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Finding Tenmon: Exploring the Music to the Anime
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Ekusun Tsukinoe

Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 415

Location: Louisiana

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 7:25 pm    Post subject: Finding Tenmon: Exploring the Music to the Anime  Reply with quote

(This is an on-going essay, but I thought I'd share what I have so far. Let me know what everybody thinks, good or bad.)

Finding Tenmon: Exploring the Music to the Anime of Makoto Shinkai (PART 1)

It must have been curiosity and not some stray neutrino that finally did in Schroedinger's cat, given that all efforts to lift the lid on the composer Tenmon's personal life have proven just as regrettable if not more so than any quantum experiment. Though assuredly no intention of harming either human or feline was contemplated, our interest itself did feel a certain stinging sensation at finding so little "life" left in the box. Initially, we were scratching our heads over his official though mostly-encrypted web-site; but then, taking a pass at Wikipedia, we gathered that his real name is Atsushi Shirakawa and that he was working in the video game industry in Japan before meeting Makoto Shinkai and beginning a collaboration with the animator that led to the production of several renowned projects. Filled with new hope, we then sought out Mr. Tenmon's Myspace page, only to discover there that all that might have been had already been swept away leaving just this scrap of a thought lodged in a corner: "There are certain moments where some people should just be left unknown." Graciously though sadly, we logged-off.

In the end, we are left with little to speak of the person of Mr. Tenmon; so we now turn to addressing the music of Mr. Tenmon, particularly that which he composed for the aforementioned Mr. Shinkai's anime productions. This action seems best, since after our fruitless perusal of cyberspace we now feel that there need be no clearer window opened upon the artist's soul than that of his work.

Our first hearing of said work reveals a certain fondness in the composer for the solitary voice of the piano, along with a preference for using the simple formula of the popular song. Likewise, Mr. Tenmon's melodies often consist of one-bar motives strung together into repetitive patterns with only the chord changes providing the necessary forward momentum. Such idiosyncrasies are not unlike those of early 19th-century European composers who turned away from catering to the aristocratic taste for refined sonatas and sought instead to tinker with folksy waltzes and songs-without-words that better evoked the sensibilities of an emerging middle-class seeking solace during the drive toward industrialism. It is this same faithfulness to simplistic design that makes Mr. Tenmon's music a perfect match for the animation style of Mr. Shinkai, which shines its own unique light upon those lonely fast-paced lives that are trying so desperately to hold on during the new millennium's plunge into technology. Whether played in context with a scene or as transition between scenes, these simple compositions move in unison with the animation like a single bird within a migratory flock. Even the occasional absence of music can shadow our thoughts like the missing strand in a spider's web. Now, let us zoom in and examine more closely the ties that bind.

Only about 2 out of the 5 minutes in which this anime runs is given to Mr. Tenmon's music. However, frugality does not always equal want; there is a definite measured pace at which Mr. Shinkai wishes to utilize the material provided to him.

1. Introduction
It is Spring and raining. There is no music here, perhaps to draw our attention to the sounds of the falling rain and ringing phone, both of which are seen pressing upon She's feelings of withdrawal.

2. Her Days
The appearance of the on-screen title cues the first music, a technique that will become standard for Mr. Shinkai's later works. Here we'll label this piece Theme A. Played on harp in A-flat major, its melody starts high then moves downward before settling on a repeated A-flat supported by chord changes to the end of the phrase. But this is only the first half of the theme, sharing as it does She's time spent with Chobi the cat; it is cut off at the point where She is getting ready for work in the morning, leaving the last portion of the scene without music.

3. His Days
It is Summer now and hot. Again, no music is heard, but perhaps an indication that nothing is allowed to stir in the heat except the breeze in the grass while Chobi and Mimi remain perched contentedly on a bench.

