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Ludwig

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Everything posted by Ludwig

  1. It's the theme itself, and by that I mean the most complete form that can be considered self-contained (musically, I mean an eight-bar theme). Additions can be understood as embellishments to this self-contained core, or that core can be part of a larger structure, like when it's an A section to a larger ABA. So for TLW, this core is what's heard between 0:13 and 0:34, which has a structure of ABCD, as I mentioned. It's relatively rare in his main themes: What I find fascinating is how different this is from most of his other main themes. In Williams' more fantasy-based scores generally, a common structure for the main themes is AA' AB (or AA' AA'). Hedwig's theme is a great example of this one in its AA' AB form. This of course is the A section of a larger form that goes on to a B section. The part I mean is from 0:00-0:18 below: Another common structure in his fantasy-based scores is AA A'B. Take, for example, the full form of the Mountain Theme from CE3K heard in the end credits (from 0:50-1:32 below):
  2. I think a look at the style of the score in general might help give some kind of answer to this question. This period in Williams' film scoring career is marked by a relatively high degree of experimentation with respect to his previous film scores - Minority Report, A.I., and War of the Worlds come to mind. The Lost World fits into this pattern as well, most obviously through its unusual orchestration. But its thematic material of course is unusual too in that it draws very sparingly on the original's themes. And, though not exactly obvious, the structure of TLW's main theme is itself unusual. Williams' main themes typically break down into four short ideas that combine to create a complete theme. And the opening idea is usually repeated or varied at some point in the theme, his favorite overall structures being ABAC, AA'AB, and AAA'B. But TLW's theme goes ABCD - no repetition or direct variation, which is very unusual in his scores. The point is that he seems to be trying out different approaches to scoring in a number of ways. I think it's useful to keep all this in mind when considering your quesiton, @Fal, since another means of experimentation seems to be in the use of thematic material that has very strong similarities to, but also some important differences from, the main theme. This is unusual in Williams, where most themes remain easily distinguishable from one another even if there are some prominent connections. (The themes in E.T., for example, all have the interval of a 5th at or near their start, but we never confuse one theme for another.) In TLW, the motif developed in "The Trek" is, as @crumbs points out, stated with the main theme, though there it seems to function only as a kind of linking material between the more prominent statements of the main theme material. And it has much the same shape as part of the main theme, but is also distinctive in its own right. What is most unusual is the way this motif is detached from its original source in "The Trek", suggesting that it is a separate theme. Yet because it has such strong similarities to the main theme, once it is heard in "The Trek", we might best consider it a kind of variant of the main theme that, as @Incanus observes, has its own function. A sister theme, you might call it. Incidentally, I would say the same about the music of "The Hunt", which has its own repeated motif throughout but a motif that is again clearly a variant of main theme material. Another sister theme with a different function, then. So an answer to the question of whether these themes are the same or different from the main theme is blurred because, while they function differently, musically they resemble each other to a greater degree than would normally occur in Williams' scores. The result is score that, through its economy of material, gives a claustrophobic feeling of being subjected to a relatively confined environment, much as the characters become helplessly stuck on the island.
  3. Thanks, @TownerFan! This is an excellent exploration of the score. I think it's an especially important point that, as you say, There's something about this score that truly lives and breathes as a continuous, coherent whole. Whereas the strengths of TFA's score lies especially in its new themes and the set pieces composed especially for them, the strengths of TLJ's score lies in its weaving together of the drama, as you say. Put another way, if TFA is like a patchwork quilt whose individual patches tell rich and engrossing stories on their own, TLJ is like a composite picture that tells a rich and engrossing story when one stands back and sees a large-scale picture made up of countless smaller pictures.
