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Madmartigan JC

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  1. I feel that too. Can anyone knowledgeable on the technical aspects of mastering explain why that is? Is it a matter of compression, mixing, both?
  2. Agreed! I think you're right on. Also, I really enjoyed that book. Ross is one of the very few music writers on classical music savvy about popular genres and willing to judge each music on its own terms. I think it's not a coincidence his interview with John Williams from last year was one of the most interesting ones, going beyond the tired usual questions.
  3. When considering these dogmatic views of film music I thinks it's relevant to consider film itself as a medium has suffered this. Not only is it relatively recent (barely over 100 years old), but film as an art form didn't have a proper critical theory that could analize it as an artistic unit Auteur Theory came up in the early 50's. Therefore it is still rarely regarded as highly as the traditional arts (literature, painting, sculpture, music, theater, etc.). Not that I agree with this, at all. But I have repeadtly noticed that films critically considered more 'artistic' often have some form of validation through a one of the traditional arts beign directly referenced. Be it a nod to a classic painting/work of literature, the use of classical music, etc. As if the cinematographic art wasn't enough to substantiate the film's own artistic merit. If views on the artistic merits of Cinema are so biased, what chance does music composed specifically for this medium have of beign considered 'artistic' by these people? Add on top of that, that music often requires little more that simple craftmanship to fit the basic standards required to accompany the film; and (at least in the case of Hollywood) is produced within an industry with technical restrictions and very palpable economic goals. On top of it all, Williams is directly referenced with some of the most popular and highest grossing franchises in Hollywood history. Morricone, coming from the more 'artistic' european cinema, has often been more kindly regarded in that respect. And the discussions on the recent release of JW's Images, also reflect how his most un-Hollywoodesque work has often received praise from the same critics who defaced his more accesible scores. I don't endorse or agree with any of this, but it's the current reality. It doesn't really bother me, since I can enjoy all works for what they are, regardless of classification.
  4. I understand your truthful interest in asking this question, but I believe it's apples & oranges territory and cannot be fruitful, beyond expressing personnal tastes. The answers your sincere post got in that forum are ignorant garbage, but I truly wonder what's the interest in comparing Williams to Bach, Beethoven or Shostakovich? Such different worlds! Some classical musicians often enjoy opening up to music outside the classical repertoire, and I'm sure Yo-Yo Ma or ASM are sincere in their praise of JW. But I doubt even they would compare Williams in that regard. JW is a creative genius in his own right, but his film works were never meant as "classical" (for lack of a better term). While his language shares so many things with the classical world (it's history/techniques/grammar), its form and purpose are completely different. So to me the comparison is pointless. To elitist snobs who won't even consider listening to something other than 'classical' and look down on more popular art forms because they're incapable of appreciating them in their own terms, I say it's their loss.
  5. Biker Hounds had always felt a little odd to me. Not only for the huge departure from style, but for many other reasons I cannot put down. I remember upon release it was unknown that it was Joseph who had actually written it, and many reviewers at the time praised JW for trying new ground outside of his usual style for that little piece of music (I think it may have even been mentioned in some of the cast & crew promotional interviews). Such collaborations are not uncommon or anything to be hidden, and I often wish they were more openly communicated (and properly credited in the albums). I confess I felt somehow relieved to find that it was Joseph's composition; it finally made sense. In any case, in no way does it detract from the masterpiece that is A.I. Additionally, I have never seen this mentioned anywhere else, but the vocal part is sampled! I ignore the original source, but I remember being rather confused when I first heard it in Stewart Copeland's score for "Gridlock'd". I don't think that score has been released, but the sample can be clearly heard here (at 3:39): For comparison:
  6. I have plenty of space, and I'd be glad to help you in case you're getting rid of more CDs.
  7. Wow. Didn't see this coming. Also, he's conducting the Berliner, yet no mention of Mutter?
  8. I'm not overly original, but I gotta say Catch me if you can. The marriage of the jazzy score + the Saul Bass-like animation is perfect for setting up the story and the time of the action. It's throwback yet so fitting. And that cue is amazing.
  9. Thanks! You just made me want to rewatch it. And this new edition is a perfect excuse to revisit the film.
  10. I agree! I might me misremembering the film, since I last saw it many years ago. But I remember it as not a very subtle film -at all-. As I recall it, the message of 'love transcending all barriers, even death' and the way the story is portrayed was rather in-your-face. That's why I mostly associate it with Amazing Stories, which were very high concept stories (and perhaps also because of the episode "The Mission", scored by JW 4 years before this film, has many points in common with Always). I guess a different composer could probably have focused more on the schmaltzy romantic aspect of it. But Williams tinges it with other elements (be it grief, longing, even heroicism and a bit of magic when needed), to transcend what the script is telling. And he does those things in way I find structurally different from other scores of that period. I feel particularly the harmonies sometimes give us a glimpse of paths he would take in future score (around the 2000s). I didn't mean to say it's not an emotional score. On the contrary, it's can be very moving at moments, but at the same time I find it much richer and reflective than the script. This is true of probably every JW score, but I guess it shows a bit more when the film it's accompanying is more one-note. I'm so excited about this new release!
  11. Thank you so much for our providing us with these. It's extraordinary to be able to see the music in context. I've always liked to think of this movie was an overlong episode of Amazing Stories. And Williams using his well trodden americana sound helps the film in that way. As much as I love Dreyfuss I have to pretend it's part of that world, to tolerate the saccharine. As usual, Williams elevates the film by downplaying the overly emotional story and making it resonate in other ways.
  12. Loving it! Nice and very original arrangement. I love it when the translation to other genres isn't so 'literal', but more of a freer interpretation.
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