Film Score Monthly
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2011 - 12:06 PM   
 By:   hiRidge   (Member)

...Conrad Pope's a fan, all of Williams' principal players have done endorsements on his site...

The latest mock-up from composer Mike Verta, whose work I have been championing for years:

http://www.mikeverta.com/Posts/The_Race-2011.mp3

I swear it's only a matter of time for this guy. I know Hans heard his stuff and immediately called him in, but I don't know what's become of that, though it scares me a little bit. But he's got the sound, the sensibilities, the melodic gift... I gush, obviously smile

He put up a page with a bunch of pieces not long ago: http://www.mikeverta.com/VIP.html and I also found a big thread on a professional composer forum, where's he's got the most popular composition thread on the entire site: http://www.vi-control.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15017&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

I'm mostly a lurker on FSM, but I'm a huge fan of great film music, and if you are, too, I just can't see how you wouldn't love this stuff. I wish we, as a community, could do something to get young guys like this some attention, so it's not all electronic crap 24 hours a day. smile Anyway, I was really inspired and wanted to share!

Jim

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2011 - 12:14 PM   
 By:   ryankeaveney   (Member)

Verta managed to do what I'm sure John Williams fans have always dreamed of: take Danny Elfman's theme for BATMAN and arrange it as if Williams were forced to to do so wink

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2011 - 12:18 PM   
 By:   hiRidge   (Member)

smilesmile Yep, I dig that one, too.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2011 - 12:25 PM   
 By:   jfallon   (Member)

WOW... enjoyed the hell out of listening to that. Is that sound all done on synth or does he compose for orchestra?? Can't believe that is electronic. I had to laugh- as good as they all are my fav would have to be "So 80's"... he nailed Faltermeyer!

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2011 - 12:29 PM   
 By:   hiRidge   (Member)

That's electronic, but he said he's recording it at Sony, live, I think soon. He's done a lot of live orchestral stuff, it's on his site, but he posts a lot of electronic sketches and mock-ups as well. Sounds pretty good for a synth, though - I can't wait to hear the difference live. He's actually doing it to show how much better live is!

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2011 - 12:55 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

There is nothing particularly original with what Verta does, IMO, but by God - he's one of the best pastiche composers I've ever heard. His Williams, in particular, is uncanny.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2011 - 1:26 PM   
 By:   hiRidge   (Member)

Well there's nothing particularly original about what Williams does, either. smile It's just a lot of BarberSchumannStravinskyHolstShostakovichWaltonVaughnWilliams. Maybe that's why I like it smile

And Horner... well, we'll just leave that right there, shall we?. smile In any case, I bet we'd both take this stuff over no shortage of what's being recycled over and over today. Talk about lack of originality! With every other RC/MV score sounding identical, to the point of using many of the same devices over and over (string ostinatos, anyone?), clearly nobody values "original." smile Personally, I miss the sort of gets-in-your-head melodies Verta seems to be turn out effortlessly. If you don't catch yourself humming The Race afterwards, you're a tougher crowd than I am, for sure!

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2011 - 2:10 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Well there's nothing particularly original about what Williams does, either. smile It's just a lot of BarberSchumannStravinskyHolstShostakovichWaltonVaughnWilliams.

Not really. Williams has a bunch of particular trademarks that are instantly recognizable as HIM and no one else (no matter what the stylistic inspirations are). Verta, on the other hand, is all about pastiche, not mere inspiration. But originality is only one out of several ways to appreciate music.

I also love pastiche that is really well thought-out and demands lots of musical knowledge to pull off. McNeely's stuff, for example, or the synth/orchestra samples that Thomas J. Bergersen does for MV.

Mike Verta is, IMO, one of the best in his game at this. At least from those I've heard. It takes a lot of skill to sound that much like Williams (or any other composer, for that matter); total control of orchestral composition.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2011 - 2:31 PM   
 By:   hiRidge   (Member)

Agreed. You can't do Williams that well without boatloads of skill. And not to belabor the point, but I'm curious which Williams devices you think are original. I have the strongest suspicion I can name you several direct precedents in repertoire which he unquestionably took from, if you're willing. Most people don't really know the classical repertoire that well, so they think he invented a lot of the devices he uses routinely, when the truth is he's so well versed in the repertoire he's actually an apologist for his film music - at least in academic circles, anyway. And I'm as huge a Williams fan as any, don't get me wrong! I'm just curious what of his sound you think is his! smile


 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2011 - 2:59 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

Great to see some Verta love on this forum smile I'm a huge fan of his score to Mega Monster Battle Ultra Galaxy The Movie. I can't wait to hear what his work sounds like when he gets an orchestral version recorded.

