Decca Records (2001)
This second album of tracks from „Gladiator“ features some of Lisa’s and my experiments, ideas and long-forgotten first attempts at finding a way into Maximus’ world.
The first track, „Duduk of the North“, was, with the „Gladiator Waltz“, really the first thing I came up with for the film. I never wanted the score to sound like a musical anthropology or archaeology – I was looking for ways of placing the music in its own imaginary ancient world and letting it echo into our times.
I had always wanted to write for the duduk, an ancient Armenian instrument with its beautifully lonely and wistful tone. And I had wanted to write for Djivan Gasparyan, the great duduk virtuoso, who plays with an ancient and noble poetry, each of his notes telling us a story from a time now foreign to us, from a time that feels mythic and raw and full of soul and dignity. Of course there was a slight problem with the whole idea, in so far that Djivan lives in Armenia which is nowhere near Los Angeles where I was writing the score, and everybody was very happy in pointing this out to me, plus the fact that he was probably unwilling to come here. He speaks no English so I couldn’t even ask him. But I’m stubborn, and I just kept on writing my notes – a bit of the „if you build it, he will come“ principle. And sure enough, one day I got a call from fellow composer Michael Brook saying that Djivan would be rehearsing in L.A. with him for a tour they were doing together. I had Djivan at our studio every moment he wasn’t rehearsing with Michael. He still didn’t speak any English, but he makes his own vodka back in Armenia, and you know – if you drink far enough down the bottle, a picture of his face is revealed on the verso of its label, and if you get that far you might as well finish, and suddenly it doesn’t seem to matter anymore that we can’t speak each other’s language.
The end of this track is my attempt at writing something Spanish (Maximus is referred to as „The Spaniard“, of course), but all that has survived from this is the chord-sequence and one tiny guitar phrase. It actually took me a long time to write this track, and it lived in the movie for quite a while before we chucked it out. But that is part of the process – you write something and all it ends up being is something that informs you about the direction you need to head in. Or not to head in. But I’m still fond of it, even though the end never got past the development stage of Spanish clichés.
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Additional Music by
Score Recorded and Mixed by
Additional Recording by
Music Production Supervisor:
Music Production Services Provided by Media Ventures, Santa Monica, CA
Score Recorded at Air Studios Lyndhurst, London
London Music Coordinator:
Assistant to Lisa Gerrard:
Executive in Charge of Music for Dreamworks Pictures:
Chairman, Universal Classics Group:
Hans and Lisa Wish to Thank: