Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Jediwashington last won the day on March 7

Jediwashington had the most liked content!

About Jediwashington

  • Rank
    Regular Poster
  • Birthday 04/26/1989

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Dallas, TX

Recent Profile Visitors

2561 profile views
  1. Jediwashington

    John Williams At The Movies (Dallas Winds)

    Yeah... I had to laugh at the Junkin shade being thrown in this thread - They'd be thrown out of Texas for even suggesting Jerry performed a wrong tempo! I also know Jerry well enough to know he's going the marked tempo. If the group is responsive enough is another story, not to mention that Williams rarely follows his own tempo markings to the millisecond for live performances. He'll vary by a bit and move around with the group. You can't do that on a sound stage though. His lyrical slow stuff has quite a bit of stretching on beat 4 to make a hit point on one, etc. If anything, I think Williams is the worse of the two conductors here if you're going by gesture (and he would probably agree), BUT Williams is an excellent music director with an ear and knack for understanding little musical "moments" and how they fit in the whole that I would put up against any great conductor in history. He's certainly a perfectionist for intonation and blend when it comes to recording. It would be a blast to hear Williams record some famous romantic symphonies on a stage just to see what he pulls out vs others.
  2. Jediwashington

    John Williams's False Endings

    Yep... This one wins for me. He really makes the listener think its just going to be a piano attack like the end of Firebird (a la Stravinsky), but it's just another scale and fanfare. Just incredible taste. Love every second of this score.
  3. Curious... I don't think this is released yet, so I'm curious if someone transcribed it.
  4. Jediwashington

    A Child's Tale: Suite from The BFG

    I don't know, but there is this incredible chromatic circle of 5th sequence in "The Queen's Dream" starting at 1:20 and following with a statement of Sophie's theme that is harmonized with some really fun layers and rhythmic layering that I think is tragically missing from this suite. It may be one of my favorite moments in the film score wise. I sort of know why he left it out, since the key is slightly different (only like a step off I think), but I can't help but think it would be a much better transition then the sequence he wrote at about 5:30 in this recording.
  5. Jediwashington


    Definitely "Chairman's Waltz." Uses a lot of the same melodic chromatic alterations and chord progressions. Maybe a little slower, but I hear it as well.
  6. So many great things about this performance. First off, I'm yet to hear recordings in this new hall, but it sounds gorgeous. Perfect reverb for orchestral playing. Need to go see something there for sure! What caught me off guard was how fresh this sounds with the antiphonal second violin seating. I love this set up in the strings because it brings so much warmth to the orchestra placing basses and celli more center. I wish Williams used it more often - it's almost standard with most conductors now. It does bring down the brilliance of the seconds and violins in general (since he does a lot of unison I-II writing and play between the two parts), but it's refreshing to have the celli more present in the center and to have more delineation between the I and II Violins. Williams usually orchestrates really bright anyway (usually to cut through sound effects), so it seems appropriate to do whatever you can to bring it back to center. In general, aside from the nearly flawless playing (I love most European and Japanese groups...), I appreciate the more Mahler lyrical approach to Williams music. There seems to be this tendency with most groups to treat Williams as a percussive composer and put a front edge on everything and treat all his accents (particularly in the brass) the same way. Urbańsk does a nice job varying the accents and pulling as much legato out of the orchestra as he can, even lengthening final notes so the chords can speak a little more clearly, and drawing some gorgeous lines in those schmaltzy unison string sections. I really like the interpretation, aside from a few tempi that are a few clicks too slow for my taste. The only exception is the slower approach to "Luke and Leia," which was stunning. Bravi!
  7. I grew up down the street from Kunzel and went to pops concerts all the time with Cincinnati. Quite a treat knowing him! He was so lovely. His interpretations are a lot more German inspired. I love that he encourages the brass to be so much more legato than Williams would probably recommend. The Cincinnati Brass has always had quite a reputation. Aaron Copeland wrote "Fanfare for the Common Man" for our brass section and they've sort of tried to keep the sound similar over the years in their choices of players. The percussion overplaying and bright sound is sort of because of the hall. It doesn't reverberate very well and gives you very little feedback; sort of like an old European hall. Thus the percussion would sometimes overplay and not really be aware. It will never sound like most Williams scores given that it's a hall, not a sound stage like he does most of his scores. Kunzel was a perfectionist though and you can tell from his recordings... He never lets a bad take make it to the final record. Love that SpaceCamp recording as well!
  8. Jediwashington

