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New interview with John Williams in The Times


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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/interview-john-williams-at-89-the-man-behind-the-best-and-most-hummable-film-scores-6z32zqz3h   Interview: John Williams at 89, the man behind the best (an

Amazing

That's the last time I get my insider news from Harry Potter fan sites!

36 minutes ago, Lewya said:

John Williams at 89

 

So he's lying about his age now?

 

36 minutes ago, Lewya said:

I had never conducted publicly in Europe before

 

John, UK didn't leave Europe, only the EU. Confusing, I know.

 

36 minutes ago, Lewya said:

And I never really intended to. It always seemed a long way from California. When this invitation came, however

 

It's not any longer than to the UK...

 

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Just now, Edmilson said:

 

Indeed. I wish to love my job as much as Williams loves writing music.

 

Then you should start writing great music. ;)

3 hours ago, Lewya said:

He’s not so far away from his tenth decade. Does he ever contemplate hanging up his quill? “Never,” he says. “I will press on. Music isn’t a profession. It’s my oxygen. Take that away and I’d really be in trouble.”

 

Did JW just admit that he composes instead of breathing oxygen? He's more machine than man!

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2 hours ago, Jurassic Shark said:

 

 

 

Did W just admit that he composes instead of breathing oxygen? He's more machine than man!

Maybe he bought  one of those precious ventilators on the dark web😝

2 hours ago, Tom said:

 

 

How much do film directors help or hinder the process? Another knowing chuckle down the line. “Directors will always talk about what .... But usually when I get to the piano and start to work, those ideas are pretty much gone.

Pheh!

Morricone doesn't need to sit down at a piano to compose.

He just needs staff paper; like any REAL composer!😔😜

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14 minutes ago, bruce marshall said:

Morricone doesn't need to sit down at a piano to compose.

He just needs staff paper; like any REAL composer!😔😜

 

Quote

„What’s the advantage of composing at the piano or not? It’s a musical crutch; some composers need it more than the others. Stravinsky does, he likes to be in touch with the sound. Ravel also did. Wagner and [Richard] Strauss didn’t”---Bernard Herrmann, 26.09.1970

 

Quote

"My room that I'm moving to is being prepared—I'm just off now to hire a keyboard, because I can't live there until that's been delivered, especially as I've got to write just now, and there isn't a minute to be lost."---Wolfgang Mozart, 01.08.1781

 

Yeah.

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Sounds like Williams expressing more opinions and tidbits about working relationships than usual, although of course still in his utterly diplomatic style.

 

He's never that candid in video/audio interviews. Must be something about text interviews which make him more open,

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7 hours ago, Lewya said:

With most work in Hollywood suspended during the pandemic, Williams might be forgiven for taking a well-earned break from composition. Not a bit of it. He’s spending his time finishing a violin concerto for Anne-Sophie Mutter, who also features in the Vienna concert playing virtuoso arrangements of his soundtracks (“Harry Potter meets Paganini,” Williams quips). Astonishingly, it will be the 19th concerto or quasi-concerto he has written for the concert hall.

 

If I'm reading that quote correctly as what we can expect from the concerto, this excites me a lot. My favourite arrangements from his collaborations with Mutter so far have been the Potter/Witches of Eastwick ones. Sounds like it'll be right up my alley.

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14 minutes ago, Docteur Qui said:
7 hours ago, Lewya said:

With most work in Hollywood suspended during the pandemic, Williams might be forgiven for taking a well-earned break from composition. Not a bit of it. He’s spending his time finishing a violin concerto for Anne-Sophie Mutter, who also features in the Vienna concert playing virtuoso arrangements of his soundtracks (“Harry Potter meets Paganini,” Williams quips). Astonishingly, it will be the 19th concerto or quasi-concerto he has written for the concert hall.

 

If I'm reading that quote correctly as what we can expect from the concerto, this excites me a lot. My favourite arrangements from his collaborations with Mutter so far have been the Potter/Witches of Eastwick ones. Sounds like it'll be right up my alley.

