blondheim reacted to Romão in The fanfares of The Phantom Menace
That is a great point. The sequel trilogy offered much less opportunities for pure, unobstructed musical expression. This is particularly evident in the movies directed by JJ Abrams, where only the Jedi Steps sequence stands out as as scene shot and edited with the purpose of the music doing most of the heavy lifting. I would say The Last Jedi is a much more musical friendly movie than the other two, though. In particular, a scene like the Spark is obviously designed, in an almost Spielbergian way, for the music to give it the bulk of dramatic grandeur, to the point where the scene would feel half finished without it. Lesson One, The Supremacy, The Last Jedi and Holdo's Sacrifice are other examples of this.
It's also curious that among the greatest strengths of the music in The Sequel Trilogy are the character themes , and not so much the set pieces, whereas in the Prequel trilogy you have the exact opposite.
blondheim reacted to Romão in The fanfares of The Phantom Menace
The merits and flaws of the prequels have been debated endlessly, but if there's one thing they had going for them was opportunities for musical expression. The Phantom Menace is particularly noteworthy in that sense, with its great variety of locales and set pieces, regardless of how well they actually work dramatically. Those aspects, combined with a plethora of vast establishing shots, dramatic scene transitions and numerous shots of ships taking off and landing, gave John Williams the chance to write what I think is his greatest collection of fanfares in any single score. I would even go as far as to say The Phantom Menace has the greatest collection of fanfares of any score that I know of, period. Listening to a mostly complete assembly of the score, I was awestruck at the sheer quantity of absolutely terrific and unique fanfares JW wrote for it:
This score is an absolute treasure chest
blondheim got a reaction from Yavar Moradi in Walt Disney Records The Legacy Collection
I would own anything Menken's done, don't let my comments fool you. Hercules has some great score in it, though Hunchback it's not. But I'd buy it.
Even more than Hunchback, I want a nice release of Aladdin with bonus material. I hope they record new versions of cut songs like they did with Mary Poppins, but I would be content with demos. Howard Ashman was taken far before his time and anything we can find of that man's, I want it.
blondheim reacted to Edmilson in New Forum Rules April 2021
For all the people wanting to debate politics here: there's countless subreddits dedicated to politics, whether it's American, British, European, Australian, right, center, left, etc. Why don't you just go there?
If you want to voice your political opinions with so much intensity, there's no need to do it at JWFan when you could've been doing on Reddit.
blondheim reacted to Nick1066 in New Forum Rules April 2021
The worst of the nastiness must have been occurring in the politics threads (which I avoid), because most of what I see in the threads I frequent is the general ribbing and snark people are talking about and has always been a part of this place, and nothing I personally find particularly objectionable.
That said, I told Jay a while ago that I thought politics should be banned here, and I'm gratified that he's wisely finally heeded my counsel. Not just because it poisons places like this, but because politics has literally seeped into every part of our culture...pop culture, sports, music, etc., and I frankly don't want to have to deal with that crap when I come here.
blondheim reacted to Disco Stu in Jerry Goldsmith's LIONHEART (1987) - NEW 2021 2CD Varese Deluxe Edition
Like most Takemitsu scores, not really meant for listening to outside the film, but boy does it help make the visuals even more striking in context.
blondheim reacted to Yavar Moradi in Jerry Goldsmith's LIONHEART (1987) - NEW 2021 2CD Varese Deluxe Edition
Definitely NOT film stems, no. I was planning to save this story for an Odyssey Soundtrack Spotlight, but now I feel like I have to silence the speculation about sources...
Varese searched high and low for complete session tapes and really did their due diligence. Warner Bros, Taliafilm, Mike Ross-Trevor, Bruce Botnick...nobody had more music from this score. Nothing in Goldsmith’s own archives either. All Varese had to use was their original Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 album masters (thankfully those had been preserved in pristine condition and sounded fantastic.)
So Varese actually reached out to me many months ago to see if with my Goldsmith Odyssey connections, I knew anyone who might have more music from the sessions. I bothered a bunch MORE people, on the slim chance they might have something. (I.e., did Mike Lang happen to help do the keyboard overdubs after the Hungarian sessions, and might he therefore have a copy of the full score as recorded? Nope, he didn’t, and nope, he didn’t. But he IS a super nice guy and suggested even more people I could try.)