    Williams donates all his scores to Juilliard

    I work in legacy fundraising/development in the orchestra sector (Basically... being in peoples last wills). A "bequest" is a portion of the last will that is conditional upon death. As he has likely had a will for some time, he probably gave them the library a long time ago, but simply hasn't announced until they gave him this award. I'm sure their development department wanted to announce it as part of the event to make sure it got press. But basically, they won't get it until he passes. It's important to save space for it though and be prepared; especially with the volume of work he has. It probably exceeds many of the great european composers in output and I'm expecting a ton of unreleased compositions he wrote out of boredom or scrapped projects. As Williams is quite the philanthropist, I'm not surprised, but also also very pleased that he recognizes that his works should be preserved properly. They'll likely be accessible by everyone barring any copyrights - though he may have released all the rights he owns in the bequest as well; which would be unprecedented. It's likely that his estate will continue collecting royalties for decades. Julliard will have the original manuscripts to study though and will hopefully scan most of them before they start degrading (I imagine some are in poor shape already) and any one who has access to any university library should be able to access. That's how most are done. The original manuscripts are often less controlled than the final stuff owned by Hal Leonard, etc. The hard part is cataloging them all, which will take a number of years, but Williams is said to be meticulously organized, so that should make things easier.
  9. Jediwashington

    Podcast: Rian Johnson On How John Williams Works

    Absolutely the case. This score was heavily temp-tracked. Tempos line up almost exactly with previous cues and Rian even mentions that they temped the entire film and gave it to John. That being said, Rian has NEVER worked with a real composer before - only his relatively amature cousin. Thus his normal workflow was probably more dictated than artistically letting go and he probably had a really hard time doing that even though he has incredible appreciation for Williams and probably couldn't think of not temping a movie, even though Williams could probably work around it regardless.
  10. Jediwashington

    John Williams' 2018 Concert Schedule

    I've been in Milan for 6 months and I can confirm this is an Italian Orchestra thing; unless it's La Scala or one of the major opera house orchestras, they are usually out of tune and messy. Not really their fault; it's nearly impossible for full orchestras to make enough money here for full time positions because the Italian government basically only funds opera houses as part of their heritage management and there is no culture of philanthropy except for a few foundations (but they usually prefer to fund museums and artwork over music).
  11. Jediwashington

    JoAnn Kane's Mark Graham Interview on orchestrating for Williams

    Of course they do. Finale actually allows you to select what range you want to work within: Professional all playable notes, common ranges, and then more education based ranges. Not saying it's perfect, and it's still being refined to show what would be harmonics and whatnot, but even some instruments can have variation. I have a lovely oboe with a third octave key that makes some of the extended range stuff easy, but most guys with a loree with just 2 octave keys would have a hard time, even though it's a common configuration for professionals. Same goes for flutes with a B foot vs. a Bb foot. Woodwinds tend to be the messiest with these things, so I'm not surprised Williams leaves it vague for them to fill in details. He must trust someone specifically at JoAnn that is a beast at woodwinds. That being said, I'm pretty sure most composers aren't sophisticated enough to care. Can't tell you how many times I've been handed professional parts from composers who should know better that are writing non existent Bb's for oboe or thinking anything above a high D is going to sound decent. I've seen the same for string double stops that are impossible and no regard for the difference between that and a divisi. Finding people that know their stuff these days is rare, and the arrogance of some composers to "just make it work" is infuriating. That is where I tend to disagree with the reverence for composers intent that permeates the industry. Tell me about it... I graduated from one of the best conservatories in the US and our orchestration class was a joke. The teacher barely knew how to engrave a part, let alone basic ranges and questioned standard doublings all the time. I had to dumb my work down to satisfy her.
  12. Jediwashington

