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Brian Eno Hates John Williams


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Saying more with less is an incredibly difficult thing to do.

Maybe. Sometimes I think the listener fills in the gaps themselves, "saying more" than the little that was presented to them all on their own. Ambiguity tends to have that effect, and away from the pictures minimalistic music is never anything more than completely ambiguous. Which isn't really all that difficult to achieve. Given the simple tools one could quite easily mimic tonal lyricism, I've done it myself on a cheap keyboard. I possibly even feigned emotional reaction to it.

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One things for sure, he's no Eno Morricone! /coat

Sideways?

I like Eno's music, and what he did for both Roxy Music and U2, and he's perfectly entitled to his opinion, but I would have thought that, working in the same industry, he would have had a bit more respect for JW's professional position, even if he is not a fan of his output.

Does it bother me that an "artist" badmouths the composer of the best damn music that I have ever heard? I think you know the answer to that one...

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My initial reaction to seeing the title of this thread: "Who?"

My next reaction after beginning to read it and learned who Brian Eno was: "So?"

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I really like some of Brian Eno's stuff, and he was deeply involved with some of my all time favorite bands (Talking Heads) and some of my least favorite (Coldplay).

But I've had girlfriends my mother wasn't too keen on, it just happens

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I kinda like Eno's work. It's perfectly fine that he hates Williams' work although I find that a bit extreme, as though he had something to prove. It is a matter of taste.

When he adds that 'it's ruined many a good film, in my opinion' he becomes ridiculous.

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Scores like AI employ some mimimalist techniques.

MINORITY REPORT too.

Add Memoirs of a Geisha to the list. And you can hear subtler shades of those stylings over many of his scores in the decade.

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I kinda like Eno's work. It's perfectly fine that he hates Williams' work although I find that a bit extreme, as though he had something to prove. It is a matter of taste.

When he adds that 'it's ruined many a good film, in my opinion' he becomes ridiculous.

Agreed. I'd love to know his definition of "ruined".

I'd have no problem if Eno just said Williams is the anti-Eno. Fine, difference of style. But to say what he said in front of all those students and suggest that Williams ruined many good films, when JW branded the most famous film franchises in history and helped give the most successful director of all-time his identity, that's just stunning to me, and yes, smells of jealousy.

BTW Sharky I did listen to the Reich. It's quite good, and again I can be very fond of minimalist music. You don't have to sell me on it. I'm just saying that it does not demand anywhere near the skill level of Williams' writing. Put it this way. Could Williams compose that Reich piece? Probably. As some have mentioned, he has flirted with some minimalist techniques. But turn it around and ask could Reich (or Eno) write The Arrival of Think and Flight to Neverland? Hells no.

Someone earlier mentioned Less can be More. That can be true, but I'm talking pure chops here, not how it moves certain listeners. Some of Steve Roach's stuff I find exhilarating and it can "move" me even more than some Williams. Sure less can be more. But are the compositional demands anywhere near what is required in Williams' writing? Of course not.

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Chops, chops, chops. Did you read this post? What do you think about that?

I can't recall where it was but I'm sure many remember it so I don't have to actually cite it - Williams himself, among most other composers, seems to feel that melodic writing, which is simple, straightforward, and similar in scope to minimalism in general, is the hardest mode in which to compose.

To create sprawling tapestries of complex harmonies and rhythms and textures is a cakewalk: you're closer to the "edges" of musical expression there, and so you are in a way the tour guide for the listener, guiding them wherever you want through new and unexplored realms. But when you move back into simpler, known territory, suddenly there are expectations, and people understand the language much more. You have to think much, much harder to say something in that realm that resonates, that has meaning. Because you're not inventing the meaning. Things are already defined.

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But turn it around and ask could Reich (or Eno) write The Arrival of Tink and Flight to Neverland? Hells no.

Probably. It's far from the finest cue in Williams's ouvre, but is an effective pastiche of Stravinsky and Ravel in the 1910s. I'm sure Reich is familiar with the Firebird Suite and Le Valse, and could do write a similar cue in the same fin de siècle style. We are talking about a guy who went to Julliard and studied with Vincent Perisichetti, Darius Millaud and Luciano Motherfucking Berio who wrote the ultimate pastiche piece with his Sinfonia.

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Chops, chops, chops. Did you read this post? What do you think about that?

