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Jeremy Soule on "Hook"


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I totally agree with Jeremy Soule. I'm also thrilled to be part of the performance of The Flight to Neverland next month. For the first time in my life.

Jeremy Soule (of Skyrim fame) has this to say about The Arrival of Tink/The Flight to Neverland. Copied from his Facebook post: Discuss.

Well that is some statement from Mr. Soule. Since it enhances my world view and my manic appreciation of John Williams I'll go along with it 100%.

I don't have any recordings to offer you, and even if I did, I wouldn't want your preconceptions about me to distort your listening. I'd want you go in unbiased.

Too bad. And you didn't have to worry, I would've let the music speak for itself.

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I wonder what the psychology is behind internet forum spats. Why do we pick certain other members to be at odds with? It's fascinating. Joey and I had our disagreements in the past, and more recently I've clashed with Alex - two posters who are quite different. So what's the cause, then? And why now does this ménage à trois of Quint, Mr. Shark, and Alexcremers flare up so frequently? Even with the benefit of being an observer, it's hard to trace the genesis of this acrimony. I have a theory as to who the primary instigator or instigators may be, but more research is required.

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I wonder what the psychology is behind internet forum spats. Why do we pick certain other members to be at odds with? It's fascinating. Joey and I had our disagreements in the past, and more recently I've clashed with Alex - two posters who are quite different. So what's the cause, then? And why now does this ménage à trois of Quint, Mr. Shark, and Alexcremers flare up so frequently? Even with the benefit of being an observer, it's hard to trace the genesis of this acrimony. I have a theory as to who the primary instigator or instigators may be, but more research is required.

Perhaps you're not an observer but rather a participant or even the master instigator, Pilgrim. A wolf in sheep's clothing?

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I wonder what the psychology is behind internet forum spats. Why do we pick certain other members to be at odds with? It's fascinating. Joey and I had our disagreements in the past, and more recently I've clashed with Alex - two posters who are quite different. So what's the cause, then? And why now does this ménage à trois of Quint, Mr. Shark, and Alexcremers flare up so frequently? Even with the benefit of being an observer, it's hard to trace the genesis of this acrimony. I have a theory as to who the primary instigator or instigators may be, but more research is required.

Sumit t'do init

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So criticisms must now be backed up by one's own artistic achievements?

This board would lose about 80% of its posts!

I'm just flabbergasted that 'grown men' still throw down challenges like this .....on the fucking internet for God's sake :banghead:

You misunderstand me. You can criticize all you want. Criticism is evidence and observation based.

Name calling is not.

So you need to demonstrate some credibility before you can call a someone a hack. If you have credibility I'll buy your name calling and say "boy this guy knows what he's talking about!"

So let's hear your superior to Jeremy Soule music, Mr. Shark.

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It's obvious that Blumenkohl is Mr. Soule himself.

I wonder what the psychology is behind internet forum spats. Why do we pick certain other members to be at odds with? It's fascinating. Joey and I had our disagreements in the past, and more recently I've clashed with Alex - two posters who are quite different. So what's the cause, then? And why now does this ménage à trois of Quint, Mr. Shark, and Alexcremers flare up so frequently? Even with the benefit of being an observer, it's hard to trace the genesis of this acrimony. I have a theory as to who the primary instigator or instigators may be, but more research is required.

Perhaps you're not an observer but rather a participant or even the master instigator, Pilgrim. A wolf in sheep's clothing?

I'm more like a fox in sheep's clothing in men's clothing, or women's on Saturday nights.

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Three pages worth of pissing contests.

Yeah how about that Jeremy Soule and his admiration of Williams' musical prowess. Hook exhibits his mastery of musical allusion (some would call it pastiche or borrowing) at work. Flight to Neverland is a delightful piece of writing although has Stravinsky's Firebird written all over its orchestrations and style. I love the score to bits but can't deny some heavy influences either in temp track or otherwise.

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Hook exhibits his mastery of musical allusion (some would call it pastiche or borrowing) at work. Flight to Neverland is a delightful piece of writing although has Stravinsky's Firebird written all over its orchestrations and style. I love the score to bits but can't deny some heavy influences either in temp track or otherwise.

