2001: A Space Odyssey - The Alex North Trip

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Faneditor Name:
Original Movie Title:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1968
Original Running Time:
149
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
145
Time Cut:
4
Subtitles Available?
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
In this fan-edit all music in '2001: A Space Odyssey' has been replaced by the original music composed for the movie by veteran composer Alex North, with additional tracks from his back catalogue to fill in the scenes he didn't get a chance to write music for.
Intention:
Although the sixties-feel of North's style might make the movie feel dated, it does make one care more for the characters, and it turns space from a source of fear into a realm of wonder and awe. In short, it gives '2001' a heart which it sorely lacks.
Other Sources:
MUSIC TAKEN FROM THE ALBUMS:
(1) 'Alex North's 2001'
(2) 'The Shoes of the Fisherman' (featuring themes originally written for '2001')
(3) 'Pony Soldier'
(4) 'Music for 2001: A Space Odyssey - the original score by Alex North'
(5) 'The Thirteenth Letter'
(6) 'Journey into Fear'
(7) 'Bite the Bullit'
(8) 'The Sound and the Fury'
(9) 'A Streetcar Named Desire'
(10) 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?'
(11) 'Dragonslayer' (featuring themes originally written for '2001')
(12) 'Carny'
(13) 'Shanks' (featuring themes originally written for '2001')
Special Thanks:
A special thank you to Artisdead for helping me to set up a proper project thread and improving the artwork - and even creating additional artwork on his own accord! Art may be dead, but Artisdead is the best!
Release Information:
Digital
Cuts and Additions:
OVERAL CHANGES:
Removed all music (and redid sound effects if necessary)
Matched the tempi of the tracks on the album 'Alex North's 2001', featuring re-recordings by Jerry Goldsmith, to those of the original (mono) recording sessions, conducted by Henri Brant and released on the album 'Music for 2001: A Space Odyssey - the original score by Alex North'. In most cases, this meant increasing the speed of the tracks (maintaining audio pitch). Only the bits that weren't re-recorded by Goldsmith were used from the latter recording in this fan-edit.

