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Thursday, September 20, 2007

TRANSFORMERS score: Decepticons theme chanting revealed (it's a medieval hymn!)

There's just nineteen days left before the CD of Steve Jablonsky's Transformers score comes out, which a lot of us have been looking forward to since the movie came out. Well, Marco van Bergen has discovered something about the soundtrack. Remember the unearthly chanting that's in a lot of the music for the Decepticons, like when Frenzy is hacking the computer and during the "roll call" scene? Marco and I talked about it and comparisons to John Williams's "Duel of the Fates" from the Star Wars Episode I soundtrack came up. The chorals in "Duel of the Fates" were a Sanskrit translation of an ancient Welsh poem called "Battle of the Trees". So might Jablonsky have done something similar with the Decepticons music?

Well, Marco did some asking-around in the right places and here's what he found out:

I was wondering for a longer time now what the great lyrics in the "Decepticons theme" mean, and today, I found out: The Decepticons theme is influenced by the world famous Dies Irae. Jablonsky mixed it up, and uhm, well now you have a meaningless pot of words:

Tuba, mirum, Tuba, spargens
Tremor, David, mirum, ante

Chant which gets louder throughout:
Totum totum totum totum David
Totum spargens totum david
Totum quarens, sedisti totum

(I wasn't able to understand the rest of it.)

If ya would translate it, it would be something like this:

Trumpet, casts, Trumpet wondrous
Horror, David, Casts, before

Contained, contained, contained contained David
Contained wondrous contained David
Contained seeking, hope contained

So, it's all kinda nonsense (although the real Dies Irae has a biblical meaning behind it).

Here's the Wikipedia entry on Dies Irae. From the opening paragraph:
Dies Irae ("Day of Wrath") is a famous thirteenth century Latin hymn thought to be written by Thomas of Celano. It is often judged to be the best medieval Latin poem, differing from classical Latin by its accentual (non-quantitative) stress and its rhymed lines. The meter is trochaic. The poem describes the day of judgment, the last trumpet summoning souls before the throne of God, where the saved will be delivered and the unsaved cast into eternal flames.
I can sorta see why this particular hymn might have wound up being "adapted" for the Decepticons theme: just the translation of the lyrics sound dark, foreboding, unearthly...

What a neat find! Thanks Marco! :-)


Anonymous said...

A friend and I just saw a little movie called Dragon Wars.

It's a weird anomoly. It's just low budget enough to be cheesy, to have 2nd-rate acting, to not make a lick of sense, and to rip off elements from at least half a dozen other movies. But, it's also got just enough of a budget to have genuinely impressive computer graphics, stunts, and explosions.

Marketing was apparently a small part of the budget, because I haven't seen a single commercial for it. But it's also in wide enough release to be in seven theaters in W-S, Gso, and High Point alone.

Anyway, the reason I thought I'd mention it is that I noticed Steve Jablonsky's name being in the end credits for music. I know you're a fan of his work in Transformers. So, if you like cheesy, nonsensical monster movies with music from a composer you trust, Dragon Wars might be worth a try.

Anonymous said...

Nice work.
I was wondering those too..

Anonymous said...

Actually, they're not the right lyrics. I am a qualified linguist and these are the real lyrics!

Bass Chant:

Carme cume charlie zardo caume quantin totum father
Carme cume charlie zardo caume quantin totum father

Treble Chant:

Terde novo terde lusto terde tovo
Nome como nome canem terde salvo
Carme luso terde novo bene solvo terde canem
Nome salva cume zalda terde novo Christe lusto terde tovo

Bene malem canem luso tida tomo nomen como
Nome bene tomo salva canem luso tidem como

Tenor and Soprano Chant:

Canem somo tida carma novi salva lume charlie
Canem banem canem lusto tida tomo como novo
Canem banem canem lusto tida tomo como novo
Nome caldo tomo salve caldo luso tide como

Soprano Chant:

Charlie sude tide canem umen saldo novo taldo
Canem banem canem lusto tida tomo como novo

ThatNateGuy said...

Hey to the person who says they're a qualified linguist, are you sure about "tida" in the Tenor and Soprano chants? It sounds like they're saying "tede" or "telde"

dupreewith2es said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hei some world are in italian some are in latin, some don't exist

Christe=Oh Christ!

Charlie doesn't exist
zardo cant exist in latin (z)
father is english

i appreciate but i think that your solution doesn't make sense

Anonymous said...

i'm pretty sure that "TIDA" is incorrect. it is "TIBI" ("to you" in latin)

Anonymous said...

"QUANTIN" to me sounds more like "OPTIM" or "OPTIME" which would mean "in the best way","as best one can"

Anonymous said...

LUSTO =~ lustro : to survey, encircle.

Anonymous said...

ive listened to decepticons several times (more like 24) and nodiced you forgot several parts and a few words anoymous who wrote the lyrics close to the top. i realy want to find all of the lyrics because i love the song and the movie. so please find them all.