and “The Sewer King”.
Both of those motifs could also somewhat characterize the Sewer King and his motives for abducting and enslaving homeless children to become his personal thieves.
There’s also a suspenseful motif for the train which briefly appears twice. It can be heard during the opening of the episode (“Let’s Play Chicken” when Batman rescues a careless teenager from near death while playing chicken on top of a moving locomotive. As well as (“Batman Dethrones King” when Batman apprehends the Sewer King near the train tracks during the conclusion which bookends this story.
The way the motifs effectively interlocks with Batman’s theme throughout “Blinded By The Light”/”Batman Saves Frog”. I always enjoyed the bit of Batman’s theme (towards the end of “Batman Saves Frog” when the batmobile is revealed to Frog and afterwards as he looks in astonishment to Batman.
TERROR IN THE SKY (Shirley Walker)
“Terror In The Sky” is a great follow up to “On Leather Wings “ for both the episode and score, imo. Walker not only revisited her main Man-bat theme (“The Man-Bat’, middle of “Man-Bat Chases Batman“, “Langstrom Out the Door”, briefly in the middle of “Detransformation” but she also composed an array of motifs and variations of motifs highlighting the action and suspense.
Batman’s main theme makes various appearances in this episode some of my favorite performances of the theme (in “Terror In The Sky” is during the plane sequence (during “Langstrom Out the Door” as Batman (inside his Batwing) pursues to saving a plane from (crashing caused by the Woman-bat). As well as when the batwing takes off after saving the plane. And during the climax on top of the bridge (at the beginning of “Detransformation”as the Woman-bat spots Batman literally standing over his floating Batwing ready to face her/it.
Batman is also given a more confident secondary theme/motif that signals Batman being on the case/to the rescue. It’s first introduced (just as Batman’s introduced) in “Batman Operates”. Also during “Man-Bat out of the Sky” as Batman heads to his bike (after confronting and suspecting Langstrom of taking the formula again) just before the Woman-Bat attacks. It becomes more urgent and tense (in “Langstrom Out the Door” during the climax when the Batwing charges to save the plane, which is the last we hear of the that particular motif.
There’s also sort of a motif that identifies the Woman-Bat’s vision/POV. Not only does the motif warns the audience that the Woman-Bat is lurking and ready to attack her prey but we also get it from the creature’s own perspective. It can be heard in “The Man-Bat”, “Man-Bat out of the Sky”, and in the middle of “Langstrom out the Door”.
Walker also came up with a thrilling chase motif for both of the exciting chase sequences between Batman and the Woman-Bat (“Man-Bat Chases Batman” and in the middle of “Langstrom Out the Door”.
There’s another very brief perilous motif that plays counterpoint to the chase motif. Which also reminded me of a similar chase motif Walker wrote for “Prophecy Of Doom” when Batman’s chasing after Nostromo’s henchman after attempting to kill his alter ego in an elevator. Which is also featured in both chase scenes/cues.
The Woman-Bat is given her own motif, which can be considered a secondary theme to the main Man-Bat theme. Which can be heard when (the viewer for the first time witnesses) Francine’s transforms into the Woman-Bat while in the bathroom on a plane, then terrorizing the passengers, and when the Batwing attacks it while holding Kirk hostage (“Woman-Bat Wrecks The Plane”/“Langstrom Out the Door”. And at the beginning of the final showdown (“Detransformation” between Batman and the Woman-Bat above the bridge.
Walker also gives the bat creature a more aggressive motif ,which plays counterpoint to the Woman-Bat’s secondary theme, and indicates whenever it becomes more hostile against Batman in the middle of their fights. It can be heard during the first chase, when Batman tries to restrain the Woman-Bat with his grappling hook in the middle of the train tracks (towards the end of “Man-Bat Chases Batman). During the climax when the Woman-Bat begins charging at Batman over the bridge (at the beginning of “Detransformation“.
I thought it was clever how Walker adapted her own piece (which opened “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Bat” from “On Leather Wings” (where the viewer and Batman witnesses Langstrom’s transformation into the Man-Bat for the first and only time on the show) into “Detransformation”. Which can be heard as the Woman-Bat harshly glides at Batman as he’s about to shoot it with the antidote. Just a clever throwback that bookends this Man-Bat arc.