Finally, I remembered something at almost the last minute: Intrada’s re-recording of Islands in the Stream was done as a piggy-back fifth day of sessions at the end of four days of Lionheart sessions in Hungary. Doug Fake himself was there in Hungary, in 1986, for the original Lionheart sessions leading up to the first rerecording he produced with Jerry. And in multiple conversations with me, Doug has said, “I save everything I can.” Surely, Doug would have made himself a copy of those original Lionheart orchestral sessions, I thought! After all, this is the guy responsible for preserving copies of City of Fear and Studs Lonigan, for *decades*, which would otherwise be lost to time.
So very last minute (they were finalizing the track list), I asked Cary at Varese for permission to reach out to Doug, and thankfully (though skeptical there would be anything) he agreed to let me contact the head of another film music label about a high profile upcoming Varese edition, even though all my other avenues of inquiry over the previous week or two had come up empty.
Did Doug have tapes as I suspected he might? Yes, he had 84 minutes of Lionheart spread over three tapes he’d had made for reference purposes. These were not commercial audio cassettes, they were professional grade tapes. But they were still copies and never intended to be a source for an album. Doug told me this and warned me they wouldn’t be up to the quality of the album master tapes Varese had. In fact, he didn’t even know how they would sound because he hadn’t listened to them in decades. But we had no other avenues to check; this was a last ditch effort to include more music that would otherwise never get out to Goldsmith fans. So I put Cary and Doug in touch, and Doug generously had his tapes transferred to digital and sent to Varese.
It turned out the unreleased music totaled almost four minutes spread over two cues that went unused in the film. But I figured out where those cues should go in the film, and David at The Goldsmith Odyssey edited them in for the scenes they should have scored, and they were a perfect fit to the final cut of the film! These cues are in fact very important ones because they clearly establish the thematic material for the villainous Black Prince, before it gets incorporated into the action cue “Children in Bondage”, mixed in with a lot of other stuff. That cue was never meant to be the first appearance of the theme, and IMO its development makes so much more sense now, with those two cues preceding it.
One problem: since the two previously unreleased cues were definitely in inferior sound quality to the rest of the score, Cary wanted to put them at the end of disc 2 (after the end credits) as bonus tracks. I lobbied hard for them to be included in chronological order and just labeled with asterisks that they were in lower sound quality, but Cary didn’t like the thought of having great sounding cues on either side of poorer sounding ones. This is where Lukas Kendall, who also assisted Varese on this release, came in with a good compromise: keep the full score in chronological order which I felt so strongly about so that the thematic development can be preserved...but have the new cues end Disc 1 instead of Disc 2. That way they were still bonus tracks at the end of a CD rather than interrupting in between great sounding cues. So for those of you wondering why disc 1 is 22 minutes and Disc 2 is 62 minutes, this is why. It wouldn’t all fit on one disc, and it actually does work out well as a split because Children in Bondage is actually a great opener to Disc 2. If the extra music had survived the ages in pristine sound, The Road from Paris is where I’d have started Disc 2. But given the circumstances, I think the split makes total sense and I hope everyone else enjoys this new presentation of a top 10 Goldsmith score as much as I do.
I’ve probably gone on about this longer than I should, but I wanted to head off a bit of the Monday night quarterbacking (“I would have done it THIS way!”) I was seeing here and at FSM. Rest assured a ton of work went into this release and no decision was made lightly.
Chas Ferry did remaster this actually. In fact I haven't even heard his work on it yet -- its very likely that he made the two new cues from Doug Fake's tape sound better than when I last heard them in the album mock-up I made. I'm very interested to hear what his new mastering sounds like.
