Executive in Charge of Music for DreamWorks Animation: Sunny Park Executive Soundtrack Producer: Robert Townson Music Editor: Adam Smalley Assistant Music Editor: Scott Johnson Additional Arranging, Midi Orchestration & Programming by James McKee Smith, Paul Mounsey, Dominic Lewis & Michael Mollo Score Recorded by Nick Wollage Score Assistant Engineers: Chris Barrett & Fiona Cruickshank Score Recorded at Air Studios, London
Additional Recording & Music Mixed by Shawn Murphy Mix Assistant Engineer: Marc Viner Mix Assistant: Erik Swanson Score Editor: David Channing Score Mixed at 5 Cat Studios, Los Angeles
Supervising Orchestrator: John Ashton Thomas Additional Orchestrators: Dave Metzger, Gavin Greenaway, Germaine Franco, Jessica Wells, Stefan Schneider & Dominic Lewis Music & Choir Conducted by Gavin Greenaway Orchestra Leader & Violin Solos: Perry Montague-Mason
Hardanger Fiddle: Dermot Crehan Pennywhistle: Helen Keen Choir: Metro Voices Choir Master: Jenny O'Grady Solo Vocalist: Dee Lewis-Clay Warpipes: Richard Baughman, Eric Bernard, Alastair Boase, Bobby Burke, Chris Carson, Paul Cathers, Nick Coseboom, Harry Farrar, Jennifer Febre, Alex MacGillivray, George MacGillivray, John McDonald, Karen McIlvena & Trevor Takahashi Guitar & Dulcimer: Vivian Milanova
Ethnic Wind Sampling: Papa Ginou Marimba & Percussion Sampling: Carol Andrews & Mateo Francisco Score Technical Engineer: Richard Robson Sound Programmers: Germaine Franco & Beth Caucci London Orchestral Contractor: Isobel Griffiths Ltd. Assistant Orchestral Contractor: Lucy Whalley Music Manager: Charlene Ann Huang Music Coordinator: Roger Tang Music Clearances: Julie Butchko Music Production Assistants: Emily Brailey, Jacob Merryman, John Traunweiser & Jason Waters Music Business Affairs: Dan Butler, Liz McNicoll & Jennifer Schiller Score Album Mastered by Patricia Sullivan Fourstar at Bernie Grundman Mastering
John Powell wishes to thank Jeffrey Katzenberg, Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders, Bonnie Arnold, Bill Damaschke, Synny Park, Cressida Cowell, Maryann Brandon, Darren Holmes, Randy Thom, Laura Engel, Richard Kraft, Jeffrey Light, Bruce Dukov, Bob Hunt, Gerhard Lengeling, & Manfred Knauff at Logic Pro, Betty Bennett at Apogee, Danny Haikin at B&W Loudpseakers, Doug Rogers at East West, Mitch Thomas at Sound Toys, Paul J. de Benedictis at Spectrasonics, Maarten Spruijt at Project Sam, Tammy Shea at Antares Technology, Jeff Petersen at Synthax, Erica McDaniel at Universal Audio
Dedicated to Melinda Lerner & Oliver Powell
Release date : 03/23/2010
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Does anyone know if Varese Sarabande releases will be up again anytime soon on streaming and download platforms in Europe? They were taken down due to a distribution change recently.
Yeah true I noticed KFP 2 OST was down... No idea though, good question !
Yeah, many of Powell's scores are sadly not avaiable atm. Same goes for angels & demons oddly, though that one is sony.
That´s exactly why I still dont invest in streaming platforms, the music you love can disappear all of sudden. There is nothing like having your own collection :-)
Amen, nothing beats a nice CD collection on the most prominent shelf :)
Had contact about it with Varese when they had disappeared they were supposed to be back up 01/01/2016 because Colloseum Records lost the rights to distribute to their catalogus. A company called 'Concord' is now their foreign distribution partner and is in the process of reselling them in the various european scores. According to Varese there are some issues with it they are attempting to resolve so the music will be back up soon
Varese stuff is finally up again on spotify and iTunes. Thank god!
