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Subject: 2001 (Was: guru's of electronic music )

From: "Tkacs, Ken" <ken.tkacs@...>
Date: 2000-04-15

Ken here, on hand with your Sci-Fi Soundtrack Trivia Hour.

There are actually two albums of unused 2001 music that are of interest.

I think the one you are refering to is "Alex North's 2001" conducted by
Jerry Goldsmith. That came out relatively recently (5 years ago?). Kubrick
pulled on North exactly the same stunt he did next on Wendy Carlos with
"Clockwork Orange," and again in a ∗real∗ bad way with "The Shining."

North composed music for the first half of the film and was led to believe
that there would be none for the second half. He actually didn't find out
that his score was 100% trashed until he saw 2001 in a theater a month after
it was released, and he was devastated, actually died shortly thereafter an
unhappy man. He had played a cassette of a rehearsal for Goldsmith at the
time, who thought it was great, so decades later, JG got permission from
North's wife to record his score.

(Frankly, while I sympathize fully with North, and am glad to have a
recording of this fine music, the liner notes' assertion that 2001 would
have been better with North's score and not the 'cheesy needle-dropping' is
ludicrous. For my money, 2001 as it is comes about as close to perfection in
cinema as I'm ever likey to experience in my lifetime. Seeing it when I was
10 years old was a truly religious experience, and kick-started my love for
classical and avant-garde orchestral music...and sci-fi soundtracks...)

North's 2001 has a "Sixties idea of space music" quality that reminds you of
World's Fairs of the time, but it is actually quite good! It was composed
late enough in post production that it synchronizes well to the film---in
fact, since there's no dialog in the first half of 2001, I've always wanted
to throw the laserdisc into Adobe Premier and synch 'em up and see what 2001
∗would∗ have been like.

As he usually does, Kubrick hired a talented artist, forced him to write
something that conforms almost beat-for-beat to his temp track (you should
hear North's Main Title---it's the "Also Sprach Zarathustra"'s
a mindbender to listen to it!), then rudely dismisses the artist and
needle-drops the score anyway. He once commented that he has the world's
finest compositions on vinyl, why should he pay these bozos to write
second-class stuff? Real nice man. He treated composers the way Hitchcock
treated actors.

Carlos once commented that she wrote six hours of her "best stuff" for "The
Shining," Kubrick used the two tracks she hated the most (she actually did
the opening title out of spite and Kubrick liked it!), and then he forbade
her to ever release the rest of it. I'm hoping that now he's gone, she can
go wrestle the rights from Kubrick's estate.

Oh, yeah: the other 2001 music was a pre-release album that I would love to
have---a friend's father had it, so I heard it about 28 years ago. Side one
was music ostensibly composed for 2001 by Morton Subotnick, but my memory
fails and it might have been something else by him, like bits of "Silver
Apples" or something. It may even have been orchestral "Also Sprach..." etc.
with Subotnick making sounds between the tracks, I'm really drawing a blank
on it right now. Getting old.

Side two was a suite of the best excerpts of the space Opera ANIARA by
Karl-Birger Blohmdahl, without singing, just orchestral and the three
musique concrete "Mima Tape" sequences. It was hearing that on this
particular album that sent me on a decades-long quest to find Aniara (see my
review of the book on Amazon if interested).

-----Original Message-----
From: jwbarlow@...
Sent: 04/15/2000 3:14 PM
Subject: Re: [motm] new CD; OHM - The guru's of electronic music

I didn't follow this. Is the title of the CD, "The gurus of Electronic
? It sounds like it might be a nice overview of EM.

I wanted to ask the soundtrack people (Ken?) if they recommend the
(unused) score for Kubrick's "2001", I'd forgotten that it was recorded
released a few years ago until I stumbled over it in the CD store the


In a message dated 4/15/2000 6:46:50 AM, evening@... writes:

>I just picked up this 3 CD set from Ellipsis Arts. It's a very nice
>w/ a large, informative book. Music from 1940 -1982, Clara Rockmore to
>A few unreleased items as well. Check it out...

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