I think you mean Nic Raine? Nick Redman is no longer with us and was not a conductor but an album producer for Fox. In any case, I would definitely be up for a re-recording of this score someday, and I know it's one Tadlow reconstructionist Leigh Phillips *almost* did a few years ago (Thriller narrowly beat Lionheart in a poll he ran, and thank goodness because those Thriller volumes actually made back their money which Lionheart probably couldn't due to how immense the expense would be.) But for now, let's celebrate the fact that the original (and still quite good) Lionheart recording under Jerry's baton has been reissued (and even expanded with two more cues) after being out of print and unavailable for *decades*! A lot of people are going to have the chance to own this masterpiece of a score again. I'm so glad Varese decided to revisit it.
blondheim reacted to Incanus in Does Anakin have thematic material in Revenge of the Sith?
Although Star Wars is very often cited to be Wagnerian, Williams didn't have much if any foreknowledge of how the plots of these films was going to develop so there wasn't much preplanning of overarching architecture of these scores in the same way as say Howard Shore did with the Lord of the Rings and as such you can't even expect them to be connected to the umpteenth degree. Each new film was a new canvas, where some of the older themes would be used when the director and the composer agreed that it would be good and effective to do so and Williams would then pen new themes for elements he and Lucas considered important. Often Williams doesn't adhere to Wagnerian precision or discipline in using his musical ideas in a rigorous fashion (the e.g. character is nearly always accompanied by his/her theme) and certainly the music of Prequels (and many of the Williams' franchise sequel scores) is built also always with ear toward variety and aural interest so that Williams often writes a lot of non-thematic material between his thematic statements to avoid over saturating the soundtrack with repetition, unless there is a specific purpose to it, like with Across the Stars which more than anything desperately wanted to sell the rather tepid romance happening on-screen and was repeated to enforce it (whether succesful or not).
That long ramble meant to say, John Williams probably didn't plan very meticulous thematic architecture throughout the Prequel trilogy but reacted to the individual films and then chose places where there might be chances for some suitable musical connections to be made dramatically.
blondheim reacted to Chen G. in Does Anakin have thematic material in Revenge of the Sith?
Pretty much. Its what @Falstaft labels "Descent" motif (for Episode II) which then transforms into the "Lament" material come Episode III.
But Young Anakin's theme is only ever used as callbacks to the Jake Lloyd Anakin; and I think there's a good argument to be made for this NOT being a reimagining of the themes' purpose: I think it was only ever intended for the kid Anakin from its very inception - all the quotes of Williams I've provided are from the time of The Phantom Menace.
Of course, that's just an inherent flaw of the prequel narrative that Anakin basically becomes a completely new character between Episodes I and II.
blondheim reacted to Falstaft in Does Anakin have thematic material in Revenge of the Sith?
It's important to remember: the fact that Williams wrote singleton new variants of (Young) Anakin's Theme in Episodes 2 and 3 means neither he nor Lucas forgot the theme. Whether or not you think it was artistically the right call, it was a deliberate choice to let it fall to the wayside. Certainly, the music that does track Anakin's fall in ROTS is enormously effective on its own terms, particularly considering how much it needs to compensate for the character's otherwise bewilderingly underwritten hero-to-mass-murderer arc.
Not sure if your shifting from Anakin to Alberich is intentional or not, but it's an interesting comparison! For one of the central villains of The Ring, Alberich's thematic material isn't especially well defined -- some loosely leitmotivic sneezes and squirms, IIRC. Though there's plenty of satellite "villain" music (Alberich's Curse, Alberich's Hatred, Tarnhelm, Fafner, the Hagen-related stuff), and it all has a neat way of infecting the "good guy" music at various stages, not unlike the Imperial March!
blondheim reacted to Chen G. in Does Anakin have thematic material in Revenge of the Sith?
It makes sense if one designates it (as you did) as the "Young Anakin" theme. Certainly, the theme is used in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith more as callbacks to the young Anakin than as a charting of Anakin's continuing journey as a young adult.