 

That quip clearly refers to the Across the Stars arrangements they performed in Vienna.

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Great interview, thanks for sharing. I loved the bit about the rotary trumpets. As a trumpet player myself, I was very curious how Williams’s music would sound on those. I haven’t been disappointed with the few excerpts we’ve heard so far. 

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3 minutes ago, ricsim88 said:

Great interview, thanks for sharing. I loved the bit about the rotary trumpets. As a trumpet player myself, I was very curious how Williams’s music would sound on those. I haven’t been disappointed with the few excerpts we’ve heard so far. 

What's the diff between coronet and trumpet?

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8 hours ago, Lewya said:

He’s not so far away from his tenth decade. Does he ever contemplate hanging up his quill? “Never,” he says. “I will press on. Music isn’t a profession. It’s my oxygen. Take that away and I’d really be in trouble.”

 

A blessing, the Maestro is.

 

Really great interview.

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3 minutes ago, bruce marshall said:

What's the diff between coronet and trumpet?

Do you mean cornet?

The difference is actually not very big. A cornet is conical, meaning it starts getting bigger gradually until it reaches the bell. A trumpet is cylindrical, meaning the tube stays the exact same size until it opens up close to the bell. The trumpets they use in Vienna are completely different. Their valves are closer to those of a french horn. Both the cornet and  the rotary valve trumpet sound darker than a regular trumpet. 

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What an intelligent gracious man.

 

Williams need not only speak through his music. He can speak as a human being too. What he has to say is very interesting and worth listening to.

 

They should officially engage a biographer to interview him for 100s of hours over many years and produce a definitive book about his life and work.

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7 hours ago, Richard Penna said:

Sounds like Williams expressing more opinions and tidbits about working relationhips than usual, although of course still in his utterly diplomatic style.

 

He's never that candid in video/audio interviews. Must be something about text interviews which make him more open,

The most candid I've ever seen JW be is in his video interview with Andre Previn.

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16 hours ago, Lewya said:

And I think he might have been interested in film if he’d lived 200 years later, though he probably would have been horrified by having his music drowned out by the noise of spaceships flying past.”

 

Gee, I wonder who this very pointed comment is aimed at? :lol:

 

Safe to say Williams won't be rushing to collaborate with Abrams again.

 

16 hours ago, Lewya said:

“And of course there’s huge variety in that species of humanity called film directors. Some are very musical. Others are suspicious of using music at all.”

 

Love this quote, JW's dry humour shines through.

 

16 hours ago, Lewya said:

The orchestra agreed, as long as some sessions could begin at 11pm, after its regular concerts were over.

 

I didn't know this! So some sessions for Star Wars started late at night and ran into the early hours of the morning? Surprised JW agreed to that, although he was far younger at the time (and didn't have the immense clout of his post-SW success by  that point).

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3 minutes ago, crumbs said:

I didn't know this! So some sessions for Star Wars started late at night and ran into the early hours of the morning? Surprised JW agreed to that, although he was far younger at the time (and didn't have the immense clout of his post-SW success by  that point).

 

Well, it was a chance for him to record a score with a top orchestra!

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2 hours ago, artguy360 said:

The most candid I've ever seen JW be is in his video interview with Andre Previn.

 

The most candid I've seen him is in an 80s (or maybe it was 70s) interview in a British magazine, where he rags all over PSYCHO and whatnot. It's as if it's a different person.

 

JW interviews were better back in the day; these days it's the same old stuff regurgitated over and over again, and a bunch of general remarks about the artform that don't provide any insight into the man and his works. This interview is no exception.

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Nowadays everyone just asks the crowd-pleasing, self-answering questions where they're just inviting him to either praise someone he works with or say some 'intellectual' stuff about the writing process.

 

No one dares to ask the provocative or revealing stuff, because he commands too much respect.

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2 hours ago, Thor said:

This interview is no exception.

