To begin my document of learning, here is the link to my slideshow recounting my solo adventure to the Coquitlam Public Library.
Writing a speech is not an easy task. It’s quite a large task to take on and accomplish, but breaking it down piece by piece helps the process. Slightly.
The speech I wrote is set in 1981, during the recording session for the soundtrack of Steven Spielberg’s film, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. The speech is from John William’s Point of view, as he stops and conducts the Boston Pops.
John Williams conducting the score from E.T.
Alright, let’s try that again at 248.
(music fade in, begin conducting again)
Now, cellos, more sweetly, and everyone a bit quieter; I want to hear that harp. Flutes, you and the oboes are going to be a golden beam of light shining out of this nebulous fog, and we need that. Violins, I need more heart, I need more feeling.
We have to emulate this emotion perfectly.
What is happening here? E.T. is finally going home. This is the part in which we understand that we sometimes have to let things that are most important to us go. A teary-eyed bittersweet. We have to put this heart-wrenching understanding into a melody – to put our hearts into this feeling.
We are musicians and we are artists. The makers of dreams, the builders our own reality. We are the ones who add colour to dreams. So let’s add a colour we cannot see, but one we can hear.
We do this so we can wonder, so we can dream, so we can believe. Let us breathe belief into this movie.
Yes! Strings, make my heart soar! Make me weep! Make me believe!
(music fade out)
(refer to 0:00 to 1:12 for the music I will use during the speech)
For me, the greatest challenge was (and will probably be throughout my speech-writing career) making the speech sound natural and real. To not have it sound forced or, dare I say, scripted. It was just the idea of making it natural, but also getting my point across. Another challenge was writing it so that I could get the emotional impact of the music and the movie, without showing the movie itself. Timing the speech to the sound is going to take some more practice, but I am definitely getting there. The purpose of the speech itself, is to show the significance of music in film, and how music can affect our lives and manipulate our emotions.
Of course, to do a musician and to not learn/play some of his music would be absurd. John Williams is the composer of some of modern-day’s most beautiful music – part of which is why he has been so successful. Personal favourites of mine being the 11-minute bike chase scene at the end of E.T., the theme from Schindler’s List, and the march (specifically the love theme) from Raiders of the Lost Ark. So I spent a bit of time listening, studying, analyzing, and finally transcribing/arranging some of his music for my purposes.
Undoubtedly, I have learned a lot throughout the course of this project. I have learned a lot about John Williams the man, as well as learning about his music: why it works, how it works, etc. Needless to say, this knowledge has greatly helped me in composing music and has given me a lot to think about when listening to orchestral scores and the like. As for IEP goals, I was able to complete a lot of research and planning much earlier than expected, so I was able to manage my time and work more efficiently and effectively.
All in all, eminent has been very enjoyable for me to do, and I’m excited to see what night of the notables has in store for me.
PS. I would like it to be known I spent several hours devising a clever title that was funny and had a bit of zip to it. I apologize to everyone for my lack of creativity and a funny, zippy title.