I think that was definitely Williams' intention from the very outset with the theme: there's a suggestion of youthfulness to the music (not unlike Rose) and of course Williams himself called it "innocent"1 and "a sweet [...] youthful tune."2 I think it was definitely only ever meant for the 9-year-old Anakin. That's certainly how the footage plays in the "Musical Journey" disc.3 Says Williams:
Not to mention that it can often be very powerful to avoid giving a character a theme - as Williams had done the mature Anakin - especially when that character is headed nowhere good: Alberich doesn't have a theme for a reason.
blondheim got a reaction from Smeltington in Customizing the Phantom Menace Soundtrack
I know there are Star Wars scores that demand expansion more than this one (Return of the Jedi, looking at you) but part of me hopes this is the first expansion released. The OST has a special place in my heart. It was re-gifted to me from my step-father who bought it for himself but caught me so many times sitting next to the speaker listening to Duel of the Fates and The Flag Parade on repeat that he figured he might as well give it to me
blondheim reacted to Marian Schedenig in 1982 was a hell of a year for film scores - Discuss!
Oh wow, good thing Koyaanisqatsi is missing from the list (I wasn't aware it's an 82 score until Thor mentioned it), otherwise it would absolutely have to be a quartet of picks for the first question, along with E.T., Poltergeist, and Conan.
I didn't consider any of them underrated, but looking at how far ahead of Poltergeist Horner's Trek score is right now, I'd be tempted to call that slightly over-, and the Goldsmith seriously underrated.
blondheim reacted to Thor in Key scores in the evolution of JWs “sound”
Indeed. It's all rather subjective. Personally, I can't say that I agree with most of the selections in this thread -- many of the scores listed may be classics, but not necessarily "key scores in the evolution" of his sound and career. Most of them are smack in the middle of a sound he's developped much earlier.
If I were to select some myself, it could be these:
WAGON TRAIN - first western scoring, something he would develop and expand further in the feature films. Both the Coplandesque stuff and the rural, twangy Americana. A LOT of his later scores can be traced back to the early TV westerns - everything from LINCOLN to ROSEWOOD to THE REIVERS to proper westerns like THE COWBOYS.
THE SECRET WAYS - first glimpse of his "serious", dramatic film music. The theme even foreshadows "Duel of the Fates" a bit.
BACHELOR FLAT - first score that got him pigeonholed into the Manciniesque/jazzy/poppy comedy scores he would do all throughout the 60s.
HEIDI - first time we really encountered the Williams we know today, i.e. applying a neoromantic style for pretty much ALL of the score, rather than just small glimpses.
IMAGES - breaking radically with the above style, and showcasing - maybe for the only time - the more experimental side of Williams that had only been visible in his non-film work (like the flute concerto) up untill then. It's rather unique in his ouevre, but is still a key score for that reason.
JAWS - not so much a key in terms of its success or its sound, but in terms of its APPLICATION within the film, i.e. a sophisticated "play" with thematic figures, and its spotting.
STAR WARS - everything he's learned and developped in terms of big symphonic scoring gets together.
HOME ALONE - people were talking earlier about how HARRY POTTER established the "Tchaikovskyesque" stylings, but I dare to say this is what launched that particular sound.
SLEEPERS - Williams had flirted with 'contemporary' elements before (synth/pop), like in HEARTBEEPS or SPACE CAMP, but this - I feel - is him at the most contemporary he can be (from the 80s onwards). Brooding, with rock-infused drum kits and rhythmic figures alongside his classicalims. Hugely underrated score, and a big 'key score' in terms of a Williams trying to keep up with the times a bit.
A.I. - At this point, Williams moves slightly away from the big, thematic approach and does more cluster-based, minimalist, John Adams-like chord structures. There are hints of it in TPM, but this is in a whole other ballpark. It becomes the THE defining sound of his later years.
INDY 4 - after a 3-year break from scoring, Williams returns, and it's a very different style. More "whimsical" and scatterbrained in the rhythmic segments, with themes operating more as motifs without the broad, dynamic range that we last heard in MEMOIRS OF GEISHA or HARRY POTTER 3. This, then, becomes his go-to style up untill now. Not a sound I'm a big fan of - it sounds more like an approximation of what JW used to be - but with certain exceptions, like the wonderful WAR HORSE (perhaps closest to his earlier stylings) and THE POST (where the rhytmical figures have a more focussed identity).