John Powell’s music is so complex and full of themes. Here is a list of some of the themes from the first two movies alone: The Viking theme, the Flying theme, Astrid’s theme, Stoick’s theme, Viking teens’ theme, Evil dragon theme, Valka’s theme, Alphas’ theme, Drago’s theme, Stoick and Valka’s love theme, the Exploring theme, and Eret’s theme. Not to mention the Toothless Peril theme, the lost and found theme, the Dragon Vigilante theme, and a couple other nameless ones like the one heard in the beginning of track 16, ‘Dragon’s Den.’
John Powell lover #1
The Viking theme is heard at 00:28 of ‘This is Berk’, movie 1 the Flying theme, is heard in ‘Test Trive’ movie 1 Astrid’s theme is heard in ‘Romantic Flight’ movie 1 Stoick’s theme is heard in the beginning of ‘Ready the Ships’ movie 1 Viking teens’ theme is heard at 01:41 of ‘Battling the Green Death ‘ movie 1 Evil dragon theme is heard at the beginning of ‘Dragon Battle’ movie 1 Valka’s theme is heard at the beginning of ‘Should I know you?’ movie 2 Alphas’ theme is heard at 1:51 in ‘Losing Mom/Meet the good Alpha’ movie 2 Drago’s theme is heard at the beginning of ‘Meet Drago’ movie 2 Stoick and Valka’s love theme, is heard in the beginning of ‘Hiccup Confronts Drago’ movie 2 the Exploring theme is heard at the beginning of ‘Together we map the World’ movie 2 Eret’s theme is heard in the beginning of ‘Toothless Lost’ movie 2 The Toothless Peril theme is actually the ‘Flying Theme’ converted to a minor key the lost and found theme is heard at 00:11 of ‘Toothless found’ and at 1:00 of ‘Toothless Lost’ movie 2 The Dragon Vigilante theme is heard in the beginning of ‘Flying with Mother’ movie 2
I'm confused about Powell's status. Is he retiring from film scoring for good? Or just taking another break? Will he be scoring HTTYD3 and Kung Fu Panda 3??﻿
He'll just choose projects a lot more carefully.
According to IMDB he'll be scoring both HTTYD 3 and Kung Fu Panda 3.... I hope they're right! Yipikai !
Ok, that's god news! Why did he suddenly decide to choose projects a lot more carefully, though?
It wasn't sudden. He's being more choosy because he's sick of having directors ask him to sound like someone else.
That and I keep hearing how he wants to spend more time with his son.
I understand... Family comes first... Thanks for the info, guys!
Sorry if I sound like an idiot, but who asked John Powell to sound like . . . well, NOT John Powell.
I think the problem might actually have been of making him sound too much like John Powell; specifically, too much like the Bourne movies. That problem cropped up on Green Zone specifically thanks to Paul Greengrass and was probably the beginning of Powell's "disillusionment" period. That's why he didn't work on Captain Phillips (bullet dodged) - I wonder what poor bastard Greengrass will be able to recruit for his next movie, because it's sure as heck not going to be anyone from RC. Maybe Christophe Beck, whom former Powell collaborator Doug Liman managed to reduce to a drone machine as well. :/
Okay, that was a tangent. :P
i heard powell won't be scoring HTTYD3....this true??? :(
No, there was such a rumor some times ago but it has been officially said to be untrue.
Not sure why, but I have always loved the version of the Forbidden Friendship theme that plays from 1:06-1:24 in The Dragon Book. It's awesome.
whenever i listen to focus hiccup i see jason bourne leaping across rooftops xD
Yeah, it does definitely sound like Bourne at points....lol
Yeah, that darker version of the friendship theme is great. As I recall, it plays over Hiccup looking at all of the dangerous dragons in the book, so it kind of signifies what would happen if the "friendship" were to turn sour...Very clever thematic work from Powell. One of the reasons I love this score so much. :)
Indeed, it was when he got to the blank page saying how dangerous the Night Fury was.... ;)
Epic masterpiece by John Powell, with an incredible variety of emotions to transmit, this is an awesome score than nothing must envy to the better scores of the greatest masters of the soundtracks, with brilliant moments of tenderness, comedy, adventure and action, it's regrettable John didn't win the oscar for this score
I agree, dark prince. But John Powell is still one of my very favorite composer I have ever heard especially his instruments were pretty impressive and amazing. :D
Exactly what is the extent of Paul Mounsey's involvement with "Forbidden Friendship"? That's one of my favorite cues of all time, and it makes me a little bit sad to think that it isn't purely a Powell composition. That's a little silly, I know, but we all have our fanboy weaknesses, and Powell happens to be mine.
