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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!

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Speaking of the finale to the film, the story has been told many times how Spielberg suggested turning the picture off at the recording sessions, willing to re-edit it later to match the best recording of the music. Since you had access to every take of every cue, can you tell us what it was like experiencing these cues evolve, and also which parts of the 15 minute sequence were done this way?

They did that for “The Bike Chase” and “The Departure.”  “The Rescue” was done to the picture. “The Bike Chase” was the very first cue recorded and there wasn’t anything to experience on the sessions because they put down one take and then decided to turn off the film and do it “wild.” They did three takes and then used two of them to cut together the best performance, and then the film was conformed to that. On the alternate version of “The Departure,” which is largely comprised of takes heard on the previous two releases, you can hear how the tempo feels a bit inconsistent and is very different from how the final version flows. I decided to include the trumpet overlay so that the main score version and the alternate would basically give you everything you need for that finale.

 

https://www.jwfan.com/?p=9994

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12 minutes ago, TheUlyssesian said:

So the actual truth is - 

 

1. He recorded the 15 minute version of the final cue

2. And the editor cut the picture to what he recorded

 

?

No.

 

1. He recorded The Rescue to the cut picture

2. He Recorded The Bike Chase wild, and picture was edited to the music

3. Departure was recorded

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22 minutes ago, TheUlyssesian said:

So the actual truth is - 

 

1. He recorded the 15 minute version of the final cue

2. And the editor cut the picture to what he recorded

 

?

 

I literally just posted EXACTLY what happened from the mouth of Mike Matessino 3 posts before you asked this question

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On 8/7/2020 at 2:26 AM, Jurassic Shark said:

 

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

I remember at the time a BIG deal was made out of the fact .

People thought it conveyed a special prestige .Like they were premiering a concert piece .

In fact , the LSO was just an orchestra for hire!

They would play ANYTHING if the price was right.

6 hours 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.

 

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

😁😉

20200802_143726.jpg

I saw E.T. the Monday after it opened .The " rescue" of E.T. was the most thrilling moment I have ever experienced in a cinema.

😍

Do I really care about the session?😁

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2 hours ago, Jay said:

 

2 hours ago, The River (Fal) said:

That it wasn't the whole 15 minutes iirc.

 

32 minutes ago, TownerFan said:

Williams never said that he recorded the entire 15 minute sequence in one take (it’s three separate cues) without sync, but told many times that Spielberg re-edited part of that reel to conform to the performance and not viceversa. 

 

31 minutes ago, The River (Fal) said:

No.

 

1. He recorded The Rescue to the cut picture

2. He Recorded The Bike Chase wild, and picture was edited to the music

3. Departure was recorded

 

19 minutes ago, Jay said:

 

I literally just posted EXACTLY what happened from the mouth of Mike Matessino 3 posts before you asked this question

 

Maybe I am thick but I guess I am not seeing where is the material lie.

 

Film is made in fragments as it is. So even if some of the sequence was cut to the music, the story still stands right?

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The widely told anecdote is that the entire 15 minute Adventure of Earth was recorded with the screen off, and Spielberg re-edited the picture to fit the best performance.

 

The truth is that The Bike Chase and The Departure were done that way, but The Rescue was not.

 

Thats it.

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18 minutes ago, Jay said:

The widely told anecdote is that the entire 15 minute Adventure of Earth was recorded with the screen off, and Spielberg re-edited the picture to fit the best performance.

 

The truth is that The Bake Chase and The Departure were done that way, but The Rescue was not.

 

Thats it.

 

That's just a minor deviation. Not enough to say Williams lied about it.

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On 8/6/2020 at 4:47 PM, Tom said:

I love the following bit: It is Williams' way of patting the director on the head and saying, "That is a really good idea Mr. Director.  You are so smart and talented." 

