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Cover

David Helbock

Playing John Williams (vinyl)

  • Type LP 12inch
  • Label ACT music
  • UPC 0614427976413
  • Catalog number ACTLP 97641
  • Release date 30 August 2019
Physical (LP 12inch)

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About the album

We all have the music in our lives from which there is no escape. It reaches deep inside, becomes planted ineradicably in the memory. Other, extra-musical occurrences can often get mixed in with the experience of listening, which has a way of imprinting the music on the mind even more firmly. This was what happened to David Helbock when he discovered cinema for himself and had his first encounters with the music of the American film composer John Williams: “He’s been with me just about all of my life. I can still remember clearly how as a child I saw “E.T.” countless times and was excited about the extra-terrestrial being and his human friends. I won’t forget how my feelings would flicker between fascination and fear when I first saw the shark in “Jaws”. These were all deeply emotional and formative experiences for me, and it was always the soundtrack to the films that was at the root of them.”
 
But why is John Williams’ music quite so effective, how is it that his music comes straight to mind when one thinks of any of the films in which he has been involved as composer? “Deep down, Williams is a great writer of melodies. They touch the heart profoundly, they release emotions. Take “Hedwig’s Theme” from “Harry Potter”, it’s a simple but incredibly deeply felt melody. Or the emotive theme from “Schindler’s List”. Rather than relying on sound effects or sonic ostentation, Williams puts his trust in the power of melody.”
 
“I’ve done all kinds of things with John Williams’ music. I’ve re-harmonised it, I’ve used different time signatures and much more, so that my own voice can flow naturally into it,” says Helbock. “But despite all the alterations, the melody always stays the same and remains recognisable. Much of the process of adaptation was done intuitively, driven by the emotions that the films sparked in me. So I wrote down the main melodies, I watched the films, before finally developing my improvised versions on the piano and slowly extending them.” And so this “storyteller at the piano” (3sat) gives us a very different John Williams from the one we know from the cinema, but the man in the picture remains unmistakably the doyen of film music himself.

  • 1
    1
    Hedwig’s Theme I from Harry Potter
     
    01:53
  • 1
    2
    Theme From E.T.
     
    03:39
  • 1
    3
    Theme From Schindler’s List
     
    05:04
  • 1
    4
    Superman March
     
    03:19
  • 1
    5
    Hedwig’s Theme II
     
    01:21
  • 1
    6
    Escapades, I. Closing In from Catch Me If You Can
     
    03:42
  • 1
    7
    Moonlight
     
    05:37
  • 1
    8
    Duel Of The Fates from Star Wars I
     
    04:37
  • 1
    9
    Hedwig’s Theme III
     
    01:27
  • 1
    10
    The Raiders March from Indiana Jones
     
    04:25
  • 1
    11
    Hymn To The Fallen from Saving Privat Ryan
     
    04:51
  • 1
    12
    Theme From Jurassic Park
     
    03:33
  • 1
    13
    Theme From Jaws
     
    02:17
  • 1
    14
    Hedwig’s Theme IV
     
    03:11
  • 1
    15
    Star Wars
     
    03:59
  • 1
    16
    A Prayer For Peace from Munich
     
    02:24

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