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Yavar Moradi

New podcast with yours truly: THE GOLDSMITH ODYSSEY

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Thanks guys, and yes Brundlefly, the plan is to cover every single film score, miniseries, and TV movie...and the majority of his episodic television as well, though some of that is hard to find and we may have to abbreviate our coverage of certain shows (we'll either need to pick the best of Thriller and TZ, or do a very fast review of each ep). We're going chronologically and will see the full evolution of his style over the years.

 

BTW, Black Patch deserves to be better known, the superb gem of a score and actually the film is quite good too, for the most part.

 

Yavar

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And our first regular episode, on Jerry's first feature film score, Black Patch, is now live at http://www.goldsmithodyssey.com

 

Note that we give a spoiler warning about two thirds of the way through, so if you're curious to sample the score and learn about the film before watching, you're safe up until that point.

 

For those who want more in depth score analysis, here is the complete score breakdown with liner notes that I only recently revised to incorporate new insights gleaned from studying the music anew for our podcast discussion (beware of spoilers here if you've never seen the film):
http://filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=119663&forumID=1&archive=0

 

I really fell in love with the score the more I listened to it. Very curious to hear your thoughts on the music and our podcast!

 

Yavar

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Our Episode 2 (City of Fear) is now live! We're experimenting with the format so that we get to music discussion much sooner (about 5 minutes in) and just intersperse detailed film discussion throughout in rough chronological fashion. Please let us know whether you prefer this new format or the old more separate one used in Black Patch (but this change was made based on feedback we'd already been receiving).

 

Positive or negative feedback would be great to get here in this thread, or emailed to us at mail@goldsmithodyssey.com.

And if you have positive feedback in particular, we would love it if you gave us a review on iTunes. :)

 

Yavar

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5 hours ago, Yavar Moradi said:

Our Episode 2 (City of Fear) is now live! We're experimenting with the format so that we get to music discussion much sooner (about 5 minutes in) and just intersperse detailed film discussion throughout in rough chronological fashion. Please let us know whether you prefer this new format or the old more separate one used in Black Patch (but this change was made based on feedback we'd already been receiving).

I haven't listened to the new episode yet, but I can already say that if it is more focused on the music, I will prefer it. The first episode was great and what you do is the right step to make following episodes even better, in my opinion.

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Our latest episode -- with even lengthier clips and more music discussion -- is now up, for the completely unreleased but really wonderful and accessible western score, Face of a Fugitive (1959). We also spend the initial 10 minutes on bonus discussion of Jerry's very first commissioned concert work, the Toccata for Solo Guitar. (We play the rare original LP performance by Laurindo Almeida who commissioned the work, so tune in and check it out because it's never been released digitally!)

 

http://goldsmithodyssey.buzzsprout.com/159614/673893-episode-3-face-of-a-fugitive-1959-toccata-1958

 

Give it a listen and let me know what you think!

 

Yavar

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Another episode is now up, for the most prominent and still-remembered project of Jerry's career to date: the beloved Raymond Burr TV adaptation of Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason mysteries. We briefly discuss Fred Steiner's iconic theme to the series, and then move on to the two excellent Goldsmith-scored episodes!

http://goldsmithodyssey.buzzsprout.com/159614/685496-episode-4-perry-mason-1959

"The Case of the Blushing Pearls" in particular (released in complete form on the fine Prometheus album, "Jerry Goldsmith: The Early Years Vol. 1") features a gorgeous theme from Goldsmith's top drawer, and is Clark's favorite score we have covered to date! But we also cover the unreleased "The Case of Paul Drake's Dilemma" -- an even better episode with a solo trumpet-heavy score both reminiscent of City of Fear (composed and recorded the previous year) and foreshadowing of Chinatown.

Check it out, and as always, please let us know what you think!

Yavar

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On 3/29/2018 at 4:04 PM, Brundlefly said:

I haven't listened to the new episode yet, but I can already say that if it is more focused on the music, I will prefer it. The first episode was great and what you do is the right step to make following episodes even better, in my opinion.

 

Just curious Brundlefly (and other interested parties who have posted in this thread) -- have you had a chance to sample the new format yet, wherein we get to music discussion faster? If so, what do you think?

 

For anyone just seeing this, I think our best episode so far is the one on Face of a Fugitive...so if you're only going to try one give that one a shot.

 

Yavar

 

P.S. On Tuesday night we recorded our first episode with a REAL exclusive, covering something that's never even had a commercial video release of any kind: A Marriage of Strangers, a TV movie (or play, really) in the Playhouse 90 anthology series. This was Goldsmith's longest score to date at over 35 minutes (and most concentrated as well since removing commercials Playhouse 90's 90 minutes turns more into 70-75). Only 8 minutes (re-recorded the following summer for library use) of the music were released on the Prometheus disc, "Jerry Goldsmith: The Early Years, Vol. 1"

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3 hours ago, Yavar Moradi said:

Just curious Brundlefly (and other interested parties who have posted in this thread) -- have you had a chance to sample the new format yet, wherein we get to music discussion faster? If so, what do you think?

