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What Karim meant, I guess, is when JW goes more heavily abstract-like to create a sort of suspended atmosphere through the usage of colours and textures produced by light instruments (like celeste, pi

This is what I took from the two examples offered too, though I admit I was also confused by the term "esoteric." It's definitely a JW style topic, with extremely characteristic orchestration, harmony

These are examples of what I think are very gorgeous though unusual cues in JW's scores which I struggle to define as anything other than being "ethereal".  They are usually transitional moments in th

Yeah, I love it when John digs deep like that, going beyond the surfacing meaning of a scene and filling up sometimes broad canvases with this sort of quietly mysterious style of writing. 

It's more than style, I think.  

I think Horner did some similar things, as in this choral portion he wrote for something of a transitory passage in An American Tail

 

 

 

And, I think much of his score to The Spitfire Grill is in this vein.  He did this thematically, where the melody for the mystery surrounding the forest hermit serves also as a spiritual call from nature to draw in the protagonist, something developed in this cue, which shares a bit of John's stylistic approach as well. 

 

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1 hour ago, karelm said:

Esoteric is generally defined as being somewhat spiritual or someone gaining wisdom through a spiritual or undefined personal transformative experience. 

 

I have to admit I'm having a hard time understanding your post, Karel, partially because I've never seen the word esoteric used in this way. 

 

To be clear, you're asking for examples of "spiritual" music?

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Ascetic, maybe?

 

Googling a bit looks like there is a term in spiritual study and philosophy called esotericism referring to acquired hidden knowledge and meaning (?) I guess that definition is similar to the word as we generally use it.

 

What an esoteric reference ;)

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I also have a hard time understanding 'esoteric' in this context. I've always taken it to mean more like 'obscure' or 'peculiar'.

 

But I've always loved what I call Williams' "religious sound", which is more like pastoral in nature. He has plenty of those tracks, and they are - in fact - my favourite sound of his, and one of the reasons he's my favourite composer. But that's probably not what you're asking for.

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The definition of esoteric i just googled is "understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest"

 

 

Don't really understand how that relates to the clips posted thus far :mellow:

 

I gather from discussion so far that it seems to be related to scoring emotions/realisations, over and above the basic scene setting. I'd love to hear the argument that says JW is the only composer in the world who does that....

 

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Yes, the use of the word is confusing, but I think Townerfan might be on to something in his interpretation. I used to really dislike these impressionistic things back in the day (HATED tracks like "Pete in Heaven", for example), but as I've grown older and (hopefully) wiser, I've come to really appreciate them.

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11 hours ago, Nick Parker said:

 

I have to admit I'm having a hard time understanding your post, Karel, partially because I've never seen the word esoteric used in this way. 

 

To be clear, you're asking for examples of "spiritual" music?

Well, it's not easy to define music in words.  I don't think spiritual quite captures the meaning because to me that would be more like that religioso ending of The Last Crusade.  How would you describe that music in my original post?  I don't think it's spiritual but it does have an introspective thoughtfulness to it and in some cases it bridges acts, like a passage of time where the character is deep in retrospective thoughts and on the verge of accepting or fulfilling their destiny.

9 hours ago, artguy360 said:

I loved Tom Hanks in Far and Away.

I know, right?  He's an excellent chameleon of an actor!  LOL, fixed.

2 hours ago, TownerFan said:

What Karim meant, I guess, is when JW goes more heavily abstract-like to create a sort of suspended atmosphere through the usage of colours and textures produced by light instruments (like celeste, piano, harp, high-pitched strings), usually enhanced by electronic timbres of the synthesizer. I think this could be totally defined as one of JW's own trope.

 

Several examples come to mind:

 

 

 

 

 

Listening to these, I realize that despite they're heavily textural in character, they're also very pianistic at their core. It's sort of JW's own take on impressionist-like writing. It would be interesting to investigate his process when writing these kind of cues.

Yes, awesome choices!  And I must confess...never heard Stepmom before!

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24 minutes ago, Naïve Old Fart said:

For "spiritual" JW, CADILLAC OF THE SKIES, is hard to beat.

For me, the ultimate "religious", with always be GLORIA.

 

Sure, I have LONG list of Williams tracks like that. But I feel that karelm's topic is a little bit beside that. I thought I had done an earlier thread on JW's religious/pastoral sound, but alas, I can't find it. Maybe it's time I start a new one.

