John Williams news roundup

John Williams is featured in Andrew Zuckerman’s book and documentary Music.
So are a few other artists I care about like Danny Elfman, Philip Glass or Joe Jackson. The book is $7.29 on amazon (a $50 value) and includes a download code for the documentary.
A little more Williams in the “Behind the Scenes” video.

In other news, John Williams’ Horn Concerto is now $4.99 on iTunes or about half price from when it was originally released back in October. I’m sure glad I waited on that one!

Finally, producer extraordinaire Mike Matessino gives a new interview about John Williams to Pop Dose.

On a more controversial side, Williams has been believed by some to be too “influenced” – they’ll cite Holst’s “Mars, The Bringer Of War” as a direct relative of “The Imperial March.” Now, quotation has always played a part in film composition, so is it fair to level that charge against Williams?

Musicians use existing music the way painters use existing colors; they just look for interesting ways to blend them. I don’t think it’s fair to criticize the Star Wars scores for their musical influences since the whole point was to bring a mythical, archetypal quality to the proceedings while recapturing a feeling of an earlier era of the movies. Williams reached into the collective unconscious, probably by seeing what pieces of music came up in his own mind, and then evoked them in what he was writing in his usual deft manner. In this way, the package sort of becomes clearly marked and when the audience is (perhaps unconsciously) reminded of Holst then he or she looks at the movie differently… Star Wars becomes something no longer about the Empire and the Rebellion but about every war between good and evil ever fought or that ever will be fought. Williams really hit the ball out of the park with Superman in this way… he didn’t just score the movie, he score the myth itself. You can’t do that without reaching back into past expressions of this idea.

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