It was MUCH more interesting. Of course it's my personal opinion, because I may be far more interested in the musical details of Jerry's scores than many other people, but I also think your audience mostly consists of people like me. A short summary of the film's plot is normally enough. Much more important is the topic, the mood and the characters of the film and how the music supports all that. Naturally, discussions about the narrative flow of the music, motifs, themes and their functions often require more comprehensive insights into the film's action, but that's also the most interesting part of a Jerry Goldsmith score.

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On 5/3/2018 at 2:30 PM, Brundlefly said:

It was MUCH more interesting. Of course it's my personal opinion, because I may be far more interested in the musical details of Jerry's scores than many other people, but I also think your audience mostly consists of people like me. A short summary of the film's plot is normally enough. Much more important is the topic, the mood and the characters of the film and how the music supports all that. Naturally, discussions about the narrative flow of the music, motifs, themes and their functions often require more comprehensive insights into the film's action, but that's also the most interesting part of a Jerry Goldsmith score.

 

Thanks Brundlefly; I'm really glad to hear you found it such an improvement. I kinda wish we could go back and redo Black Patch and our Episode 0 now to get to the music faster and include more of it. But onwards and upwards! The latest episode we have ready to go this week actually takes us almost 20 minutes to play any music, but that's not because of film discussion but rather some good discussion about Jerry's work on live television, incorporating interview clips of Jerry himself speaking. I hope that with it being music-focused our listeners won't mind that it takes us a little while to play the actual music on the show (aside from the opening piece, of course).

 

23 hours ago, Disco Stu said:

I should have chimed in before, I'm listening to and enjoying every episode!  Just don't have any particular feedback.  Keep up the good work!

 

Thanks so much Disco Stu! Even if you don't have any particular feedback, it is still great to know we have listeners like you here at JWFan who appreciate what we do. I wish more people just "chimed in" like you did. The tumbleweeds here in this thread for the past couple months were a bit discouraging. :)

 

Do either of you guys (or anyone else reading this) have input re: the Goldsmith Ratio being applied to his TV episodes, a debate which we introduced in our recent Perry Mason podcast? Feels like it could be the next big debate after format. I think it would've been cool because we'd have ended up with vastly different ratios for the two different Perry Masons, including perhaps the first time the Goldsmith Ratio would've gone below 1 for the excellent episode "The Case of Paul Drake's Dilemma". I think it especially important to have for anthology shows like Thriller and The Twilight Zone where one episode really has no dependency on previous ones. But I was outvoted, for now*. Anyone want to back me up and say "Goldsmith Ratios for everything!"

 

Yavar

 

*I did successfully talk my cohosts into giving ratings and Goldsmith ratios for the two Playhouse 90 entries we are covering next (by wonderful coincidence the two we laid our hands on were the same two represented on the Prometheus album) as they are basically feature-length plays, each deserving of their own podcast episode. In fact, A Marriage of Strangers was Jerry's longest score to date (that we know of), at over 35 minutes long.

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On 5/7/2018 at 5:44 PM, Yavar Moradi said:

 

Thanks Brundlefly; I'm really glad to hear you found it such an improvement. I kinda wish we could go back and redo Black Patch and our Episode 0 now to get to the music faster and include more of it. But onwards and upwards! The latest episode we have ready to go this week actually takes us almost 20 minutes to play any music, but that's not because of film discussion but rather some good discussion about Jerry's work on live television, incorporating interview clips of Jerry himself speaking. I hope that with it being music-focused our listeners won't mind that it takes us a little while to play the actual music on the show (aside from the opening piece, of course).

 

 

Thanks so much Disco Stu! Even if you don't have any particular feedback, it is still great to know we have listeners like you here at JWFan who appreciate what we do. I wish more people just "chimed in" like you did. The tumbleweeds here in this thread for the past couple months were a bit discouraging. :)

 

Do either of you guys (or anyone else reading this) have input re: the Goldsmith Ratio being applied to his TV episodes, a debate which we introduced in our recent Perry Mason podcast? Feels like it could be the next big debate after format. I think it would've been cool because we'd have ended up with vastly different ratios for the two different Perry Masons, including perhaps the first time the Goldsmith Ratio would've gone below 1 for the excellent episode "The Case of Paul Drake's Dilemma". I think it especially important to have for anthology shows like Thriller and The Twilight Zone where one episode really has no dependency on previous ones. But I was outvoted, for now*. Anyone want to back me up and say "Goldsmith Ratios for everything!"

