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://myartandsound.wordpress.com/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
“There is no normal for us to go back to. People sleeping in the streets wasn’t normal; children living in poverty wasn’t normal; neither was our taxes helping to bomb the people of Yemen. Using other people’s lives to pile up objects wasn’t normal, the whole thing was absurd. Governments are currently busy pouring money into propping up existing inequalities, and bailing out businesses that have made their shareholders rich. The world’s worst people think that everybody is going to come out of this in a few months and go willingly back into a kind of numbing servitude. Surely it’s time to start imagining something better.”
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)