 

I knew you would complain (about this interview and the previous one for the New Yorker). You won't accept a Williams interview as a superfluous retreat unless he talks about The Screaming Woman for half of it and insults other composers for the remaining half. ;) 

3 hours ago, crumbs said:

Gee, I wonder who this very pointed comment is aimed at? :lol:

 

Safe to say Williams won't be rushing to collaborate with Abrams again.

 

I wouldn't think the comment about spaceships drowning out the music is aimed about anyone specific. Goldsmith used to complain about sound effects (specifically modern vehicles/weapons) drowning out the score long ago (he used to say it was one of the things he enjoyed about First Knight).

 

3 hours ago, crumbs said:

Love this quote, JW's dry humour shines through.

 

That also seems mostly an non-judgemental observation to me (unless you mean the humourous phrase "that species of humanity called film directors"). Tarantino's stance on film scores for example could certainly be described as "suspicious" insofar as he generally doesn't trust them with his own films (or perhaps doesn't trust himself to coordinate with his composer closely enough to get something that doesn't deviate from his initial vision).

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6 minutes ago, Marian Schedenig said:

 

I knew you would complain (about this interview and the previous one for the New Yorker). You won't accept a Williams interview as a superfluous retreat unless he talks about The Screaming Woman for half of it and insults other composers for the remaining half. ;) 


Ha, ha. Yes, more or less.

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3 hours ago, Thor said:

 

The most candid I've seen him is in an 80s (or maybe it was 70s) interview in a British magazine, where he rags all over PSYCHO and whatnot. It's as if it's a different person.

 

JW interviews were better back in the day; these days it's the same old stuff regurgitated over and over again, and a bunch of general remarks about the artform that don't provide any insight into the man and his works. This interview is no exception.


ALL interviews are boring today, period.
 

The United States has destroyed free speech. Everybody is always on their guard today saying the proper and correct thing and nothing truly provocative or interesting ever slips out.
 

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On 8/6/2020 at 9:32 AM, Lewya said:

Yet some of his most famous scores for Spielberg were recorded not in Hollywood, but in Britain, with the London Symphony Orchestra at Denham or Shepperton studios.

This is an error. Raiders of the Lost Ark was the only Spielberg film that has a score recorded by the LSO. Yes, Close Encounters played bits for the 1980 re-issue, but let's not count that.

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16 hours ago, Richard Penna said:

 

 

No one dares to ask the provocative or revealing stuff, because he commands too much respect.

Right!

Why wasn't he asked which composers were still in the ' closet'?😒

 

 

 

17 hours ago, Thor said:

 

 

JW interviews were better back in the day; these days it's the same old stuff regurgitated over and over again, and a bunch of general remarks about the artform that don't provide any insight into the man and his works. This interview is no exception.

That's because mainstream reporters know little about their subjects. These articles are always passed with endless recitations of awards , nominations and other useless trivia.

Composers like talking to folks who know about what goes into writing music for motion pictures.

I speak here from experience!😊

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On 8/6/2020 at 6:32 PM, Lewya said:

 

Even more extraordinary, the LSO had just recruited a new principal trumpet — the soon-to-be-legendary Maurice Murphy. So on his first day in his new job Murphy’s first task was to blast the opening notes of one of the 20th century’s greatest movie melodies.

 

 

This another false anecdote Williams likes to tell. The main title of SW was not the first thing they recorded for SW; in fact, the first cue recorded already featured the main theme.

 

It's like the "15-minute cue at the end of ET" story. Never let reality ruin a good story. 

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25 minutes ago, oierem said:

 

This another false anecdote Williams likes to tell. The main title of SW was not the first thing they recorded for SW; in fact, the first cue recorded already featured the main theme.


Williams isn’t lying either—the Main Title was indeed recorded on the first scoring day on March 5, 1977, even if it wasn’t the very first cue of the day (they recorded three other cues before tackling the main title). 
 

The story holds up nonetheless.

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