I don't know exactly how much William's Flight to Neverland borrows from Stravinsky's Firebird Suite or how much of it sounds like a temp track,

but here's what I learned from reading the score (with pictures):

1) He uses percussion for accents and flairs instead of grooves.

With the exception of the pitched percussion instruments which occasionally play melody lines (or the timpani occasionally supporting the bass), the percussion section is used for accents, fills and flair. There are no driving ostinato patterns or drum-set like beats. You know, just simple accents, like a little bit of seasoning on the important rhythmic moments.

1_Perc.jpg

2) He maintains a constant "pulse" in the notes.

The division of the beat (especially in the 8th notes) is in at least one instrument at pretty much all times.

These parts are significantly more interesting than had the harmony just been assigned to whole notes. They are not only more interesting to play but they also keep the rhythmic pulse alive and active. The piece feels much more exciting because there is always a driving energy bubbling beneath it.

There are only a few moments of a few measures in length that do not have this 8th note pulse, and their absence is felt.

When the pulse is missing, there is a feeling of suspension and it is usually used for a rallentando or just before a big section.

4_PulseC.jpg

3) He is generous with the accents and fills.

The score is littered with percussion accents, suspended cymbals, harp glissandos, woodwind runs and other accents and splashes of motion and color.

Scarcely a phrase goes by that doesn’t have an accent or fill at the end of it.

The accents and fills serve two very important functions:

  • They gives the listener something to listen to at all times. Even if the melody is taking a breath, there is something else to hold the listener's attention for a few beats before it starts up again.
  • They pull the listener constantly forward into the next phrase or section. This keeps the piece perpetually marching forward which maintains interest but also keeps up the excitement.

6_AccentB.jpg

4) He keeps the accompaniment complex but in the background.

One of the more characteristic aspects of this score is that it’s very busy; there are always a multitude of ideas flying around at all times.

The genius behind this is that no matter how busy the overall texture is, I can still hear the theme clearly and distinctly without any confusion. I believe that one of the reasons for this is as simple as dynamic markings.

Another is that the melody is put in the stronger registers of the instruments playing it, while the accompaniment instruments are playing in weaker registers.

But one thing that does definitely NOT contribute to the separation of melody and accompaniment is having the accompaniment play simple and inconspicuous parts.

8_Accomp.jpg

But this is just what I've observed from my experience in music theory, composition, and consensus with those who have researched the score as much as I have.

I'd like to hear additional thoughts (though not necessarily based on solely what I've written). :)

Randomer randomly moans about some stupid altercation which happened a week ago and the rest of the board just nod at him and smile.

So to you, me making a candid observation equates to moaning?

Don't go there. Just... don't.

I'm just posting information relevant to the forum topic.

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Great observations mnac87! And rather succintly and clearly written. Even a music illiterate like me could get the gist of your observations. :)

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You had to read the score to figure all that out? ;)

The late Quint had a point - it takes a bit of a tenure here to get used to the climate and acquire JWFan wisdom and humor. Sure it's tempting to swoop in and try to be the voice of reason but, "don't go there. Just... don't."

I'd like to hear you elaborate on what your signature quote means.

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You had to read the score to figure all that out? ;)

The late Quint had a point - it takes a bit of a tenure here to get used to the climate and acquire JWFan wisdom and humor. Sure it's tempting to swoop in and try to be the voice of reason but, "don't go there. Just... don't."

I'd like to hear you elaborate on what your signature quote means.

Yay! Someone besides me understands Poe's Law! :D

And you're talking about the quote below every one of my posts, correct?

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What it means is this (and this does not necessarily apply to everyone who shares my position on all this):

"In the right hands and with the right combination of notes on staves,

I personally believe that the quality of a piece of work is dependent on the skillset of the one crafting the work. If you met a vocalist who objectively failed at singing a song, what would you think of him if he blamed his microphone, the composer, the lyricist, your lack of appreciation, or a whole slew of other things instead of himself for the bad performance?

