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Maestro

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Everything posted by Maestro

  1. Hi again! I'm hoping some of you sleuths can help me with this. In 2012, Blu-ray.com (that esteemed bastion of journalism) published a "Making of Jurassic Park" article that quotes John from two sources that strike me as dubious. As far as I know, he only gave ONE interview to Film Score Monthly (in 2002), excepting the 1997 Craig Byrd Star Wars interview. So I don't think this can be right. Does anyone know the true source of these two quotes, or if they're even legit? Taken from https://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=8186: On his compositions for the film, John Williams told Film Score Monthly in an interview, "I wanted to do something different for Steven. With Close Encounters, I needed to write pieces that would convey a sense of 'awe' and fascination, especially for the last half hour of the film. The music that would be needed here, especially when the group first arrives on the island and see the dinosaurs, would require something rather similar. So instead of going for a sense of fascination, I created a theme for the park itself, which could be used in several different places, and when orchestrated differently, could convey the beauty of what they were seeing at first. So when the passengers in the jeep pass by the group of dinosaurs for the first time, this is the theme I used. Instead of a sense of fascination, I believe the theme conveyed the feelings of the dinosaur researchers in the jeep and their overwhelming happiness and excitement at what they were encountering." He was also interviewed (by the press, by invitation) one day while working at the editing location about the score point with the tyrannosaurus rex. Williams said, "I needed to compose a much darker tone for many of the scenes, especially the rex, which you will notice is different from the final half hour once they are being chased inside the building. The music for the tyrannosaurus rex had to be absolutely frightening. I wanted to convey the feeling that two children would have if they encountered such a beast. Very dark, very scary. Overall, composing the music for this film has been such an enjoyable experience, and of course a pleasure to work again with Steven."
  2. Thanks everyone! I now have multiple copies of said interview. The generosity of JWfans knows no bounds.
  3. Hi all. Related to my quest: does anyone have a copy of the filmed AFI Master Class with Spielberg and JW from 2011? It looks like it's been taken down from both Vimeo and YouTube...
  4. Hello, fellow JWfans. Obsessed with JW since 1994, member on this site since 2003, and have written my fair share of articles about the man for the LA Times, NPR, and elsewhere. All of that as preamble to a request. This fall, assuming the world is still turning and the higher education system still exists, I'm going to be teaching a course at USC on... the music of John Williams. As you can imagine, I couldn't be more ecstatic. Under the shadow of the "John Williams Scoring Stage," across a path from the school where George Lucas attended, I'll get to wax on about the greatest composer of all time every week for a whole semester. I know many of you have gathered biographical info about JW over the years—old news clippings, interviews, photos, etc.—and I would love to have anything and everything I can get my hands on as I prepare for this class. This will also just scratch an itch I have as a lifelong maniac for JW, but now I have a fancy professional reason as well. Let me know if you have anything you'd be willing to share. Thanks in advance!
  5. Lately, for me, it's been this bad boy:
  6. A little more insight, perhaps, into Rey's theme (as well as Kylo Ren's theme... among other things): http://projectorandorchestra.com/john-williams-on-the-force-awakens-and-the-legacy-of-star-wars/ “It’s an interesting challenge with her, because her theme doesn’t suggest a love theme in any way. It suggests an adventurer, a female adventurer, but with great strength. She’s a fighter, she’s infused with the Force, and it needed to be something that was strong but thoughtful. She’s a very young girl, but she’s a woman of diverse parts, and so there’s a maturity, I think, about the approach, melodically, to her that I hope will fit her. It seemed particularly challenging, both in the scavenger section in the beginning and in the trip to the island to find Luke in the end, where her theme is pretty fully realized with the orchestra. And it seemed to the right degree of strength and beauty for an adventuress.”
  7. Hey guys! Sorry—I'm just now seeing this thread. I should've realized that little "aside" in my piece would kick up a few question marks, since it was a total revelation to me when I first learned it. Just to clarify and verify, in an interview I conducted with Paul Hirsch last October, Hirsch said this: "[Williams] was approached about doing Mission: Impossible, and he said, 'Would you mind if I changed the theme?' And they said, 'Oh no, no, no, you can't change the theme.' And he said, 'Well, never mind.' But I thought, you know, hey, if John Williams wants to change the theme, I would be very interested to know what he would have come up with." ...which almost makes it sound like it was a deal-breaker for the studio and not necessarily De Palma. But who knows!
