Rejection Notes: The Movie Scores That Never Were

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The movie world has a hidden story of musical carnage! Ever since the film score became an essential part of the film making process there have been countless musical casualties. Scores by legendary composers as varied as Elmer Bernstein, Bernard Hermann, Jerry Goldsmith and William Walton have been abandoned. Directorial disagreements, studio interference, artistic crises and other, even more unlikely, factors have led to hundreds of scores never hearing the light of day.

Take just two films only a year apart: Kubrick's legendary 2001: A Space Odyssey seems impossible now without its Strauss and Ligeti but it had a full score by the brilliant Alex North already composed for it. In 1969 Britain's finest, William Walton, scored The Battle of Britain only to find himself replaced by the more hummable Ron Goodwin. He never forgot the slight.

Some scores get unlikely resurrections; original sessions kept by canny recordists can resurface as was the case with both The Battle of Britain and 2001 but some remain forever silent. It is practically a rite of passage for all film composers to find themselves both replaced and replacing another, often at incredibly short notice. Christopher Cook hears from acclaimed composer Howard Blake who has been subjected to both experiences. Rare archive interviews with 2001 editor Ray Lovejoy and Terry Rawlings of Alien and Legend explain how the temp track can ruin a relationship.

Producer Mark Burman.
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