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Jair Crawford

Come on guys, he isn't old!

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I mean, this is 2012 for crying out loud, and he's just turned 80. My grandfather is about to turn the same age and is in great health. His mother made it to 99, one month before her 100th actually. I had another great grandmother make it almost to 90 and she would have exceeded that if it weren't for Alzheimers.

These days, if you're 80 and in generally good health, which JW certainly is or at least seems to be (he's still writing music every day for crying out loud, and that's great for brain stimulation, and all the conducting he's done has kept him in great shape), then you have a very good chance of living at least another decade. I wouldn't be surprised if he lived well into his 90s or more! I know plenty of people who have.

Honestly I don't know why everyone is so worried? Worrying doesn't help anything. The guy is alive and healthy so why worry now?

Just had to get that off my chest because I've read so many comments of people worrying about his death and there's really no reason for that right now. lol

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He may not be old, but his music is. Bereft of inspiration, devoid of originality, bleached of life -- his work is now but an empty shell of notes, as thin as the paper on which they were written.

Sad.

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I didn't realize his ultimate demise had become such a huge topic of discussion lately.

Unless I'm not reading the right threads.

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Well not so much on this forum at the moment (though it has been mentioned a lot at times), but at the Star Wars forums that I've been too. So many people wonder if he'll live to be able to score Ep. 7 in 2015. And I'm like... really? lol

He may not be old, but his music is. Bereft of inspiration, devoid of originality, bleached of life -- his work is now but an empty shell of notes, as thin as the paper on which they were written.

Sad.

Plus, besides the concertos we havent heard yet, I actually thought War Horse was pretty darn good. Sure its sappy and sentimental but hey, it's beautiful. I can understand about Tintin and Lincoln though.

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I didn't realize his ultimate demise had become such a huge topic of discussion lately.

He's already dead to me.

As long as we keep him in our hearts, he'll always be alive.

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I wouldn't be surprised if he lived well into his 90s or more!
Yeah, but do you think he would keep composing until someone has to pry the pencil from his cold, dead hands?

Music is the thing he loves, the thing he dedicated his life to. It's not his job, it was his inner calling.

People who have found their calling will never cease to do what they love. John Williams will stop writing music when he is finally physically unable to do so. If he is fortunate to just pass away in his sleep, he will write music until the night before. The question is just if we can have a part in it.

Whether he continues to write music and whether he continues to write film scores are two completely different questions.

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Some facts:

- He still writes every day - about two minutes of finished music regardless if anyone ever hears it.

- He is very hard on himself. He revisits old scores (both film and concert works) frequently to make minor tweaks most people will never hear because it doesn't fit his ideal version.

- He is a very youthful 80 year old with many years ahead of him.

- Some very skilled and talented people have said this about their experience working with him even recently: "I've never seen anyone in all my experience attack a compositional problem with as much focused effort as John Williams does". Who else is around can the same be said of?

- Compositional style has evolved as it does for all great composers

- Film making/scoring styles has evolved

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He is old. He's actually largely surpassed the life expectancy for males born in the early 30's in the USA. He could just have a problem and die one of these days and it wouldn't be rare. However he's probably healthy and works regularly which keeps his mind active and fresh, so I hope he can make to a few years more.

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It's classic Hlao-roo sarcasm.

Anyways, John is incredibly healthy for his age. He's still quite vigorous with his conducting and seems very active in all his interviews. I wouldn't be surprised to see him live till the 90s.

And as it has been mentioned before, the man won't stop writing until he's physically unable to do so. He's said in an interview that he would never dream of retiring. He might stop writing film scores one day, but he'll continue to write concert works. The man will always be with his piano, scribbling down notes here and there.

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@ Hlao-roo: Too soon to say. His last few scores may not have been his best, but I'll wait until I hear his Harp Concerto and Oboe Concerto that he wrote last year before coming to that conclusion.

The Harp Concerto "On Willows and Birches" dates back from 2009 and was released by the Boston Symphony digitally only. It can be bought from iTunes.

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Good lord, you people should move on to the general net to trash Williams instead of polluting the fan pages with this cruelty.

Prediction: Each year Star Wars 7, 8 and 9 come out, we will hear inferior Star Wars scores and superior Williams scores for OTHER FILMS.

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For those without dated Victorian sensibilities (*cough* Jeshopk *cough*), and who are curious...

There are probabilities provided by the Social Security Administration in the U.S. These are called "Life Tables." Of course it applies to Americans, but as long as you are in a modern Western nation the figures should be close.

http://www.ssa.gov/o...S/table4c6.html

And you know it's true, because it says you are more likely to die around your college years. And then your death probabilities go back down for a few years, before your organs start failing.

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I'd say we've already heard a 2 inferior scores by Williams and several superior scores for other films by other composers.

But don't worry your little hearts, I'm sure a healthy Williams will be asked to score as many Star Wars films as he can.

Maybe under better story and direction he'll be more motivated, knowing his music won't get hacked to pieces by Lucas and write something worthy.

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@ Hlao-roo: Too soon to say. His last few scores may not have been his best, but I'll wait until I hear his Harp Concerto and Oboe Concerto that he wrote last year before coming to that conclusion.