ADDED MUSIC TRACKS OVERVIEW: (see list of referenced albums below this overview)
Added scroll text (white capitals on black background): 'IN 1967 VETERAN FILM-COMPOSER ALEX NORTH WAS COMMISSIONED TO COMPOSE MUSIC FOR AN UPCOMING SPACE-MOVIE. NORTH RECORDED 40 MINUTES OF MUSIC FOR THE FIRST HALF OF THE FILM BEFORE HIS MUSIC WAS REJECTED BY DIRECTOR STANLEY KUBRICK IN FAVOR OF PRE-EXISTING CLASSICAL MUSIC. THIS ALTERNATE VERSION OF "2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY" REUNITES NORTH'S ORIGINAL MUSIC WITH KUBRICK'S MOVIE. FOR THE SCENES NORTH DIDN'T GET A CHANCE TO WRITE MUSIC FOR, SEVERAL CUES FROM HIS BACK CATALOGUE WERE USED. AMONG THEM, TRACKS FEATURING THEMES ORIGINALLY WRITTEN FOR "2001".'
00:00:36: Start movie
00:00:40: ‘The Dawn of Man'* (1) In the original movie, Kubrick used music for the overture he would also use later on for the Stargate sequence. Using the North-music I selected for that sequence didn't feel appropriate for the overture. It seemed however an excellent opportunity to make North's original take on the Dawn of Man sequence heard. Both Kubrick and North agreed that it was a bit over the top, so North composed a new version later on. To fit the length of the overture, I had to cut out the middle part.
00:03:32: 'Main Title' (1). Parts of both the audio and video had to be edited (changing speeds of some parts) to sync the appearance of the titles with the beats of the music.
00:05:20: 'The Foraging' (1). This is the toned-down version of 'The Dawn of Man'-track.
00:09:03: 'The Bluff'* (1). Starts when the rival ape tribe appears. The middle section was cut out.
00:10:39: 'Night Terrors' (1)
00:12:34: 'Commission's Reaction - Telemond's Death'* (2) A short snippet of this track serves as a mysterious interlude, leading into...
00:12:51 - 15:40: 'Queen Mother'* (3) Kubrick told North that he wanted to retain his Ligeti temp-track for the monolith, therefore North never composed music for it. The 'Mirage' section of this track (repeated) seemed a good choice, it also features a choir that evokes a strange and wondrous atmosphere . This is to be the Monolith-theme.
00:15:54: 'Main Title' (1) Reprise (in the same way edited as on 03:32).
00:17:41: 'Eat Meat and The Kill'* (1). Edited out the middle part and left a silence before the start of the last part (synced with the first kill being committed).
00:20:32: 'Space Station (Take 4 - Partial)'* (4) Snippet from beginning of track, leading into...
00:20:44: 'Space Station Docking'* (1) Edited out a fragment of the first part so that the second part (featuring the waltz) starts when the Space Station comes into view. Shortened this second part to include the ending before...
00:22:20: 'Interior orion' (1) Leading into...
00:23:33: 'Space Station Docking'* (1). I created an infinite loop of the waltz. Leading into...
00:24:10: 'Space Station Docking'* (4). Plays during the shot of the inside of the entrance gate. Leading into...
00:25:12 - 00:26:11: 'Space Station Docking'* (1), the last part.
00:26:21: 'Space Talk' (1)
00:34:25: 'Trip to the Moon' (1) Repeated until...
00:39:28 - 00:41:47: 'Space Station Docking'* (1) The infinite loop of the waltz. Clearly the scenes of the trip to the moon weren't finished when North looked at them, as his 'Trip to the Moon' track lasts only 3 minutes. Repeating it for the full voyage would be too repetitive, so for the last part of this journey I bowed to Kubrick's choice of using the waltz again (although I never understood why he did this, as there are no circular movements to justify a waltz).
00:46:07: 'Moon Rocket Bus'* (1) Leading into...
00:50:54: 'Moon Rocket Bus'* (4) The last bit of the original recording.
00:51:30 - 00:55:01: 'Queen Mother'* (3) again the 'Mirage' section of this track, repeated.
00:55:19: 'Solitary Pilgrimage (Alternate)'* (2) Leading into...
00:57:19 - 00:59:16: 'Solitary Pilgrimage - Daybreak At St. Peter's'* (2)
The above two tracks (combined into one) have the same qualities as the Khachaturian temp-track, while featuring the same melody we heard in the moon rocket bus when the astronauts are discussing the find of the monolith.
01:04:08 - 01:04:36: 'Solitary Pilgrimage (Alternate)'* (2)
Too bad I wasn't able to remove the music during the dialogue scenes that follow. Fortunately, North's music sounds a lot like the temp track by Khachaturian, so the result is not too jarring.
01:06:34 - 01:06:51: 'Solitary Pilgrimage - Daybreak At St. Peter's'* (2)
01:07:30 - 01:08:04: 'Solitary Pilgrimage - Daybreak At St. Peter's'* (2)
As for the following tracks: North wrote a lot of music for the Dawn of Man sequences, were Kubrick only put music under the Monolith-scene, so it seems likely to assume that North would also have composed more music for the Discovery scenes.
01:11:03 - 01:12:26: 'About Doc Pearson'* (5) This fragment features a sort of spiraling down motive that seemed an appropriate leitmotif for Hal's paranoia. We here it here for the first time after Bowman asks for a hard copy of Hal's failure-prediction. North made different arrangements of this motive (also on another soundtrack composed years later). Most of those incarnations will be used in upcoming scenes featuring Hal.
01:12:48: 'The Weapon' (6) A sort of 'mission in progress' kind of music.
01:14:42 - 01:19:35: 'Sand Dunes'* (7) This track shows how desert-music can be appropriate for space as well. I had to repeat part of the first half to make it fit the entire scene.
01:23:33: 'Do You Love Me, Charlie?'* (8) The last snippet of this track during the close-up of Hal. It features 'Hal's paranoia leitmotiv' (see 01:11:03).
01:27:17: 'Ben Spies On Lovers'* (8) Featuring Hal's paranoia leitmotiv, stops during 'INTERMISSION' title card.
01:28:29 - 01:30:40: 'The Dawn of Man'* (1) The second half of this cue (starting with a fade-in) serves as intermission music, featuring the middle part that was edited out of the overture.
01:31:05 - 01:32:01: 'Drummers'* (5) Another piece of 'mission in progress' kind of music.
01:32:25: 'Ben Spies On Lovers'* (8) Featuring Hal's paranoia leitmotiv, leading into...
01:32:51: 'Apartment'* (5) A short, violent outbreak when Poole is cut loose, leading into...
01:33:01: 'Fellow Travelers'* (6) Rather dramatic music while Poole is still struggling for air, leading into...
01:33:36: 'The Doctor - Affirmation'* (9) Mournfull music as it is clear that Poole is beyond help, leading into...
01:35:25: 'Bergin' (10) A very quiet track with subtle tragic undertones when Bowman goes after Poole.
01:39:56 - 01:40:42: 'Ben Spies On Lovers'* (8) The second half of this track, featuring Hal's paranoia leitmotiv during his murdering of the hibernation crew.
01:41:02 - 01:41:45: 'Do You Love Me, Charlie?'* (8) The middle part of this track as forceful statement once the crew has been killed (featuring 'Hal's paranoia leitmotiv' again).
01:43:56: 'Deep Water'* (6) Dark, ominous sounds when Bowman realizes he faces a deadly challenge, leading into...
01:45:03 - 01:45:30: 'Troubled Romance'* (7) Poignant piano chords when Bowman releases Poole.
01:45:43: 'The Search' (6) Mission in progress music, leading into...
01:47:31: 'The Weapon' (6). Instead of scoring the scenes from Bowman re-entering the Discovery wall to wall, it proved more effective - after this track - to let the sound effects do the work here, until Bowman is ready to jump.
01:49:40 - 1:49:58: 'Tight Rope'* (6) Short, dramatic action cue.
01:50:12: 'Pursuit' (6) Subtle mission in progress music (subtle because the dialogue has to remain audible)
01:53:28 - 1:54:40: 'Beneath the Surface'* (6) Mission in progress music becoming more dramatic, as Hal's mind is going.
01:54:50 - 01:56:27: 'Fleece'* (10) Very subtle tragic undertones that almost make you feel sad for this computer that's returning to it's innocent infancy.
01:57:43: 'Commission's Reaction - Telemond's Death'* (2) leading into...
01:57:58: 'Queen Mother'* (3), repeated (the Monolith-theme), leading into...
02:01:35: 'Destroy That Amulet!'* (11) The Stargate opens, leading into...
02:03:13: 'A Slight Skirmish'* (11) leading into...
02:04:58: 'Dejection - Eclipse - Resurrection'* (11) featuring variations on the Main Title, leading into...
02:06:41: 'Fear and Revelation'* (12) leading into...
02:08:53: 'Rednecks Rumble'* (12) leading into...
02:10:26: ''t Is The Final Conflict'* (11). featuring variations on the Main Title. The last beat was slowed down to 20% (maintaining pitch) to create a sort of echo effect as a transition to the 18th century room.
02:12:20: 'Later That Night'* (13) Strange and ominous, almost distorted sparse piano chords.
02:13:07: 'The Laboratory'* (13) Strange piano chords when Bowman sees himself outside the Pod.
02:14:33: 'Later That Night'* (13) Different fragments
02:15:16: 'The Laboratory'* (13) Reprise when Bowman sees himself eating.
02:16:11 - 02:17:14: 'Later That Night'* (13) Different fragments
02:18:23: 'The Laboratory'* (13) Reprise when Bowman sees himself on the bed.
02:19:30: 'Main Title' Reprise (with same alterations in speed as before)
02:21:10: 'Space Station Docking'* (1). Kubrick reprised the Strauss waltz during the end credits. As the waltz from North's 'Space Station Docking' is rather short (and too repetitive in a long loop) I decided to create a suite with the same lightweight qualities as the Strauss temp track. So North's waltz leads into...
02:22:28: 'Space Talk'* (1) leading into...
02:23:17: 'Trip to the Moon'* (1) leading into...
02:24:34 - 02:24:52: 'Space Station Docking'* (1), the last bit.

