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Rodney Giesler 0:09
This is an interview with Edward Williams recorded by Rodney Giesler in Bristol on the 12th of January 1994. Tape one. Let me start by opening the vacant birth and your family background where you're born. Yes.
Edward Williams 0:34
Well, my name, as you say it's Edward Williams. But that's not my full name. My full name is Edward Aneurin Williams,
which is the result of a certain part of me and being of Welsh origin.
That I've been to an ad in Williams's, it's been two of Nigerians in Parliament, and no one is great in Ireland getting good health during my lifetime. And the other was my grandfather was an IBM should have been a liberal MP for the Constitution of Durham until about 96, was the first person to use the term League of Nations in 1917, I think, to describe the kind of organisation which would be needed after the war said nothing like that ever happened again. One part of man, one of my great, great, great grandfather's was an extraordinary Welsh character called Edward Williams, but he acquired about it neighbours got organic
food who half researched and half invented a good deal of Welsh history. I won't say anything more about him.
I was born in 1921. And my father was a veterinarian Williams was, was a journalist. At that time, he's a man of extraordinary wide interests and talents. He'd been collecting folk songs as young man, when he wrote NyQuil only for short, what had he been also secretary of the folks on rescue, for example, a short while published a couple of volumes of both poems, one of which was anthologized a good deal during the war was in the wardrobe, and the auction item to do a bit for a bit, I think, and then the king's commission, and married my mother James wall. My mother, my mother was an American from Colorado isn't American, Colorado, she's still alive. still playing her keyboard inventing songs and things. And I think probably most of my greatest part of my musical influences came from originally from her she played the piano, I would have been shut down and lots of
various bits of Debussy in Japan, particularly as a child, and
I also was given an induction into music. He had played me a lot of us to pay for our own pleasure, a lot of music, Mozart on the gramophone and Schubert. He's things like that, Paul reps, there's none. Anyhow, that I suppose started me off. And I was sent to boarding school committee, which was thought to be obligatory in those days for children with the middle class. I went well, I went to first the first school I went to Valley Nafisa de se francais in in London. And that was the very school first school I went to get my first musical performance. See my book saw that our gap so moving on, I burst into tears Did you have a prosperous House about five or six. Then I went to a little boys Day School in Chelsea, where my parents lived. When I was sent abroad, to a boarding school in in broad strokes for four or five years. And then when it was called Hilda shimmer house I went to see the I'll get to the school but I was in the process for other reasons. We just got to see if that place is still there. I had a reasonably good voice. So from the time from about I don't know I suppose. 1997 88 onwards. 3728 years of age. I went I went towards what it was like seven or eight. And from that time onwards until I left university, I suppose I sang in a Church of England service every day of my life, apart from Hong Kong. So I had to give, I'm an education, we're involved in getting sort of the repertoire of the
English Anglican church music from the 16th century onwards in those days. And I then went on to rugby with my father, and
five years down the road. I swore I wouldn't say Maya Angelou, etc. Because I've seen it. I didn't have a particularly bad time or anything like that. But it was a I really, I suppose I need to emotional deprivation, it definitely shows up that you're deprived of the people who love you and who love them that I find that very difficult, although I can have a very unpleasant time like that. And the compensation was music. They had a very, very good music department. The head which Michael Caine stops was, am I speaking too loud? I'm not loud enough. Is that right? Yes, okay. A man called Ken Stubbs, who was ultimately, who was at that time the uncle by marriage of two quite well known young, duo pianists. Nadia and Geraldine Pepe nodine Pepin was the mother of my wife, Judas, although that didn't have many years later. In fact, the Bedouins games of rugby to give a concert in Johnson is all Marvels programme which they played, observed beautifully. I remember the programme no one can hear at least I can come here to my memory. Anyhow. Rugby gave me the chance of one extremely sympathetic young visit now to read was much older than me. who encouraged me to listen to a lot of contemporary music kind of passion then for devious and Warlock and Walton ballrooms his Fourth Symphony. Now I'm not quite sure the day to date, it certainly made a deep impression on me the time that might have been after I left school, I'm not quite sure.
Unknown Speaker 7:38
Edward Williams 7:40
I was, I was able to, to do a lot of scenes, making an ipv6 was not pretty well, the piano and the Caridad to the tube and the double bass and bass housings. But and I decided at the end of my school career, I think I must have finished in 1939. Yes, it must be my last term must have been 1939. Sorry, the year 1999 40. I must have left school
went into the Navy in September the 19th 1941. That's right. So on. I left University in February natural the end of March 1941. I must have gone to university for terms at the end of 1949 39. waste time. Yes, that's right. I can I can work that out. Anyhow, I went to Cambridge to Trinity College, Cambridge. My father, again. I decided by this time that I wanted to have some kind of musical career I'd gotten some conducting rugby I'm lucky enough to be able to sort of start an orchestra and acting classes and that sort of thing. And and I decided that I wanted to go into to music in some kind, professional, professional way, for which I must say I had really well, I've it's certainly no training I really had very and I'd never have got into college, at least not not at the standard they are now then. My father offered my father You see, my father had a fairly hefty private infamous result of history where an earlier Edward Williams had got a job in a massive digital steelworks of the guest family and had done very well and become a manager of that and then they'd asked to do their managers do works in Ironworks in Middlesbrough. And he then set up on his own And he made helicopter money. This was my great grandfather, Edward Williams. And his sons were then all set up obviously, lots of money and and jobs. And so my my grandfather known Williams The one who went to Parliament, he never went into business at all he, he got qualified as a barrister, but never practised and devoted himself to politics and various other cooperative movement he was he was the editor of the Cooperative Bank, Bernard Williams. For some time, he very ardent supporter of the cooperative movement, he translated a number of books about cooperation and so on, wrote a book about competition and self publishing for men cities, I think, anyhow, I've got a copy. And cooperation was one of his songs, nothing was the the Garden City movement, he was very much concerned with the setting up of one of what he called Letchworth gardens, and so on. But so he left his son and daughter very well off, unfortunately, he died in the head, or actually, fortunately to happen. in financial terms of magic Vinci, unfortunately, he died in 1937, something like that. Just when the slump had hit everything, including people's private fortunes, and when he died, my father had to pay death duties on what he'd been earning before he died his income before he died on an income which was reduced very little because of the two, although these are comparative terms that I say, however, my father hadn't been forced to earn his living. And he took a job. Again, this is a comparative thing to the job, got a job on the times. And for the rest of his life, worked on till he died. He worked on the times, getting all sorts of jobs, he's pretty close on time, he goes warmer than the Arctic is where he's museums correspondent, fourth leaders in all sorts of interesting jobs in the paper. Anyhow, that's really a preparation for saying that my father had a very good, very trusting view of the arts as a profession for anybody. He himself knew that he hadn't managed to make a great deal of money when he was in. And in fact, when I met the first job I got with neuro development when we completely took me on after the war. I got paid five pounds a week. And my father said, which was on which I drove a car and paid the rent for a flat in Chelsea, for God's sake. You know, I mean, it wasn't, it must have been quite worth having. I was design much notice. But my father said, That's more than you'd ever do in his life. So obviously, he was paid less than that on the times he was expected to if you worked on the times, in those days, you were expected to have some kind of a private detective as well. So anyhow.
So he was determined that I shouldn't have an artistically I would that be well provided with something else, he wanted me to be able to have some kind of fishing. So we made a bug in the device. If I read some, somebody can give me a degree of no income, not not easy, then he might pay for Maggie's good education after that. So I, in fact, in modern languages, read French and Spanish, Cambridge, but I mean, this was the four terms of the war. And in fact, I knew I was going to go up into the Navy and attend a single lecture in my I went one two tutorials which interested me with, with the person who taught me French in Rome, I can't remember now. Because it was an interesting subject. And one, two things on the Spanish literature and one is on German literature. But I did nothing I will, right. All my time was spent playing music and beauty in the theatre and doing the jolly things that weren't acting at work. So the war of a node that bargain and I had been very interested in films, which had been really one of the things although music was the principal here, and I'd also been very interested in films, I can remember producing Midsummer Night's Dream and my prep school when I was 11, or 12, as well. And I can remember pretending to make films with a waste of a wastepaper box, perched out with a huge great camera, you know, and making my mates behave as though they were on a film session. So I'm curious thing to do. So I must have had a passion for film as well. Although I didn't have a camera and I didn't. We just have marvellous film shows at that. At that, prep school, Saturday nights, as well as the great old flattery projectors, you know, and we'd see I'd add to the inkwell and Mickey Mouse and all sorts of things I'm talking about, yes, I suppose 1928 to 1934, something like that. So that was part of my view. The other. The other thing that I think had quite profound effect on me was that my mother used often, or seems to me often in the holidays, take me to the Regent Street poly cinema, where I remember seeing the flat he films, you know, I remember seeing a film called caribou about and the Polynesian Island film of that name. I can't remember why No, no, no, that's right. And various things like that. And I suppose that must have affected me, all the articles had other film tastes as well, for data entry directors, and all those lovely things which you had, anyhow, I got, I become a member of the Cambridge University, Film Society, which sexually which was that was a great friend of mine called Peter Bryce, who subsequently became the editor of the trailer unit. And we were friends and stayed friends for a very long time. So he lives. He used to live not far from me here in Gloucestershire saw him till he died two years ago. Anyhow, so I used to do a lot to film shows of the Film Society, I remember seeing a lot of documentaries. And one day, he said to me, knowing that I was going to go down again to Jim, listen, I think Mira, Mathis needs an assistant, why don't you apply? And so I did. And he gave me the job, he gave me the job, not because I was qualified to do it, which I certainly wasn't. But although I had done some conducting, but getting the job because because all the young men who might have done that job being an assistant for him, were aware of the war. So, I mean, I was really extremely lucky to get that job. One of the things I go on talking to john Taylor, seven or eight years ago, talking about all this sort of thing, that at that time, and I suppose substance for quite some considerable time before that documentary film
had got a very high status in the in, in Intel intellectual surgery, is that the right word? I mean, there was a good deal of radical shake about it, everybody was on the left and document his films with one of these is an example of the the flowerings of of those kinds of attitudes, the idea that somehow or other we could represent to represent real life could be represented honestly. And clearly. And that would help us to make a better way, and what you know, sort of views which I'm sure, you know, but and this is sort of this to a certain extent, I don't mean that everybody in films that time is bound to be on the left, but but you know, there's certain sort of political attitude involved in wanting to be in films at all, or anyone can be in documentaries. And I think I must very much have shared
Unknown Speaker 18:19
that. So anyhow, you would seem presumably, I speak poorly of some of the examples. Oh, yes.
