Incredible Soundtrack #10: Jurassic Park (Williams)

The music attached to a film creates the environment, I believe, moreso than the literal environment depicted through the visuals…
Anyone who has followed this site for any period of time will be well aware of my obsession with Jurassic Park. So it seems that it would be better to get the Incredible Soundtrack out the way sooner than later. Suffice to say that Jurassic Park was a soundtrack that, had it been easier to find, I would have hunted down a long time ago. Instead, I had to wait for the innovation that was Ebay to prompt me to hunt it down. I vividly recall having a difficult time finding the CD at any kind of reasonable price prior to this – as I simply wasn’t prepared to spend over £10 on the CD. Luckily, Ebay provided the option for a very fair price.

This is one of those soundtracks whereby John Williams manages to have multiple melodies complemented by two – maybe three? – overarching themes that, on their own, stand high amongst William’s greatest themes. I recall good-friend Rhys explain how the Jurassic Park  soundtrack was the last epic John Williams score. I think back to the films since 1993 – Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can, etc – and he may have a point. As good as those soundtracks are, they are not as iconic as Jurassic Park. Having said that, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone was John Williams and, I think we can all hum ‘Hedwig’s Theme’ to our hearts content.

4. Journey to the Island What is so impressive about this song is the wide and varied different melodies John Willaim’s composed. We jump from an almost child-like excitement as the song begins to then move into the horn blasting out the definitive theme. Even following the main theme, we move into a lesser known melody that combines a little of the theme with a sprightly bounce that, again, recalls childhood wonder. And, then onto the fourth ‘melody’ as the fear begins to creep in and then evaporates as the brachiosaur is seen. The second iconic theme before returning to a more formal march, descending in the fear about what this could mean… Its a long track [And that was a long companion piece of writing!], but even without owning the soundtrack I could virtually hum this entire part of the sountrack because it always filled me with excitment as I ‘entered’ Jurassic Park.

8. My Friend, the Brachiosaur – The deeply unsettling beginning introduces one of the more romantic melodies in the film. The melody captures Alan Grants wonder and complete amazment at the dinosaurs. The same sequence shows Tim and Lex look, with wonder, at how fascinated he is with the brachiosaur. But again, the theme ends with the conflict between what is amazing and wonderful … and what is dangerous and life-threatening. Beauty and Fear. It recalls Close Encounters of the Third Kind a little bit, but then, playfully, includes that childhood element again. What is stunning about this soundtrack is how clear Williams intentions are!

7. Welcome to Jurassic Park – The piano-riff begins the most memorable track as we begin from innocence and, almost fairy-tale-like, theme, it then builds into every other iconic theme from the incredible film: Jurassic Park.

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2 comments

  1. Thanks Tom – I really enjoy trying to discuss music because, you'll be suprised, it makes you realise that it is difficult to describe sounds and emotions in line with music. All that music vocab from my school days – crescendo … accapella … soprano … hopefully will come in use soon enough.

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