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James Newton Howard & Xander Rodzinski - WILLOW (2022)


Edmilson
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Rare to see JNH taking so many gigs in the fantasy genre back-to-back.

 

A good thing about having Howard on board is that even if the studio were to phone it in everywhere else, it is almost guaranteed that Howard is still going to deliver great music. All I hope now is for Howard to score this in its entirety all by himself, and that he gets the budget to go full orchestral/choral.

 

...And someone please do keep an eye on whoever is going to mix this in the end, and make sure the choir is not dialed all the way back to the point it is barely audible (i.e Hunger Games)

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Has Howard done a series before? Wasn’t he involved in the Netflix Lemony Snicket series? Or was that just the title cue he wrote?

 

Hope we get some nods to Horner’s score where appropriate. Hopefully they don’t play the “this is a new story with NEW characters so we wanted to start fresh musically” card 😬 But Howard being involved already elevates this series music above other big budget TV series scores.

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3 minutes ago, WampaRat said:

Has Howard done a series before? Wasn’t he involved in the Netflix Lemony Snicket series? Or was that just the title cue he wrote?

 

He scored the first season with Chris Bacon and another guy, then seasons 2 and 3 didn't have his involvement 

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30 minutes ago, Edmilson said:

JNH's music for Lemony Snicket has never been released, has it? I don't want to watch the show just to hear the music.

Nothing really stood out. Not to sound too harsh, but it could have just been stock children’s mystery/spooky/elfman-esque music :/

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Brilliant news!!

 

Between Desplat, Powell, Gorannson and now JNH, I have to say I'm continually impressed by the music assignments at LFL (yeah, I know Desplat didn't work out, but he was still their first choice for R1). A lot of people might not like Kennedy's handling of the SW sequels but there's no doubt she has a big say in these choices.

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22 minutes ago, Luke Skywalker said:

I suppose you omitted Giacchino on purpose...

 

No comment :P

 

I actually don't mind Giacchino's work when he puts the effort in. He's a talented composer! I just don't think his approach was right for Rogue One (and I don't really blame him, given the time constraints).

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  • 2 months later...

I'm not sure what I was doing around September 8th-10th, but I had somehow completely  missed that JNH is scoring this!  Wow!!!  I agree with what croc said on the previous page, this is clearly the best case scenario.  I'm so happy someone competent and talented is taking over for Horner.  I do hope he works with at least one or two of Horner's themes and maybe even extensively?

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1 hour ago, Disco Stu said:

I'm not sure what I was doing around September 8th-10th, but I had somehow completely  missed that JNH is scoring this!  Wow!!!  I agree with what croc said on the previous page, this is clearly the best case scenario.  I'm so happy someone competent and talented is taking over for Horner.  I do hope he works with at least one or two of Horner's themes and maybe even extensively?


I don’t want the Schumann action theme reprised in this new series… I was never a big fan of that and I think it was mostly for Val Kilmer’s character anyway. But the gorgeous Elora Danan theme (based on an Eastern European folk melody) would make a ton of sense to reference I suspect… assuming she is an adult character in this.

 

Yavar

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8 minutes ago, Yavar Moradi said:


I don’t want the Schumann action theme reprised in this new series… I was never a big fan of that and I think it was mostly for Val Kilmer’s character anyway. But the gorgeous Elora Danan theme (based on an Eastern European folk melody) would make a ton of sense to reference I suspect… assuming she is an adult character in this.

 

Yavar

 

I suspect whether Elora Danan is in it or not, that theme will be used at the very least in a way similar to Hedwig's Theme in Fantastic Beasts.

 

But seriously?!  Not a fan of the "Escape from the Tavern" theme (that's just what I've always called it)?!?!  I don't care where he sourced it from, that theme is fun as hell!  That's pretty weird Yavar.

 

And actually if I was JNH I'd throw in one single Horner danger motif reference just for fun.

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1 hour ago, Disco Stu said:

 

I suspect whether Elora Danan is in it or not, that theme will be used at the very least in a way similar to Hedwig's Theme in Fantastic Beasts.

 

But seriously?!  Not a fan of the "Escape from the Tavern" theme (that's just what I've always called it)?!?!  I don't care where he sourced it from, that theme is fun as hell!  That's pretty weird Yavar.

 

And actually if I was JNH I'd throw in one single Horner danger motif reference just for fun.

Oh i'd be delighted if it were included, it's such a lot of fun. While it is ridiculously close to the original Schumann, I actually think the way Horner changes the tempo and resolves the theme is much more exciting that Schumann which sounds a bit stilted in comparison. Have similar feelings about the Glory/Ivan the Terrible usage, Horner resolves Prokofiev's melody in a much more satisfying way.

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I'm firmly in the camp of "charmed by Horner's classical borrowings."  Hell, it'd sure be nice if today's modern film composers would do a lot more borrowing....and not just from other crappy temp scores!

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2 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

I'm firmly in the camp of "charmed by Horner's classical borrowings."  Hell, it'd sure be nice if today's modern film composers would do a lot more borrowing....and not just from other crappy temp scores!