 

Yavar

 

*I did successfully talk my cohosts into giving ratings and Goldsmith ratios for the two Playhouse 90 entries we are covering next (by wonderful coincidence the two we laid our hands on were the same two represented on the Prometheus album) as they are basically feature-length plays, each deserving of their own podcast episode. In fact, A Marriage of Strangers was Jerry's longest score to date (that we know of), at over 35 minutes long.

 

I think it makes sense to rate individual episodes for the anthology series, but not for traditional series.

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Thanks, another person (sorta) in my corner! :)

 

Our latest episode is now up, our longest yet (now featuring Goldsmith interview excerpts!) which is appropriate because it's also for Goldsmith's longest score to date, that we know about: A Marriage of Strangers. Since this Playhouse 90 episode itself has never officially been released, this will be a real rarity for fans -- Goldsmith's score is over 35 minutes long and features a lot of material and development not included on the eight minutes (re-recorded for CBS library music purposes) released by Prometheus on their Early Years disc. Check it out and let us know what you think!
http://goldsmithodyssey.buzzsprout.com/159614/700742-episode-5-a-marriage-of-strangers-playhouse-90-1959

 

As always we appreciate positive iTunes reviews and comments of all sorts (we pay attention to every criticism or suggestion) at our mailbag: mail@goldsmithodyssey.com.

 

Yavar

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Thanks! And may I suggest:

The Williams Odyssey

The Bernstein Odyssey

The Herrmann Odyssey

The Poledouris Odyssey

The Newman Odyssey

The Waxman Odyssey

The Horner Odyssey

The Rozsa Odyssey

The Barry Odyssey

 

There really are so many other deserving composers out there who deserve this treatment, and would I think be more manageable than Goldsmith to boot.

 

I just don't recommend The Morricone Odyssey unless you're ready to commit to a two decade project. ;)

 

I'll certainly be tuning in for any of the above myself, should anyone feel so inclined to tackle them...

 

Yavar

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The latest Odyssey episode is now up, for the only other Goldsmith-scored Playhouse 90 episode we've been able to find on video: the adaptation of William Faulkner's Tomorrow:
http://goldsmithodyssey.buzzsprout.com/159614/707767-episode-6-tomorrow-playhouse-90-1960

 

With the score running about 13 minutes in film, one might be forgiven for thinking that the whole thing was released by Prometheus Records on their excellent album, "Jerry Goldsmith: The Early Years Vol. 1" -- since this last season of the show was supposedly the first that was filmed instead of being broadcast live, it seemed a reasonable assumption that the Prometheus tracks came from the original score recording unlike A Marriage of Strangers from the previous year.

This assumption was wrong! As with the previous Playhouse 90 score, the film performance is totally different...no different instrumentation in this one, but the tempos are slower and more deliberate across the board in the film version (which, though I'm used to the Prometheus tracks, actually works better for the composition IMO). Also, it turns out that the film features no fewer than five interesting cues completely left off of the Prometheus disc, and the Prometheus disc features five interesting cues that were, for whatever reason, not used in the film! This is the first example we know of where a good percentage of music Jerry wrote for a project went unused -- don't worry, we include coverage of all of it, including the film version of every single cue. Give this episode a listen and let us know what you think!

 

Yavar

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Been listening to this podcast lately. Really interesting and good. Goldsmith's one of my favorite, and this podcast is a great exploration of his work. 

 

Also there needs to be more podcasts dedicated to singular film composers. So much interesting stuff you could explore, both in film, TV, and even concert / album work.

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Thanks so much, Fancyarcher! Do you have a favorite episode of ours so far? Strengths/weaknesses to comment on?

 

I quite agree that there should be more composer-dedicated podcasts like this, both in classical and film music. (Are we the first film music podcast dedicated to a single composer? I think so...and definitely the first chronological journey like this. What about classical composers? Is anyone out there going comprehensive in covering Beethoven or Silbelius, I wonder?)

 

We're definitely excited to be tackling ALL of Goldsmith's output that we can find, no matter what he wrote for. We only decided to put off the bulk of his radio work for later because we thought that would make it take far too long to get to his film scores that people are much more familiar with. But we'll definitely circle back at the end for an Appendix covering everything we skipped.

 

Yavar

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Thanks to you, everything Goldsmith has ever done will be mentally saved in the heads of your listeners. You do a great job, archiving the legacy of this truly outstanding composer. Not everyone (no one else, to be honest) gets such a luxurious treatment.