It's like finding out my favorite Hans Zimmer cue is actually cowritten by Henry Jackman...oh wait, that happened too! :/
Well, my friend, if feeling like this is "a little silly", then I guess I'm a little silly too. I had the exact same thought about both Forbidden Friendship and Marry Me (at least I assume you were referring to that).
In the end, does it really matter ? ;)
I mean to me the music does...
I guess not really. It's just one of those things. I was kinda hoping he's just the marimba player or something. :p
Good Point hybrid. and I know we all have our fanboy weaknesses. But like Hybrid said does it really matter, especially since all the cues you named are basically Zimmer and Powell anyway, and another thing it's great music so let's just enjoy it. these gus are all Hans Zimmer guys. anyway John Powell is great. so I'll guess the cue is mainly his. just the same with up is down in POTC3. But hey even Guinness want some input here and their and feel lonely doing it by themselves.
It doesn't really matter, you're right. Good music will be good regardless of the person who wrote it. But there is a certain sense of let-down if you hold a composer in high esteem and have a favorite piece of music credited to said composer, only to learn that the genius behind that piece of music was not by that composer. To have really great pieces of music by a favorite composer is something which reinforces the reason he is your favorite. If someone else wrote that same piece of music, sure, it's still great, but it's not the same as being able to say, "X, my favorite composer, did this fantastic composition, and that's part of the reason I like him so much".
Whoa hold it. Who says the Up is Down part that is really good is not Zimmer or This one is not John Powell For all we know They could have wrote that and the other person did a string pattern. don't get to let down.
Sorry for spamming HTTYD's page, but I was just looking at Powell's page here and there's a French film called "Au Bonheur Des Ogres" from 2013 where he's listed as the composer, but I can't find anything else regarding it online. Is it just a mistake or what? Anybody know?
John Powell seems not to be attached anymore on this french movie, released on october, the 16. Rolfe Kent seems to be the composer for this film.
Oscars 2011 were such an injustice... What an insult for the greatness and simple beauty of this score!!
Omm...how about Inception? Hans Zimmer has been nominated 7 times, and only one once - for The Lion King way back 17 years ago in 1994. I knew Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross would win for The Stupid Network. They won the Golden Globe as well. Honestly, the score wasn't that good. It was interesting, but not that good.
I'm willing to bet they'll win again this for for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
How to Train Your Dragon is MILES ahead of the overrated Inception. The emotional peaks and valleys of Powell's score make Zimmer's effort look flat as a pancake in comparison (with perhaps a slight blip for "Time"...).
Listen here, pal: Have even listened to the Inception score? I'm sure it includes just as many emotional peaks and valleys as How to Train Your Dragon does (it's just that the OST likely does not cover all those--darn you RCP!). Besides, this is a kids' movie. Man up and watch some mind-blowing, reality-twisting Inception and we'll see if you don't come back thinking about reality and the way dreams work a little bit differently from now on.
In my opinion a good movie is one that leaves you wondering about the world around you for weeks or even months after you've seen it. Catch: I have not seen this movie nor listened to its score to be able to compare with Inception. Perhaps we should both make it our goal to take a listen to the other's preferred score, and we can get back to this debate.
I don't think I'd be throwing around comments about Inception if I hadn't heard it, would I? Of course I have, and in my opinion Inception's a three star score...Not one of Zimmer's best, though certainly not among his worst either (On Stranger Tides, anyone?). I admire how he created a unique soundscape that sounds convincingly "dreamy" and ethereal, and the two cues "Dream is Collapsing" and "Time" are both excellent five-star highlights. On the flip side, a cue like "Old Souls" does absolutely nothing for me. It's emotionally void, mindnumbingly repetitive and, in the end, draws the score back (as does the obnoxious "Mombasa"). Having seen the film, I'm also not convinced that there's such a huge amount of unreleased Inception music that's radically different from what we got on the album; "Dream is Collapsing" was tracked into several scenes with little to no variation, if I recall correctly. Though it's been a while since I last saw Inception, so it's possible that I don't.
