For me, the highlight of last night’s John Williams concert at the Hollywood Bowl was when David L Newman spoke.
Newman put everything about film music into a historic context in way that was a bit mind blowing.
He reminded us of the soundtrack’s very short journey.
Sound films started with the musical, THE JAZZ SINGER (1927). The initial bubble of early movie musicals (1929-1931) brought Broadway conductors like Max Steiner and Alfred Newman to Los Angeles.
There was confusion of how to use music in non-musicals (1927-1933) that changed with the approaches being invented by folks like Steiner and Newman and by the influx of composers like Eric Wolfgang Korngold and Frank Waxman arriving into LA from Europe to flee the Nazi’s (1935).
By 1939, the invention of recorded film music as we know it was pretty much complete with films like GONE WITH THE WIND.
Think about it…
The first really significant film score for a sound film, KING KONG was in 1933. Just six years later the language and techniques we know so well as film music were firmly established.
David Newman explained this with great passion.
And for me, the jaw dropping moment was soaking in the obvious…
David’s father, Alfred Newman was one of those early days’ inventors. That was just one generation ago!!!
Let that sink in.
The thing we all love and many of us devote our lives to was made up by some guy we know’s dad.
Talk about perspective!