John Williams American composer, conductor, and pianist Edgar Mariano, Matt Henry, Ray Nugent, & John Shusdock
His life • John Williams was born on February 8, 1932 in Long Island, New York to Esther and John Williams. • In 1948, the Williams family moved to Los Angeles where John attended North Hollywood High School graduating in 1950. • He later attended the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), until 1952 when Williams was drafted into the U.S. Air Force, where he conducted and arranged music for the Air Force Band as part of his assignments.
His life (con’t) • After serving his time in the military, William moved to New York City and enrolled in the Julliard School where he studied piano, and worked as a jazz pianist in clubs and studios. • Williams was known as "Little Johnny Love" Williams during the early 1960s, and he served as music arranger and bandleader for a series of popular music albums with the singer Frankie Laine. • After Julliard, Williams went back to L.A. To break into the Hollywood scene. • Williams married actress Barbara Ruick in 1956, with whom he had three children. Ruick passed in 1974. John Williams married his second wife, Samantha Winslow, on July 21, 1980.
Listening http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lk5_OSsawz4 Can you name the movies that are represented in this song?
Indiana Jones Superman E.T. Jurassic Park Amistad Jaws Star Wars
5 Academy Awards 1. Fiddler on the Roof (1971)2. Jaws (1975)3. Star Wars (1977)4. E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)5. Schindler's List (1993) 45 Academy Award nominations which makes him the most nominated person alive!
4 Golden Globes 1. Jaws (1975)2. Star Wars (1977)3. E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)4. Memoirs of a Geisha (2006)
21 Grammy Awards 1. Jaws (1975) (Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture) 2. Star Wars (1977) (Best Pop Instrumental Performance) 3. Main Title from Star Wars (1977) (Best Instrumental Composition) 4. Star Wars (1977) (Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture) 5. Theme from Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1978) (Best Instrumental Composition) 6. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1978) (Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture) 7. Main Title Theme from Superman (1979) (Best Instrumental Composition) 8. Superman (1979) (Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture) 9. The Empire Strikes Back (1980) (Best Instrumental Composition) 10. The Empire Strikes Back (1980) (Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture) 11. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) (Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture) 12. "Flying" (Theme from E.T.) (1982) (Best Instrumental Composition) 13. E.T. (1982) (Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture) 14. "Flying" (Theme from E.T.) (1982) (Best Arrangement on an Instrumental Recording) 15. Olympic Fanfare and Theme (1984) (Best Instrumental Composition) 16. Schindler's List (1994) (Instrumental Composition for a Motion Picture or Television) 17. Saving Private Ryan (1998) (Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture or for Television) 18. Theme from Angela's Ashes (2000) (Best Instrumental Composition)19. Memoirs of a Geisha (2006) (Best Score Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture)20. A Prayer For Peace (2006) (Best Instrumental Composition)21. The Adventures of Mutt (2008) (Best Instrumental Composition)
Reviews “All hail the king! With five Academy Awards and over 40 Oscar nominations, John Williams is a member of cinema’s elite. No one has contributed more to modern film music.” -Reavley (BBC) “John Williams is one of Los Angeles' treasures and an icon in modern movie music. His music has become so ubiquitous that there is a tendency to reduce him to the status of a mere pop composer, when in fact he is one of the greatest composers of all time.” -Macray (Stage Mage) "As a child the music of composer John Williams was the closest thing I could identify to as a modern composer. It was romantic, full, powerful and best of all, it was actually listened to outside a concert hall!” -Askland (Composer)
Influences “When asked to identify the film and concert composers who had influenced his work, Williams answered: "There are so many. In the film world, I would have to mention again Alfred Newman and Bernard Herrmann but also Korngold - the great Viennese composer who went to Hollywood in the early years - he was a great hero of mine and Franz Waxman - and many, many others. In the concert field, there were, again, so many. I have to mention William Walton, a great favorite of mine - I admire his film and concert music. Walton was held in very high esteem in Hollywood. I like Elgar too, and all the Russian composers. The twentieth century Russians: Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Prokofiev- all were great idols of mine as a youngster.” Ian Lace (Music Web—International Interview)
Neo-Romantic Style • S- large-scale orchestra and a strong brass sound • H- complex chromatic harmony • M- memorable melodies/themes, both lyrical and heroic • R- sense of rhythm can be ambiguous • F- leitmotifs and there is more freedom and form like regular Romantic music. Also, focus on intense story telling.
Leitmotif • A musical term referring to a recurring theme, associated with a particular person, place, or idea. • The leitmotif theme should be clearly identified so as to retain its identity if modified on subsequent appearances' whether such modification be in terms of rhythm, harmony, orchestration or accompaniment. • It may also be 'combined with other leitmotifs to suggest a new dramatic condition' or development. • Leitmotifs can help to bind a work together into a coherent whole, and also enable the composer to relate a story without the use of words, or to add an extra level to an already present story.
Listening Listen for a Neo-Romantic sound and leitmotif in this John Williams compilation! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZ0hcDJzgXA&feature=related
Star Wars and Wagner’s Ring Cycle • Both are several movies/operas long, and take place a “long time ago” in fantasy worlds • Central themes of love and power, a father vs. son conflict (Wotan vs. Siegried (Wotan’s grandson) and Darth Vader vs. Luke Skywalker), and youthful heroism (where both heroes were raised as orphans) • Symbols for power – Darth Vader’s Death Star and The Ring
Star Wars and Ring CycleMusic • Larger role of the orchestra, in times where films made less of an effort to have good music in the background, and operas were often dominated by the singers and vocal works. • Impressive opening pieces to catch the audiences attention • Use of recognizable leitmotifs to represent different characters, themes, places or different objects Ex: Luke Skywalker Siegfried
Bibliograpy • http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/5m4h • http://www.jw-collection.de/bio.htm • http://blogcritics.org/music/article/music-review-john-williams-performs-music/ • http://www.cheerforum.com/composer_john_williams.html • http://www.musicweb-international.com/film/lacejw.htm • http://www.trell.org/wagner/starwars.html