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John Williams has additional composers?


Koray Savas
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That's right, even the maestro gets a little help every now and then. Magic Box Music has done additional music and synth programming for John Williams on three occasions.

What is Magic Box?

Magic Box Music, the brainchild of John Sponsler and Tom Gire, was formed when two composers came together with the same goal: Make a living doing what they love, never be satisfied with “good enough”, and have fun even in the most grueling of times. With and emphasis on quality and creativity coupled with the team credo of “humility and perseverance”, Magic Box Music has been working non-stop since it began.

As Magic Box Music, John and Tom have scored countless motion picture campaigns, including 300, Speed Racer, I Am Legend, Blood Diamond, Batman Begins, The Last Samurai, Troy, The Passion of the Christ, A Beautiful Mind and all five Harry Potter films. John and Tom have collaborated with composer legend John Williams on Memoirs of a Geisha, and Munich, and provided additional music for Hans Zimmer on Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and 3. They have recently written cues for Trevor Rabin for the National Treasure: Book of Secrets film score. In 2007, John and Tom welcomed Josh Lynch to the Magic Box team as a technician, engineer, and new creative force. Magic Box Music thrives on the diversity that each day brings, and are constantly dreaming of new and better music to create.

What they did with Williams...

On Memoirs Of A Geisha:

One of those phone calls that you only get in your dreams. "John Williams needs some assistance on a project, are you interested?" Um, let's think about that……YES!! Two days later we were in his office at Universal discussing how Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman would be featured on the score. Needless to say, we've never been more intimidated in our entire career! Seeing the entire orchestra in tears after playing the final cue at Royce Hall will always be one of the best musical experiences or our lives. In the end, Mr. Williams proved to be one of the kindest and most gracious men in our industry.

On Munich:

After Geisha we were left wondering if we'd really just worked with John Williams and would we ever get to do so again. Well we didn't have to wait long. John had us create a synthetic yet organic percussion bed that was used as a recurring theme throughout the film. It was also great to hear our friends Lisbeth Scott and Pedro Eustache perform so wonderfully for the Maestro.

On NBC Sunday Night Football:

Our third collaboration with John Williams was to give some foundational support to his themes for the NFL's return to Sunday night on NBC. Once again we were given his hand written scores and had to create tracks to augment the orchestra and give it a "larger than life" feel. Hearing John's compositions, and the way he gets the orchestra to play them is always amazing. We also enjoyed a visit from Al Michaels during the sessions.

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I dont see any clear reference on additional music (like on zimmer's case).

NFL: maybe they made those synthly zimmerian arrangements of the williams theme, IRRC there were some.

Munich: they created a synth sound, that williams wanted. Obviously Williams does not know how to program synths. He could have said 'i want something that sounds like 'da-da-da' and mixed with 'ta-ta-ta' Can you make it for me?'

Geisha: sound more like sound mixing-instrument placing advice to me. the probably helped with synths there too

Well at least we now know who are the people behind the crime against humanity that the music of the HP & half blood prince trailer is....

EDIT: you should have looked more into their web.

this is said in the news section:

Last year saw many new opportunities for John and Tom. The first of which was a call from the maestro himself, Mr. John Williams to assist with some synthetic and production elements on Memoirs of a Geisha. For several weeks, John and Tom worked with Mr. Williams, and some of the finest musicians in the world to help create this amazing musical work. That relationship has continued allowing John and Tom to work with Mr. Williams on Munich, as well as new music for Sunday Night Football on NBC.

new music for SNF imo means that the music (by williams) is new, not that they wrote additional music.

there is a photo too:

MB_JWnews.jpg

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Yeah, if these guys had flat out composed music for Williams, it would show. The NBC Football theme sounds like a case of synthesizers being used to augment the depth of the orchestra, which happens in most Williams scores.

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I'd call the synth drum percussion beat they created for Munich additional music, since it was used extensively. Discovering that actually disappointed me a little, since it's my favorite part of the score. But yes, the other examples are more of programming than anything else.

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Jerry Goldsmith also used people to program the synthesisers he used in his scores.

and i'm sure he knew exactly what he wanted and the 'notes' that were going to be played.

In other words, no creative input from the synth programmer-player.

