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Old 02-08-2008, 03:50 PM   #1
drwynn
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Happy birthday John Williams

I apologize if anyone has already posted something similar to this...but...

Today is the birthday of one of, if not THE greatest film composers of all time...John Towner Williams turned 76 years old today, February 8th, 2008.

As I write this, Williams is probably busy at work putting the finishing touches on his score for the upcoming "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull". And if that score is even close to being as good as the scores to the original "Indy" trilogy...then, the world is in for real treat. It's amazing to me to think that this brilliant musician is still doing what he loves and what he does best; composing beautiful, inspiring, and exciting music.

I've been listening to Williams' music all my life, and I consider his compositions to be some of the most beautiful art I've ever encountered. I got my first Williams LP, the soundtrack to "Raiders of the Lost Ark", just after I saw that film for the first time. To this day, I can still remember running upstairs to my bedroom, dropping the needle on the album, and listening to the score for the first time. I was instantly hooked, and I've been one of his biggest fans ever since.

Williams and his music changed my life; they set me on my course from a very young age, inspiring me to pursue music and film as a career path. When I was accepted into The Juilliard School (Williams' school of choice as well), I knew that I never would have reached such heights or attained that goal without John Williams and his music serving as part of my inspiration.

Even today, when I listen to certain Williams compositions, such as "Indiana Jones' Theme", "Duel of the Fates", the Theme to "Schindler's List", or "Hymn to the Fallen", I get goosebumps as I experience the same asthetic reaction to the music that I did the first time I heard it. Few composers have had the ability to move me consistently on such an intrinsic, primal level...and I can't begin to imagine my world without Williams' music.

When I met him in 2002, he was the consumate gentleman. He was thankful, appreciative, and kind, without the slightest air of arrogance. And each time we attend one of his concerts, he still takes to the podium with an energy and vibrance that belies his age, leading the orchestra with a vigorousness that inspires not only the musicians, but the audience as well.

It's awe-inspiring to think about the effect that Williams and his compositions have had not just on me, but on the general public. He's one of the very few composers whose works have effortlessly become such an engrained part of our pop-culture; the themes to "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "Jaws" are two of the most easily recognized pieces of music ever and have taken on a life and "persona" of their own, if you will. "Oh, come on...they're just a few notes! That's easy, any musician could come up with that" some musicians I've met have cried out in skeptical response. Well, if they think it's so easy to come up with the perfect "leitmotif", as in the case of "Jaws", I dare them to try, they'll quickly find out how "easy" it really is.

Williams' music is fortified by a true mastery of composition, thorough knowledge of all the classical styles and forms, and a lifetime of musical education. It's complex and rich in its orchestration, yet most of his melodies are accessible to the masses, being easily recognized by millions around the globe. If you don't believe me, just go whistle a few bars of "Star Wars", "Harry Potter", "Superman", "Home Alone", "Darth Vader's Theme", or "Indiana Jones' Theme" while out in public and see the kind of reaction you get. Whenever I do, people usually start whistling along or smile and "name the tune" I'm carrying with me. Some would argue that one of the reasons Williams' melodies are easily remembered by the public is because of the films they appeared in. True, Williams has had the great fortune of composing music for some of the most legendary, entertaining, classic, and blockbuster films of all time. But, would those films be the successes that they are if it weren't in part due to their brilliant musical scores?


It's nearly impossible for me to put into words what John Williams and his music have meant to me. So, instead, I'll end by saying today I celebrate his birth...his continuing excellence...and thank him for the wonderful music that has served as the soundtrack to my life.

Cheers, Maestro. I, and many others, look forward to many more years of beautiful music!

(I'm sure I'll catch all kinds of flack for this post from other members here who shall remain nameless but regard Williams with less esteem than I do. Oh well...)