 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2011 - 7:34 PM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

I enjoy Mike's Star Trek piece. Lots of chops!

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2011 - 8:08 PM   
 By:   Bailey   (Member)

Agreed. You can't do Williams that well without boatloads of skill. And not to belabor the point, but I'm curious which Williams devices you think are original. I have the strongest suspicion I can name you several direct precedents in repertoire which he unquestionably took from, if you're willing. Most people don't really know the classical repertoire that well, so they think he invented a lot of the devices he uses routinely, when the truth is he's so well versed in the repertoire he's actually an apologist for his film music - at least in academic circles, anyway. And I'm as huge a Williams fan as any, don't get me wrong! I'm just curious what of his sound you think is his! smile

Thanks for the links--this is fabulous stuff. Pastiche? Well, yes, but I don't care. I love hearing someone who can sound like Williams without doing direct quotes or laying his own melodies over a rhythmic structure previously established by JW for a particular score. Some JW trademarks I hear (not that these aren't in the repertoire, but I just don't hear other film composers utilizing them) are the trumpets in thirds, the quartal harmony, the woodwind runs. Unfortunately, I'm not sure the film scoring aesthetic in play in current films would allow a talent such as Mr. Verta's to really thrive. Very sad, really--I miss the "old" days (a whopping 15 years ago) of filmmakers who weren't afraid of big, melodic scores, though I imagine it will cycle back around at some point.

 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2011 - 8:14 PM   
 By:   LeHah   (Member)

That 80s Demo made my night!

 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2011 - 8:32 PM   
 By:   Saul Pincus   (Member)

Awesome, seriously awesome.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2011 - 9:03 PM   
 By:   Peter G.   (Member)

Thanks for sharing. I hope this guy gets his big break sometime soon.

Also, tell Hans Zimmer to stay away... we don't need this guy turning into another one of those Remote Control clones!!!

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 21, 2011 - 2:26 AM   
 By:   TownerFan   (Member)

Amazing stuff. I already knew his thrilling BATMAN ride, but I'm enjoying a lot his other stuff. This guy has tremendous chops, I sincerely hope we'll hear more of him in future movies!

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 21, 2011 - 8:07 PM   
 By:   hiRidge   (Member)

I'm glad you guys like it! I know these sorts of theme-heavy scores aren't being done much these days (not that it's really a choice, with much of the current crop), but the Zimmer thing is nearing the point of self-parody at this point, I think. When I heard Desplat's literal re-quoting of those stupid staccato strings for the umpteenth billion time in the new HP I thought I saw a shark jumping somewhere. Since it's not just the sound but seemingly the literal musical figures being repeated over and over, I'm not sure how it isn't considered plagiarism at this point or an embarrassment, at least. The only constant is change, though, and orchestral music like Verta's was "out of style" before Williams resurrected it with Star Wars. So here's hoping for the next Star Wars smilesmile

 
 Posted:   Apr 21, 2011 - 8:41 PM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

Some extra info. He's married to "Winnie" from The Wonder Years. Danica McKellar.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 22, 2011 - 2:33 PM   
 By:   hiRidge   (Member)

Maybe she knows some people... smile

You know, listening to the Mission:improbable piece, which could easily work in a Bond film with a few tweaks, and the 80's thing and his jazz albums, I'm pretty sure he could do pretty much any sound a director wanted - he's got a big range. He already uses some of those electronic things we hear all the time, so possibly I'm thinking a modern-ish sound, only with all the memorable theme and structure we miss from the Good Old Days.

 
 Posted:   Apr 22, 2011 - 4:08 PM   
 By:   voiced   (Member)

Some extra info. He's married to "Winnie" from The Wonder Years. Danica McKellar.

Thanks, David.

I used to have a crush on her when I watched that show. So cute! She was in 'The West Wing' a few years back too.

Yes, Mike Verta is somebody to watch. Those samples are excellent, particularly the Warner one.

 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2014 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.