4. Her Loneliness
The scene is Autumn and the continued absence of music hints at something foreboding. We first see She holding the phone's receiver to her ear, then the receiver hung-up and held in place by She's hands. As the screen goes dark, we hear the phone and chair hit the floor with a disturbing sound; then, Theme B enters. Only 7 bars long and played to scene's end, its alternating chordal pattern is repeatedly hammered on the piano in E minor, a key far removed from the warmth of Theme A's A-flat major. The chords are made up of intervals of fifths only, the absence of the intervening thirds leaving a sense of emptiness to the sound, perfectly sympathetic with She's emotional breakdown.

5. She and Her Cat
Theme A begins anew with the switching on of the overhead lamp. It is Winter and the start of a new day. We now hear the full composition, slightly edited for timing purposes, with its final bars slowly lifting the melody upward toward that resolution expressed in the closing line, "This world, I think we like it."

(Afterword to "She and Her Cat")
There were two more versions made of this anime: a minute-and-a-half "digest" version in which, after the introduction, Theme A is played in full to the end; and a 3-minute version having a musical treatment similar to that of the full version, except that, instead of Theme A being cued by the title's appearance, a new soft jazzy theme in C major enters on piano for 11 bars before being abruptly cut-off by the sound of the phone's disconnecting.

Out of the approximately 25 minutes this feature lasts, more than half of the soundtrack is allotted to Mr. Tenmon for scoring, one indication of how crucial Mr. Shinkai now feels the music has become to his storytelling. We see yet another in the use of the main theme, "Through the Years and Far Away" (referred to in the following notes as "Little Star"), in various forms throughout the anime before hearing its full version during the closing sequence; this use of material will occur again in Mr. Shinkai's later projects. None of the scenes were given titles as in "She and Her Cat"; so, to keep track of how music and animation stay in sync, we will label each scene according to the prevailing action and setting.

Introduction: Out of World
No music here to ease Mikako's loneliness.


Scene 1. After Finals: the Lysithea
At the appearance of the main title, we hear 4 bars of Theme #1 played in B-flat major on piano leading into a slow version of the "Little Star" theme. Theme #1 consists of a repeated four-note pattern with a chord change at each bar, while the "Little Star" theme follows a similar design though with a little more shape to the melody. At the end of the scene, resolution of the music, like that of Mikako's news for Noboru, is postponed by the sound of the passing train.

Scene 2. The Bus Stop and Tracers
We now hear the full piano version of Theme #1 still in B-flat and at its normal tempo, as the two characters spend a pleasant evening together. The last portion of the scene has no music, as they stare up in awe at the passing Tracers and Mikako is finally able to reveal her news to Noboru.

Scene 3. Mars and Jupiter: First Message Sent
In the midst of the silence of space, we cut to Mikako starting her training on Mars. Then, as she begins her first message, so too does Theme #2 in C major on piano. Again, a repeated melodic pattern is used, first spending time in the upper keys before dropping an octave. This one has a more rhythmic feel than the other themes, almost seeming to echo the key tones that Mikako is tapping out on the phone, or perhaps even mimicking the transmission of the data bits through space. In fact, the final notes do accompany the message all the way to Noboru's phone in the next scene.

Scene 4. First Message Received
There is a pause in Theme #2 while Noboru checks his mail; then, the music resumes in a slower varied fashion. It ends, along with Noboru's reading of the message, at the sound of the passing train.

Scene 5. No Message
And so, in the same vane, no music.

Scene 6. Pluto: First Tarsian Encounter
The time Mikako spends waiting in the cockpit is void of music; then, with the first appearance of the Tarsian fleet comes a battle-style version of the "Little Star" theme in A minor for full orchestra. Here Mr. Tenmon is allowed more creative freedom, which he uses to give better shape to the melodic material and to explore bolder chord changes. Thus, the music as a whole tends to follow the action more closely, even dropping to G minor at the first wave of attack. It pauses while Mikako's Tarsian opponent explodes over the planet, then resumes, building up Mikako for the appearance of the next wave, providing support for her attempts to escape a last pursuer, and finally helping her reach the Lysithea for the jump to hyperspace.

Intermezzo: Hyper-Drive and No Message
During this transition sequence, a variation on Theme #1 is played slowly on piano, starting this time in F major; then, while the ship prepares to drop out of hyperspace, it steps up to G major and transports us into the next scene.