Koray, williams surely composed all the music in munich, he probably gave theme a paper with the beat notes for them to program in the machine.

its not like williams said 'just give me a synth beat to use here'. specially when it is almost if not truly a theme.

more info:

NBC Sunday Night FootbalI (2006)

Main Themes

Music Score Programming

Munich (2005)

Feature Film

Synth Percussion Programming

Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)

Feature Film

Synthesizer Programming

when they are composers, they say so in their credits list.

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Koray, williams surely composed all the music in munich, he probably gave theme a paper with the beat notes for them to program in the machine.

its not like williams said 'just give me a synth beat to use here'. specially when it is almost if not truly a theme.

Yes. Williams is seriously too much of a perfectionist to just say, "Give me a beat," then weave it throughout a score with his own embellishment and orchestration. Contrary to the Zimmer school of composition, Williams' music is more complicated than melodies and chords over a beat. I'm sure his instructions to the programmers were very specific.

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;)

So funny how you guys rushed to Williams' "defense".... "No no, that's not possible, he writes ALL of his music. The idea that he might not is preposterous!!"

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;)

So funny how you guys rushed to Williams' "defense".... "No no, that's not possible, he writes ALL of his music. The idea that he might not is preposterous!!"

So what do we do?

Say 'yes, you are right?' And become that bit of information true for ever and ever? (since nobody questioned it or looked more into it?

A little more investigation leads to the true information.

If we were other composer's fan site, many could be laughing their areses off after being caught mighty John Williams with ghostwritting. But since we arent, we do what is right for us :lol:

Now (jokingly), im going to laugh that mighty multi composer company like remote control needs to resort to additional outside people to compose as much as 30 minutes of music for some of their movies.

Now that's puzzling.

No wonder I'm not a fan of Geisha or Munich.

Did you read the whole thread or just korays' first post?

Because your statement makes very little sense.

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No wonder I'm not a fan of Geisha or Munich.

Did you read the whole thread or just korays' first post?

Because your statement makes very little sense.

That was actually just intended as a joke, but I guess it didn't transfer well in text.

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No wonder I'm not a fan of Geisha or Munich.

Did you read the whole thread or just korays' first post?

Because your statement makes very little sense.

That was actually just intended as a joke, but I guess it didn't transfer well in text.

No it didnt. Sorry ;)

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I have made peace with the fact that Zimmer is popular. I don't care if he uses ghost writers or what-not. I'm secure knowing that Williams is, well, a god compared to everyone else out there in film score land at least in terms of his music abilities. I don't think you'll find many professional musicians who would disagree too BTW.

I know some critics don't like Johnny's approach, Pauline Kael was one of them, but Williams' name will live on forever whereas hers has even diminished over the past 2 decades (yes I know she's passed on).

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koray is just trying to start some shit cause his uber composer is a hack.

More like trying to make a point rather than start some shit. Every composer has a team of people that helps them. Most people lump all 10-15 people that work on a Zimmer or RCP score as additional composers, when in fact they are people like synth programmers, mixers, orchestrators, conducters, and yes, additional composers.

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Making electronic synth beds is creating a sound. It seems that's exactly what Magic Box are doing. Williams has always relied on synth men for the synth sounds of his scores.

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I would say without a doubt, that Willy provided them with a notated score to make this synth part.

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Basically they perform pretty much the same task as any member of the orchesta.

John Williams writes for violin, but does not play one himself. But to say that the violinist who performs his music is co-composer of it because he maybe puts something of his own style, and heart into it is preposterous.

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Basically they perform pretty much the same task as any member of the orchesta.

John Williams writes for violin, but does not play one himself. But to say that the violinist who performs his music is co-composer of it because he maybe puts something of his own style, and heart into it is preposterous.

Excellent analogy

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Yeah, if these guys had flat out composed music for Williams, it would show. The NBC Football theme sounds like a case of synthesizers being used to augment the depth of the orchestra, which happens in most Williams scores.

Also, they're credited on the Geisha CD as synth programmers.

Wrong.

Fred Steiner wrote additional music for Star Trek TMP.

One of the Newman's apparently ghostwote for ROTJ.

According to a post John Morgan did at the FSM board, Fred Steiner did some small additional cues on ROTJ.

Thomas Newman did some uncredited orchestrations for ROTJ under the supervision of JW and his uncle Lionel.

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Wrong.

Fred Steiner wrote additional music for Star Trek TMP.

