Music And Sound
TITAN A.E. also breaks new ground in motion picture music and sound. Instead of traditional animated film music, in which an orchestral underscore is closely related to pop songs by a specific artist, TITAN A.E. features cutting-edge rock music from today's hottest bands.
The opportunity to work with these bands, plus TITAN A.E.'s unique visual style, drew Grammy-winning music producer Glen Ballard to the project. "The work that the animation team did in creating new environments in space, and their work with colors and 3-D, was visually stimulating to me," says Ballard, who is the film's music supervisor. "TITAN A.E. was an opportunity to marry exciting music against visuals that people haven't seen before."
Ballard lined up the following bands for the TITAN A.E. soundtrack: Lit ("Over My Head"), Powerman 5000 ("The End is Over"), Electrasy ("Cosmic Castaway"),
Wailing Souls ("Renegade Survivor"), Bliss ("Not Quite Paradise"), Jamiroquai ("Everybody's Going to the Moon"), Fun Lovin' Criminals ("Everything Under the Stars"), Splashdown ("Karma Slave"), The Urge ("It's My Turn to Fly"), Luscious Jackson ("Down To Earth") and Texas ("Like Lovers (Holding On"). Each song references a specific character, emotion or action in the film. For example, Lit's "Over My Head," which has what Ballard calls an "irreverence that is truly in the spirit of what rock music is," reflects Cale's rebelliousness. "He's a disenfranchised kid," says Ballard, ''a space refugee who's become a second—class
In the Wake Angels scene, The Urge's "It's My Turn to Fly," lends a different emotion. Cale, who has begun to show cracks in his tough exterior, clearly enjoys being "at the wheel" of the Valkyrie for the first time. The song helps create a scene of excitement, even joy.
Ballard worked closely with Graeme Revell, who composed the TITAN A.E. score, as well as music for many other major genre films. "Graeme is one of the few film composers who has a real understanding of rock music," Ballard notes.
Revell wanted his music to be closely related to the songs Ballard had chosen, as well as to the film's story. To lend the desired edge to his music, Revell provides an undercurrent of electronic music to the orchestral score. "That makes it feel a little more related to the songs and the subject matter," he says. "It was almost like writing two scores at the same time.''
Revell used his knowledge of world music to provide musical sounds that, like the visuals, will be new to many moviegoers. The musical theme of the Drej is provided by Tuvan chanters, a group of people in Outer Mongolia who stress their vocal cords to get, at the same time, an extremely deep and high-pitched resonant tone. Akima's signature music is from a pop singer trained in Indian singing, Gune has a kind of New Age theme, and Stith and Preed's themes have lighter ideas.
The music's principal thematic approach follows Cale's story, which goes from innocence to coming of age. Instead of writing three separate themes, Revell brought them together to provide a music throughline for the character.
To enhance the film's soundtrack, Revell collaborated closely with re-recording mixer Christopher Boyes. "Often in animation the sound effects play second fiddle to the music," Revell observes. "But since we wanted this to be more like a live action film, Christopher and I chose points where the sound effects would be really big and the music would drop down."
The ice crystals scene points to their complementary work. Boyes designed powerful but natural sounds of huge pieces of ice floating in space (created from straining pieces of metal in "dry" snow from the Sierra Nevadas). He then used a variety of strange ice strains, and cracking and collision so
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