  4. Thanks, Emilio. Really looking forward to reading everyone's contribution to this very important book. Here's what Conrad Pope has to say about it on Facebook:
  5. So incredibly sorry to hear of this news, Thor! I know you've been collecting Williams info for quite some time and are headed towards coalescing that into a book at some point. I would take the suggestions in this thread very seriously and pursue them to see what can be retrieved. In moving forward, I would also add that, when working on extended projects that require many sittings working on the same file, I would recommend saving it using a different version each time. I was once working on a very important essay that I was constantly saving over the same file. When I saved it once, the computer crashed in the middle of it, corrupting the file and making it unreadable. Fortunately, I had a tech guru who was able to salvage most of it and I managed to reconstruct the blanks from memory. After that, I became vigilant about making backups, both through different versions of individual files and through having multiple storage devices, especially with one on the cloud, which doesn't take up much space for written documents. I know you've lost a lot here, and I'm so, so sorry. I just want to add some things that may help in going forward. Best wishes in retrieving all your collected data, my friend!
  6. This has always been a favorite of mine because it sums up much of what the whole movie is about in a single shot. As Keys looks sympathetically on Elliot, saying that he's dreamed about this (meeting an alien) since he was Elliot's age, we see Elliot's image projected directly onto Keys, making it clear in a very visual and visceral way that Keys sees himself in Elliot. And at the same time, by showing Elliot's reflection on Keys' face, there is also a sense that, if one's child-like imagination is allowed to die (as Elliot is dying), then we end up turning into the purely rational, scientific beings that Keys represents and cutting ourselves off from a vital part of our humanity. I love how Keys' bio suit captures both the scientific aspect and a physical barrier that separates him from Elliot at the same time. Spielberg at his very best.
  7. I agree with Mr. Bellamy and Sharky. Lehman's catalogue of Star Wars themes likewise lists that theme as "Kylo Ren C (Menacing)". As a twisted, ominous, basically minor-chord arpeggio, it has more than a hint of resemblance to the tag following Across the Stars that's always sounded like it might be appropriately named "Anakin's Evil":
  8. The dark side clouds everything. Impossible to see the future is.
  9. Reposting @crumbs's awesome finds from "TLJ score as heard in film" thread so they don't get lost among the dozens of pages there. Nice work, crumbs!
  10. It's a damn good thing you're not laughing. As a metastudy of hundreds of medical research papers reports, “It turns out that what is called ‘the best medicine’ occasionally causes harm," and lists 15 adverse side effects of laughter, including: So you're right. People really shouldn't engage in this kind of risky behavior.
  11. Now, I've noticed a tendency for this forum to get rather silly. Now I do my best to keep things moving along, but I'm not having things getting silly. Posts about whether or not Han has a theme, or whether there really is a Battle of the Heroes quote in The Last Jedi get very silly indeed. Now, nobody likes a good laugh more than I do, except perhaps @BloodBoal and some of his friends. Oh yes, and @Disco Stu. Come to think of it, most people like a good laugh more than I do, but that's beside the point. Now let's have a nice clean thread about these wonderful complete Star Wars scores coming out.
  12. All your life has been spent in pursuit of Williams relics. Inside The Post are treasures beyond your wildest aspirations. You want to see it printed as well as I. Filmmusic, we are simply passing through history. This, this is history.
  13. Don't worry. They have top men working on it right now. Top... men.
  14. I bought the Blue Box at half price on a special promotion FSM had two years ago. So $60 instead of $120. I don't know if they'd ever offer something similar but if you're interested in owning anything more than the expanded first score, it's definitely worth keeping you're eyes peeled over at FSM.
  15. He's a master with a microwave? I dunno, seems a little much for a guy who still uses paper and pencil.
  16. That's the one Lehman calls the First Order motif in his catalogue of Star Wars themes. Too bad the Parade Grounds music was cut - it could have had (and maybe did have) more of a presence in TFA and provided a nice emotional contrast to Kylo's pair of themes, something like how the Rebel Fanfare as basically an action theme contrasts with both the heroic theme for Luke and the sense of struggle captured by the Force theme in ANH. This First Order motif is essentially a boiled-down version of the first idea of the Force theme (same scale degrees), only now more forward driving in its rhythm and repetitive in its shape, creating a kind of "flip side" to the Force theme, one chiseled and hardened into a theme more appropriate for the aggression of villains than the struggle of heroes that the Force theme depicts.
