Vespasiano

The John Galt Theme

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Here is the "John Galt Theme" from the upcoming film of Altas Shrugged (Part 1) composed by Elia Cmiral.

What do you think?

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If the mood it wants to project is a peaceful one, it does that very well. As action music, it doesn't serve well. One would really have to see the context. Is it of a man contemplating, or confronting - that is the question.

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Terrible. I would have much preferred something like part II of Strauss' Alpensinfonie (the sunrise). This is nothing like my image of John Galt. How can this play when he shows Dagny the Gulch? Or when he shows another hero that there is an alternative?

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It's not a great piece of music. I don't like the tone - it's pretty and light. But, maybe it works in context.

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Pedestrian, mediocre, bland, depressing at times. I thought it was stock music that was just thrown over the trailer to make a slide show. Is this really going to be in the movie?

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For years, I've thought that Richard Rodgers' score "Victory at Sea" has PERFECT "Atlas Shrugged" themes:

"Guadalcanal March" = Francisco's theme

"D-Day" = John Galt's theme

"Victory at Sea" (starting at 1:33) = Dagny's theme

"Theme of the Fast Carriers" (starting 1 minute in, climax starts at 3:18) = Hank Rearden's theme

"Song of the High Seas" (starting at 1:46) = theme of the destruction of the world -- with John Galt's summons to Ragnar and Francisco going out in Morse code

"The Pacific Boils Over" (starting at 2 min) = legend: John Galt sailing his yacht in the worst storm ever wreaked against the world

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My thoughts on this are: while it certainly isn't offensive (as JordanZ points out -- it's "pretty"), it doesn't invoke images of John Galt at least not in my mind. It seems rather superfluous. I will be intrested to discover where this particular theme enters and how it is sewn into the fabric of the story.

My only concern is that someone thinks this is suitable as a foundation for the Halley concerto in some way, which it most decidedly is not: there is nothing of the heroic about it, let alone any of the grandeur and sweep of the story at hand.

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The music is mediocre, banal, anesthetic. In other words: the summary of the aesthetic treatment of history's greatest novel in this movie.

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My only concern is that someone thinks this is suitable as a foundation for the Halley concerto in some way, which it most decidedly is not: there is nothing of the heroic about it, let alone any of the grandeur and sweep of the story at hand.

For me, Haley's fifth concerto was always going to be about joy and energy, and the hope of a very bright future indeed. Ravel's two handed concerto, whilst perhaps a bit too "playful" compared to Ayn Rand's favourites by Rachmaninov, fits the bill nicely:

Reflective music... how about Cliburn playing the second movement of Tchaikovsky 1? I particularly like how the reflective mood is not simply let to die off into the depths of the auditorium like a wasted thought, but allowed to bloom into action.

This was also the case with Beethoven's fourth concerto, which has a bit of a darker tone better suited to Ragnar. Perhaps the State is a bit too heroic, but in some ways, one could see it as Dagny's piano under attack from Washington's orchestra, feeling despair filling her soul at the idea of dying in the line of fire (i.e. running TC until the State finally runs it to the ground, never giving up) until liberation arrives in the 3rd movement's Gulch. The State's Orchestra is replaced by the warm, welcoming, energetic voices of the Gulch inhabitants. And doesn't Grimaud's classic, impeccably structured and yet so natural beauty evoke a Dagny?

(from 1:54)

My favourite characters in Atlas Shrugged, or at least those I can most relate to, are Midas and Ragnar. Both had this intense sense of justice and fairness (the one based on the respect of individuals and their rights) to them. Both preferred staying in the shade and getting stuff done, although Ragnar was a bit more physical. Both dealt directly with the allocation of capital, one efficiently lending it where it was best used, the other taking it to those that had appropriated it by unfair use of force to return it to more deserving forces. This, I imagine, would be what Ragnar's attack would sound like, like an unstoppable steamroller steadily advancing against the enemy, not slowing once to concede ground:

Whilst the harmony of the Midas-based Gulch economy blooming into civilization is:

Note how not one note is spared in the Brahms. The initial entrepreneurs, carefully but boldly treading forward with their limited means and capital, playing together in the perfect harmony of unregulated trading, create a world.

Finally, this is the music I imagine would accompany any new entrant to the Gulch as he or she discovers the wonders of the free world for the first time:

It certainly was playing in my head as I stepped off LX023 in JFK on a crisp October morning.

As Dagny should have said the first time she stepped inside, "I'll be back".

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I actually got the feeling that, if they use this in the movie, it will be more of a theme for the motor, or maybe something else that resembles relief. I can see Dagny looking into John Galt's eyes for the first time, and feeling that sense of relief and wonder.

Of course, keep in mind, for the first movie, Galt is just a concept and a mystery. Try putting the music in terms of "Who is John Galt?"

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Absent the context of it's placement in the film, it's impossible to tell what it's intended for or how appropriate/effective it is. It doesn't stand alone well, but that's not a strike against it because like the vast majority of soundtrack music it's almost certainly not intended to stand alone.

Regarding others' comments on their own ideas of what existing music meets their own impressions of Atlas, my own Halley's Fifth is still Glider Pt. 1 from the soundtrack to the 1999 remake of The Thomas Crown Affair. It's not a full concerto, but it perfectly fits Ayn Rand's description of the Halley composition. As I've said before elsewhere on this forum, I want my whole life to feel like that piece sounds.

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Regarding others' comments on their own ideas of what existing music meets their own impressions of Atlas, my own Halley's Fifth is still Glider Pt. 1 from the soundtrack to the 1999 remake of The Thomas Crown Affair. It's not a full concerto, but it perfectly fits Ayn Rand's description of the Halley composition. As I've said before elsewhere on this forum, I want my whole life to feel like that piece sounds.

I found a YouTube link where you can

.

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That's much closer indeed, though it feels a bit too contemporary as compared with my vision of Halley's Fifth.

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That's much closer indeed, though it feels a bit too contemporary as compared with my vision of Halley's Fifth.

I enjoy comparing choices for things like that. There's always something to be gained from another possibility.

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