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aviazn last won the day on April 30 2016

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  1. I seem to recall Samantha Winslow herself giving that anecdote to a journo at one point. Maybe to David Carr at his Carpetbagger blog.
  2. Fun interview. Is this the first time in history that an interviewer tells the "they're all dead" story to Williams? 😅 Prompting him with the film clips was a nice interview technique. I don't know that I've ever heard him say he wrote Luke's Theme from Star Wars "out of desperation". I dream about someone one day doing an interview with him where they give him a piano and just ask him all sorts of technical questions. Also was he about to drop an f-bomb? I heard: "Music just means so much more to me every passing day. You just wish you could share that with people — how fffuu…cky we are to be working in something that you truly love." EDIT: OK, listening again, I think he started to say “fortunate” and then shifted mid-word to “lucky”. With headphones, I hear “ffflucky” But the way it comes out, I totally thought he was going to say “how fucking lucky we are,” and in my mind, I think I will remember it that way. 🥹
  3. Wow, another appearance, a full episode on Chris Wallace’s show. Streaming now on HBO Max! Airing on CNN Sunday night. This is really a full-court press. Online story here: https://www.cnn.com/2023/03/03/entertainment/john-williams-indiana-jones/index.html
  4. The Flag Parade —> Cantina Band #2. Try it.
  5. Ha, the irony though is that LTP is already mainstream, in the conventional sense of the word. They’re done by every major orchestra in the US and are some of their most popular and lucrative concerts. By any measure, they’re surely the most mainstream form of classical music around — certainly more mainstream than ballet or opera! It’s not like film music is some modernist atonal idiom that needs defending. LTP is embraced by the paying masses, by the musicians, and by the artistic directors in charge of programming. The critics may come around to it…or may not, but it almost doesn’t matter. To answer the original question of which JW suites could be programmed in a “traditional” classical concert, I think that most of the listed suites don’t work well in that kind of setting. I think in the ones with the most prominent material (Star Wars, HP) the individual pieces are short and too disparate, more like orchestral pop songs. For me, the MoaG cello suite and the unpublished E.T. suite hit a suite spot of variety and development of material with a consistency of tone and mood that plays well in a concert setting. I’d love to hear that RotS suite, too. If I’m being honest, I think the biggest contributing factor to JW’s suites being more widely played in traditional classical concerts will be after he dies. Hate to think about it, but that’s when he will pass into “the canon,” and programming a suite by him will carry a different meaning than programming him as a living composer. You don’t program the suite from Swan Lake because you’ve built a two-hour concert around it, you program it because you’ve got a 20-minute hole to fill and audiences will go, oh Tchaikovsky, how nice. Which leads me to think that ultimately, I don’t think I want JW to be programmed more frequently in traditional classical concerts. People go to those types of concerts to seek out musical experiences they don’t get from more mainstream, pop culture sources. When orchestras start programming Star Wars and Harry Potter in classical concerts, that means that those scores and John Williams will have fallen out of the public consciousness.
  6. The lack of recognition of the influence of jazz on Williams' voice always rankles me. This recent critical reappraisal of his work is great, as are his appearances with the great European orchestras. But seeking to place him in the pantheon of the European classical tradition while ignoring his jazz background only gets you half the story. It's the jazz imprint on his harmonic and rhythmic language and how he brought that into an orchestral idiom that sets him apart from his peers. Maybe this is a bit grandiose, but I think of Williams as a historic, generational figure at the intersection of two musical traditions from across the world that were brought together in the US through an array of global political and socioeconomic forces — emigration, capitalism, colonialism, slavery, Nazism, abolitionism, etc. Of course, these musical traditions were intermixing for many decades before Williams, but he played no small part in how they combined to create today's modern musical landscape. That, I think, is a much more interesting and significant legacy than simply inheriting the pop mantle of Korngold and Wagner. But obviously, jazz remains a blind spot of classical music critics. You can find a lot more about Williams' jazz roots from music theory geeks on YouTube than classical critics at prestige publications.
  7. Plot twist: Williams is actually a longtime subscriber to Doomcock's channel and watched it religiously during the SW sequels to find out in advance which cues he was going to have to rewrite for JJ
  8. Well, that will set tongues wagging. Looking forward to all the Disney rumor blogs citing JWFan as the source for this…
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. That works. I was thinking more the minor-key bridge of Blazing Saddles…
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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