I definitely went through the mildly shocked phase for a while but it helped me discover a whole load of great classical music (and then a vast array of completely different classical music)... and at least Horner pinched from the best and did some pretty nifty stuff with it. That's the weird thing with Horner, no matter how heavily it's borrowed/influenced by something else, it always seems to sound like him. Which is just wrong somehow!

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1 hour ago, Disco Stu said:

Shout out your favorite Horner borrow!

 

Nah. It's been done to death over the years. I've never cared, and never will.

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I don’t care either, in the sense of it bothering me.  I like them, it’s fun.  Hence “favorite”.

 

I really do wish more composers did it.  Many of my favorite scores have great obvious classical borrows.  From Wizard of Oz to Star Wars and beyond.

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  • 6 months later...

It's nice to see JNH do a big TV project. Hopefully we'll get something really expansive.... on a CD.

 

He's also doing a few other things for the small screen.... another series, can't remember the name of it.... something for Netflix. A period thing.

 

EDIT: This

 

And that ILM documentary, which is finally revealed as existing.

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The likelihood of any Disney+ content getting a physical CD score release is incredibly slim considering it hasn't happened yet and they've been releasing originals for 2 1/2 years now

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  • 2 months later...

Yeah, I saw his name [amongst many] in the 'additional music by' credit in the Light & Magic doc recently.

 

His credits in IMDb show him to be something of a recent protege/intern of JNH.

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I was just going to speculate if he was going to be getting some featured additional help on this. I’m sure it will still sound like JNH. I’m a bit more interested in the music for this series than I am for “Rings of Power” (A show I’m also looking forward to. But I’ll always take JNH fantasy over Bear McCreary any day ;) )

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1 hour ago, LSH said:

Yeah, I saw his name [amongst many] in the 'additional music by' credit in the Light & Magic doc recently.

 

His credits in IMDb show him to be something of a recent protege/intern of JNH.

 

I am confused by the amount of additional music composer on Light & Magic. I finished the whole season during weekend and it is a documentary completely driven by interview and features a lot of music from the film clips it is presenting, meaning the "original" music in the show is actually of very small amount. 

If JNH needed that many assistants on a series having so little music, either he was being lazy on a show directed by his long-time friend or he was busy with something else

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Maybe writing music for three streaming shows, at his age, finally demanded the use of a bigger team?

 

That said, I still want to know to which extent did this Xander guy (and maybe others?) write music for his previous movies. 

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If you type his name into GEMA it tells you what cues he wrote for JNH scores

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'Additional composers' don't bother me much at all. But what does interest me is that JNH explicitly said in an interview with Steven Price not long ago that he writes it all himself, apparently dismissing work by Sven Faulconer, Stuart Michael Thomas, Chris Bacon and Xander Rodzinski over the years.

 

Elfman similiarly talked in a Doctor Strange interview about having a really small team and only having Chris Bacon to 'pick up a cue' when he's running out of time, which, again, really seems to underplay his role, and that's not even to mention David Buckley or T J Lindgren (who Elfman always credits - they're sometimes even given clear cue credit in the album booklets!).

 

So what is it? Is the work of these guys more of a 'technical role' and they genuinely don't see it as farming out work, or are they just trying to sell themselves? Both? Both composers have always struck me as being pretty direct and I'd like to think neither would deny credit to those who deserve it.

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I think we've heard enough over the last few years to know that most big composers probably have small teams, in most cases because they're doing multiple films or shows close together and just need the help. McCreary has been open about this with the zillions of TV shows he does, and we know about the proteges working with Beltrami, Powell, HGW, Tyler, etc.

 

As HGW said in one recent interview, a lot of the work towards the end of a project is furiously changing cues to match a changing cut, and having to get his orchestrator to process it all in time for the recording sessions.

 

So to some extent, the question is what 'additional music' really means, and how much it describes the contribution of someone perhaps doing something similar to Ross on CoS, i.e. adapting cues to new cuts.

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It's a reality that I suspect most of us had no idea about until very recently, and given a bit of a bad rep by RCP practices.

 

I think it would help many here to put aside the 'rosy tinted' image of one composer toiling away for months to produce a score and perhaps not put so much stock in exactly who has produced the music they're enjoying. I mean, you could look up a cue like Jay mentioned, but what are you gaining except your inner geek being secretly devasted that your favourite composer didn't write the cue you love?

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It's certainly true that we can enjoy the cake without necessarily knowing how the cake was made. The only argument I would oppose to this is that in a field where people are valued by the outcome of their work, it feels like cheating to cover reality with smoke and mirrors. I mean, Hollywood's history is chock full of people getting credits, recognition and even accolades for work done by others, but a little more integrity would be nice to see.

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Oh absolutely, more transparency would be welcome.

 

I'm probably more commenting on that certain faction of fans who put much more stock in whether their favourite composer actually wrote a cue, instead if just enjoying the music.

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I think the way stuff is credited should be way clearer. and then after that, maybe we can argue about teams vs not teams and the relative merits of each method, although i don't particularly care either way.

 

also, give a name to the band. you know? that's always cool.

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