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David Story

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  1. Excellent transcription and mockup! Indy appreciates your helping him find The Ark of the Covenant. In 20 years the folks replacing live musicians with mockups will themselves be replaced by AI composing tools in the hands of talented young businessmen. Only composers who use live players and cool programing will make a career as an artist
  2. Sure thing. Maybe I should have said the old magic. When I said he changed with times I really meant it. Today's brilliance or 1990's is different from the 70s, as they should be Yes, this makes all the difference! Agreed. Few projects get this kind of attention. The concert versions are a chance to follow the musical lines a bit longer than the edit may allow
  3. The magic is back! If you like film, the films are summed up and glorified. If you like music, it soars to heights and explores depths that culminate the neoromantic era. If you like performance this dazzles with live energy and charm. Dracula is probably the darkest thing he's done on a concert album. And the leggiero eloquence in Hedwig and Luke and Liea blooms into classic Williams. He really has changed with the times, but remembers the old wisdom.
  4. John spent decades elevating fantasies with inspired themes that took their subjects seriously. Yet the films were not serious dramas and the music could not dwell in the realm of the thoughtful and profound for long. He can create that kind of art also, but the famous melodies are usually from lighter fare. The CD is 75% from fantasy/comedy, as you might expect of a hits compilation. Yet the Neoromantic virtuoso arrangements allow the composer to treat these magical themes a touch more seriously, give us a glimpse of where they might have gone in a different kind of story. I haven't heard the whole album, just enough to see what some have described as dark or melancholy is part of the vision. It's not time or distance in my view. John is showing the potential of these great themes in a way that just wasn't possible before. Along with sweet references to the original context
  5. The Galaxy Edge music seems very Star Warsian - the rhythm, melody, harmony, and orchestration are all in the familiar style. A bit more 21st century than ANH. Yet that could be because he's portraying a theme park experience, and the simpler textures are better suited for families running around than enhancing on screen drama. The main theme is pretty catchy, especially the 8 note motif that recurs. John Williams probably spent a few days on this cue, it's not a character theme that has to be very specific. But there's lots of room for variations. Maybe the general lite adventure quality makes it reminiscent of other scores. I love the performance from the LSO, they're in fine form. Brilliant tone and ensemble play. At least that's what I hear
  6. I've read that in 1977 there was a concert with music from Star Wars given in London, prior to the film's release. Is there any truth to that?
  7. Thanks! HTTYD has a great melody with phrases, so is Assassin's Tango. The others I've heard are brilliant themes that repeat. A-B-C contrasting with A-A-A''. Or a succession of phrases that don't repeat, A-B-C-D-E-etc The main Star Wars melodies have 3 or 4 contrasting phrases that form a classic melody. There's also themes or motifs for secondary or less developed characters that are similar to what most composers today do. I think JP will do a great score for the Solo movie, now.
  8. Agreed! JW is the spirit of Star Wars and is probably the only A list composer who can write a Golden Age theme. All the firings are evidence of how tricky this universe is to navigate. I like JP scores a lot, but JP, Desplat or anyone else they might actually hire are probably going to write a more effective score with guidance from JW. There are artists who can create in the Hollywood Romantic idiom, but they aren't in style...
  9. Yes, they all work in the film and they all have strong concert suites. And they all get better over time. I love TPM and TFA, somehow TLJ is a little more consistently enjoyable to me, for now. ROTS has more highlights, but TPM has the DNA of all the following films. TFA is at it's best in the FYC version, but that isn't as high quality sound. Best to love them all.
  10. In this film, John Williams is free to score in his classic style. The details are back, and the high energy. The performances and recording are at the LSO/Anvil level. (Which I believe are timeless and transcendent.) The score is the best thing in The Last Jedi, a movie many, many people love. It can't be the worst by objective measures. The film may divide the audience but the music is unifying. I agree with Williams, the Star Wars scores are all part of one extended project. Meaning the individual scores are very tricky to judge without the passage of time and appreciating how they fit together. The glossary of themes is large enough that there's more than a dozen in The Last Jedi. That's plenty of material that he develops with brilliance in addition to scene specific inventions. Every Williams score has great moments, especially in SW, and elevate the film. In attempting to order them, I looked at consistency, imagination, storytelling, frequency of genius, and sonic quality. TLJ is in the 4-6 range out of 8. Pretty good, considering all the scores are assured a place in music and film history. They all reward repeat listening. And are exciting and inspiring! Each new score motivates me to listen to the whole series with fresh enthusiasm. What an accomplishment!
