ChrisAfonso reacted to crocodile in Coronavirus
This was a bit of a mad week. I work in an NHS hospital procuring medication for the trust. I had to work on my own for the most part this week as my co-worker had to isolate due to last week's trip to Spain so you can imagine it was quite busy. In fact I've never been this busy. People are really working their arses off. What's strange (or perhaps not) the atmosphere at work has never been better. People call to ask you how you are and they seem nicer. Also the support NHS is getting from general public is really heartwarming. So while the week started on a very stressful note now it feels more like this:
As I'm working for the most part in an office I can put on some music. And while we normally play local radio or something of that nature, this week was dominated mostly by John Williams and I can tell you people were actually asking to leave it on. We went through the entire SW sequel trilogy, Temple of Doom, Last Crusade, Jaws, Superman: The Movie, some Harry Potter music and definitely all three How To Train Your Dragon scores. It helped a lot to get through this week...and there's even more to come by the looks of it.
Oh and I renamed Chasing Rockets as Chasing Orders.
ChrisAfonso reacted to TheUlyssesian in The Adventures of Tintin - Score Only Scenes
2nd video - Escape from the Karaboudjan a.k.a. the most gloriously scored punch in cinema history
This is another one of Williams' stand out action cues from the score. Themes presented are Tintin's heroic theme, Snowy's theme, Sakharine's theme and the Bagghar theme. This is one of the cues where Tintin's heroic theme really gets to shine as he basically becomes an action hero here throwing punches, shooting at bad guys and doing generally heroic things and Williams graces every one of those instances with a bold statement.
Other individual moments synced apart from the awesome punch are Tintin shooting at the boat harness, the flare, the ship destroying the boats, the bottles bobbing up and the airplane reveal among others. Williams is also very disciplined as you can see - when Tintin appears his theme appears, where there's a Snowy scene, there is his theme, when a cable to Bagghar is scene that location theme is heard and finally there is Sakharine's theme heard for his villainy.
And of course it is all very propulsive and exciting action music!
ChrisAfonso reacted to Matthias in JW is writing a new violin concerto for Anne-Sophie Mutter
I think people have speculated about this, but it hadn‘t been confirmed yet (as far as I know). Now, ASM has confirmed in an interview with Bavarian television that JW is indeed writing a new „big“ violin concerto for her. She says it will be premiered „next summer“ (likely meaning summer 2021), even though she also talks about taking a sabbatical next year ( I guess she will make an exception for the premiere?).
Here‘s the interview (in German). The relevant part starts at 13:13:
I’m hoping that the premiere will bring JW back to central Europe. 😁
ChrisAfonso reacted to Edmilson in The Last of Us (New HBO show by Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin)
One of the best videogames of all time is getting an HBO adaptation.
ChrisAfonso reacted to Chewy in Far and Away (2-CD set) is coming from La-La Land Records!
The little video with Tim Burden is great, it'd be nice to do that for the future releases as well!
ChrisAfonso reacted to igger6 in Violinist Jenny Oaks Baker's New Album EPIC Features 2.5 Williams Pieces
Good stuff! I always love hearing a new twist on an old chestnut...
ChrisAfonso reacted to Falstaft in John Powell's SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (2018)
Terrific interview on John Burlingame's For Scores podcast with John Powell just went up. Mostly about Call of the Wild, but a little discussion at the end about Solo, where he goes into a little bit more detail about Williams's involvement than I remember hearing about elsewhere.
Notably, Williams, Powell, and Howard did a spotting session of the whole film. And then Williams not only sketched out but had a 90 piece orchestra "demo" a set of cues. I know Powell has alluded in the past to these cues Williams wrote, but this is the first I've seen that they were actually realized by an orchestra in some way. The extent to which they got used in the final film is still a little vague to me. I still swear "Parting Ways" sounds like pure Williams...
