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Henry Buck

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Everything posted by Henry Buck

  1. In a galaxy with magical energy fields, faster-than-light travel, giant space monsters and lightsabers, do we really need to pay such close attention to racial accuracy? People trashed the 90s Cinderella film with Brandy because of its obviously incongruent character races. But so what? It was a fairytale.
  2. You're really short changing Copland though. Copland began with angular avant garde music and explored 12-tone serialism later in his career. He was a versatile, well rounded composer, not just an Americana specialist.
  3. This certainly has more of a pulse than Silvestri's other recent works.
  4. Why is it such a moral offense for posters not to fix their typos? We can understand them fine, and this is a discussion board, not a scholarly journal.
  5. Oh, wow. I studied with Bruce MacCombie for a year at the University of Massachusetts. It was his last year - he died of cancer in 2012. Humble, warm hearted person, and a fine composer. He mentioned knowing Newman. His most well known piece:
  6. A piece recently performed by my school orchestra. Yes, I took some cues from Debussy. https://soundcloud.com/henry-buck/buoy Tannhauser, I liked your film score. I wonder if you could find ways to fill the space a little more. It wouldn't necessarily take padding in a conventional sense, but something to alleviate the feeling of blockiness. You might look at blending instrumental layers more and staggering entrances.
  7. I don't think film music is better or worse than concert music. The visceral/nostalgic appeal is obvious; I grew up with movies like everybody here. But I will say that there's a technical reason for why film music is or can be interesting: it subverts expectations. Dedicated underscoring, particularly in the "mickey mousing" vein, is remarkably complex and unusual structurally. It's full of mixed meter, clipped rhythms and seemingly incomplete phrases. You know, the stuff that Thor hates. But this appeals to me, and what I think is cool is that it's an incidental outgrowth of film editing and pacing, rather than a sacrifice. Film composers have had to tear apart traditional musical forms and ideas of symmetry to jam their ideas into the appropriate time slots, but the results (when done well) have their own logic and beauty. Concert composers have been doing this for a hundred years, albeit usually with a less accessible harmonic language. In other words, I like some film music because you can't count "1, 2, 3, 4" to it. You can't easily rest. Here's an example: the track "Map/Out of Fuel" from Temple of Doom. There's this gorgeous rendition of Willy's theme that we think is going to blossom, but instead Williams just hits the brakes and moves on. Now we all know the more familiar rescore of this track, in which Williams skipped the buildup, went right to Willy's theme and allowed it time to blossom, but I like the original. It's less expected!
  8. It really doesn't surprise me to read this. Stravinsky was an egomaniacal old crank and compulsive liar who was constantly on the offensive about one composer or the other. He didn't even come around to liking Beethoven until he was well into his 80s. He was also a film composer himself. Most people don't know this because Stravinsky's music never made it into any released film. But in 1942, Stravinsky was watching jingoistic propaganda films and gunning for the composer position on The Song of Bernadette. He eventually was passed over for Alfred Newman. But all of these endeavors went into the Symphony in Three Movements of 1943-45. The second movement is a complete score cue intended for The Song of Bernadette. Stravinsky went on to pursue a number of other film projects, none of which came to fruition. He did write The Flood: a musical play for CBS in 1962, but that was a project in which the music came first, so it's not really scoring. What I take from Stravinsky's weird conceits is that artists are often not the most trustworthy witnesses.
  9. Oh, nuts, I missed it. In any case, the iTunes download still has excellent sound and goes, what, 70% toward the record company? Sorry for being typically 'Murican about this.
  10. Really wonderful music. 4 Memento Mori feels to me like a blend of Skyrabin and Satie. I'm going to buy this on iTunes (probably not the best way, but international shipping is expensive).
  11. My understanding of the continuum fingerboard is that it's simply a synthesizer with a unique keyboard that allows one to glide between pitches in a way similar to the ondes martenot. The quality of the sound is whatever synth patch is selected - a synth ondes martenot or theremin in the case of KotCS. It might have been used in place of a real ones martenot for cost effectiveness, or Williams/Kerber felt that the synth sound was more controllable than the real sound. To be clear: the theremin and ondes martenot are not acoustic instruments; they are electronic instruments that use electricity to generate tones which are then amplified. They have been around for about a century. But they are not digital instruments; they can't be "programmed." (I should be crucified for the simplicity of that explanation).
  12. Ugh. I have a DROID MINI. It's a decent phone, but its aesthetic is absolutely for rednecks. I've thrown at most of the built in apps. And now there's a DROID phone coming out with a "kevlar" shell. Give me a fucking break.
  13. On a related note: http://www.theonion.com/articles/harrison-ford-begs-agents-to-just-let-him-die-now,34408/
  14. Nice post from dannthr as far as film music goes, but it's too bad he dismisses atonality as "insanity," as if fifty years of musical radicalism from Scriabin to Boulez was just the artistic equivalent of scratching an itch. Contemporary acoustic and harmonic/contrapuntal techniques are horribly underrepresented in film music. Jerry Goldsmith and Alex North were doing it fifty years ago; what happened? But we do have the occasional score from Corigliano, Greenwood, etc., at least.
  15. I think the real hysteria comes from the people who perceive themselves to be slighted by "political correctness." Just look at all this hypersensitive nonsense posted by BloodBoal and Drax. Saying that the UN is sanitizing our cultural traditions is kind of like saying George Lucas raped our childhoods. A little much, yeah?
  16. I know lots of female composers. My current composition teacher is female. There have been masterful (I hesitate to say "famous") female composers for hundreds of years. How about Clara Schumann or Barbara Strozzi? The fact that people even believe female composers are a rarity speaks to the implicit discrimination women face. Yes, I'm sure there are more male composers, but it's not one in a million by a long shot.
  17. Maybe if there's an entry fee. If not, what have you really got to lose, aside from the nominal cost of printing and posting?
  18. Google "orchestra composition competition." There are actually quite a few opportunities. A few even give cash prizes.
  19. No, homosexuals, asexuals, women, immigrants and old people have more easily hurt feelings, but white male hetrosexuals are more naturally tough and rugged, so they can be treated like crap and take it.Actually, yes. The entrenched white privilege/heteronormative privilege in our culture (US, western Europe, Australia, etc.) does have a tangible psychological impact on the people it excludes, which is why "equal opportunity haters" and "men's rights advocates" and other such people are really just neo-bigots. Why? Well, for all the eschewing of sensitivity and babying and all that, you guys are the most sensitive people I've ever heard of. Oh, and I think it's a little ironic that you don't dare smile at strangers because of our "paranoid" culture, but you seem to think that all world governments are constantly out for your blood.Jay: Sociology isn't politics or religion, right? Riiiight? Come on, let's keep this gray area open.
  20. Spectacular. I bought it. For those of you who just can't get into this sort of music - too archaic or courtly, you might say - I'd advise checking out the opening of "The Creation."
  21. Really? You're worried about the musical integrity of Star Wars films that will come out twenty years from now? Please, consider seeing a psychiatrist about that anxiety. Life is seriously too short for this crap.
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