Edward Williams 18:31
That's right. And Cambridge, of course, because the four times I was actually at Cambridge, we had regular showings a few times to Ember films, which would include, you know, foreign in British documentaries, and of course, also feature films. I had started my film education. I didn't know very much about it before that. But anyhow. So I went to see him here and continue that part of the story. Not to be 9014. There's no question of, you know, sorry. It wasn't it was 1941. I'm sorry about your discussions in one's head. But 1941 it certainly was because I went to the Navy in September, and I must have, I only worked in the office six months. So I must have left Cambridge at the end of the spring term, and gone to work from your own March. Anyhow, I went to see him Yes. And I was able to sat down a bit with the Cambridge. And so he, he said, Well, you start to go wherever you like, Well, next Monday, come come to Denham studios. We've got a recording on there, and you can stop. So I arrived. And it's I have to say that I could very much involved in music. So I knew quite a lot of music. I go through a lot of concerts and I had great passions in life, particularly for the English composers for Williams, Welton. Also for Bartok, because I get So you can imagine my I didn't want to say any absolutely delight, which I discovered when I got into this great big studio that the composer was on Riggins. The film was fortnight's parallel, which was identified tool that the director produces was micropile, who's the edge of the world? I knew very well, because I'd seen it made a powerful impression on me four years earlier. And the thought that I was actually in the same room as only in front is actually having supposed to be doing some being paid to be there. I mean, he was the editor. That's right. And in fact, my first pretty young camera, yes, I didn't get obviously come across him. But one of the first jobs after recording session is now had to go and sit with David lean in the cutting room, in order to give him advice he wanted you That's to say you could cut from here to here, musically. And that would work if you're doing I don't remember what you were asking me. But then I sat watching him doing it, you know? I'm just telling you, what you perhaps I should say, as a presenter this, I suddenly get struck every now and then when I'm telling people, things like this. You want to how much am I making this up? I'm quite good at making up perhaps everybody's good. I said in practically making up. Or rather adding two stories. So they are just a little bit funnier than they really were in the first place. I've got quite an amusing story, which I'm about to tell you on. The cruise arrives in Cumberland taking put coming to anchor just before the Queen Mary or the Queen Elizabeth, the client, that I leave it, I think I probably added to that, too. It's absolutely exaggerated. However, the story I'm gonna tell you knows arriving at this session, you know, a young man of 19. Never having conducted an orchestra before in his life and professionals never have gotten anything without having seen the score beforehand. In the presence of I suppose. The Well, one of the two or three people I admired most in the world that's on Williams. That's right. For region, and it was a sort of installing time delegated to conducting. Yeah, so I'll cover that in just a tick. No, no, I was just gonna say something about VW First of all, because you told me this and I put it down and told other people is I hope it's true. But I'm almost certain did tell me this weird said that VW had been very lucky to do anything at all when the world started. We're talking about now. Alright, Danny will be done entity. I'll go back to really tell me the story. And I think it's true. I think I remember this being driven I got to tell me that VW when the war started, had been very humbly of the belief that he shouldn't that music was very much second place to growing food and, you know, writing about the war effort, you know, I'm behaving as a patriotic citizen. So you've stopped writing because you can
confine himself to cultivating carrots or this is no story anyhow, in his garden and doc Anya documented and mirrored persuaded to be done seem strange, that he that he could make a contribution to the war effort, which wasn't just going as it he wrote music for this job. He had quite a strong, anti Nazi, patriotic flavour element in the Scripture, Oprah's about a crew of German sub mariners landing in Canada, being wrecked or somehow finding themselves in Canada and having to get across in the fortnight parallel to America in order not to be made a business of walks at that time, because Americans were not allied with with us. Anyhow, that's the story of how VW came to be there. And they're doing this particular film. And I imagined that my job was to hold me as coach and to say, yes or no, somebody have a glass of water, it might be. And so after we had played through the title music two or three times, he suddenly said, Edward Said, yes. And I went up to find out what he wanted. And he said, just run this through for me while you while I go into sniffing the box. Well, I've never been frightened in all my life. I mean, he was a huge orchestra at lunch, the orchestra led by Oh, George Stratton. Not so video witnesses but they all were seem to be gentlemen old enough to be my grandfather me sitting there since rich dad you know and the thought of even standing up contracts advice to understate conductive essentially. So Pailin sweating, I waved my way through this piece, you know, with another tricky five for about two hours to get through and got through to the end, right. And my story is I getting husbandry data. I'm making this up. Now I'm not but there was a certain amount of sympathetic tapping from orchestral musicians who I subsequently discovered were far from. Far from difficult people if they didn't think you were being autocratic or haughty about things, since I had no potentials at that time and have many potentials now. I found myself with getting on very well with orchestra musicians have a certain amount of sympathetic, capitalistic saying, right? He didn't do too bad because I can see I was terrified out of my life. Enough, George Stratton said to me, the leaders have dwelled on my boy, he will follow this very well. So I knew I wasn't gonna be a great from that place. Anyhow, you have any visual points you have to hit because presumably, I wasn't recording into picture wasn't rehearsing computer. No, no, I wasn't this. No, I'm sure I wasn't. Well, that was unfortunate. It's parallels. inches. Okay. I've said already by David lean. And I can remember, I suppose my first introduction to the film catalogue was being sent by Muir to sit in the catacombs. Well, David lean laid these tracks. The idea being that if he'd come had to make some kind of cut in the music, I should be able to advise him whether it actually worked musically. As the key of the two joins, we're going to work together. I can't remember who actually did anything then or not. But I spent what I think of now as being six amazingly interesting and happy months working for me. I think it's probably worth saying a bit about me or no, was a young Scot. I mean, he must have been barely in his 30s when I first met him in 1940, if he was that he had been taken on by coda originally in the mid 1930s, to conduct Arthur polices music, for things to come from things to come. The story that I remember whether or not he said that God of being that kind of man that wants to get to the top chat for the first glass artists for everything he did, and obviously had employed bliss, who was the sort of principal or one of the most important English youngish English composers of that time, with a reputation as a as a bit of the avant garde and so on. And he tried to get the best known conductor of the day to do it. Now come, Sergeant, and Sergeant had said he wouldn't do it because jobs were pre disrupted what needs to be an in case the sergeant probably didn't say that. But he had a young student at the academy or the college, college, I think,
who we thought very well often who he suggests My job is up on Matheson who did the job and had great success out and by the time I came to work for him in 1941, he had a large practice as musical director for films. He worked every conceivable kind of film, though, when I first met him at this time, it is six months in 941. He had offices in 34, Soho square in the same house, that number is basically the same room as a large room in which all throughout an ambassador right, worked on. There was a sort of documentary newsletter that was that the name of the of the publication and he has some publication, which some central kind of documentary publication, and from which, Arthur belt and Brasil right and i think probably advanced as well there. I don't remember him being that the time work doing that consultancies with various ads with the various show media sets. It might be shallow women, they were working for us that effectively was still Central, that subset that actually forms entertainers. And my Cambridge friend Lionel Cole was also working guys as he was working as assistant one of them. So we of course, saw each other being the same sort of age and Bo was working, doing music for various films and a lot of documentaries. I seem to remember the one I remember most clearly. And again, I hope I've got this right because I came back five years later to work from you. But I think this was from this Dimas a film called The People's land, which is a film about the National Trust, which Ron Williams also wrote to me before. And I can remember, although I may be misplacing this, but I think I remember so misplacing it in time. I certainly remember Williams going down to the basement theatre at Green Park, where there was little white nightclub pianos decorated with the room and playing some of the score. Now, what I remember is that VW was actually frightful, excipient list, every t seemed to have large stubby fingers, which went crashing down at the keyboard, and you couldn't read distinguish any particular any particular notes, so to speak, okay. However, it was still an impressive and marvellous thing to have observed and seen. One or two other things from that time. It's interesting to reflect now, or having lived through the last 10 or 12 years just to reflect on the situation of the Union. aact at the zoo. At that time, the first thing I can remember being said to me the very first thing I read maybe no, maybe not quite as early in my career, so But pretty soon after I started working from your I still, don't you dare touch anything. As you touch a single thing, that's not your job, the whole studio correct. So I learned early that the Union had enormous power in that situation. just mentioned, slightly comical results out of this, I suppose. But for three, four weeks after I'd been working from your after my first session with him at Denham, and for 14 nights parallel. We had another session at Denham. And I knew that that I knew what the session and I can't remember the name of the film is a film for Herbert Wilcox, the well known British producing creative industry in Park Lane, I should think so No, no. Yes. Well, then he proceeded with this was what he was making them anyhow. And my job, I knew I knew everything about my job, right? Then I knew all the things I had to do, and I knew what everything was, and I was absolutely full of it, you know. And so I arrived at the studio early, my job was always just get to the studio early and see that there were enough stands for the orchestra. And you know, do all this sort of make sure that it was all right when it returned up. And sure enough, the word enough stands. And I'd been warned, don't you dare touch anything stands is props job. And if you want more stand you as props, don't go and get yourself, you know. So those anybody has to do and then start to the man came in and walked down the aisle, and I said, Oh, hello, props. Can we have some old standards, please. And I thought he looked a bit surprised. However, he went out without saying very much. About 10 minutes later, he came back in with mirror, or rather, came back in after your drive. And when he did come in, we said hello, a bit nice. It was the producer who was basically working. So
Rodney Giesler 33:18
maybe it was a flu or something.
Edward Williams 33:22
It might have been his ice cartridge. And I can't remember who wrote the music for the record? Yes. Well, as far as denim and sort of films are concerned, and various other studios to older I can't remember many other studios, then First of all, I can remember learning from your about the money ethics of his job, he had very strong feelings about what he was doing, and the way it ought to go. he regarded himself as a consultant, but he called a consultant now, which is basically what he was, and he wouldn't handle any money. Previous musical directors had been fairly notorious for taking the money, and then taking a cut from everybody. So you take a cut from musicians you take those, some of people who were musical directors apparently did this and you're very much disapproved to this and said, No, what I do is to advise producers and directors on who I think would do the music for their film property, now as a result of his own kind of character. And I suppose he's experienced what had happened to him the the author, place and code and all that Muirhead. By the time I knew him got a very had had had a mission to to make sure that every film had music by first class we should compose it could be you know, he he thought this was something he could the audiences should have that that every British film should have. First Class music I first class British composers. And he said about doing this and of course, he was very much welcomed in documentary. Where Of course, they very much agreed with this, this view. And we were always trying to get contemporary composers and writers to collaborate with each other for documentary of all for all those sorts of reasons. So that was one of the the money ethics, part of it was his determination that he should not pay the orchestra, all he should do would be to advise he get paid for advising, you get paid for conducting the session, but the film company would be responsible for paying the musicians. So there was never any any sort of possibility of cuts being taken and that kind of thing. So as early as I can remember, in that business, the musicians had to be paid in cash at the session, no nonsense about checks or anything, because film is a good name for not turning up with the money the right time. So the somebody had to go in the film company had to provide an accountant with all the earlier books at a table and all these stashes of money. And at the end of it, the players would come up and each get paid in cash. And that happened that went on happening for a long time. into the 40s and 50s. And 60s, I think before people were prepared to trust, what 80s and 80s high 80s Yes, yes, yes. Yes, yes. Well, I mean, many film companies didn't last very long. And, you know, you could understand musicians feeds, I didn't hold this against him at all. But yes, that's, I think you crept into the festival here as well. No, I was going to say that I just finally, just to finish up with talking about as it were my six months then, two or three other things have died. I acquired a great admiration for composers I'd never heard of before except in connection with films. There were two or three of them that john Greenwood who wrote the music for the for the film love on the dole, I think is underrated. No, Walter great. No, that's I'm making that up. Sorry. That's wrong. But anyhow, john Greenwood is a composer whose name I personally hadn't heard of very much in any other connection, except as a film composer. He wrote lovely music and very much admired. You're employed him a lot. What you're recommending for him, you know, to his producers a lot. Another one whom I liked very much his brand easedale was still alive, and someone who might be worth talking to, because he ended up with power press. That's right. And he wrote the red shoes, for example. So in my mind, I think I met basil right at that time, probably I certainly met Elton, who was living itself or partly to being a technical service grad that time as well. And the other person, the other person who may apparently he was it was both called Richard dad and saw
who subsequently became very famous. Maybe we had already by that time for writing a piece called the Warsaw conjecture, I think he must have written it later, after I first meet him. He was a compute composer of light music. I'd heard a score of his first film about Alster documentary adults too before I when I was an undergraduate liked it very much. Very nice, interesting Tommy music. And somehow or other, we got I know what he was, he was extremely nervous man. Like many composers get when their music is about to be played, particularly the recording session. You wonder what on earth you're going to have done, you know, have you written written all the wrong notes in order because you're going to sound actually fractals on? So I remember him saying, Do come talk to me with this because I'm actually terrified. And we subsequently became great friends. He was he, he had a lot of young friends and people he depended a lot on other musicians to help him and a lot of my musician, contemporaries had worked for him. I never thought myself really was technically capable. And after two scores, I'm yours because he did not do my own. So I never did that. That time, but he was very friendly and I got extremely drawn to him and liked him very much. And he was a very Museum, nice person that he worked with a lot with Joyce Grenfell. He enjoys Grenfell wrote songs together and review music and that kind of thing. And so, throughout the war, actually, I was in touch with them and I saw Joyce when she came out to capitol in my shape she was there. Anyhow, that's jumping the gun to say that I went my six months was up, as I'd known was happening. I was called up into the Navy in September 1941, and went off to a training ship, which was actually a bucklins camp in North Wales, and spent five years in the Navy and all over the world really. And when I came out of the Navy in the 4647, when it was five years later, yes. Mira very kindly took me back on again, I think felt that he had to certain as much as most people felt most employers felt after the war, that they had a certain duty to take on people who've been away to war. I really, I think we are probably realised then that I wasn't really what needed to be used to him, I really hadn't got a lot of the kind of skills that he needed, particularly now. I mean, when I came back to him in 46, he had become the czar of English film music. He was the musical director of films for the rank Empire, which really amounted to practically every studio except eating that there was. He had offices at Denham studios again. He employed two or three or four assistants, my great friend, Marcus, Dawn's and john Hollingsworth, and with the other people, dusty buck from Pinewood came to be his sort of admitted administrative head to run the sort of music department. A friend of my sister's friends D'Andrea is one of my sisters Jane my sister from who've been at Stanford University and become a great friend of a girl called Sheila King students. I suppose I must have introduced her to me or generate me or took her on as in a capacity which became an entirely new union category. She then Sheila became a music continuity girl there never been anything like that before but her job was to sit in this sessions with a stopwatch and say how long each take was were you finished last year you know yesterday, all the all the things that continuity already does for for the camera for on the set or in shooting. She did for formula and she in fact, it's it got her own category in the Union. So it was a large department I worked a lot with john Hollingsworth doing various documentaries and perhaps not the cop jobs. However, I do want to say something about our bright, two quite crucial things. One of them is the general thing about as I sometimes say to people, one of my universities, one of our universities was the first ship I served in, which was a old glide paddle steamer called the Queen Empress, which was crewed almost entirely by retired. No, by London farming, who were on we were doing the five years on the reserve in the Navy. And they were seem to be like elderly gentlemen, they were in their 40s and 50s. They were and they treated me like some strange sort of
creature, unknown to science, but they taught me how to behave taught me how you behave to your mates. What's decent behaviour between, you know, between mess mates, and all the sort of things that a young man needs to learn. And they taught me that. The second bit of my university was the corridor was at dinner when I came back. It's extraordinary mixture of trades and people and actors of coders of denim were absolutely astonishing. You walked up and down at lunchtime or anytime they were crowded with people dressed in the costumes of every conceivable age. You know, you'd have Roman soldiers and 18th century lords and this extraordinary kind of mixture of people all eating together in the canteen and
Edward Williams 0:09
So yes the current levels of denim packed with people dressed in every conceivable kind of costume and we all met in the canteen for lunch and all the various elements and everybody as far as I can remember it in the canteen My impression is that no star however prominent with rubber all the stars however come it actually ate in the canteen and there was a sort of there was a sort of obligation for the most junior camera by to call the most senior night of the stage by his Christian name You know, I'm in the capital I called Lawrence but he wasn't around so they've launched the alarie because it's somehow that was the ethos of film. I may be exaggerating but it seemed to me that that's what happened out having come from rather conventional background as other almost distressed define such small young people calling such distinguished people, their customers but that seemed to be the the way it went.All in the lunchtime conversation.
