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Fifteen Daily Nibbles March 24 2009

Tuesday is now designated "Tuneful Tuesday."

Pass it on.
  • Movies without beautiful music as part of their soundtracks are like paintings done only in shades of gray.
  • Today's Giant of Cinematic Music is, of course, John Williams.
  • I think it is very likely that I will weep the day John Williams leaves this world for a better place.
  • One of my favorite pieces by John Williams is the track called "Leaving Home" from 1978's "Superman: The Movie." It starts off very mildly, very quietly, as befits the start of a new day; it ends in a grand, almost operatic crescendo which foreshadows the great destiny in front of Clark Kent/Kal El.
  • John Williams, more than any other film music composer I've known, is able to tell a story completely through music. His compositions seem to get fused with the onscreen action.
  • One of John Williams' most memorable movie compositions is "The Asteroid Field" from "Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back." The blast of the brass section near the end of the piece always makes my mind's eye picture the Millennium Falcon banking here and there avoiding the TIE Fighters in pursuit.
  • An impossible dream, most likely: Something I wish I could afford to do every single year until the day I die is to watch John Williams perform with the L.A. Philharmonic at the famous Hollywood Bowl in the summer.
  • Like some of my other personal heroes, John Williams seems like a humble, down-to-earth, soft-spoken man with no pretenses whatsoever. You can see these qualities on full display in the following interview: George Lucas + John Williams = Scoring SW AotC
  • Someone once said that John Williams is George Lucas' best collaborator.
  • I was at the Hollywood Bowl when this footage was taken.
  • One thing I've always endearing about John Williams is his willingness to acknowledge the work of other people. Over the years, I've heard him pay tribute to the likes of Henry Mancini (his predecessor as the King of Hollywood music composition), Miklos Rosza (another of my personal favorites), Michael Kamen, and others.
  • Here is an interesting take on the epic theme from "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith," "Battle of the Heroes."
  • Can you imagine such movies as "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial," "Schindler's List," the "Harry Potter" movies, and the "Indiana Jones" quartet without John Williams' distinctive work? I can't.
  • During some moments of madness, I've considered using Darth Vader's iconic theme, known more correctly as "The Imperial March," when I get married as the song that the bride and groom use as they enter the reception hall after the wedding ceremony. Unfortunately, my youngest sister has already used this idea...
  • Did you know: "The Imperial March" uses many of the same notes as Frédéric Chopin's "Marche Funèbre"?

Keep your minds and ears open, always!

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