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Far and Away (2-CD set) - 2020 La-la Land Records


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Hey Guys,    I just checked on good old Mike Matessino during this global pandemic crisis and inquired about his well being. He indicated that I should pass on the message that he is all wel

There it is, guys:   NEW PODCAST EPISODE! - Guest host Tim Burden presents an exclusive interview with Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains about his work and collaboration with John Willi

The little video with Tim Burden is great, it'd be nice to do that for the future releases as well!  

20 hours ago, Amer said:

Hey Guys, 

 

I just checked on good old Mike Matessino during this global pandemic crisis and inquired about his well being. He indicated that I should pass on the message that he is all well in case any one wants to know:

 

All is perfectly fine with me. I'm doing my best to keep things moving to the extent that it's possible and taking things one day at a time. Hope you're doing okay over there too! - Mike Matessino 

 

 

 

 

 

Now would be the perfect time for an interview with Mike. We need a thread where members can post questions to him!

 

 

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2 hours ago, bollemanneke said:

Listened to first half of disc 1. The sound quality is absolutely amazing. I can see why Running Away went unused, though, and Am I Beautiful really grew on me.

 

 Yeah! Am I Beautiful is a nice one. Pretty unique among the rest of the score as well.

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I finally got my copy! :)

 

Needles to say I love this score. Can't wait to dig into all the unreleased bits!

 

 

And btw I noticed a small factual error in the liner notes. Yo-Yo Ma didn't appear on the Angela's Ashes soundtrack as the notes claim (a frequent studio player Steve Erdody performed the cello solos on that score) but he did later perform a suite from the score with Frank McCourt narrating live in a Boston Pops concert.

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59 minutes ago, Incanus said:

I finally got my copy! :)

 

Needles to say I love this score. Can't wait to dig into all the unreleased bits!

 

 

And btw I noticed a small factual error in the liner notes. Yo-Yo Ma didn't appear on the Angela's Ashes soundtrack as the notes claim (a frequent studio player Steve Erdody performed the cello solos on that score) but he did later perform a suite from the score with Frank McCourt narrating live in a Boston Pops concert.

Yeah, I think Croc brought that up as well.

On 3/18/2020 at 4:12 PM, crocodile said:

The booklet mentions Yo-Yo ma played on Angela's Ashes... Is this correct? I thought it was Steve Erdody.

 

 

 

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Forgive me if I missed this in the thread but I didn't catch it while going through. 

 

On some of these releases they have a "technical note" from Matessino where they mention the source that was used for the restoration. In this case I didn't see anything in my quick run through the booklet or this thread. Anyone have any info the source used here? Thanks!

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That information is not in the booklet and hasn't been posted in any forums that I've seen either

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On 3/18/2020 at 9:12 PM, crocodile said:

The booklet mentions Yo-Yo ma played on Angela's Ashes... Is this correct? I thought it was Steve Erdody.

 

 

Actually, it's Yo-Yo Ma playing Steve Erdody playing Angela's Ashes.

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While Yo-Yo Ma worked extensively with Williams in this period, both in scores and concert pieces (I sometimes call it JW's cello/Yo-Yo Ma period), he did not work on ANGELA'S ASHES, that's true. So I guess in one way I can understand the confusion in the liner notes, but fact-checking is crucial!

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21 hours ago, Jay said:

That information is not in the booklet and hasn't been posted in any forums that I've seen either

I'm really curious about this one, looking at the spectrograms, it seems to be sourced from digital masters, but it sounds different from the OST..

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16 hours ago, Chewy said:

I'm really curious about this one, looking at the spectrograms, it seems to be sourced from digital masters, but it sounds different from the OST..

 

Possibly just the existing digital master from the early 90s then, like Schindler's List?

 

Would explain why there's been no clarification about the masters used (or any mention of new scans/remastering).

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3 hours ago, bollemanneke said:

We really need a new in-depth series of interviews with MM.

