Dramatic Vocalise Database

Mancina, Mark (b. 1957)

Twister (1996)

The depiction of nature, accompanied by wordless vocalization, also occurs in Scott of the Antarctic (1948), and also specifically to accompany a storm scene in Verdi’s Rigoletto (1851). In Twister, a recording of a camel’s moan was slowed down and used for the sound of the tornado.



Opening Credits

[0:00:16–0:01:42] 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), The Abyss (1989), and Mars Attacks! (1996). In Twister the chorus enters under cover of the sound of wind. Since no real context has been provided, the vocalization could signify anything from lamentation, the numinous, or the supernatural. Some of the dense chord-clusters remind me of the vocal style of György Ligeti (1923–2006).

The Twister

[1:42:40–1:43:41] After a few swells from the wordless chorus (1:36:35, 1:36:54, and 1:40:30), the twister in all of its CGI glory tries to suck the life from both Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt. As it passes over them the religious “Ah” sounds, signifying everything from redemption/salvation to the rekindling of their lost love.