Something like that, I suppose.
blondheim reacted to EdC in Junkie XL's JUSTICE LEAGUE (2021)
Gosh I haven't been here in awhile but glancing through this thread there seems to be alot of criticism over this release. Oh well, everybody's got different tastes, but I enjoyed this score for what it is. The film itself is pretty "boutique" IMHO, in that it is overlong and indulgent as a piece of cinema, but if you are a Zack Snyder fan, you will be very happy. For this reason, the score also has a very "lumbering" nature. There's probably a solid 30 minutes of slo-mo in this film, and thus you will hear lots of synth-pad swells and slow fades. The guy did this whole thing from his bedroom in 8 months so it's actually more or less what I'd expect. Having said that, I think it fits very well with the aesthetic established in the 2 previous films. I'm an Elfman fan but I was disappointed in his score to the theatrical release for the most part. I do miss his Flash theme tho. I don't think the new score tops that bit.
Anyways, I took the trouble to try to match music to film narrative (an old hobby well documented on my old blog http://cuebycue.blogspot.com/ ) and this is what I came up with. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon during a pandemic! This was all from a single pass so I'm sure there will be corrections...anyways, I thought I'd share here in case someone may find this useful. The release is pretty much chronological aside from track 1. The last tracks are suites. There's repetition to be sure, but no more than I'd expect from a superhero score coming out of the Zimmer school.
1: Song to the Siren (Rose Betts) (Barry Saves Iris From Truck) (After trk 12)
2: A Hunter Gathers (Superman’s Death, Motherboxes Awaken 1:51, Themyscira Motherbox 3:46, Bruce in Iceland Mountains 5:20)
3: Migratory (Martha Leaves Smallville House)
4: Things Fall Apart (Bruce and Alfred at the Airfield)
5: Wonder Woman Defending / And What Rough Beast (Terrorists Take Hostages, WW Investigates 1:54, WW Rescue (alt) 3:24)
6: World Ending Fire (Hippolyta Visits MB, Steppenwolf attacks/Fall of the Tomb 3:13, Chase Across the Plains 5:30)
7: Middle Mass (Steppenwolf Arrives in Russia)
8: Long Division (Bruce Searches for Allies on Plane)
9: No Paradise, No Fall (Janitor Meets Parademons, Artemis’ Arrow 2:07)
10: The Center Will Not Hold, Twenty Centuries of Stony Sleep (Kryptonian Ship, Vic Speaks w Silas 0:53, Diana Reads Temple Mural 1:41, Arthur Saves Fisherman 4:30, Arthur & Vulko Undersea 5:23)
11: As Above, So Below (Steppenwolf and DeSaad)
12: No Dog, No Master (Legend of Old Gods Amassing Against Darkseid, Attack Begins 2:33, Hiding the Motherboxes 5:12)
13: Take This Kingdom by Force (Steppenwolf Interrogates Atlanteans w Spider)
14: A Splinter from the Thorn That Pricked You (Lois and Superman’s Cloak)
15: Cyborg Becoming / Human All Too Human (Vic’s Football Memories, Accident 2:57, Silas Gives Vic Tape (Powers & Good Deeds) 4:25)
16: The Path Chooses You (Bruce Confronts Barry)
17: Aquaman Returning / Carry Your Own Water (Mera at the Motherbox, Steppenwolf Attacks 1:59, Arthur Arrives 3:27, Arthur & Mera 4:40, Vic Sees Batsignal/Steppenwolf Adds 2nd MB 6:28)
18: The Provenance of Something Gathered (Batman and Friends Meet Gordon)
19: We Do This Together (Arrival in Tunnel, Battle & Flood Escape 3:24)
20: The Will to Power (Steppenwolf’s Antilife Vision, Talk on Stryker’s Island 1:35, DeSaad & Darkseid 2:13)
21: Smoke Become Fire (JL Arrival at Batcave (alt))
22: I Teach You, the Overman (Vic Explains MB and his Origin (alt), Superman Resurrection Idea/Martha Visits Lois 3:00)
23: A Glimmer at the Door of the Living (Manhunter Leaves Lois)
24: How We Achieve Ourselves (Debate Bringing Superman Back)