How to Train Your Dragon, on the other hand, has eight cues that I would rate five stars: "This is Berk", "Forbidden Friendship", "See You Tomorrow", "Test Drive", "Romantic Flight", "Battling the Green Death," "Where's Hiccup?" and "Coming Back Around". It also doesn't have any cues that I would call boring, though certain tracks like "The Vikings Have Their Tea" aren't essential. There's half a dozen different themes constantly interplaying and overlapping (contrasted with Inception's three, which never overlap), and the orchestra is handled extremely dynamically from muscular and menacing brass to vibrant flutes (Inception has a comparatively limited soundscape, which I realize is an artistic choice, but just doesn't work as well as me). Whether it's a kids' movie or not is entirely irrelevant; that doesn't change anything about this vibrant, varied, joyful and energetic masterpiece.
Not sure where you got the impression that I'm not "man enough" to watch Inception, by the way. I have, and like the score, I think it's overrated. Nolan came up with a brilliant concept, but he didn't take enough advantage of it. I'd have loved to see more creative scenes along the lines of Ariadne's building-folding or Arthur's rotating hallway fight. Instead, though, a lot of the action scenes are very unimaginative stuff. And I thought the twist ending was just a cheap way of making the movie look deeper than it really was IMO (I didn't actually find it THAT mind-bending or difficult to follow, despite being intriguing). It's a great thriller and makes you think more than about 95% of action movies, but still falls short of masterpiece to me.
How to Train Your Dragon isn't a masterpiece either, but it's a highly enjoyable movie, one of DreamWorks' best, and the score really elevates it, particularly during any flying scene or the entire "Forbidden Friendship" sequence. Then again, you seem predisposed to look down on "kids' movies", so I doubt you'd like it. ;)
Sorry about the long post...Just wanted to prove that I'm not a troll or mindless hater or anything. :)
Inception film: very good but could have been great, 4/5 Inception score: okay, has its moments, better in movie than on album, 3/5
How to Train Your Dragon film: very good but not Pixar-masterpiece-level, 4/5 How to Train Your Dragon score: Fan-frickin-tastic! Enthusiastic 5/5!
Thank you, Mr. Fate.
Inception is not overrated. No way. It never will be. It blows your mind. And the score...that's another thing. I think it's overlooked greatly. Key tracks are "Dream is Collapsing", "Mombassa", "Dream Within a Dream", "Waiting for a Train", "Paradox", "Time" and "Don't Think About Elephants". They are all fantastic.
Edmund Meinerts, I do have the OST of HTTYD, but haven't had the chance to listen to it. However, I do have "Forbidden Friendship" synced on my ipod, and I do really like it a lot. I have heard things about this score and that it is terrific. It makes me want to watch the film and give the score a good listen. It's just that Hans Zimmer is like....God of film music (IMO - others may say John Williams or John Barry, or someone of that rank). I just think he never gets his credit when it's deserved. He's been in the business for a while now. John Powell will get his chance to shine.
Ok, now - both of you:
How about being we are RCP fans, we put our differences between Inception and HTTYD aside and discuss why the F The Stupid Network won the Oscar?
Inception doesn't blow my mind. Neither film nor score. And to say that the score has been overlooked or that Hans Zimmer doesn't get the credit he deserves is just laughable...just look at the absolute mess the Inception site is in with all the fans putting up their self-made bootlegs. A real example of an overlooked Hans Zimmer score would be A League of Their Own. Or Cool Runnings. Or, a more recent example, Frost/Nixon. Nobody ever talks about those, and they're both miles beyond anything Zimmer has done in the last couple of years. IMO, he's really out of form lately. If Game of Shadows doesn't deliver...I don't know. I mean, I love the man's music, I really do, but lately it just seems like he's phoning it in, or letting his assistants do 90% of the work like on Pirates 4. You say Zimmer gets less credit than he deserves...well, I say he gets a lot more. He shouldn't be allowed to put his name on the album for On Stranger Tides if he's only one of about ten different contributors.
"Mombasa" is only fantastic if you've got too much Aspirin in the house and need a good headache to waste it on. A horrible loud mess of an action cue.
