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New James Newton Howard Interview

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Greetings friends!

Just wanted to share an extended interview (really more of a chat) I did with one of my favorite composers, James Newton Howard.

It's the first interview I've ever done, not to mention, it's with one of my heroes, so I'm pretty jittery, repetitive and, in every way, shape, and form, NOT the most interesting aspect of this 26 minutes. But alas, as expected, he manages to shine through that and the very standard line of questions I throw at him (this was actually conducted for another project I was doing, hence the generalized questions) and give a very intriguing, illuminating interview!

One thing: I have to apologize in advance for the sound quality. I've found that cranking up the volume and donning a pair of headphones mostly does the trick, but the software I was using had some trouble and I had to record the whole thing instead with speaker phone and an Olympus LS-100. Not ideal.

For anyone particular interested in "Maleficent", he mentions it a few times and notes that it's probably his favorite of his own scores, but the main discussion of it happens around 22:09. It's very apparent that this is the first time since the completion of the score that he's gotten the chance to talk about it.

I hope you guys can glean something of interest from this!

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JNH is a very eloquent and articulate composer and your discussion is extremely interesting. I don't think I have ever heard him talk about his early years like he does here. A terrific interview John! :)

And nice to hear he shows some love to John Williams as well.

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One of the better interviews (and come to think of it, I'm not sure I've heard him talk in so much detail about how he got started in music).

At least Howard doesn't have an equivalent of 'what's it like working with Spielberg?' yet :)

I'm cautiously optimistic about Maleficent. The action music will probably suck (haven't really heard a truly great action cue from him in over 5 years) but his melodic side is always to look forward to. Plus, 18 months on one score is a long time (on-and-off I guess, as he had to write Catching Fire at some point).

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No love for The Last Airbender? His last great score, in my opinion.

It's a shame The Hunger Games turned out to be this hugely popular teen blockbuster thing. His first sequel/trilogy and he wasn't able to go all out on it.

Nah, for me, Airbender meanders a bit between slightly boring, and his new RCP-tinted action music.

Hunger Games had interesting material, but especially in the second one, he wasn't able to flesh out his more interesting ideas.

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It's a shame The Hunger Games turned out to be this hugely popular teen blockbuster thing. His first sequel/trilogy and he wasn't able to go all out on it.

What do you mean?

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