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The Force Awakens SCORE Discussion (Film Spoilers Allowed)

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it doesnt sound beter than TPMs.

 

but Yes, preferable than having a reused recording

 

But it sounds like Shadows of the empire, Star wars trilogy, prague, boston pops and many other performances not by the LSO. The brass is not the same.

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20 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

No I don't. Please enlighten me.

 

Oh come on man ...the 'enlighten me' challenge, really? I'll give that a miss thanks.

Well if you prefer Ron Jeremy to Lex Steele, that's your prerogative.

 

10 hours ago, Taikomochi said:

After seeing the film again today, I have decided that the tracking in of "Burning Homestead" was a very bad decision artistically.  A lot of fans seem to like it, but to me, it almost seemed like self parody.  It reminded me of when Tarantino used old Morricone scores in Kill Bill, in which part of the humor is how out of place the music is, played for irony.  I don't think that is the experience the film makers wanted to create, but that bit of tracked music is sorely out of place with the rest of Williams' writing.  Even the recording quality, under all the sound effects, sounds starkly different from the rest of the score.  It hugely took me out of that moment of the film.

 

I agree, that's exactly what it felt like! Totally inappropriate ...it felt like a quick poke in the eye and completely pulled me out of the moment.

Maybe I overestimate how popular that version is among SW fans but in my opinion at that point in the movie her character felt undeserving of that particular variation.

I'm sure we all have different interpretations of that cue but whatever JJ was going for by tracking it in didn't work at all for me.

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7 minutes ago, TownerFan said:

Sorry if this has been already posted somewhere else, but I think it's pretty interesting stuff:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlWC2KWtjJc

 

Yeah, it's great ...it's from here in case you're interested -

http://vi-control.net/community/threads/nerd-alert-is-john-williams-spoiling-things-in-tfa-soundtrack.50679/

 

Ivan is a good friend and also a great composer in his own right.

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I didn't have a problem with the "Burning Homestead" cue at all. It was a great nostalgic moment for me.  I was happy that the score finally gave us something familiar other than the Rebel fanfares. 

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I paid specific attention to the music in that scene when I saw the movie for the second time (Saturday), and I was happy enough with that scoring/tracking.

 

I also think it's pretty clear that Rey is Skywalker offspring of some sort (cousin or younger sister to Kylo).  Han definitely knows more about Rey than we've seen, and Kylo Ren seems to as well.  There was a time after Episode I and even Episode II when Internet People(TM) swore that Senator Palpatine would not become the Emperor, and that there must be some sort of twist.  I think after this trilogy is completed, just like the grasping-at-straws Palpatine thing, we'll look back and see Rey's lineage as a natural plot development and not some sort of grand revelation.

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11 minutes ago, BloodBoal said:

To me, it doesn't necessarily means she's Vader's granddaughter, rather a hint that she could turn to the Dark Side in Episode VIII/IX.

 

Sure. What I find interesting and once again revealing is how Williams really thinks as a true composer and how he is always able to translate narrative/dramatic concepts into pure musical ideas that make total sense and fit perfectly into the overall thematic vocabulary of the series. In this sense, this score is really a continuation of what he did in the previous six films. He picked up the pencil where he left it in 2005 and added another beautiful paragraph.

 

It's this kind of musical thought he always uses that puts him way above any other contemporary film composer.

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13 hours ago, Taikomochi said:

I mean, I understand why, but it was a cheap move and betrayed the tone of the film.  I think it will satisfy hyped fanboys on first viewing, but I think it will date badly, which is a concern, given the timeless quality of the original trilogy.  At least when the prequels used tracked music, they pulled from their own trilogy, so it didn't sound completely out of place.

 

Are we forgetting that the OT had tracking between films as well? I'll grant you that there wasn't a 40 year gap between when the music was recorded and when it ended up getting re-used, but it was still there and I don't feel it makes the films any less "timeless."

 

5 hours ago, Luke Skywalker said:

Anybody also thinking that when JJ listened to the new recording of the main title he should have siad , sorry John, William ross has to go to london and record this with the LSO.

 

The main score is OK, but the main title is so 'pedestrian'...

 

The raiders march in KOTCS sounded really good with the same orchestra...i dont know what happened here.

 

That's funny, I'm the opposite. Don't like the KOTCS Raiders March much. LOVE the new recording of the Star Wars Main Title!

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3 minutes ago, Alex said:

Stumbled across this

It really demonstrates the complexity of JW's writing

The Falcon is in TFA.  Damn, I really need to avoid these spoiler threads.

 

And, yes, the Williams piece is very good.  

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4 hours ago, Alex said:

Stumbled across this

It really demonstrates the complexity of JW's writing

 

Good lord. I hope this was made from a score reduction, because if that guy or gal has ears good enough to transcribe that AND the chops to play it... I need to be buying their records.

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Interesting anecdote about the TFA sessions from the principal French Horn player on both TFA and TLJ (and presumably TROS, though no musicians are confirmed except Don at this point).

 

 

So it seems The Jedi Steps did have minor revisions later in TFA's scoring sessions, but they might have been subtle orchestrational changes rather than outright revisions. It seems the French Horn solo was always there, however.

 

Only skimmed through the interview but he discusses the process around getting hired for Star Wars (apparently they just get an email and a huge list of recording dates), also how early he gets sheet music for Williams scores (a few days in advance to practice).

