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Raiders of the Lost Ark
 
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Raiders of the Lost Ark

THE SOUNDTRACK


Comments from Steven Spielberg and John Williams


NOT TOO LONG AGO IN A COUNTRY NOT SO far away, adventurer archeologist, Indiana Jones, embarked on a historically significant search for the Lost Ark of the Covenant. Joining him on this supernatural treasure hunt was the London Symphony Orchestra under the baton of composer John Williams. Were it not for many crucial bursts of dramatic symphonic accompaniment, Indiana Jones would surely have perished in a forbidding temple in South America or in the oppressive silence of the great Sahara desert.

Nevertheless, Jones did not perish but listened carefully to the Raiders score. It's slicing strings told him when to duck. It's several integrated themes told adventurer Jones when to kiss the heroine or smash the enemy. All things considered, Jones listened... and lived. John Williams saves yet another life and gives our picture, Raiders of the Lost Ark, a new, refreshing life of its own. Thanks, John.

- Steven Spielberg, April 1981 -


John Williams John Williams & George Lucas John Williams

"A piece like that is deceptively simple to try to find the few right notes that will make a right leitmotivic identification for a character like Indiana Jones. I remember working on that thing for days and days, changing notes, changing this, inverting that, trying to get something that seemed to me to be just right. I can't speak for my colleagues but for me things which appear to be very simple are not at all, they're only simple after the fact. The manufacture of these things which seem inevitable is a process that can be laborious and difficult"

- John Williams on the Raiders March


"MY GREATEST JOY IS ALWAYS THE FIRST DAY OF THE recording session. All of the brain busting, back-straining labor of writing the music is behind one and all of the difficulties of dubbing and assimilation of the score to the soundtrack has yet to happen and is ahead of you. There's a moment of exhileration and pure pleasure in just performing the music and hearing the orchestra play it. That's the high point I think for most composers"

- John Williams on conducting


"WE CAN'T ANTICIPATE SUCCESS IN THE THINGS THAT WE DO. You may write a sentence that will become chiseled in marble on someone's library, but you don't know that when you write it. And that's usually not the best motivation behind that kind of creative activity anyway. I think it's fantastic and fun and adventurous, that gives us our best time, and very often will give us our best result also. These films, and the STAR WARS films, all of us working on those just regard them as something that would be fun for kids to see on Saturday morning and none of us, including George Lucas himself, ever had any anticipation that they would become as successful as they have become. I think that's after the fact, and if any of us could predict what ingredients or what series of mental attitudes could be strung together to create that kind of success, if we could do it on order, we'd all be multi-billionaires. But you can't. It's more elusive and more subtle, and as a consequence more interesting and even more fun"

- John Williams on success -


"I DO THINK THAT ONE CAN ACKNOWLEDGE a tradtion that exists certainly in film... in silent movies and action movies and serial movies later... that had music of some kind. All of the comedy and the melodrama that came out of popular entertainment, of vaudevile and peripherally I suppose opera, created a tradition that still is alive in things like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and Hollywood. Wether one studies these things or not as part of the fabric of our entertainment culture and the Hollywood film medium in particulary, they've become part of our musical heritage in the aggregate of all of the experiences that we've had over a hundred years now."

- John Williams on the Hollywod Tradition -


"WE HAD A WONDERFUL TIME doing this; we recorded the film in London, Steven was there with George Lucas, Kathy Kennedy and Frank Marshall and I must say I had a lot of fun with it. It wa a very pleasant working period. It was moment almost of relevation about Harrison Ford, because we had been through STAR WARS with him, and he came out in this as someone who created a memorable American film character on a sort of Bogart level, something that really found its way into the cultural fabric of what we've got. I think that was pretty clear right away and that was thrilling to see, because we liked Harrison and I think everybody still does. It's great to see a movie actor create something like that, it doesn't happen very often and we should celebrate it when it does. So I felt pivileged to be around, to be part of the music when it was all happening"

- John Williams on Indiana Jones -


"I ALWAYS APPROACH THOSE things particularly with Steven in sort of balletic terms. I look at it as a kind of musical number that has a beginning, a middle and an end, and try to calculate a series of tempos, and a series of changing tempos. I will try to design it almost in the same way as you would a balletic number, which may contribute certain aspects of fun and adventurousness in this Harrison Ford character. The music may sound serious but it's not really, it's more theatrically conceived and hopefully always has an aspect of fun or even camp about it."

- John Williams on the Desert Chase -



Tracklisting Original Soundtrack 1981


01. Raiders of the Lost Ark
02. Flight From Peru
03. The Map Room: Dawn
04. The Basket Game
05. The Well of the Souls
06. Desert Chase
07. Marion`s Theme
08. The Miracle of the Ark
09. The Raiders March
 
Length: 41:58 min


Tracklisting Re-release 1995


01. The Raiders March (2:50)
02. Main Title: South America 1936 (4:10)
03. In the Idol`s Temple
04. Flight from Peru (2:20)
05. Journey to Nepal ( 2:11)
06. The Medallion (2:55)
07. To Cairo (1:22)
08. The Basket Game ( 5:04)
09. The Map Room: Dawn (3:52)
10. Reunion and The Dig Begins (4:10)
11. The Well of the Souls (5:23)
12. Airplane Fight (4:37)
13. Desert Chase (8:15)
14. Marion`s Theme (2:08)
15. The German Sub/ To the Nazi Hideout (4:32)
16. Ark Trek (1:33)
17. The Miracle of the Ark (6:05)
18. The Warehouse (0:56)
19. End Credits (5:20)
 
Length: ca.73:32 min

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