 

How much do film directors help or hinder the process? Another knowing chuckle down the line. “Directors will always talk about what they think they want musically,” Williams replies. “And I always listen to them. But usually when I get to the piano and start to work, those ideas are pretty much gone. It’s always better for me to respond to the visual material — the film that’s actually being shot — than to verbal instructions.

 

That's the most interesting quote IMO. The first thing it comes to my mind is when he told in the TROS's special feature that JJ Abrams sugested a little change in the Kylo's theme for the redeemed Ben Solo's theme. I wonder why JW accepted so many suggestions from him, considering this quote. JJ is even the only director to include non-Williams music in the 9 main SW films (he did the cantina song in TFA with Lin-Manuel Miranda, who came back for the Aki Aki festival in TROS).

 

7 hours ago, TownerFan said:


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.

 

And, correct me if I'm wrong, but the final version used in the film wasn't recorded the first day. I remember David Collins in his podcast (SW Oxygen or The Soundtrack Show) talking about how many diferent takes they tried before.

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53 minutes ago, Yannick said:

 

JJ is even the only director to include non-Williams music in the 9 main SW films (he did the cantina song in TFA with Lin-Manuel Miranda, who came back for the Aki Aki festival in TROS).

 

 

 

Return of the Jedi has non John William's music.

 

Lapti Nek by Joseph Williams

Jedi Rocks by Jerry Hay...

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1 hour ago, The River (Fal) said:

Return of the Jedi has non John William's music.

 

Lapti Nek by Joseph Williams

Jedi Rocks by Jerry Hay...

 

Oh you're absolutely right! My bad. In fact, Lapti Nek is William's music though :lol:.

 

But anyway I think there is something to think about JJ and JW's working together.

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2 hours ago, Yannick said:

That's the most interesting quote IMO. The first thing it comes to my mind is when he told in the TROS's special feature that JJ Abrams sugested a little change in the Kylo's theme for the redeemed Ben Solo's theme. I wonder why JW accepted so many suggestions from him, considering this quote. JJ is even the only director to include non-Williams music in the 9 main SW films (he did the cantina song in TFA with Lin-Manuel Miranda, who came back for the Aki Aki festival in TROS).

 

As I said, I don't think that comment is specifically aimed at JJA, and also not necessarily outright criticism. The mere fact that music in a film (especially a scifi film) is often overpowered by the SFX may be a blow do a composer's fragile ego, but a good film composer also knows that their score isn't always the most important thing in the film (the fact that music is in many cases less prominent than it could, or perhaps should, be is a different matter). And as far as I know, JJA got Lin-Manual Miranda to do the TFA cantina song because Williams was first offered to do it and declined.

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3 minutes ago, bruce marshall said:

I have some of those!

 

And your response is to who?😁

To all those who may have forgotten that British music is a part of European culture and possibly had a stronger influence on certain film music directions than Paganini and Haydn. ;-)

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

According to Williams, this venerable orchestra had never played a note of his music before.

 

Well, I don't blame JW for not knowing, but in the Summer Concert 2017, Hedwig's Theme was played by the Vienna Phil. Track 10 on the CD release.

https://www.amazon.com/Sommernachtskonzert-2017-Christoph-Eschenbach/dp/B06XTMXLTD?tag=masterworks-20&ie=UTF8&linkCode=as2&ascsubtag=7fdae2a3fca5d984032812c0ccfa3bb6

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, lairdo said:

 

Well, I don't blame JW for not knowing, but in the Summer Concert 2017, Hedwig's Theme was played by the Vienna Phil. Track 10 on the CD release.

https://www.amazon.com/Sommernachtskonzert-2017-Christoph-Eschenbach/dp/B06XTMXLTD?tag=masterworks-20&ie=UTF8&linkCode=as2&ascsubtag=7fdae2a3fca5d984032812c0ccfa3bb6

 

 

 

 

 

And Franz Welser Möst conducted VPO with Star Wars Main Title, Princess Leia and Imperial March at Schönbrunn in 2010. It was released by DGG.

