Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings I released this, my 5th album, last week. It's been a very long time coming. I actually began working on some of the pieces on this album way back in about 1989, (always a Tolkien nut!) Then, when I heard that Peter Jackson was making the Lord of … Continue reading Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings
Oh no! What do I do? In 1987, the year I turned 17, John Williams released two fantastic soundtrack albums, and I truly don't know which one I love more. That year was the year of "The Witches of Eastwick" and "The Empire of the Sun". Both are phenomenal scores. I fell in love with … Continue reading A John Williams Score for every Year of my Life: 1987 – The Witches of the Sun
I love bridges. I think they're extremely beautiful. Especially if they are a good traditional arched structure. There is something very perfect about an arched bridge spanning a river, or a valley. And I'm not alone. Some of the famous bridges of the world have been the mainstay of photographers and artists for years. Like … Continue reading Bridges
The year I turned 16, a film was released which I didn't see at the time, and I'm not sure I have ever watched in its entirety. The year I was sixteen (sweet sixteen and never been kissed, but that's another story) my mother died, and I probably had other things on my mind. In … Continue reading A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life 1986 – Spacecamp
I hope those of you who read my blog on all things artistic and musical find it insightful and interesting (at least on the odd occasion!) I never thought I'd enjoy writing a blog as much as I do. It's not always clear when I start an entry what it will be about - I … Continue reading News! Read All About It!
They say that size doesn't matter. But I have to disagree, to a certain extent. When an artist creates a new piece of artwork, one of the first things they will need to think about is how large the piece is going to be. This of course is decided partly by what the work is … Continue reading Small is Beautiful
"What on earth is that?" I hear you ask. Well, it's something I've only ever tried once, but I'm going to start using again. It's all about laying a base coat on a canvas, often over the original drawing marks. Many artists use brown, others use orange. I suppose it's about using a colour which … Continue reading Imprimatura
OK, I'm cheating a little here. There was no score by John Williams in 1985. It was the first year since 1960 that didn't see a new score by Williams. Many of the years since that time had seen numerous scores. That tells you something about his work ethic, and how sought after he was. … Continue reading A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life – 1985 – The River
I'm always learning as an artist. One thing I'm learning at the moment which I thought I'd share with you is about where to start laying your colours down on a canvas. You see, when I first started painting on canvas with acrylics a few years ago, I treated them very much like watercolours, where … Continue reading Hints and Tips on Painting Trees
Steven Spielberg and George Lucas took a different direction with Indiana Jones in the sequel to 1981's "Raiders of the Lost Ark". For one, the film is actually a prequel, with the action taking place in 1935, mainly set in India (after a short prelude in China). This was apparently to avoid using the Nazis … Continue reading A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life – 1984 – Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
I want to share with you some of the things that happen in the creation of new artwork. Stage 1 Firstly, I have to decide what exactly I am going to commit to paper or canvas. And that is not as easy as it sounds. I take huge numbers of photographs, and so the first thing … Continue reading The Process of a Painting
Just before Christmas I had the wonderful experience of watching The Return of the Jedi screened with a live orchestra playing the score. I'd seen the first two films in the saga in the same way a few years ago - and this one was held back a year by the pandemic. It's a curious … Continue reading A John Williams Score for Every Year of my life – 1983 Return of the Jedi
Most of us, I am sure, have at some point or another looked up at the clouds and imagined the animals we can see in their shapes. This has got a name. It's called pareidolia. Can you see the two cats fighting below? Or is that just me? I don't know about you, but I … Continue reading Clouds
E.T: I remember clearly going to see it for the first time, at the age of twelve. I remember seeing the posters, some of which had a boy and a... thing lying on hospital beds surrounded by plastic sheets, and I wondered what on earth I was going to see. And then the lights went … Continue reading A John Williams score for every year of my life – 1982 – E.T. The Extra Terrestrial
Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen. -Leonardo da Vinci
Sharing this from a blog I follow. Isn't it wonderful? Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world.All things break. And all things can be mended.Not with time, as they say, but with intention.So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally.The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you. ~ L.R. Knost
When I was a young artist, I greatly admired the work of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. They were a group of young idealistic Victorians who painted art to educate and improve their peers. They looked back to a time in Art History when, it seemed to them, art had been about improving the morality of its … Continue reading Hidden in Plain Sight
I've been doing some online training this week with a rather wonderful French lady called Gavriella. It's all been about how to attract customers as an artist. It's most definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone! You see, as an artist, I have one major weakness. I'm British, and we British don't like to … Continue reading Out of the Comfort Zone
I thought I'd share 5 fun facts about me today: 1. I never have a cup of coffee near when I'm painting. Artists will understand! Ask me if you want to know why. 2. I have these ridiculous glasses (basically magnifying glasses attached to a head clamp) which I wear when doing really detailed work. … Continue reading Fun Facts About Me as an Artist
With this, the first in the series of Indiana Jones films, John Williams created yet another outstanding opus - that surrounding the wisecracking, whip-swinging, fedora-wearing hero and sometimes archaeologist, Indiana Jones. Harrison Ford may have played the titular hero (and it's a wonder that despite his resemblances and affinities to a certain smuggler in a … Continue reading A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life 1981 – The Raiders of the Lost Ark
I'm working on a new album release, which will contain some songs which are 25 to 30 years old. Some of them were written when I was very young, and before I'd really become the person I am. In some ways, they reflect my black and white view of the world back then. As we … Continue reading How far to update old songs?
