Friday, October 26, 2007
World Series Music Update
I have to ignore the fact that Boston is up 2-0, even though last night's close game felt as dominant as Game One's rout. So let's talk national anthems. Game One featured composer John Williams (Raiders, Star Wars, Jaws, etc.) with a new arrangement of "The Star Spangled Banner." It was appropriately rousing (Wiliams knows how to stir people up), but there seemed an interesting dissonance in some of the middle brass sections that kept it from being rah-rah hyperbole. The sound and dynamics were a little hard to hear -- it seemed a bit off balance to me, but I assume that was due to the acoustics of the stadium and the horrible reverb that classical musicians never have to deal with. I'd love to hear a recorded version of it to truly hear what Williams was going for. But overall a solid piece. James Taylor, on the other hand, was close to a disaster. I don't know how an artist like him can get stuck in the wrong key, but it sure sounded like an awfully uncomfortable one for him. He was flat and missed a word and at one point his eyes looked unfocused and lost, as if he was wondering how in the heck he got where he was musically. The acoustic guitar arrangement seemed lovely and overall if it weren't for the very shaky vocals, it would have been a nice low-key take on the usually chest-thumping song. Too bad his vocals escaped him, much like the strands of hair in the wind that made him look like a static electricity experiment. Love James Taylor, but that was not good. Williams 7 out of 10; Taylor 3 out of 10.