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TownerFan

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Everything posted by TownerFan

  1. There is no need to be so confrontational, pal. It’s not a mystery because it’s quite well known how John works with his keyboardists, so there is no big secret being kept in custody. If you listen to the talks I did with Ralph Grierson, Mike Lang or Randy Kerber, all of them tell precisely what is John’s methodology when dealing with synths and electronics. He sketches the synth line and gives indications using words of reference. Lang referred themselves almost as “synth orchestrators” when doing that kind of work for him. I think it’s more than safe to assume that that’s how he did also in the case of Training Montage, sketching the cue the same way he always does and assigning lines to instruments etc. and then turning to his trusted musicians and having them coming up with the synth sound he was looking for. It must be noted that while the piece has electronic timbres and sounds, it’s mostly acoustic and played live for the most part. The big difference with the techno bit in AI that you mention is that in that case the fragment was something purely electronic and not something that John could or would sketch on paper. That is certainly something out of his realm and that’s why he has to rely on other people in cases like that.
  2. Thank you everyone for your nice words of appreciation, it’s really sweet. I am glad that you like the show. And it’s very fun seeing some of you combing through every word out of Mike’s mouth when he’s on the show 🙂 But I agree that he’s always a joy to listen to, knowledgeable, insightful and fun. Since you love guessing games, let me tell you that we’re going to have a couple of really terrific musician episodes and also a very special video feature that will “complete the trilogy” after London and Los Angeles…
  3. And I still have a hard time understanding what exactly constitutes a mystery for you about this cue. It's a John Williams cue written in the pop style typical of that era. He did that because that's what he was asked to come up with for that scene. It's more than possible that some of the above-mentioned musicians came up with the keyboard sounds you hear, but that's more or less how JW always works when it comes to electronic timbres in his scores.
  4. There is no mystery whatsoever about Training Montage. The piece is composed by John Williams as the rest of the score is. Mike's liner notes do not address specific people who did synth programming. The musicians roster lists Alan Pasqua (a noted keyboardist of the rock/pop world) among the keyboardists together with Ralph Grierson, Mike Lang and Chet Swiatkowksi, so it's probably him doing synth work on that cue. The great Neil Stubenhaus is playing the electric bass and drum legend Vinnie Colaiuta is listed among the percussionists so it's very likely him playing drums on that.
  5. He actually told the New York Times last February that he’s finally planning to write one. Williams often said that he favoured concerti because they were occasions to write for specific musicians (in most cases, players of the BSO) and also because the format offered a chance to stretch a different set of muscles than he usually does with film, while the fanfares were mostly commissions for public events or specific occasions, so it’s closer to his film writing. It also must be noted that the first Violin Concerto is not serial by any means. The theme that opens the first movement is certainly highly chromatic, but it’s not dodecaphonic at all. The work surely reflects influences from the violin concerti of the 20th century (especially Prokofiev, Bartok and Berg), but the work has a deeply post-Romantic vein that is unmistakably Williams.
  6. You’re mixing up the click track with punches & streamers. The click track is an audio device following the music tempi that is fed through audio monitors (headset and earplugs) to the conductor and the players to keep precisely in tempo. Punches & streamers are visual cues that are shown only to the conductor. The streamer is that vertical line that goes across the screen that usually works as a sort of countdown to the downbeat where the sync must fall, while the punches are visual “holes” on screen marking the exact cue where the conductor has to hit the sync. Williams always preferred to conduct film cues to punches & streamers (and still does) because they allow to a more nuanced rubato performance, while the click track keeps everything much more mechanical, but certainly saves time.
  7. You’re not remembering correctly. All footage shows Williams conducting without headset. The original SW trilogy was done just with punches & streamers, no click track whatsoever. Williams started to use click track only much later, and mostly for action cues with lots of sync points.
  8. https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2022/05/14/spacecamp-expanded-preview Enjoy and listen until the end
  9. «SUPERMAN» – IN CONCERT REVIEW The Legacy of John Williams reports on the exhilarating world premiere of John Williams’ majestic score performed live to picture by City Light Symphony Orchestra conducted by Anthony Gabriele at the KKL Luzern on April 29, 2022. Rarely the 1978 film by Richard Donner starring Christopher Reeve looked and sounded more soaring that it did during this performance and the choice of presenting the Academy Award-nominated, Grammy Award-winning score by John Williams live to picture is really an inspired one. Read the full review and watch an exclusive video featuring exceprts of the dress rehearsal produced by The Legacy of John Williams. https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2022/05/03/superman-in-concert-review/
  10. I just love the mini-development section (around the 2:00 min mark) in the new ASM version, it goes into a sort of Miklos Rozsa-esque territory which is unexpected and delightful. I think this, together with Cinderella and The Long Goodbye, is my favourite ASM arrangement so far. It feels like it always belonged here.
