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SteveMc

Discussion: John Williams's Most Original Score

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So, what do y'all feel is John Williams's most original score?  That is to say, his score that is least dependent on the influence of other composers (not that there's anything wrong with that).

 

From an original idea by @crumbs, over on the Discord channel ( @Holko presiding).  

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23 minutes ago, John said:

A.I. is a very original and unusual score. Lots of varying textures and ambitious orchestrations.

 

But very "John Adams"?

 

(one of my favourite JW scores, certainly, but I'm not sure it's bereft of influence -- then again, what is?).

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AI has little bits of influence from a number of sources, but those moments are brief and scattered.  On the whole I reckon the score is deeply connected to Williams' personal voice as a concert composer, with all the influences and innovations that make that up.  A solid choice for his most original score with the understanding that nothing is ever really original.

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E.T.

 

Might sound like an odd answer but for the reason of scoring. The music might not be extremely original, it is your traditional symphonic sound but the way the film is scored is original I would say. I don't think anyone else would have scored the film this way.

 

And the chase theme is the single most original theme he has written. There is really nothing like it. 

 

And the climax is tremendous because throughout the film Williams is very disciplined, and keeps a relatively low profile for the most part but then goes absolutely HUGE for the climax. It really helps escalate the suspense and drama of the film. 

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12 minutes ago, Knox Harrington said:

 

Hate to be that guy but let's not go crazy.

 

 

I find John's usage of this as a template for E.T. to be a magnificent, and, in its own way, strikingly original tribute.

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Close Encounters or Images. Also A Long Goodbye, original in the sense how it was used in the film, as a sort of all permeating motto throughout the film and how it morphed and fluidly flowed through everything as the melancholy commentary of the story and mostly as in-world diegetic music. I really wish Williams had collaborated more with Altman.

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1 hour ago, crumbs said:

Does a track like Zam the Assassin and the Chase Through Coruscant have a clear influence? I've always found that track wildly original. 

 

It certainly influenced Quidditch, Second Year xD

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12 hours ago, Thor said:

 

But very "John Adams"?

 

(one of my favourite JW scores, certainly, but I'm not sure it's bereft of influence -- then again, what is?).

 

You should check out the expanded release then. :)

 

20 minutes ago, Obi said:

Rosewood ! (After Images)

 

He asked for original, not boring.

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I would say The Empire Strikes back, you will tell me, well, it’s a sequel to Star Wars, but do you know that « Fame » won the oscar for best musical score this year? John Williams since Jaws in 1975 always continued in the big romantic orchestral score genre ignoring completely the current fashion, and he proved that again a year later with Raiders. At the end the 70s that was « Original » and a statement I think.

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Just now, hornist said:

Minority Report or The Book Thief

Minority Report is a contender.  The Book Thief has a unique presentation, but it does bear the mark of influence.  The 2nd movement of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 reminds me strongly of John's work here.

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This is veering off-topic, but the pioneers of the burgeoning MIDI technology in the 80s were obvioulsy people like Moroder, Faltermeyer, Hammer etc. I guess in a way you could say that MIDNIGHT EXPRESS was an early prototype of the prevalent synth scores that defined the 80s, as pop producers brought to film music what was already happening on the electropop scene.

 

The SPACE CAMP cue was clearly feeding off of that, with a definite Vince di Cola vibe going on.

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4 minutes ago, SteveMc said:

Superior retake in my book, no pun intended.

 

Ah, just when you were doing so well Steve! :(

 

Angela's Ashes is clearly the far superior work. The Book Thief is pleasant, but unremarkable in my books. (cue: hornist's vitriol...)

 

 

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4 minutes ago, KK said:

 

Ah, just when you were doing so well Steve! :(

 

Angela's Ashes is clearly the far superior work. The Book Thief is pleasant, but unremarkable in my books. (cue: hornist's vitriol...)

 

 

I greatly appreciate Angela's Ashes, but there is a mood and an intimacy in The Book Thief , that truly connects with me.   

 

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