As for the other half of this part of the quote, that's entirely subjective. Different people will always like different kinds of music, but this much I can objectively say; they must like that song for that particular arrangement of a set of notes in the sheet music to form a melody, which is the first thing they're listening to. That melody must've touched them at some emotional level, or else they wouldn't like it from the outset, let alone keep coming back to it.

As such, I believe it takes a skilled and experienced hand to put the notes in (what they believe to be) the correct places to produce a melody that will resound throughout the zeitgeist of many a listener, regardless of what genre a song is composed in or what instruments it's composed for.

traditional and classical music takes on a beauty and elegance

that I would match against any of the current music today,

There is a reason why the Common Practice Period lasted for 300 years. Every master to its generation of music (Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Stravinsky, Copland) has defined that generation of music. While this certainly gave rise to periodicity (that is to say, predictability leads to expectations), it made sure that the music lasted the test of time.

When tonal harmony and chord progression dominated the scene, that was what people wanted, and judging from the plethora of city orchestras and philharmonics from around the world, people still want to listen to such music.

I can't say the same thing about popular and digital music, both of which I find to be almost completely devoid of emotional content due its constantly appealing to the lowest common denominator. You can always tell when someone is writing a song in today's music industry is passionate or pa$$ionate about it. I have come to believe that classical music then and now almost always comes out of passion, not pa$$ion.

even popular and digital music."

From what I have researched, I have come to the conclusion that today's current music (especially in regards to popular and digital music) is both over-saturated and fractured. With the advent of social media and websites dedicated to self-starting artists (e.g. Bandzoogle and Sound Cloud), everybody has an equal opportunity to expose their work to the world. As a result, too many songs exist to listen to and thereby appreciate, and all songs thereby get equal representation to the public, even the subpar ones. This makes it especially difficult for classical composers like myself to get exposure.

Regardless of objective research, I have consistently found myself drifting back toward classical music or music composed in the classical style, especially in film scores. Rarely have I ever seen popular or digital music compete in the same arena as classical music (The cases mostly being with film scores, and even then, classic rock has a sense of passion coming from its writers as opposed to pa$$ion).

Your thoughts?

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I think you're being unnecessarily dismissive towards both post-tonal music and pop music, both of which includes many pieces, songs and albums that are very dear to my heart, and influence my writing as a composer.

You're only four years older than me. Open your mind. Not to that extent where you brain falls out of your cranium, but enough to soak up a more diverse range of music, both 'art' and popular (the line between which is getting blurrier every year).

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That's right. Your views seem rather close-minded and are more than a bit dismissive to a massive body of work out there today. Sure, not all music of the digital age are works of passion, but that wasn't necessarily the case in the past either (not every piece of classical music was written our of sheer passion as you put it).

You maintain that you come from an objective standpoint, but it comes off as exactly the opposite. It's perfectly fine to have a preference geared towards classical music, but there is so much music being written out there now that are written from the heart of passionate musicians, and I'm not just referring to the concert hall, or the film score scene.

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I think you're being unnecessarily dismissive towards both post-tonal music and pop music, both of which includes many pieces, songs and albums that are very dear to my heart, and influence my writing as a composer.

You're only four years older than me. Open your mind. Not to that extent where you brain falls out of your cranium, but enough to soak up a more diverse range of music, both 'art' and popular (the line between which is getting blurrier every year).

You're confusing being dismissive with personal preference.

I have listened to post-tonal music, and I find it to be a real turn-off. The works of Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern, and others after them are made using math, not music theory, and my musical world revolves around tonality. Besides, I'm willing to bet that the music you listen to is tonal in and of itself. I can visualize the macro-tonal plans of music and hear the chord progressions and tonal harmony of even modern music. Everything old is new again, so goes the addage.

Your views seem rather close-minded and are more than a bit dismissive to a massive body of work out there today. Sure, not all music of the digital age are works of passion, but that wasn't necessarily the case in the past either (not every piece of classical music was written our of sheer passion as you put it).

Don't confuse my personal preferences with being dismissive. Besides, I'm sure there's music you find that you readily dismiss due to your upbringing and environment.