ChrisAfonso reacted to filmmusic in 'John Williams: Music For Films, Television and the Concert Stage' (book by Emilio Audissino)
In the first book there is a whole chapter dedicated to the violin concerto with musical analysis of its themes, if this is something that interests you:
Tom Schneller, Out of Darkness: John Williams’s Violin Concerto
ChrisAfonso reacted to Jurassic Shark in 'John Williams: Music For Films, Television and the Concert Stage' (book by Emilio Audissino)
The book is based on a thesis, which then was "de-thesised" for a more general audience. One consequence of this is that the book is very detailed, with lots of discussions and footnotes throughout the text. That's an aspect I personally like. However, the analysis is more in the vein of music as used in the film instead of purely musical analyses. I can't remember if there were any significant analyses of his concert music. I'm sure @eaudissino can provide more info, since he, after all, wrote the book!
If you want musical analysis, @Falstaft (hiatus til TROS)'s book Hollywood Harmony is the one to go for.
ChrisAfonso reacted to Incanus in THE BFG OST ALBUM Discussion
As I say in my earlier comment above, my estimation of this score has gone up from my initial reaction to it but I think it cannot be denied that Williams has done this style of kiddie flick scoring many times before. Parts of this score sound stylistically if not in melodic content very much like Home Alone, Hook or Harry Potter. I guess it is his "children's" voice with which he addresses movies involving children and child-like situations.
I am certainly not saying that there are no singular ideas in the BFG as e.g. the prominent woodwind writing for the dreams and catching dreams is very effective and new and lovely. There are several little melodies that I find absolutely endearing, like the leaping waltzing travelling theme, the forlorn piano melody denoting loneliness on the The Witching Hour and There Was a Boy tracks, Sophie's theme and the BFG's own gentle tune or the whimsical Dream Jars and Dream Country with those prominent flute parts. Williams has always been a master at conjuring the storybook ending feeling of "and they lived happily ever after" and the Finale is another great example of that.
Also this score is the woodwind antidote to all the modern film scoring which seems to shun the entire woodwind family at times. The flute writing is definitely a highlight.
ChrisAfonso reacted to crocodile in What Is The Last Score You Listened To?
With tracks like Mirkwood, Flies and Spiders, Feast of Starlight, The Forest River, The High Fells, Thrice Welcome, Girion, Lord of Dale, In the Shadow of the Mountain, On the Doorstep, Inside Information.... and all the climax... Yeah, this is definitely the most enjoyable and fully realised of the three. And it has an unique quality that only Fellowship has... The score gives you a sense of geography of Middle-earth. As we move musically from one location to another you can clearly tell the musical language is changing. I love this.
ChrisAfonso reacted to Thor in John Williams to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic - January 18/19 2020
Here is Marian Schedenig's epic, extensive review of the concerts:
ChrisAfonso reacted to Jay in Do you think you will still be alive when complete Star Wars scores(OT,PT,ST) are released?
I've always thought this. The composer should get to craft an OST album by whatever method they use, and that should come out when the film does, and be the only way to hear the score out of the gate.
Then, around when the film hits home video, release a digital album of the entire score, each cue in its own track in chronological order. Fans of the scores would pay for these archives.
The specialty labels can still do nice albums down the road when it becomes affordable to license them.
ChrisAfonso reacted to TheUlyssesian in The Adventures of Tintin - Score Only Scenes
JW's score for The Adventures of Tintin is a stone cold masterpiece - an enormously propulsive work with over a dozen themes and motifs that power a very busy, nimble and complex score. I was disappointed to see the ambivalence people seem to have towards JW's Tintin score. That stops now.
I think the score in the movie is well represented by still somewhat marred by sound effects.
Here is a score only version of a riotous sea battle that Haddock recounts.
Watch this to marvel at the intricacy of Williams' composition - individual punches, hits, sword moves, gunshots are synced to the music along with syncing to several cuts. Well, the syncing is done by me but to honor Williams' original intentions. I have taken the OST cue and and fit the picture to it. Only in two places did I microedit the music. Otherwise the music fits the scene remarkably well and you can see the enormous effort Williams has put into the cue for it to be still be entertaining while being so closely matched to the picture.
