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Unique "Williams-isms"?


mrbellamy

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oh i love this piece...at 19.07 you get this mad riff in the strings...then it doubles at a different pitch then at 19;40 the woodwinds come in playing it....is this a set ? I know Bartok was fond of his "cell Z"

I heard an obvious quote of this very section in a JW score the other day....

t

Which score?

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i've been trying to remember . I had a playlist in iTunes and was in the other room when i heard it and now need to go back through it and find it !

i was an obvious lift though...nicely done....

t


i think it was attack of the clones

t

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sounds like

Bartok's greatest piece. Btw from 19:04 onward has been a direct inspiration for JW's 'T-rex Rescue and Finale' (most notably the transition at 21:00). I dare bet that it was used as temp track.

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Tracing one of Williams's favourite devices or 'sonic pets' for creating a tense, blotted atmosphere - the octatonic/diminished cluster - I've found one direct link. Henry Mancini.

You can hear in scores ranging from CHARADE, EXPERIMENT IN TERROR, MOMENT TO MOMENT, ARABESQUE and further blurred by quartertone 'echoing' in WAIT UNTIL DARK, THE NIGHT VISITOR, NIGHTWING and FEAR, to name just a few. Now, Williams of course was the studio pianist on several of Mancini's projects from Peter Gunn onwards, but both had private tutliage with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, though this was primarily in orchestration. There's also a connection with Jerry Goldsmith, in that they had lessons with Ernst Krenek (focusing on counterpoint - however, this might have been more extensive).

Anyone here familiar with the later works of Krenek?

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think I've released why Williams loves to use the symmetrical [0,1,3,4] pitch set (i.e. B-C-D-Eb) so much. It's because it contains two [0,1,4]s along with two [0,1,3]s. Think about - B-C-Eb + B-D-Eb and B-C-D and C-D-Eb. Because of that fact, it's open to a wealth of possibilities for inversion, whether clustral (as in the original form) or open.

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confused !..how are you getting a D ?......(0,1,3,4)...is surely 0=C....1=Db...3=Eb....4=E......inversion......0=C....-1=B....-3=A.....-4=Ab.........where's the D ?

or are u starting (0,1,3) on B and (0,1,4) on C ?

or your starting the lot from b ?....sorry posting outloud here !

so that would give you with inversion . from c........C,D,Eb,G,Ab,Bb,B.......hmm

in fact that could explain the scale used in asteroid chase from bar 34......

glad this thread got a bump

t

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so that would give you with inversion . from c........C,D,Eb,G,Ab,Bb,B.......hmm

in fact that could explain the scale used in asteroid chase from bar 34......

Also, the divisi string cluster of D-Eb-F-Gb-G-A-Bb-C-Db at measure 35 in The Magic Tree is like three of these [0,1,3,4] sets clumped together: D-Eb-F-Gb, F#(Gb)-G-A-Bb and A-Bb-C-Db.

@3:03

Williams does a neat thing with the portamentos that follow. He breaks down that cluster into its components: D-Eb-F-Gb becomes D-Eb and F-Gb minor second dyads, G-A is a major second dyad and Bb-C-Db can be thought of as a {0,1,3] cluster.

The two inner components (F-Gb and G-A) slide up a half step to F#-G and Ab-Bb, while the outer two (D-Eb and Bb-C-Db) move down a half-step to C#-D and A-B-C. In the first measure (in 2/4) we have 4 8th notes, followed in the next by 2 triplet value 8th note groups, and in the third - 8 sixteenth notes.

A novel use of contrary motion along with rhythmic diminution, creating a sickening, sweating-at-the-palms feeling as Luke moves through the tree, leading into the shot of the snake.

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Talking about The Magic Tree, how do you explain the 7 note chord at bar 9? I'm guessing you either break it down into Williams's favourite pitch sets (or 'sonic pets' to quote Marcus) or as see it some kind of open cluster. I can't see a polytonal or scalic answer fitting the bill.

In case you haven't got the sketches, or can't be bothered opening up the PDF - here's the chord from bottom to top.

G-C#-D-F#-Db-G#-A-Cb

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Talking about The Magic Tree, how do you explain the 7 note chord at bar 9? I'm guessing you either break it down into Williams's favourite pitch sets (or 'sonic pets' to quote Marcus) or as see it some kind of open cluster. I can't see a polytonal or scalic answer fitting the bill.

In case you haven't got the sketches, or can't be bothered opening up the PDF - here's the chord from bottom to top.

G-C#-D-F#-Db-G#-A-Cb

Simplifying the enharmonic notes you're left with:

G C# D F# C# Ab A B

boiling it down to remove duplicates you get:

G C# D F# Ab A B

Stacking it as an extended chord you have:

G B D F# A C# Ab

Which means its a Gmaj7#11 with an added b9 (the Ab). Not strictly speaking a common jazz chord but the Ab could show up as a passing/neighbor note.

The Ab is what gives it its dissonance. The rest is a pretty jazzy chord.