CHANGES TO END CREDITS:
Removed all title cards with references to the temp tracks.
Added a title card with 'MUSIC BY ALEX NORTH'
Added a title card with 'FEATURING MUSIC FROM THE ALBUMS' followed by the list below (alphabetically). This title card remains visible twice as long as the title cards with only one name.
Added a title card with 'MUSIC SUPERVISION AND EDITING BY SCOTT CRANE'.
Shortened the title card 'MADE AT MGM BRITISH STUDIOS' to match the length of the other title cards
Added a title card with 'DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF ALEX NORTH 1910 - 1991' before the title card 'THE END'

MUSIC TAKEN FROM THE ALBUMS:
(1) 'Alex North's 2001'
(2) 'The Shoes of the Fisherman' (featuring themes originally written for '2001')
(3) 'Pony Soldier'
(4) 'Music for 2001: A Space Odyssey - the original score by Alex North'
(5) 'The Thirteenth Letter'
(6) 'Journey into Fear'
(7) 'Bite the Bullit'
(8) 'The Sound and the Fury'
(9) 'A Streetcar Named Desire'
(10) 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?'
(11) 'Dragonslayer' (featuring themes originally written for '2001')
(12) 'Carny'
(13) 'Shanks' (featuring themes originally written for '2001')
*excerpt(s)
Trailer

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Overall rating
 
9.9
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0(1)
Visual Editing
 
10.0(1)
Audio Editing
 
9.0(1)
Narrative
 
10.0(1)
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10.0(1)
Overall rating
 
9.9
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
10.0
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10.0
The first rescoring project I have seen, generally excellent quality and editing. Only slight issue I found is around 1:04:35, where the original music fades to a rescore piece, there are a few pops (like record scratches) during stargate sequence (most noticeably at 2:07:40) but I suspect that they are original to the source and I wouldn’t know where to start in this regard!

Being a fan of the original I was surprised at how easily I accepted the rescoring, though perhaps I shouldn’t be considering that the music is (largely) simply back in its intend place. It’s interesting to see how similar some parts of Alex North’s work matches the temp track that became permanent and other parts are quite different but still work really well.

Immediately noticed a few places with music present where there was previously none before, it has the expected effect of making the story feel less dry and more like a conventional narrative film. Noticed this most prominently with Dr Floyd aboard the space station and various EVA pod scenes, has the effect of humanising the situations where I feel that in the original Kubrick did as much as possible to make a “sterile” atmosphere a computer the character the audience most empathises with. The only place where really I missed the absence of music is when David is disconnecting HAL, personally find that the addition cushions one somewhat from what is shown happening onscreen, the original feeling more “intimate”.

Not sure if it can replace the iconic classical selections for me, but I could quite believe that if somebody had this version for their first watch they could quite easily hold the opposite view. For all the acclaim Alex North attained with his other work it still warms the heart to see him credited onscreen and no longer (for most viewers) a footnote in this film’s history, thanks ScottCrane for all your efforts!

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