MUSIC SAYS IT ALL

The Prisoner Nummer 6


The sediments at the bottom of television: series and serials, omnipresent and almost as infinite as the medium itself. Few only were successfull in touching the underside of our attentiveness.
UNWAHRSCHEINLICHE GESCHICHTEN ("Improbable Stories") was one that did, the classic TWILIGHT ZONE.
Anything associated with the expression TV-magic applies to this.

Phantastic television of the sixties, among other things, is one conjuring formula:
"Be seeing you!" or
L'année dernière
au Village:

CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS:
(GERMAN KNOWLEDGE REQUIRED)

 

SEITENBLICK:

ANDERSWO GELESEN
 

AUTOREN:

BEITRÄGE VON...
 

INTERVIEWS:

Nr6DE MIT
DAVE BARRIE
Nr6DE MIT
TIM BOURNE
Nr6DE MIT
MAX HORA
CHRIS RODLEY MIT
GEORGE MARKSTEIN
SIMON BATES (BBC) MIT
PATRICK McGOOHAN
ALAIN CARRAZÉ MIT
PATRICK McGOOHAN
BILL KING MIT
PATRICK McGOOHAN
MIKE TOMKIES MIT
PATRICK McGOOHAN
WARNER TROYER MIT
PATRICK McGOOHAN
TOM WORRALL MIT
MARY MORRIS, N. WEST
UWE HUBER MIT
HORST NAUMANN
Nr6DE MIT
STEVE RAINES
DAVE BARRIE MIT
IAN L. RAKOFF
HARALD KELLER MIT
BERND RUMPF

 

 

"Music says it all"
"Music makes a quiet mind."
"Music begins where words leave off."

The only occasion that the above slogans appear is in the "Hammer Into Anvil" episode. Here it's "L'Arlésienne" one piece of music by George Bizet that plays a remarkable role. "Music begins where words leave off" appears to be the English translation of the German quote "Wo die sprache aufhört, fängt die musik an" by ETA Hoffmann (1776 - 1822). Only small and easily ignored references pointing to the manifold sources of the PRISONER series in general. Nontheless, it is never made clear as for why the Village authorities would put that much emphasis on music.

After all, there is a Village-owned brass band that performs publicly. It may be a deliberate decision of the authorities to do so because of both the entertaining and appeasing character inherent in music. Or, rather, it's the producers who would. On the other hand, they are quite right. No feature movie, no television series can be conceived of without any music background. As early as in the silent era movies were piano-accompanied in small and medium sized theatres whereas the major houses mostly did have their own film orchestra.

Even the dullest synthie flickering is capable of changing the perception of a film comletely. Just what it is that film music does is not often recognized until there isn't any music at all and its absence is utilized for dramatical ends.

THE VILLAGE-BAND PERFORMING

"LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED..."
The Beatles (1967)

Beside the famous PRISONER main title music composed by Ron Grainer (sample, 144k:längen- u. qualitätsreduzierte probe) which, as is said by some, was kind of co-composed by McGoohan the songs mentioned below and many others, among them the "Farandole" by Georges Bizet and arranged by Albert Elms, the carnival music, an original composition by Elms, can be found on three newly edited SilvaScreen-CDs. Not included, however, on the CD set is the Beatles song "All You Need Is Love". Of which McGoohan had hoped, like a time capsule, the song would resist aging. Interestingly, the very first chords of which are quite those of the Marseillaise, the French national anthem. As to why "All You Need Is Love" was chosen by McGoohan and not any other popsong can only be guessed (more...). PRISONER soundtrack sources can be found on the SIX OF ONE homepage.

OLD CD SET __

NEW CD SET __

THE ORDER OF TRACKS OF THE NEW SET IS DIFFERENT,
IN ADDITION DIALOGUE SAMPLES ARE ALSO INCLUDED.

The most important contributors to THE PRISONER music soundtrack were (data supplied by Larry Hall):

Albert Elms: Perhaps the second-most influential of the composers who worked on the PRISONER. He was responsible for much of the "incidental" (background) music throughout the series.
Robert Farnon: Made the first attempt at writing the theme music for the PRISONER, which was subsequently rejected. Some of the most dramatic incidental music was composed by him.
Ron Grainer (1922 - 1981): The best known and most influential of the composers. He was a professional soundtrack composer during the 1960's and 70's. It is his musical numbers for the opening theme and closing credits which set the distinctive sound for the PRISONER.
Wilfred Josephs: Originally contracted to do the PRISONER opening theme, his work was subsequently rejected by McGoohan himself.
Eric Mival: Music editor for the PRISONER. His responsibility was to go through every scene of every episode and find music that 1) fit the mood exactly and 2) could be edited down to fit the time constraints of each scene. He wrote and maintained the "music bible" that told which library tracks went with which scenes.
Wilfred Thompson: Sound editor for the PRISONER. The resourceful man responsible for creating the unique sound of Rover and many other sound effects.

NUMBER SIX LISTENING TO THE VILLAGE-BAND'S
AFTERNOON CONCERT, OR IS HE?

One typical example of incidental music, which means music that is recognizable within the context of the action or setting, is the somewhat leitmotiv "Radetzki-Marsch" composed by Johann Strauss (sample, 103k:sample reduced in length and quality). The serie's covert title music is heard several times. This somewhat bitter-sweet operetta-army march mostly features when the Village has the upper hand on Number Six. Beside "Radetzky-March", the covert title musik of THE PRISONER, the Village Band, in an afternoon concert, plays a piece by C.H. Jaeger, "Double X", or a piece by Arnold Steck (i.e. Leslie Statham), the original title of which is appropriately called "Freedom Of The City" (sample, 123k sample reduced in length and quality). Both of whom aren't 19th century but it feels like it.
Those concerts, performed mostly open air (on squares, hence: Platzkonzert), are a very popular way of entertainment with audiences in resorts and spas. And although the range of musical styles may well be from mild pop to chamber music a typical concert will feature all kinds of snappy popular music and marches won't be omitted provided they come in a moderate shape.

