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Who is the pianist in E.T.?


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sometimes he goes as far as to state that a certain theme appears in a certain track, when in fact it doesn't.

You mean you can't hear the "great crescendo" of Buckbeak's theme in Saving Buckbeak??

Ray Barnsbury

Yes,and i clearly hear Dark side Beckons in Anakin's Dream

You can also hear "Zam the Assassin and the Chase through Coruscant" in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets during the Quidditch Match. Did anybody else notice this?

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This is him--on the right.  Ralph Grierson played the end credits piano solo on the ET score.  Ralph is an amazing guy and I had the privilege of utilizing his recording studio last week for a session

The session pianist on the film E.T. is Ralph Grierson, a first-call recording musician for many years.  Ralph talks about those E.T. sessions on the video interview Studio Legends Part 1 at:  FilmMus

After some searching I haven't been able to turn anything up. Whoever it is, the pianist is especially incredible in the 'End Credits'

A while ago on this site somebody posted the videos for when John Williams made an appearance speaking at USC for all the film composer graduate students.

He fielded questions and there was a 6 part video I downloaded.

One of the guys sitting in the audience was the audio editor or mixer for ET and he makes a comment saying "I remember there was a piece that was very difficult to play on piano and you came up and played it on stage. You are the only composer I know who could both compose and play the material you composed."

So I guess that doesn't directly answer the question but it seems to imply John williams played this difficult piece from ET on the soundstage at least. So that leads me to believe it is him on the recording.

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sometimes he goes as far as to state that a certain theme appears in a certain track, when in fact it doesn't.

You mean you can't hear the "great crescendo" of Buckbeak's theme in Saving Buckbeak??

Ray Barnsbury

Yes,and i clearly hear Dark side Beckons in Anakin's Dream

You can also hear "Zam the Assassin and the Chase through Coruscant" in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets during the Quidditch Match. Did anybody else notice this?

Yes. Lucius Malfoy's theme is also a direct lift of one of those mystery motifs from AotC.

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The session pianist on the film E.T. is Ralph Grierson, a first-call recording musician for many years.  Ralph talks about those E.T. sessions on the video interview Studio Legends Part 1 at:  FilmMusicFoundation.org/interviews.  Other session players featured in the interview are Tommy Morgan (harmonica), Louise Di Tullio (flute) and Gene Cipriano (woodwinds).  The interviewer is conductor Richard Kaufman, himself a former studio violinist on over a dozen John Williams' scores.  If you click on the photo, you'll see a ten-minute highlight.  Click under the photo for the full 2 1/2 hour interview.  

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I listened to the Legacy... podcast with Grierson a few weeks ago and was delighted with what a nice guy he sounds like, interested in the way he said he moved from straight piano to keyboard work over the years and finally very saddened to hear that he fell and permanently ruined one of his playing hands just after the rehearsal for the L2P ET recording (is that the one on the DVD?). Very sad.

 

One day I'll be able to play Over the Moon. I can currently manage about three bars before my fingers end up tied in knots. How Grierson played it at that speed, even with the extra rehearsal time he said Williams gave him on the OST recording sessions, I'll never know. Respect.

 

Mark

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50 minutes ago, QuartalHarmony said:

I listened to the Legacy... podcast with Grierson a few weeks ago and was delighted with what a nice guy he sounds like, interested in the way he said he moved from straight piano to keyboard work over the years and finally very saddened to hear that he fell and permanently ruined one of his playing hands just after the rehearsal for the L2P ET recording (is that the one on the DVD?). Very sad.

 

One day I'll be able to play Over the Moon. I can currently manage about three bars before my fingers end up tied in knots. How Grierson played it at that speed, even with the extra rehearsal time he said Williams gave him on the OST recording sessions, I'll never know. Respect.

 

Mark

Are there two pianos being played on " E.T.'s Halloween"; The part just before they take off?

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