Dramatic Vocalise Database

Silvestri, Alan (b. 1950)

The Abyss (1989)

James Cameron’s film The Abyss (1989), with a score by Alan Silvestri (b. 1950), is not futuristic, however its portrayal of undersea “aliens” lends itself well to the use of dramatic vocalization. Like several movies previously mentioned, the opening credits include dramatic vocalization to foreshadow the events that follow. Apart from this, background music is not heard for over an hour until Lindsey Brigman (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) makes a repair dive. During this dive she encounters a deep-sea Non-Terrestrial-Intelligence, accompanied by dramatic vocalization (its only other use within the entire movie) to signify the supernatural as well as her own astonishment.

(Nauman 2009, 254)

Connections between stage and film music exist aplenty. . . . A parallel can be drawn between the glowing head of the Mandarin in Bartók’s evocative score, the only occurrence of dramatic vocalization in the entire pantomime, and the use of dramatic vocalization to accompany the glowing undersea aliens in the movie The Abyss.

(Nauman 2009, 258)



Opening Credits

Many other films use wordless vocalization in their opening credits to foreshadow the “surprise” yet to come. See The Wizard of Oz (1939), The Ox-Bow Incident (1942), The Robe (1953), Mars Attacks! (1996), and Twister (1996).

First Contact

Ending Credits