    JoAnn Kane's Mark Graham Interview on orchestrating for Williams

    Depends on the workflow. Williams needed copyists with some ability to fill in details more than he needed orchestrators. He is really familiar with ranges, tone colors, and blend, no doubt from all his years on a podium as well. There are tons of composers who don't know that level of detail, and thus need someone to flesh out their ideas more clearly, or they work in a team environment where they do more signing off of material than actually writing it and call those people "orchestrators." Orchestration and Copyists have been a dying art form anyway. It was sort of the middle man built by the pace required in Hollywood. Finale is so quick now, most competent composers don't need much help. Finale even indicates now when a note is out of range for a particular instrument while you are writing. The biggest annoyance is formatting the parts for page turns, anything that might overlap accidentally, and printing. For that JoAnn Kane is a blessing, as most printers have NO clue how to do music.
  13. Yeah... I would say from doing years of classical music study, this is where about 70% of classical musicians fall. Williams = "Pop-Classical for the masses," not actually innovative writing. Williams is clearly an Opera and Ballet lover, and there are so many similarities in in writing from standard romantic/neo-romantic Operas and Ballets. It's getting better though, since a lot of musicians these days went into music because of Williams. That and management as well as the musicians are starting to realize the value in his music for selling out strict large-orchestra instrumental music while not having to invite some incredibly expensive soloist or bring in vocalists. The cost is already built into the union contract and you might just have to pay some doubling fees and bring in some ringers to give the brass some body and pay a second principal trumpet to give the lead a break.
  14. http://www.finalemusic.com/blog/may-the-fourth-spotlight-on-joann-kane-music/ Interview with Mark Graham from Joann Kane was posted today in honor of May the 4th. He talks a lot about how Williams orchestration process has changed, and a fun anecdote about a Harry Potter cue that Williams forgot to write in on a sketch that he needed string parts for: Sound's like Knight Bus? Any other ideas? Tons of little tid-bits for discussion, so I thought I would start a thread.
  15. Jediwashington

    John Williams is untouchable

    Williams is a modern day Gershwin that took progressive jazz and standards writing and dressed it up for orchestra. I'm constantly amazed at his depth of compositional language from a chordal stand point and the areas he explores. It's much easier to analyze his works from a jazz perspective than from a traditional theory. He uses keys to influence mood unlike any other composer for film. It's quite clear he has a deep love of ballet, opera, and tone poems. His awareness of the standard rep and even the more esoteric material has certainly informed his orchestrations and given him this incredible paintbrush to use for every film he works on. From a music stand point, it's his timbre and tone colors that make his style so unique. As well, his ear is impeccable as a conductor. I have never regarded him as a good conductor (and I have no doubt that was part of the reason Boston and him had some trouble at one point) but he has great ears from the podium and no one can create as clean a take as he can so quickly. He does have the best playing for him, but that is only part of the equation. But by far my favorite thing about Williams is his humility and somewhat self loathing quality. He writes what he thinks is needed for the film and never boasts that his work is any good. He simply enjoys the journey of writing, refuses to let the strict classical community get to him, and continues to explore his own voice while staying true to the core of his style, even at this age. His work ethic is incredible as well and given his personality and love for writing, I have no doubt that some of his best works and sketches will be discovered in a filing cabinet labeled "little nothing works." It's sad that I really don't see anyone as complete of a musician as him coming up through film. He has been blessed to have a name that allowed him to blow holes through most fast pace production environments and consider the music as a complete package that needed time, but the younger folks don't have this liberty. It's probably the true reason he doesn't work with any young directors aside from the price. Overall, I think his work will be looked upon for centuries as the culmination of the symphonic film score era. I hope someone close to him can encourage him at this age to take on a protege to learn some of his shortcuts, discussions with directors during spotting, and learn some more detailed insight to the process so we can continue truly symphonic scores that actually match film moving forward.