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London or Los Angeles for Star Wars VII score? [UPDATE: It's Los Angeles]


Where do you predict the Episode 7 score will be recorded?  

37 members have voted

  1. 1. Where do you predict the Episode 7 score will be recorded?

    • John Williams will conduct the London Symphony Orchestra in London
    • Another conductor will conduct the London Symphony Orchestra in London
    • John Williams will conduct the London Symphony Orchestra during their tour of the US
    • John Williams will conduct a Los Angeles based orchestra


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How likely is it that the LSO will continue to record the new Star Wars movies? Given that Ep. 7 has an unconfirmed release date of May 2015. Scoring would take place a few months prior like in Feb or March.
Do you think the Hollywood Studio Symphony could pull this off? I guess hypothetically JW could write the music and have someone else conduct it, but I'm guessing he gets a lot of satisfaction of conducting them live.

Any thoughts ? !

ADMIN NOTE: On March 21st it was officially confirmed to be in LA.

http://www.jwfan.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=23272&p=1105384

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They've got a two-day head start, which is more than they need. LA musicians have friends in every town and county from here to Culver City. They play a dozen idioms, know every local style. They'll b

Thor just has a grudge against the LA musicians because their reuse fees have prevented so many scores from being complete and chronological.

I just returned from playing with the Baltimore Symphony and was very excited to meet David Cripps - the principal horn of the London Symphony Orchestra from 1970 to 1983. He is THE Princess Leia hor

I thought JW had "boycotted" Europe for good (or rather, given up travelling outside the US because of age). It would be amazing if he did, though...maybe combine it with a concert or two in London.

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There are obviously 3 options

1. JW flies to London records with the LSO like has been done for the past 6 SW scores. The factor here is that JW has not left the US since 2005.

2. JW records the score in LA, becoming the first SW score not recorded with the LSO. Unless they fly the LSO to the USA or something :P

3. JW stays at home, and somebody else flies to London to conduct the LSO, like William Ross perhaps.

Way too early to know which of these 3 options will eventually happen.

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The LSO is part of the Star Wars universe as much as many other key elements, so their involvement is imho out of debate. I don't think anyone would dare to take such a prestige gig out of their hands.

As for JW not coming to Europe since 2005--let's keep in mind the man has a very busy schedule, both as composer and conductor so he probably has to regretfully say "No" to many requests. Some people say that he apparently told he doesn't want to travel outside US anymore, but I never read or heard such thing officially. Sure, having to deal with long oceanic flights, jet-lags and so on is something that nobody truly likes to do, even much younger people than JW :)

Considering JW still has health and energy in spades (thank God!), I guess he will return more than happily in London to record the score with the LSO.

Let's hope he'll be able to conduct a couple of concerts as well!

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I agree.

And with the main production being grounded in London, I am fairly sure the recording sessions will be there too.

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I think it will be Hollywood. My belief is that LSO was used for buyout purposes by Lucas. JJ Abrams believes in paying residuals so doesn't have this issue with LA Studio orchestras and neither does JW. Plus there is precedence with this in that Raiders of the Lost Ark was scored by LSO but Temple of Doom and after (every bit as well performed/recorded) were in LA studios. Plus it is just easier on the body to work near home.

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2. JW records the score in LA, becoming the first SW score not recorded with the LSO. Unless they fly the LSO to the USA or something :P

I'm sure the AFM will love that option! Since the films are being shot in the UK, I fully expect the scoring to take place here too.

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Oh, definitely!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - performed by the LSO conducted by William Ross sounds just AMAZING, one of my favorite JW CDs to listen to for that reason

Also JW didn't conduct most of Jurassic Park and that is a great performance too

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Some people say that he apparently told he doesn't want to travel outside US anymore, but I never read or heard such thing officially.

Apparently Don Williams said as much. Williams was ready to do the final Potter score only if he could to it in the US. And it also seems to be the reason why he hasn't been awarded Vienna's Max Steiner award yet.

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The session players in LA would do an outstanding job if given the opportunity. I found the LSO's performance on the prequels to be flat compared to the original trilogy.

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Some people say that he apparently told he doesn't want to travel outside US anymore, but I never read or heard such thing officially.

Apparently Don Williams said as much. Williams was ready to do the final Potter score only if he could to it in the US. And it also seems to be the reason why he hasn't been awarded Vienna's Max Steiner award yet.

Well Lalo Schifrin is about the same age as JW, and he walks slowly nowadays, and yet he still managed to go to Vienna to get his Max Steiner award.

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I found the LSO's performance on the prequels to be flat compared to the original trilogy.

Well, the brilliant sound and flawless performance doesn't always mean "flat"(even if you dislike the music).

Personally I hope, some of the great american orchestras will do it, like CSO...

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Some people say that he apparently told he doesn't want to travel outside US anymore, but I never read or heard such thing officially.

Apparently Don Williams said as much. Williams was ready to do the final Potter score only if he could to it in the US. And it also seems to be the reason why he hasn't been awarded Vienna's Max Steiner award yet.

Thanks for the clarification. Well, I guess it really depends on the nature and the importance of the commitment then. I guess JW would feel much more comfortable to conduct his own music, especially for such high profile project like SW. I also think he wouldn't like to record it with any other orchestra than the LSO, because - more than nostalgia and other ancillary factors - he's the first one to know how important they are in bringing the classic "Star Wars sound" to the music.

