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karelm last won the day on June 27

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  1. A Standing Engagement - Los Angeles Times (latimes.com)
  2. You can also think of it as JW's level of detail is overkill hence, no real need for an orchestrator, you can just send it to the copyist. He does have the luxury of dictating the schedule and that's just not how everyone works. You don't see JW doing 7 films in one year like Goldsmith sometimes did or maybe not accepting a two week gig to deliver 3 hours of score. I don't think anyone who worked with Horner, even as ghostwriter, thought he couldn't do it, just that the pressures of the situation made it unfeasible. It is also a slippery slope, especially with teams that have worked together for years and pro level talent like we're talking about here. Sometimes the orchestrator suggests something beyond what is in the sketch and the composer might like it. Then another cue, they'll do short hand and ask for "more flushing out". Sometimes they'll simply get director's notes and have to do it and the composer will review it (eg: make it more intense). Sometimes you get just a melody and chord symbols and will be told "make this huge". From there, it's not a stretch to "make a variation of my theme that's more intense" and now you're sort of in the ghostwriting area but it's quite gray. It's not unheard of for a ghost to hire a ghost too!
  3. You shouldn't worry about it too much. There is no doubt that Horner was a very skilled and talented composer. There is also the reality of film scoring as a business. Sometimes these collide. It's not really that big a deal. Think of it like any one of his great scores would probably sound different, perhaps even better, if he had no time constraints. Because composers sometimes have awful deadlines, corners are cut. It's not ideal, it's the reality of working in a business. To think otherwise is to over-romanticize the business of film scoring.
  4. That was really cool! I adored the string writing and colors! Very fine music. It reminds me a bit of Ives and also film music of that time. Here is more American music, Howard Hanson's Lament for Beowulf:
  5. These are masterpiece movies. I'm not distant from you, having only seen Cleopatra 63 a few months ago but it was so fantastic! I saw the latest version which is 4 hours long (it has a very long and complex history but try to see the latest version, not the studio version). For example, Liz Taylor totally owns the role as does Richard Burton, they were born to play these roles. But in the long version, Burton doesn't even show up for the first 90 minutes. It's completely engrossing and all this makes the climax so powerful. The film is truly epic and I've never seen another film that quite encapsulated actors born to play these roles with perfect direction and a classic story. It blew me away. I grew up with Ten Commandments but much of what I said about Cleopatra can be said about this film too. Here, Heston and Brynner own their performances. They are the definitive version of these roles...the ones to which all others are compared to as well as every other role they perform. The score is fantastic and the story, very well dramatized. Sure there is excessive melodrama common of the 1950's, but the overall impact is powerfully effective. These films encapsulate their era. These films are epic and slow burns...watch them in full glory. Take an afternoon to experience it because they are the great examples of epic stories and deeply emotionally involving. Similar experience for me when I first saw West Side Story (1961) which I saw for the first time in 2016. I was first skeptical because of its over the top silliness, but quickly absorbed in the drama, and by the end, deeply moved - transformed - by the experience of watching this film. It was so freaking amazing!
  6. A very fine composer of film and concert music. I enjoy everything he wrote.
  7. Volume 1 of the two album soundtrack release of Pyschonauts 2 was just released!
  8. It's fundamental economics. Each notation software excels in different areas. Sibelius is NOT great at complex scores like aleatoric music, compound meters (it still doesn't do it). It serves the common needs well that serves 95% of what users ask for but it isn't great with advanced notation. But it's a real struggle to produce a score like the attached. But that's not needed often, so it's the experts and connoisseurs who need that level of notation control. But who control's the features? It's like Microsoft Word probably does 1,000 features but 95% of its users only use a dozen features. That same sort of economics at play. Don't get me wrong, the attached image from Penderecki would be difficult to engrave regardless of what tool you use but some are better equipped for this type of advanced notation rare as it might be. For pro engravers, this is very important even though it's rarely asked for. It's sort of like how Adobe Photoshop can do anything you need for a photo but you almost never need all of that capability, it becomes the go to tool because anything you might need, it can do. But Sibelius is easier to use for most work. I haven't yet used Dorico but I hear it's a great balance between advanced notation and simplicity but the workflow (how you do common things) is unintuitive. As for me, I think Finale, Sibelius, and Dorico are professional level tools. Each excel in different ways. You also need to be proficient in whatever tools your clients use.
