Tuesday, August 7, 2018

7m4 The STAR WARS Commentary

Today’s the day! After 5 episodes exploring the context & composition of this historic, world-changing score we’re finally ready to sit down to watch 1977’s STAR WARS in its entirety. As mentioned previously, our commentary corresponds to the original theatrical cut of the film. At the moment this is a difficult copy to obtain commercially, but is available in a few sources including the special features of the 2006 DVDs, pre-1997 VHS and laserdisc copies and various fan preservation editions online. The snare drum rolls of Alfred Newman’s 20th Century Fox opening fanfare should be a helpful sync point for lining up your audio. Thank you so much for listening - producing these episodes has been a profound and humbling experience that has left us forever changed. Here we go... #maytheforcebewithyou #always #thankyouforlistening




STAR WARS - John Williams - 1977 - Lucasfilm Ltd./20th Century Fox (George Lucas, dir,)

Star Wars: Suite for Orchestra - John Williams Signature Edition - Hal Leonard (conductor score)
https://www.halleonard.com/product/viewproduct.action?itemid=4490057&lid=150&keywords=john%20williams%20signature&subsiteid=1&

IMDB
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076759/?ref_=nv_sr_5

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For score reductions, additional links and more,
the discussion continues at: www.underscorepodcast.com
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Friday, July 27, 2018

BONUS FEATURES [7m3]

Score study:
"Spotting Session for STAR WARS" Complete Cue List


Star Wars: Suite for Orchestra - John Williams Signature Edition - Hal Leonard (conductor score)
https://www.halleonard.com/product/viewproduct.action?itemid=4490057&lid=150&keywords=john%20williams%20signature&subsiteid=1&

IMDB
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076759/?ref_=nv_sr_5

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For score reductions, additional links and more,
the discussion continues at: www.underscorepodcast.com
---------------------------------------------------------------------
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···

Thursday, July 26, 2018

7m3B Spotting Session for STAR WARS (Part II)

Today we conclude our cue-by-cue exploration of the score to STAR WARS (1977). Picking up where we last left off, we enter the final half of the film and continue to marvel at John Williams' genius for orchestration, timing, melody, story and audience. Pouring over this underscore has been the most profound and fulfilling experience we could ever hope to have on the podcast. Join us as we step into film & music history as we prepare for next week's full-length audio commentary. #maytheforcebewithyou #always #thankyouforlistening




STAR WARS - John Williams - 1977 - Lucasfilm Ltd./20th Century Fox (George Lucas, dir,)

Star Wars: Suite for Orchestra - John Williams Signature Edition - Hal Leonard (conductor score)
https://www.halleonard.com/product/viewproduct.action?itemid=4490057&lid=150&keywords=john%20williams%20signature&subsiteid=1&

IMDB
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076759/?ref_=nv_sr_5

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For score reductions, additional links and more,
the discussion continues at: www.underscorepodcast.com
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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Interlude: Princess Leia's Theme (soundtrack suite)

Today's interlude is devoted to the only piece in the score to STAR WARS composed not for placement in the film, but as a stand alone movement for soundtrack and concert. We explore the exquisite orchestration of John Williams and the unforgettable portrayal of Carrie Fisher that together continue to bring life & wonder to this timeless character. #maytheforcebewithyou




STAR WARS - John Williams - 1977 - Lucasfilm Ltd./20th Century Fox (George Lucas, dir,)

Star Wars: Suite for Orchestra - John Williams Signature Edition - Hal Leonard (conductor score)
https://www.halleonard.com/product/viewproduct.action?itemid=4490057&lid=150&keywords=john%20williams%20signature&subsiteid=1&

IMDB
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076759/?ref_=nv_sr_5

Academy of Scoring Arts - Highlights 5/20/16 (with David Cripps)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qqynrTkSSk

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the discussion continues at: www.underscorepodcast.com
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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

7m3A Spotting Session for STAR WARS (Part I)

We've arrived at another Spotting Session - the moment in our film study where we move cue by cue through every piece of underscore. To commemorate the size, substance and significance of John Williams' STAR WARS, today's entry will be the first in a 2-part Spotting Session. This episode will take us from Alfred Newman's 20th Century Fox Fanfare up to the midpoint of the film - the Millenium Falcon's flight out of Mos Eisley, en route to Princess Leia's homeworld of Alderaan. We revel in exploring the rich orchestrations and story-driven composition of one historic cue after another, calling upon conversations from several of our past guests (including Conrad Pope, Joe Kraemer, and assistant audio engineer on the STAR WARS score, Alan Snelling). This is as unabridged and intentional an examination of the score as we could fathom. Full disclosure: we were left somehow even more riveted by this landmark 1977 work and can only hope you'll feel the same. Please enjoy this voyage inside this John Williams musical masterpiece. #maytheforcebewithyou




STAR WARS - John Williams - 1977 - Lucasfilm Ltd./20th Century Fox (George Lucas, dir,)