  11. We all learn from the great masters and understanding their work is part of the joy. There's been a shift away from melody and structure that is probably most obvious when someone tries to compose for Star Wars. I hope that composers and fans appreciate the traditions and keep them alive, along with the new stuff. When I score a movie I design the music to meet concert standards when possible. It's what I believe in
  12. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUBUlKgsNK8 All right, let's start with Miz's observation about long note melodies by looking at an actual long-note melody. The Jedi Steps cue begins with an 8 note theme in the celli, that rises through the orchestra to the flutes and oboes. This represents Rey's determined searching, and is more than an introduction. It will return at a key moment. A simple flourish in the celeste leads to the Jedi Steps Theme, a 16 note melody that's in the celli and violas. It represents Rey's complex relation with the Force. This is reinforced by the appearance of the Force theme itself at the end of the cue. The Jedi Steps theme starts and ends on a descending 5th, the inverse of the Star Wars Main Theme. The whole cue is in 2 flats, same as the Star Wars Main Theme, but now the relative minor key. Then the flourish returns and the JST is played by the winds in a higher register, but now it's 18 notes and ends on a rising half-step. And lands on a massive Dark orchestral motif that is strikingly similar to the Imperial March ending. The brass make their first entry in minor harmony. A good place to look for the difference between a great composer and the talented and skillful is in the accompaniment. The cue opens with a simple pulse in the celeste, lots of space, then a rapid texture in the violins. Gradually more instruments join the texture, each playing a slightly different pattern. The patterns are based on bits of the JST. They build with growing dissonance, but stay clear of the melody register, until a full orchestral climax with the Dark motif. All these structural elements are easily felt by the audience as deeper emotion, unity and dramatic impact. For example, the sequence begins with stunning epic cinematography, while the music focus on the character's innermost thoughts. Until the confrontation. This structure is planned from the first sketch by Williams. And we're only looking at an overview of 1 minute. Now let's look at a Giacchino cue, say the one mentioned above, Rogue One. It begins with full orchestra and the strings, brass and percussion are playing lots of notes in the same general range. The Rogue One theme is played twice by the violins and violas with brass accents, then we get a minor fanfare played twice in muted brass. Next the Force Theme is played quickly by the horns. All of this is accompanied by a fast short pattern in the celli, basses, and piano that keeps repeating. May be derived from the ROT, but Then there's a quick orchestral swell based on a scale. Now the ROT in the low strings, piano and woodwinds, then a simplified version with Timpani accents. Then fragments of the theme repeat between the violins and celli/bass until the RO theme returns. There's bits of dramatic counterpoint in there, but they aren't developed. It's busy action music, so it's not going to be as subtle as a dramatic sequence. He's following a lot of film composition techniques. But If John Williams were doing it there would be more variety in the orchestration, and the themes would be more expressive and cover a wider range. Especially the accompaniment would be cleaner, with more variety, and be related to the main themes in a more subtle and resonant way. The biggest difference is William's melodic genius that makes his best themes strong enough to be quickly memorized by the audience, yet complex enough that harmony and accompaniment patterns can be derived from them. And the long term development of ideas that gives symphonic solidity to the structure. That's just not Michael's thing. He excels at blending pop and orchestral, like The Incredibles.
  13. I saw Rogue One in 3D Imax in a good theater, it was a fun action movie. Definitely looked and felt like a Star Wars movie. Felicity Jones, Jiang Wen, and Donnie Yen are especially good. Personally I liked the Force Awakens better, but this is definitely worth seeing. The first live action Star Wars film not scored by John Williams missed his magical presence. Michael Giacchino delivered one of his better scores that really helps the film. But the classical tradition is not his thing, so it's about the sound and moments. Some cool effects. Hope is probably the most emotional cue. Lots of Williams themes throughout the score, makes me wonder if the film was temped with classic Star Wars. The Williams scores have a deeper structure that's easy to hear if you play The Jedi Steps after any RO cue. Emotion, structure, and effects all in one. John Williams *is* Star Wars, he carries the films into timeless mythology. It's true that MG is a different personalitiy from a different era. But there probably isn't anyone on today's A list of composers besides Williams who could add to the legacy. Sure, I can really like a film that is simply well made entertainment. But the bar is set real high for SW. Maybe Bear McCreary or Laura Karpman could, if given time and minimal interference. It does raise the question of how many times the first two Star Wars movies can be imitated before people want something new and inspired. For now it's good space opera, all credit to Disney for addressing freedom and rebellion. I'm still on board
  14. This may have already been posted, but it's got drama, energy, and soaring melodies I love. Also a good example of the universality of great music.
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