Scene 7. Second Message Sent
Theme #1 continues, later changing to E minor (the flip-side of G major) before ending with the message still in transit.

Scene 8. Second Message Received
The scene's first half, which focuses on Noboru, contains no music; then, as the reality of the situation begins to sink in, a slow version of the "Little Star" theme in C major enters with piano and orchestra. It also provides an overlap, along with his final thoughts, between the scene on Earth and the next one in space.

Scene 9. Agharta: In the Rain
There is no music to accompany the Tracers' reconnaissance of the planet; then, as rain clouds build and the first drops fall, a variation of Theme #1 is heard in C major on piano. If we go back and trace the evolution of Theme #1 to this point, a pattern emerges that leads from B-flat in the opening scene on Earth to F (the dominant of B-flat) and G (the dominant of C) during the Intermezzo in hyperspace, and finally on Agharta, C. The significance of this transformation may lie in the following scene.

Scene 10. Third Message Sent and Necessary Pain
The piano continues playing Theme #1 in C major, until it is joined by strings at Mikako's vision of herself. Here, where Mikako says to herself, "You finally came this far... but you will probably be able to go much, much farther...," we possibly have the significance of Theme #1's tonal transformation. Ultimately, the theme, like the vision, fades with the passing of the train. Music is then conspicuously absent for the remainder of the scene, as the Tarsians commence their final assault.

Scene 11. Third Message Received and Second Tarsian Encounter
Still no music, until Noboru's phone begins printing out Mikako's message; then, we hear the piano introducing the final full version of the "Little Star" theme in A major --- a more optimistic key than the A minor used during the earlier encounter --- followed later by the vocals with bass and drums, as the two lovers contemplate the overwhelming dilemma of time and distance.

Closing: One Thought
The "Little Star" theme suddenly jumps to B major, as a new thought takes shape in Mikako's mind. The vocals end, leaving both harp and strings to finish out the battle sequence. And with the last Tarsian ship obliterated, only the piano is left to usher us through the winding-down process that leads to the conception of the "one thought." There the music switches to G# major and begins calmly scaling the keyboard to merge with the closing line, "I am here."

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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice! Is this for a class?
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's great Gleowine ... where did you get the info from ? Is this all of your own research ?
You're a woman, I'm a calf ... you're a window, I'm a knife ... we come together making chance into starlight ... - Jeff Buckley

ここにいるよ. - Voices of a Distant Star
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Ekusun Tsukinoe

Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 415

Location: Louisiana

PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, I was inspired by AT's essay to write something of my own. And since I have a background in music, I thought I'd tackle Tenmon's soundtrack. This is the result of several day's worth of clicking the remote's rewind button over and over.

The Place Promised is proving to be more of a challenge than the first two, but I'll keep plugging at it and get Part 2 ready soon.
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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is an amazing essay you've written and I almost thought you got it from another site. Good job!

I've always thought music was important but after I've read this, I now realise it's also much more difficult and even more important than I know.
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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gleowine ... that's amazing. Great job!
You're a woman, I'm a calf ... you're a window, I'm a knife ... we come together making chance into starlight ... - Jeff Buckley

ここにいるよ. - Voices of a Distant Star
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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool. This is exactly the sort of thing I'm doing in Yr 12 Music at the moment. I should do a Viva Voce on a Shinkai/Tenmon piece, it's perfect.
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Ekusun Tsukinoe

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



As for the music, I've been working with TENMON-san for a long time, so I didn't have any complaints or any worries.
--- Makoto Shinkai, from an interview contained on the R1 DVD release

Given what has been mentioned as a "long" association between animator and composer, we expect Mr. Tenmon to have developed by this point a greater sense of Mr. Shinkai's vision, and as a result to be better able to provide music that both supports and complements that vision. Such an expectation does find something to cheer about in the greater creative freedom afforded Mr. Tenmon in scoring this anime. Not only are there multiple musical themes employed, but also extra material in the form of preludes, interludes and postludes that both expand upon and link the thematic material. In addition, what we saw and heard in the final battle scene of "Voices of a Distant Star," where the music began to follow the action more closely, becomes here almost obligatory, especially with a greater number of action sequences to score. But at the same time, we also see Mr. Shinkai giving Mr. Tenmon an occasional break, preferring in certain instances to use only sound effects or no background sound at all. And so, nearly 46% of the total run-time is without music.

