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TOPIC: Philip Glass - Dracula

Philip Glass - Dracula 2 years, 8 months ago #100467

  • pelus
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Philip Glass wrote a music soundtrack for the 1931's film "Dracula" directed by Tod Browning. This is unusual since "Drácula" was a "talkie" but didn't have a proper music track. Also unusual because this a horror movie.

Glass performed the piece in public a few times in 1999 but critics where not thrilled and the DVD was dificult to find. So when I got de CD in my far away country I had no other choice than do my own editing to see what it was like. I did it suppressing most of the dialogue and the result was a beautiful music quartet accompanied with old fashioned black & white images. Years later I discovered that was not the original intention of its creators.

Doesn't matter, I prefer my own editing and I've done it again in HD with Lightworks.

I'll appreciate your comments.




Full article in my web.
Last Edit: 2 years, 8 months ago by pelus.

Re: Philip Glass - Dracula 2 years, 8 months ago #100470

  • donkpow
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I enjoyed the presentation very much. There is room in the production of cinema to raise the level of artistry with thoughtful and intelligent soundtracks.
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Re: Philip Glass - Dracula 2 years, 8 months ago #100522

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Very interesting - I also watched your other work on Vimeo - as one who considers too much Philip Glass is never enough (have seen Einstein on the Beach three times and want more is a bit of a clue) I am uncomfortable with the decision to cherry-pick the Glass score.

One either wants a Philip Glass score or not.

Your thinking about blending the film's version history is well thought through but perhaps the execution of the idea should not be at the expense of the Glass contribution? Not every moment of an Abramovic performance is absolutely compelling but without all of it depth is missing and the artist's credibility is diminished.
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Last Edit: 2 years, 8 months ago by RWAV.

Re: Philip Glass - Dracula 2 years, 8 months ago #100530

  • pelus
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Hello RWAV

I'm a bit perplexed by your comments.

I've edited the hole film (75 minutes) with the Philip Glass score for my own personal use. And, in my opinion, my editing gives much more presence to Philip Glass score than the one published by Paramount Pictures. As I said in the video 'Instead of using de music as a background for the film, I've used de film as a background for the music'. If anyone can feel despised in the editing that must be Bela Lugosi, Tod Browning and the producers of the film.

The only reason I 'cherry-pick' the Glass score is beacause I have no legal right to use it in public, or to upload the complete edition to Youtube. As a matter of fact, I've tried with this eleven minute's video and the music was detected by Youtube's algorithm and blocked.

I thought this was clear in the video but I guess I didn't explain myself properly.

Anyway, thank you for commenting my video, and also for checking my vimeo channel. Most of my edits are done with Lightworks.

Re: Philip Glass - Dracula 2 years, 8 months ago #100532

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I do not intend to offend. You asked for comments, I added mine. Please be aware not all invited comments are guaranteed to be 100% complimentary and mine are from the perspective of great admiration for Philip Glass and for the integrity of any artist's work.

Having listened to what you said in your posted video I do find your creative process of integrating the various iterations of the one filmed work very worthwhile if as yet not fully developed. As you find some 'nativity' in the content of the original film, I find the same in process of 'cherry-picking' another artist's work.

I look forward to further discussions with you.
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Re: Philip Glass - Dracula 2 years, 8 months ago #100534

  • pelus
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I'm not afraid of you disagreeing with my as much as I'm affraid of you misunderstanding my english. Remember english is not my native language.

I don't think I've used the word 'nativity' in my video. I've tried to use the word 'naivety'. I didn't wanted to go too deep into this but Tod Browning's film is primitive and 'naive'. Watching the film closely you see a lot of small but revealing details about the production. For instance, carton boards for clipping light in the set, armadillos inhabiting Dracula's castle in Romania, continuity goofs, etc... That's what I meant by primitive and naive.

Re: Philip Glass - Dracula 2 years, 8 months ago #100543

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I don't think I've used the word 'nativity' in my video. I've tried to use the word 'naivety'.
Love the spell-checker! Thanks for pointing it out.
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Re: Philip Glass - Dracula 2 years, 8 months ago #100548

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You're welcome.