I don't my course we all had agile we all have particular friends my great friend, Peter Price, I mean, friend at work, in a sense first, I knew but Dawkins actually suggested to me his blessing I got the job with me in the first place. He by now was running the editing attenuated trailers department, where they they centralise that business and all the all the trailers are all the films they work the Rankin part was making were made in the trailer unit. We had the soundstage, of course, and then we had offices, I would be sent out every day I had a car, and now this car, which I drove, which I kept up on a salary of five grand a week, and a flat. And I would drive with john Haynesworth or with me or whoever it might be, to all one of the studios where we might be working. Sometimes I had to go on my own to to the studio, I remember going to the Gainsborough studios to shepherds, Bush to supervise a very nice pianist whose name I forgotten teaching somebody some star. It might have been the famous one about a piano concerto is James pacing and enjoy it. Well. No, yes, I never did. She wasn't the star was she paid him his goals and targets or didn't wasn't put somebody somewhere? rather nice. Okay. Russian pianist was was deputy to teach us how to play a nice list of constellations, which I remember having to be there and we were the junior staff like myself, we're expected to be at any on any stage where something musical is going on and where the director might need a musical. Some kind of musical hand is Lincoln. Pinewood Gaines, we're at Shepherds Bush. We seem to have a finger in every almost every student in England. Of course, Ealing was not in words Empire, but his brother doc Matheson was assistant to the great musical director of healing. There's no mitochondrial. Any
Rodney Giesler 3:28
Edward Williams 3:30
That's right. But there was a very, very distinguished and much admired musician who was in charge of music in general, and whom I heard a great deal about although I do actually know very well, well, perhaps it'll come back later. Anyhow, that was, as I say, a very interesting bit of my education. But perhaps the most important thing that happened to me was very soon after I got my defect, I think of it as the very first thing. first job I didn't know when I got back after the war. I had to go with your two denim to see the rough cut or fine cut of my neck. The film which I carry heated made with James Mason and Robert Beatty, and those other people, a film about the an IRA gunman.
Unknown Speaker 4:34
Edward Williams 4:36
being sought by the police, round in case dragged the police but slowly and painfully rounds round round the docks Belfast by the police is the most extraordinary thing happening coloured my view of of films and musical films. Hereafter it's, I remember, we walked into the place with Carl Reed was there and composer was there, I think the component the composer was going to write was, will evolve. I think perhaps will evolve in wasn't there the first time, I think probably it was just me, and greed and presumably the editor on Sunday. So we sat there watching this film, and I was absolutely stunned. I've I had never seen anything so powerful and realistic in my life. It was the kind of realism that one hadn't expected from the cinema. Now, what I saw then, was a film which had nothing on it, except, of course, the dialogue and the effects laundry effect, the sirens, river Hooters. And I thought it was absolutely marvellous. And when we finished watching those long pause, and you said, Well, I don't know, I probably haven't made blended Our job was at that time, one of the first jobs that he's going to do is to try and help the director to decide where the music is going to go, shortly how it hears me there, what kind of moves we have this, and all those sort of things that have been decided, you know, very well. So as I said, at the end of this viewing of the film, we sat in silence, and I said, I really don't know what to do about this, I think I'd like to see it again. So two days later, we came back another week. And I don't want to go on too much about this. I can't remember how many times he saw it productive. It was more than twice that we saw before. We were able to well, not obviously I had no part of this, but perform your and Carol Reed and presumably the composer that I don't remember, that could decide which sections would have music in between.
Unknown Speaker 7:10
Edward Williams 7:14
there were two factors in this, which I think very interesting. First of all, it seemed to me that the effect of the of the of the effect of the effects of the natural effects of the of the of the sounds of the police cars, and who does all those things, was so powerful, that gives such a sense of realism, that I think we all felt unconsciously that music would actually remove the reality from turning into some kind of Algerian drama, rather than someone who's absolutely immediately, you know, like a, like a television producer, which is what it was, you know. And although I mean, not to say that, you it's interesting that it seemed to me very realistic, I did, in fact, know that he didn't know it had been shot largely on the stage, but he did live in being shot on vacation as it were. But he didn't seem very, very realistic in that time. So there is this difficulty about trying to about whether we should have any music at all, or rather where we're going to put it or whether the other interesting thing about us is, I discovered you're told me after the first time that actually the music had already been used, that when when had actually written up this piece is beautiful to add, he had written it, and it had been played on the set all the time that that film is shot. So that Mason, when he had moved had moved, as he learned about that he moved in time for music, but the music was as you were dictating the atmosphere and living all the time. And in a sense, I came to think, but I wonder if the music hasn't actually done its job already. You know, before, before we ever got to the stage where you're done. I thought after four days, the most beautiful tune in the music is beautifully scored as you'd expect from that great night in the morning. But somehow, I just wondered whether whether the music hadn't already done its work and looks like the music was really, in a sense spoiled the film. I don't expose that it's really true. But what I
Unknown Speaker 9:33
mean I was telling you the impact of
Unknown Speaker 9:38
Unknown Speaker 9:39
is one of the overriding
Unknown Speaker 9:42
news and yet
Unknown Speaker 9:43
seeing it freely. Whenever I like to. It's straight. It's extraordinary. How
Edward Williams 9:49
little music there isn't easy to see as a key. Yes,
Unknown Speaker 9:52
Edward Williams 9:55
Well, that's really for that reason. Did you did you know about the music being played before Never too fast. Yeah, but perhaps you didn't it wasn't even aware of it.
This would have been because they wouldn't notice it if it's going on but she wouldn't I don't know. This particular scene
Unknown Speaker 10:13
I'll keep the thing is interesting is I'm reminded of a carol read signature in a film. It's the same in the third Matthews as a child. Oh, yes. Yes. I remember the child with that man. When he's Yes. Joseph cotton is finding out about the accident. The child's listening to the argument going on. And same thing with Robert Beatty is looking for Johnny McQueen. The little girl with a single red estate. Yes, yes. He's trying to get this information. Yes, she's seen it. She works all the other hand investor.
Unknown Speaker 10:47
Unknown Speaker 10:52
Well, crazy. Oh, Robert uses pink. Yes. Yes, that's right. But you will switch between show and father Tom?
Unknown Speaker 10:59
Unknown Speaker 11:00
Yes. Only they're linking it's a bit like access from an exhibition when you got one picture? Yes. And it's the same thing when joining McQueen's on the movies starting off in one house, he stacks on to the next house. Yes, the scenes in the actual houses
Edward Williams 11:18
will not stand the essential. Well, that was really interesting. Anyhow, this left me with a with a quite profound feeling about music. What I thought then and still to a certain extent thing is that in many ways, music for films, music in films is or is powerful, it almost indirect inverse ratio to to humanities, the less use of affinities, you know, innocence. And I then the rest of my time with Mia. I find myself arguing this quite a bit. No, I think I have only what I wouldn't have one fault to find with me or adapt was his willingness to copy everything with me. So I don't know. I mean, I think there was a great feeling that we get some musical we'd better work to get you to know after all Africa, but I don't I shouldn't say that he
Unknown Speaker 12:15
was doing it
Edward Williams 12:16
in order to get that kind of money. But you know, there was there's a sense in which the payment musician and we want some nice music in here. It sounds nice. We can and I thought this was his only weakness in the sense many forms in which was much too much music, and are many of the jobs which I would run with the john things with. I would when I got sort of bit bolder and prepared to stick my neck out with my seniors would often suggest that I couldn't remember a particular film. Johnny's was caught rather share it with me about we went to see a film isn't the answer, Nemo for the crown jewel unit, john Taylor, I think was then head of that unit. And it was a film about the treatment of young offenders who come out on it. And one of the cases was called, or the, the young man was in trouble because he had some difficult home circumstances or something like that. But he was played by the man who plays the cookie minder, what's he called? George George Ko, hatch. Anyhow, a lot of this took place in prison, you know, we saw that it's obviously young man in his cell, and also things like that. And john and i were there to advise john Hollingsworth about where what sort of music we should have, how much and so on, and I came out of it. It's not very often due to films. Feeling we don't want to Oh, it's all there, you know, exciting and where music is only going to distract from from from the thing and they said, Listen, john said to me after this call, you can't get on as we are living here. You can't tell him all don't want him who's equally we should be on the dough. So anyhow, that was that was my video, it was one of the things I felt strongly about in music. Although, of course, when I came to do it myself, I often find myself putting in much too much. Anyhow, that was,
Unknown Speaker 14:16
was apropos. I hesitate to mention this too. I have had a number of films where they are over orchestrated, and we have dropped sections and issues. I've always got my editor delay effects. Yes, but you could either move them together, or drop one or the other. If we run it and see the sequence went far better.
Edward Williams 14:41
Unknown Speaker 14:42
proposing something he was paying for it.
