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Everything posted by lairdo

  1. If it's like the TV Academy, you can opt out of receiving physical media and rely only on digital. That's what I do. (I'm in the sound editors branch, so I don't get scores though and never have.) Back when I became a member in 1992, we used to get stacks upon stacks of VHS tapes. DVD's took about a decade after the format was released to displace that. Past few years have almost all been streaming, including, recently, an Apple TV ability to watch the shows.
  2. I enjoyed the interview (the full one with the music). Am I right, did they basically play the entire TROS album? Seems like it. Many insightful comments from the Maestro. I enjoyed his speaking a bit about Don "Donald" Williams, his brother which led into the Herrmann story (that I too did not know). At the beginning of the interview, he seemed confused between years and oscar noms, but I have guess as to why. At first I thought, oh no, he sounds forgetful! But he was really on top of his game in the interview, so I thought about it again. He may have been thinking that Jim was talking about 42 years of Star Wars movies, and the amazing achievement of working on a series spanning that. So, 52 being heard as 42. But then I pondered this: JW's 52 Oscar nominations are for the past 52 years. He was first nominated in 1968, 52 years ago, for the 1967 adaptation of Valley of the Dolls. So, he may have been thinking about that time period. Just let that sink in - John Williams has averaged 1 Oscar nomination a year for over half-a-century! Overall, he seemed genuine in his views on music, the JJ changes (which he keeps bringing up, so I think he *IS* in some ways is annoyed about them) and of course on Vienna. I was not aware that he had never even conducted on the continent before, though it makes sense were I to think it through. I do agree with Jim Svejda that JW should be asked to do the New Years Day concert (which is always aired on TV and released on CD!). Here's my John Williams conducting gig requests for Europe: 1. Make up concert at Royal Albert Hall with the LSO 2. Vienna New Years Day 3. Waldbühne summer concert with the Berlin Philharmonic. (The Hollywood Bowl of the Berlin Phil) 4. Conducting at the The Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam 5. Sharing a night with Andris Nelsons at the Leipzig orchestra
  3. I definitely support Apple Lossless as the format. It is worth the disk space and future proofs your collection if you need to change formats in the future. If you use Apple Music (the subscription service) or iTunes Match to create a cloud library from your collection, copies you download on other devices will likely be a matched AAC lossy file for any albums that are available in Apple Music. So, if you digitize a The Rise of Skywalker CD, it will likely match. But if you rip a La-La Land set, it will likely not match and the file online will be your lossless one. (Since speciality albums are almost never for sale digitally.)
  4. I think Gustavo should ask JW to conduct one song or track from West Side Story. That just seems pleasant to me given Bernstein and Williams were friends, Williams played on various West Side Story albums early in his career, Williams is a mentor of sorts to Dudamel, Dudamel conducted on Star Wars, and for good measure, Williams led the wonderful "Bernstein by Boston" album with the Boston Pops in the 80s. In fact, as I recall, that album was my first real introduction to the music of Bernstein. But I guess I have slid off topic from Vienna! I have so enjoyed everyone's memories, images and thoughts about the concerts. From what I have heard, truly it was magical. Thank you for sharing. And if DG wants to release a load of versions and variants, I will happily buy them all - standard CD, deluxe CD, Blu-ray, LP, mini-LP, digital HD, CD/DVD combo, Coffee table book with CD - whatever!!!! Bring them out as soon as possible! (Please!)
  5. Thanks to everyone sharing their thoughts and details about the performances. I'm reading a bunch of the comments to my wife (we are babysitting our new grandson in North Carolina this weekend), and she is as impressed as I am. We cannot believe how good he looks in the photos and how both humbled and proud he must feel. What a gift. So hope we get this on blu-ray soon!
  6. The first time Finn looks over at Chewie being loaded on the transport, there is a second one in frame. That is the only time you see both. Every shot after just shows the one with Chewie, and then only one takes off from behind the rocks, and Rey destroys that one. So, technically, it's all above board, but of course it's shot and edited to be tricky and make us think (for about 2 mins) that Chewie is dead. I think what is wrong with this that the movie does not play it either as dramatic irony (we know from the beginning that Chewie is safe) or tragic for long enough (as in Marion in Raiders). Why does the audience actually need to know Chewie is ok? Couldn't we just find out when Rey sees the star destroyer above Kajimi and tells Finn/Poe and us at the same time? Then we can see Chewie going into interrogation and hear what happened. And if we want to pile on, who the heck remembered Zorrii was on Kajimi when Poe learns it was destroyed? Why not have him say something so we can get some grief from him? Then when she (and Babu) show up at the final battle, it's another relief for the audience too?
  7. Perhaps a miss for JW, but if the filmmakers knew this is where that was going from Episode 7 to 9, I think Williams would have done something or set something up. It's at least a shared miss with Lucasfilm's handling of the directors and story development. There is also a small possibility that JW did not want to make the same accident from Ep 4 when he scored the music as if Luke & Leia would be a couple, and not brother and sister.