 

It does feel like Mike's been a bit absent lately but maybe we just became spoiled with all those podcasts around Superman's release :lol:

 

But he's such a great speaker and all his podcasts are so interesting. I could happily listen to him discuss scores he has no involvement in expanding, he's clearly that passionate for the genre. If nothing else, would be great to hear what he's up to while in isolation (hopefully he's able to keep working, but more importantly he's healthy and all is well).

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Regarding the topic of this thread, I never quite warmed to this score and have not listend to it a long time, except the Mutter piece. So  I just finished listening to the excellent Podcast „The Baton“ episode on Far an Away to see if I see it now differently. The problem for me is as in many of WIlliams scores of those years an excessive unnecessary use of electronics which for me cheapen the experience. I mean it is good to experient with electronics, and sometimes the result are great, as in the Witches of eastwick, but in Far and Away i find them simply wrong. Moreso, they could have very simply be replaced by real instrument, they do not add anything that could not have been achieved by the orchestra. Sometime I am even not sure if I am hearing a pan flute or an electronic imitation of it. 

 

Unfortunately this spoils a good part of the score for me. A pity since there are some really great tracks in it like blowing of steam, or the Land race.

 

Ah yes, and the dear Chieftains... How should I put it politely. They surely add some flavor to the music, but I find their crude intonation so jarring that my ears start hurting after some time. So this is another detriment to this score. 

 

Regarding this I have a honest question to all those that could already listen to the score: Does the expanded version offer substantial additional tracks in the „classic John Willams, not-electronic and not-Chieftainy“ vain? Than I might be tempted to buy it. Thanks for all input!

 

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2 hours ago, Gurkensalat said:

Ah yes, and the dear Chieftains... How should I put it politely. They surely add some flavor to the music, but I find their crude intonation so jarring that my ears start hurting after some time. So this is another detriment to this score. 

 

I find them overbearing too. I don't particularly like the Water Horse Suite, which is the other (sort of) recent film they contributed to.

 

The only tracks I ever really liked from Far And Away are the opening track and The Land Race. I've never see the film though, so I've never had any sort of attachment.

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I never really listened much to Far and Away so I'm not dreadfully familiar and especially don't know what was absent from the OST, and I may not still, but I was very pleased with this album. 

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7 hours ago, Gurkensalat said:

So I just finished listening to the excellent Podcast „The Baton“ episode on Far an Away to see if I see it now differently.

 

Does The Baton play full uninterrupted cues or do they waffle on top of the music?

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I received the CD, it's a great release. Regarding the score, it's a shame the 'Ireland' theme in the opening track is used only twice, but I've always liked the Irish flavour to the score.

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22 hours ago, Gurkensalat said:

Sometime I am even not sure if I am hearing a pan flute or an electronic imitation of it. 

Then....what is the problem?

 

If the electronic instrument sounds exactly the same as the real instrument why does it cheapen the sound of the music? Its unnecessary of course...but it does not ruin the composition.

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7 minutes ago, Luke Skywalker said:

Then....what is the problem?

 

If the electronic instrument sounds exactly the same as the real instrument why does it cheapen the sound of the music? Its unnecessary of course...but it does not ruin the composition.

 

The problem is, that it sounds electronic and cheap, but might still be a real instruments recorded with a lot of processing like artificial reverb that makes it difficult to determine. You know the kind of background music they play in wellness/spa places? I am very reminded of that here.

The worst example of this butchering of music of course is that horrible Enya thing at the end (I know, not by JW), where I assume that there might be a human voice somewhere buried, but it is not recognizable any more.

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Another round of first listen (well, third) thoughts!

 

 

I like the cover. Booklet looks great. Notes are nothing special, some quotes are interesting (though I've heard a couple in the Legacy of JW episode already), Mike sneakily sidesteps that it was a critical and box office disappointment, but I didn't know it launched a film restoration/rerelease wave by having been shot and released in 65mm. Weird how he recaps redos and Angela's Ashes and stuff but doesn't mention Williams reusing the Land Race motif in Unfinished Journey.

