Thursday, April 3, 2008

John Williams All Up In My Hood

Oscar-winning film composer John Williams made a visit to his alma mater, Los Angeles City College on Wednesday night. He spoke in a Q&A session with LACC music professor Dr. Doug Dutton (my brother's music appreciation teacher, who also owns Dutton's Books in Brentwood), who asked the maestro questions from LACC music students.

He talked about attending LACC in the '50s (he transfered from UCLA because LACC had a better music program at the time!), his workday, composing over 60 bars of music in his Universal Studios office, working with just "pen and paper" over software, meeting a young Steven Spielberg for the first time and the importance of musical keys in his composition choices (apparently, he's fond of B major) and his start as a studio orchestra pianist.

Afte rthe Q&A, there was a concert of LACC student composers, bookended by Williams' compositions (from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Schindler's List, The Witches of Eastwick and Far and Away). Williams didn't perform or speak at the concert but he sat proudly in the center of the Camino Theatre.

As a fellow musician and (newbie) film composer, it was quite the educational experience to hear from one of the greatest contemporary American composers of all time.

No comments: