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aviazn last won the day on April 30 2016

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  1. I read that, too. Seems to be widespread — it's included in a recent compilation of flute audition extracts, along with Leia's Theme and Dartmoor, 1912. Some instructor at the University of Georgia has helpfully posted an extract. The performance notes from the editor are fun to read — nice to see the technical aspects of JW's music dissected along with the rest of the greats.
  2. Wow, wasn’t expecting this. It’s a major revision of the 1998 symphonic suite, which according to my attempts at Google translating the Japanese CD description, Hisaishi overhauled in 2016 (?), and then tweaked again for this 2021 recording. I’m really, really liking this. In some ways, it’s a complete reimagining of the suite. It’s shorter than the 1998 version, with some fat trimmed from some of the cues. But it also incorporates some material from the score that didn’t make the first one (like the electronic elements in The World of the Dead, reorchestrated), and has more careful movement transitions. And it changes up the instrumentation in places, with vocals in Mononoke Hime, and a violin solo replacing the piano in Ashitaka and San, which I really dig. (Was Hisaishi inspired by JW and ASM?) For me, it feels like both a more complete presentation of the original score material, and a more engaging, cohesive listening experience as a suite. And at 26 minutes with 7 movements, I could even see it playing well programmed in a “serious” concert, like the Swan Lake suite or the WSS Symphonic Dances.
  3. That works. I was thinking more the minor-key bridge of Blazing Saddles…
  4. Just to point out that this is not a Washington Post story; it’s from the Associated Press, syndicated on the Post’s website. Here’s the original: https://apnews.com/article/john-williams-indiana-jones-star-wars-music-af541b3979fd6c0ea624bb200c322f42 Agree that Singapore and Lisbon are mistakes on AP’s part and refer to tribute concerts without JW’s participation. Looks like this is the SG concert and this is the Lisbon one.
  5. I think it sounds adapted for a TV series-sized orchestra, that's all. But, as is frequently the case these days, I prefer the faster tempo to JW's live performance.
  6. It reminds me most of the Desperation theme from TLJ, which also uses those 1-3-2-5 opening notes. I like the rhyme there — between when the Resistance was nearly wiped out and needed a disillusioned Luke to step up, and when the Jedi are nearly wiped out and need a disillusioned Obi-Wan. Yeah, exactly. It reminds me of that quote from some interview (can't find which one, but I'm sure it's linked here) where, when asked about what makes Star Wars music sound like Star Wars music, he basically responded by saying something like, "Without getting too technical about it, it's a set of intervals and their order and relationship to one another." If that's how he thinks about it, it's no wonder that when he gets asked to write more Star Wars music, he keeps coming back to these intervals. At this point, Star Wars music is almost like a raga.
  7. I always think of those duples as cribbing from Romeo and Juliet. Though those examples are a bit faster! The first one you posted, with Leia's theme, features in the concert arrangement, where the similarity is more pronounced.
  8. Wow, what a great wealth of information in this thread. I haven't seen or listened to the new WSS yet, but those liner notes from JW are fascinating. Very interesting to see him acknowledge the critiques of WSS' creators not knowing anything about Puerto Rican music and to label Bernstein's allusions to jazz "academic and stiff." I would love to read some extended thoughts from JW on his relationship with jazz and Black music. Also, what a fun shoutout to Alex Ross of the New Yorker — it seems there's a healthy mutual admiration there, after Ross' glowing reviews of TFA and TLJ and his sit-down interview/profile.
  9. I adore this little rendition of The Mission he did for Brian Williams. (Can't find it in YouTube, so can't embed it.) And this performance of As Time Goes By where he played with Audra McDonald at Tanglewood in 2013. For JW, it may only be an accompaniment, but the two of them together is magical. I'm glad I was there that night. Clearly, a recording exists of the whole thing, and I'd love to know where. There's this fan cam version but the sound quality is pretty bad:
  10. One of the things that never fails to amaze me about Williams is his ability to hear a temp track and, where most composers would write a pale imitation of that track, JW will instead write an improved version of that temp track. With all due respect to Gordy, AOH is both more of an earworm and richer in possibilities — the different modulations it can take, the rhythmic material underneath it, etc. Same goes for, say, the final movement of Howard Hanson's second symphony. Every new motif in Adventures on Earth is clearly indebted to analogous material in the Hanson, but to my ear, Williams' rewrites are more interesting, more intricate, more full of energy and panache in the big moments — and a closer emotional match to the tone of the film in the quiet, Interlochen-esque moments. That ability to hear a piece of music and then improve upon it is maybe an underrated skill. It's easier to borrow material — a fragment of a melody, a texture — and then reuse it in a totally different context. Or, of course, to write a slightly different melody over the same chords, like everyone else in Hollywood. But to actually make a better, more refined, more harmonically and rhythmically complex version of something you've already heard is so hard to do. I think it speaks to his process — the part he's often described as sculpting, constantly iterating and making tiny tweaks until he finds something that feels inevitable. Hearing something like that Battlefront cue is almost like hearing one of his early drafts of a theme before he sculpts it into its final form.
  11. Same, Greenaway (and that LSO brass) win it going away, for me. Is it confirmed that To Tatooine is Powell and not Williams? I remember there was some discussion about whether that was one of the cues JW contributed. (If it was Powell, he had me fooled.)
  12. 1:47 "His music often gives the films the emotional impact Lucas shortchanges." That may be the most succinct description ever of the Lucas–Williams relationship (and Lucas' general style).
  13. Uh-oh, I've been called out. I guess if the A has worked so far, why change now? Yeah, you could argue that see the influence of Williams' harmonic leanings more now in concert composers than in film composers.
  14. Agreed, but it's also because he actually was a jazz musician, and a lot of people would argue Williams is a significant transitional figure for that reason. The imprint of jazz (and Black music in general) is of course over all modern music, but most film composers today came by those influences secondhand (including via Williams himself). And practically none of them match his level of craft in that regard.
  15. The flying theme is one of those themes where people point to a classical work as a precedent in the melody, but it's actually a great example of the jazz influence in harmony and voicing that @WilliamsStarShip2282 and @Datameister mention, and which makes Williams unique and distinct. This post on Medium is a nice deconstruction of it—when you listen to the chord progression in isolation at the end of the post, the jazz roots are completely clear, and even though the melody seems simple, straightforward, and "classical", its those chord moves that really make the theme feel fresh and, well, Williamsy.
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