All that aside, Social Network is a real piece of crap. It's the kind of score where having no music at all would have had the exact same effect...and that won the Oscar over HTTYD? Well, the Academy has always been questionable when it comes to the Best Score award, so...I guess we shouldn't really be surprised. Ennio Morricone never won any Oscars, but Gustavo Santaolalla won two. Hah.
Whoops, I'm out! I was asleep when all these long posts were made. I'm too far behind to catch up. Although there are a few things I'd like to point out from earlier. The only reason you can put eight cues on your five-star list is because you have 24 tracks to choose from.
We, on the other hand, got a score with only twelve tracks (with two iTunes bonus tracks that are very much appreciated) to choose from. Inception's track count is only half that of HTTYD. In terms of actual length, HTTYD is roughly ten minutes longer, but its cues are also a lot shorter. Inception's tracks are arranged in suite form and barely any of them sound like how they do in the film.
8/24 means you'd give a third of the HTTYD score 5 stars. With Mr. Charles selection for Inception, 7/14, says that half of that score is worthy of five stars. It is perhaps largely a matter of what gets chosen to go on the OST. IMO, there are plenty of excellent cues that got left out.
Next, you are wrong to say that the Inception score only has 3 themes. Not that I've taken an in-depth look of it, but right off the bat, I can say there are seven clearly defined themes on the OST alone. The repetitiveness of the score is simply it's nature, and it is inaccurate to assume the same cues were used multiple times throughout the film.
Sure the same themes are used many times over, and sure they never grow or expand, but never is the same piece of music used twice. There are always differences, noticeable variations of each theme. Bottom line is: I guess you're not going to like the score if you don't like repetitive music. It's a style; I believe it's called minimalism. A great example of it is the works of Philip Glass.
The Social Network? That just seems like a movie that wouldn't need a score. It's a documentation about something that happened like less than ten years ago and is about normal everyday life. How could a score for a film like that win over the likes of, well, just about anything else? I have not seen the movie nor heard the soundtrack, but I did hear that the end of the movie sucks.
That's assuming that the seven tracks Charles named are actually five star worthy. Everybody's mileage is going to vary on this, but in my opinion, "Mombasa" barely earns two stars. Only "Dream is Collapsing" and "Time" are five star to me...
Yea, I've never been a huge fan of minimalism, which is probably why Inception is only a moderate success to me. I'll give Inception another listen today and see whether I was wrong about the themes...The ones I noticed are: the eight-chord theme best heard in "Time", the four-chord one in "Dream is Collapsing" and the mysterious one that gets repeated throughout "Old Souls". I decided not to count the BAAAWM BAAWM as a separate theme...if you could point out where the other four are that I missed, I'd be interested to hear where I missed them. :)
Seven themes--14 tracks. Roughly half of the tracks include defined themes, and I'll go in order.
"Half-Remembered Dream" has a couple themes rolled into one. It starts off with the "Time" theme (1) and then fades into what I call "The Central Theme"; those two notes that are taken from "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien" slowed down like 70%. I won't consider this a whole theme; perhaps motif is a more appropriate term?
The end of "Half-Remembered Dream" is a different variation of (1) and it fades into the beginning of "We Built Our Own World" which is the next theme (2). This theme always seems to play when Dom is remembering Mal, and is not greatly represented on the OST.
Next is an obvious one: the "Dream is Collapsing" theme, or the "Inception" theme as I sometimes think of it (3).
Radical Notion is an oddball track; I don't know what the majority of the track consists of but toward the end it shifts into Mal's theme (4). The full version of this theme can heard in "Old Souls" as well as the first part of "Waiting for a Train". It seems to be made up of two well-defined parts.
528491 is the climax version of Fischer's theme (5). This theme can also be found in the first half of "Paradox" only slower (this track is titled Fischer Adagio on Lorne Balfe's website). It plays many times in the film, each time with a higher level of excitement than the previous time (excluding the final usage).
Mombasa is just a theme all by itself (6). It is a suite, but portions of it get used twice in the film and there's also an alternate insert for a bit of unreleased music that uses it.
Last, there's "One Simple Idea" (7), which I always think of as the planning theme. This is the one that gets used the most, but they always find a way to alter it slightly so it is noticeably different each time it gets used (one usage 'inverts' the theme, another keeps the main arrangement but changes a couple of the notes).