Edward Williams 14:44
Yes. Yes, that's right. Just
Unknown Speaker 14:47
repeat things when you're on the final.
Edward Williams 14:51
No, that's quite true. And to NDTV it's quite a difficult judgement or certainly was in those days very much more difficult judgement that is to make now I mean, since you didn't really see on here, everything together until when you got to the dub, I mean, you could run it on the on an on a detail or something was separate tracks, but quite difficult to get a real impression of what things gonna feel like and you actually got to the dub and, and so that seems really quite difficult. I agree.
Unknown Speaker 15:22
I think also the other factor if I can ship in, I view here was that one of my, I would sit down with a composer and I would go as far as I could in describing music with words, and the effects I wanted to achieve. Yes, but I never knew what he was going to come up with. One in one. Yes, yes, that's right. And sometimes it was it was disastrous, and it wasn't what I wanted to for other times. Of course, it was something totally unpredictable. On which you could fill, yes, you know, it was a new theme. And you often structured the soundtrack in different ways. Because we're with synthesisers. Now you can find out first,
Edward Williams 16:07
but that's right.
Unknown Speaker 16:08
Yes. So to hear one on one with the orchestra, of course, this is really
Edward Williams 16:12
well, that's right. Yes. And I just mentioned to you that you are not the only one who's doing that because the composer's doing at the same time and less well, I'm speak for myself only, I should say, in this case, but I mean, I've never been to a session yet at which a the first half an hour I was acutely painful, not because this is where I got it wrong, but because the orchestra hadn't got themselves into my idea, nobody could feel exactly how to go. So you've spent the first 20 minutes listening. I speaking right now spend the first 20 minutes with you. Oh, God, did I really write that? Hi frightful. What am I gonna save the videos? So we're sitting there cold faced, hoping nobody was looking, you know, and then slowly I by talking to the conductor and saying that I wanted to be a bit more human, and suddenly it would start to become what I had imagined it or close to what I imagined. And you think, Oh, god, that's all right. But don't Mr. producers, things have gone to my page with this, or have I got to pay for this, you know,
Unknown Speaker 17:10
and indeed screen readers meeting
Edward Williams 17:13
for the first class, right? That's right. That's right, right.
Unknown Speaker 17:18
Yes, yes. Apart from the fact that I was finding a three hour session, you just get one. Take
Edward Williams 17:24
action. Yes, that's right. That's when that comes rather good cue for me just to say just a bit more about community. I very much feel that somebody ought to write a study of VR because he was an important and very important figure in the English film as he came in. He was that was what he brought it back would have happened in any way in some kind of way. But, but he was responsible for seeing that. Great. Many good composers were asked to collaborate in a multimedia form. The newest I mean, the new multimedia form versus since opera to be of use, which employed composers. So he, he, he had this mission to get good composing. I can remember when a young composer called Bernard Stevens won a prize offered by some of the one of the popular magazines, multimedia Express was something for I'm talking about late 40s. Oh, no. Yes. No. Yes, late 40s. For a symphony and Bernstein was one this well, he was immediately we all got in touch with him and said, Would you like to do a film and so he did. And the sad band went on to do good many films. The same happened to to the Scottish composer, Cedric Thorpe, Davey, who also won some kind of a prestigious prize, it may be in the same one and a subsequent here, and we are also employed. And then there was my great friend, Eleanor stone about talking about pathetic, who also I think as a result of winning, one of the ISC icsm prizes, was also started his own film career by invitation from you and me serving now I remember I know. Go well that any seven course was the evening and then decides that he was not in the rank Empire and he was in Grand camper. But Doc, curious now for meals brother, Doc Matheson who worked as an assistant to NCLB, who also employed Alan Ross on a great deal as a composer. So there was this thing about getting lots of composing lots of good composers and good music into too Contemporary British films have those questions those days. And don't forget to do not only of course, there's the musical director for rank but his assistants were dealing with the output of the crime Film Unit. And various documentary companies and so on. He did they did a lot of of music directing, so to speak. The other thing such as the little things about guy's talents, he he had a really great gift for doing sessions in session making these concessions is quite different from from from a concert.
Unknown Speaker 20:45
Edward Williams 20:47
The other thing that I forgot to mention is Miro is great gift for conducting recording sessions. recording sessions are quite different from other kinds of music making quite different from concerts, anything else like that. They have their own requirements and their own tensions. In a concert rehearsing for a concert, you can get away with a lot of mistakes, simply by the vitality, and the the truth to the music of the performance. And the audience will put up with all sorts of mistakes if they are carried by performance by the conviction of performance in recordings. Although some people argue, I heard that the managing director of of well known term of grumpy record, manufacturer grantha records are being exactly that, that his company had decided they would go for good performances and help with the mistakes rather than what most recording companies go into, which is perfection, even if it means cut after cut after cut, half cut and splicing tape is on, which is after all possible. Anyhow. That was much less easy. When we first started doing this when I was 15 years ago, was what we're talking about.
Unknown Speaker 22:18
Edward Williams 22:20
had a great technique, it was absolutely marvellous, he managed to get the timing right time very important, as you were just saying, Rodney, that the the the way that it happens the way that you start slowly getting a reveal comfortable in their seats, and so on, we all had one or two quite simple rules. You know, we've tried to get something recorded before tea for the tea break, but not too much. Because it always played better. After the tea break, everybody was made better off to keep it hidden beforehand, he often wouldn't be the type of music first would leave that until everybody played themselves interview, choose something quite simple. He will always play through the whole thing. First of all, every piece, everybody had some idea what was coming up and again, they played themselves in and so on. He had enormous theatrical gift for doing it so that the producer sitting at the back of the hall in the hall whilst the recording studio was biting his nails by the last 10 minutes, because there were three more minutes to get in the bag. And there was only four more minutes to do it. And we would do it without the mistake. I realised everybody could do it without mistake that last three minutes of that has to be absolutely amazing. I mean, you would said half an hour for the unsession you said he'll never do it, he'll never do it. Because producers were going quite because used to say you know, every minute of the session cost 200 pounds or 1000 or whatever might be I mean, you just have a huge figure. But the time is very, very expensive. You have a large number of very skilled people all together in an expensive setup. No it was very, very expensive. But he was brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. And like everybody else your I think would like to have been something else as well he would like to have been a well known and successful concert conductor films had then and died the steel has to certain extent a slightly is slightly less of an artistic reputation then Symphony concerts you know if you were busy, if you were a film composer, it wasn't quite the same thing as being a composer, you know, and so on. And to be a film music director wasn't really quite the same. So grand is being a conductor of you know, of concerts. Of course, we are always in a position of great patronage. He could choose orchestra and he worked. He worked a great deal with the Philharmonia in those days I think we probably had we worked mainly with in the great days of mirrors, musical director of the whole rank empire in front of all British films at one time, apart from eating. He used to work a lot with the Philharmonia. You also used to work a lot with the lso and What subsequently became the London Symphony, I think another another professional London orchestra, which included many of the best names in. In OCA amongst orchestral players, people like young Goossens, and then his brain and it's rather all over the brain, and all sorts of people whose names I perhaps mentioned in a minute or two. So he had, he, he, he was able to bestow a great deal of patronage. And as a sort of quid pro quo. He used to get asked to conduct concerts, by the orchestras, because they knew he wanted to get concerts. And although he probably wasn't a great draw as a conductor, and in fact, I used to think I could understand why perhaps he wasn't thought of as a great conductor of concerts. And that's because the technique which he had for doing sessions was actually no good in concerts, sessions you had that say half an hour equals now musical 20 minutes he was maybe you haven't seen before, which you had to get absolutely right, in the course of three hours, three hour session, and that's an that's a technique, orange zone. In a symphony concert, you've got an hour and a half music, and you've probably got three hours of rehearsal, and you've got to run through the pieces, which everybody knows, have played hundreds of times and just make sure all the bits go right and the and I think that perhaps NEOs technique for doing that wasn't anything like as good as his technique for conducting a session you know, just to get back sessions meet getting the music right was of course only half the job. Once you play through the music and got some idea of the musical difficulty thing sorted out a few notes for the players and the composer who was of course there
then started to record each of the separate pieces and these of course you do call to picture the orchestra was seated behind a large screen if I take typical studio like the Denon one large screen high up on the wall behind the players who are on stages and the conductor is therefore facing the screen the recording box adenomas at right at the back and some seats in the body of the hall for directors and producers and hangers on in general who you know could listen to what was going on and once the music could be once you started to read to to record each of the individual pieces then of course you have to start looking at the picture and hear a whole new set of difficulties came in because even if the composer had got it absolutely right it may not have been always easy to manage the horn God coming just as the door opened and all the points which the composer had met perhaps made in the score is not at all an easy job to conducted in such a way that it actually sounds like music and doesn't sound like a wonderful thing that beats time You know? So you've got to I mean, it's a great gift Do you got a great gift to knife no monitor WMC brilliant It was one of the markers was another john Hines was there No, they were all of the brilliant and I'm sure there are others. I can attest to Marcus actually.
Unknown Speaker 28:28
However carefully you spot these things. Yes. You know, there was one particular sync point absolutely vital that the orchestra is coming in too soon. Yes. And after about the fourth taking I said Marcus, just drag we got away with it. Yes. You guys started very Draggy. Yes. Slow down. Extended one.
Edward Williams 28:50
Yes. I've got got that make sense? Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely. And the ability which mirrors that which Marcus certainly had in Danville certainly had of just being able to make a quick alterations of ours, just use it, I will. Alright, but our number five we are just when we play that's two beats and then you know, and or play that 234 miles, something like that will make all the decision make the whole thing fit in that. And you've there you've got if you're running a session, you've got to manage your your orchestra to start because you've got to manage your producer who's sitting there or director sitting there ready to complain bitterly? Not not right. You've got the editor who's if everybody else is happy, the editor certainly won't be able to say oh, well I can't video that and then you've got the record is to has to be supervised to see that the music that the result on the recording is what you want. And really, you've got the composer who's sitting there shivering a in case it's his mistakes, make it sound so awful, and be in any case, it doesn't sound like what he wanted or doesn't happen. All right. So there are a number of people out there only to really to complain bitterly about what's happening. And the money being spent at a huge rate is Time flies back there. It was brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. And the number of sessions which I've been at which 10, of which 10 minutes before the end, you could be absolutely certain was gonna get done in time would have to be another session. It'd be immensely expensive. Oh, man. And just as the clock went up 60 minutes. I mean, three hours. Ray, we've done it. Brilliant.
Unknown Speaker 30:31
But I think what you were saying about his entrepreneurial talents, is very valid. I mean, I was only listening to a Walters first the other day, which I think was written in 1935 36. That's right. Yes. Brilliant recordings by Rachael on the Birmingham. Yes. And there you have the the charge of the French cavalry
Edward Williams 30:54
coming up. Yes. Yes. Yes, that's right. Yes. Not
Unknown Speaker 30:57
yesterday's office. No, no, no, nothing exciting ideas. Yes. And of course, I although I think it was only serving was involved in sculpting the Antarctic.
Edward Williams 31:05
It was usage on Symphony or
Unknown Speaker 31:07
Edward Williams 31:10
That's right. Yes. Yes.
I mean, there was
a tremendous amount of good music has sort of come out of that thing. I mean, the one that I'd like to most dimension perhaps is Bill Irwin, who is really a, an extremely distinguished British composer not not yet getting anything like his do is go to Marvis complex a really, really good composer. I mean,
Unknown Speaker 31:36
Edward Williams 31:39
a huge amount of beautiful music on his own. Right. Not that I've heard a lot of it because a lot of it's lovely to just beginning to be recorded. No, but there is. And he had a he had an amazing gift.
Unknown Speaker 31:51
It's almost a symbiotic relationship.