(For the sake of organizing these notes, I've chosen to use the chapter lay-out listed in the R1 DVD release.)

1. Premonition
No music for this introductory scene, where the events of the story have already taken place and are now faded into Hiroki's memory.

2. Poetry
Flashback. Now the story begins, as well as the music, with the appearance of the main title. We hear Sayuri's voice, along with the musical theme that is her name-sake played on violin and piano. The key for this piece, as well as the predominant key for the entire anime, is C major; so, we won't note its reccurrence unless there is a change. More will be said about "Sayuri's" theme in a later scene.

As things unfold, an interlude based on "Sayuri's" theme is soloed on the piano. This leads directly into the second theme, which we'll call "Sunset," due to its frequent association with end-of-the-day scenes. Here the piano is joined by synthesized strings to cheer on Takuya's final match in speedskating, as well as giving a quaint send-off afterwards. It has a nostalgic feel to it and is seamlessly linked with the next theme entited "Friends," where Takuya and Hiroki are sitting after school discussing girls. Played on piano and wind instruments, "Friends" is a lighter piece than "Sunset" and serves to represent the two boy's close relationship during these early days.

3. Dream Like This
The piano and winds now play another interlude, as Hiroki and Sayuri prepare to catch the train home. The shape and character of the previous melody is here softened and now accompanied by a repetitive chord pattern with a slightly more sensuous tone. Inside of the passenger car, as the camera slowly pans downward, the chord pattern itself also descends chromatically, setting up a key change. A brief pause in the music following an unresolved cadence seems to reflect the awkwardness of the moment, with the silence being broken only by the conductor's announcement of the next stop. As Sayuri prepares to depart, she mentions the dream she's had about that moment, and we hear for the first time the "Kimi no koe" theme soloed on piano (rather, we hear the joyous second part of the theme). The key here is E major, though, and even with the smooth transition, it seems to stand out from the overall scheme. Perhaps with the final shot being that of the two things "admired most" by the boys, i.e. Sayuri and the Tower, this key change might serve to heighten their significance to the story.

4. Rumors of War
No music accompanies Hiroki's bike ride to the plant, as a newscaster narrates in the background. The later dialogue carries on without music, as well. Then, as the boys leave the plant and head for the abandoned station, we hear the "Friends" theme once more in C major with the same piano and winds arrangement as before. It continues to play until they reach the area near the station house, finishing up with a postlude using a slower chordal pattern.

5. The Same Dream
This first showing of Sayuri's dream-world is accompanied by the "Dream" theme in A minor, played on antique piano and synthesizer. First, some dissonant chords are knocked out over the entire length of the keyboard, giving an otherworldly feel; then, a twisting melodic motive is set against an alternating chordal pattern, mirroring the intensity of emotion we see on Sayuri's face. After a few bars, the theme is cut short by her stepping into a puddle of water and waking up. The remainder of the scene is without music, as Sayuri meets Takuya and an awkward exchange of dialogue occurs while both wait for the train home.

6. The Promise
No music at the beginning of the following day, where we see Sayuri and the two boys disembark from the train for the trip to the plant. Then, as prelude to the visit, the piano enters with winds and glockenspiel. They play an brief upbeat melody that seems neither a separate theme nor connected with the other themes, except in that the chordal pattern resembles the one from "Friends." Instead of continuing with it, though, the instruments are launched into an expansion on the "Sunset" theme, at the end of which the chord progression changes direction and builds toward a high point. Here both piano and strings resound with the joyous second part of "Kimi no koe," as the animation itself expands to show the vastness of the landscape around the station. The music slowly draws to a close, as we see Sayuri's excitement at being shown the Bela Ciela.

