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Showing content with the highest reputation on 11/19/13 in all areas

  1. Yep, I was on my way out the door to visit the sessions NZ when the phone call came in telling me to unpack my bags. Later the following winter, Shore had me over to hear his full Kong score, but only so we could talk about it on a personal level. He asked me to please leave specific details out of the public discussion, and so I honor that request. I will tell you that it was astonishingly beautiful, and that it had a great deal of heart ... I hope that everyone has a chance to hear it one day.
    5 points
  2. Well I'm so glad to hear this again (even though its a mock up) after almost 12 years. I was singing Tenor in the extra chorus of Covent Garden at the time in Verdi's Simon Boccanegra. Between stage rehearsals Terry Edwards came up to me and asked if I would like to sing in the two AOTC sessions which were due the following week. I nearly fainted. I had done a couple of gigs with London Voices before this and the most recent had been a recording of a Symphonic Jazz Cantata by Dave Brubeck called "The Gates of Justice" which we recorded at Abbey Road. I turned up at Abbey Road and the entire day was one of utter enchantment for me. It is this one deleted passage of underscore which dazzled me the most. Williams recorded the entire thing three or four times in front of me and I got to hear those gigantic orchestral chords over and over again. At the time I described the effect as a "massive orchestral blowout" and I really looked forward to hearing it on the official soundtrack album. Chris Chrusher sent me an advance promo of the AOTC soundtrack album a few months later and I was very disappointed to hear the Imperial March used as replacement. I thought this was a cheap and inappropriate cop-out. Much like the entire wretched movie itself. Will this legendary portion ever see the light of day on CD? If it had been me I would have left any statement of the Imperial March right to the end of ROTS when Anakin/Vader is on the operating table. I would have commisioned Williams to transform the Imperial March into a gigantic choral statement. Can you imagine a 60 piece choir of the calibre of London Voices singing the Imperial March as an illustrative index of Vader's magnitude? Sadly even such a grandiloquent statement could not have saved the rushed botched job of Vader's incarnation. There was relatively little to do for us in the chorus that day so most of us were trying to contort our heads up to catch snippets of what was happening on the gigantic screen above our heads. I remember seeing huge bars rolling across the screen which acted as a click track in time with the music. Also I was mildly horrified to see images of a computer generated Yoda (the CGI image wasnt entirely fleshed out at this stage) doing somersaults with a tiny light sabre. Oh please! Utterly dreadful. I was moving house at the time of the premiere of AOTC and I almost missed my chance to see the cast and crew showing at Leicester Sq because the tickets had been sent to my previous address. Luckily I intercepted my mail and was able to attend. I went with my good friend Richard Voice and we sat through this largely interminable gadbage dressed up as a Star Wars movie. It was just an orgy of not very good CGI. We were both well versed with the soundtrack for TPM and were both equally dismayed to hear snippets of the TPM score used as genuine underscore. One of the main qualities of the Star Wars movies was the music and this aberration and butchering of Williams music was a benchmark which set AOTC apart from all the other movies. Incidentally does anyone know if Williams wrote an original set of cues for the scenes which were ultimately scored with rehashed snippets from the score of TPM? Or was the ratatouille of jumbled up snippets the first and only choice? What a mess! This was one of the best paid singing jobs I ever did and I still have the Lucasfilm invoice to prove it. In between the two sessions I bravely walked over to Mr Williams who was standing at the podium poring over his gigantic printed score which had "STAR WARS II" written in big bold letters on the front page. I introduced myself and by this time I was physically shaking. I told him the story he's probably heard a thousand times...that as an 8 year old in Glasgow I was significantly influenced by his vast orchestral frescoes so much so that I eventually made classical music my career and thus went on to study opera at the RCM. I distinctly remember saying "Mr Williams! Your music will last for hundreds and hundreds of years!" To which he retorted "Yes but will we still be around in hundreds of years?". What I remember about him in those brief moments was his deportment and incredible graces. I had my photo taken with him and it hangs on my living room wall. It was a perfect day in many respects except for one thing. In my stupour I forgot to shake maestro Williams hand!
    5 points
  3. I totally see where you're coming from and you raise an interesting topic. However, we really cannot escape the flat fact that any film composer doesn't write blind and/or following necessarily what maybe would be his/her own personal preferences (or the fans' wishes!) in a pure musical sense. The choices of the whole musical lexicon (melody, harmony, orchestration, counterpoint) must always gel with the necessities of the film itself. In the case of LOTR, it really is a choice of economy to keep most of the underscoring simple and lean--these 3hrs-plus movies are accompanied by music from beginning to end, hardly there is a tacet for the orchestra. If the orchestrational/harmonic language is too dense and fancy, then it would be totally overbearing. Of course this is also a stylistic choice on the filmmakers' and the composer's parts, but these choices have to deal also with practical issues of keeping things clear in the sound mixing room (the dialogue track is still the King there). Of course you can bring the example of The Empire Strikes Back, where Williams pulled out all the stops and delivered an almost outrageous score where there is hardly an "homogenous" or homophonic passage (and indeed quite a few passages were dialed out in the final mix). But the original Star Wars films were very different beasts in comparison to LOTR--those Lucas' films were space adventure capers requiring an almost cartoonish/Korngoldian musical gesture, while Peter Jackson's Middle Earth films looks like more faux-historic fantasy epics and the score follows suit in that sense. So, in this sense we should never compare the film work of composers like Shore or Williams to Wagner's operas.
    2 points
  4. I'm sure the ideas going into Kong influenced other works of his. I can't imagine that a composer is able to just put all of that hard work aside. Imagine, maybe what we call Smaug's theme was originally a theme for the T-Rex fight I don't know how the copyright situation is on Kong, but I assume it won't be easy getting the rights, and not very cheap either.
    1 point
  5. Yep, I was on my way out the door to visit the sessions NZ when the phone call came in telling me to unpack my bags. Later the following winter, Shore had me over to hear his full Kong score, but only so we could talk about it on a personal level. He asked me to please leave specific details out of the public discussion, and so I honor that request. I will tell you that it was astonishingly beautiful, and that it had a great deal of heart ... I hope that everyone has a chance to hear it one day. I hope in a future Collector's Edition from Howe Records.
    1 point
  6. @crocodile I would go with Vanska too. I love his Beethoven Symphony Cycle. Here are some recommended versions on arkivmusic.com : http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/albumList.jsp?name_id1=11179&name_role1=1&comp_id=2833&genre=66&bcorder=195H&album_group=5
    1 point
  7. KK