  8. I liked TRoS, even more on the 2nd viewing. And I can say so while agreeing with many of the criticisms leveled at it. The most important thing for me was if it was fun to watch, and did I like the JW score. To the first, I am unashamed to say I did like it and will see it a third time this weekend (finally in Imax with laser protection). It has flaws, and I am ambivalent on Rey's ending. I can see the issues with bringing back the emperor. But the movie is fun and I like the characters. I very much doubt though that this is near what George wanted or would have done. It is unlikely in any case because as pointed out, they did not use his treatments. Bob Iger recounts this in his memoir that came out recently too. (and how George was upset.) As to my other question, I love the score. My issue is how to reconcile all of the edits with my love of the score. And since I cannot yet listen to the score as in the film, I guess my focus is on the tracks we have (OST+FYC) and enjoying those. Back to TLJ - I did think that TLJ was a really well directed movie. Rian Johnson has interesting visual ideas, and great pacing in his editing (even if he left in sequences that are too long - they are well edited, but too long - Canto for example). Case in point of that is my strong recommendation to see Knives Out. I've seen it twice too, and even knowing the plot, the 2nd viewing was extremely enjoyable. Like or dislike TLJ, Johnson is a very good filmmaker. (And I liked that score too.)
  9. Would we possible consider the Kylo Red Hesistant theme (11 on Frank's list) to be Kylo Ren vs Ben Solo? I was thinking about if the development is really Kylo returning to be Ben Solo. Or something like that.
  10. Well, those aliens were added late in production (and shot in LA) to show the variety of the galaxy. So, they do have a point in the storytelling. We just need a 6 or 9 book Oma Tres expanded universe set of novels featuring his adventures, a comic book run of at least 50 issues, and 4 or 5 action figures (Oma Tres, Oma Tres (removable eye thing), Young Oma Tres, Oma Tres (Bluetooth), etc). Then I will be super happy! I hope he did have fun! It was fun to see him.
  11. So, assuming I get it - the question is about the most valuable released JW album. Eiger is a good one. Maybe the Sinfonietta for Wind Ensemble? Hard to find on CD from Japan. US LP is more available though. Checkmate/Rhythm in Motion is out of print. I don't see any copies on eBay at the moment, and Amazon shows one for $70 or so - more than Eiger.
  12. Of course not! But heck, we got all excited about Johnny's parked BMW in the pictures around Across the Stars with Anne-Sophie! Seriously, I do think the cameo is rather odd which makes how it was done more interesting. First, it does not actually seem very humble "John Williams"-ish to do. I cannot imagine him saying he wanted to do it. JJ or someone else came up with the idea. Maybe he did it for his grandkids? Maybe just because he could? Further, the shot just sticks out in the movie. There is no need for it. There is no payoff to establishing the character. It's literally just there. It's not like he pushes an alarm button or calls the First Order to move the plot along. I actually think the sonic equivalent is of The Long Goodbye in TLJ. Again, it makes no sense other than Rian wanted it and JW humored him. And it sticks out too. All that being said, I think JW deserved to be in the movie. He looked more in place than George and his kids back in the prequels, and he did not seem completely wrong (as Daniel Craig did in TFA). As Jason said, just chatting ideas...
  13. My sister said something to me today about the music which I think is interesting as she is a big fan but not as hardcore into John Williams as those here or me. She said she loved the old themes coming back over and over because it made her feel like she was "home." That was probably JJ's intent where he pulled more in and switched out JW's music in places even taking music from other movies. While I would have preferred to hear just the new pieces and the music as written and conceived by the Maestro, my more casual fan sister thoroughly enjoyed what was there without feeling it could have been newer or different.
  14. I agree - she buried the lightsabers as a stand in for burying the bodies. And at the same time, she "birthed" herself (or sort of "christened" herself with a last name) as a "Skywalker." So, it's both an end and a beginning, reinforcing the cyclical nature. All pretty normal myth storytelling things. I was fine with that. I think earlier in this thread or in another one, there was some idea of having all the characters there at the sunset but that was ditched.
  15. I just don’t see JW flying to London for one shot. Could have happened for sure, but with his health issues, would they really do that to him? 2 ten hour+ flights, even in first class is a drain on anyone. Then the hour or two of this work (hard to believe it was more than that). Even thinking of the $20K for the airfare, it would almost be cheaper to film in LA with green screen or a small set. Lots of film studios in LA to use. But anyway, all speculation! At least he is there forever!
  16. Enjoy the box set! It is a joy. And really, assuming you have access to streaming TROS on YouTube, Spotify etc you are good. There is so much music in the box set, that I am still overwhelmed with the JW goodness. Happy holidays!