The scene switches to where the trio are resting on the pier, and thunder is heard in the distance. In the instant the "promise" is made, "Sayuri's" theme begins playing in D major on piano, strings, synthesizer and glockenspiel. The step up from C to D seems to go with her sudden lighting-up at the prospect of being invited along. Then, as they are traveling home by train, the key changes to D minor for the more reflective first-part of "Kimi no koe." There is a subdued forboding sense in the switch to a minor key, as we glimpse the distant bursts of battle in the night sky around the Tower.

7. News of the World
No music is heard in this scene, where tensions loom over the prospect of war, and the boys discuss their choice of a jet engine with Okabe.

8. Heart Strings
No other music is heard in this scene except "Sayuri's" theme. Here we witness one of the most poignant meldings of music and anime that has characterized Mr. Shinkai's work. As Sayuri solos on violin, we are shown some vignettes of after-school life. Compared with Western schools, especially those in America, where a mass exodus invariably ensues at the last bell, the emptying of classrooms and hallways at a Japanese school seems to occur at a slower pace of departure and with a mood of reluctance in both faculty and students to be separated from friends and activities. In Sayuri's performance, a kind of under-developed tone and style usually associated with intermediate-level students is employed. But this is, after all, just an intermediate-level practice piece, a remnant of school life that soon will have to be layed aside with a fond farewell. The music closes with the three friends making their last trip together to the abandoned station.

9. Falling
The scene opens upon that very station, as a folksy rendition of the "Friends" theme is heard on violin, winds and guitar. The two boys are lost in discussion over their plans, while Sayuri is left to herself. This is the last we hear of this theme, and it is timed to end with Sayuri's climb to the upper platform. Then, only the sound of flowing water and a breeze is heard, as she sits and falls asleep. Everything seems calm, until the breeze picks up and jet contrails suddenly appear against a gray sky. Piano and synthesizer enter, building an unstable chord upon a deep rumbling A-note.  The bass then sinks to a low pulsating G, in the midst of which a distant battle is revealed. As the blast wave from the envisioned exploding Tower subsides, bringing Sayuri back to reality, the hollow tones of the music accompany Hiroki as he runs to her rescue. But just as he grasps her hand, the music switches to the piano alone playing the "Dream" theme, perhaps reflecting Sayuri's lingering sense of deja vu. The music is cut short, however, with their falling into the water together (not unlike Sayuri's foot-fall in the puddle). As the two emerge, we are taken back to C major with a slow version of the second part of "Kimi no koe." The calmness of the music seems to soften both the playful mood and hard feelings that follow.

As the three friends dry themselves on the pier, there is no sound but that of a military jet overhead. Then, as Sayuri mentions her recent dream about the Tower, the "Sunset" theme enters in C major on piano. The hour is late afternoon, of course, and she even mentions how slowly the sun appears to be setting. However, by the end of the scene the music has switched to A minor, finishing with a high A-note repeating itself like a tolling bell, as Hiroki's narration recounts the losing of contact with Sayuri after that day.

10. Experiment
Three years later. No Sayuri and no music. Then, as the experiment gets under way and Takuya connects with the parallel world, an interlude is played on piano and synthesizer in C minor. The music has an alternating pattern of chords founded upon a steadily pulsating low C. It first builds with the progression of the experiment, but then winds down as the connection is lost. No more music for the remainder of the scene, as Maki and Takuya leave the facility and walk through the pouring rain.

11. Tours
No music, but more sounds of jets flying overhead. As Maki gets into her discussion about brain research, there is a spacy interlude played on synthesizer in G major. It accompanies computer images of charts and brain scans, as well as a shot of the Tower. Interestingly, it transposes and ends in B-flat major, a key that will figure later in the final scenes. No music accompanies Takuya as he takes Maki home and drives Okabe to catch his train to Tokyo.

