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  1. But he's always referred to memorable themes as a happy accident. In other words he doesn't set out to write a memorable theme. He tries to give the idea or character in the film the right musical identification and if it happens to be memorable, so be it. That's why with something like WotW he doesn't even try. Summer blockbuster, Tom Cruise, the potential end of civilization - its his chance to write something famous but, instead, his music just absorbs the very serious atmosphere of it all and gives us nothing to hum. I think that kind of allegiance to the film is very admirable. - Adam
  2. He's been NBC's jingle writer for some time now. Even his Olympic themes mostly have appeared as short jingles before and after commercials. I remember a writer complaining about hearing his music at the opening ceremonies because for him this was an NBC theme and for it to appear in the ceremonies was a sign of the commercialization of the Olympics and so forth. The writer had a point, unfortunately. Goldsmith gave us Rudy, a wonderful score. But he had more than 45 seconds so its not a fair competition. - Adam
  3. Well it does seem to have a lot to do with the scene and editing though I agree what you're talking about is less pleasing on the ears. Battle of the Heroes is an action piece that was in the film and certainly has melodic through-lines. And it does seem the scene asked for it in away that some of the other action didn't - where there are lots of quick cuts and there's absolutely no focus on character, just a lot of busy action. WotW is not melodic in its action but its very cohesive for the most part (and not busily edited). That seeeed like the correct approach. That's not to say he hasn't written the jittery, fragmented stuff as well recently. In fact, RotJ has some of that and that was in 1983. But the point is, these don't seem like random choices he's making, especially if measured against the kind of scenes in question. I don't want to say its the only factor but it seems like the major one. - Adam
  4. Also, the too-busy theory doesn't seem to fit for the NFL piece. What else has he been doing this year? He's about as unbusy as he's been in a long time from what we know. Its also worth noting that there was continuity in sound in his earlier periods as well. Whether its Star Wars to The Fury or even Monsignor and ET have points of similarity. People are often anxious to declare JW's downfall but meanwhile he keeps writing music that lots of people appreciate and enjoy and that many musicians admire. And he seems to be making the people that hire him happy. He's not going to please everybody but, then, he never did so that's nothing new either. -Adam
  5. Well its only 45 seconds. Its not like people were saying that this was ET. I think Saxman is the one over-reacting here. I've been enjoying it and I think it will probably work well for what it was written for. This is kind of Star Warsy but that's because I think he was going for the whole battle metaphor like I was saying. If he wrote battle music for Memoirs of a Geisha, Saxman might have a good point. - Adam
  6. I'll be curious to see if this was written for a set montage that will be the same every week or whether different images will be edited in every week. It kind of sounds like he throws in a lot of extra boom-tzzs to be timed with violent tackles and that kind of thing. - Adam
  7. My first reaction was that it did sound very footballish. Partly it maybe connects a little bit with music I've heard in NFL Films Highlights. But more I think its because the NFL has always played up the war analogy. The whole idea of warriors battling in the trenches and that kind of thing. So I think the music is very evokative of that. Very brutish music. Great to hear some new JW music. Feels like its been forever. - Adam
  8. With regard to the strings, JW also mentioned that he doubled up the strings. So it its twice as abundant as a regular orchestra but I personally like it better for this piece. The Pops re-recordings, for example, lack the rich, weightier sound from the original. I think JW rightly recognized what was needed for the material and the movie. - Adam
  9. Then Williams didnt intended music for it, or Stone asked him not to write anything... I suppose the bootleg is complete since one 3rd of it are alternates Many of the so-called alternates are other recordings off of different albums. EDIT : After going through the album which says that tracks 18-30 are alternate or unused this is more or less what seems to be the case : 18 How the score actually begins in the movie. The prologue on the album is the unused cue. 19. Re-recording off the Pops album 20. The first part is from the movie but the last part seems like 22 21. Re-recording off the Pops album 22. - 29 Most of these are labeled as alternates which would leave only 3 unused cues in the sense of scenes that were going to have music but had none. However I don’t trust the labels, especially since the alternates often have very different times and since so little effort was made for accuracy in the track titles. 30. Bad re-recording by an orchestra I don’t remember So it seems there are more unused cues than I originally thought and it may be complete but its difficult to tell for sure given how poorly it is assembled and labeled. - Adam
  10. I recall an interview with JW after the movie where he mentioned the downside of scoring movies is watching a lot of music taken out and he mentioned that this happened with Born on the Fourth of July. It might have been one of the interviews where he says that scoring movies can be soul-crushing. But there are quite a few moments in the movie that seemed to call out for music where there was none, so I assume these are the scenes where music got taken out. For example, Kovic praying, the montage at the beginning of the movie of him working out, etc. All this could have been very good music and its not on the bootleg. - Adam
  11. One of my favorites. Lush, rich string writing with some very nice trumpet solos, particularly Homecoming, with its quasi-militaristic, bittersweet anthem. I like that he’s able to create music that is very American sounding but appropriately different from the typical patriotic sound. The score very accurately evokes both the turbulance of that era and in the more romantic moments, idealism and nostalgia. I don't know that there's another score he's written that it reminds me so it has the added virtue of being both very good and very unique. - Adam
  12. The Amazing Stories CD has been a case in point for me. I was glad to have all of the other composers’ work on there with JW because it was an excuse to hear other music and composers that I might not have otherwise heard. I wanted to like the other writing (and I need to give it more listens actually) but I keep listening to JW’s Ghost Train. Its not even that great of a listening experience as JW goes but there’s something more satisfying about it, nonetheless. I remember Davis of JP3 using the word “integrity” to describe JW’s writing and I think that’s very true. There’s an extra level of complexity, but seamlessly woven together, that gives the music more depth. Still, people cultivate different interests and tastes. There’s plenty of other film composers, historically and today, writing quality music, even if they don’t combine the particular attributes that I find so impressive in JW. They’ll bring something different to the table that maybe JW doesn’t. I try to keep that in mind as well as the fact that technical talent, in it of itself, is not what people listen for in music generally. Its valuable in so far as it increases the quality of what we hear but music is ultimately something more visceral that we connect to. Chariots of Fire isn’t a particularly impressive musical piece in technical terms but I can still enjoy it and it clearly connected with a lot of people. That’s just one example that comes to mind for some reason. - Adam
  13. Of course it has to do with talent. Iverson is super-quick and can jump out of the gym. This is a natural talent and, yes, he's also worked like crazy. That's why its often a combination. The idea that anybody could make it to the NBA is ridiculous. How much this applies to music is debatable but it seems common-sensical that a person born with a tin-ear will have a harder time than someone with natural musical talent. If they both practice like crazy and equally, the person with natural talent will have an advantage. - Adam
  14. I'm ignorant when it comes to the videogame scores but even with Lost and Family Stone there's some good moments that contradict what I said. I'm just speaking to a general tendency I'm noticing with his film/TV scores. But the finale to one of the earlier Season 2 Lost episodes has a very well-devleoped melody that I'm anxious to have. - Adam
  15. I think he tried to combine a somewhat traditional Americana sound with some more contemporary aspects like the drums because it was supposed to be a present-day story. For example, the best unreleased cue is a very 80ish drum-driven piece incorporating the main theme. I love that cue in the movie. It has the more traditional bluesy, country elements but then drums to help connect the montage and place the movie in the appropriate time. And he uses that main theme to convey the feeling of the family banding together. A year later, Goldsmith used a similar type of theme (melody built around resolving a suspended third) for the basketball team pulling together. Its a very effective musical technique in both cases IMO. As far as the album goes, its worth the money to me but everyone's different. - Adam
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