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Our latest Odyssey podcast is now up, and I can safely say that I think this is our most fun episode yet. We all really let loose and enjoy investigating two total obscurities scored by Goldsmith: the third episode (only one we could find) of the short-lived live family sitcom, Peck's Bad Girl, and even more excitingly, a completely unaired TV pilot (the first he ever scored, as far as we can tell) for The Sergeant and the Lady, featuring one of the earliest appearances of Jerry's cool jazz writing and a killer main theme you've simply gotta hear. This is music few Goldsmith fans have heard before, beyond a couple cues from The Sergeant and the Lady later tracked into The Twilight Zone -- don't fail to investigate this one, folks!

 

http://goldsmithodyssey.buzzsprout.com/159614/723107-episode-7-peck-s-bad-girl-1959-the-sergeant-and-the-lady-1958

 

Yavar

 

P.S. Next up we'll be recording a big 50s roundup episode covering all the little remaining bits and pieces of film music we haven't covered yet from the decade, with some exciting surprises. After that, our 60s coverage will begin in earnest with The Twilight Zone!

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We bid adieu to the 50s with our biggest episode yet, a huge extravaganza with lots of rare music (some unreleased) you won't hear anywhere else! This is the second time (after A Marriage of Strangers) we've incorporated clips of Jerry speaking, and there's a big surprise in store near the end for folks as well. All serious fans will not want to miss this...

http://goldsmithodyssey.buzzsprout.com/159614/735335-episode-8-fifties-roundup

Yavar

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On 5/25/2018 at 4:24 PM, Yavar Moradi said:

Thanks so much, Fancyarcher! Do you have a favorite episode of ours so far? Strengths/weaknesses to comment on?

 

I quite agree that there should be more composer-dedicated podcasts like this, both in classical and film music. (Are we the first film music podcast dedicated to a single composer? I think so...and definitely the first chronological journey like this. What about classical composers? Is anyone out there going comprehensive in covering Beethoven or Silbelius, I wonder?)

 

We're definitely excited to be tackling ALL of Goldsmith's output that we can find, no matter what he wrote for. We only decided to put off the bulk of his radio work for later because we thought that would make it take far too long to get to his film scores that people are much more familiar with. But we'll definitely circle back at the end for an Appendix covering everything we skipped.

 

Yavar

 

Yeah as far as I can tell. I know of score podcasts that are dedicated to covering single film scores, but that's different.

 

My favorite episodes so far are probably 5 through 7, mostly because I got hear to more of Goldsmith's TV work, which is something I have yet to really explore. Wish more of it was directly available on its own, but I understand why it isn't. A Marriage of Strangers sounds like fantastic "dramatic" proto-60's Goldsmith for example.

 

As for strengths / weaknesses. I'd say that you guys are really are passionate about scoring and Jerry's work in particular, and it really shows. I do wish you that you would maybe discuss the scores a bit even more in detail, but that's more of a personal nitpick and me being selfish then anything, as I just love to hear about score discussions in general, and sometimes wish they would never end. I can't wait till you get to discussing the essential scores in Goldsmith's filmography, and his changing styles over the years. Keep up the good work.

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Hiya Fancyarcher and sorry for the belated reply -- if you want more detailed score discussion, I think you'll get it in our latest episode, which ended up as our second longest at an hour and 48 minutes long, covering only Jerry's first two half-hour episodes of The Twilight Zone:

 

http://goldsmithodyssey.buzzsprout.com/159614/751831-episode-9-the-twilight-zone-the-four-of-us-are-dying-the-big-tall-wish-1960

 

Can't wait to hear what you think of it! Aside from his radio score 1489 Words, one of these two episode scores is my favorite work by Jerry up to this point, and we really dig into it I think.

 

Yavar

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It's okay, at least you finally replied.

 

Fantastic episode, probably my favorite. Helps that I'm a big fan of The Twilight Zone, and also the larger discussion of the scores themselves (of course). Love a lot of Goldsmith's work on the series too. Such abstract varied scoring per episode. It should be noted that the series wasn't a huge hit out of the gate, but had great reviews, and did respectable ratings for the time. It later properly became considered a groundbreaking classic, and rightfully so. 

 

Such great scoring too. The Four of Us Dying is not one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes, I consider it a bit weak, but after listening to the music of it, which features a lot of good distorted sneaky sounding jazz, I really wanted to listen to a lot of Goldsmith's jazz scores again. He really knows how to use trumpets effectively. The Big Tall Wish is actually more interesting as a score and an episode. Maybe the most sentimental Twilight Zone episode, but it works for me. Bolie's theme is really memorable, and Goldsmith does interesting variations of it within the context of the episode. 

 

Can't wait till you guys to get my favorite Twilight Zone Goldsmith episode (both score and episode), The Invaders, which is also his last episode for the series. The way he uses the violin in that episode is downright creepy, and the fact that there isn't much dialogue in the episode means that the music is especially vital to creating mood. I think there's a lot to talk about there. 

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