12. September
Still no music, as Tomizawa, now in Tokyo, contemplates the condition of the unseen "patient" and spends a talkative evening with Okabe.

13. Alone
Silence, as we hear Sayuri's voice describing the empty world she finds herself trapped in. The "Dream" theme later enters in A minor on solo piano. We see her running through the abandoned school building; then as she peers into the empty classroom, the music fades. More scenes of the empty world, but without music. After Hiroki wakes up and in the midst of his narration, the "Sunset" theme enters on piano in C major. There is a sense of "getting on" with life, but then the music enters a transition phase that builds once more toward A minor where suddenly we have the "Dream" theme again, with strings coming in to add to the emotional intensity. The build here that accompanies the expanding visual of the city-scape seems intended as contrast with a similar musical build back in scene #6, "The Promise," where the same "Sunset" theme transitioned into "Kimi no koe" while the visuals opened up on the rural landscape surrounding the abandoned station. With the music now subsiding and returning to a steady harmonic pattern, this fuller treatment slowly draws to a close, where we hear Hiroki's final plaintive words being repeated by Sayuri to end the scene.

14. March (of War)
There is no music, until the attack occurs. Dissonant chords with a rhythmic drive accompany the escape from Ezo, reaching a high point just as Takuya is losing consciousness from the bullet wound. As he spots a white bird flying high above the torn-away roof, a harp intones the "Dream" theme, providing transition to Sayuri's view of the Bela Ciela flying high above the disfigured tower she's in. The music is cut short, just as before, with the foot-fall into the puddle of water.

15. The Letter
The music has also ceased at Hiroki's waking up. In the narration, he speaks of how each time he awakens from the dream, he doesn't quite know where he is. As he says this, an interlude begins on piano and glockenspiel in F-sharp minor, a far-cry from the familiar C major. It is then that Sayuri's letter arrives. The dream now continues with her narration, as Sayuri is seen chasing the plane but then coming face-to-face with her comatose self in the hospital bed. The interlude music then transitions through chord changes to the "Sunset" theme, here played on piano and synthesizer in A major (the flip-side of F-sharp minor). As Hiroki rides the train to Sayuri's hospital, she continues narrating the letter's contents. While Sayuri speaks of the pain and loneliness felt in the dream-world, the music shifts back to F-sharp minor, using dissonant chords now to reflect those same sensitivities. However, as Hiroki gets closer and finally reaches the hospital, the harmony begins shifting back toward A major, until, with him standing in her room and reaching out for her hand, the music builds in the same fashion as before. Suddenly, there is a transformation in which they find each other in the dream world, and the music itself transforms into "Sayuri's" theme, now played on piano and strings in A major.

Why A major and not C major? Perhaps because when the promise was first made, the "Sayuri" theme was played in D major, of which A major is the dominant. Or perhaps because the promise is repeated this time in the dream world instead of the real world. Either way, afterwards there is a switch to Tomizawa witnessing a change in the comatose Sayuri, and a change occurs in the music, as well. Suddenly, it transposes to D-flat/C-sharp minor (there is uncertainty as to which it is). Here is where the Tower becomes active and Maki's monitors start reading Sayuri's near-waking state. This jarring change in the status quo is reflected in the increased dissonance of the music. As things return to normal, the music settles into C-sharp minor with all instruments playing in unison. There is a brief excursion to E major before ending in C-sharp, as Hiroki stands in the empty room and contemplates the lingering warmth from the dream.

Finally, we are shown a flashback and continuation of events from "The Same Dream" scene, where Sayuri and Takuya were waiting for the train and she was about to relate her dream to him. Again as before, there is no music. After Sayuri tells her dream to Takuya, this lengthy "Letter" scene comes to a close with him waking in a hospital and being visited by Maki.

16. Sleeping Beauty
Still no music, until Hiroki, meeting with Takuya, tells him about the dream of Sayuri he's been having. At that point, the reflective first-part of "Kimi no koe" enters, played by string quartet in A minor. There is a break at the firing of the pistol; but then, the music resumes and intensifies, as Takuya vents his indignation by punching Hiroki and threatening him with the gun. The chord progression becomes more chromatic at this point, reflecting the hard emotions and instability of the "reunion." The music is resolved on a D minor chord, just as Takuya appears resolute about what must be done.

