The 'Verse is big, but it's a small world.
Anyone who knows me also knows that the music of John Williams is one of the most influential forces on me. I first heard his scores when I was 4 or 5 years old and they sparked my passion for creating music. In my parents basement in Peoria, I played my VHS tapes of "Star Wars" until they melted. John's music from "Star Wars", "Raiders of the Lost Ark", and "Superman" are forever ingrained in my mind.
So, it's no surprise that we've made it a tradition to go see John Williams with the LA Phil at the Hollywood Bowl every summer. It's easily one of my favorite evenings every year. This year's concert was fantastic as always. The program included music from "Jurassic Park", one of my favorite Williams scores. Every year I've said, "Man, I hope we get to hear "Jurassic Park" this year." and this time it happened. When the orchestra was warming up on stage, I heard the French horns and trumpets practicing their "Jurassic Park" parts. I reacted pretty much in the same way I did when I woke up on Christmas morning to find Castle Grayskull under our tree. Nerd.
Along with my wife, my friends Dan Wilson and Derrek Long joined me for the concert. Derrek (drums) and I (vocals, bass, and trombone) were in the bands Small Mediums at Large and Roscoe P. Soultrane together and still collaborate to this day. I'll share some of the music from those bands on here in the future. And if you remember those bands, you get bonus points.
Dan is a great friend and an endlessly talented songwriter. He's the frontman from the band Semisonic ("Closing Time") and has written and co-written with so many fantastic artists that it's dizzying. Including Adele's "Someone Like You", The Dixie Chicks, Taylor Swift, and John Legend to name a few. Recently Dan enlisted me to write and record the string arrangements for the title track on Alex Clare's new album, "Three Hearts".
Having both Dan and Derrek with us at the concert meanest lots of geeking out between songs. It was like a music study with 17,000 of our closest friends.
The multi-talented Seth MacFarlane also performed a few songs with John and the LA Phil which was a real treat. Collaborating with my good friend Ron Jones on "Family Guy", I've seen Seth's true passion for music first hand. He gets it.
You're probably saying, "Ok, this is cool and all. But what's with that photo at the top of this post?"
Well, when you're walking out of the Hollywood Bowl after a concert, you join these tightly packed and slow moving herds of people on the sidewalks leading out of the Bowl. Our group was shuffling along and continuing to nerd out over the amazing concert we just witnessed. My wife suddenly perked up and said, "Hey, it's Wash!" "Where?" I said, thinking that it was probably just someone who resembled Alan Tudyk. "Right in front of us!" she said. And sure enough, he was walking along in the crowd two people in front of us. I shouted "Hey Alan!" and he stopped and turned towards us. I introduced myself and told him that I'm composing the music for "Firefly Online." We were both surprised by the craziness of bumping into each other and talked for a few minutes about our work on the game and other things. As I said before, 17,000 people at the concert. Of course I'd run into Alan, right?
Until next time, go BUY and listen to the score for "The Empire Strikes Back" You can thank me later.
See you in the 'Verse,