  8. Some of you may enjoy my conversation with Christopher Nolan and Hans Zimmer on the score. SOME.
  9. Hey gang— If it tickles your fancy, I interviewed New Zealand composer Hanan Townshend about his work on Terrence Malick's new film, To the Wonder. (He first worked with Malick on The Tree of Life, interning and filling in some of the gaps. And he's only 26!) Malick is, in my opinion, one of the most brilliant directors out there, and his use of music is rather unorthodox (he tends to favor a collage of existing/concert pieces). Townshend relays his experience on To the Wonder and offers a little insight into Malick's musical mind and process. http://projectorandorchestra.com/malickean-music/ Bon appetit! Tim
  10. Initial observation: neither filmmusic nor filmusic are actual words, and I don't think they are used by any practitioners of the craft or anyone in the industry. I'd suggest changing that.
  11. The Witches of Eastwick leaves me feeling a little empty. I recognize in it the same DNA strands of other scores I love, and there are certainly some goosebump moments (namely "The Ballroom Scene")—but something about it just doesn't resonate.
  12. Thanks for the nice mention, Maurizio. For you JW kids, here's a fun quote from my interview with McQuarrie: "We eventually did bring [the producers] the first eight minutes of score that Joe was a real champ to do as a demo. When Tom [Cruise] heard it…I’ve never heard back from him so quickly in my life. I heard back literally eight minutes later. He said, “Who is this guy?? Where did you find him? I haven’t heard a score like this since John Williams scored Born on the Fourth of July.”
  13. Great, hypnotic review, Quint. You've nailed much of the wonder and irresistible charm of this one-of-a-kind show. (Though I personally never got bored!) And has there ever been a show that made you appreciate good coffee more?
  14. This go-round, I'm noticing how closely in style much of Hook is related to Last Crusade. The similarities to Home Alone have always been obvious to me, but I'm hearing a lot of LC mannerisms today (which is awesome).
  15. I hate reading populist articles on John Williams. Not only do they always regurgitate the same stories (he writes with pencils at a piano, Spielberg wanted other composers for Schindler's List...but they're all dead), the same filmography lists ("Williams has composed music for such classic films as 'Jaws,' 'Indiana Jones,' and the 'Star Wars' series"), and the same obvious information, but they often make stupid, sweeping generalizations about Williams and film music as a whole (ie., "Williams has no discernible tells as a songwriter"). Seriously, haven't we read this article 20 or 30 times now? And this is in the L.A. Times, no less, in a city where Williams has been a household fixture for decades. "Who the heck is this John Williams guy? OH, he wrote the music for E.T.!" And yet, these are the anointed people who get to interview Williams—the giant publications that ask the same insipid questions and write the same stupid article over and over. Curmudgeonly rant over.
  16. Lukas Kendall wrote this, in a recent FSM blog post: There was some fascinating documentation at USC, including Williams’s personal correspondence when he was in London working on the movie. Most of the letters are business-like but a couple of them are more personal. I wish someone would write a Williams biography!
  17. WARNING: Big time Desplat "fanboy" here (though I prefer referring to it as a man-crush)... To judge this score as a standalone piece of music is completely fair, as Desplat has explicitly stated that this is always one of his goals. Of course he's serving the film, as all good composers do. But in my opinion, worthy film scores are worth judging on their own merits. And in this case, the artist agrees. Having said that, I think it's an incredibly moving score. Singularly Desplat, while also channeling Williams' recent style with amazing reverence. Memorable themes, colorful orchestration, and many aching, poignant moments. It is both grandly symphonic and surprisingly intimate. I realize that not everyone loves Desplat's elegant method of writing, but I firmly believe that he is writing the best film music among all of today's active film composers—and Harry Potter is further proof of that.
  18. Breaking news from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Major bummer.
  19. We always need new John Williams music!
  20. I've been away from the board for several months, and nothing seemed to surface when I did a search for this. Is our boy going to compose anything for the upcoming Olympics in February?
  21. Not very imaginative, but I've certainly had more than one dream where we were sitting in an empty concert hall just chatting. One was so incredibly vivid that it took me a while to shake it off when I awoke. Frustrating.
  22. This is unexpected, definitely, but it's good news as far as I'm concerned. I'm glad that Spielberg is (seemingly) going to crank this one out, which means we won't have to wait an eternity between films (and JW scores). I also love this story (I played Elwood P. Dowd in a college production of Harvey), and I think Spielberg could really do a good job with it. For whatever reason, the cynic in me is unusually absent at the discovery of this news. A sweet, lovely JW comedy/family score sounds wonderful to me.
  23. I've grown to love the film (I admit it didn't completely win me over upon my first viewing), and I adore the score. I do think I would have preferred more treatment of the events surrounding the Passion and less focus on every "bloody" detail...but I respect what the filmmakers were setting out to do.
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