Unknown Speaker 31:53
Yes, yes. I
Unknown Speaker 31:55
mean, I, I don't know what you feel like it now. But I think there's a tremendous symbiotic relationship between Michael Noma and Peter Greenaway stuff. Yes, you may hate it. No, I
Edward Williams 32:03
have. To me, yes, that works together here. I find Well, I to be perfectly honest, the first film piece of his that I heard was the piano. And I thought it was brilliant. I was really brilliant. I thought it was a, it was a marvellous balance between being his own music quite diff definitely his own music and yet could quite possibly have been written in, you know, the mid 19th century, I thought was really extraordinary. A good act, any aggression, he was Well, not really
Unknown Speaker 32:43
talking about other people who need assistance
Edward Williams 32:50
and I suppose the one that comes to mind Most of all, simply because it shows the kind of organisation which ultimately finds himself heading was taking on a young man then called john hunky, who's now a very well known as a as a lecturer who wrote a standard book on film music. And who know lectures widely on on railways and other subjects, which which particularly interest here, but mere took him on, as far as I remember, as in charge of sort of general publicity for for the music department, because he'd obviously written articles about various composers working in films and that kind of thing. And obviously, it was felt that we did enough work to justify even you know, that, that kind of taking on that kind of work as well. And john worked in the in our main offices in Indiana.
Unknown Speaker 33:56
Because he was a great sound expert as well.
Edward Williams 33:58
Not necessarily music once he I forgotten that is he Yes, he
Unknown Speaker 34:01
was a sound technician, I believe on 100 patients.
Unknown Speaker 34:04
Oh, was he? I
Edward Williams 34:05
didn't know that. How interesting. I did. Yes, I
Unknown Speaker 34:08
went to one of these BFA summer film school. Yes. Yes. And that's where I got to know him and we played this standard clip, you know, the
Unknown Speaker 34:20
Edward Williams 34:23
Yes, yes. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 34:25
But building it up.
Edward Williams 34:28
So how interesting is that, you know, yeah. How I wish I know that. We used to live quite close to each other and we both my parents used to queue and he'd lift also queue I think, and I used to see him occasionally that way. Anyhow, I digress. Well, not. I seem to have talked about most of the things I thought I ought to talk about. The other thing that I think that's worth mentioning I have talked about me and his his great skill of doing recordings for films. But I think I would also just mention the other thing so which he really must take a good deal of credit. I don't know whether his idea but I suspect it might have been to commission Benjamin Britten to write the, the instruments of the orchestra. It's called now I think the child's guide, because the instruments, the Oxford young persons guide, when I think we had had that idea, and it was commissioned and and had been recorded, before I went back to him that said before 1946, before I got back to the nine foot six theory, but me always in great demand for doing that at concerts, so and he liked the projects introduce us to like, connecting your expertise. So he used to do conduct in concert on Saturday mornings. And other times he used to conduct concerts, which had one or two film pieces, perhaps a Walton piece, and, you know, the child's guide and literature and a symphony or something like that. And it was, it was a good draw, and orchestras, like doing it, and it was good for your got his concept. Got some constant giving in and the officers of course, confirmed their relationship with him in a sense, you know, and that was good. And that leads me on to say that, of course, the one of the things which I wish I could convey better than I think I probably can is the very nice atmosphere, despite the stress of, of recording and, of course, have left out perhaps the most single greatest cause of stress, which come in recordings, which is that once you have got the notes, right, the thing being played in synced to the film, right? To record is happy and all recordings unity working, then the horn, or the oboe, or somebody starts to make those tiny mistakes, which mean, you got to stop doing it again. So you'll find yourself going on to take 13 take 14 take 2627 you know, because by the time we got there, everybody's making mistakes. No, it's also nervous, you know, particularly, of course, wretched horn players and trumpeters who are so exposed that you know that there's any stress everywhere bound to make mistakes. So I mean, it was a really hair raising process. But of course, going through all that together, does lead to great sort of camaraderie and pleasure. And I think of my times, either spent, as it were, as the tea party with with with muira, one of the others, or Goodman, I myself started writing musical films and the pleasure one gets out of relationships. Rather brutal things which occasionally happen. I mean, I suspect it's apocryphal and I don't suppose it really happened. But jack Thurston the famous granite is famous for having been asked by some conducted assertion was who tried this way, jack, he said, I tried Taiwan's jack. He is famous for having said try anything once except insist in folk dancing. Maybe that's impossible. And I can remember something else, which I wish is typical of the sort of session humour, if you like. One of the London Symphony Orchestra was run as mostly as Augustus were those days back committee and then the chairman of the committee was Gordon Walker, the principal flute, man in his 60s, and perhaps towards the end of his great, marvellous, interesting man, and his son Eddie was second flute and took over the gems with Yorkshire, I think after COVID anyhow, it was Gordon's birthday, one day, he renews his birthday. And Bill when they've got on his birth into a session with music by belonging to a building, who himself was a flute player, had actually been an orchestral flute.
He wrote a special I'm sure you remember, that drama that we used to call session sections, m one, m two, and you could buy the real number. So reel three, first music would be three m one and real five m 10, ordered by D. So you had a number for the real number, letter M and then the number of the section of the thing. So Bill, all when wrote a seven m five a real read wasn't in the form at all. It was an absolutely horrific piece of flute, virtuoso music really making every conceivable demand thing and this was inserted in the middle of the First Fleet. partner. So at this point in the session, I said, seven m 13. a, you know, and everybody rustle their papers because the joke, you know, but because they lifted up their instruments, I think, and we said Don't you know, and God woke up he didn't he played it right through this. Nobody else made a sound good right so absolutely no perfect for begin to say you've got a great cheer for that. Well, I think that's probably brings me on to the to the point at which finally Mia very kindly gave me the well deserved sack. I think he said good I you know, I'm saying you're not much good to me, you I think you better get some music education really. And I suppose if life had been what it is supposed to be or ought to be or something, I could then should then have gone through college and had a sort of five years musical education I was then what we'll do is bozos 26, or 27.
And he said, Well, what if Why don't you get three lessons in composition? And we'll give you some lessons. Because obviously, I knew blogging very well as a friend and and I admired him very much. So I asked him if he'd give me some lessons, I have to just mention that I had, I suppose given below in some of the worst moments he'd ever had in his life. I'm sure Ronnie, I'd have to tell you, but the score and parts are the score of a feature film where we talk about what to nine and a half music projects, how many reels 10 reels or something Yes, 10 reels, but eight to nine cues per reel, you know, score of that size. So the score of a feature represented what two months work I should think. And with some powerful this size, and I had an open topped Elvis which I drove about in I'm getting ready to fall down and I put build score, parts of the score isn't healthy in the back of my car in order to drive from denim to London, where we're going to do it often London denim again, remember when I got there wasn't there? Naturally, I mean, everybody knew that and it was most awful thing to ever happen to me because imagine having to do all that all over again two months work, you know, what would you luckily somebody picked it up and returned it to us. But I didn't I thought would be very kind to to forgive me for that.
Edward Williams 0:02
We do talk about
Rodney Giesler 0:07
Edward Williams reel 2
Edward Williams 0:14
after that dreadful story back below wins score wg he could have forgiven me for that. David, soon after this cough said to me very kindly and not in the least not least in anger said, I really don't think you might choose to run through the it said that. But I mean, he made the perfect bed, as I knew very well, I wasn't actually can go and do all sorts of things which, which I really wish he could do with I could not compare the piano, you know, and it was he needed people who had all those musical skills with them. And I really was the least effective all those people. So he said, Well, why don't you go and get some musical education, my goodness and competition. And in fact, I arranged to have tourists because I love being admired immensely is not only good enough, just to you and also about himself in the right plant, he also translated French poetry. Very beautiful book of translations, and poetry. I'm looking man good guns. And he gave me two competition lessons, which consisted of him
Unknown Speaker 1:35
Edward Williams 1:36
beside me on the counter and Israel in the right category. I'm playing the Beatles now isn't saying, This is not beautiful? Oh, it's not beautiful.
And he was dead, right? It was the best grinders on this list. And shortly after that, an old friend who has a PhD in history before LAN OCO, who by this time worked for Shell for me, asked me to write some music for a film that he is making in a series called how the aeroplane flies. And the one that you want me to drag this for was a couple of his decisions, it was, as part one or two or three, and part three, I say, but I can't really remember. But three thrust, how the aeroplane flies, Part Three thrust. And so I was launched onto a career of writing music, or films. I didn't have to do this before. Before the war, I didn't even need a visit as a, as a schoolboy and, and undergraduate, I hadn't written much during the war. And I hadn't written much when I came back and work from here, but it was always really the thing, I suppose I wanted to do most of all. And here, I was asked to do. So luckily, that was thought to be reasonably successful. And then I got another job and didn't my father's gratification, I find myself able to earn a modest living doing that ever since. So I thought now, perhaps I might just talk a little bit about the whole background to my life, which was, of course, partly films, but it was also a documentary film segment. And the whole way in which my life worked, and where I lived. I'd never until I was 20. To 45, I left the Navy in 1946. I had never, except for I suppose the six months where I worked from your before actually being a free agent. I'd always either been at boarding schools or had been in the highly celibate Navy. And I mean, I was just ready to guard the time and have a good time, as they say, and of course, arrived back in London. 946 was absolutely. There was a vital and marvellous life going on. And for the next 15 years, I enjoyed it all more. I mean, it's 25 bucks, you know, I got as much as I wanted and had a marvellous time as well as working. First was worth describing the documentary, surroundings. I lived for most of that time. Although I suppose the first year that I worked from New I lived in Chelsea, but after that, I lived in Soho. I had a house and Dean Street, which I shared with an architect friend, and just around the corner from the Highlander, which was well known as a documentary pub. Expect to go in there and see George Lv and then Bessie bond and you know, the people who they knew well, Frank Sainsbury, john Taylor, all sorts of people in there, the dog and duck, which I used to go into a lot of time with my great friend, the film director. Micro law. Then there was the, the the winebar, and the Mandrake, and the gargoyle, and aerials, or the colony, Rome and the French BB and the Swiss BB, and you know, there was a, then there were all the Charlotte street partners. And then there were all the pubs under the DVC, which, you know, lunchtime, you'd expect to go and talk to such friends as you can find in the BBC, pubs in factories. And the French club, I'll be drawn, again, my person and I should have mentioned before another part of my education, from the time I got back after the war, was those marvellous shows that Oh, indrawn did it the scholar put on at the Scala on Sundays, once a month, I think probably in the winter season of The New London Film Society, where again, I saw, you know, all the films that I hadn't seen them before. And we're always here for interesting shorts. And when one large main feature, you know that some film that ought to be in everybody's background or thought at that day or every day. And that was a tremendous tension, a tremendous sort of idea. And I think once or twice, I helped organise, by arranging some music, on gramophone records, or something for silent films and that kind of thing. And, of course, I had a huge number of acquaintances and friends in the arts, who were milling around Soho, and in films and so on.