Just kidding, there's one more theme: the second half of "Paradox" is the only place that Saito's theme appears (8).
Of the tracks I didn't cover: Dream Within a Dream starts off with a variation of the "Inception" theme (3), and the second half of the track is "Time" (1);
the second half of "Waiting for a Train" is like a combination of "Inception" (3) and Mal's theme (4);
"Projections" is a nice suite (and that's how it plays in the movie too) of something unknown followed by themes (4) and (7), and then something else unknown, ending with a variation of "Inception" (3);
and as far as I can tell, "Don't Think About Elephants" is just all hardcore action music although the "Inception" theme (3) may be mixed in there somewhere, and the film version of the track includes an insert with theme (4).
I'm sure there are more minor themes, or perhaps just recurring motifs that are either included or are missing from the OST--these are just the ones that are obvious to me.
I suppose it's hard to think of some of those as "themes" considering they only appear once on the OST. I've only seen the movie three times and I never paid that much attention to what themes were cropping up where, though, so I'll take your word for it that they do appear more than I thought. If that's the case, and a legit complete/expanded release ever crops up, then maybe I'll look at Inception in a new light.
Then again, it's more the soundscape than the themes that bothers me. Scores like the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean and King Arthur are all heroic energy and bombastic themes; Angels and Demons has this great choral/synth fusion; Sherlock Holmes has awesome specialty instruments. Compared to those, the hazy synthy sound of Inception just seems less interesting to me, even though it's very well done, unique and perfect for the movie. And I've never liked Mal's theme or Mombasa. So that's why Inception isn't my fav.
Thanks for taking the time to run through that, though. It definitely pointed a few things out to me that I didn't know before. :)
you people are so funny :)
The Last Airbender is the best score AD 2010
then HTTYD, Tron Legacy, Ghost Writer and Inception
For me the highlight of 2010 was clearly HTTYD. This is simply the best score John Powell has ever written! I wanted him to get one Oscar...
But i just checked imdb, John Powell is back for the new Paul Greengrass thriller, the new Doug Liman thriller, the new Pixar about Dinosaurs, the new Mad Max, the horror film "Carrie", and HTTYD 2 :)
Inception and Dragon were very strong scores, but we're overlooking Alexandre Desplat's work on The King's Speech entirely. A lot more subtle and less bombastic, but a beautifully crafter refined piece of work. My personal favourite of 2010.
King's Speech was okay, but felt very much in Desplat's dramatic comfort zone for me and I wouldn't have nominated it for an Oscar. "The Rehearsal" is a nice cue though.
My top 5 for 2010 are How to Train Your Dragon (Powell), Space Battleship Yamato (by Naoki Sato, a fantastic score that I'd never have found if it wasn't for Filmtracks' review), The Last Airbender (JNH), Tron Legacy (Daft Punk) and Alice in Wonderland (Elfman). Oh, and Oscar Araujo's epic Lord of the Rings-style score for the video game Castlevania: Lord of Shadows should get a mention too. Probably the best game score I've ever heard, actually!
I have to watch How To Train Your Dragon a lot - A LOT (two-year old in the house). The scene where Hiccup finally gets to make first contact with the dragon is just one of the most touching and awesome piece of composition I have ever experienced. From the first moment to the last one, when he finally gets to touch Toothless's nose, I am spellbound, no matter how many times I hear it. It is so beautiful, so perfectly in synch with everything happening on the screen, all those deep emotions. I choke up every time! What a great composer.
Anyone know the music played during the scene they showed during the Oscars for Best Animated Feature? It's when Hiccup reaches his arm out and touches the dragon.
I believe the piece you're looking for is called 'Forbidden Friendship'. That one is my favourite out of the whole movie, so powerful, emotional, and touching. It keeps building up to the end right until Hiccup bumps into Toothless (after stepping over the lines of Toothless' drawing) and that's when Hiccup touches Toothless.
Is the best score I've ever heard. Simply, for me is the chosen one in order to be the best Soundtrack of the world. Powell has been the best compositor this year and he deserved the Oscar but....the Academy were wrong The only score that I put 100/100!
I LOVE this music. Simply wonderful. I was so disappointed that he was not given the Oscar, this was very deserving. There is so much emotion in his music. The Social Network? really? Someone greased some palms perhaps?