 

Nice moody opening. I've gotten to the point where I can almost withstand this goddamn panflute.

 

Fighting Donnellys: fun.

 

The whole Ireland section is pretty moody on average. Nice way to contrast the uplifting bombast at the end and give it all an arc.

 

Leaving Home: I must have at least 5 tracks with this name by now. I should hold a Leaving Homeathon. Does the rights thing where stuff have to be named (film version) if they differ from the OST track that was already named that even if no other version is included, for the good of the Mighty Catalogue, only apply to tracks in one score? Is there no such confusion when there are 20 Leaving Homes and 90 The Hunts across multiple scores?

 

The Barn/Running Away: lovely.

 

Duel Scene: great explosion of joy to propel the mood upwards, This is my Destiny plays it off nicely.

 

Burning the Manor House certainly made me feel my hairs sticking up and shivers running here and there.

 

Am I Beautiful?: yes you are, you lovely little cue, you.

 

Blowing Off Steam: I gotta say I prefer the Mutter version's slower tempo and more development, but the whistles in the latter half here are a nice fun layer. Still a great setpiece in pair with Fighting for Dough.

 

My Own Man: love the harp at the end.

 

Into the Bath: nice introduction to a motif that'll get more fleshed out in a moment.

 

Big Match: Good middle setpiece. With the uilleans earlier and the synth choir around here, I'm really feeling in a proto-Titanic.

 

And darkness comes back with Banished so it can appropriately frame Inside the Mansion with Shannon is Shot so it can stand out and shine appropriately, being Tree For My Bed-y.

 

Speaking of which, Shannon is Shot is an amazing transitionary cue.

 

As is Joseph's Dream.

 

The Horseshoe isn't bad, it just doesn't really seem to have a good place here.

 

The Reunion's great, especially how it's not quite allowed to resolve satisfactorily, it's not the final word on the subject.

 

Oklahoma Territory's damn fun.

 

The Land Race would be great on its own, but made a couple times better by the fact that it's the first true big loud consistent full orchestral cue of the score and shows new big fitting developments of earlier motifs. My favourite section now is probably 2:24-3:37.

 

Poor Race to the River just stands here on its own not quite knowing where to belong or why it got left here in its own track or why it even exists and what it adds.

 

Settling with Stephen and Joseph and Shannon has great ultimate developments and a killer finale. End Credits is a fantastic recap.

 

Alts:

Joe Sr is pretty much just the end cut off, right? Next.

Barn: different take with slightly different timing. Next.

My Own Man: different take. Next.

Big Match: Ooh, something different, if only just the opening! And pretty significantly so. Heavily prefer the main program version.

Oklahoma territory too! Again definitely prefer the main one with the motif being there more.

Land Race: Oh yeah, that different orchestration. Not BOOM-tss enough. Next.

Joseph and Shanon: No ominous drums. Next.

End Credits: Tempo/mix differences. Next.

Unexpected EOF. Oh.

 

's good! I like it.

 

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Liner notes: There's something about the way MM writes I really like, even though I can't quite say what it is. He did overdo the historical context thing in the HP booklets, but other than that, it always feels like a supplement to the music instead of a text.

 

Blowing off steam: the Mutter version had been great had he not omitted the America theme. Her energy in that piece is so brilliant.

 

Horse shoe: Shh, it's chronological. Don't go there.

 

Source music: Please don't make me the only person who's missing it.

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8 minutes ago, bollemanneke said:

Horse shoe: Shh, it's chronological. Don't go there.

Hey, Mike's done great in the past already with odd small cues like this, remember Grave Trampling and The Asylum?

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I guess it was deemed an unnecessary effort when the finalised very good mixes also existed already in high enough resolution. The tapes are fortunately archived, the release sounds great, Mike didn't overwork himself unnecessarily. more time to work on SW and Indy and Hook

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