There were the various I mean, people overlapped a great deal. For example, john Taylor mcjrotc, alongside Donald Taylor, who used to run a company called strand films. I mean, whom I knew very well, and I didn't think I ever worked for him, but I knew very well not only because I would meet him in film occasions, but because we would see each other as a nightclub midnight, Donald seems do all these words sitting at the table in you know, the actual, you know, one of those cases, or one of those nightclubs, there would be Donald with two or three people in shirtsleeves. putting together some huge project or you know, and this was true of lots of people may I there was a very intense artistic life, which of course, including films going on. I had relate and I had one thread I knew about Green Park, where demand work for me became one of my brothers in law Ralph keen, was working making films he was working with Laurie Lee on physical sacrifices in Ireland and making various other films which I future my future I think john Dylan Thomas was certainly working down with my brother in law on on various films. JOHN Morton was working with john Multimap is working as a scriptwriter that we all used to see each other daily in the French pub in the street and occasionally have lunch that nice restaurant isn't on the first floor to the finished product when it was in it's that kind of heyday before Louis the waiter won the pools restaurant down because they couldn't find anybody else to do the waiting Augusto government shutdown anyhow. So that was that was really exciting and interesting. And at the same time, there were a large number of documentary companies making films. There was also of course, shell, who were the my friend Lando kills employers for this film. And shell worked on the principle that they would they had a consultant, who in this case, I think at that time was Arthur Elton to produce their film saw them from outside and they themselves had a unit, which, whose members they employed. But working to Elton and I wrote the music for that film. My friend Michael law, then quite soon after that asked me to write a musical on that he'd made called What a life made by Richard massingham. A company now it's under was it what the company was called? Because the company owned by Richard massingham, a very enjoyable film comic. Who is the son one of the sons I think of hw massino was the guardian. But Richard was most amusing and he was a doctor, of course, he was actually and wrote to me and made the film. Tell me if it hurts about dentistry in 31st comedy, I think, well, like it made this film for the interests of this set. COI or mo I can't recall the central office information or the Ministry of Information, which was just after all 47 48 million This was and it was to try and joke people out of being so miserable. Everybody's very gloomy rationing was still going on and everything seemed absolutely awful. And people were getting around in a sort of mist of gloom in the car I thought they could do it being cheered up. Then my macro made a very enjoyable film called, what a life ending up with some miserable, miserable comic, Richard masterman escape throwing yourself off South NPR and even though it's no good, because because the water wasn't deep enough to lead in a puddle, that sort of any height caused a sensation because one of the London papers took it up and said, how do they spend our money on this nonsense, you know, and so the tackler cinematic showed it so Mikey was telling me now that they've showed it with a poster outside is this film with 6000 pounds of your own money. So that was right. And that went on, I did a lot of work for for Shell, from then onwards. I mean, they had a stable of directors did lots of very interesting things. I was allowed to do all sorts of mild experiments which are included just you know, to me. I started doing improvised music to films is improvised interesting improvisation in a particular
style. It was a jazz, West Indian music style, because I knew a whole lot with the new musicians. And I can remember being confronted with some great air display showing off warplanes flying around the sky, they always used to Michelle always used to make a review every year of the fan ratio. And really, there's not much you can do about that this guy. So we thought we'd have a good but improvising score, it worked beautifully. For the musicians looked at the screen and they've played whatever came into their heads. And then they did it again. And by the time they don't third time, we found that by just sort of sinking the film up to a few seconds ahead of what they had actually played it out you know getting into work. And I also did a sync score for my friend Sarah rockers film called New detergents, I think which was a film about the whole business of the history of soap and washing and the development of the new detergents from from oil derivatives.
Unknown Speaker 12:45
Adjust or ongoing Mason's media media
Edward Williams 12:50
just for us to know I don't know I did a hell of a lot for to build a lot of I don't think I Oh, yes, I
Unknown Speaker 12:56
think I did that.
Edward Williams 13:04
I depressed. I mean, I did do. I did do some adjust school for him for whatever. But God knows that I don't honestly can't remember. I did. It was what it may have been. I'm multimedia. It's so familiar. But then I won't be familiar with the title. In any case. I did a whole lot of of music for Mason's history of motor racing, and love the history of the motorcar, which again, two feet outside the museum for using my mother in law. Jody Pepin, who is 1/3 of piano duties to piano players, Julian Jody may begin to play the music.
Unknown Speaker 13:50
School, that lovely little journey into spring.
Edward Williams 13:53
That's right. Yes. Well, that was the that was another departure. I can't remember what what the first film I did for them was public transport commission was another of my principal implies an immense amount of commissions from them. I think I think I did $27 to them or something like that. I got John's headshots list here of all those songs
Unknown Speaker 14:13
that Phil really thought
Edward Williams 14:15
was burdened by Steve Nash. Like that's right. Yes.
Unknown Speaker 14:19
Edward Williams 14:20
Oh, that's lovely. Yes, that's right. That's funny. You have got a good memory for that.
Unknown Speaker 14:30
Edward Williams 14:31
Can you Yes.
Unknown Speaker 14:33
The five of the modal nouns
Edward Williams 14:35
that Yes. That's that.
Unknown Speaker 14:37
Edward Williams 14:39
Well, that was that that was very, not to read is the right word. It was
Unknown Speaker 14:45
Edward Williams 14:48
had married my sister who I talked to a few years before I think. And so I got to know him. I got David any case because you I had all sorts of other connections with you. Like he had been at Ralph and being a gallery, he had worked as an art dealer for Freddie Mac them air galleries. He knew a lot about painting. He was a great friend of Matthew Smith whom for some reason I also knew at that time and I also had some connection with Augustus john and because at that time I was married to one of Augustus John's daughters. And so we had all sorts of connections outside film. I got to know bunny Greg both on the seasons and I suppose he must have had enough confidence in me to to suggest to add grants to transfer commission you guys should immediately shop and you know, he got here to be as director This is great credit turnout for the book so to speak for trained all those rules is that we got on very well together and, and but I think I was always a little bit uncomfortable practising here as mine is good. It's it's I'd worked for him and he knew what how incompetent I was. You didn't know I'd come to work. So I always actually said he said, okay, working with Marcus Marcus Dodds was my great friend. And in fact, he and I had sung together in the same vocal group at rugby. And he was a couple of years years old, as I say, he was a bass and I was the treble, you know. And we had seen matches as sort of a visit to Cambridge, where he sang on the kingsguard I think the Trinity. And but then, after the war, he came and he really conducted practically everything for me, I didn't do it, I dedicated myself but after that journey, it's been Marcus did everything. And he, as soon as it was lovely ended, I can never get tired of seeing it. I don't mean just the music's marvellous. But, but it's mostly that's that beautiful commentary and a beautiful way in which the whole thing is thought about. One of the other things which I am thinking about this interview, I've made some notes about things to be commented on. And one of them is the way that the way that's gone now, I recently, as I said, might record television, and it's very difficult to get them to take the idea of words and music having any thought about relationships. I mean, they just smack it on without the warfare. But that's absolutely right. And people through my admiration, that it's very difficult to get them to, to put the work into that which we used to put into in those places, and which paid off. And, as you say, Johnny, and spring has got to really, you know, dread the shows as the the way the words and the music and the effects and all those things work together. And
Unknown Speaker 17:44
you're talking about putting the work into it from a musical point of view. I'm thinking about the work needed to put into an edited sequence of a film. explain something? Yes.
Unknown Speaker 17:55
Unknown Speaker 17:56
You haven't got the time. You have a presenter? Yes. Yes, machine. Yes. In the old days, we would spend the morning with the machines. This is a slow job. It takes ages the widgets from that's also saying, This is our latest machine. Very clever, and it makes cloth much quicker. Yes, big deal.
Unknown Speaker 18:22
You're quite right.
Unknown Speaker 18:24
Anyone can squirt a video camera now? Yes, yes. And the buyers? pocket? Yes.
Edward Williams 18:29
That's quite run the whole thing.
Unknown Speaker 18:31
And then it's forgotten about all the time. The chairman shows it to the shareholders meeting. And it is crap. Yes. Whereas we're still talking about j at a spring channel more often. Yes, yes. Yes. And I believe it's still in the lending library. Is it? Yes, yes. For as long as the rails got a lot. Yes. Yes. Certainly at the National Film Archive.
Edward Williams 18:52
Yeah. Anyway, what it was an interesting see that I did, I'm sure you went to it, because you got to it because it was different. I was. I didn't know.
Unknown Speaker 19:05
But I never actually worked directly with him.
Edward Williams 19:06
Well, that wasn't his birthday. But somebody put together a celebration of his 80th birthday. At the National Film Theatre on campus, I think, shed love for these films. But Edgar made a beautiful speech, saying they were talking about the mid 80s, late 60s. I don't it wasn't it wasn't all that long ago. He made love these beats saying, Well, I suppose one day, the idea of public service will come back again. And we should all be able to think about what I mean. The transport commission for me the whole idea that transfers
the whole idea behind nationalising all those things, doesn't matter whether it was successful, you will redo it or do it better or you know, I'm not saying these have to be kept because because they were a good idea to start with. But nonetheless, it was based on an idea about public service which keeps people so just a bit outside. So that is I didn't work for money. Of course, I worked for money, but I also that nice feeling that one was doing something quite interesting, too useful for the public as well for people. And that's, of course, what Edgar brought to that. That's your niche. And it was, it was really marvellous place to work. They got got Grissom? Yeah, it still. Absolutely.
Unknown Speaker 20:24
I mean, there were these giants in the 30s and 20s. Yeah. That mess the development of the media at that time with that philosophy? Absolutely. Yes.
Edward Williams 20:39
It's perhaps worth saying that most of many documentary filmmakers were motivated by the idea that by trying to tell the truth, the imaginative truth about things was a good way of being useful to society and people like head grants did Arthur Elson back? That's right, and of course, and the other people who stood they basically, were highly motivated in this way. And in fact, the whole idea of public service. Of course, they had, they had motives in the sense they wanted to give the the organisation they work for a good name. And I'm not saying it was all whiter than white. But on the whole, a good deal of public good was done by this means shell, for example,
thought it their business I think to make the thing that was best for them was to make interesting
films, but interesting subjects, which never ever mentioned, shell petrol or any of those things, it only said at the end that it was a shell film. And he'd got people together to look at these films or discuss the issues in them and people. This was good for their name, but it was also good for society as a whole. And of course, it was also true about the transport commission. Of course, the film we've just started talking about a journey into spring was made because, of course to sell railway tickets, bus tickets, in the sense people wanted to inform people that at the end of the railway line not far away the end of the bus line there were actually interesting. That was an interesting Natural History clouds birds greeters to,
to see and and it is part of public education in a sense. This year is the one we're talking about. I mean, the journey to spring
was the first of a series of films, which I think they were for the transport commission but he did under produced bed grounds the one called between the tides, which I'll talk about a little bit later, one about winter, I think no one about Scotland. That's right. But Scottish natural history in the last one, which my brother in law Ralph keen started but died before it got started shooting and john Taylor finished or shot and finished was The film called Wild Wings about the Peter Scott Slimbridge. Peter Scott of the Slimbridge wildfowl trust which actually won an Oscar, I'm proud to say not for the film. That Betty Katie has got it. That's right. Yes, that's right. I had actually done a film before I think journey into spring for that I'd done done several films I think before genuine does bring genuine spring was nice to me because I said, my brother, you know, made it and obviously I was anxious to please Him. He was good he older than I wasn't and and had made a number of very fine films, Cypress is an island and and beads and various other quite well known documentaries. And obviously, I was anxious to, to do a Brad so to speak. And it was, as I said, the first time it's conducted by my old boss, Neil Matheson. So obviously, I was anxious that he, he should think well of me. And all together. It is very exciting. And that was good. I'd already done one or two films. I think before that for cars for question. One I remember Best of all, was the film called train time or not, is one of the things I remember this was a film called train time with john Sherman made, which was a film, a survey of 24 hours of train planning really, how you get all the good strengths in the right place and the person is going on the right line, all the sorts of things that go behind running a successful train service, dreadful thing to think about, nowadays. sad, sad to think about, but anyhow, I thought that's the Mamba suit myself. I really loved it. I loved making the music for it. And I've got a copy of it, which I look at every now and I do I think perhaps later than that to dr. john Krish, on a film called The elephant, we'll never forget about the last tram, which we use some a nice Victorian musical. I suppose it was a good musical song. sitting on top of a tram, I think it was called, with Archie, How did he know the players theatre theatre seed, and that through lots of fun and interesting things to do with that, and I really greatly enjoyed working for
Unknown Speaker 25:28
it got that unit.
Unknown Speaker 25:34
One thing I think you were mentioning in these indirect sponsorship, if you like, the product of so that the story was told, that implied that the sponsor made these products. I think it paid off in terms of audience exposure to them, because by and large, what always audiences are uncommitted. And if you just thrown petrol pumps at them, and petrol prices, and everything else, they would have switched off, because you're telling a story about how oil is formed and how it comes out of the ground. And there's a certain adventure that you are immediately engaging interests from an otherwise uncommitted audience. Yes. So is the film had a much better chance of doing its job? Yes. And I know what I went on to make films of similar calibre when I calculated with foreign sponsors, big industrial companies in Germany a whole lot. I would show a short film. And I think it was the Elson formula. The war times. You mentioned the sponsors name of the track. You are seeing evaluate the effect. Yes, yes.