Star Wars: Suite for Orchestra - John Williams Signature Edition - Hal Leonard (conductor score)
https://www.halleonard.com/product/viewproduct.action?itemid=4490057&lid=150&keywords=john%20williams%20signature&subsiteid=1&

IMDB
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076759/?ref_=nv_sr_5

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the discussion continues at: www.underscorepodcast.com
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Thursday, July 5, 2018

BONUS FEATURES [7m2]

Score study:
"The Themes of STAR WARS" Condensed Score excerpt



Star Wars: Suite for Orchestra - John Williams Signature Edition - Hal Leonard (conductor score)
https://www.halleonard.com/product/viewproduct.action?itemid=4490057&lid=150&keywords=john%20williams%20signature&subsiteid=1&

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For score reductions, additional links and more,
the discussion continues at: www.underscorepodcast.com
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···

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

7m2 The Themes of STAR WARS

With the exuberant Main Title still ringing in our ears, we turn our attention today to the many character themes that populate the underscore of John Williams' STAR WARS (1977). Examining this music uncovers a masterclass of melodic writing for film: from the short jingle-like motifs for the Rebel starships & Imperial soldiers to the lyrical, upward reaching anthems for Princess Leia and spiritual master Obi-wan Kenobi. We explore what each of these themes reveals of their characters, marveling at their ingenious & complementary expressions of rhythm, pitch, harmony and emotion. To help us in our discovery, we are joined by Dr. Jefferson Campbell, world-renowned Bassoonist and professor at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where he continues to instruct on film music. Dr. Campbell is an authority on the music of the STAR WARS saga, frequently presenting his lecture "John Williams: The Other Star Wars Storyteller". With Dr. Campbell's help, we take a historical glance at the franchise, appreciating the seeds Williams plants in this first film - seeds he continues to water & nurture 40 years onward. We also delight in placing some attention on lesser-sung themes of this original film; equally memorable motives that never again appear in the saga (in fact, we even listen to Williams' unused first draft of an iconic character theme - a theme so appealing it found a happy home a few scores afterward). Join us as we continue to unearth John Williams incredible storytelling power in this landmark film. #maytheforcebewithyou




STAR WARS - John Williams - 1977 - Lucasfilm Ltd./20th Century Fox (George Lucas, dir,)

Star Wars: Suite for Orchestra - John Williams Signature Edition - Hal Leonard (conductor score)
https://www.halleonard.com/product/viewproduct.action?itemid=4490057&lid=150&keywords=john%20williams%20signature&subsiteid=1&

IMDB
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076759/?ref_=nv_sr_5

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For score reductions, additional links and more,
the discussion continues at: www.underscorepodcast.com
---------------------------------------------------------------------
to support the show, please visit www.patreon.com/underscorepodcast

Thursday, June 28, 2018

BONUS FEATURES [7m1]

Score study:
"The STAR WARS Main Title" Condensed Score excerpt



Star Wars: Suite for Orchestra - John Williams Signature Edition - Hal Leonard (conductor score)
https://www.halleonard.com/product/viewproduct.action?itemid=4490057&lid=150&keywords=john%20williams%20signature&subsiteid=1&

■ ■ 

For score reductions, additional links and more,
the discussion continues at: www.underscorepodcast.com
---------------------------------------------------------------------
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···

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

7m1 The STAR WARS Main Title

When reviewing the century-long tradition of music in cinema, the American Film Institute's selection for 'greatest film score of all time' came as little surprise; it was of course John Williams' score to George Lucas' STAR WARS. For us, this 1977 score is something of a modern miracle - a work whose colossal popularity is matched only by its outstanding quality. Nowhere is that combination more apparent than in the very first piece of underscore, the unforgettable Main Title. Arguably the crown jewel of film music cues (whose original recording broke into the '77 Billboard top 10 [yes, the pop charts!]), this dazzling opening number presents a definitive rendition of the main theme and unequivocally proclaims the tone of the film that follows.

We recently had the great fortune to speak with audio legend Alan Snelling, assistant engineer on STAR WARS (as well as THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, RETURN OF THE JEDI, SUPERMAN, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and many others). Here he provides a vivid account of the debut performance of the Main Title and its impact on those to first experience it. [We will continue to hear from Alan throughout our arc of episodes. His full unedited interview will be available later this week on Patreon]

We simply can't contain our joy for today's episode - an hourlong exploration into the composition, orchestration, performance and storytelling power of the Main Title. Please join us as we take our "first steps into a larger world".




STAR WARS - John Williams - 1977 - Lucasfilm Ltd./20th Century Fox (George Lucas, dir,)

Star Wars: Suite for Orchestra - John Williams Signature Edition - Hal Leonard (conductor score)
https://www.halleonard.com/product/viewproduct.action?itemid=4490057&lid=150&keywords=john%20williams%20signature&subsiteid=1&

IMDB
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076759/?ref_=nv_sr_5

Alan Snelling 
https://soundcloud.com/alan-snelling-1/sets/alan-snelling-music

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Prologue: A Long Time Ago...

