John Graham | Long Flat Balls II aka Lange Flate Ballaer II

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John R Graham on IMDB Director Harald Zwart on IMDB Long Flat Balls on IMDB John R Graham's Official Website Long Flat Balls II Official Website Director Harald Zwart's Official Site

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Classical: Film Music Classical: Orchestral Moods: Mood: Fun
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Long Flat Balls II aka Lange Flate Ballaer II

by John Graham

Music from the hit film, "Long Flat Balls 2" ("Lange Flate Baeller 2" in Norway), starring Don Johnson and Petter Jorgensen, won First Place for the 2009 Just Plain Folks Soundtrack category. Music by the composer of "Bitch Slap."
Genre: Classical: Film Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Freddie Moves Out
John R Graham
2:09 $0.99
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2. The Gate (Mie and Petter's Theme)
John R Graham
1:51 $0.99
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3. Arrested
John R Graham
1:00 $0.99
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4. Gates of Hell
John R Graham
0:39 $0.99
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5. Decorated Hero
John R Graham
1:56 $0.99
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6. Dear God No! (Helge's Theme)
John R Graham
1:44 $0.99
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7. Night
John R Graham
1:22 $0.99
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8. Diaper
John R Graham
0:54 $0.99
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9. Mission Briefing
John R Graham
0:59 $0.99
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10. Radar Attack
John R Graham
0:55 $0.99
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11. Sarping (Bloody Head)
John R Graham
0:34 $0.99
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12. Mom from Hell
John R Graham
0:38 $0.99
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13. Gladiator
John R Graham
1:37 $0.99
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14. Headquarters / The Flag
John R Graham
1:48 $0.99
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15. Death Zone
John R Graham
1:21 $0.99
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16. Not Doing This for the Admiral
John R Graham
0:41 $0.99
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17. Godspeed
John R Graham
2:13 $0.99
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18. The Real Problem
John R Graham
0:31 $0.99
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19. Evac. Level 1/Run for your Lives
John R Graham
1:24 $0.99
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20. Big News!
John R Graham
1:25 $0.99
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21. Don't Let Him In
John R Graham
0:33 $0.99
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22. Seppuku Rising/Countdown
John R Graham
1:57 $0.99
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23. She's Communicating/Return of Seppuku
John R Graham
1:25 $0.99
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24. New Heroes
John R Graham
1:07 $0.99
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25. Motorcade
John R Graham
0:26 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The Score

The score for Long Flat Balls II (Lange Flate Ballaer 2) was written for Harald Zwart’s brilliant, funny film. The movie is hilarious, but touching and thoughtful as well, stealthily weaving threads of a deeper story during the nutty stuff in the first half of the film. Using the cast from the original "Long Flat Balls," Zwart adds the American actor Don Johnson, who plays an American Admiral taking part in joint military exercises in Norway. Johnson collides with the distinctly un-military EdGarage team, which is reluctantly performing national service in Norwegian military exercises.

The film is mostly a comedy, but Zwart's films each have at least one serious element that gives them a weight that most comedies lack. Central to the emotional heart of the film is the relationship between Petter, one of the EdGarage crew (and inventor of the “Turbonator”) and his tiny daughter, Mie. The evolution of this relationship transforms an already funny and entertaining film to a much higher level.

Meanwhile, worldwide disaster threatens, and the score spends a good deal of time helping to make the threat of a nuclear submarine ‘real.’ Without that, Petter’s strength of character and that of his fellow EdGarage team wouldn't be evident.

Track Commentary:

“Freddie Moves Out” uses a fast tempo and steadily building intensity to generate a sense of urgency in the main dramatic thread of the film. Musically, this piece is more motivic than thematic, using both orchestral and synthetic percussion to drive the action forward. Throughout the sequence, everything is in motion. The military is on high alert while Freddie is racing to retrieve the Turbonator, Petter’s invention that, it turns out, may save the world. Meanwhile, other characters tear around, some fleeing, some looking for loved ones. This cue drives forward with marcato string figures, timpani and plenty of additional percussion, while violins and French Horns also touch on the worry of those imperiled by the nuclear submarine that is about to launch missiles world wide (again, the movie really is a comedy).

“The Gate” features a fragile piano theme accompanied by strings for Petter and his tiny daughter, Mie. The theme is tender but, harmonically, remains relatively austere and unsentimenta. The piano melody is deliberately simple and gentle, in keeping with the very young child, but the complex bowing and frequent register shifts in the strings evoke the shifts in emotion as the scene develops. Petter is about to take a huge risk. As he is walking by a security fence, he catches sight of his tiny daughter peeking out from behind the woman who’s been looking after her. Petter comes over to her, kneels, and as he speaks to her, apologizing for ignoring her, he begins to cry.

In “Arrested,” the EdGarage gang is in trouble with the military and hubbub ensues. The winds take center stage in this cue, with plenty of color from percussion and brass, and percolating marcato strings.

“Gates of Hell” takes the team into the army proper, where they are getting their equipment and coping with reentry to military life. Musically, this is led by warlike brass and percussion, with wind and mallet flourishes to produce the appropriate military air of discipline, discipline, discipline. Woodwinds take over at the end to remind us that this is a funny army, and to keep things colorful and lively.

