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Star Wars Music Minute


Feb 28, 2022

A NEW HOPE Minutes 91-95

Guests: Father David and Trevor Mowry 

Ben Kenobi becomes one with the Force, our heroes escape on the Falcon, Leia consoles a heartbroken Luke, and we begin the TIE fighter attack. In this episode, we talk about the use of Princess Leia's theme during Obi-Wan's death, differences between European/British and American oboe playing, the sound mix during "Run, Luke, Run," and a lot more...

Discussion:

  • 00:00 - Hello there!
  • 11:40 - Steady lightsabers and civilized duels.
  • 16:46 - Force believers and Force atheists.
  • 25:03 - Having a visceral reaction to the OT soundtracks, feels like you're right there with the orchestra.
  • 27:40 - Maclunkey.
  • 31:47 - Terminator robots vs. Star Wars droids.
  • 38:02 - Making sense of the fact that Princess Leia's theme plays during Ben Kenobi's death. Does it match the emotion of the scene?
  • 48:58 - Hilarious cymbal crash a la Las Vegas water shows.
  • 50:25 - Saving up sound credits to spend later.
  • 54:25 - "Run, Luke, run" sound mixing analysis.
  • 1:04:51 - Shepard tone.
  • 1:11:52 - The saddest little Force theme.
  • 1:15:45 - Oboe deep dive: sound quality, double reeds, American style vs. European style reeds. According to Trevor, the London Symphony oboist on the Star Wars recordings plays with the hallmarks of what you'd expect from a British oboe player around this time.
  • 1:21:15 - Oboe timbre demonstration: Force theme and Leia's theme.
  • 1:24:42 - Hand-making reeds, "a remarkably analog process." Like a Jedi building their own lightsaber.
  • 1:30:15 - Being an instrumentalist is a little like having a superpower or being a Jedi.
  • 1:33:30 - Cat bomb.
  • 1:40:37 - Listening to how the Force theme passes through different instruments. An orchestrated decrescendo.
  • 1:50:52 - Transitioning to the TIE fighter attack. Sparkly, scintillating, oscillating string line.
  • 2:08:40 - TIE fighter video game, spending hours listening to the TIE laser fire.
  • 2:15:39 - SWMM Questionnaire.
  • 2:29:48 - Recap of the themes and soundtrack information.
  • 2:33:36 - Trevor has played under John Williams's baton and didn't mention it this whole podcast?

Things Mentioned:

Themes:

  • 3. Force
  • 4. Leia
  • 4) Martial Rhythm
  • Possibly 16) Imperial March Precursor
  • 2. Rebel Fanfare
  • 8. TIE Fighter Attack
  • Complete Catalogue of the Musical Themes of Star Wars (by Frank Lehman): https://franklehman.com/starwars/.

Soundtrack stuff:

  • bitter end of "The Tractor Beam/Chasm Crossfire" and "Rescue of the Princess"
  • "Ben Kenobi's Death/TIE Fighter Attack"

STAR WARS MUSIC MINUTE QUESTIONNAIRE:

1. In exactly 3 words, what does Star Wars sound like?

  • Father David: Raw triumphant heroism.
  • Trevor: Timeless space adventure

2. What's something related to Star Wars music or sound that you want to learn more about?

  • Father David: How much has the transition to digital sound production changed the feel of Star Wars?
  • Trevor: Everything about the Cantina Band, the human beings behind Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes. Where did they get these people? Where did they get a steel drum player who could shred like that?

3. What's a score or soundtrack you're fond of besides anything Star Wars?

  • Father David: Baby Driver (directed by Edgar Wright)
  • Trevor: Vertigo (composed by Bernard Herrmann)

Father David Mowry:

Trevor Mowry:

  • There's lots of oboe-related stuff online if you look up "Trevor Mowry oboe"... Also, you can find him playing with "The President's Own" Marine Band.
  • Gilles Silvestrini's Six Études pour Hautbois: https://youtu.be/aH-yh5nbWSI

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