This also represents some of Williams best action music last decade. It is completely melodic and uses two primary themes - the Unicorn theme representing the ship and Red Rakham's Pirate theme (and no this is not the dueling theme from The Adventures Continues) receive several explosive enormous statements as the furious pirate battle unfolds over the high seas.
I am starting a thread here because I intend to create several videos for the numerous action scenes in the film, each intricately scored by Williams.
ChrisAfonso reacted to Marian Schedenig in Build your own John Williams LEGO BrickHeadz
As many here already know, I've created LEGO BrickHeadz versions of John Williams. Here's one of them at Williams's concert at the Musikverein:
(I also photographed it at Tanglewood, but that was before the beard redesign so the model isn't as accurate).
Just in time for his 88th birthday, I've finally completed the instructions and put them online so everyone can build their own:
ChrisAfonso reacted to Nils in John Williams concert in Lørenskog, Oslo -- incl. world concert premieres of CHECKMATE & BACHELOR FLAT!
Here are links to recordings of our “world premiere” live performances of “Hassle in the Castle” and “Mambone”, as well as the SCHINDLER’S LIST pieces and “Duel of the Fates”. As Thor mentioned, the sound quality is not terrific, and the balance is a bit off here and there. And PLEASE NOTE: We are not the LSO, VPO, or Hollywood studio musicians – just a bunch of people playing an instrument in our spare time. Please keep that in mind when you listen. There IS some shaky stuff in there. “Hassle in the Castle”: https://www.dropbox.com/s/7xzhxm17jb669u3/Hassle_in_the_Castle.mp3?dl=0 “Mambone”: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ee0ug3ofsm1yz4k/Mambone.mp3?dl=0 “Jewish Town”/”Theme” from SCHINDLER’S LIST (violin: Aja Humm): https://www.dropbox.com/s/oqb0dhle3ktqelq/Schindlers_List.mp3?dl=0 “Duel of the Fates” (this is a shorter version than the original, and with some noticeable differences in the instrumentation – for instance, there is a very prominent snare drum part): https://www.dropbox.com/s/b7av098b8kmyzo7/Duel_of_the_Fates.mp3?dl=0
ChrisAfonso reacted to Stefancos in [FILM] Empire Of The Sun
Empire Of The Sun
One of Spielberg's most undervalued films. Often accused of lacking both emotion and a clear narrative. Unusual for a director who is very well known for not shying away from either in most of his films.
This is very much a film seen through the eyes of a young boy. So Jamie (or Jim as he later calls himself) it lacks a sense of a larger narrative, a clear understanding of the politics involved, and who is good and who is bad.
Jim develops a hero worship towards the Japanese pilots close to the camp he is interned in, and also to Basie. An American "adventurer" of sorts. Basie befriends Jim because Jim is useful to him,and at various points is ready to ditch him when he thinks that usefulness has ended. Jim doesnt see that, or refuses to, because he doesnt have anyone else to learn from, or care for him, in his mind. John Malcovich is impressive in a role that requires him to be both charming and calculating.
And so is Christian Bale as Jim. In essence he is already playing the kind of role that he would play later in his career. A character who isnt actually all that sympathetic, not in a traditional way that most kids in Hollywood films are. Yet you do care for him. Despite the fact that he talks all the time, trying to curry favor of people who might benefit him, often to extreme annoyance. Like the kids in The Goonies, but this time in an internment camp, malnourished with death creeping ever closer. His feverish talking is his brain constantly working, trying to stay alive. Despite his abrasive ways, A sudden emotional scene where Jim breaks down and says he can't remember what his parents look like hits like a hammer.
His fascination for aircraft takes on an almost religious devotion throughout the film. Every scene featuring an aircraft contains shots of immense beauty. From the sight of Japanese zero's in the distance, early in the film, to the close pass-by of a "Cadillac Of The Skies" much later.
In fact the whole film is a thing of beauty. Spielberg's veneration of David Lean's epic's was already shown in the crowd scenes of Close Encounters. Here he takes a film that Lean wanted to direct at one point and fills it with shots that are a loving homage to this director.
