Talk:John Williams

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  • "The Olympics are a wonderful metaphor for world cooperation, the kind of international competition that's wholesome and healthy, an interplay between countries that represents the best in all of us."
  • “My choice always is not to read scripts. I'd rather go into a projection room and look at a film to have that same pristine, unprepared reaction that the audience will have, however special effects (added later) complicate that process.”
  • “If I can see the film fairly close to its editorial rhythms, I'll get a sense of its kinetic ebb-and-flow; where the film may be slowing down, or where it's accelerating, and where I can pick up on the rhythms of the film. My own belief is that the first and most important issue in scoring films is tempo.”
  • “If the music is quicker than the editorial rhythm it may seem to slow the film down, and the reverse is also true. You need to get into the rhythmic "pocket." We know we've got it right when it's riding with the action in an effortless way.”
  • “(When composing) I'll run the scene several times and have a timing cue sheet that's been prepared for the scene, and then I'll write three or four bars and go back and look at it and then write four bars more and look at it again. And it's a constant process of writing, looking, checking, running it in my mind's ear against the film, even conducting with a stopwatch against the action of the film. It's driven almost measure by measure by the film itself.”
  • “The film (score) has to be conceived to be heard with the sound effects and the dialogue; we're writing accompaniment all the time.”
  • “In the late twenties and early thirties, people would come to Hollywood and their only idea to accompany film was inspired by the art music of Europe. Now we have something of the reverse in someone like John Adams, who finds inspiration not in the art music of Europe but in the media music, the urban racket of contemporary life. The exact opposite of what we had in the thirties-a complete shift in sensibility.”
  • “The process has really only begun. What the people coming along now are going to do will astound all of us, I know that. What's happened the last five or six decades has only been setting up a preparation, and a keen interest, and an awareness of the great musical opportunity that's here. It's an art form that's in its infancy. That's what's exciting.”