  17. That nicely sums up how I feel about Williams' film scores in general. I very recently rewatched Jaws with a particular ear to how the themes are used. While everyone of course comes away humming the famous shark ostinato, I was reminded of how wonderfully varied the statements of that theme are: they might have that countermelody or not, be thickened into dissonant Rite of Spring-like chords, be spun out to include the entire sixteen-note ostinato (and not just its first two) with those appropriately jarring off-beat accents, and there was one time the countermelody appears with a version of the ostinato going down instead of up, and with a whole step instead of a half step, and in a higher register. This is when Brody is sifting through the book with pictures of shark attack victims, and with all of its changes, the theme is transformed from expressing imminent mortal danger to something more distant though still threatening, which aptly gives the impression of Brody's thoughts on the shark without it literally being around: Anyway, this all reminded me of how great this score is, but for more reasons than simply having a perfect theme.
  18. I would say that's a sped up version of the head of the Desperation theme. Hearing it that way nicely binds together several of the big action sequences in a subtle way that is probably more readily felt than actively heard.
  19. Wait a minute! 1978 Oscars: Actually, until pretty recently, I thought the same thing - that a double nomination meant an automatic disadvantage due to a "splitting of the vote". But then 2015 came along and I thought Desplat would lose because of noms for Grand Budapest and The Imitation Game. Well, I was wrong! I think now that Desplat won because the movie was esteemed by the academy and the score was memorable and effective. Star Wars was different. It was the rebirth of the old Hollywood score in a wildly successful film. So the music stood out both for its different style from its contemporaries and for its contribution to the film's success. And it's a highly memorable and effective score on top of that! So it's not really surprising that it won, even though it was up against Johnny's own other monumental score for Close Encounters.
  20. I haven't heard the scherzo and fugue before, but they're glorious, so full of life. Great music. Thanks @Josh500! While we're on the topic of fugues, I stumbled across the compilation video below of "fugues" from Williams' film scores. They're not all fugues as the title suggests but rather (as noted in the description) contrapuntal pieces of some sort. (Strangely, the pieces he actually titles fugues in Jaws and this NBC suite are technically fugatos because the second entry of the theme is in the same key as the first one.) I also came across this ancient thread on our board discussing fugues in Williams' scores, most of which are played in the video (awesome that this was discussed so early in the board's history). Funny that so many of them have a similar emotional quality, a kind of nervous energy, which of course suits several of the "preparatory" uses of these passages (Jaws, Black Sunday, Home Alone).
  21. Sometimes these different spellings of notes just make chords easier to read. Like this one:
  22. Not the same motif, but all three feature a motion from scale degree 5 to 6 of the minor scale, which is a traditional musical symbol of grief, turmoil, or otherwise great suffering. And interestingly, they are all associated with events on Ahch-To, specifically with the negative emotions of Luke. The first one I think occurs with Luke and Rey's first encounter and his initial refusal to help her. The second is with Luke's frantic calls to Rey when the Dark Side beckons. And the third is with their conversation about the truth between Luke and Kylo. So all three might be viewed as a musical means of portraying Luke's emotional pain, which fits in well with statements of the Force Theme on Ahch-To since most there include this kind of 5-6 minor-key motion in the theme's accompaniment, and even the Jedi Steps theme has it in the melody, giving all these the same "suffering" sort of sound.
  23. John Williams: The Complete Film Music in Full Score (150 volume set).
  24. And it should be a bit blurry or from a distance so we can endlessly speculate on whether it was the real Williams or just a pastiche a similar-looking actor (since Williams won't want the acting credit with his monumental sense of modesty).
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