Washington DC, January 24 & 25, 2003

Williams demonstrates the process of film scoring using clips from Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

Excerpt from The Washington Post on the Friday 24 concert (‘Music and Film Made in Hollywood, USA’):

Another fascination was Williams’s own “Tribute to the Film Composer,” which had the NSO audience smiling and nodding along from the first measures, yet would have proved absolutely mystifying — musical gibberish, in fact — if we hadn’t recognized the references. Over the course of five minutes, Williams manages to breeze through 22 film themes (and fanfares from Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox) in what seems all but random order: “Titanic” to “Psycho” to “Jaws” to “The Pink Panther” to “Exodus” for no more than a few seconds apiece. Remember that inane advertisement for cotton that claimed, in weepy falsetto, that it was “the fabric of our lives”? Think again. “Tribute to the Film Composer” can pass as a collective experiential biography for our times — and our “fabric” is celluloid.

From SunSpot.net on ‘In Synch, How Do They Do It?’ (Saturday 25):

Saturday night introduced visuals to go with the music, starting with a montage from silent movies, spiritedly accompanied on an upright piano by Slatkin and Williams (the latter wrote the witty score for the occasion). Things got wonderfully detailed later when Williams demonstrated the process of film scoring, using a four-minute clip from Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. It was shown first without sound, then with the NSO playing Williams’ music in synch with the “click-track” (heard by the musicians on ear phones) and “streamers” (visible on the screen) – just as in a film studio.

Williams’ craftsmanship was even more apparent when he led the orchestra through the exhilarating final minutes of E.T., again perfectly timed to the actual footage from the movie. This music works its emotional magic as surely as any score by Puccini does; hearing it played so beautifully in a concert hall made it seem doubly inspired.

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