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Music / Alan Silvestri

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Alan Anthony Silvestri (born March 26, 1950) is an American composer and conductor born in New York City, New York. He has been working in film and television since the mid 1970's.

He is best known for his work with Robert Zemeckis, having composed the scores to everything directed by him (with the exception of the pilot to 1993's short-lived Johnny Bago) since Romancing the Stone in 1984.

Films scored by Alan Silvestri include(listed in release order):

His TV work includes:

  • Amazing Stories ("Go To The Head Of The Class," directed by Robert Zemeckis)
  • CHiPs (many episode scores from season two onwardsnote , and rearrangement of John Parker's theme)
  • Manimal (all the episode scores, but not the pilot score or the series theme - both by Paul Chihara).
  • Starsky & Hutch (three episodes)
  • Tales from the Crypt (seven episodes, including three directed by Zemeckis)
  • T.J. Hooker ("A Child Is Missing")
  • Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (although he was initially signed to just write the theme music, he wound up scoring all 13 episodes; Silvestri received his first Emmy nominations for the theme and his score for the first episode, winning both)

His work provides examples of:

  • Associated Composer:
  • Credits Medley:
    • The Back to the Future sequels utilize this. As an example, Part III features a suite with the film's Western theme, the love theme, and the train theme sandwiched by the main theme of the series.
    • The theatrical release of The Abyss was the first James Cameron film (but not the last) to feature double-column/speeded-up end credits on account of all the people involved, so Silvestri's end credit suite features "Finale," a lot of "Bud On The Ledge" and the ending of "Back On The Air" (the music for Bud and the aliens heading to the surface) without the choir. When it was released on video, it had a slower and one-column only roll which therefore lasted much longer, and had a much longer suite to match made up of "Finale," "The Pseudopod," "Resurrection," a reprise of the first part of "Finale" (for the spire rising scene), and the excerpts from "Bud On The Ledge" and "Back On The Air."
  • Deathly Dies Irae:
    • In Avengers: Infinity War, as Thor is explaining to the Guardians of the Galaxy how many Stones Thanos has and where he needs to go for the rest of them. As he mentions the Soul Stone, dies irae plays as the camera cuts to Gamora, foreshadowing her death, sacrificed by Thanos to gain the Stone.
    • In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the four notes are played several times in succession, each time by a different instrument, as Judge Doom reinflates his newly exposed toon form, just before he then reveals his identity as the killer of Eddie’s brother and tries to murder Eddie too.
  • Feelies: The vinyl release of Silvestri's score for Who Framed Roger Rabbit, released for the film's 30th anniversary, came with a replica of Roger's love letter to Jessica written over Marvin Acme's will.
  • Leitmotif:
  • One-Woman Wail: Blown Away opens with "Prince's Day", a wail-like reprise of the Irish song "Though Dark Are Our Sorrow" rearranged by Silvestri and sung by a soprano boy (instead of a woman) with an Ethereal Choir in the background. Thomas Moore originally wrote the lyrics.
  • Recycled Trailer Music: Silvestri's theme from MouseHunt was used in the live action The Cat in the Hat film trailer and for the A Christmas Carol (2009) trailer, as well as many others. And then it was actually reused (in the film itself) in Fred Claus.
  • Screen-to-Stage Adaptation: A musical based on Back to the Future was in development with Silvestri writing songs and Robert Zemeckis producing, but quietly fell into Development Hell until 2020.
  • Theme Music Withholding: Despite including nearly all the Avengers and having its plot centered around the Avengers as a team splintering, the music in Captain America: Civil War doesn't contain the Avengers theme, and Avengers: Age of Ultron has it rejigged, but not included in its original arrangement until the end credits. It wasn't until Avengers: Infinity War that it was heard in its full glory during the actual film.