Last edited by drwynn : 02-08-2008 at 03:58 PM. Reason: Wanted to change title of Thread...
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:00 PM   #2
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NO WAY IT"S MY BIRTHDAY TOO!!!!! I just had an Indy party. I'll post pics soon as I'm going to Disneyland right now to ride Indiana Jones!! Awesome!!
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Old 02-09-2008, 01:41 AM   #3
Adamwankenobi
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Williams is lucky compared to a lot of composers and other artists from the past, because his music has been appreciated by people all of his life, and will be appreciated long after he's dead.
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Old 02-09-2008, 01:45 AM   #4
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I can't help but make comparisons. At 76, my Grandpa had a hard time getting around and driving, etc. This man is composing scores for feature films. It's crazy really, to think about it. That's pretty old. I wonder if he has any physical ailments brought on by age. I've never seen him "seem old" in any video of him.

Anyway. When he is gone, one day, film will suffer for the loss of his magical scores.
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Old 02-09-2008, 02:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by No Ticket
I can't help but make comparisons. At 76, my Grandpa had a hard time getting around and driving, etc. This man is composing scores for feature films. It's crazy really, to think about it. That's pretty old. I wonder if he has any physical ailments brought on by age. I've never seen him "seem old" in any video of him.

Anyway. When he is gone, one day, film will suffer for the loss of his magical scores.

Wow that'd make one hell of a Hallmark Card. "Your A Year Closer To Death. We'll Miss You. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!"
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Old 02-09-2008, 08:03 PM   #6
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Wow that'd make one hell of a Hallmark Card. "Your A Year Closer To Death. We'll Miss You. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!"

LOL. Well, I didn't think he was actually reading this thread or I'd just have said Happy Birthday Johnny. Can I call you Johnny?

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Can I call you Johnny?

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Old 02-09-2008, 11:11 PM   #7
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Can I call you Johnny?
LOL

I think Williams posts here under the name of drwynn
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Old 02-10-2008, 12:17 PM   #8
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drwynn, what a beautiful post!

I know I am two days late, but want to wish Mr Williams a very happy birthday as he is without a doubt my favourite living composer.
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Old 02-10-2008, 12:20 PM   #9
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I know I'm late, but happy birthday Mr. Williams. I wish you many more years of health and success.
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Old 02-10-2008, 12:21 PM   #10
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I doubt he's visiting The Raven, but Happy Birthday Mr. Williams!!!

Great post Dr. Wynn!
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Old 02-18-2008, 06:12 PM   #11
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John Williams the best man that ever lived ,We can all tell he had a good birthday!
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Old 02-19-2008, 12:58 AM   #12
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Happy Belated Birthday Mr. Williams!! You are an inspiration for us all.
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Old 02-19-2008, 01:14 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by sarah navarro
John Williams the best man that ever lived ,We can all tell he had a good birthday!


Lol. I like him too, Sarah, but he's not the best man that ever lived. The best man that ever lived was beaten, rejected, and had spikes driven into His wrists, and hung on a cross for you and me.



That man was Christ Jesus.
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Old 02-19-2008, 04:21 AM   #14
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Lol. I like him too, Sarah, but he's not the best man that ever lived. The best man that ever lived was beaten, rejected, and had spikes driven into His wrists, and hung on a cross for you and me.



That man was Christ Jesus.

I appreciate your faith, but your reply kinda seems out of place.
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Old 02-19-2008, 01:58 PM   #15
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I appreciate your faith, but your reply kinda seems out of place.


Yeah your right. Ok everyone back on topic. Happy Brithday John Williams!
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Old 02-19-2008, 05:42 PM   #16
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Lol. I like him too, Sarah, but he's not the best man that ever lived. The best man that ever lived was beaten, rejected, and had spikes driven into His wrists, and hung on a cross for you and me.



That man was Christ Jesus.
uhhhhhhhhhhhh.......
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Old 02-19-2008, 05:46 PM   #17
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My congratulations are late and thank goodness you are not. Keep up the good work.
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Old 02-19-2008, 05:47 PM   #18
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uhhhhhhhhhhhh.......


I don't know. Just got into explaining it or something.
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:04 AM   #19
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I thought I would dig this up since I have a slight connection here. Mr. Williams and I share the same birthday. Happy Bithday to you sir.
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Old 02-15-2017, 01:03 PM   #20
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Happy recent 85th! Working on Star Wars 8, didn't show for his 23rd Grammy.
https://www.grammy.com/videos/star-w...r-visual-media
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