  11. https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2022/04/28/superman-in-concert-podcast-special-pt2/
  12. NEW PODCAST EPISODE! 'SUPERMAN IN CONCERT' PODCAST SPECIAL PART 1: INTERVIEW WITH ANTHONY GABRIELE The unforgettable superhero film Superman: The Movie is making a long-awaited comeback with the world premiere of John Williams‘ stirring musical score performed live to picture by the City Light Symphony Orchestra conducted by Anthony Gabriele in the splendor of the spectacular KKL Luzern concert hall in Lucerne (Switzerland) on April 29, 2022. SUPERMAN is the latest of the classic John Williams’ film scores being presented in this 'In Concert' format and, after two years of postponement due to Covid pandemic, it’s finally having its long-awaited world premiere. Conductor Anthony Gabriele talks with The Legacy of John Williams about the music of Superman, how it sits into the filmography of John Williams, the many virtues of Richard Donner’s film and its stirring score, the challenges of conducting live to film, and the uniqueness of Maestro Williams’ overall opus. This is the first of a two-part podcast special dedicated to the world premiere of SUPERMAN IN CONCERT. Listen to the full episode to discover the guest of Part 2… https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2022/04/25/superman-in-concert-podcast-special-pt1
  13. https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2022/04/01/sally-stevens-podcast/ I hope you will enjoy this. Sally is a legend and a warm, kind person. Lots of interesting details on AMISTAD shared during the conversation.
  14. The last time Ma performed the Cello Concerto was in 2016 in Philadelphia with Stéphane Denève conducting. Reports were saying it was a further revision than the one performed by Yo-Yo and JW in Houston in 2012. In the Legacy podcast interview I did with studio cellist Steve Erdody, he mentions that JW kept reworking the piece with Lynn Harrell throughout the years.
  15. Soundtrack album rights always go to the highest bidder, as far as I know, but I guess existing relationships between artists and labels also come into play. It seems JW had some kind of contract with Sony starting from 1990 that went alongside the Boston Pops contract (the Star Wars Skywalker Symphony album came out at that time too), but I guess there are always clauses that let the artist be featured on recordings from other lables, especially big names like JW (on the DG release of TreeSong, there is a line saying "John Williams appears courtesy of Sony Classical").
  16. It's played really beautifully. By the way, creating an arrangement for solo cello of Schindler's List for Yo-Yo Ma was an idea Williams expressed during an interview back in 1994, right after he wrote the Cello Concerto for him. Interestingly, in that interview he also said that he was planning to record his Cello Concerto and the Korngold one with Yo-Yo for the same album. The actual arrangement was done I think in 2001 and it was likely planned as part of the sessions with Ma and the LA studio orchestra for the Sony album released in 2002, but alas it was never recorded (or at least never released). It officially premiered in 2017 in a concert with the Cincinnati Pops conducted by John Morris Russell and then recorded by the LSO for their 2018 album "John Williams - A Life In Music". Hal Leonard also published the sheet music (both for orchestra and the reduction for cello and piano) around the same time. It's interesting that JW went back and re-arranged the whole 3-movement suite for Yo-Yo.
  17. I don't think Danny has any intention of "leaving Hollywood" any time soon. He just did Doctor Strange 2, so I guess he still enjoys doing the big assignment. What he probably is trying to have is a more diverse and widespread career, giving himself the luxury of taking 2 or 3 months off of Hollywood routine and write more personal concert music or even doing a rock album like he did last year.
  18. New date finally announced: December 12, 2022! https://en.filarmonica.it/news/lunedi-12-dicembre-il-concerto-straordinario-con-john-williams
  19. Jerry often had arrangers and orchestrators putting together concert suites for him (and he always credited them).
  20. No Williams interview exists where he talked about such thing, at least to my knowledge. This was just fan speculation running rampant back in 1999 that was passed as "inside scoop" on several websites (oh, the early days of the internet). Williams and Lucas agreed that using the classic main title them felt "obligatory", so it's safe to assume an alternate idea was never truly considered.
  21. Reflections on the concerts performed by John Williams with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra on March 12 and 13, 2022. The article also features an essay by @Miguel Andrade https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2022/03/15/john-williams-in-vienna-2022/
  22. Thanks Jay. I've also amended the Rhythm In Motion piece in a few spots.
  23. Thanks for the note, Disco Stu. What I meant was indeed Thornhill as the grandfather of a sophisticated jazz sound that was later picked up by people like Gil Evans and Nelson Riddle, not the big band sound in general which of course had other progenitors as you pointed out correctly. I will amend the piece to avoid confusion, so thank you for pointing this out 🙂
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