More music from Batman TAS being released

Discussion in 'Batman World' started by Merkel, Jun 30, 2012.

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    WHAT IS REALITY? (Richard Bronskill)

    In order to save Gordon’s imprisoned mind Batman must participate in the Riddler’s virtual reality game. The score mostly portrays Nygma’s malevolent schemes and his virtual world. Therefore the Riddler’s theme takes over most of the “What Is Reality?” score.

    The climax’s music features the recurring Batman theme competing with Riddler’s theme. “What Is Reality?” score also features a variation of Riddler’s theme (with a synthesized touch) which depicts his virtual world throughout the climax.

    “What Is Reality?” isn’t really as spectacular or emotional as the majority of Batman scores on this show. It also works better in the context of the episode, imo. However it’s still a well made score. I just didn’t find anything particularly special about it.
     
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    MUDSLIDE (Shirley Walker)

    “Mudslide” score (as does the episode itself) not only characterizes Clayface/Matt Hagen’s return but his downfall as well. Walker takes Clayface’s sympathetic theme to even more tragic proportions, b/c of Hagen’s deteriorating body. Whenever Hagan commits a crime or desperately tries to escape the Clayface theme becomes more sluggish as the character itself (during “Clayface Slips By”, “Your Goose is Cooked/You Used to be Neater” “MP-40/Clayface Escapes”, and at the end of “Breaking Up is Hard to Do”). It gives the impression that Hagen’s running out of time and dying.

    I also thought the use of what sounded like a sort of whistle (pennywhistle?) of Clayface’s theme, which took place during the “Clayface Escapes” cue (as Hagen disguised as a female scientist steals the MP-40, which could also cure him/stabilize his decomposition) to be quite eerie.

    The Clayface theme goes out with a bang in “Inside Addition” during the final (at the time) confrontation between Hagen and Batman. Listening to that cue takes me back to the actual moment in the show, where Hagen struggles to pull himself together b/c of the rain as he and Batman were hanging on the edge of a cliff. It always has me pitying Hagen for refusing Batman’s help to cure him in the first place. It’s a very emotionally tragic ending to one of the shows most tragic Batman villains. And Walker once again had a lot to do with that, imo.

    I also thought the old-fashioned source cue (“Movie Source”) to one of Hagen’s movies, which was a B&W romance movie, was a nice throwback to the golden age movies.
     
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    Disc 4

    I AM THE NIGHT (Michael McCuistion)

    “I Am the Night “ is a bleak and personal episode for the dark knight. It explores how even Batman isn’t perfect and is only human. The plot centers around a burned out Batman who questions and blames himself for Gordon being wounded in the line of duty. As well as examine the burden Bruce carries of being Batman.

    Batman is given a motif that is somewhat split into two parts that often plays counterpoint to one another. To me the first part focuses on Bruce’s burden of being Batman. The 2nd part depicts Batman’s melancholy. Both parts open “I Am the Night “ as the viewer is introduced in the batcave to an emotionally and physically exhausted Batman. Both parts are also featured in “Batman Pays a Visit “ when Batman visits an unconscious Gordon at the hospital. The burden motif could also be heard in “Roses”, “Roses on the Pavement” as Batman (and Leslie Thompkins) visit crime alley to mourn on the anniversary his parents were murder. The burden motif also carries “Batman’s Rage” as Batman demolishes most of his own headquarters in a fit of rage. As well as when Dick visits the batcave to talk with Bruce (“Robin Sees Batman”).

    Batman is given a mighty motif which sometimes announces his presence and arrival. It can be heard towards the end of “Emergency” as Batman approaches Gordon’s room at the hospital. I like how the motif joins forces with Walker’s Batman theme in “This Is My Hunt”, where Batman gets out of a brief hiatus to stop the Jazzman. It signifies that Batman is out of his depression and ready to own the night. As well as in “Batman Talks with Kid” after Batman saves Gordon and swings off into the night just before he chats with the kid he rescued earlier in the episode.

    The Jazzman is given a sort of jazzy bass like motif which could be heard during Batman and the police’s raid on Jazzman and his gang in “The Jazzman Was Ready”, while the Jazzman’s in prison “Jazzman in Prison “, and when the Jazzman escapes prison in “Jazzman in the Laundry/Jazzman’s Escape”.

