Continuing in my occasional blog entries reviewing one score by the wonderful John Williams for every year of my life, we come to 1988, the year I turned 18, and the score to The Accidental Tourist. By this year, I'd been an ardent fan for about 4 years, having discovered that the same person who … Continue reading The Accidental Tourist
One thing I am often asked as someone who writes both music and lyrics is, "What do you do first? The music or the words?" And it's not as easy a question to answer as perhaps it should be. Because it hinges on the very process of creating something, and this is a process which … Continue reading What Comes First – Lyrics or Music?
I can't leave 1987 with just a look at "Empire of the Sun", which was the focus of my last blog entry in my ongoing look at a John Williams score for every year of my life. "The Witches of Eastwick" was the other remarkable score by Williams that year - it's just too great … Continue reading A John Williams Score for every year of my life: 1987 The Witches of Eastwick
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 – Empire of the Sun
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
For this post I want to zoom in on one part of the score to Earthquake 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=QRQ19CKA21U&list=PLpN8xN3JSwkSyeJsW_gFkqqqNmlWFLorI … Continue reading A John Williams Work for Every Year of my Life 5 – 1974 Earthquake
I always thought I'd be rich and famous by the time I was 30. I thought I'd be "discovered". And here I am, entering my second half century, and still not there. Yes, I make some money out of my paintings, out of my music. But not enough to pay the mortgage. Not enough to … Continue reading Leaving my Mark
I've been asked quite often how I go about writing a new piece of music. People it seems are often fascinated with the process a composer, especially a songwriter, go through to create something. And the answer is... I don't know. If I'm writing a song, do the lyrics come first or the music? Sometimes … Continue reading Where does it come from?