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The Force Awakens - Score Reactions from Reviews, etc


Lewya
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I love Across the Stars, Love Theme/The Arena, and Williams' music for the speeder chase at the beginning. More highlights there than in ROTS, at least for me.

Well, not for me! ROTS for the win!

You mean overall, or just specific cues?

I adore the Tintin score. And those two first tracks are treasures

I like the Tintin score as well. That first track demonstrates his background as a jazz musician.

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I love Across the Stars, Love Theme/The Arena, and Williams' music for the speeder chase at the beginning. More highlights there than in ROTS, at least for me.

Well, not for me! ROTS for the win!

You mean overall, or just specific cues?

Compared to AOTC, both!

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Okay, so that wasn't the advice you wanted.

But how will being sad help you?

It will temper my expectations so I'm not more sad after I see the film later...

So you're basically lowering your expectations to where you can take any disappointment that comes at you?

But at the same time, you'll have a much higher ceiling for your excitement.

Did I divine your intentions correctly?

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Okay, so that wasn't the advice you wanted.

But how will being sad help you?

It will temper my expectations so I'm not more sad after I see the film later...

So you're basically lowering your expectations to where you can take any disappointment that comes at you?

But at the same time, you'll have a much higher ceiling for your excitement.

Did I divine your intentions correctly?

yeah.

Looking on the bright side, I'll at least have a new okay Williams score to play video games to...

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Looking on the bright side, I'll at least have a new okay Williams score to play video games to...

Not if it sucks...

Well, let's hope it doesn't come to that.

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It doesn't suck. Far from it. It simply didn't live up to my expectations, thematically and structurally. I'm all prepared for re-evaluating (and hopefully liking) the score once the album is out. Maybe the film experience was totally misleading?

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Well, then you're an idiot!

I'm human. There's a difference.

There's no difference when it comes to synonyms.

Except "god" and "human" aren't synonyms.

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A film critic seem to think Williams is a lock for an Oscar nomination:

"After Dolby intros by Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger, who plunked down $4 billion to buy Lucasfilm because of the potential value of the "Star Wars" franchise, Disney studio head Alan Horn, and Lucasfilm chief and former Steven Spielberg producer Kathleen Kennedy, who recalled hiring 16-year-old J.J. Abrams to edit some Spielberg Super 8 films they had found, Abrams set up standing ovations for "Star Wars" creator George Lucas and 83-year-old composer John Williams, who scored all the "Star Wars" films (he won five times, including "Star Wars") and will surely land his 50th Oscar nomination for this one (he already holds the record as the most nominated person ever). Other Oscar prospects? Visual Effects, I'd say."

http://blogs.indiewire.com/thompsononhollywood/inside-star-wars-the-force-awakens-premiere-20151215

Wrong on the "ever" note though, that would be Disney, should be living not ever.

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The problem is that JW has set the bar so high, I can't remember the last time I was blown away by anything he's written (maybe Buckbeak's Flight?). But I just excited to hear new JW Star Wars music, I never thought this would happen.

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The problem is that JW has set the bar so high, I can't remember the last time I was blown away by anything he's written (maybe Buckbeak's Flight?). But I just excited to hear new JW Star Wars music, I never thought this would happen.

If bars couldn't be set so high, what drives humanity to do better?

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The problem is that JW has set the bar so high, I can't remember the last time I was blown away by anything he's written (maybe Buckbeak's Flight?). But I just excited to hear new JW Star Wars music, I never thought this would happen.

I could have written that myself.

Amistad the movie didn't do anything for me but that music - divine.

It's a decent film and a very good score.

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I'm sad now.

ANH was before Williams truly found his footing, and TFA was after Williams truly lost it.

I think ANH is one of the top of the Star Wars soundtracks, it has a more symphonic feel to me. Prequel trilogies are forgettable to me and the music came off to me as overproduced especially the action pieces.

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I'm sad now.

ANH was before Williams truly found his footing, and TFA was after Williams truly lost it.

I think ANH is one of the top of the Star Wars soundtracks, it has a more symphonic feel to me. Prequel trilogies are forgettable to me and the music came off to me as overproduced especially the action pieces.

I sort of feel you on this.

The greatest thing about Williams's output in film is that it doesn't seem like film music; it's allowed to breathe and take its time and develop. That isn't to say other composers didn't (Goldsmith, Herrmann, Rozsa especially) but the nature of film often abuses music and chips away at it and really doesn't do it justice (see: How Ridley Scott treated Jerry's music on Alien).

But somehow Johnny's seems to thrive and sound more like concert work that just happens to work in a film instead of the other way around. Something about his approach changed around the first Harry Potter or The Patriot where he stopped writing so "broadly" and started writing "to the edits", which I imagine is why we have over two dozen short cues on this new album, which, though will certainly have IMMENSE quality to them, will lack that wide sweep of "scenery meets music" that even the prequels had.

The days of a Star Wars film having a cue like "Binary Sunset" are over, I'm afraid.

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The problem is that JW has set the bar so high, I can't remember the last time I was blown away by anything he's written (maybe Buckbeak's Flight?). But I just excited to hear new JW Star Wars music, I never thought this would happen.

The great stuff comes in little moments now, I would say. It's hard for an entire piece or score to make me think "WOW!" against his highest standard, but there are moments in all his recent scores where I just have to smile. That cool bass clarinet/harpsichord riff at the beginning of "The Adventures of Tintin," the crazy piano bouncing around in "Snowy's Theme," the multiple false endings of "The Adventure Continues," little dramatic moments like the Homecoming theme on solo piano with Albert/Joey silhouetted against the sunset or the slow pull-back of Abe Lincoln reading to his son with that beautiful melody on oboe. Stuff like that still makes it all worth it.

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The problem is that JW has set the bar so high, I can't remember the last time I was blown away by anything he's written (maybe Buckbeak's Flight?). But I just excited to hear new JW Star Wars music, I never thought this would happen.

The great stuff comes in little moments now, I would say. It's hard for an entire piece or score to make me think "WOW!" against his highest standard, but there are moments in all his recent scores where I just have to smile. That cool bass clarinet/harpsichord riff at the beginning of "The Adventures of Tintin," the crazy piano bouncing around in "Snowy's Theme," the multiple false endings of "The Adventure Continues," little dramatic moments like the Homecoming theme on solo piano with Albert/Joey silhouetted against the sunset or the slow pull-back of Abe Lincoln reading to his son with that beautiful melody on oboe. Stuff like that still makes it all worth it.

And I believe that it's ideal that the great stuff comes in little moments. Seriously, there is such a thing as musical acclimation. Regardless of mastery, how long can a composer hold an audience's plateau of excitement over the course of an entire work?

And you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned those musical moments in Tintin and Lincoln (i.e. the instrumental riffs, the false cadences, the instrumental solos, etc.), but that's the average take-away from a musical score by any given audience member: pockets of excitement. It's one thing to say "Oh, I loved that warm french horn solo" or "That string harmony in the first movement was just mesmerizing", but when was the last time you genuinely loved every minute and every note of an entire score?

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If bars are set too high, musicians won't be able to read them.

Those would be ledger lines.

So we'd better transpose our bars, or use a different clef.

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If bars are set too high, musicians won't be able to read them.

Those would be ledger lines.

So we'd better transpose our bars, or use a different clef.

A simple 8va or 15ma would do. ^_^

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