A wonderful, spirited black-and-white movie from the golden age, “Mark of Zorro” is one gem that I only discovered a few months ago. The original movie was scored by Alfred Newman with an equally charming score that has all the features of 1940 movie music. It’s astonishing how the genre has evolved in the last 80 years considering that its function is basically the same.
Other than in my previous rescore projects where I tried to do something very different, I approached Zorro with the intent of composing my most melodic, old-fashioned score to date, yet trying to create a more serious mood.
As a main motif, I used something that I had composed in 1995 (on my Korg synthesizer workstation) with – guess what – Zorro in mind. I initially was reluctant to go back to something that I composed 28 years ago, but the theme has stuck in my head ever since, and I thought I can’t do wrong with such a long-lasting tune. There are two more major themes from this time that I re-used in my Zorro rescore, one for the Alcalde (featured on strings in “Son of the Alcalde Returns”) and one that I worked into the track “Escape from the Grounds” where it is used as Zorro jumps on his horse and the pursuit starts off. Up to a certain point I wasn’t sure which of them would emerge as the main Zorro motif, but I tried every one of them in different context and the fanfare theme simply stood out and fit visuals and the on-screen action best.
For sake of completeness, there is one more theme worth mentioning: Lolita’s Theme (heard in “Lolita and Zorro in the Chapel”) is comprised of two themes – A and B, if you will – of which the latter might be considered as a love theme. There’s actually not that much love scenes in this movie, but romantic notions certainly reach their peak in the kiss in the Balcony Scene. The music had to be brief, so there was clearly no time for a “I want to spend my lifetime loving you”-kind of evolving theme. What I did is I stripped down the B theme that I already had, to 3 notes, changed the harmony to fit the Andalusian cadence, featured a solo trumpet with vibrato, and I think all those elements together delivered quite well.
If you’re interested in which virtual instruments I used in this, you can check my post in the VI Forum, or you can turn to me and ask your questions. Otherwise feel free to comment, like, share and let me know if you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed composing.