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Ludwig last won the day on March 29

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  1. Hi all! Film Music Notes will now be offering videos of some of our most popular blog posts on our very own YouTube channel. Here is the first video, analyzing John Williams’ Force theme from the Star Wars saga. If you like the video and would like to see more of them, just click the YouTube logo on the video, then hit the Subscribe button in YouTube!
  2. I'm with you, @Jay, and @Falstaft. I don't think the Elegy theme is in those last 2 examples. Generally, I'd say when Williams wants to make reference to a theme, he's pretty darn clear about it. Sure, we've seen examples where he's not, like the use of Anthem of Evil in "Advice", but that's really the exception, one that seems tied to him "putting a bow" on his final SW score, as he himself said. And there wouldn't be much point in being really subtle in thematic references anyway since the whole point is for the audience to gain a better understanding of what's going
  3. The Ludlow motif is different from other themes because it lacks an explicit association. It's more of a basic outline, something like Horner's danger motif, that can be hammered into different but closely-related shapes for a generalized feeling of tension. Call this one a different name if you like. The point is that its notes follow the same outline as the other things we call the Ludlow motif. This one, being slower, is like the Desperation motif from TLJ, which is also Ludlow-based. And even with that theme, the association is much more vague than with other themes, following
  4. Isn't this Williams' beloved Ludlow Motif, or what @Falstaft in his catalogue calls "Tension"? There, @Falstaft notes another instance of it in "Hallway Shooting" from TROS, so it's elsewhere in the score. It's kind of cool how at 2:05 and 2:22, it appears over a single chord like usual, but then at 2:32, it appears a third time, now each note of the motif harmonized with a different chord, sounding twisted and forced into a new mould.
  5. What impresses me the most about this theme in TROS is how expressively flexible it is. Yes, Falcon Flight is awesome. And it seems part of a larger approach to varying the emotional quality of the theme. So we get the expected old-time creepy statements and big climactic statement we heard with the original in ROTJ, and in Falcon Flight, we get it as an action theme, but there's more to it than even those. The scoring often has a quality of expressing the evil "from afar", meaning not by Palpatine himself because the low bassoon/cello/chorus combination is substituted with somethi
  6. Might it have sounded like this? "Sir Francis and the Unicorn" from Tintin works amazingly well (even with my couple of small edits)!
  7. What's incredible to me is that Williams wrote the score to ANH thinking this was going to be just a one-off adventure movie, and nevertheless was able to write not one but TWO themes that would become musical symbols of the saga as a whole - Luke's theme and the Force theme. In that sense, these themes became bigger than themselves. And even in the first film, this happens with Luke's theme pretty much immediately with its effectiveness as a bold, brassy main theme, and the Force theme through its malleability to take on a host of different, though related, meanings. And along the
  8. Hi all. Thought you might be interested to read my latest blog post (the first in a while!). What makes Ennio Morricone's style of scoring for Sergio Leone's westerns so great? I take a crack at this in my new blog post series. Here's part 1: https://www.filmmusicnotes.com/ennio-morricones-dollars-scores-part-1-of-3-a-fistful-of-dollars/
  9. For me, one thing I love about this score is the way Williams develops not just the themes but melodic snippets that aren't necessarily leitmotifs. "Farewell" is a great demonstration of this. There, he introduces this tiny little rising semitone figure at the end of Kylo/Ben's leitmotif: 1:10-1:13: It seems like an unimportant detail at first, but then he uses it again and again (sometimes a rising whole tone instead of a semitone). I'd say it represents a kind of lamenting sound given we've just had the death of Rey and Ben coming over to grieve then try and
  10. Haha, yes, NOT on the OST. Sorry for the typo on such a critical word! Anyway, I hope the Malone doc proves useful. At first it seemed like just another random online doc, but then I saw he actually interviewed Tomlinson and was blown away. The quote from Tomlinson about Willams not being able to hear a thing in Olympic studios is really telling because 1) I couldn't find that anecdote told anywhere else (by Tomlinson or anyone else) and 2) you almost never hear Williams complain about conditions while doing the job. That's how you know it must have been gawd awful!
  11. So I did a little digging to find out what the story was here... This is from a valuable document called Recording the Star Wars Saga by Chris Malone, who actually interviewed Eric Tomlinson about the OT: "Superstructure Chase" was included in the OST, as shown in Jay's spreadsheet, no doubt because of how Williams felt about the sound quality. Things were kind of rushed in post-production for ROTJ, and that's probably why this happened, as you say. Another factor may well have been that Anvil studios, where the first two scores were recorded, was not available for record
  12. I'm hearing something like A-G-Bb-A-G-F#-F#-G, repeating. I can't make out an E in that run, but it sounds like there's more than that line going on, but it may be sound effects. In any case, even with the indistinct tones we're hearing, it seems that Williams is drawing on his trusted friend the octatonic scale here for this accompaniment, E-F#-G-A-Bb-C-Db-Eb-E. The melody is drawn from another scale, if you want to call it Phrygian or Hungarian minor (rotated to start on the 5th note). What I think is cool about this is that it doesn't rely on a single technique or scale, as we u
  13. I hope Williams gets a cameo in TROS with a Star Warsy name like Mr. Oates or Astro Me.
  14. I thought this too at first. But I've since discovered (through sources that must remain anonymous at this point) that Williams originally wrote a complete statement of the theme in 1M8 Approaching the Nursery (which, notably, was originally titled "Approaching the Emperor") that was cut from the scene. While still uncertain at this point, it seems likely this was Williams' intended first statement of the theme in the film. It also seems to have been one of the first cues of a handful that he began scoring. And for it to occur in the scene where Kylo meets Palpatine, and in complete form, stro
  15. An attractive theory, @crumbs! It makes a good deal of sense. I've just been trying to research what the facts are, or at least the things that we believe are facts at this point. There's the partial cue list of the Nov. 11 cut: The later appearance of Palpatine would depend on whether he was introduced in 2M04 The Emperor Lives or perhaps in 1M08 Approaching the Nursery. It's possible 2M04 may have been, say, the reveal that he is alive to the Resistance and that 1M08 was the reveal to the audience. Some tracking noted by yourself: And other
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