25: The Sun Forever Rising (Midnight Digging Talk)
26: Underworld (Sneak Into STAR Labs Compound, Silas Sees Vic/Kryptonian ship 3:53)
27: Superman Rising, Pt. 1 / A Book of Hours (Lois In Bed, Clark Goes Into Pool 1:28)
28: Beyond Good and Evil (Barry’s Idea/Lois’ Last Visit, Vic’s Vision of Darkseid’s Future 2:20, Barry Runs 2:54)
29: Monument Builder (Clark Rises and Flies to Monument Site)
30: Monument Destroyer (Clark Feels Threatened, Vs Flash 2:26, Vs Army & Fights Towards Bruce 3:26)
31: Urgrund (Lois Appears)
32: So Begins the End (Steppenwolf vs Silas, After Steppenwolf’s Escape 2:41)
33: The House of Belonging (Clark at Smallville House)
34: Earthling (Cornfield Talk and Reunion with Martha)
35: Flight Is Our Nature (Bruce: “Something Darker”, Troop Carrier Launch 0:41)
36: Indivisible (Motherboxes Unite and Tremors Around the World)
37: And the Lion-Earth Did Roar, Pt. 1 (JL Prep for Battle, Batmobile vs Parademons 1:21)
38: And the Lion-Earth Did Roar, Pt. 2 (JL Vs Parademons, JL Confronts Steppenwolf 1:44)
39: Superman Rising, Pt. 2 / Immovable (Clark Arrives and Kicks Ass)
40: At the Speed of Force (Barry Injured, Darkseid’s Boom Tube, Barry Runs To the Past 1:30)
41: My Broken Boy (Vic Inside Motherbox Vision, MB Separation)
42: That Terrible Strength (Steppenwolf Killed, Darkseid Warned, Darkseid Plans)
43: An Eternal Reoccurrence of Change (JL Emerges Into Dawn)
44: We Slay Ourselves (Silas Tape, Arthur Leaves, Epilogues)
45: Your Own House Turned to Ashes (Arkham Missing Lex, Meeting with Deathstroke)
46: All of You Undisturbed Cities (Knightmare Dream with Joker)
47: The Art of Preserving Fire (Manhunter Leaves Bruce (alt))
48: The Crew at Warpower (Main Theme Suite)
49: The Foundation Theme (from Zack Snyder's Justice League) (Main Theme Suite 2)
50: Batman, a Duty to Fight / To See (Batman Suite)
51: Batman, an Invocation to Heal / To Be Seen (Batman Suite 2)
52: Wonder Woman, a Call to Stand / A World Awakened (WW Suite)
53: Flash, the Space to Win / Our Legacy Is Now (Flash, JL Suite)
54: Hallelujah (Allison Crowe, End Credits)
blondheim got a reaction from Naïve Old Fart in Justice League movie thread
Because people want family movies with a little bit of everything rather than one distinct vision that can occasionally polarize but takes risks. I've said it before, Marvel is movie-by-committee. The only three directors in the MCU that have managed to maintain some semblance of a voice are James Gunn, Taika Waititi, and Ryan Coogler.
blondheim reacted to Arpy in Joker (Hildur Guðnadóttir)
Is it a bad score? No. Are there parts which are quite good? Yes. Did it work well with the picture? Yes. I'm not trashing this score, I'm just annoyed it is automatically entered and received by these awards boards and has won over better scores.
Even with this forum heavily biased towards JW, can anyone say Joker deserved a win over Rise of Skywalker, or Thomas Newman's 1917?
blondheim got a reaction from Datameister in Dambusters remake
I didn't say you did. You made it very clear we can talk about it. That you will allow a troll post with a racial slur in it to hide under the guise of "well it's the dog's name" is crazy to me. You are making the assumption that if it offended a person of color enough to leave, you would get to hear about it at all. This imagined outrage I am trying to prevent will only happen if someone stays long enough and feels welcome enough to do it. I was offended so it's my responsibility too.
I am never going to stop advocating for these spaces to be less white, less male, less straight. I don't care if that is annoying to anyone. Ask someone who's black what they think, I stand by my answer. This only flies because the room is white.