Walker also came up with a more clandestine motif that represents the formula. It can be heard as Dr. March (Francine’s father) confesses to Batman about accidentally infecting Francine with the formula (in “March Confesses” . It’s also used during the finale (“Detransformation” on the bridge after Batman injected the Woman-Bat with the antidote and (as a reflex) it knocks Batman out with one of it’s wing before the creature is completely out Francine’s system.
It’s amazing how much thought Walker put into this episode with the various themes and motifs. As a listener there’s a lot to sink your teeth (or ear) into.
NIGHT OF THE NINJA (Mark Koval)
The score for Night Of The Ninja mostly characterizes the antagonist Kyodai Ken, who shared a past rivalry with Bruce. An illicit motif opens the first track Night Of The Ninja which explores Kyodais ninja stealth skills and thievery as he robs a 7th building owned by Wayne Enterprises. The motif reappears (in Ninja Assault) as Kyodai begins his next robbery on top of Wayne Enterprises but the Batman intervenes. It also can be heard in a flashback moment when a young Kyodai Ken attempts to steal his (and Bruce) senseis 500 year old blade but the young Bruce intervenes and basically gets Kyodai expelled from the dojo. Which is why Kyodai Ken is robbing buildings owned by Wayne Industries to exact revenge on Bruce before he finally confronts one last time. It can be heard (for the last time in Watertower) as Bruce awakens (after being abducted along with reporter Summer Gleason) at Kyodai Kens hideaway ,which ironically is under a Wayne Enterprise water tower.
Kyodai Ken was also given an intimidating 4 note motif, which can be heard (in (Kidnapped) as he kidnaps Bruce and Summer. And as Kyodai threatens to kill Bruce and Summer with his sword but gets interrupted as Robins detected by the a hidden alarm (in Master Crime Fighter, which can also be heard twice in this track). Its subtlety used for a second time in Master Crime Fighter as Robin and Kyodai briefly face off. This particular motif seems to signal whenever Kyodai is about go for the kill against his opponent b/c the 4 note motif also can be heard twice during his first duel with Batman (in Ninja Assault). When Kyodai and Batman face off and as Kyodai attempts to annihilate a weakened Batman with his sword, which then fades into the shows commercial break. And also when Kyodai vows to exact revenge on Bruce for getting him banished from the dojo (at the end of Bruce Catches Kyodai). Its becomes more tranquil and barely menacing during Bruces first flashback (Flashback). It also can be heard after Kyodai escapes during the finale (Ninja Meets His Match) hinting that this wont be the last we see of Kyodai.
Theres a foreboding theme that carries each confrontation (between Kyodai & Batman, Kyodai & Robin, and Kyodai & Bruce) with Kyodai. It usually hints at Kyodai having the upper hand over his opponent in a fight. The theme can be heard during Ninja Assault, Just In Time (after Batman and Kyodais first confrontation Robin interferes just before Kyodai nearly kills Batman. And just as Kyodais about to escape Robin somewhat clips him with his batarang), Master Crime Fighter, and Ninja Meets His Match.
A more apprehensive motif is used hinting Kyodai might be lurking. Its used (at the end of Night Of The Ninja) during the opening scene after he confronts the security guard and escapes. And during the climax (at the beginning of Kyodai Meets His Match) when Bruce gets loose from his restraints just before Kyodai challenges him for another duel. Most of these motifs interlock with each other.
Batmans theme makes brief appearances in this episode. But can be heard during (Ninja Assault) the first showdown on top of Wayne Enterprises as Batman awaits Kyodai Ken. As well as during the climax as Bruce defeats Kyodai with an epic kick (in Ninja Meets His Match).
DAY OF THE SAMURAI (Carlos Rodriguez)
Though Kyodai Ken returns in Day Of The Samurai none of the antagonists various themes/motifs (from Night Of The Ninja) reunite with him. Day Of The Samurai is an ambient and atmospheric score that doesnt really identify the Kyodai Ken character with any distinctive new themes/motifs.
While Night Of The Ninja used a few east Asian instruments to depict the flashbacks dealing with Bruces and Kyodais past as rival students of a Japanese dojo. As well as portraying some of Kyodais characteristics. Day Of The Samurai mostly imitates the episodes exotic Japanese setting. Its not only a change of pace for the animated show, but the music as well. It gives the impression of a score youd hear in a very old school foreign samurai adventure movie. Carlos Rodriguez really took advantage of the musical techniques used to depict the Japanese culture. He used everything from (according to the liner notes) kabuki blocks, angklung, koto, taiko, otsuzumi and contrabass slide whistle.