17. Signs of Past Times
This scene opens with no sound but that of the school bell, as Hiroki meets Sayuri again in the dream. As she changes clothes for the trip home, we hear "Sayuri's" theme played on piano in B-flat major. The arrangement here, like her playing of it earlier on violin, resembles that of a practice piece, appropriate for a school setting. The music, like the dream, is cut short with Hiroki's waking up.

Later, as Maki is treating Takuya's wounded cheek, he tells her of his former friendship with Hiroki. We hear the first-part of "Kimi no koe" played again in A minor, just as in the "Sleeping Beauty" scene, giving a sense of Takuya's change of heart. As he reaches his decision and leaves Maki locked in the room, the music builds and changes to the "Dream" theme, also in A minor, which accompanies his rescue of Sayuri.

18. Sayuri's Theme
No music for the first part of this scene, as things build toward what Okabe calls the "climax." Then, at Takuya's request, Hiroki plays "Sayuri's" theme on violin in C major. This time, the tone and style is that of a more mature player who has had many hours of practice and contemplation. As piano and strings join in, we see images of Sayuri, as well as the snowfall around the abandoned station. After she voices her premonition of the dream's impending end, the Tower becomes active. Here a prelude in C minor is played by piano and strings with a similar arrangement to that heard during the "Experiment" scene. It is march-like, grounded on a low C-note and builds to a section where drums are brought in. There is another build with chords similar to those used in "The Letter" for the transformation to the dream world. Consequently, here the build climaxes with a transposition to A minor for a variation on the "Dream" theme. All of this accompanies the preparations for the Bela Ciela's flight. After a sudden shift to B minor at the closing of the hatch, another round of rising chord changes follows the plane on its way to take-off.

19. Flight of the Bela Ciela
No music accompanies the plane's flight across the strait; there are only the sounds of the jet engine and the raging battle ahead. When the engine is cut and the plane lifts above the clouds, only the wind and propellors are heard. Then, just as the Tower comes into view, a light airy prelude on piano and strings in F-sharp minor comes in, giving a sense of being far above the action below. During the exchange of lines between Hiroki and Sayuri, the piano and strings switch keys and begin the "Sunset" theme in B-flat major. This is the key that was hinted at in the "Tours" scene, where Maki's discussion regarding the "dreams of the universe" ended.

The music drops to G minor for the last performance of the "Dream" theme, then begins building and transposing, as the Bela Ciela passes the tower in which Sayuri is held, reaching a high point on an E-flat major chord. After a brief break, the piano and strings enter with a softer rendition of the second-part of "Kimi no koe" in B-flat major. This accompanies Sayuri's actual waking from her dream. At the Tower's final activation, we hear "Sayuri's" theme played once more by full orchestra, ending with a triumphant cadence at Hiroki's "welcome back."

20. Endsong
The "Sunset" theme provides a prelude to the final full version of "Kimi no koe," performed here with added vocals, piano and strings accompanying. Near the close of the reflective first-part, Hiroki utters the closing line, "We've lost the place of our promise in this world, but even so, our lives begin now." And so, too, does the joyous second-part begin, returning to the original C major and ushering in the closing credits.

One last shot, showing the return of the Bela Ciela, has a fragment of "Sayuri's" theme as a final tag on piano, as if to say, "mission accomplished."

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is great gleowine. I would say not only is The Place Promised the longest film but also the most complex.

Looking forward to part 3.
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Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Epic. As 5cm will also be. I'm still not sure which film I liked more, musically; 5cm or The Place. I think listening to the OSTs for each and judging them on the whole rather than by cetain themes or tracks, I think the OST for The Place is more satisfying - with the multiple themes and epic climaxes, contrasted with Tenmon's classic delicate piano playing.

It's all good though Razz

There are certain moments where some people should just be left unknown.
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