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The Geek Jam Surgery

Episode 1 of The Geek Jam Surgery, the podcast where we take a deep dive into what makes your favourite geek culture music (anime/TV/Film score/Games/nerd core etc) remain on your goto playlists. Bedroom musicians with no formal training and trained, professional musicians get together to dissect sections of popular geek culture songs to analyse the creative choices and technical execution of the music.  Looking at topics such as; rhythm, melody, harmonies, chord movements, modulations plus engineering, mixing and mastering, hopefully learning something along the way. Its nerd music as described by music nerds. 

In this episode Paul, Bruce and Sterling examine the work of film scoring legend John Williams, specifically his iconic themes and motifs from the Star Wars movies.  From the huge horns that accompany the crawl to the soft leitmotifs that follow Harrison Ford around in his everyday life, not to mention a career filled with other blockbuster movie credits, the lads try to unpick some of his best known works.

References

Star Wars Leitmotifs – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52Pfq19L5JU

Yub nub –  return of the Jedi  – https://youtu.be/DXpmunmG5ss 

Yub nub replacement –  https://youtu.be/GlCFPo6YYbU 

Jaws scene with and without music – https://youtu.be/APsuJ7QyOAM 

John Williams Film Debut – https://youtu.be/6WozA4aQk2A 

Holst “Mars” – https://youtu.be/wKUVemPLAbw

Holst “Venus” – https://youtu.be/ZH38G-Sx7CE

Holst “Neptune” – https://youtu.be/g-x1kXKzhaY

Glossary

Leitmotif – A recurrent theme throughout a musical or literary composition, associated with a particular person, idea, or situation.

Dissonance, in music, the impression of stability and repose (consonance) in relation to the impression of tension or clash (dissonance) experienced by a listener when certain combinations of tones or notes are sounded together.

Articulation – a fundamental musical parameter that determines how a single note or other discrete event is sounded. Articulations primarily structure an event’s start and end, determining the length of its sound and the shape of its attack and decay. They can also modify an event’s timbre, dynamics, and pitch. – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Articulation_(music)

Staccato – performed with each note sharply detached or separated from the others.

Staff/Stave – In Western musical notation, the staff (US) or stave (UK) (plural for either: staves) is a set of five horizontal lines and four spaces that each represent a different musical pitch or in the case of a percussion staff, different percussion instruments. Appropriate music symbols, depending on the intended effect, are placed on the staff according to their corresponding pitch or function. Musical notes are placed by pitch, percussion notes are placed by instrument, and rests and other symbols are placed by convention. – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staff_(music)

Dies Irae – http://gregorian-chant-hymns.com/hymns-2/dies-ire.html https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/oct/11/dies-irae-latin-funeral-poem-thats-a-movie-must-have

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrHJTvMfXvw 

Links to recommendations (if you like John Williams)

Solti conducting Wagner: Siegfried Funeral Music – Götterdämmerung – https://youtu.be/nkOiKy6sXfM


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