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airmanjerm

Interesting Composition

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Wow guys....someone sent me a suggestion on a piece for our band to perform this summer for our 4th of July series: "Portrait of Freedom" by Steven Reineke, written in 2002. The title sounded like something that would fit the program, so I looked it up and was fairly shocked at what I heard. Keep in mind this was written in 2002.

I'd say that this composition is about two beats away from a gigantic lawsuit.

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Oh dear...

Frankly, this disgusts me. Mind you, I wholeheartedly endorse having artistic role models, and even to some extent modelling a work of art on another (Ravel did this brilliantly in his Piano Concerto in G, where the slow movement is modelled after the slow movement of Mozart's Clarinet Quintet, sounding, of course, nothing like Mozart), but this is ugly.

Interestingly, for all its consonance and for all the beautiful eloquence of its (far too) direct model, this piece ends up sounding grotesque, even frightening. To me, this would be the music of hell: Distorted (or rather: falsified) revisions of beauty.

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airmanjerm, your link has encouraged me to edit and upload this theme that I recorded from the radio a few months ago. I was like "what the!" when I first listened to it (and at that time, I didn't know what exactly I was listening to).

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Andreas Delfs, conductor.

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Emulating John Williams' style is no bad thing. And personally, I would love to have played this in High School Concert Band.

Who knows, it might even get some youngsters interested in JW by proxy ;)

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Emulating John Williams' style is no bad thing. And personally, I would love to have played this in High School Concert Band.

Who knows, it might even get some youngsters interested in JW by proxy ;)

I agree, it's no bad thing to emulate another composer's style. In the past, if I've been under a time-crunch I've flat-out stolen from Williams and others for tunes I was working on for our group...always because of the tight deadline, and only for small local performances where we play it once and "put it away." I've also been told in the past of some of my own original works that "your music sounds like John Williams!" My response is always "great!" There's worse people out there to be compared to! (ha) So yes, I agree that emulating his style isn't bad. And I also agree that this is a nice work for high school bands...if I were still teaching high school band then I'd potentially schedule this one on an end-of-the-year concert and also play it at graduation.

I think my problem with this sort of thing isn't that he "emulated a style" (although this goes way past emulation). My problem is that he slapped his name on it, got it published, and earns money from it. That, to me, is downright dishonest. If he'd written it as an "homage" to Williams' work then that would be one thing, but this is passed off as his own creation.

We can talk about how film composers steal from things all the time - and not that it makes it "OK" that it's the film world, but it's especially not something that you typically find in the world of published concert music. Yes, composers borrow and steal all the time, but they typically borrow and steal little snippets and ideas, not entire pieces of music that have been rewritten (poorly). Steve is a great writer, it just stumps me that he'd release something like this.

But eh, I'm not gonna lose any sleep over it, just put it out there for discussion.

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airmanjerm, your link has encouraged me to edit and upload this theme that I recorded from the radio a few months ago. I was like "what the!" when I first listened to it (and at that time, I didn't know what exactly I was listening to).

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Andreas Delfs, conductor.

well, this one I actually DO enjoy more than the original! although it of course is a blatant rip-off - but some of the variations sound rather nicely :D

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Emulating John Williams' style is no bad thing. And personally, I would love to have played this in High School Concert Band.

Who knows, it might even get some youngsters interested in JW by proxy ;)

I agree, it's no bad thing to emulate another composer's style. In the past, if I've been under a time-crunch I've flat-out stolen from Williams and others for tunes I was working on for our group...always because of the tight deadline, and only for small local performances where we play it once and "put it away." I've also been told in the past of some of my own original works that "your music sounds like John Williams!" My response is always "great!" There's worse people out there to be compared to! (ha) So yes, I agree that emulating his style isn't bad. And I also agree that this is a nice work for high school bands...if I were still teaching high school band then I'd potentially schedule this one on an end-of-the-year concert and also play it at graduation.

I think my problem with this sort of thing isn't that he "emulated a style" (although this goes way past emulation). My problem is that he slapped his name on it, got it published, and earns money from it. That, to me, is downright dishonest. If he'd written it as an "homage" to Williams' work then that would be one thing, but this is passed off as his own creation.

We can talk about how film composers steal from things all the time - and not that it makes it "OK" that it's the film world, but it's especially not something that you typically find in the world of published concert music. Yes, composers borrow and steal all the time, but they typically borrow and steal little snippets and ideas, not entire pieces of music that have been rewritten (poorly). Steve is a great writer, it just stumps me that he'd release something like this.

But eh, I'm not gonna lose any sleep over it, just put it out there for discussion.

I suppose I was a bit flippant with my remarks, but I can appreciate what you're saying from a professional point of view (especially in the areas of publishing and licensing). I was probably thinking more from an educational perspective and of the exposure of Williams' to musicians who are playing the piece. Then again, judging by when I was a kid and first starting out in Concert Band, Williams' medleys at some point throughout the concert season increasingly became a standard, so direct awareness of JW is more likely than not. And let's face it, I would say that nowadays, most of the general populace has been exposed to the music of JW whether they know it or not.

Speaking of which, I'm sure I've heard a dodgy rip-off of the prolouge from 'Hook' in a trailer somewhere - my google-fu has failed me but I distinctly remember hearing it and being quite outraged at the time.

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Speaking of which, I'm sure I've heard a dodgy rip-off of the prolouge from 'Hook' in a trailer somewhere - my google-fu has failed me but I distinctly remember hearing it and being quite outraged at the time.

Its probably from a Star Wars Episode II, III, or Saga trailer *snickers*

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airmanjerm, your link has encouraged me to edit and upload this theme that I recorded from the radio a few months ago. I was like "what the!" when I first listened to it (and at that time, I didn't know what exactly I was listening to).

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Andreas Delfs, conductor.

well, this one I actually DO enjoy more than the original! although it of course is a blatant rip-off - but some of the variations sound rather nicely :D

well, you must be deaf

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