One of the Newman's apparently ghostwote for ROTJ.

This is a bit of a revelation, Stefan. Exactly what music did Fred Steiner write for ST:TMP?

Do you also know what music one of the Newmans ghost wrote for ROTJ (source cues at Jabba's palace, source cues for the Ewoks?).

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Wrong.

Fred Steiner wrote additional music for Star Trek TMP.

One of the Newman's apparently ghostwote for ROTJ.

This is a bit of a revelation, Stefan. Exactly what music did Fred Steiner write for ST:TMP?

Do you also know what music one of the Newmans ghost wrote for ROTJ (source cues at Jabba's palace, source cues for the Ewoks?).

maurizio cleared that.

though i'm a bit skeptical about the ghostwritting part. more likely they just arranged tie fighter attack for the rotj scene.

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It is blashphemous even to think that JW would use additional composers. He writes everything himself, his orchestrators are glorified copyists and he even carves out the woodwind instruments and string instruments for his orchestras to play with, casts horns, trumpets and trombones from different metals for his brass players and manufactures the paper on which the sheet music is printed on, kills and bleeds the squids from which the ink for the sheet music notation is manufactured and also furnishes the recording studios with self made superior recording equipment he has carved from magical whale bone. He is self sufficient and self reliant. End of story. Period. Nuff' said!

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It is blashphemous even to think that JW would use additional composers. He writes everything himself, his orchestrators are glorified copyists and he even carves out the woodwind instruments and string instruments for his orchestras to play with, casts horns, trumpets and trombones from different metals for his brass players and manufactures the paper on which the sheet music is printed on, kills and bleeds the squids from which the ink for the sheet music notation is manufactured and also furnishes the recording studios with self made superior recording equipment he has carved from magical whale bone. He is self sufficient and self reliant. End of story. Period. Nuff' said!

:lol:

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That's right, even the maestro gets a little help every now and then. Magic Box Music has done additional music and synth programming for John Williams on three occasions.

What is Magic Box?

Magic Box Music, the brainchild of John Sponsler and Tom Gire, was formed when two composers came together with the same goal: Make a living doing what they love, never be satisfied with “good enough”, and have fun even in the most grueling of times. With and emphasis on quality and creativity coupled with the team credo of “humility and perseverance”, Magic Box Music has been working non-stop since it began.

Imagine if zimmer were to take that approach

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koray is just trying to start some shit cause his uber composer is a hack.

If he seeks to legitimize Zimmer by demonstrating that Williams employed similar tactics for two or three compositional activities out of a filmography of dozens of other scores, and we're all too jaded to recognize this, and cry out for the pitchforks and fire anyway, shame on us. It doesn't change anything or devalue Williams.

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Yeah, Zimmer is ZImmer and Williams is god, er Williams. There are only a handful of other guys working in Hollywood right now that DON'T have some assistance when it comes to composing. Howard Shore is one of them. Writes and orchestrates everything himself. He might have assistants for other scoring related chores (synth programming) but the music end is totally in his realm. I think Chris Gordon (not Hollywood mind you) also does everything himself. Pretty awesome composer actually.

This has been said to death but I will say it again for the cheap seats- Williams' 8 stave short scores have every bit of detail that a copyist would need to explode the score into full orchestral format. There's no guesswork and this is from the mouths of Hollywood orchestrators. I have some of Williams' short scores and they are so elaborate I could produce a finished piece with them with no help.

If some people continue to assert that Williams has compositional assistance, well I will quote Will Ferrell from Step Brothers: "you're just coming off stupid".

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Where is Jeff Grace credited for additional music in LotR? All I have found is that he worked as an assistant to Mr. Shore for those films (this from his own site) and is listed as a member of additional music crew on IMDB.

And speaking of Williams and orchestrators Thomas Newman orchestrated Darth Vader's Death from ROTJ. This was a sort of a favour from JW to Lionel Newman, giving his nephew one piece to work on. Newman notes how complete the sketch was and how little he had to do so it was really a bone-toss as he calls it.

Thomas Newman Interview

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In reference to Koray's main point of this thread, I believe this was dicussed already when Geisha was released.

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I don't get it,why does the orchestration topic keep popping up? It's been discussed many times JW pieces would sound almost exactly the same if they were recorded directly from his hand written sketches.

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