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 Posted:   Mar 4, 2014 - 6:44 PM   
 By:   Krakatoa   (Member)



Just listened to the album cue "Book Burning" from "The Book Thief" and part of it reminds me of a suspense cue from "The Poseidon Adventure".

I would quickly dismiss the thought but much of "The Book Thief" seems distantly reminiscent of the 1971 TV-Movie "Jane Eyre"?

Is there an early 70's vibe going on in parts of "The Book Thief"?

Love both John Williams scores!

 
 Posted:   Mar 5, 2014 - 11:24 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

Sorry, can't help K as I haven't seen BT nor heard the score.

But I'm pleased you posed the question. It's the very same sort of deep if inconsequential internal theorising I do myself about this or that. The thing is that when I've put similar questions to the board, the response is, strangely enough, "______."

The kind of resonance you're talking about is something you'd think everyone would be eating up terrabytes over. Ah, well . . . maybe the hook will tempt a fat fish passing by sometime soon.

Edit: I do have PA and JE so will try to cross-reference them.

 
 Posted:   Mar 5, 2014 - 4:55 PM   
 By:   Krakatoa   (Member)

It can be fascinating when a composer works over several decades and a theme or musical pattern in a later period of their output recurs or may remind a listener of something from a much earlier work.

A melodic idea in Jerry Goldsmith's "The Trouble with Angels" turning up again twenty years later in "Hoosiers" is interesting.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 5, 2014 - 11:48 PM   
 By:   Ludwig van   (Member)

I wonder if the Poseidon cue you're thinking of is "The Big Wave". It has a similar high dissonant chord in the strings with sustained bass note. And as for Jane Eyre, the opening of the suite certainly has similarities to The Book Thief's main theme (Liesel's Theme).

I would venture to say that what you're hearing are aspects of Williams' style, which is very broad indeed and incorporates a huge wealth of techniques. But still, once one hears enough Williams, one realizes that he does have certain preferences when writing in certain of his sub-styles. The tension type of cue you mention is a good example. That kind of writing can be found in many other scores of Williams, where there's a high sustained dissonant chord with a clear bass note supporting it. Another example is the opening of "Indy's Very First Adventure" from The Last Crusade. But really, there are many other examples.

The resemblance to Jane Eyre is surely another stylistic similarity, where cues end up sounding similar simply because those with similar emotional content tend to evoke consistent techniques from Williams. The main theme to The Book Thief is, for instance, extremely similar to that of Angela's Ashes, as another example.

This is what happens with composers who have a strong sense of style. They tend to write similar kinds of music in scenes with similar emotions. After all, what is style but the repetition of a limited number of techniques within a certain repertoire?

 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2014 - 12:04 AM   
 By:   SchiffyM   (Member)

After all, what is style but the repetition of a limited number of techniques within a certain repertoire?

Is style a limitation, or a preference? That is, do composers repeat themselves because they lack a larger stylistic vocabulary, or because they've found one (or several) that appeal to them?

Regardless, if composers didn't repeat certain techniques (varied in many guises, ideally), why would they be our favorites? If no two Ennio Morricone scores sounded alike, what would people have to grab onto to become fans? We love our favorite musicians -- Williams, Goldsmith, Mozart, Gershwin, Bon Jovi, Macklemore… whomever! -- because something about their style appeals to us. We don't want each successive score to be unrecognizable.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2014 - 1:57 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

"Is style a limitation, or a preference? That is, do composers repeat themselves because they lack a larger stylistic vocabulary, or because they've found one (or several) that appeal to them?"
--------------------------------------
I tend to think it's the latter.
We all attack our jobs from different ways, but the final goal is to end up doing it in the fastest, most productive and economical way possible.
I suppose if a certain technique or device has worked before, it can be applied again with a slight variation.
I also think there are triggers within a composer, wherein a vague memory of something that was applied before will be stimulated by a similar scene or sequence many years later and we hear a ghost of the first idea coming back.
I saw Book Thief last night and will leave my thoughts on it's own thread.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2014 - 4:59 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

"Is style a limitation, or a preference? That is, do composers repeat themselves because they lack a larger stylistic vocabulary, or because they've found one (or several) that appeal to them?"
--------------------------------------
I tend to think it's the latter.


I tend to think that it depends on the composer. smile

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2014 - 4:59 AM   
 By:   theMaestraX   (Member)

YES I get that cross referencing on several scores!
So it begs the answer: Is it style limitation, or a preference?
Something new, something borrowed or something blue!
Watch out for my upcoming essay entitled: DEJA VU!

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2014 - 5:25 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

" I tend to think that it depends on the composer "
-------------------
Most certainly. The more limited composers are doomed to repeat their failings ad nauseum.
I meant the good ones wink

 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2014 - 3:08 PM   
 By:   Krakatoa   (Member)

I wonder if the Poseidon cue you're thinking of is "The Big Wave". It has a similar high dissonant chord in the strings with sustained bass note.

Yes, that is it, thank you nailing it down.

The first minute of the "Book Burning" cue from "The Book Thief" reminds me of "The Poseidon Adventure" Rev. Scott tending to the wounded music in the latter part of the "The Big Wave/The Aftermath" album cue (2:30 or so spot).



 
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