I suffer from George Lucas Syndrome. Now before you all grab your medical encyclopaedias to look that up, actually, it does exist, but not in the way I mean it. Apparently the urban meaning is "A situation in which sci-fi movies often sacrifice good-quality acting and a coherent story in order to milk in the special effects." But that's not the … Continue reading When is it Finished?
I'm sure all creatives, people who try to make a living from their creations, suffer this at some point. And it's not, by the way, confined to writers. I've been fighting with a new song all day, and it still isn't playing ball. My ideas sound hackneyed, flat. And that's just to me. I wouldn't … Continue reading Writer’s Block
Well, it's that time of year again - I start thinking about Christmas and the New Year. It may seem ridiculously early, but for those of us who are in the business of designing cards and calendars, our work began some time ago. So I have my beautiful A3 sized wall-hanging Calendars for sale on … Continue reading A3 Calendars
It's a while since I wrote one of these posts on the work of my favourite composer, John Williams. I've had Covid, but that's not why. The truth is, since I left teaching to become wholly freelance with my own music and art, I haven't had a great deal of time to write. And that's … Continue reading A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life 1980 – The Empire Strikes Back
Apparently most of the UK population have put on an average of half a stone on over lockdown. That's certainly true of me, and I'm working doubly hard to try to lose it again. But like the old meme says - "I keep losing weight, but it keeps finding me again". But if I'm honest, … Continue reading The Art of Putting Weight On
I took a risk at Easter. I left teaching, in order to give my time to painting and to music composition. So far, it's been the best decision I could have made, because I've had more work than I know what to do with. In fact, I've been so busy doing paid work for other … Continue reading My life as a Freelancer
I can't wait to read it, and the cover does all the right things - it whets the appetite, gives me questions which need answers.
There was a painting I did last year which I thought was pretty good. I thought it worked, and I like the amount of detail I'd been able to use. The source photo hadn't been that great, but I thought the end product was worth the effort. I look at that painting now, and all … Continue reading The Urge to be Better
Some time ago I started writing pieces of music which reflected my love of the cosmic, of science fiction. I chose as my theme the Moons of Jupiter. I don't intend to write music for every single one of them, as there are about 79 at last count. However, I added a new moon fairly … Continue reading Thebe – from The Moons of Jupiter
Well, since I last blogged, there have been some changes. Well, one in particular. I took the step in Easter of this year of leaving teaching. So I am now (and have been for the past one and a half months) a full-time creative freelancer. So what is it like? Well, I've been fortunate. Since … Continue reading Life Changes
Dracula, scored in 1979, is perhaps one of john Williams' lesser known works. It is however a mighty work, built mainly around the lush and dangerous theme Williams provided for the central character. This theme features firstly in the Main Title and Storm Sequence : https://youtu.be/SEAbPQN9mFI John Williams has said that he tries not to … Continue reading A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life 10: 1979 – Dracula
So I've reached the year I turned eight. In that year, John Williams was called upon to score a number of feature films, with wide-ranging subject matter - from superheroes to a man-eating shark. I simply cannot choose one score to epitomise his output that year, so I shall choose a theme (motif) or two … Continue reading A John Williams Score for every Year of my Life 9: A bit of a mix, 1978
I've been teaching some year 5 classes about melody recently, helping them to realise that good melodies don't just happen by accident. It's not that composers slavishly follow rules to compose memorable tunes, because most of the time, a good melody does present itself as if my magic. But there are certain truths I suspect … Continue reading What makes a good melody?