We've dreamed of these episodes since ever conceiving the podcast... Today we want to offer our thanks for your patience, attention and support by turning to a subject so many of us love like no other: John Williams' score to STAR WARS (1977). Now more than ever we want to remember the original cinematic phenomenon that defied the odds and seemed to unite a jaded, world-weary nation. Now we turn back the clock more than 40 years, to a time when Princess Leia & Luke Skywalker were little more than ideas in the mind of a young & visionary George Lucas; to a decade where a seasoned & sophisticated composer was presented the opportunity of a lifetime. Unbeknownst to either of them, together these two collaborators would create a work that would enrapture their public, transform their industry, and undeniably change the popular culture of their planet. We begin our 5-part series on STAR WARS with a special prologue examining all that happened before John Williams put pencil to paper. We've got so many questions we're dying to ask: What was the state of film music in the late 1970's? What did George Lucas envision musically for his space fantasy? How was Williams uniquely poised to deliver what is arguably the most essential film score of all time? What was the temp score to STAR WARS and who was its author? What of these occasional allegations of copying/borrowing/plagiarism? ... Today we attempt to answer each of these questions and prepare as best as we can for the episodes ahead. We hope to make this series as special & content-rich as possible - we can't wait to share what's in store. May the force be with you!






Rinzler, J.W. The Making of Star Wars New York, NY, Ballantine Books, 2007 

Star Wars, Lucas, and Williams: An Introduction
https://www.soundtrackpodcast.com/podcasts/star-wars-lucas-and-williams-an-introduction.htm

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Reel Change: Logos

Today we look at a delightful tradition of cinematic storytelling, one we find at the very beginning of our favorite films: studio logos. These jingles & fanfares are the anthems of Hollywood industry and have been crafted by our most beloved screen composers. We chronicle this unique musical art form from the dawn of sound-film to the present day, uncovering much about the evolution of cinema in the process. What were initially war cries on the battlefield of early Hollywood eventually evolved into tiny hymns celebrating the wonder of moviegoing. Today's episode brings together almost too many legendary composers to mention: Alfred Newman, Max Steiner, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, Michael Kamen (to name but a few). Put on your headphones and take a trip down memory-lane with us as we celebrate the past & present (and try our best to contain our anticipation for the next film subject...). Enjoy!






Classic Film and TV Studio Signature Logos
http://www.classicthemes.com/studioLogos.shtml

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

6m4 The Incredibles Audio Commentary

We are pleased to finally present our feature-length audio commentary to The Incredibles (2004). Let's all unleash our inner Supers and race head-on into one of the most perfect pieces of cinema of the 21st century. Thank you for your Incredi-patience in this series of episodes on Michael Giacchino's breakthrough cinematic debut - a score that is as potent & powerful today as it ever was. Music that... ah, you caught us monologuing again. Here we go - on with the show!




The Incredibles - Michael Giacchino - 2004 - Pixar Animation Studios (Brad Bird, dir,)

The Incredibles (Music from the Motion Picture)
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-incredibles-music-from-the-motion-picture/161398291

IMDB
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0317705/

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For score reductions, additional links and more,
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Thursday, May 31, 2018

BONUS FEATURES [6m3]

Score study:
"Spotting Session for The Incredibles" Complete Cue List



Bookmarks:
The Incredibles (Piano/Keyboard sheet music) - Michael Giacchino [Hal Leonard]
https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/the-incredibles-sheet-music/5542932


···

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

6m3 The Incredible Spotting Session

We've come at very long last to our third Incredi-Episode - it's another "spotting session". As in the past, once again we move cue by cue, reflecting on each piece of underscore in our film subject. Along the way we explore the air-tight, impeccably balanced story beats of Brad Bird's modern-day masterpiece and reveal the always deft, story-wise hand of composer Michael Giacchino. This is a score brimming with color, melody and superhero-sized heart. On our previous episode we identified and celebrated the many character themes & variations from The Incredibles; today we uncover just how Giacchino artfully weaves them into the fabric of the finished film. What a treat!
[A special note: it has truly pained us to have been away from producing the show for so long. We apologize for the unexpected & unprecedented hiatus. We're doing everything we can to bring our weekly show back on schedule and cannot thank you enough for your patience - you are the Supers!]




The Incredibles - Michael Giacchino - 2004 - Pixar Animation Studios (Brad Bird, dir,)

The Incredibles (Music from the Motion Picture)
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-incredibles-music-from-the-motion-picture/161398291

IMDB
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0317705/

■ ■ 

For score reductions, additional links and more,
the discussion continues at: www.underscorepodcast.com
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to support the show, please visit www.patreon.com/underscorepodcast