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TownerFan

Rare Angela Morley interview (video)

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Conrad Pope made a similar point about the orchestration for John that he is more of a copyist than an orchestrator. Hopefully this will eventually slay the claims I have sometimes read about how important orchestrators are to John (and were to Jerry).

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Here? That had to have been awhile ago...or a shitpost since it’s been a meme here for years that Williams can’t orchestrate. 

 

That said I do still see that misconception floated around the interwebs by dilettantes so it’s always good to see the truth reiterated in these interviews.

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14 hours ago, mrbellamy said:

Here? That had to have been awhile ago...or a shitpost since it’s been a meme here for years that Williams can’t orchestrate. 

 

That said I do still see that misconception floated around the interwebs by dilettantes so it’s always good to see the truth reiterated in these interviews.

 

The problem of talking on this specific subject (i.e. what orchestrators do) is that people make assumptions based on scattered information they heard or read somewhere and suddenly pass them as undeniable truths, without actually knowing anything about how these things actually work. What an orchestrator does varies greatly from case to case. There isn't a rulebook about these things. Of course there are many stories about composers whistling stuff to arrangers, or scribbling a lead sheet and then leaving it all to their collaborators, but again a lot of that is usually stuff that's bloated out of proportion.

 

In the case of JW, I think Morley explains it very well and precisely in this video, right to the point of what is left to the orchestrator to figure out. The definition of the work being "score preparation" and not "orchestration" is probably the best summation you can get. She also went to explain the difference when JW asked her to actually arrange stuff (i.e. the source cues in Schindler's List and the carols in Home Alone 1 and 2).

 

Really, there is no hidden mystery or closely guarded secret about what orchestrators do for JW.

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Exactly @TownerFan. But still, not everyone is well informed and you’ll still hear somebody say every now and then, ‘Williams relies on orchestrators’, or even ‘Williams doesn’t write his own music’. I guess it happens when you’re as good as he is.

 

It’s also interesting to note that the assignment of woodwinds in tuttis is the single thing that orchestrators usually mention as being up to their discretion.

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On 7/22/2020 at 11:03 AM, TownerFan said:

 

The problem of talking on this specific subject (i.e. what orchestrators do) is that people make assumptions based on scattered information they heard or read somewhere and suddenly pass them as undeniable truths, without actually knowing anything about how these things actually work. What an orchestrator does varies greatly from case to case. There isn't a rulebook about these things. Of course there are many stories about composers whistling stuff to arrangers, or scribbling a lead sheet and then leaving it all to their collaborators, but again a lot of that is usually stuff that's bloated out of proportion.

 

In the case of JW, I think Morley explains it very well and precisely in this video, right to the point of what is left to the orchestrator to figure out. The definition of the work being "score preparation" and not "orchestration" is probably the best summation you can get. She also went to explain the difference when JW asked her to actually arrange stuff (i.e. the source cues in Schindler's List and the carols in Home Alone 1 and 2).

 

Really, there is no hidden mystery or closely guarded secret about what orchestrators do for JW.

 

My question is why, especially in the last 10 years, sometimes a project has credited orchestrators (e.g., William Ross on TFA and TROS) and sometimes there is none.  From my understanding, when there is no credited orchestrator, Williams hands his detailed short scores directly to JKMS to expand out into the parts and conductor's score, but when we are told that the credited orchestrators aren't doing anything more complicated than what a score preparer does, why sometimes use them and sometimes not?  How is what Mark Graham and his team at JKMS do on these projects functionally different from what a credited orchestrator does?

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