Hip bone connected to my thigh bone
Thigh bone connected to my leg bone
My leg bone connected to my ankle bone.
I get so hung-up on bones.
Dr. Funkenstein, here.

Preoccupied and dedicated
To the preservation of the motion of hips.

"The Clones Of Dr. Funkenstein", George Clinton/Parliament 1976

There is one piece of incidental music that is not included in the CD set. "Dem Bones", also "Dry Bones", as performed by the Four Lads. In the 50s and 60s they were a vocal group from Canada and quite successful gospels and traditionals interpretations. Their "Dem Bones" rendering was published on LP in 1962. In the 90s SIX OF ONE rereleased this title on a limited single edition. It was no one else than the great old P-Funk master George Clinton who has payed homage to "the olde bones" (see above).

This title is as strange and untimely a part of the series as the Pennyfarthing and therefore stands out. It is heard incidentally without a specific source in the last episode "Fall Out" when the young rebellious character Number 48, played by Alexis Kanner, is brought before the assembly of the masked. Then again when the small group around Number Six is on the way to London. It is here that no dialogue parts have been spoken for some time which is due to the confusing production circumstances.
There is a lot that can be objected to this concluding episode. But these moments - some like others non-verbal - are just gorgeous.

Number 48's appearance causes much disturbance, not to say havoc, among the assembly of the masked. Because he injects a great deal of anarchy into them by incessantly half citing, half chanting the "Dem Bones" verses. Here, the German version is flawless: "Der hüftknochen kommt wieder zum beckenknochen; der armknochen kommt wieder zum schulterknochen...; und hört das wort des Herrn."

DEM BONES "COLLAR BONE'S CONNECTED TO THE NECK BONE,
NECK BONE'S CONNECTED TO THE HEAD BONE.
... HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD. I'M ALL BONES."

And really, the establishment, the assembled masked suddenly rise from their seats, start swinging and clapping with their ossification literally and figuratively receding... But only for a short period of time. Number 48 is locked into some projectile-like capsule and kept in an underground cell.

After the escape, on the way... In the scenes on the way to London Number Six, Number 48 and the former Number Two are shown in the living room, loaded on a truck and known from the previous episode "Once Upon A Time", dancing to the sound of "Dem Bones" which is now heard from the car radio. A gentleman donning a bowler hat almost loses control over his car and slightly embarrassed passes them... Hip bones.

AFTER ESCAPING FROM THE VILLAGE...
GREAT ANIMATED IMAGES, SOURCE: HTTP://DEANXIETIZED.TUMBLR.COM

Apart from the incidental music like the one performed by the Village Band on or off screen an important role is played by the typical background sound, some people call acoustic wallpaper.

It's Village-muzak which is in the background on the Village radio, slightly increasing in volume. It wakes you in the morning, it whispers you into sleep. It gets on one's nerves. Village-muzak is ubiquitous and always has been. This type of functional music was brought to the consciousness of the public by Brian Eno as ambient music or "Music For Elevators". And what's typical of it, there isn't a beginning, there isn't an end to it, no culmination, hardly dynamics. This kind of music, in a dramatical sense, is used on purpose and it works either with Number Six or with the viewer. He destroys his radio receiver because he cannot stand it any longer, but in fact without hitting the source.

But the composers of those tracks leaning into that direction mustn't be done injustice. For their lullabies - that's what their titles are: "Moon Lullaby" by M. Lubbock (sample, 353k sample reduced in length and quality) and "Lullaby for Isabelle" by P. Aliprandi together with some others - they aren't muzak but within the context that's their role.

_

THIS PRISONER VINYL LP SOUNDTRACK IS A BAM-CARUSO RELEASE OF 1986.
THANKS TO HEINZ WIPPERFÜRTH FOR SUBMITTING THE IMAGE

back to main text

 


Contact impressum filmtexte - texts on film deutsch english language
  "Wir sehen uns!" oder L'année dernière au Village · The Prisoner · Nummer 6

 

top of page

 

WIR SEHEN UNS! D
BE SEEING YOU! E
THE CAFE
FREE SEA
OLD PEOPLE'S HOME
CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU
WALK ON THE GRASS
6 PRIVATE
2 PRIVATE
GENERAL STORES
TOWN HALL
LABOUR EXCHANGE
COUNCIL CHAMBER
BAND STAND
CHESS LAWN
www.match-cut.de
DISKURSE

FREE INFORMATION
SIX OF ONE · 601 D
THE VILLAGE D
CAMERA OBSCURA D
WHO IS NUMBER 1?
THE NEW NUMBER 2
"ORANGE ALERT!"
VILLAGE FACT FILES
"MUSIC SAYS IT ALL"
McGOOHAN INTERVIEW D
"ARRIVAL" SCRIPT
SPEEDLEARN DIR
THE TALLY HO D DIR
Nr6DE FRIENDS & SUPP.
THE PRISONER WEBLINKS
TV-MAGIC WEBLINKS
IMPRESSUM | FEEDBACK

ARRIVAL
THE CIMES OF BIG BEN
A. B. AND C.
FREE FOR ALL
THE SCHIZOID MAN
THE GENERAL
MANY HAPPY RETURNS
DANCE OF THE DEAD
CHECKMATE
HAMMER INTO ANVIL
IT'S YOUR FUNERAL
A CHANGE OF MIND
DO NOT FORSAKE ME...
LIVING IN HARMONY
THE GIRL WHO WAS DEATH
ONCE UIPON A TIME
FALL OUT

PATRICK McGOOHAN