And I didn't say digital age works, I said "digital music" (e.g. dubstep, techno). I also didn't say that all classical music was made out of "sheer passion" (I just said "passion"). I said "almost always." Please don't misquote me. And I am very well aware of modern artists who write music out of passion and not just pa$$ion.

You maintain that you come from an objective standpoint, but it comes off as exactly the opposite. It's perfectly fine to have a preference geared towards classical music, but there is so much music being written out there now that are written from the heart of passionate musicians, and I'm not just referring to the concert hall, or the film score scene.

How my words come off to people is a matter of taste, and... well, de gustibus non est disputandum.

My conclusion and consequently my beliefs come from hours of research into the matter. It's not just a subjective opinion when I say that I found the popular music market to be both over-saturated and fragmented. Yes, the cream rises to the top, but considering the multiplying outlets of music distribution both in the world and online today, all music is born equal, even the subpar and forgettable ones. You can't dispute that.

The trick nowadays is to find the cream, and I always do that. Some cream that I've found and listen to:

http://thepianoguys.com/

http://www.gothic-storm.com/

http://www.thetrackteam.com/

I listen to classical music and am reluctant to try modern and digital music because of the career I plan to pursue: scoring for film, television, and video games. I have trained myself to be a composer in the classical style, so if I sound dismissive, it's because I've sorted my priorities for my future, and digital music isn't high on my list right now. I hope you can respect that and don't see as pretentious or dismissive.

Pretentious much?

Overly critical much? At least KK and Mr. Shark elaborated on their critique of my personal quote.

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You have hours of research into it. Fine. I have about 15 years. With all due respect, you do have some musical growth ahead of you. I know I had more than one period of thinking I had it all figured out. I really, really urge you to give ear to music that doesn't speak to you - especially that music. Taste and understanding don't always develop from one experience, one impression.

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I have listened to post-tonal music, and I find it to be a real turn-off. The works of Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern, and others after them are made using math, not music theory

Music theory is mathematics, as is the overtone series itself. Even though Schoenberg created dodecaphony as we know it, he rarely followed it religiously. He frequently broke his own rules, as did Berg and Webern. Ultimately they followed their ears, not blindly copying out their 12 matrices onto the score paper.

Besides, I'm willing to bet that the music you listen to is tonal in and of itself.

Bet on red if you like, but on an average week I might lesson to a bit of Roc Marciano, then a bit of Gerard Grisey, then some John Adams, mid period Scott Walker, one of McCoy Tyner's records, some Thomas Newman, Lalo Schifrin, one of Talk Talk's last three albums, some new critically acclaimed album, some underground grime, then some Bruckner, Stan Kenton, Stravinsky, Dutilleux, Palestrina, Sessions or Webern.

That's just a stream of consciousness rambling, but you get the picture.

I can visualize the macro-tonal plans of music and hear the chord progressions and tonal harmony of even modern music.

Visualise the chord progressions of this piece of contemporary music (composed in 2007).

Music starts at 3:25

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Pretentious much?

Overly critical much? At least KK and Mr. Shark elaborated on their critique of my personal quote.

I mean when you say stuff like this...

I listen to classical music and am reluctant to try modern and digital music because of the career I plan to pursue: scoring for film, television, and video games. I have trained myself to be a composer in the classical style, so if I sound dismissive, it's because I've sorted my priorities for my future, and digital music isn't high on my list right now. I hope you can respect that and don't see as pretentious or dismissive.

... there's no point in elaborating. News flash, essentially no one is going to want classical-style music for film, TV, or games. Hope you're willing to write in a style you know nothing about because they're gonna ask you for it.
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I think Koray means Classical as a period, not an overarching designation.

Listening to a bit of mnac87's music, reading his thoughts, and seeing his definition of the contemporary cream, it's clear that's where his heart is.

But Koray is right. You can not expect to have much success in scoring if you maintain that stylistic rigidity.

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I think Koray means Classical as a period, not an overarching designation.

Ah, that's where the confusion lies. I think Mikhail was using it for the Common Practice Period (which he extends to Stravinsky and Prokofiev, which is a pretty liberal definition of the term IYAM - if you recall Agon or the Requiem Canticles).

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