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59 minutes ago, Edmilson said:

You Are the Pan would be a great candidate if by esoteric you mean religious and spiritual. It's the ultimate "He's the Chosen One" music Williams ever wrote. 

 

Again, that would be an example of the 'other type' I was talking about. But yes, great example of that.

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13 hours ago, Thor said:

I also have a hard time understanding 'esoteric' in this context. I've always taken it to mean more like 'obscure' or 'peculiar'.

 

But I've always loved what I call Williams' "religious sound", which is more like pastoral in nature. He has plenty of those tracks, and they are - in fact - my favourite sound of his, and one of the reasons he's my favourite composer. But that's probably not what you're asking for.

The best example of " religiosity in his music has to be the opening sequences of E.T. where the orchestra plays in unison

 

Amazing!

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10 hours ago, thx99 said:

This cue perhaps fits both definitions of "esoteric"...
 

 

Wow, that's a fascinating example from a score and film I know nothing about.  Thanks!

13 hours ago, TownerFan said:

Listening to these, I realize that despite they're heavily textural in character, they're also very pianistic at their core. It's sort of JW's own take on impressionist-like writing. It would be interesting to investigate his process when writing these kind of cues.

Yes, exactly!  To me, they even sound like maybe tuned percussion plus harp + celesta + piano in their instrumentation.  Very ambient, textural, and sort of hit "pause" on the story for the character to work something out.  It's a fascinating example of what makes JW unique.

9 hours ago, thx99 said:

This, too, from the small screen...

 

 

Very fine example!  I am finding I REALLY love this style of JW.  It's extremely impressionistic, I wish he would do something quite long in this style but your Amazing Stories example is so gorgeous!  I did something in this style in one of my own works.

8 hours ago, Nick Parker said:

So like this?

 

 

 

 

Last Saber Duel is my favorite instance of it. I love it when Williams gets whimsical. 

An interesting example.  I consider CEOTTK to be JW at his most transcendental (transcending from fear of the unknown to awe) and I'm sure I already made a thread about transcending cues of which the finale from this film is my #1. 

6 hours ago, Thor said:

 

Sure, I have LONG list of Williams tracks like that. But I feel that karelm's topic is a little bit beside that. I thought I had done an earlier thread on JW's religious/pastoral sound, but alas, I can't find it. Maybe it's time I start a new one.

A good idea for a thread if it doesn't yet exist but correct, mine isn't so much about religioso which lets agree JW excels at.  I'm sorry that esoteric is so difficult to define but people seem to get it and are offering fantastic examples of cues I've never heard of which reinforces my belief that JW is the best composer of esoteric cues but I'll leave it for someone else to define exactly what that means because I've tried repeatedly in this thread.  :)

6 hours ago, Edmilson said:

You Are the Pan would be a great candidate if by esoteric you mean religious and spiritual. It's the ultimate "He's the Chosen One" music Williams ever wrote. 

I know the cue, but is NOT what I'm referring to but is a gorgeous cue.  Mine is subtle and might not even be thematic (though in the Superman Fortress of Solitude example, motifs are heard on top of the esoteric style stuff). 

From the examples of this thread, I really believe this is a style JW is so excellent with and probably unparalleled.  I would like to put my finger on what is going on when he does this sort of thing but it is so difficult to even define this!  I really think this is part of his brilliance is that he can hit the pause button with cues like this and link it to the grandiose moments to follow.  Far and Away is a perfect example.  The big fanfares and brilliance we expect are very much reserved for the final 10 minutes.  Generally the same with E.T. (except for flying over the moon).  JW has a large scale sense of drama which is very rare.  Who else does this as well?  Zimmer not close.  Herrmann as brilliant as he was didn't do this.  Neither did Korngold nor Goldsmith nor Steiner. 

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Ce3k is so overrated!.

All those heavenly choirs and melodramatic strings that sound like Max Steiner!

It's a spaceship, not an MGM weepy.

I get the feeling JW dashed this score off in the short period of time he had between his masterful

SW and masterpiece SUPERMAN

 

In your heart you know I'm right

 

 

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10 hours ago, bruce marshall said:

Ce3k is so overrated!.

All those heavenly choirs and melodramatic strings that sound like Max Steiner!

It's a spaceship, not an MGM weepy.

