Greetings! ScoreKeeper here making my way to the front of the class in preparation for my latest book report presentation. Film music is not exactly a hot topic for book publishers so fans, enthusiasts and scholars don't often have the luxury of choosing between a host of varying titles in which to indulge. The publications we are fortunate enough to obtain can be fascinating treasures shedding light on the craft and industry of film music in unique ways.
One particular industry-related topic which often gets swept under the rug or buried deep in the bottom of inconvenient closets is the rejected film score. A rejected score is a score which has been composed for a film only to have the entire work "thrown away" by the filmmakers and a new composer hired to compose a replacement from scratch. How often does this happen? Perhaps more than you realize.
The rejected score is not a topic that composers who have experienced it like to talk about. Aside from picking at the scabs of heartbreak, there are often legal entanglements which lawfully oblige a composer to keep mum on the details of the situation in question. Many of these torrid tales are left to conjecture churned out by gossiping rumor mills of film music fandom; however, the rejected score is a fascinating topic. Not only do they lend themselves to juicy "soap-opera-esque" stories of betrayal but they also provide a fascinating "what-if" scenario that cinema aficionados can't help but ponder.
What if Stanley Kubrick had used Alex North's rejected score for 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)? What if Alfred Hitchcock had never stained his relationship with Bernard Herrmann by throwing his score for TORN CURTAIN (1966) into the trash? What if Gabriel Yared's year long effort composing the music for TROY (2004) wasn't tossed out and replaced by James Horner in a mere two weeks?
TORN MUSIC: REJECTED FILM SCORES, A SELECTED HISTORY by Gergely Hubai has accepted the Herculean task of chronicling a selected history of more than three hundred individual films whose original scores were rejected and replaced by another composer. Having done his due diligence, Hubai's well-scripted words have turned rumors, urban legends and industry myths into historical fact by relying upon the testimony of the folks involved in the rejection in question.
Did you know that Patrick Moraz (keyboardist of the band Yes) originally composed a score for PREDATOR (1987) before Alan Silvestri was hired to replace it? Did you know that David Arnold wrote about five minutes of music for CUTTHROAT ISLAND (1995) before being fired and replaced by John Debney? Do you think you know the whole story behind Howard Shore's replacement on KING KONG (2005) by James Newton Howard?
This book confronts and answers these questions and hundreds more just like it.
TORN MUSIC has no rival. It is as unique to this industry as it is fascinating. Hubai delicately and diplomatically lifts the rug of Hollywood and examines nearly a century's worth of dust-ridden scores swept there in hopes they would be forgotten. While a handful of these discarded scores have throughout the years been released to the public on various labels, the overwhelming majority of these titles remain unheard and neglected.
Let's face it. Not every rejected score deserved its ultimate demise but perhaps a few of them did. While many will forever remain unheard by public ears, Hubai has at least brought a very unique spotlight to a host of these titles and composers who continued their careers bearing the heartache of having one of their "babies" rejected.
This book was published by Silman-James Press and is slated for publication in May 2012. I highly recommend it to every casual or ardent film music connoisseur who has ever pondered the classic "what if" questions that rejected scores inspire.
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