This week I completed the fourth in my series of pieces inspired by the idea of the Moons of Jupiter. The introduction to this opus can be found here https://adamtucker.art/2020/11/25/a-new-little-musical-venture-the-moons-of-jupiter So here is the next instalment - Europa. This one is the biggest of the pieces, not just in length but also in breadth of … Continue reading New Moon (of Jupiter)
Do I dare? What on earth can I say about this magnum opus which single handedly transformed film scoring, just as the film it accompanies reinvented the blockbuster. So much has already been written about the score John Williams wrote for George Lucas' little space opera - I certainly couldn't say anything new or improve … Continue reading A John Williams Score for every year of my life 8b. 1977 – Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope
This is not a film review. This is purely my response as an artist to the artistry at work in the design of the film, which in my view is absolutely second-to-none. Much of the film's design is down to the excellent and unique work of Brian Froud. His imaginative and organic designs are an … Continue reading The Dark Crystal – a Triumph of Design
1977 was a big year for John Williams. He wrote the scores to Close Encounters of the Third Kind, as well as a certain space opera set a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. It would be remiss of me not to include both of these immense scores, different as they are. … Continue reading A John Williams Score for Every Year of my Life 8a – Close Encounters
I was asked this morning what I consider to be the gifts to myself of the pandemic and resultant lockdowns this year. A strange question, to be sure. But not a ridiculous one. Many of us have found something important this year - maybe something we'd forgotten, or lost, has been rediscovered - like a … Continue reading The Gifts of the Pandemic
I've started composing some pieces to represent the moons of Jupiter. I won't be writing pieces for every single one of them, because there are quite a few! Seventy-nine at the last count. But the main ones, whose names you may have heard of, such as Thebe, Callisto, Ganymede, Io, Europa, and Amalthea - they … Continue reading A new little musical venture – The Moons of Jupiter
I know very little about the film which gave birth to this choice of score by John Williams. I know that it is a Western film which starred Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson, but that's only because they appear on the album artwork. Having looked at Wikipedia's entry on the film, I see that it … Continue reading A John Williams Score for every year of my life 7 – 1976 the Missouri Breaks
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BePfzCOMRZQ&list=OLAK5uy_knTCF7Agg3xAnZ4xzhdDsgq2OvaMzYBrI It has to be done. Whilst I am a great fan of the other score of 1975 which Williams wrote for "The Eiger Sanction", I couldn't not devote this blog entry to the stroke of absolute mastery which is Jaws. As a teacher, I often use the theme from Jaws to illustrate how composers … Continue reading A John Williams Score for Every Year of My Life – 1975 Jaws
For this post I want to zoom in on one part of this score which struck me as soon as I heard it some years ago - the main theme. It encapsulates so much of the time, with upbeat funky additions to the mix, and that wonderful soaring John Williams horn melody. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyEJQSnsjCM Honourable mention … Continue reading A John Williams Work for Every Year of my Life 5 – 1974 Earthquake
I've reawakened my long dormant soundcloud account, and I intend to use it often to showcase my new compositions as well as some of my older ones. https://soundcloud.com/adam-tucker-composer My Soiundcloud page. Visit it to listen to my take on the world which Tolkien gave us in The Lord of the Rings. https://soundcloud.com/adam-tucker-composer/sets/the-lord-of-the-rings I've also uploaded … Continue reading The Lord of the Rings and other things
My son asked me the other day (because even at 15 he seems to mistakenly think that I am a fount of all wisdom - until I ask him to do something of course!) when humans started to write. I answered that even the cavepeople drew on the walls - imbuing their drawings with meaning. … Continue reading Where did it all start? And where is it going?
In some ways John Williams' music for Cinderella Liberty was a departure from the style he was beginning to make his own in the early seventies; certainly in the context of the soundtracks which he'd composed in the years before, such as Jane Eyre, the Cowboys, it almost feels like a different composer. It is … Continue reading A John Williams Work for every Year of my Life 4: Cinderella Liberty
I find people's faces endlessly fascinating. A face doesn't have to be beautiful to be memorable. Sometimes it is the imperfections in a face which give it it's character. But what is really fascinating is the way that a face tells the story of it's journey through life. A child's face is often almost like … Continue reading The Stories in a Face
About 20 years ago I wrote a setting of the Gloria for SATB choir and orchestra. It has yet to receive it's first live performance, but I present it here, performed by the wonderful instrument sounds of the Spitfire Audio orchestral instruments, and the very clever EW Symphonic Choirs - a sample library of full … Continue reading Gloria!
I've been working on a piano transcription of the Theme from Jane Eyre, my choice of John Williams Score from 1970. I've just posted it to youtube. There will be more to follow - I'm going to do a number of John Williams themes - especially some of his less well-known ones, or at least … Continue reading Return to Jane Eyre
John Williams was 40 when he wrote the music to the Mark Rydell film, "The Cowboys". In the same year, he produced what has to be his most avant-garde score for the Robert Altman film, "Images". I just want to briefly look at his work on this latter film before taking a more in depth … Continue reading A John Williams Work for every year of my life 3: The Cowboys (1972)