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|Volume 2 Issue 1, January 2016|
Happy New Year! Welcome to the first edition of the IHS E-newsletter in 2016! This is commonly a time when people simultaneously reflect on the past and set goals for bettering their lives. Have you made any New Years resolutions? Perhaps you will be inspired as you read this issue! Unless you live "off the grid" (and obviously you don't because you are reading this), you are well aware that the world currently revolves around STAR WARS! We are excited to share interviews with two inspiring horn players - Terry Johns shares his memories about recording the original Star Wars movies in the late 70's - early 80's and Andrew Bain discusses his recent experience playing solo horn on The Force Awakens! Another article you will be interested to read is from Johnathan Hammill (principal horn, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra) who tells us what it's like to record animé film soundtracks. As I said, there is inspiration on every line of this E-newsletter! We hope part of your 2016 plans include joining us in Ithaca for the next symposium, June 13-18!
Wishing you health, happiness and an inspired New Year,
This month, we have the pleasure of presenting a double-interview issue, inspired by the Star Wars mania taking over the world. Both our featured subjects have illustrious activities outside of their studio work, making it fascinating to see how they do it all. Terry Johns is a prolific writer as well as distinguished horn player - you will be amazed at all he has seen and done in his decades-long career in the UK. Australian-born Andrew Bain, the fearless co-host of our most recent symposium as well as principal horn in the LA Philharmonic, has just led the horn section in the latest Star Wars adventure. Read on and learn what it was like to be a part of it! (May the Force be with you, of course) :-) -KMT
Kristina Mascher-Turner: Terry, during your illustrious career at the heart of the London horn scene, you have played on numerous movie soundtracks. Which scores stand out for you?
Terry Johns: The sixties was an amazing decade for music in Britain. The Beatles conquered America in 1964 and every international conductor wanted to have a London Orchestra. Andre Previn came to the London Symphony Orchestra in 1968, he brought “classical” music to a vast new audience with his TV series “Andre Previn’s Music Night ” and many American film composers were coming to London to work in the studios at Denham and Shepperton. Though I didn’t know it at the time, I was very fortunate to have been a part of all this, having left the Royal Academy in 1965 and joined the Royal Philharmonic.
The first film sessions I was invited to were at Shepperton studios for “The Blue Max” – they began a few days before my 22nd birthday in April 1966 and it wasn’t solely because of the occasion that it stayed in my memory. I’ve listened to the sound track again recently. Jerry Goldsmith’s score is brilliant and the horn writing terrific. I think it’s one of the best things JG ever did, and I found out later that he thought so too. The music has been performed quite a bit in the concert hall I believe but the film is hardly ever seen on TV now. I’m sure I don’t know why. It’s a terrific film with a great cast – George Peppard, Ursula Andress and James Mason – and a powerful story about a German fighter pilot on the western front during world war one. For the record, the horns were Alan Civil, Jim Brown Jim Buck (jnr) and yours truly.
I do remember being amazed by the sound and the sight of the orchestra assembled for the film “Oliver” that was released in 1968. It was, by necessity a mixture of jazz, light music and orchestral players in large numbers not often seen in a studio, even in the London of the sixties. The great John Green conducted all the sessions, winning an Oscar for his “ best musical adaptation score” of Lionel Bart’s music.
Andrew Bain - "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and the LA recording studios
Kristina Mascher-Turner: The first question on everyone’s mind is, how long did it take you to recover from hosting #IHSLA2015?
Andrew Bain: I think I'm still recovering! It was such a wonderful week that I've been living off the memories for quite a while. Thank you to everyone who came to LA for the event.
AB: Well... Star Wars was AMAZING! I also really enjoyed the Good Dinosaur, Creed and Rwanda and Juliet which were recorded over the Summer. Other's that come to mind are Godzilla, Minions and Night at The Museum 3 which were all fun and terrific music.
AB: It was honestly a dream come true to work with John Williams and play this incredible score. As horn players we grow up listening to John Williams' music and the Star Wars soundtracks. It was a thrill each day to go to the studio to record The Force Awakens. I still can't believe I was lucky enough to be involved.
AB: The recording took place over a number of months and many sessions so we received the music to each session 3-5 days prior to the recording date.
AB: The whole project was from June to mid-November which is quite unusual for a film recording. I'm not sure of the exact number but I think we recorded over 20 and 30 sessions of 3 hours’ duration. Sessions were usually grouped in 2 per day and 2-3 days at a time.
Horn section from Star Wars: A New Hope (1977):
Horn section from Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015):
Ed Lockwood - Richard Watkins on the horn solo in the film “Prometheus”
Here is my photo of Maestro Richard Watkins, on April 2nd, 2012 at Abbey Road Studio One, having just recorded the music at the start of Prometheus.
The session started at 10:00am with a HUGE orchestra and a new pile of music by Harry Gregson-Williams, who was also conducting. Everyone was sightreading and Richard had just arrived and taken off his coat (so, no warm-up). I was sitting next to him.
Right at the very the start of the session Harry said,"Hey, Richard, there's some horn solo stuff in this. Shall we do it first to get it out of the way?
"Okay, sure", said Richard.
Richard played it perfectly first time. It's not often that a studio orchestra breaks into applause, but they certainly did that day.
Harry and the technicians could find no fault with Richard's solos but asked for them all again, anyway, I suppose just so they could make sure they hadn't misheard. Richard played it all again - and then again - all perfect, with rapturous applause after each recording.
As I had my camera with me I thought it important to record this historical event.
ジョナサン・ハミル - 東京録音スタジオ
Engish version Jonathan Hammill - the Tokyo recording studios
DO NOT MISS OUR BIGGEST EVENT OF THE YEAR!
THE IHS SUMMER SYMPOSIUM 2016
ITHACA, NEW YORK - JUNE 13-18
See you there!
International Horn Society