Unknown Speaker 26:46
Unknown Speaker 26:46
And so I think the first film I made was an after debate for them. Very high budget of 40,000 pounds to help mentioned the sponsors name one. Credit, I believe in it, and it was a very successful,
Edward Williams 26:59
yes. Yeah. So I'm sure you're right. I mean, I can be immensely impressed by the subjects that shell were prepared to take on. Sara doing a film about Indian dancing and the idea of chair bulges in in High Wycombe, and all sorts of interesting subjects, which they thought it was worthwhile making an interesting film about. And then, of course, they made motoring subjects as well. I did the whole series of films about motor racing for Bill Mason. I don't remember. Endless fanfares for somebody winning a race. I mean, I read really almost ran out of my equipment for making the noise. But it was they were fun to do. And then, of course, those companies and those people got taken on to do things for United Nations like like Michael Clark's film,
Unknown Speaker 27:52
feast or famine.
Edward Williams 27:53
It's not feast, or famine, food or food or famine. That's right, which is I must say, I felt very honoured to be able to do a film trying to talk about the problems of growing food for to feed people of the world. And also doing for them off the shelves on the shelves, all species that say a film about your hearts. Yeah. All sorts of interesting subjects again, with the idea of of joining the public's attention to interesting subjects without necessarily banging away at at Shell's own product, so to speak. Perhaps just mentioned as one other subject which transport commission were involved within which which I enjoyed very much. They made at least two probably more films on the subject of waterways, which of course resorts or commission were responsible as well as everything other form of transport. And as a result of which I had a very enjoyable trip on the canal with rod Baxter and I suppose Kate Baxter and certainly Katie Marshall, who is the editor of that those films and I managed to track down an old chap who retired from I'd heard it I heard about him, somewhere on the on the grand union. Somebody said, Oh, this is Chuck, you're good to hear him. He's got a lot of canal songs. And I did track him down to a flat in Ealing where he'd retired. And he had got a repertoire of songs. Most of them are musical called musical songs, which are particularly interesting at that time, but he had got to up to the splendid canal songs. One of them a ballad called on grindlays Bank, I think, which was about a murder which had taken place on Bradley's bank On a pickfords fly boat. And at that time pickfords actually ran fly boats, fast boats carrying whatever it was, you know, packages won't go up and down the canals is a very good song and I used it. And another song he sang as the basis of the music for a film called I think the waterways of Britain it might have been called or it might have been called, they're good but it's I can't now remember because there were two of them, one of you tried to scrape some eventually for the other, which I used a lot of this, I used these two songs particularly and that that person is going to later my own interest in focusing. My father is I think I mentioned before he had an interest in football as you can. And I find myself very much interested in it. And educated in it by Bert Lloyd Lloyd direct focus on scholar who was one of the Inspire as of the first song revival of the 50s and 60s, and who was kind enough to collaborate with me on several occasions in over music fulfilment seem to require that kind of thing. Another interesting thing that I think Mike must, I must mention is that some of the ones I had started writing music for films and obviously, I've worked for anybody who could teach me writing i'd disagree in principle with something that the film itself who was saying. And I find myself writing quite a lot of films to shell music, for example, the history of the helicopters, air rock is really about that and remembering that great pleasure and all sorts of other films made by various directors beated nondual. Bill Mason's remembering the love of motor racing films of your nation. Lionel Colts from Venezuela, and john Armstrong suddenly that become Singapore, working for Denis to gala and all sorts of people on really a great variety of very interesting films.
One of the things that are very well, it's working for Lottie reiniger, the great animator, German animator of shadow puppets, Prince Ahmed, for example. And the magic fix, he called I think, if he did diversion of magic figures had a puppet. Anyhow, she had arrived as a refugee in in Britain, I think, before the war, I'm not quite sure about this. But anyway, I didn't come across her until whatever it was 48 or 49, when she was working for the crime Film Unit making propaganda films, she's making films about personal hygiene for schools, brush your teeth, and go and add music, to have those for her post early for Christmas is another one, I still remember. Anyhow. whether or not those films were greatly interesting or not, is nothing compared with the interest it was for me to be associated with that great talent, and with the whole, bringing in its train a whole connection with the German Expressionism and the the boil up of the arts, in pre Nazi Germany, and so on. And even more perhaps, from the fact that her husband, Carl Cook, with whom I had many, many conversations with perhaps one of the most interesting films I've ever talked to. Carl had been a great friend of Renoir's, and had in fact be the only person who could manage stroheim. As I understand it, sure, I have had different was a difficult man to deal with as an actor. And Carl was able to manage him and Renoir couldn't or at least, was quite took on Carl in order to do that, for like Nandhini to the filmic stroheim case, they just can't come and come and dance. And Carl had worked in various ways. In on various films, various film projects are the most interesting if you told me which is, which I'm still whatever it is 50 years later, trying to hoping to try to exploit in some way, exploiting the sense of trying to do something like it. He told me that when he had not yet arrived in London, they didn't have very much to do. And I'm hoping somebody was kind to them at home to give him a flat and somebody had lent them what they call a trip table, which I guess was an animation tool. So there they were, with not much to do, what should they do? So somehow or other they decided that they would make a film an animated film, showing the rise and fall of political impact. And although I cannot remember exactly what was done, what I have in mind, what what remains, in my mind is the idea of something like doing an outline of a specific Empire, changing the outline one frame for every year, so that you've got some idea of how things changed. And Carl said, this, we're talking about Davis in 1939, before the war broke brain, cancer, it had the most extraordinary effect, because they had gone into their various they looked up the various facts and done their best to get the get the data, right. And then they'd simply plotted this from the earliest whatever they might be Chinese, Sumerian, political outlines of the various countries, and empires guides, the Greeks or the Koreans, the Greeks, the Romans, the, you know, Holy Roman Empire, the Spanish Empire. And he said, In each case, the pattern was the same, or they started very slowly, the first empires grew slowly, slowly, slowly got quite low, then collapsed. But this happened every time and it's about an empire collapse. And good, Italy isn't bad, but the tempo got Faster, faster, faster, through Greece, obviously. And finally, any visual
Rodney Giesler 36:32
Edward Williams 36:34
And that was 939. What that is easy enough to say now that that was dead, right?
That they hadn't had to show you that course, because it would have made but it wouldn't have made the war nugatory, but it would have
made us all big, come on what's happening? Because it led inevitably to the conclusion that the next thing would happen would be the collapse of the British Empire. And it was amazing, we would lose the war. You know, there's one in the military. Anyhow. That stayed with me that idea I've asked many people, anybody has what happened to that. And what happened to Lottie and Carl's belongings. I don't know I have asked to be f5 asked, you know, things know, you've had to have put in a huge artwork into such a search. But it does seem to me that this is a way of teaching history, which is quite different from any other way to get some idea of organic growth and collapse in time, like watching Rodrigo plant growth in Africa. Absolutely. Absolutely. That's right. And you think about the possibilities for teaching all sorts of things, but of languages of spread of different kinds of painting, it doesn't matter, but the endless possibilities. And I, you know, I'm still hoping one day to find a publisher or somebody who will take this idea on board and say, let's do it for for educational purposes, because it
Unknown Speaker 37:59
seems to me to be so powerful, you know,
Unknown Speaker 38:02
the idea, you know, intensifies and multiplies by the use of computer graphics?
Edward Williams 38:07
Absolutely. Absolutely. You could, if you had the fight to play, do it yourself. But I mean, but it is
Unknown Speaker 38:13
Edward Williams 38:15
seems to me to be really informative about something. He said, we never thought, in a way we've not thought about history. If you see what's happening, not accepted, perhaps. Yes. Historians occasionally think that making that kind of way, but
Unknown Speaker 38:29
I'll never forget the Dawkins definition of slow motion. Close up in time.
Edward Williams 38:36
Yes, yes. Yes, that's right. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 38:42
Unknown Speaker 38:44
Edward Williams 38:48
Well, I'm going to mention Deb,
Unknown Speaker 38:52
Edward Williams 39:00
But one more thing. Yes. Just. Yes. Another person I worked for her for quite a long time in the 50s. And before the end of the 40s 50s and 60s, it was it incorrect. The court jack holes who worked for pathway right when I first met him. And I remember doing some music for a film called guilty chimneys, which is one of the first Ico films I remember. I mean, I'm talking about quite early 50s Goody Jimmy's, it's about smoking and the suppression of dirt in the atmosphere to cities and that kind of thing. And the case, experience writing the music four or five years ago for Tim's television series called Earth on the subject of ecology, in which long quotes for guilty tivities with my music was used as well in the in one of the parts, you know, service crisis or an app for the book, and enjoyable and jack made a film called Dylan Thomas, which is the second film Moving forward direct to music, which actually got an Oscar, and a little notch in one's CV even after being associated with two Oscars.
Unknown Speaker 40:15
Peter Bayless was another one. Oh,
Edward Williams 40:17
that's right. No, I never did you know? Yes, I remember very well. We
Unknown Speaker 40:22
eat a lot of historical. That's right. He
Edward Williams 40:24
did a lot of newsreel films about NATO and all sorts of interesting subjects. So I never worked in but I remember in that path, a building, coming across even talking to him, you know, about whatever he was doing. I do remember remember? isn't an interesting man. Well, you know, not to huge numbers of names come rushing up as as we can, as this conversation goes off, and I think
Unknown Speaker 40:51
it's sure you mentioned,
Unknown Speaker 40:53
Edward Williams 40:54
but I didn't I think of him with that. I knew him quite well as an acquaintance. I think he was a great friend. He was a great friend. He and his wife were great friends of yours. What was she called? She had to find a sort of,
Unknown Speaker 41:07
I knew he was running a government.
Edward Williams 41:10
Yes, I knew that he'd done that. But
Unknown Speaker 41:18
a documentary I believe, for Imperial airways couldn't be a famous one. And did on the old Empire. flying boats.
Edward Williams 41:25
Tt that wasn't five doors to Sydney. No, three doors to Sydney. No, there wasn't much later. Yes.
Unknown Speaker 41:32
That's right. He has to be. One was was Southampton to sit down. Yes. On the other day of flying, but properly copying Garmin? Yes.
Edward Williams 41:41
Unknown Speaker 41:42
That's the one he made his.
Edward Williams 41:44
I don't think I knew that. I'm glad to know that. I couldn't remember it was rather dry, amusing man, with his wife and he and me. And as Dr. Romani often used to meet at lunchtime for a drink breakfast between us he must have been over at Pinewood for crying and we were our offices were dinner we used to be halfway to have at lunchtime, amazing thing when actually drove to a pub and had a drink at lunchtime.