    GAME OF THRONES

    It was handled differently in the book than the show. We don't actually see his torture. I really liked how they handled Theon's storyline in the book. But that would have been implausible for TV, and couldn't have been done that effectively anyway. That's because there isn't much to enjoy. It goes like this: It's not like that in the book.
    1 point
  8. You're right but everything that I class as "study music" I also enjoy as I would any other score. Some music can be used for both, some would result in me doing nothing.
    1 point
  9. I think this is the wisest avenue to pursue.
    1 point
  10. Dixon Hill

    GAME OF THRONES

    Although it is slightly embarrassing for those who were edged out by the bear.
    1 point
  11. Band of Brothers by Michael Kamen: In honour of Michael Kamen I listened to my favourite score of his where everything that is good in his music comes together. There is just beautiful melodicism and lyricism in this music, the score in turns reflective, noble, rousing, tragic and triumphant with exquisite soloist moments from most sections featured along the way. The score also featured a fine set of themes that are developed throughout the album and great many beautiful individual incidental melodies. Every piece is a treat on this album, so finely crafted, so beautifully conceived and moving and you can really hear how inspired the composer was by the subject matter. The Suites at the start of the album are a special treat where the composer can let his inspiration flow and produces brilliant development on several of the themes featured in the scores of the series, the second suite actually containing the finale of the final episode as a coda. Highly recommended to one and all!
    1 point
  12. And who knows what time of year it is perhaps there was a rain, and then a temprature drop, and then the water froze on the webs
    1 point
  13. Jay

    GAME OF THRONES

    A Song Of Minutes and Seconds: Cool chart showing how much screen time each character got in Season 3 http://www.buzzfeed.com/kateaurthur/game-of-thrones-characters-screen-time-season-3 I'd love to see charts for seasons 1 and 2, not to mention an all 3 seasons combined chart. Goddamn, I love this show. I should have written about it more as I was watching it all earlier this year. Maybe if I re-watch 1-3 before 4 starts I will.
    1 point
  14. Wojo

    Noah

    They're antediluvian animals. They don't have to look scientifically accurate.
    1 point
  15. Extremely cringeworthy to watch. Ford clearly hates this aspect of the business, always has done.
    1 point
  16. Ah, interesting question! And certainly pertaining to one of my favorite aspects of Williams' harmonic writing. I can't think of any one single "culprit" here, but similar hybrids and harmonic conglomerates exist, although to my knowledge not with the same kind of "fluency": Messiaen's polymodality sometimes explores similar terrain, in terms of triadic structures embellished by modally unrelated sonorities (but they are still typically limited to Messiaen's modalities). And if we allow bi- and poly-modal and -tonal writing to account for some of these, I suppose one could argue that precedence can be found in anything from Bartok to Britten... Still, there's a uniqueness to Williams' particular structures, and I suppose they have to do mostly with context, but also with some of his intervallic and sonoric preferences: The example mentioned above is a good case in point. The way I see it, there are actually several "Williams-isms" at play here: The harmonic embellishment in and of itself is strikingly "williams-esque", as is the tonal tension between the implied G (Lydian) major tonality and the Eb minor chord. What I find interesting, is how much "character" each harmonic segment has. It seems to me that Williams would employ some of his trademark sets (0-8-11, 0-2-5 etc.) "regardless" of or in conjunction with a broader harmonic context; he treats them almost as individual colors, not mere harmonic extensions.
    1 point
  17. I love the slow meandering in FOTR. It works. Yes, it's less notes per unit time, but it works. This is a big universe. Painting it with dainty little strokes just wouldn't work.
    1 point
  18. Finished season 8. I found the season constantly very touching. One of the X-Files' strongest. It also had marvellous music by Mark Snow, particularly the theme for Mulder's and Scully's relationship.
    1 point
  19. I have to agree. I can't remember where I read it, but around the time of the Kong situation, it was suggested that parts of Shore's score were very much a homage to the old Kong scores, sort of like a "period piece", while Jackson wanted something very Lord of the Ring-ish, very contemporary and modern. Shore's decision to score it like it was the 1930's was too "artsy". Wish I could find where I read this. If only Doug could talk more about the score....
    1 point
  20. Samples for JNH's Catching Fire: https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/14860988%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-C0fE2 Sounds really good.
    1 point
  21. Forgive me, but... these points strike me as a tad clinical. Why can't contrapuntal lines jump? Why must modulation be not jarring? Why must there be intrinsic harmonic connection? It seems like you're judging these things based on guidelines for an exercise in a university harmony textbook. Precisely - that's part of the whole operatic principle. Of course, one could argue that silence might be better, but....
    1 point
  22. If Spielberg is involved he'll do anything he can to make it better than the last one; I think he's a bit ashamed of it.
    1 point
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