    There’s also a motif that heightens both confrontations between Batman and the Jazzman, which can be heard in “Catching the Jazzman” and “Batman Saves Gordon”. The action motif is more suspenseful and personal in “Batman Saves Gordon” since a lot’s at stake for both Batman and the Jazzman. Meaning Jazzman exacting revenge on Gordon and Batman preventing it from happening again. The intensity of the Batman theme as Batman throws a glass shaped batarang into the Jazzman’s gun as he aims it at Gordon body was ingenious how it was handled and only added to the suspense.

    I also like how the burden and melancholic motif that opened the episode closes it on a more optimistic and confident note (in “Batman Talks with Kid”) as the Batman theme victoriously enters and ends it on a hopeful note. Basically depicting Batman at peace with himself, his mission, and if he’s making enough difference in Gotham City.
     
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    HEART OF STEEL, PART I (Richard Bronskill & Tamara Kline)

    Heart of Steel, Part I & II is more of a sci-fi adventure for the caped crusader. The score to either part however doesn’t imitate it with synthesizers. ”Heart of Steel, Part I highlights the action and suspense with heavy brass ostinatos i.e. “Briefcase on the Prowl“ and “The Escape” The former cue depicts the moment where a briefcase with mechanical limbs commit’s a heist at Wayne Enterprises to steal microchips from the company. It’s also used in a short chaotic cue (“Another Gordon”) as Gordon is ambushed and abducted by Randa and his duplicant. The latter cue (“The Escape”) covers the confrontation between Batman and the mechanical briefcase.

    Heart of Steel, Part I opens with a suspicious motif in “Sub-Main Title”. The motif recurs in the middle of “The Escape” where Randa receives the microchips her briefcase stole for HARDAC.

    HARDAC’s assistant Randa Dwayne gets a seductive motif. which depicts her attractive physique. It can be heard in “The Briefcase” and “Randa’s Compact”. A more intimate saxophone driven version of Randa’s motif can be heard on “The Briefcase (alternate)” and “Randa’s Compact (alternate)”.

    HARDAC and it’s cybernetic minions share a sinister motif that reflects their malevolent schemes. Which can be heard in “HARDAC,” “Next Duplicant”, “Randa Finds the Batcave”, and “HARDAC Has Control”.

    Heart of Steel, Part I makes minor use of Walker’s Batman theme b/c Batman’s only has one action scene, in which he confronts Randa’s lethal briefcase (“The Escape”). It makes great use of the theme when Bruce’s office transforms into a secret room where he changes into Batman; when Batman appears in an elevator to confront Randa’s briefcase; as Batman follows the briefcase up stairs; when Batman upgrades to his bat glider; and when Randa spots Batman, who’s on her trail, on a monitor of her automated vehicle.
     
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    HEART OF STEEL, PART II (Carl Johnson)

    Heart of Steel, Part II replaces the themes and motifs from part I, which is pretty much what the duplicants do to some of the show‘s supporting characters in this episode. HARDAC is given a more gloomy theme, which is used at the beginning of ‘Heart of Steel, Part II”, at the beginning of “Another Mayor”, “A Watchful Eye”, in the middle of “Robots Run Amok”, and at the end of “Let’s Go Home”. I thought it was clever how the Batman theme played counterpoint to HARDAC’s motif. Sort of foreshadowing HARDAC’s return and that Batman will be ready to stop it.

    There’s a motif for whenever the duplicants become combative and confrontational with Batman i.e when Batman fights Bullock’s duplicant in “Another Bullock” and during the climax when Batman battles Randa’s duplicant in “Randa Is Terminated”.

    A more suspense driven motif which depicts the duplicants attempting to attack their target, which is Batman. It can be heard (in “Heart of Steel, Part II”) as Batman struggles to break free from his automated gizmos in the batcave; (towards the end of “A Very Exclusive Club“) when Batman is using a blowtorch to disable the cable holding the elevator as HARDAC’s duplicants approach him; and when HARDAC’s security in Cybertron Industries attempt to apprehend Batman (in “Flying Over Cybertron”).