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13 hours ago, Jay said:

The widely told anecdote is that the entire 15 minute Adventure of Earth was recorded with the screen off, and Spielberg re-edited the picture to fit the best performance.

 

The truth is that The Bake Chase and The Departure were done that way, but The Rescue was not.

 

Thats it.

 

Wait so Williams didn't even write The Rescue and Angela Morley was brought in to finish the film?

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12 hours ago, Yannick said:

And, correct me if I'm wrong, but the final version used in the film wasn't recorded the first day. I remember David Collins in his podcast (SW Oxygen or The Soundtrack Show) talking about how many diferent takes they tried before.

 

No. 5 takes of the Main Title were recorded (take 16-20), all done in the second half of the March 5 session. 
 

What you hear in the film is an edit cobbled together from all those takes (except 16, if I remember well).

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10 hours ago, King Mark said:

Do those special trumpets in vienna sound different, better than normal trumpets?

They tend to sound a little darker in general. But they may have used a shallower mouthpiece to not lose too much of the brightness that Williams’s music requires. 

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10 hours ago, lairdo said:
On 8/6/2020 at 6:32 PM, Lewya said:

According to Williams, this venerable orchestra had never played a note of his music before.

 

Well, I don't blame JW for not knowing, but in the Summer Concert 2017, Hedwig's Theme was played by the Vienna Phil. Track 10 on the CD release.

 

As far as I know, the Franz Welser-Möst conducted selection from the SW & ESB (originally scheduled to be conducted by Seiji Ozawa) was the first time they played Williams. Then there was Hedwig, but I don't think they've performed anything else by him before.

 

The Williams quote in the article is, I believe, misrepresented our out of context, because in other interviews (like the one that I expect will be part of the Blu-ray extras) he didn't claim that they'd never played *any* of his music, but rather that they've never played *this* music, which doesn't necessarily refer to the full programme (or any other Williams pieces not in the programme). Of the pieces performed in his concert, they had in fact only played the SW MT and the Imperial March before. Although I think Williams made his comment in the context of talking about the Imperial March, so the claim may still be a bit vague.

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19 hours ago, Marian Schedenig said:

 

As I said, I don't think that comment is specifically aimed at JJA, and also not necessarily outright criticism. The mere fact that music in a film (especially a scifi film) is often overpowered by the SFX may be a blow do a composer's fragile ego, but a good film composer also knows that their score isn't always the most important thing in the film (the fact that music is in many cases less prominent than it could, or perhaps should, be is a different matter). And as far as I know, JJA got Lin-Manual Miranda to do the TFA cantina song because Williams was first offered to do it and declined.

 

Oh, no. I didn't mean that at all. On the contrary, I'm surprised by that quote because it looks like, mainly in TROS, that JW did took JJ's suggestions very seriously.

 

9 hours ago, TownerFan said:

 

No. 5 takes of the Main Title were recorded (take 16-20), all done in the second half of the March 5 session. 
 

What you hear in the film is an edit cobbled together from all those takes (except 16, if I remember well).

 

Wow, I didn't knew it was an edit. Not sure if my memory is wrong or it was David, but I remember he talked about way more takes than 5. Actually I'm pretty sure David talked about very different takes until they tried it with the initial note (it's called a Top C? I'm not an expert lol) that made it to the final cut.

 

Anyway, how do you guys find out that kind of details? I love it :lol:

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4 hours ago, Marian Schedenig said:

 

As far as I know, the Franz Welser-Möst conducted selection from the SW & ESB (originally scheduled to be conducted by Seiji Ozawa) was the first time they played Williams. Then there was Hedwig, but I don't think they've performed anything else by him before.