The Batman theme is briefly used during the final confrontation around an erupting volcano between an unmasked Batman and Kyodai Ken (Batman Confronts Kyodai). It appears when Batman dupes Kyodai into believing he defeated him with the o-nemo-ri touch which is a fatal fighting technique.
And even though it wasnt credited on the album or mentioned in the liner notes, Elfmans Batman theme makes a brief appearance (in Batman Confronts Kyodai just as its revealed to the viewer Batman faked dying from the o-nemo-ri touch ) just before Walkers own Batman theme appears.
Day Of The Samurai is another noteworthy example of how the B:TAS scores are distinctive from one another.
PROPHECY OF DOOM (Shirley Walker)
Prophecy Of Doom opens with a merciless theme that represents fortune teller Nostromos facade and premonitions about certain doom that shortly occurs. The so called disasters are set up and is actually the doing of an ex-con artist who uses a fake alter ego and a light show to con rich people of their money. Its the most dominant theme of this episode.
A danger motif is used when the antagonists attempt to kill Bruce Wayne by crashing an elevator hes occupying (Elevator Cliffhanger and at the beginning of Elevator Escape.) That moment always had me on the edge of my seat. And worried how Bruce would get out of that one. The danger motif adequately enhances the tension of that moment. Very spine tingling.
Theres another turbulent motif (which takes place after the elevator sequence) thats covering the rooftop chase between Batman and Lucas (Nostromos partner in crime) which can be heard in the middle of Elevator Escape. The motif is very reminiscent of a similar chase motif heard in Terror In The Sky (Man-Bat Chases Batman and in the middle of Langstrom Out The Door) during both chases between the Batman and Woman-Bat. Just something I noticed.
Whats also interesting (according to the liner notes) is that Walker tips her hat off by somewhat quoting two excerpts (Mars, the Bringer of War and Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity) from the symphonic piece of Holsts The Planets(Op.32). Even the first three pitches of Nostromos theme are similar to Holsts Mars melody. Walker pulls off an amazing feat for the climax (Nostromos Sees The Light) that takes place at the Gotham Planetarium where Batman must battle Lucas, apprehend Nostromo , and save the daughter of his alter egos friend from being demolished by the spinning sculptures of the 9 planets. The Batman theme, Nostromos theme, and the two excerpts from Holsts Planets each compete throughout the climax.
I also wanted to point out how abruptly the doom laden Nostromos theme (in Prophecy Of Doom) segues into a swing big band type of score that imitates the party on the doomed cruise ship during the opening.
Even though its brief Walkers inspiring use of the Batman theme at the end (Guilty as Charged) nicely echoes Bruces (or Shakespeares) words of wisdom about "The fault lies, not in the stars, but in ourselves." Helping the show conclude on a more enlightening note.
ETERNAL YOUTH (Lolita Ritmanis)
The Poison Ivy theme as does the villainess herself return for Eternal Youth. Where she creates an enzyme that transforms the rich and wealthy industrialists, who (in her eyes) have committed crimes against nature, into plants as punishment. The Poison Ivy theme makes the most appearances on this score. Its probably the most ruthless her themes (and characters) ever been. Particularly during the first track Eternal Youth, where Ivy hunts and punishes one of her helpless victims for replacing a forest with a strip-mine. The music (and the animation in that opening scene) made Ivy seem more intimidating than usual. As well as during the climax (Ivy the Eco-Terrorist) by the spa between Batman, Ivy & her cohorts as they begin spraying Batman with the enzyme.
The score becomes majestic (in Batcave Greenery) as the batmobile charges into the batcave just before Batman discovers Alfred redecorated it with some plants. The music welcomes back Batman to his throne.
Batman gets a soaring motif which can be heard in both Bat Gliding (as Batman glides to the Eternal Youth Spa to get some answers) and briefly in Ivy the Eco-Terrorist (when Batman dodges Ivys darts in the middle of their showdown).
The video source cue for the Eternal Youth Spa has a retro disco vibe that reminds me of the TV themes to The Love Boat and Charlie's Angels, which in context was obviously intentional.
Alfred and (his friend) Maggie share a comforting theme, which depicts their friendship. Its used in the other source cue (Spa Source) during Alfred & Maggies first day at the Eternal Youth Spa. As well as during the conclusion with Alfred & Maggie at the hospital (What's it All About?).