Since JW still looks healthy and full of energy, my hope is that he will take this opportunity to return in Europe and record the score with the LSO. And while here he could throw in a couple of sold-out concerts at the Barbican as well :)

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Well Lalo Schifrin is about the same age as JW, and he walks slowly nowadays, and yet he still managed to go to Vienna to get his Max Steiner award.

Exactly. Which to me just seems to confirm that it's Williams own decision not to travel so far. Or at least that that assumption is common enough even among his closer circles that they haven't invited him for this reason.

Actually, Williams seems much fitter than Schifrin. Or Shore, for that matter.

Well , given that recording the Prequels and Harry Potter with the LSO didn't give us expanded scores, I don't care who performs the next ones

With the SW scores, I don't think an expansion is a matter of reuse fees.

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Wouldn't it be cheaper to record with the LSO than a Hollywood orchestra (with the production based there and everything)? I'm assuming that's the option producers will be favouring.

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I wonder if that is really true about LSO buy out. Nothing against the Hollywood musicians but the LSO really did deliver on Star Wars. I don't know if the Hollywood musicians - particularly the brass could emulate that sound. Maybe it's due to mixing but the Hollywood brass sound a little bit sharper than the London brass.

Its a pity JW never used the Todd AO scoring stage as I thought the sound produced in that room - would be closer to the Abbey road acoustics.

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  • 2 weeks later...

JW considers the LSO's involvement with the SW saga as intregal and very special. He seems to be trying to summon up enough energy and strength to go the 'whole nine yards' with this score. He will be in London with the LSO...even if they have to wheel him in. I guarandamntee you.

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I wonder if that is really true about LSO buy out. Nothing against the Hollywood musicians but the LSO really did deliver on Star Wars. I don't know if the Hollywood musicians - particularly the brass could emulate that sound. Maybe it's due to mixing but the Hollywood brass sound a little bit sharper than the London brass.

Its a pity JW never used the Todd AO scoring stage as I thought the sound produced in that room - would be closer to the Abbey road acoustics.

I think you are just used to the specific quirks of the original series since that was the way you heard it and fell in love with it. Relisten to close encounters, e.t., temple of doom. LA Studio musicians served those just fine and were very polished. Then again, it would have been interesting to hear ET ending with Maurice Murphy at the helm of the trumpet section.
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They could just book him for a week on a transatlantic cruise to get him to London without jetlag.

Or just fly him over weeks in advance and back weeks after the sessions so he has enough time to acclimate...

...and do a few concerts on the side...

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I am so happy JW is writing that I will not be too disappointed if it's recorded in hollywood. I wish they would use old school analog gear to get that Empire/Superman/ET/Raiders sound. And just crank it over the special effects.

Anyone remember how great the horns were at the beginning of Battle of Yavin on the original Star Wars release? That was so awesome. No lasers or engines, just horns. Blasting. Movie magic lost forever.

That being said I love the Special Editions.

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I wonder if that is really true about LSO buy out. Nothing against the Hollywood musicians but the LSO really did deliver on Star Wars. I don't know if the Hollywood musicians - particularly the brass could emulate that sound. Maybe it's due to mixing but the Hollywood brass sound a little bit sharper than the London brass.

Its a pity JW never used the Todd AO scoring stage as I thought the sound produced in that room - would be closer to the Abbey road acoustics.

I think you are just used to the specific quirks of the original series since that was the way you heard it and fell in love with it. Relisten to close encounters, e.t., temple of doom. LA Studio musicians served those just fine and were very polished. Then again, it would have been interesting to hear ET ending with Maurice Murphy at the helm of the trumpet section.
But today I think th different is even more pronounced than it was in 1977. Compare the prequels to Tintin, for example. The performance is not even close.
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Really?

Absolutely. The brass section especially is sometimes off timing-wise or out of tune. It's not a horrible performance, but it doesn't compare to the crispness and precision of the LSO in the prequels.

The differences in performance between E.T. and Star Wars 1977, on the other hand, are not as pronounced IMO.

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Hell, people wouldn't even care where JW conducts the score, so long as he does it.

I can't speak for anyone else, of course, but given the choice between Williams conducting a mediocre orchestra and someone else conducting, say, the LSO, I'd take the latter. Williams' sketches don't leave a lot of room for creative license with the tempos, and a great orchestra isn't going to need much tweaking performance-wise, so the conductor's identity ends up not having a tremendous impact on the sound of the recording. On the other hand, a less-than-spectacular orchestra is going to sound less than spectacular, even with Williams at the helm.

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I think the problem with Hollywood studio orchestras is that the players typically aren't used to playing with each other. So things like intonation and timing, which can sometimes require an understanding of an individual musician's tendencies, are not as in-sync as they are in a consistent orchestras where all the players are comfortable with their sections.

Not to say Hollywood studio orchestras are bad, but sometimes they can be.

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For years I've been hearing Hollywood session musicians are top notch, brilliant in sight reading etc etc and now you tell me something differently!

They are, each and every one of them. It's just that they are all freelancers and because of that you don't get as much personality from the ensemble as a whole.

Karol

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There's also the fact of extremely rushed times for the orchestra recording. The Hollywood musicians receive the sheets the very day of the recording and they have to play instantly, and by removing the so essential rehearsals, a part of the emotion of the music is lost.

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