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Datameister

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Datameister last won the day on December 30 2018

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  1. It's endlessly inventive as it honors the swashbuckling musical tradition. Great energy, brilliantly performed, elevates the film...but damn, Williams has done a LOT of great action writing over the years. The competition is certainly fierce. If it's in my top ten, it's probably near the bottom...the top spots would likely be reserved for jawdroppers like The Asteroid Field, Desert Chase, maybe some stuff from Jurassic Park...but yeah, The Ultimate War could make the top ten list, depending on the day.
  2. 1941 is what immediately popped into my mind. I love the Raiders March and prefer the Indy scores overall, but in terms of pure...marchiness, the one from 1941 is so fun and so clever that it might just take the cake for me. It's also easier to think of it as a march because it's treated as a march so often in the score, whereas the Raiders March is rarely arranged in a marchlike fashion outside the end credits and its various derivatives.
  3. Yep, the main differences are going to be in the composition styles and the ways things were recorded, mixed, and mastered. In Williams' case, you're really not going to get a noticeable difference from one orchestrator to the next. If you gave the same sketch to Herb Spencer, Conrad Pope, and Mark Graham's team at JKMS, the results would be 98-100% identical to each other (and to a full score written out by Williams himself). Biggest difference would be the handwriting/engraving.
  4. From what I hear, you might get the sheet music a few days in advance but there's little or no ensemble rehearsal. Time truly is money at the recording sessions, so my understanding is that they do everything they can to get a useable take (or mixture of takes) ASAP and then move on to the next cue. Studio musicians are there to make that process as efficient as possible. And yes, the fact that they pull it all off is just incredible!
  5. I definitely think we're talking about the same difference - whether it's an improvement is just a matter of taste, as you say. There are some days when I do like that aspect, and zero days when it bothers me in any deep way.
  6. See, that's interesting to me too. While I think the horns in AOTC are still fantastic, they probably sound the worst to me out of the three PT scores, at least in big unisono passages. There's something rather different about the timbre that I can't quite put my finger on, let alone describe.
  7. Hard to be certain, but I'm guessing that "cooler/bolder" feeling is the same difference I feel between Williams' recent recordings in London vs. LA. As you point out, this difference is mostly separate from the writing itself. I happen to like the Galaxy's Edge suite as much as I like the sequel scores, but it's interesting to me that we do both hear the improvement in the sound itself. I'll reiterate that I don't think it's a question of the performance itself*. And it's certainly not just an intangible difference that magically permeates the LA air; Williams does have his fair s
  8. I'm curious - do the trumpets in "The Adventures of Han" sound the same to you as the trumpets in the rest of the Solo OST? If not, do they sound better? Worse? Simply different? I'm not trying to prove a point here; I just think differences between people's perceptions are interesting.
  9. Wow, I can't believe JW finally approved not one, not two, but six albums for The Sugarland Express! Oh boy
  10. Yup! I had to take Braveheart out of my digital music collection...I just got annoyed whenever it came up in shuffle, and I never listened to it otherwise. Titanic may be a giant ball of cheese, but sometimes that's just what I'm looking for!
  11. Great stuff, @Falstaft, as always. For the OP - looking outside Williams' work, one series to examine would be the Pirates of the Caribbean scores. There's a fairly strong preference for Dm in the first one and it carries over into the others to varying degrees. This writing is obviously very different from Williams in a lot of other, more important ways, but it does also provide some good reference for what a score can feel like when it favors one key. (IMO, it adds a small amount of monotony to the albums, but I don't think it really affects the films.) I'm sure there are other e
  12. I don't find that to be at all the case with Williams. He moves freely between tonal centers, even within many (or even most) individual cues. I don't know how much of his decision-making on this is purely instinctual, but I assume it's the lion's share. He's also very conscious of the different instruments' ranges. Consider the main "Journey to the Island" fanfare in Jurassic Park as an example. Most of the big statements are in Bb, with the last one being a whole step higher in C. These are right in the sweet spot where the trumpets can hit that melody's highest note and sound brilliant but
  13. Musicals are tough. By definition, the music has to be deeply interwoven with the film's identity. Seems to me like a separate (though related) conversation. Pondering this topic that I somehow missed back in July...I feel like there are numerous questions you can ask about a score. Did the composer do the job they were hired to do and write music that suits the film? In my mind, this is a relatively uninteresting question because there are soooooo many scores for which the answer is yes. How much does the score change the tone or meaning of the film? Much more i
  14. This is why you never give the same name to two different series (and a feature)!
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