  17. I was able to grab some pix during the movie yesterday. This sort of represents the best of what I could get with my phone on low brightness and basically in my lap. JW actually only has his eye(s) open for a very short time before looking down. About what is behind JW is definitely something that looks like a hook. The circular thing above that seems almost like the medallion from Raiders but when the shot widens, it looks less so. Clearly a droid's head to the right. Further to the right (but not in this image) is something that looks like a CB radio and on top of that some sort of lantern. Also, I doubt this was green screen. I think they just built a small part of a set behind him. It would have been less work than doing a composite shot, but I could be wrong.
  18. I was referring to the tracks Rise of Skywalker and Anthem of Evil (based on @Jay's track work - see the first post of that thread). But it's very possible Speeder Chase is now a concert suite since that music is not in the movie.
  19. Saw the film again today. And definitely, the celesta is in the movie. So probably the synth one. It's definitely played late in the movie as part of Rey's theme. My bad for not noticing the first time.
  20. I saw the film a second time today. I liked it even more the second time (as did my sister, but my wife felt that knowing the plot made it less fun for her). First, I saw it in a bigger theater with the volume louder and the surrounds better balanced. That was great because I could hear the music mix a lot better, especially early. (Also, the Jedi speaking to Rey was much better this time and I could clearly distinguish each one.) With that, and also being able to focus more widely on the experience and not just the story, I have to say I really liked the music agains the film. For sure, as pointed out in this and other threads, editing was extensive. A few of the tracked music really jumped out at me (particularly on the Death Star - the mix and sound was so different of the score). In other places, such as the AotC stuff, I was less sure if it was tracked with some sweeteners added or just rerecorded to match. Either way, these elements sometimes worked well to remind me of the other movies (as a leitmotif should) and sometimes, they didn't. But backing off that knowledge and just enjoying the flow of the music, it really worked. In particular, the last third of the movie felt very satisfying musically. I really like the "we go together" music where it shows up, and I enjoy the Rey/Poe/Finn moments which that music anchors. I wish I could take notes in the theater though because I had tons of notes at the time of things I noticed!
  21. Thanks for a great article. Really good and interesting ideas in here. I too had not thought about the Kylo character in relation to his themes in that manner. Great read. Thanks for writing and sharing, Frank.
  22. I think Mike's statement, particularly in context of the type of music and the span of decades, is fine and accurate when viewed through both a film and musical lens. You need three components which makes the likelihood difficult for this type of event to happen: 1. A composer with the talent and interest to work that long in the same universe. 2. A universe or world rich enough to sustain this high level of interest and to not want to change artisans as part of the development. 3. The cultural demand for the work and the continued positive reception of it (even with detractors and weaker entrants such as the story and movie of Attack of the Clones). In the case of Lord of the Rings, personally, I did not feel the Hobbit reached the grandeur of Lord of the Rings both from the films and the music. I love listening to the LOTR, but I rarely return to the Hobbit. Partly this is due to the second trilogy going on too long, and partly I think the characters did not inspire Shore the same way. I also felt that the rift over the rejected King Kong score harmed the Jackson-Shore relationship, even if supposedly mended over. We've had 8 Harry Potter films, within a shorter timespan than Star Wars by more than a factor of 2. Yet, Williams only did the first 3, and while Hooper used a lot of themes from Williams, others, particularly Desplat, did very different scores. Would I have loved all 8 by JW - of course! But while the world wanted many HP films, JW and/or the producers/directors wanted changes and different directions. Similarly, Star Trek has had 13 films in about 40 years. Wise and Roddenberry both wanted Jerry Goldsmith for ST TMP. Then he was not affordable when Star Trek II and III were made for the budgets Paramount set. That gave a young James Horner a chance, and it really helped launch his career. I think JG was unavailable for STIV, so Nimoy had to chose someone else. After the disappointment of ST V (despite one of JGs best scores), budgets again forced a different choice in composers. I don't recall why JG was not in for Generations (whether it was creative, a promise to Dennis McCarthy or budget). And of course, we lost Jerry after Nemesis. I am not sure Abrams would have hired him anyway for the Kelvin timeline films given his relationship with Giacchino. (Note, I am doing this from memory, so apologies if I have the facts slightly off on why JG was in and out of the franchise.) I think the point still stands - here are three other huge, culturally relevant, successful franchises where we could have had a similar output from one composer - but it didn't happen the same way. Even in the classical world, Beethoven's 9 symphonies could not be considered a cohesive set - they are not meant to be sequels at all. Mahler's completed 9 probably are a better comparison because he used parts of his earlier songs in many of them, and they better interrelate. Still, I am sure both of those composers would not want one to think they had to listen to a previous entry in their output to understand the next. Williams definitely wants the IX to sit together and it is right for the work and franchise to think of them as that. Even Wagner's Ring Cycle, with 16+ hours over 4 massive music dramas changes a lot from the second half of Siegfried (3rd opera) forward as Wagner's philosophy changed. I think this is the closest musical phenomenon to Star Wars and Williams.
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