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TownerFan

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TownerFan last won the day on December 16 2021

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  1. Thanks. I agree with you. Also, I don't want to make it look like a blanket statement about ALL the film music produced today. What we're talking about here is mainstream Hollywood fare that was once domain of highly creative individuals and now is run mostly by a mixture of committee, marketing honchos and algorithms. It's extremely hard to get something creative and stimulating out of such an impossibly pressure-laden, money-driven, hype-addicted environment. There is good, interesting and even sophisticated music written for films and tv today, but you have to look for it outside the Hollywood mainstream for the most part (take a listen to Mikael Carlsson's playlist on Spotify about his own list of best scores of 2021, there is some really nice stuff there, even if a lot of it isn't my cup of tea)
  2. What happened is that the sensibility of current directors and producers changed a lot. They don't want long-lined melodies, they don't want counterpoint, virtuosic writing or a sophisticated approach. They prefer something much simpler and devoided of any musical complexity. Why? Because the music should never get in the way of their vision, nor the composer is someone allowed to impose his or her own vision to the film. Music is just one color of the filmmaker's palette and he or she wants to have total control over it. Now, of course you can be both simple and musically creative while serving the picture, but the issue is that, more often than not, this approach doesn't produce something interesting enough as music. I don't judge Giacchino here (I listened to this new piece only once without my full attention, so I'll avoid any quick judgement), but I fear that even big name composers like him today are somewhat cornered by producers and directors to write pieces along these lines, i.e. all atmosphere without a defined melodic or thematic personality. The music does create a halo around the images, but it never takes full control (despite being often mixed at impossibly loud volume). I read somwehere that Giacchino wrote this piece before filming began so I guess that he sketched some basic ideas to get the ball rolling, then the filmmakers fell in love with the demo and decided it had to be the theme and that's what he had to work with (that's my assumption, of course). I mean, these processes are always hard to fathom from the outside. I know of top composers submitting demos to producers and then being asked to strip down the composition to the point that sometimes what remains at the end is just the bass line. The review process can be really frustrating for the composer. Also, the majority of the audience of today is not at all welcoming a film score with a clear musical voice (in the sense of the traditional orchestral vernacular) because a lot of people feels like it's dated and taking too much attention to itself, as a sophisticated harmonic language for example is now seen as something really from the past. You have to read the comments on YouTube under music videos or tracks to truly realize how today's audience thinks and feels about music that is just a notch more sophisticated than the average pop piece (a guy on YT labeled one of Adele's songs from the latest album as "something out of an old Disney movie" just because the piece uses jazzy chords and a more spiced-up harmonic vocabulary). That's the world we live in today. Sorry for the long post.
  3. I was about to sit down and start my analysis when I saw you did already and saved me a lot of time lol Thanks a lot for your effort. I will try to see if some of those unrecognized bits are somewhere else, but I see that you got virtually everything down already.
  4. I'm checking it now against the sheet music. Most of the stuff is from the actual film sessions, but a few cues have been edited together since they're quite short. I'll try to make a list later today.
  5. Track 1, 19 and 21 are not alternates. They are taken from the concert suite as recorded for the Music for Stage and Screen 1990 Sony Classical album.
  6. I think we can be pretty sure he's very much in charge of that side of things, as the album always states "Produced by JW", so that means he has more than a level of authorship. That being said, the music editor is possibly the closest collaborator of the composer and he might offer suggestions, ideas and thoughts about album assembly and JW might approve. It's a process based on total trust between composer and music editor.
  7. Curiously I caught the film just yesterday night on the telly and watched it until the end after many many years since I last watched it. I wonder how an expanded archival presentation should be done since you definitely cannot present it as it's heard in the film given all the tracking, editing and dialing going on. I would likely present first the six sequences JW wrote and recorded as is, and then follow with a sort of C&C presentation of the film cues he wrote afterwards to picture, possibly combining some of the very short ones into single tracks and perhaps also recreating a couple of the film versions (like Arlington, for which JW wrote some specific inserts for the Mr. X scene). A couple of the OST album edits could also be retained for completion sake ("Garrison Family Theme" and "The Witnesses")
  8. That's what the BSO archive tells me. Maybe it was performed in LA or somewhere else, but it seems one of those pieces that rarely got performed before JW did the revision, which he evidently prefers.
  9. The first account of an official live performance of the revised version is Film Night at Tanglewood in August, 2013. It was then published on Hal Leonard in 2014. The performance heard by Neil in 2008 was likely a first pass of the revision he wanted to try out. The previous version was performed only twice in Boston (May and July 1990). JW stated several times he's often not happy of what he wrote, so my guess is that he sees these concert versions as opportunity or chances to have something he thinks is more musically satisfying from his own perspective. He is certainly aware that these concert arrangements will be what orchestras will mainly perform in the future when they will program concerts of his music, so I guess he takes a lot of care in terms of what is left to posterity. I know it's a slippery slope from the fans' point of view, as we tend to get affectionate to the first pass of any music piece because that is what we fell in love with in the first place, but there is a long tradition in the history of music of composers going back and retouch what they wrote (Brahms, Stravinsky, Prokofiev to name a few), so JW is definitely in good company there.
  10. The original arrangement (as featured in the 1990 Spielberg/Williams collabs album) was never published. From what I remember, he performed it only a handful of times over the years before he wrote the revision, which instead has been performed several times and has also been officially published by Hal Leonard ever since.
  11. Nice tribute concert by German orchestra NDR Philharmonie conducted by Frank Strobel: https://www.ndr.de/kultur/sendungen/ndr_radiophilharmonie/Klassik-Extra-A-Tribute-to-John-Williams,sendung1223732.html
  12. FYI, the Bergmans and Williams wrote a four-song act for Frank Sinatra in the late 1970s. All songs were discarded save one, "The Same Hello, The Same Goodbye", which was recorded for the first time only in 2008 by Michael Feinstein and later also by Barbra Streisand. The Bergmans also wrote the original English lyrics for the end title song of Story of a Woman (called "It's Heavy to Say") which were then translated in Italian by lyricist Antonio Amurri.
  13. I think she actually meant Joey (i.e. the horse), but what you said makes a lot of sense nonetheless. Thanks for the nice words.
  14. Sometimes is crucial to see the film to understand the musical choices made by the composer. Field of Dreams is a masterful example of dramatic scoring and the music is very understated for the most part, getting big and more melodramatic only at the end, when it's absolutely worth it. I can even go beyond the somehow blatant Aaron Copland's lifts because they work wonderfully in the context of the score.
  15. These were produced by Tommy Pearson for the JW tribute concert that the LSO did in 2016 (conducted by Frank Strobel, if I remember well). They were shown during the concert in between pieces.
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