THE KEEP op.319a (February 1983)

'The Theme from The Snowman' used in the 'Tangerine Dream' soundtrack
Published by: Wise
This arrangement by: Tangerine Dream
Commissioned by: Michael Mann/Paramount
Instrumentation: Electronic
[Key to Abbreviations]
First Performance: Made in Shpperton Feature film released in USA 1983. Book by E. Paul Wilson, script and direction by by Michael Mann. Starring Ian McKellen, Alberta Watson, Scott Glen. Editors included Bob Badami and Pamela Power.

All sheet music for "The Snowman" and "Walking In The Air" since 2010 is published and available from Chester Music Ltd, part of The Music Sales Group, It can be purchased online from, or from music retailers.

"Walking In The Air" is also available in a concert piano-only version arranged by the composer direct from Highbridge Music as part of the collection of piano pieces called "Lifecycle", available form Amazon or from Highbridge Music.

Howard Blake describes 25 years of The Snowman animated film and 10 years of The Snowman Stage Show at Sadler's Wells Peacock Theatre in London's West End and plays "Walking in the Air". View the recording here.

The classic original Columbia album conducted by Howard Blake with treble soloist Peter Auty and narration by Bernard Cribbins is available from Sony Music Entertainment CDX71116CD, Amazon and retailers.

The 2010 DVD film of The Snowman Live Stage Show narrated by Joanna Lumley is available from Sony Music Entertainment, CDR 81267; also from Amazon and retailers.



In late 1982 I was scoring the American version of 'The Lords of Discipline' in Hollywood and working into the small hours to finish it.  One night the phone rang in my suite in the Chateau Marmont. It was director/producer Michael Mann who told me about an extraordinary film he was making called 'The Keep', a strange and ambitious project that somehow combined Nazi occupation in Rumania with monsters and the supernatural. He had decided to have an all-electronic score and was working with 'Tangerine Dream'. They however had just heard 'Walking in the Air' which apparently had been a revelation to them. Michael asked if I could collaborate with them to incorporate my 'Snowman song' into the film. I explained that I was working flat out on a rewrite of 'Lords of Discipline' and would be tied up until the studio recording in January. I had however no objection to Tangerine Dream using the theme and was intrigued as to what they would do with it. They saw my theme as having a very special quality of innocence and transcendence which they felt would contrast with the overwhelming evil of the story and this is indeed how they used it - to some considerable effect.The theme 'Walking in the Air' appears at least four times within the soundtrack, worked in contrapuntally by the 'electronic rock group' Tangerine Dream:

1. The ship voyage

2. After the attempted rape of Dr. Cuza's daughter by Nazi soldiers

3. During the love-scene

4. At the resolution of the film, continuing through the credits

(A documentary of 'The Keep' produced by Stewart Buck is planned for release in 2013)


Related Works

'*THE SNOWMAN CONCERT VERSION (to be performed with optional projected film, or narration, or both), for boy soprano and orchestra' op.323 (October 1983) (Audio Sample Available)
A concert version of the score for the animated film

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