Does that help?

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Ludwig's absence from this thread is disturbing...

What do you call this chord at measure 10 in Treesong?

A-D-E-Ab-Bb-Eb-Gb-A-F-D

As you can see, it contains two minor triads and two interlocking quartal/sus chords...

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Ludwig's absence from this thread is disturbing...

What do you call this chord at measure 10 in Treesong?

A-D-E-Ab-Bb-Eb-Gb-A-F-D

As you can see, it contains two minor triads and two interlocking quartal/sus chords...

You can also see it as D min + 9 (D-F-A-E) plus E flat minor (Eb-Gb-Bb) polytonal. Sounds very cool too with a lot of harmonic rubs (E/E flat, A, B flat, F, G flat, etc). I take it this isn't supposed to be warm and fuzzy?...yeah, where is Ludwig? Think E flat minor with a d minor + 9 on top in terms of notes but the voicing seems to hint on the b flat as a pivot (from the recording I heard on youtube) which has a mediant relationship between the chords (b flat to d) so it still has a rational sound. In short, this is an unsettling chord that still makes sense.

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Talking about The Magic Tree, how do you explain the 7 note chord at bar 9? I'm guessing you either break it down into Williams's favourite pitch sets (or 'sonic pets' to quote Marcus) or as see it some kind of open cluster. I can't see a polytonal or scalic answer fitting the bill.

In case you haven't got the sketches, or can't be bothered opening up the PDF - here's the chord from bottom to top.

G-C#-D-F#-Db-G#-A-Cb

Sorry Shark. Been busy and this cue requires some serious attention.

First off, things aren't quite what they seem in the cue. After several hearings, I'm sure the top note is C-natural rather than C-flat. But more than that, I think it's more productive to divide this stack of notes into two separate chords. After all, that's how Williams arranges them - the bottom four are in the trombones (very softly and starting on G2), I believe, and the top four of course in the strings, which are much more prominent. So I'd be inclined to analyze each half separately since they are quite differentiated in register, timbre, and dynamic, allowing us to hear them individually, especially since they don't exactly blend harmonically anyway.

So then I'd take each half as an atonal set, the bottom one a (0156) and the top a (0145). I'm starting to get the feeling that Williams uses sets that are similar but not always exact (in much the same way he varies repeated ideas in his tonal writing). So (0156) and (0145) are both composed of two semitones, but they differ in how far apart these semitones are. You might call it a "fuzzy" relation, where things are almost the same but one interval is off.

There is so much more to this cue, like the many (026)s, spaced as either [0,2,8] or [0,6,8], the gliss chords, and the parallel triads, but that's how I'd take the chord you asked about.

As for Treesong, I'd need to know more about its context to make an assessment.

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So then I'd take each half as an atonal set, the bottom one a (0156) and the top a (0145). I'm starting to get the feeling that Williams uses sets that are similar but not always exact (in much the same way he varies repeated ideas in his tonal writing). So (0156) and (0145) are both composed of two semitones, but they differ in how far apart these semitones are. You might call it a "fuzzy" relation, where things are almost the same but one interval is off.

Wow, you're right. In fact, if you take the two semitones that compromise the (0145) set (Ab-A-C-Db), and move the lower two down a semitone and the upper two up a whole tone in contrary motion, you get the (0156) set (F#-G-C#-D). Ingenious, and makes perfect sense next to my analysis of the gliss chords (on the previous page in this thread). I'm beginning to understand how Williams's mind is working in these sorts of cues.

BTW, also noticed re: the previous chord (G#-D-E and A-C#-D-F), if you move the two outer voices of the (026) up a semitone and the inner voice down one, you get (048) which is A-C#-F, an augmented triad. Add D as a pivot pitch or extra voice, and you've finally got the (A-C#-D-E) or DminMaj7 4/3.

Interesting to note how the English Horn is just sticking to the pitches of the second chord, and how the three bassoons are chromatically planing with (026)s.

Edit: Chord at bar 46 - (0156) with (013) on top and (0268) below?

Bar 65's a polychord (Gaddb9 + F#)?

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Another thing I've noticed Williams doing is adding a quartal trichord on top of a minor triad in second inversion. Look at bars 75-77 in 7m3 Finale from AotC ('Begun, the Clone War has') - A-D-F-Bb-Eb-Ab, and 63-66 in 7m2 The Blue Forest from Hp1 (when the centaur appears to save Harry) - D-G-Bb-Eb-Ab-Db-G). A very foreboding, ancient sound, and in the former example helps prepare the modulation to Ebm.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPieiae9hP8

@ 02:39

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzNnq4oWqLQ

@03:00

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  • 2 months later...

Not sure how unique this is to Williams, but can anyone tell me what string technique JW used in these tracks?

0:11

1:21

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thysHdws0PQ

It sounds like they're sliding while playing harmonics. I've just always loved that sound, but I rarely hear it. Any other examples of this in his work?

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  • 3 months later...
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