  9. In the 1990's, you didn't have embedded parts. So you had to create a full score that the conductor, composer, and engineers would use and a score for parts only that would be used to create the parts. Now the full score used by the conductor can be used to extract the parts, you still have to do some manipulation but you don't need multiple versions which can get out of sync due to late edits...a real disaster in scoring sessions. Imagine a player playing something in bar 41 but the conductor's score has that removed or given at a different spot, those types of errors are extremely costly and embarrassing as the music prep has to determine which is the right one and maybe look through versions to determine. Additionally, old versions of Finale had a fatal flaw that they did not export to other versions which meant you had to get a new version each time they released a new version (yearly). Otherwise Finale 2006 wouldn't be able to load or save Finale 2004 so you had to have both. Over the years, this became a real mess and it was mind boggling why they did that other than they had little competition and could force an upgrade on their customers. The benefit of Finale in the pro music prep shops came in keyboard shortcuts that could be tied into complex macros. They would produce shareable shortcuts that everyone on the team would have access to such as page formatting, the amount of white space around a staff, fixing collisions with words and notes, etc. All these things were painstaking and still time consuming but now are much faster to do. The other huge time saver comes with editability. If you produce a score on paper, it's impossible to "insert a measure" in the middle. And sometimes you get these requests - very common in the composition phase but always happen late in complex scores too. Now, there is more competition with Sibelius and Dorico that are faster and easier but don't have the richness of keystroke commands that Finale has.
  10. Oops, sorry for the very slow response, I missed this. Nice job! I liked how you supported the drama, for example, the tension riser when truck can't stop in time and the relief when the bus is on the bridge. In this type of show you can probably do that a bit more, like when the robot says "I've got it" and flies to rescue the bus, you could add a hint of heroism there, or some acknowledgement. It's also good that you choose what you acknowledge musically and you seem to have good instinct in this. Very good job. Very nice...there is something a bit off about the timing. You have a climax at timecode 43:277 but it sounds a second or two early before the exterior shot. Good musically, just needs to hold otherwise it feels like the climax arrived too soon. Good and exciting music, try dropping the snare drum some times, if it plays throughout, it ends up reducing the effect. I liked your Horner bells. Nice and epic cue. Just needs some fine tuning on the details, but a very solid sci-fi action cue. I could totally see this in Orville with its retro score. I liked your Williams, Horner, Elfman touches.
  11. He uses an exact tempo and word description, like "Maestoso (quarter note =100)"
  12. I'd suggest you reach out to Eric Schmidt. I'll email you privately with contact details.
  13. What are the composition dates for each of John Williams' Star Wars scores? Do we know this? Consider that end date of composition won't be the scoring session date but the date he hands it over to copyists because I assume for the earlier scores, the orchestrator was engaged throughout the composition process rather than only after the score was finished. In the sequel trilogy, he composed throughout the film editing process). According to Chris Malone's excellent document on recording Star Wars, he quotes JW as saying this about what I think is ROTS: ”Later, after viewing the completed film, the composer was afforded over 10 weeks to write his 2 hour and 10 minute score. Still, time isn’t necessarily a luxury. 'It is fast. It’s a very difficult schedule.' said Williams looking back shortly before the film’s May 19 release." He also says that ESB started recording 8 weeks after spotting. I doubt JW would have composed prior to spotting because he doesn't read scripts so hadn't seen the film or known the story prior (with possible exception being discussions with Lucas and directors but based on interviews, seems unlikely he would start the work process until he "experiences" the film first). So it means he must have composed ESB in about 7 weeks maximum. That's about 3 minutes of completed music per day...every day he was composing the score. I'm also wondering how that compares with the Prequals and Sequels. How does this compare with modern sci-fi space fantasies like Guardians of the Galaxy or Avengers movies? Do they get more or less time to score an epic sci-fi extravaganza?
  14. It's problematic if we think of it as a completion. Fine if it's for fun. It is basically using tropes, devices, and patterns that Beethoven was used to doing and applying it to sketches. That is very different from what Beethoven would do. Composers frequently have sketches that are incomplete or tossed out. Secondly, they greatly refine the work as they compose. Take a look at this and how Beethoven evolved the Symphony No. 5 as he was writing it. Part of the genius of Beethoven is how he shaped and crafted the ideas into poetry. The AI can't do that....yet.
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