It's weird. Spielberg is that most American of directors, yet makes a film that very much feels English. (even the Americans in this film surely arent portrayed as particularly sympathetic). Spielberg eschews much of the "easy"emotional sentiment he is known for. And also leaves a hell of a lot unsaid.
One of the weaknesses of Spielberg is that he doesnt always trust the audience to "get his point", so he hammers it home with the subtlety of a sledge hammer. With Saving Private Ryan as the greatest example of that.
Empire Of The Sun allows the viewer the freedom of their own interpretation. While there is a narrative of sorts running throughout the film, many scenes feel like a patchwork. Like parts of a greater whole that we aren't prive of.
The style is very interesting, and puzzled many reviewers. It is both an unflinching look at the realities of war and interment (while not very bloody, it doesnt shy away from death and violence), but also an adventure story seen though the eyes of a boy, who was abandoned and NEEDS hero's, a father figure, the sense of a normal life. The internment camp essentially becomes his home, much like his house in Shanghai ones was.
But because much if this wasnt really SPELLED out like everything was in SPR, or the ending of Schindlers List. A lot of the film was seen as barren or confusing. I don't think Spielberg would ever take such a risk again.
John Williams' score is the icing on the care. Used quite sparingly, but with moments of genuine fight and almost religious beauty.
Both a visually stunning film, one of the directors best looking, and a film that invites you to actually ponder about what you've seen, and to...at a future date re-watch.
I could watch SPR again and be amazed about the visuals, and it's depiction of the horrors of war, but take nothing new away from it.
But I think watching Empire Of The Sun again would be far more rewarding.
I can't rate it yet, oneday maybe.
ChrisAfonso reacted to Jay in The Joe Kraemer Thread
The latest Joe Kraemer album is out:
1. Attack on New Portland (4:14)
6. The Protectors (4:37)
9. Escaping the Protectors (3:07)
13. Infected Outpost (4:57)
15. The Battle for Earth (2:42)
ChrisAfonso reacted to Maglorfin in John Williams to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic - January 18/19 2020
In this topic, there has already been some speculation about WP seating on JW concerts and we had a good chat of our own with @Marian Schedenig so I decided to ask my friend who plays double bass in the orchestra (and also played in both JW concerts). He told me the following: I don't know, we always play in this [i.e. American] setup when we're touring and sometimes also in the Musikverein, depends on the programme/project. I think Williams didn't care about the setup we play in.
After Saturday's concert (which I attended), he also told me that the orchestra loved this project and working with JW who "was very nice to everybody" and that he - the bass player - rewatched E.T. before this project "to remember it all". He pointed out the unprecedented reaction of the public which, so he said, "we've never experienced before, regardless of either conductor or venue". They had three rehearsals with Johnny before Saturday. During the intermission I also spoke to percussionist Thomas Lechner (he played the timpani in JW concerts) whom I also met some 10 years ago and he told me basically the same thing - couldn't sing enough praise to the project. He told me he totally remembers how he cried at the end of E.T. when he was a kid and that being able to play all this music with the Maestro himself at the helm is (was) for him a huge privilege.
ChrisAfonso reacted to KK in The Composer's Thread
Here's some of the score for another short film from last summer. Channelling some more old-school romance with piano and string quartet. The recording isn't great, and there are a few flubs (we were pressed for time) but I'm pretty happy with this one. Curious to hear your thoughts: @Dixon Hill @karelm @Loert @SteveMc @Nick Parker
ChrisAfonso reacted to ocelot in The Composer's Thread
OK so here's the same clip slightly extended with the next bit.
I should probably explain this is Prince Igor having got to Baba Yaga's "lair" or "forest" starts thinking about his Warrior bride that has been kidnapped by Koschei. That's the big theme, then the next bit is him plucking up his resolve to face Baba Yaga in order to pass her tests for her to then agree to help him defeat Koschei. The section right after this is us hearing her call pulling him closer and closer to her and making him face her.