I get the feeling JW dashed this score off in the short period of time he had between his masterful

SW and masterpiece SUPERMAN

 

In your heart you know I'm right

 

 

 

That's a rather bizarre description of CE3K. Not even sure we're talking about the same film. For 2/3rds of the film, it's pretty dark. There is nothing 'MGM weepy" about the spinechilling, Ligeti-like music for "Barry's Abduction", for example. Towards the end, it does indeed expand into more impressionistic territory, but it's more Debussy and Ravel than Max Steiner -- as the story warrants.

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I've said it before, CE3K is more than a film score, it is a philosophical symphonic statement by John, where he fully explores and fulfills the exploration of the power of myth through the synthesis of romantic and modern musical language that he outlined in the program notes of his Symphony.  

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3 hours ago, SteveMc said:

pathetic rowan atkinson GIF

Ahhh!😄

1 hour ago, SteveMc said:

I've said it before, CE3K is more than a film score, it is a philosophical symphonic statement by John, where he fully explores and fulfills the exploration of the power of myth through the synthesis of romantic and modern musical language that he outlined in the program notes of his Symphony.  

 

Screenshot_2020-06-19-21-17-26~3.png

1 hour ago, Thor said:

 

That's a rather bizarre description of CE3K. Not even sure we're talking about the same film. For 2/3rds of the film, it's pretty dark. There is nothing 'MGM weepy" about the spinechilling, Ligeti-like music for "Barry's Abduction", for example. Towards the end, it does indeed expand into more impressionistic territory, but it's more Debussy and Ravel than Max Steiner -- as the story warrants.

As the mothership departs the score is all wrong- it does sound like the hearts N flowers score of a Golden Age romance.

If anyone but JW wrote this you wouldn't even be discussing it.

 

IYHYKIR

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53 minutes ago, bruce marshall said:

Ahhh!😄

 

Screenshot_2020-06-19-21-17-26~3.png

As the mothership departs the score is all wrong- it does sound like the hearts N flowers score of a Golden Age romance.

Had CE3K come out BEFORE SW and anyone but JW composed the score, I doubt it would be discussed much.

It isn't even in the same universe as his awesome scores SW...SUPE...E.TM

 

IYHYKIR

 

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29 minutes ago, Nick Parker said:

Are you relying on 4KB floppy disks? 3 KB for a few pictures and the rest for your posts? Is that why they're almost identical and borderline incoherent? 

You're the expert on " floppy dicks"😝

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6 minutes ago, bruce marshall said:

You're the expert on " floppy dicks"😝

 

You give me too much credit, that field's too esoteric for my blood. I humbly defer to your expertise. ;)

 

I'll stop contaminating your thread, Karel.

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18 hours ago, Will said:

Great thread idea @karelm -- you're absolutely right that this is so difficult to put into words, but it's really something I've noticed and loved about JW's music for the least few years. These sorts of mystical, ethereal moments never fail to move me emotionally, even more so than his grand orchestral moments. Somehow this type of music seems to me to underscore the fragility, indeed the ephemeral nature, of time, and of moments in our lives (or those of the characters on screen). 

 

Although I think Williams is best at this, Horner is also brilliant at it (actually, perhaps even equal to JW), as @SteveMc notes above. This gorgeous cue from The New World is a great example (I wish we could hear it without the bird-chirping, although I suppose that adds to the effect):

 

 

Yes exactly!  This would have been so perfect without those sampled birds.  Gorgeous cue.

15 hours ago, bruce marshall said:

You're the expert on " floppy dicks"😝

Clearly no contribution to this thread and very stupid posts like this.

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On 7/4/2020 at 8:02 PM, Will said:

Great thread idea @karelm -- you're absolutely right that this is so difficult to put into words, but it's really something I've noticed and loved about JW's music for the least few years. These sorts of mystical, ethereal moments never fail to move me emotionally, even more so than his grand orchestral moments. Somehow this type of music seems to me to underscore the fragility, indeed the ephemeral nature, of time, and of moments in our lives (or those of the characters on screen). 

 

Although I think Williams is best at this, Horner is also brilliant at it (actually, perhaps even equal to JW), as @SteveMc notes above. This gorgeous cue from The New World is a great example (I wish we could hear it without the bird-chirping, although I suppose that adds to the effect):

 

 

 

That's absolutely lovely

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'Watching the Skies' - Close Encounters of the Third Kind

 

Could not find a clip of it on YouTube, seems like nobody has uploaded the complete LLL release.  So hopefully you have that release to listen to it.

 

That cue is the definition of 'too perfect for this world.'

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