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“There can be no such thing as writer’s block in film composition"

“There can be no such thing as writer’s block in film composition. You are closer to being a journalist than a novelist. You have a certain number of days to write a certain number of minutes of music, and you have to get on with it. It’s a job of carpentry, of manufacturing musical things. If there’s a section of a scene I can’t think how to treat I will just move on to another bit, then come back to it. It usually solves itself. Directors will always talk about what they think they want musically. And I always listen to them. But usually when I get to the piano and start to work, those ideas are pretty much gone. It’s always better for me to respond to the visual material — the film that’s actually being shot — than to verbal instructions. And of course there’s huge variety in that species of humanity called film directors. Some are very musical. Others are suspicious of using music at all.” —John Williams

(Quote from an interview with The Times, August 2020)

As always...the Maestro is spot on and he would know! - DF


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