 

The Williams quote in the article is, I believe, misrepresented our out of context, because in other interviews (like the one that I expect will be part of the Blu-ray extras) he didn't claim that they'd never played *any* of his music, but rather that they've never played *this* music, which doesn't necessarily refer to the full programme (or any other Williams pieces not in the programme). Of the pieces performed in his concert, they had in fact only played the SW MT and the Imperial March before. Although I think Williams made his comment in the context of talking about the Imperial March, so the claim may still be a bit vague.

 

Yes, that makes sense. Good clarification and explanation. And, of course, the bigger news is that this is the first time he has led them and given them feedback on playing his music. I have to imagine, now that I think about it, that the orchestra would have made available to him the clips of his music. He might not have listened, but I suspect his management did.

 

I wonder if Schindler's List was every played there? Feels like something that would have gotten programmed given it shows up in the classic rep every year, and perhaps a visiting soloist played it as an encore. Cannot prove it, but that seems to be his most "classical" piece of music that gets into concert halls, particularly as a singular element - not a suite as often happens when Star Wars is sequenced in.

 

And as noted, none of the Mutter violin arrangements existed at the time of the earlier recordings - it is all new and Vienna was only the 3rd place any of it was played live.

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3 hours ago, Yannick said:

Wow, I didn't knew it was an edit. Not sure if my memory is wrong or it was David, but I remember he talked about way more takes than 5. Actually I'm pretty sure David talked about very different takes until they tried it with the initial note (it's called a Top C? I'm not an expert lol) that made it to the final cut.

 

Anyway, how do you guys find out that kind of details? I love it :lol:


The five full takes of the Main Title (complete with slates from the recording booth) were released officially as a bonus track on the 1997 RCA Victor 2-CD set. You can hear them after the Binary Sunset alternate, following a couple of minutes of silence.

 

 

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1 hour ago, TownerFan said:


The five full takes of the Main Title (complete with slates from the recording booth) were released officially as a bonus track on the 1997 RCA Victor 2-CD set. You can hear them after the Binary Sunset alternate, following a couple of minutes of silence.

 

 

And the booklet of the Special Edition double CD contains a list of all the takes recorded for every cue in the film.

Main title was recorded 5 times, with significant differences, and the last three were used to create the final edit. 

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7 hours ago, oierem said:

And the booklet of the Special Edition double CD contains a list of all the takes recorded for every cue in the film.

Main title was recorded 5 times, with significant differences, and the last three were used to create the final edit. 

And yet there is a trumpet flub in the used version.

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19 hours ago, Marian Schedenig said:

 

As far as I know, the Franz Welser-Möst conducted selection from the SW & ESB (originally scheduled to be conducted by Seiji Ozawa) was the first time they played Williams. Then there was Hedwig, but I don't think they've performed anything else by him before.

 

The Williams quote in the article is, I believe, misrepresented our out of context, because in other interviews (like the one that I expect will be part of the Blu-ray extras) he didn't claim that they'd never played *any* of his music, but rather that they've never played *this* music, which doesn't necessarily refer to the full programme (or any other Williams pieces not in the programme). Of the pieces performed in his concert, they had in fact only played the SW MT and the Imperial March before. Although I think Williams made his comment in the context of talking about the Imperial March, so the claim may still be a bit vague.

 

"...what I told you was true, from a certain point of view."

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSOBeD1GC_Y

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On 8/9/2020 at 3:47 AM, TownerFan said:

No. 5 takes of the Main Title were recorded (take 16-20), all done in the second half of the March 5 session. 
 

What you hear in the film is an edit cobbled together from all those takes (except 16, if I remember well).

 

On 4/11/2017 at 7:43 AM, phbart said:

0:00 to 0:08, tk.19

0:08 to 0:43, tk.18

0:43 to 1:31, tk.20

1:31 to 1:43, tk.18

1:43 to end, tk.20

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Disclaimer: I know nothing about snooker other than that I'm familiar with the name Ronnie O'Sullivan and know they also have their own Shaun Murphy.

 

But I imagine an interview like this by Williams would shut up those who complain he's too civil and always repeats the same stuff:

 

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