I can't recall where it was but I'm sure many remember it so I don't have to actually cite it - Williams himself, among most other composers, seems to feel that melodic writing, which is simple, straightforward, and similar in scope to minimalism in general, is the hardest mode in which to compose.

To create sprawling tapestries of complex harmonies and rhythms and textures is a cakewalk: you're closer to the "edges" of musical expression there, and so you are in a way the tour guide for the listener, guiding them wherever you want through new and unexplored realms. But when you move back into simpler, known territory, suddenly there are expectations, and people understand the language much more. You have to think much, much harder to say something in that realm that resonates, that has meaning. Because you're not inventing the meaning. Things are already defined.

Explain what you mean by melodic writing is similar to minimalism.

Like I alluded to earlier, Williams has always had a self-deprecating style to him, and he's always made it seem like what he does is no big deal, so I'm not surprised at anything he says that compliments another person or musical style. Not only does he never imply a single negative thing about anyone or any musical style, he lauds them. No matter how simple the music may be. He's just really gracious and respectful, of pretty much everything really. Shoot just a few weeks ago at the Art of the Film Composer talks in LA he was practically asking for Gustavo Santaolalla's autograph. Williams shows respect for everyone and everything, and in interviews he goes out of his way to make it sound like these musicians are all on the same level as himself. It's always been that way with him. He has the craziest modesty/ability ratio I've ever seen.

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But turn it around and ask could Reich (or Eno) write The Arrival of Tink and Flight to Neverland? Hells no.

Probably. It's far from the finest cue in Williams's ouvre, but is an effective pastiche of Stravinsky and Ravel in the 1910s. I'm sure Reich is familiar with the Firebird Suite and Le Valse, and could do write a similar cue in the same fin de siècle style. We are talking about a guy who went to Julliard and studied with Vincent Perisichetti, Darius Millaud and Luciano Motherfucking Berio who wrote the ultimate pastiche piece with his Sinfonia.

You think Reich could write the Arrival of Tink/Flight to Neverland? Lol... sorry, but I think you're very wrong on that. Either that, or Reich has hidden some truly remarkable talent to himself all this time.

And what does where they went to college have to do with it? Do you know how many people went to Juilliard?

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Sigh (Reprise)

Sorry I'm not giving you what you want to hear. But I'm happy to keep debating this. I'm just being honest. You asked this on a John Williams message board, what do you expect exactly? Maybe you'll get responses more to your liking on a Brian Eno board.

Also please explain what you mean by melodic writing is similar to minimalism.

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You think Reich could write the Arrival of Tink/Flight to Neverland? Lol... sorry, but I think you're very wrong on that. Either that, or Reich has hidden some truly remarkable talent to himself all this time.

Double lol if you think Arrival of Tink/Flight to Neverland is 'truly remarkable.' Who are you, Jeremy Soule?

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Sigh (Reprise)

Sorry I'm not giving you what you want to hear. But I'm happy to keep debating this. I'm just being honest. You asked this on a John Williams message board, what do you expect exactly? Maybe you'll get responses more to your liking on a Brian Eno board.

Also please explain what you mean by melodic writing is similar to minimalism.

All I'd like to hear is a well-reasoned opinion. I don't care whether or not it's in accordance with mine. Also, I didn't ask anything, so....

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Sigh (Reprise)

Sorry I'm not giving you what you want to hear. But I'm happy to keep debating this. I'm just being honest. You asked this on a John Williams message board, what do you expect exactly? Maybe you'll get responses more to your liking on a Brian Eno board.

Also please explain what you mean by melodic writing is similar to minimalism.

All I'd like to hear is a well-reasoned opinion. I don't care whether or not it's in accordance with mine. Also, I didn't ask anything, so....

Maybe it was a bit harsh, but I feel my opinion was well reasoned. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.

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Your opinion is well reasoned but ignorant.

Whatever you say, maestro.

Now, I don't think either Sharky or myself have said anything to precipitate that sort of snarky name-calling.

And calling someone's opinion ignorant is a compliment?

And Maestro is hardly snarky. Sheesh lots of sensitive people here.

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But the important question still goes unanswered: COULD STEVE REICH REALLY HAVE WRITTEN THE FLIGHT TO NEVERLAND? (i will add: Could Steve Reich really have written the Food Fight insert missing form the LLL release?...though we all kno the answer!)

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