    There’s both a brave and more sentimental motif that is used whenever the heroes rebel against HARDAC’s duplicants. The more brave and rebellious motif is used (in “Heart of Steel, Part II) as Batman gets the upper hand on his hideout’s malfunctioning gadgetry; when he and Barbara defeats Bullock’s duplicants (in “Another Bullock”); when (in “Robots Run Amok”) Batman frees Gordon, Bullock, Rossum, and Mayor Hill from HARDAC’s captivity and when he dupes and defeats the Gordon duplicant with an explosive. The more sentimental motif sometimes play counterpoint to the rebellious motif. It’s also used as Batman and the Bullock duplicant brawl on the roof in “Another Bullock”, and when Batman frees Gordon and the rest captured by HARDAC as well as when Randa grabs a hold of Batman after he defeated the Gordon duplicant in “Robots Run Amok”.

    Both Heart of Steel, Part I and II share some of the shows most stellar tension building music like for example in “Trash Can Robot” as Barbara, after breaking into Cybertron Industries, is being stalk by a trash can robot.
     
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    BLIND AS A BAT (Steve Chesne & James Stemple)

    “Blind As A Bat” is where the Penguin hijacks an advanced military aircraft (called “the Raven”) and unbeknownst to him temporarily blinds Batman, who still attempts to stop him despite of it.

    Batman is given a secondary motif that describes his will and courage to apprehend the Penguin without his eye sight. It can be heard in “Tooling Up” as Batman tests a device that can improve his vision. And in “Cornered” when he outsmarts and captures the Penguin by pulling a nozzle from a pipe full of steam, which causes Penguin to be somewhat sightless.

    The highlight cue is the thrilling “Quoth the Batman, “Nevermore” which is during the epic face off between the Batwing and the Raven. It has moments of triumph and suspense. The cue subtle-ly interweaves Elfman’s Batman theme, with the secondary/courageous theme ( from “Tooling Up” and “Cornered”), Walker’s Batman theme, and the Penguin’s own theme, which sneaks it’s way in whenever he does something shady. Both the scene and music from “Quoth the Batman, “Nevermore” reminds me of Elfman’s “Batwing II/Batwing III” aka "Attack Of The Batwing" from Batman (1989).

    The music heightens the suspense (in “Batwing Disabled/Disabled Batman”) when Batman escapes the destruction of his Batwing and damages his vision headset and has to fight Penguin (and his henchman) blind in an abandoned factory.

    Walker’s Batman theme triumphantly concludes the episode on a high note as Batman sight’s restored in “Good News”.
     
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    PAGING THE CRIME DOCTOR (Shirley Walker)

    “Paging the Crime Doctor” deals with crime boss Rupert Thorne’s brother Dr. Matthew Thorne (aka the crime doctor) who has a suspended medical license (courtesy for aiding and abetting his brother) and runs an illegal criminal medical practice for his brother. When Rupert suffers some sort of illness Matthew persuades Dr. Leslie Thompkins assistance to perform a complicated surgery on Rupert. After the surgery with the aid of Batman, Matthew must prevent Rupert’s gang from killing Thompkins.

    The impending crime doctor theme, which describes Matthew’s association with Rupert Thorne and his mob, is given the most attention. After all the plot mostly centers mostly around Matthew, Rupert, and Leslie than Batman. The crime doctor theme is given a lot of nuance. It’s played for suspense during opening action scene between Batman and Thorne’s mob in “Paging the Crime Doctor” as well as the exciting climax between Batman and a tough orderly in “The Disorderly Orderly/Playing with Sharp Objects/Laser Blazer”. It’s menacing and threatening as it announces Matthew and Thorne’s goons approaching Leslie’s clinic in “Matt Finds Leslie“ as well as when Matthew and Leslie try to escape from Thorne‘s goons in “Rooftop Escape“.. It’s given sort of a jazzy/swing kind of feel in “Old Friends” as Matthew reminisce about his past with Leslie. It becomes dramatic in “Abducted” as Matthew feels guilty to having the mob abduct Leslie against her will, when she refuses to assist with the surgery.

    There’s a more mysterious secondary motif that plays counterpoint to the crime doctor theme, which depicts something suspicious pertaining to Thorne’s gang. It could be heard in “Paging the Crime Doctor”, “Matt Finds Leslie”, and “Rooftop Escape”. The Batman theme gets plenty of playtime as well during the big action moments in “Paging the Crime Doctor”, “Laser Blazer” and “Roof Fight” .

    Love the rendition of Batman’s theme when he rescues Leslie from a near death fall from a building in “Roof Fight”.

    The emotional use of the Batman’s theme for Bruce and his father's legacy is another highlight. When Leslie reminisce about Thomas Wayne in “Leslie Remembers” and at the end (in “About My Father ”) where Bruce has a friendly conversation about his father with Matthew, which ends the show on a very touching note. Really brings more heart to a very solemn episode.