“Dear God No!” reintroduces everyone's favourite from the original Long Flat Balls -- Helge, Ed’s nephew, now a Mighty Officer in the Norwegian army. The music evokes Helge’s embrace of military philosophy – “twenty-four / seven.”

“Night” floats around a scene that is light and joking, investing it with a little more sincerity and depth than would be called for if the child appeared in the film solely as a source of jokes and pratfalls. The musical intention is to set this thread early in the film, as this relationship takes on more weight and beauty as the movie develops.

“Diaper” is straight pie-in-the-face material, with the bass clarinet and bassoons starting things off. The next morning, Petter delivers Mie to school in military style.

In “Mission Briefing” and “Radar Attack,” the music follows the military vein a little further, but keeps it relatively light, using a tuba for the main theme in “Mission Briefing,” decorating with woodwinds, and going retro in “Radar Attack” with flutter-tongued alto flutes, muted brass, vibes, and “big brass” as the helicopters swoop in.

“Sarping (Bloody Head)” accompanies Petter-the-warrior as he goes to pick up Mie, shocking her teachers, and giving him an idea…. Musically, bass and tuba accompany bassoon and English Horn, along with strings, winds, and various mallet instruments.

“Mom from Hell” introduces Oyvind’s mother whose maternal instincts are of the disciplinary streak. A harpsichord suggests her brittleness and otherworldliness.

In “Gladiator,” Petter's impassioned speech inspires Helge’s martial spirit, naturally referring to the film ‘Gladiator.’ It’s all strength and honor.

“Headquarters / The Flag” takes us back to the Admiral’s command center, where Don Johnson learns more about Petter’s hidden talents and we get a clear instance also of his sense of honor. The music here restates the theme in French Horns and strings underlining military duty from “Decorated Hero.” This is another unusual attribute of the film that created a tricky dichotomy for the score – on the one hand, the EdGarage guys could hardly be less military or serious, but there is real reverence for genuine service and sacrifice in the film as well. The score plays both sides of this fence too, mocking Helge’s officiousness but honoring real heroism.

By the time we get to the “Death Zone” map we are learning just how lethal the problem is that faces the U.S. Navy. With disaster hanging in the balance, the Admiral asks for the EdGarage team’s help.

“Godspeed” sends our intrepid band into the depths of the nuclear submarine to try to save humanity. It’s a somewhat spooky, mysterious situation, with gasses and steam escaping all around the guys. The music builds tension as the guys feverishly work to put the submarine right. Half-step related harmony and strings in very high register, senza vibrato, along with echoing percussion figures and brass mutes help make things spooky. Marcato strings take over with a horn accompaniment as the concern develops to a head with winds and pitched percussion highlighting the buildup.

In “The Real Problem” and “Evac Level 1 / Run for your Lives” the crisis deepens. Petter and the EdGarage team get closer to the root cause of the submarine’s distress but the situation grows ever more critical as the countdown to missile launch gets closer and closer. The music plays around with texture and rhythm, following the camera work as it winds around the complicated inner workings of the submarine.

Oyvind gets some “Big News” from Petter at the start of the next cue which relieves some of his worry, but the guys are right back to work. Meanwhile, news organisations throughout the world carry the story of the EdGarage gang. This cue continues the tension buildup but is punctuated with muted brass and woodwinds that comment on the newscasts.

In “Don’t Let Him In,” Freddie encounters tremendous difficulties bringing the Turbonator to where it belongs. This gets worse in “Seppuku Rising / Countdown,” as the submarine starts to do its deadly work. There is plenty to be scared about as we find out whether the EdGarage team will be able to forstall nuclear annihilation. This cue takes its tone from Don Johnson’s line, “God help us all,” with the scale – and choir of basses – appropriate to such a moment. The tension builds to a climax as the team works desperately to install the Turbonator and find out whether or not it will save humanity.

“She’s Communicating / Return of Seppuku” reveals that the deadly Seppuku is still on its way, aimed right at the sub in which our guys may be entombed.

“New Heroes” puts the EdGarage team in the same position as the “Decorated Hero” that the Admiral occupies – genuine heroes, though you don’t know if they are dead or alive. The music adds violins and violas in triple octaves, with mallet and percussion decorating the texture.

In “Motorcade,” President Bush himself comes to Fredrikstad to exchange flags with the guys. The President is his usual articulate, noble self, and gets support from French Horns, military drums, strings, and timpani. Woodwinds usher us inside the EdGarage for the guys to receive praise from the leader of the Free World.

Biography:

“Long Flat Balls II” is John R Graham’s 11th feature film score. He began his musical life as a saxophone player and singer in bands, studied music in England at Charterhouse School and in the United States at Williams College, Stanford University, and UCLA. He has composed, orchestrated and conducted for major studios in Los Angeles. John remains inspired by the beauty, gentility, and wildness of the countryside of Virginia, where he spent his childhood, and grateful for the strong literary background he received from his parents, both academics, with PhD’s in literature and aesthetics. He says, “I’m more of a writer, in a way, than a composer.”

Mr. Graham’s website is www.johngrahammusic.com

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