Re: Philip Glass - Dracula 2 years, 8 months ago #100562

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I disagree with RWAV on the matter of appropriation of the Glass score to supplement the original video. I do not hold Glass in such reverence as to preclude me from enjoying his artistry with my own hands. I do agree with copyright protection laws. How better to appreciate the music and film than as an active participant?
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Re: Philip Glass - Dracula 2 years, 8 months ago #100566

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To expand on my comments, I'd like to share with you an issue that has created some degree of controversy with musicians, musicologists, music historian, and lay people. One of the most influential blues artists in history is Robert Johnson. Every kid with a guitar is influenced by the man's music and by "Every kid with a guitar" I mean the likes of Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, et al. The controversy centers around rerecording original recordings with speed and/or pitch shift to create what some believe is a more accurate, if not more pleasing, representation of his performances. The man is venerated and has been so for decades. The potential for better understanding would not be in place if the music were not available to those with ambitions toward that understanding.

You judge.

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Re: Philip Glass - Dracula 2 years, 8 months ago #100576

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Having worked on a number of projects where the brief to the composer has essentially been - a legal sound alike of a nominated piece of Philip Glass generally from one of the Qatsi trilogy scores - that's one approach.

To take a Glass score and the exact piece of film for which it was composed and to say, one can fit the music and visual content better than one of the important American composers/musicians/theatre/film/opera/concert practitioners of the last century is another approach.
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Re: Philip Glass - Dracula 2 years, 8 months ago #100581

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The OP clearly states the exercise was performed purely for personal gratification. It's silly to equate was has been performed in this situation to some thinly veiled plagiarism of the movie machine.

I get it, you respect the artistry of Philip Glass. I take it that respect does not extend to Bram Stoker? Because I certainly don't see comments critical of film producers.
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Re: Philip Glass - Dracula 2 years, 8 months ago #100590

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I take it that respect does not extend to Bram Stoker?
It's a transition to a new medium in much the same way as the Glass score is a new work and in any case I'd suppose the producers would have obtained film rights to the literary work and would have complied with any directions included with those rights.

It is my stated view that the OP has a bunch of really good ideas with a really bad one thrown into the pot, had he picked any other Glass work to enjoy in the privacy of his own space I would have not have seen it as much different to an Ad Agency wanting the sound of Glass without the shattering price.
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Re: Philip Glass - Dracula 2 years, 8 months ago #100591

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The exception rules to US copyright law create a huge grey area. Most of the decisions related to permission and denial have to do with the impact of the alleged violation. In other words, desecrating a protected product is not necessarily a violation of the law. If the desecration reduced income potential of the owner(s), there would likely be a decision to disallow the claim for the exception rule. A simple "I like it this way" is not sufficient justification for claiming protection under the exception rules.
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Re: Philip Glass - Dracula 2 years, 8 months ago #100599

  • pelus
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I just want to make clear I didn’t do my own edit of the film "Dracula" to avoid the copyright fees. I did it just because this is such a rare production I was unable to see a live performance in my own country. And I was also unable to get a DVD including a version 'approved' by the composer himself.

There is a Legacy DVD published by Paramount Pictures (you can see the case in the video) with the Philip Glass score hidden in the 6th track. This DVD was not mainstream and I've found it years later among the discounted merchandise of a department store. So I've paid the CD first, and the DVD some years later.

The problems I tried to solve with my editing where two:

- For years, I've been unable to find a proper editing of this film WITH the Philip Glass music score. I only had a 'blind' CD.

- When I've found it, it was a coarse mix of the music with the dialogue. I don't even think Philip Glass himself has 'approved' this mix. Probably some anonymous editor at Paramount Pictures was commissioned with the task.

Anyway, as I said in the video, I've found it overwhelming and exhausting. I did my own editing as described for my own use and following my own taste. You can say it's a 'fan edit' as the likes of "Star Wars" populating the internet.

And, by the way, I'm also a fan of Philip Glass and I thought my edit was highlighting one of his most overlooked creations.
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