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Something interesting I just noticed...it seems Bill Ross did some actual writing for TFA. Take a look at this glimpse of a cue from one of the behind-the-scenes videos. This seems to be the slightly different version of Kylo Ren's arrival on Takodana heard in the film.

 

5M44_[alternate]_2.png

 

I hadn't looked too closely at this until now and I'm realizing the handwriting perfectly matches this bit of a COS sketch that was evidently in Bill's hand.

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59 minutes ago, Datameister said:

Something interesting I just noticed...it seems Bill Ross did some actual writing for TFA. Take a look at this glimpse of a cue from one of the behind-the-scenes videos. This seems to be the slightly different version of Kylo Ren's arrival on Takodana heard in the film.

 

5M44_[alternate]_2.png

 

I hadn't looked too closely at this until now and I'm realizing the handwriting perfectly matches this bit of a COS sketch that was evidently in Bill's hand.

 

 

Hmmm...assuming this is true, maybe he was brought on to potentially adapt some cues to the constantly in-flux cuts? Especially if Williams' surgery was around that time.

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Well he is the only one credited as ‘orchestrator’ for TFA. Which is a bit of a strange thing since Williams doesn’t really use orchestrators anymore and instead gives his sketches directly to jkms.

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Couldn't it just be JW's music with handwritten notes made by Bill after Williams has instructed him on how he wants the piece conducted? Like maybe JW wrote the insert in a rush and didn't have time to add those notes himself, so just told them to Bill on the stage? Just a thought.

 

Or does the notation itself resemble Bill's work rather than JW's? I can't really tell the difference.

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3 hours ago, Modest Expectations said:

Williams doesn't use orchestrators anymore?

 

Since at least Lincoln, Williams has not worked with orchestrators, he sends his short scores directly to JoAnn Kane and they expand them out into the conductor's score/parts.

 

See this interview from 2017 with Mark Graham from JKMS:

Quote

 

Can you describe your workflow on these films?

 

John William writes very detailed handwritten sketches. On the prequels, these sketches went to orchestrators. The orchestrators would write pencil scores and we would copy parts into Finale.

 

But for the past six or seven years, John has just sent the sketches directly to us. We put them straight into Finale. I’ve kind of edited them, checked them out myself, and then we’ve used them at the stage for recording.

 

https://www.finalemusic.com/blog/may-the-fourth-spotlight-on-joann-kane-music/

 

From interviews with orchestrators he has worked with, their job was usually working as glorified copyists anyway.

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Thanks. 

48 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

From interviews with orchestrators he has worked with, their job was usually working as glorified copyists anyway.

That I know, but what about the other 1%? What about those decisions how to split winds and brass, etc.? Does Williams now have the time to do everything on his own?

 

Edit: "The only thing I would say that we sometimes have to deal with is the woodwinds, in term of assigning particular instruments. Often I have to make a decision on instruments to cue in case he might want more sound in a particular place".

 

No more questions. Williams cut the middle-men, and now JK are his "orchestrators".

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I would guess his written scores are very detailed in that regard, explaining what he wants to happen.

 

Or yeah, he just has the time to do it all properly. He has waxed lyrical about his "luxurious" scoring schedule for the new Star Wars films. Considering he started the current score in March/April and he's still writing in November, that's a pretty generous length of time (even for 2.5-3 hours of music).

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As far as I understand it, deciphering the sketches properly just requires somebody who’s familiar with both the orchestra and Williams’s general preferences. Mark Graham and William Ross obviously know what’s up.  

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5 hours ago, crumbs said:

Couldn't it just be JW's music with handwritten notes made by Bill after Williams has instructed him on how he wants the piece conducted? Like maybe JW wrote the insert in a rush and didn't have time to add those notes himself, so just told them to Bill on the stage? Just a thought.

 

Or does the notation itself resemble Bill's work rather than JW's? I can't really tell the difference.

 

It looks to me as though the entire thing is written in Bill's hand, not John's.

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Here’s some comments by Conrad Pope from a fb post from 2015:

 

Quote

No, not at all, David. John did everything himself with assistance from Bill Ross. As I've often said, a "copyist" could do this work and so they did. With FINALE available and a red pen-- a composer who knows what they want can do "it all" themselves--- if they know what to to do. This is how I've worked myself in FINALE for some 23 years. Others "input" and I "interpret" --- by hand, with a red pen. Bravo to all at JoAnn Kane Music Service--- it's still a big job!

 

Quote

John Williams! The copyists made the scores and, I understand Bill Ross contributed.  John had time to finesse things is my understanding. Mind you there is an LOT of music that is not on the cd. The credits read orchestrations by John Williams and William Ross!

 

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5 hours ago, Datameister said:

 

It looks to me as though the entire thing is written in Bill's hand, not John's.

 

Ah interesting, well spotted. So this cue is the revised Kylo Ren Arrives at the Battle insert? Interesting that JW is actually shown conducting that revision in one of the featurettes Disney released. Maybe JW was too busy with other rewrites to do this short insert (which is really just a variation on his original version) so he delegated some of those things to Bill? It's a great revision, no doubt.

 

 

 

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My guess is that Williams wrote some new bars alternated with references to his original version of the cue, and Ross just wrote a conductor’s score out of that.

 

The end credits of ROTS look like that: almost 12 minutes but it’s all on one single page.

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On 11/17/2019 at 3:31 PM, Datameister said:

It looks to me as though the entire thing is written in Bill's hand, not John's.

 

Definitely Bill Ross' notation there - a snippet from The Mummy Returns for comparison...

 

image.png

 

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