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Powell / Williams - Is the track good for Solo or should I put it to Mute instead?

Discussion in 'The RedBanned Bar & Grill' started by Tommi Uimonen, May 30, 2018.

  1. #21 Aaron Venture, Jun 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
  2. Hahaha!

    Ah f**k it. I’m buying the JW Masterclasses. Time for a deeper understanding of how shit I am.
  3. What I can't wrap my head around is: why? Why are so few modern composers capable of this? Was there a demand for it in film previously that led people like Goldsmith or Williams to be trained in this manner, or was it because they were deeply versed in relevant classical repetoire (chicken or egg)? If the latter, are there not composers coming out of conservatories (vs. universities?) being trained in this manner? It obviously takes forever to become great at it, but it's strange that it was far more common decades/a century ago.

    Also, for listening purposes, who were primary composers in film and in the "classical" repetoire throughout history that really had a grasp on this?
  4. Mike, I realize Shore doesn't score in this manner, and I realize his orchestrational and structural sophistication probably isn't at the level of Williams, but I'm curious to know what would be missing from his work for Lord of the Rings in this regard. The score is far more simple in some respects but still embraces a leitmotivic style and contains quite a few developments over the course of the films, despite singular pieces not having the token Williams approach. Not saying he could take over the role, mind you.
    Matthias Calis and Paul T McGraw like this.
  5. Because they don't have to be to get the job and to get it done.
    Thomas Bryla likes this.
  6. #26 Paul T McGraw, Jul 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
    After reading "The Music of Lord of the Rings" by Doug Adams and "Hollywood Harmony" by Frank Lehman, I was compelled to re-evaluate my appreciation for Shore's Lord of the Rings compositions. The approach of Shore and Williams has more in common than I would have thought. And while I realize most will not agree with me, I would now rank the music of the six Lord of the Rings movies equal to the music of the first six Star Wars films.

    As to why current composers do not write in this manner, I expect that it is because directors and producers don't want it. But the real irony is that no movie is going to truly live in the public imagination without a great script, great acting, great directing, great editing, AND a great score. I have seen almost all of the Marvel movies and can remember nothing from any of them. I wish I had never seen Dunkirk. What a waste!
  7. #27 Rohann van Rensburg, Jul 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
    True, but surely there are composers in areas other than media who are in it for the craft? Or is that category largely saturated with the "contemporary" approach?

    I would agree here. I'm deeply curious about Mike's more in-depth thoughts and analysis in this regard as I clearly don't have a tenth the intuitive musical sense that he does (yet [I hope]), and while the orchestrational density and piece-by-piece structure is different with Williams the brilliant thematic content and development is there. It's clearly stood the test of time (so far) -- the complete recordings just saw another re-release and sold out (they're not cheap either), Doug Adams as well as many avid fans have websites and books dedicated to analysis and the symphony is still touring worldwide, and has been doing so for over 15 years now. Appropriately, the films were also done about as well as one could expect Hollywood to do with one of the most in-depth, greatest stories ever written.
    Mike DID say he'd listen to one film worth of music, though I think I may have sent him the complete recordings...the OST version is probably a better option.

    Isn't that the truth! I'm far more picky about what films I watch now, and avoid a great deal of what comes into theaters. Quite honestly my film watching tends to be primarily motivated by artistic inspiration, or almost exclusively who scored it. Wes Anderson still does no wrong by me (Isle of Dogs was great), and I'm finding myself far more inspired by artistic direction these days (that happen to contain at least decent music and great acting), even if they're kids' films (i.e. Coraline, Kubo, Isle of Dogs, Studio Ghibli films [mostly the Hisaishi scored films] etc). Lots of classics lately too: Alien, The Thing (late 70s version), etc. As it happens there tends to be more focus on music in kids' films.
    Paul T McGraw likes this.
  8. Sorry to revamp an old topic(and sorry to go very much off topic here) but this comment rang very true to me.

    Williams and Shore are quite different but I have never been able to agree that there's no one around who has the chops to develop themes over great lenghts of film. I strongly believe Howard Shore is a living example to the contrary. First of all, the amount of memorable themes in LOTR is through the roof. All significant locations (or should I say cultures?) have their own distinct theme, and all of them are memorable. This alone is an incredible feat of craftsmanship and to me, this puts Shore in the same league as Williams. Of course this is just personal taste and it's a bit of an apples to oranges comparison anyway because Shore's voice and William's voice are quite different.

    Let's also not forget that Shore achieved pretty much the ultimate goal of film music with LOTR: the music is absolutely, 100% inseperable from the films and that kind of skill is rare indeed.
  9. Their voices are indeed different, but in terms of accomplishment, Shore is easily up there with Goldsmith et al., and the scope of his achievement in LOTR easily surpasses anything they've done, at least in terms of sheer magnitude of a single work. I think his name, at least in that respect, deserves to be mentioned among them.

    It also dawned on me that while Williams' more famous work is massive sounding, it's because that work (i.e. Harry Potter, Star Wars) was created with a more romantic orchestra in mind (Star Wars is supposed to be a space opera, after all), whereas Shore's intent with LOTR was to attempt something more ancient and therefore far more restricted in size.
  10. Was on the fence whether to put this here or PM you, but here's a small documentary/behind the scenes of sorts regarding the process of music for LOTR:

  11. Thanks, not sure if I've seen this yet. I read a bunch of Doug Adams' writing on his work and it's really fascinating.

    What I forgot to mention regarding what I think contributed so heavily to the work's success is the fact that Shore wrote most of the music according to the books' narrative, and that Jackson and the rest of the crew largely built the film around this combination of narrative and music. It was also temp'd with Shore's own music and he had a ton of creative freedom regarding the score's writing. This is never really done in film anymore, sadly.
    Paul T McGraw likes this.
  12. @Matthias Calis thank you for posting the video. I enjoyed watching it. Did you happen to notice that all of the recording sessions were in an open room with the full symphonic orchestra? No barriers between sections, no stripping. This is why it works so well live in concert. I just checked Shore's website, and he is still touring, currently in Europe, conducting his LOTR live to sold-out performances. It has been something like 10 or 15 years since the LOTR movies. Shore has been like an ambassador to new generations of symphonic listeners and future orchestral musicians.
    Rohann van Rensburg likes this.
  13. The Fellowship of the Ring is 17 in December, I can't believe it's been that long. The fanbase is incredibly active still, which is what happens when a studio cares about the integrity of the story they're adapting.
    Paul T McGraw likes this.

  14. I still have not seen them :eek:. Or the Titanic, or any Harry Potter
  15. I can't make it through Titanic. The HP series is well done, albeit somewhat inconsistent, and LOTR is fantastic, but I also grew up reading Tolkien, Lewis, Jordan, Rowland, Lovecraft, etc and appreciate the aesthetic of fantasy so long as there are intelligent ideas behind it (Tolkien's is probably the deepest and most "reverse-engineered" as far as fantasy stories go -- he was a historian and linguist, and wanted to make up a mythology for England, which didn't really have one. He was also a foremost expert on Norse mythology and was one of the first to integrate ideas in a syncretistic manner into a cohesive story. He first created a language, then a world and mythology, and then individual stories therein. Really fascinating history behind it all). Not everyone's cup of tea, admittedly.

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