    This score is another example of why Walker was master in suspense. And a testament to her ability to highlight the shows more adult themes. It feels more like a score to a crime thriller than an animated superhero show for younger viewers, which is a compliment.
     
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    THE MAN WHO KILLED BATMAN (Shirley Walker)

    The score and plot to “The Man Who Killed Batman” centers around a long night with a mob misfit named Sid “the Squid“ Debris who becomes famous after a scuffle with Batman for accidentally killing him (or so he and the criminal underworld think).

    Sid the Squid’s quirky theme imitates the character’s clumsy personality. It is employed in “The Man Who Killed Batman”, when Sid makes a silhouette of a squid with his hands by use of a flashlight (in “Sid Wanted In”) just before Batman appears, briefly by the end of “Sid the Squid” as Batman supposedly falls to his death, and as Sid while trapped in a coffin is sent to an acid grave by the Joker in “Batman’s Funeral”. Sid’s theme becomes more cheerful and confident in “A Lot of Respect” as Sid has earned the respect of his fellow inmates in prison.

    There’s a secondary motif played on strings, which plays counterpoint to the main theme, that gives a sense of urgency. It is used in the opening in “The Man Who Killed Batman”, when Batman confronts Sid in “Sid Wanted In/Sid the Squid “, when Sid’s trapped in the coffin in “Batman’s Funeral”, in “Pine Box” when Sid realizes the gunfire didn’t come from crime boss Rupert Thorne’s gun, which was pointed at him.

    The Joker’s theme makes a brief appearance in “Sid Meets the Joker”.

    The mystery theme from various B:TAS episodes (“Two Face, Part II“, “Perchance To Dream“, “Read My Lips”, “Shadow Of The Bat Part 1 and 2” and even a moment in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, etc.) is utilized in “The Diamond Exchange” as a jewelry store is about to be robbed by the Joker and his gang.

    The score also uses the aid of a pipe organ in certain moments as in the opening of the cue “The Man Who Killed Batman “, when Sid meets the Joker in “Sid Meets the Joker”, and during Joker’s eulogy in “Batman’s Funeral”.

    The Batman theme is also played chillingly gothic in pipe organ during Batman’s triumphant return (from the dead) in “Pine Box”. It always made Batman in that moment actually seem immortal even though we all know that he isn‘t. Yet another impressive score by the late Shirley Walker.
     
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    Congrats to the Batman: The Animated Series Volume 3 (4-CD Set) on it's IFMCA nomination for "Best Archival Release Of An Existing Score – Compilation".

    http://filmmusiccritics.org/2015/02/ifmca-award-nominations-2014/

    It's very much deserved. And is one of my favorite soundtrack releases of 2014.
     
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    Well the "Batman: The Animated Series Volume 3 (4-CD Set)" lost the IFMCA award for "Best Archival Release Of An Existing Score – Compilation" to "The Ava Collection"; music by Elmer Bernstein (Intrada).

    http://filmmusiccritics.org/2015/02/ifmca-award-winners-2014/

    :csad: Oh well, at least B:TAS Vol. 3 got recognition.
     
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    Since it's Christmas week I listened to the "Christmas With The Joker" score today. If I can find the time this week might try to watch the episode as well.
     
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    Batman The Animated Series Vol 4 Coming this Summer!

    Can't wait! :woot:
     
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    Come solve the mystery of the Batwoman in La-La Land!
    [​IMG]

     
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    Batman/Superman Special Offer runs through 04/11.
     
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    In honor of the late Shirley Walker's birthday I listened to LLLR expanded edition of B:MOTP. She would've been 71 years old today.
     
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    [​IMG]

    B:MOTB score is the first Batman score (both live action and animated) performed on mostly synthesizers. Though it’s very effective in the film and album it somewhat lacks the symphonic energy the B:TAS scores shared. It’s very much in the vein of the scores of JL/JLU animated series.

    I found plenty of themes/motifs throughout the score. Walker’s Batman theme made brief appearances. Though it doesn’t carry the entire score the jazzy Batwoman theme gets more playtime than the Batman theme. Bruce’s love interest Kathy Duquesne even gets a motif/theme comprised of 8 notes that’s played on saxophone and piano. It’s briefly used but perfectly characterizes the mysteriousness, spunkiness, and beauty of Kathy. I think it also represents Bruce fascination and attraction to her character, imo. The villains are given a threatening motif, but it isn’t as identifiable as Batman’s famous rogues themes from the TAS. There’s even a recurring motif used to highlight certain action scenes. And though it’s the complete score the album still has a nice flow.