The Harp Concerto "On Willows and Birches" dates back from 2009 and was released by the Boston Symphony digitally only. It can be bought from iTunes.

You're right. Dunno why I thought it was 2011. lol

Good lord, you people should move on to the general net to trash Williams instead of polluting the fan pages with this cruelty.

Prediction: Each year Star Wars 7, 8 and 9 come out, we will hear inferior Star Wars scores and superior Williams scores for OTHER FILMS.

Dunno who all this is directed to but I just wanna make myself quite clear that I have absolutely NO intentions of trashing JW. He's currently my favorite living composer.

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Give the man some telomerase. I'm sure people would be against rich old composers living until 200 years old, but it would be fun to see you whine about it until you die.

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Some facts:

- He is a very youthful 80 year old with many years ahead of him.

You can't really call that a fact. But I think you're right!

- He is very hard on himself. He revisits old scores (both film and concert works) frequently to make minor tweaks most people will never hear because it doesn't fit his ideal version.

Also film works? Didn't know that! Interesting.

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He's an artist. If he can tweak his music, he will. Artists are never fully content with themselves.

You don't ever finish a work of art, you can just leave it.

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I can totally relate to that. I'm a composition student and believe me, you can always find ways to make something sound better, no matter how long you've been working on it. Of course I'm just a beginner, but still. It's like you write something new, and are satisfied with it for a while, but the more you work on it or look back, you start thinking... hmm, this part could sound better, and so could this... and yikes what was I thinking during that part right there? o_o

It's a vicious cycle. lol

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I feel the same way with my writings and films. I think everybody does. But these things are not officially published. I was just surprised Williams actually went back and adjusted things after it has been published. I thought he would let it be. Kinda like Pixar. "We don't finish movies, we release them".

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It makes me really curious. To think of what his ideal revision of something like Star Wars would sound like... wow... I wonder if he'll ever be able to release or perform them? I'd hate for legal stuff to get in the way of his music being performed.

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It only sounded like he was implying that JW revisited them for his concert performances.

For example, the final few bars of the End Credits for both Star Wars (1977) and Return of the Jedi (1983) are very similar, except that in ROTJ, a countermelody is used that was not present in the original SW finale. (Yet Charles Gerhardt used it in his arrangement, which probably indicates it was in the original score but dropped from the 1977 movie, rather than added by 1983, which is slightly beside the point.) In the By Request! Boston Pops album, John Williams conducted a version of the Star Wars main theme/end credits concert piece that included this countermelody that hadn't been used until ROTJ. This made the track a "hybrid" of two movies, and indicated that JW "revisited" the piece for subsequent concert performances and compilation albums, instead of rescoring actual movies.

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John Williams definitely will be writing music until the day he dies, I just hope that one day he'll humor us and release some of his little tinkerings. They may not be whole works or perfect but I don't know about you I'd still love to hear them.

True his past few scores have not been perfect, but again they are far above anything 99% of us could ever compose.

When I saw him in NYC back in 2011 he acted no different than he did back in I believe 06 or 07, still the same level of enthusiasm, power, and love for his work. I do believe he talked slightly less but that was about it. There was a period of time maybe around when Tintin was released where he did look slightly ill but watching all the Lincoln interviews he looks the same as he did the past 20 years.

My best guess is we only have about 6 more Williams' scores to look forward to, not because of his age or his eventual death but because he is becoming much more selective about his works. My major hope is that I am able to meet him before he does pass!

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It only sounded like he was implying that JW revisited them for his concert performances.

For example, the final few bars of the End Credits for both Star Wars (1977) and Return of the Jedi (1983) are very similar, except that in ROTJ, a countermelody is used that was not present in the original SW finale. (Yet Charles Gerhardt used it in his arrangement, which probably indicates it was in the original score but dropped from the 1977 movie, rather than added by 1983, which is slightly beside the point.) In the By Request! Boston Pops album, John Williams conducted a version of the Star Wars main theme/end credits concert piece that included this countermelody that hadn't been used until ROTJ. This made the track a "hybrid" of two movies, and indicated that JW "revisited" the piece for subsequent concert performances and compilation albums, instead of rescoring actual movies.

Yes, this is what I meant. He tinkers with completed works from many years ago including the suites or concert arrangements from decades ago making increasingly subtle adjustments. I also believe there is much else written that never sees the light of day (though this is not unusual for a composer) and probably will never be known… Sort of like the Sibelius Symphony number eight that he never felt was up to his own expectations so after 30 years of working on that 8th symphony (and completing it several times!) just destroyed it. I believe that jw is very hard on himself but unlike Sibelius, he's more practical. I am in the camp that believes he really is a genius, and when he's gone there will be an unfillable gap. The end of that line. I recently saw the new movie, Lincoln, and was curious to see if Lincoln still had any living relatives. Sadly, his last descendant died in the mid 1980s. Sad to think they are no more and never will be. This is why I feel it's appropriate to appreciate each new score from JW. Each completes a fuller picture of a consummate pro of a vanishing style.

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