    The jazzy lounge type music from the Batman/Catwoman short “Chase Me” was also included and was a nice addition to the album. Definitely a highlight of the album. It’s a pity they didn’t include Cherie’s salsa dance pop single “Betcha Neva” song, which was used during some of Penguin’s night club scene and some of the end credits. It blends smoothly with Ritmanis’ score, imo. Regardless I still enjoyed this score and album overall. And found it to be a welcome addition to previous B:TAS related scores. Bring on the scores to BTAS Vol. 4, Subzero, etc.
     
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    BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES: VOL. 4: LIMITED EDITION (2-CD SET) Soundtrack Details

    [​IMG]
     
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    LLLR posted about the future of the DC Timm-verse score releases on the film score monthly forums.

    I'm surprised STAS sales were low b/c it was the 4th best selling release on the La-La Land Records website (ONLY) in 2014.


     
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    The bonus unreleased cues of various episode scores from Vol.1, 2, & 3 that was included on Vol. 4 is going to be a chore to organize into their respective scores from each volume into my iTunes library.
     
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    This was posted on the Film Score Monthly forums.
    It's a pity they want to pair ROTJ (a movie score) with the scores to BB episodes, which will probably be just the highlights ala JLTAS. Better than nothing I guess, but with a $60 price tag (assuming it'll be a 4-CD set). ROTJ if sold separately would cost about $20.
     
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    [​IMG]

    Off Balance (Mark Koval & Michael McCuistion)

    Off Balance introduces the Society Of Shadows, Count Vertigo (who never appears again on the show) , Talia and Ra’s al Ghul (who makes a brief cameo).

    Talia is giving a mysterious motif b/c Batman (as well as the viewer) aren’t sure if she’s an enemy or an ally. For most of the episode there’s sort of an alliance between her and Batman to stop Vertigo from using a sonic drill weapon for his own personal gain. When it’s later revealed that Talia is indeed a part of the SOS her motif becomes dark and malevolent (in “Ra’s al Ghul”) It highlights her betraying Batman and wanting the sonic drill weapon for her father‘s own personal gain. As she’s about to test the sonic drill weapon Talia’s motif plays counterpoint to Ra’s al Ghul’s foreboding theme, which recur with the character in future episodes, signifying to the audience their alliance/family bond. It also sets up more confrontations between Batman and Ra’s.

    Count Vertigo is given a hypnotic and eerie motif. Whenever Vertigo’s motif plays it emphasizes to the listener Vertigo’s ability to make his enemies become off balance. The music ingeniously captures the anxiety of becoming off balance, whenever Vertigo uses his eye patch. The motif heightens the suspense as Batman and Talia attempt to escape Vertigo’s deathtrap near the episode’s climax (“Laboratory Walls/Lab Tests” ).

    Batman’s theme makes appearances whenever it announces him in a scene ready to take action.

    "The Dart/Attack of the Shadow Men" sample
     
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    Joker’s Wild (Todd Haven)

    The Joker is given a secondary theme that dominates most of the score, which makes sense b/c this episode centers around Joker scheming to destroy a casino that’s trying to sell off of his name. Joker’s secondary theme is very playful, wild, and manic. It’s pretty much cut from the same cloth in tone as Walker’s main Joker theme. The secondary theme also reflects the Joker’s vengeful antics against the casino owner Kaiser in this episode. It also signals whenever the Joker is on the move. Walker’s primary Joker theme makes a few appearances as well.

    I could tell from some of the instrumentations and style that Haven scored “Joker‘s Wild” b/c some of the suspenseful and suspicious moments in the score reminded me of similar moments from “Heart Of Ice”, “Tyger, Tyger” and “Dreams In Darkness”. That is a complement b/c Haven was able to integrate his style while also staying faithful to Walker‘s throughout the show, which isn‘t easy to do, imo.

    Batman’s theme has some exciting recurring moments throughout the score particularly during the climax (“Number’s Up/Jackpot”) as Batman (on his bat-glider) is on pursuit of the Joker during a thrilling helicopter chase.

    "The Joker’s Escape" sample
     

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