Rodney Giesler 0:09
So after your documentary work when if you can,
Edward Williams 0:13
well, of course, I went on doing documentary music documentaries, up to nose it's big and I really done much more documentary and and natural history films than anything else. But I did do a couple of second features and in a roundabout that time, my old friend john Taylor, with whom whom I greatly admired, and who I consider think of the lightest, one of the most important influences on me as a character that I know. And, and his friend Trent friend, Frank Sainsbury, who became a neighbour of mine in Dorset, and whom I got to know very well as well, both of them, of course, had gained from early documentary days. Frank, having worked on housing problems, as I think, and anyhow, they were both extremely important characters in my life. Anyhow, john Taylor, when he was I think, head of what's called group three, the the greatest needs by government in spads, government supported I think, studio for allowing young filmmakers to have a go making sort of Secretary just
Unknown Speaker 1:31
Edward Williams 1:33
one I considered this was a film called double crossing, we still occasionally get sewn on deli, it was something to do with general smuggling as far as I can remember. But like all I don't think I've ever come across or very rarely come across a job for me, which didn't involve the producer or the director saying relevant, we like to music. And unfortunately, we've run rather over budget, you know, so I've read isn't very much left for the music. And sure enough on double crossing, john Taylor, I suppose it was john, who is really somebody and he had to say to me, Well, I probably haven't got very much money. But if you couldn't do this, this division 50 pounds, we should be, you know, we'd be very pleased. So I was rather proud of most of them believe that one of the things that recomposition Films is economy in the broadest sense, that's to say, the ability to use quite small forces to create powerful effect. And I was rather proud of my ability to fit to do some good work for for a particular film, on very limited budgets, you can't always do what to produce this one time limited budget, if they say, Well, I want to sound like a Hollywood musical. And I've only got 50 plans, you have to say, Well, I'm sorry, you know, it's that's going to involve what you want to involve 20 screenplays to start with you know, you already we've spent four times your budget, so that's just not on, but in ways in which one can use once oral and imagined to hear or imagination of into to the best effect, one can actually produce quite good results. And so I was rather proud of having done as far as I can remember that whole music for this hour and a half second feature, double crossing for three bassoons I think I did it remote with super, super cash and any happened. That was that was one or the other. second feature I did was a film called unearthly stranger, which is made by my friend john Chris, another great filmmaking friend, who had worked for massingham at one time and drew I think, at that time, I'd already done another film of his about the resettlement of refugees. And he was now starting out on what looked like being a rather successful feature director, he made a number of of feature films one kind and another. This was a second feature, but he, it had the actor Richard Neville in it, it became a cult success. I believe it's still a cult film. I noticed he was one of those films about somebody being people being inhabited by beings of another world you know, and it still gets shown quite a lot I still get quite a lot royalties from it and cell death have very grateful the experience although I can remember the actual getting the music finished in times I don't think I did. That's to say I think we still didn't have quite enough pieces to have even pieces done. I think I remember struggling to get it finished the session but still there are these things. Those things are not unusual in film. So Perhaps it would be a good moment. here just to talk a little bit. I've been longtime back in my own personal history with that idea just to talk a little bit about the, what I call the financial and political side of my work of any composers work in.
In films and television, that kind of thing. I remember being shown a very beautiful letter written by Vaughn Williams, to a young to the father of a young man who had asked for Williams,
where his son wanted to be a composer should shoe what would he advise? So volumes wrote a very splendid letter, couple of pages saying, a composers life is just not on, you look at the money to start with at all, and nothing like enough to live on. And only when you're old, and I've got lots and lots of pieces, and I've got a good list of accomplishments, we're going to try to get any any royalties enough to develop that kind of thing. And Edie kept saying, so no sensible person would ever become a composer. However, if your son really wants to be composer, I expect, he won't pay any attention to me, and will be one and good luck to me by the conductor, as the Bernard anyhow. A composer, in the course of my working life, has got two main sources of income. One of them is the commission, somebody pays you some money to write some music for them. And whatever they own it, whatever they buy, in the process of commissioning that music, they don't buy what's called the formula rights. Now, the Performing Rights are the right that the composer has to get paid a royalty every time a work is performed in public Performing Rights royalties.
Unknown Speaker 7:00
Edward Williams 7:02
you can imagine, when you are a young person, you don't have very many works with your credit, you have written very many things which are publicly performed, then your main source of income is bound to be
Unknown Speaker 7:13
Edward Williams 7:14
And for me, of course, in particular, this was commissions for music for films. However, public performances include performances, in cinemas and to audiences what you know, 500 or 1000, or even maybe, maybe, from that kind of sized audience to audiences of several million in what I suppose in films, which are shown in cinemas all over the world. And of course, nowadays, and television when, you know, an audience of 10 million in one country is not thought to be amazing, particularly, you know, so. So composers are entitled to royalties, very roughly based on the size of audiences. For every public performance, it includes policies in cinema or film, music, and on television, of Film and Television Music. So if you do anything, which has any kind of lasting success, success is the wrong word to be lost out, is Can anybody can bear to look at again, 10 years later, you might say, well, then given the fact that television is now chewing up material at a huge rate, that having the need for new material gets bigger, bigger, bigger, which explains Of course, why my very first film, for example, how an aeroplane flies Part Three thrust, I still get royalties from occasionally because somebody shows it or somebody shows it on some technical film in the on the television or something. So of course, by the time you've if you're a Beatle, and you've written, you know, 20 hits by the time you're 25, well, then, you know, you're made for that if you've got and getting royalties, and that's that, if more and more average way like me, you build up slowly a repertoire of works on film and television in other ways as well, then more and more royalties will come to you because there are more and more things of yours which are being performed or which have been re performed 10 years later, and so on. Now, this has always seemed this has always seemed even to me, though, I've had to shut up about it in the, in my relationship with my colleagues, because it was what has to play my friends outside a bit. But he has always seemed to me to be quite unfair, that for example, if I write the music for a successful film of successful television programme I still get royalties, which depend on it success may bring me a great deal of money. I mean, I've I earned, if that's the right word, what I regard is a huge sum of money from writing the music for one very popular television series which goes on getting shown again, the the Natural History series to David Attenborough's life on Earth. I can't. I mean, he perhaps has room to talk about it. I got paid practically nothing for the for the commission, I was appalled. I never worked in television before. I was absolutely appalled at what they offered me. I mean, it was I can't Now remember, I've got the correspondence. But I know that I worked for more or less solidly for a year and a half on that for about 1500 quid in 1975, which seemed to be absolutely awful, compared with film, the fees from the kind of people I've been working to, which would have been eight, nine times that much. However, the royalties which have come from that work, right here enough work since then, I can certainly run into six if not seven figures. That's not 100,000 pounds. Yes. I mean, it's, I think, more than 100,000 pounds over over 10 years or so, you know, which is not to be sneezed at, until somebody comes up with a refutation to the theory. The origin of species, you know, refutes Darwin, presumably, people go on showing it for a long time longer, so my hairs will get any hard to go back to the money side of it.
Unknown Speaker 11:33
You said you thought it was unfair? Well, I
Edward Williams 11:35
think it's unfair, that nobody else gets royalty, the director, the producer, nobody, the only people of course, if the owners of the film who rented out of course, they're getting their money back, they've spent a million pounds making it or whatever it is. And they're basically renting it out to the exhibitors, I'm talking in film terms. And of course, the same applies to the people, though, who joined together to make the production to meet the dragon intelligence, they're busily renting them out to various television companies, a lot of them, you can read if one showing up, and so on, and so on. So they're getting their money back. But the director and the actors unless they are on the same camera on some kind of a share basis, the director of abuse that people who have perhaps the main artistic responsibility for creative responsibility for the for the bees, they get nothing. And that's always seemed to me to be wrong, I'd say my director, friends, you really ought to get organised that the composers, you know, because we get something we get to go down. directors are getting coffee right now. Yes. Well, so they should so they should I mean, no question of the altar business, you know, that that's that they've got really the responsibility. If the film is a success, it isn't because the music's any good, unless it's a musical, you know, the music could be absolutely appalling and still be want to see it, you know. So I was, however, the status quo 2030 years ago, was that that's how things were. And as the audience's got larger, that's to say more and more people are seeing things either on telly or on. in cinema hours. The sums of money involved got larger and larger. And the producers, particularly in television, but the film, film, film companies, saw what the composer's got as very desirable sums of money. Now, if you think that I've made it Vedic, I said comfortable living bodies living doing this job, really writing music for very modest film small documentaries nationally, I haven't really done anything very grand, except perhaps like that. That's a that's a bit of a blockbuster, though, compared with the kind of Steven Spielberg's films, it must be tiny. I mean, somebody wants to tell me what Andrew Lloyd Webber gets for Iraq. He said, I mean, it's united in terms of hundreds of 1000s a week, you know, because company well, company, yes. But I mean, no knows what I'm talking about. I'm talking about royalties, as a comparative to huge sums of money. And so he showed, I mean, he, you know, he, his music is listened to by a lot of people and he has the right to the point gets for your audience for that.
JOHN Williams? Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Yes. But you see, the film company said, Joe, exactly what I just said to you, they say, Well,
you know, I think we should have shared that really. Because after all, however good The music is, it isn't a main reason why people will give notice to the film or the television. This isn't a rain main reason for the success. The main reason comes for the success is our investment in the creative imaginations of directors, abusers, script writers and so on. Anyhow, so we found ourselves I'm not working as a as a composer. We found ourselves under attack from the film producers and television guy These who were saying, Hey, we just have some of this money. And what they were doing was they're saying, I know what we'll do. We'll call ourselves a publishing company, or we'll set up a publishing company. Now, I have to explain that composers until fairly recently, if they didn't get published, they didn't get paid. I mean, I'm not saying about a single work, but if you are a professional composer and you are going to, then you have to have a publisher, I mean, their work,
Unknown Speaker 15:28
unless it was actually printed on sheets.
Edward Williams 15:30
That's right. Yes. Well, you could get the performance of a piece by simply having a copies make copies in England over for example, you got a commission for, for a piece of the BBC, for I didn't know it was a new Symphony, whatever it was, the parts will be copied by a copyist, and they'll be formed and the copy and the thoughts will be a publication then No, no, it's not just the publication is publication, it has to be offered for sale in somebody's window, it has to be units has to be printed and offered for sale. I mean, I may not be quite right about that definition. But it's roughly that's roughly right.
Unknown Speaker 16:08
Edward Williams 16:12
what actually happened in was that when you signed a contract with the publisher to publish your words, or a specific work, still happens. You assigned to the publisher, the right to collect a portion of the royalties, you're not in the bubble is not allowed, I think to get more than 50% of the royalties in this country, maybe not even as much as that. But for some reason, it's done in 12th. And they say the composer is not allowed to give away more than 612 of useful rights, or there's no way in which those can be alienated from you, but 60 miles does can't be taken by the publisher. And of course, if you're talking about the composer of 6070 years ago, that was perfectly reasonable. I mean, how did the Amsterdam orchestra get to hear about a piece written by a Scotsman? You know, God, because the publisher took it over and bullied, the conductor's and have a look at this word? Why don't you play when he played it? The the publisher had invested some money in the end, isn't it, it was perfectly reasonable that he should have a share of royalties. And that's how those things work. However, because what the film people did was to say, Alright, you signed a contract with us then publish this contract, we'll set up a little private publisher, we'll call sheet music limited, you know, and use it with me, we're the shareholders. And so we should get all that we should get half your royalties. But they never did anything. They didn't actually offer the business. So that was perfectly when you asked me that question before, on how exactly what the criteria were for being apart for publishing a piece of music. But no, of course, as a result of various negotiations, we're getting to the stage at which there are criteria for publishing and the publisher doesn't get royalties, just for doing nothing that he has to do some promotion, and offering on grandpa record or offering sheet music 100 baby, as well as simply saying, simply saying, I will publish it. So we thought this, I'm not talking about weaker poses found as a threat, partly because although these methods of payment were usually the states for example, competitors didn't get Performing Rights royalties at all. And we didn't get voting rights royalties from music shown in the states that time, nor do we get fully rights royalties from music performed in public in Russia, in the Soviet Union, great bone of contention. Continuing negotiations going on in order to try and persuade both Americans emphasise you in the cover up. The rest of the world is very well sewn up, if you see what I mean, even get them
Unknown Speaker 18:59
in frozen rubles.
Edward Williams 19:00
No, no, I don't think so. Well, that one might have I know that my friend ella northstone got quite a lot of money in frozen rubles for something or other I can't know quite what they did. He had to go and spend, you know, in Moscow, or at least in Russia. So I maybe I maybe I'm not maybe not quite accurate about this, however, is to go back to the main political financial story, we found ourselves in much under threat we found because our income variables depend on the on that balance between commissioning money and the royalties. And if somebody suddenly comes to half our royalties, who's going to be in a very serious deprivation for us, unless they gave us more in terms of commissioning money. The Americans paid very high commissioning fields fees. So you know, you've got the same amount of money, but you got it at the beginning, where it's because we composers felt that we didn't get paid very high commissioning fees, but on the other hand, you had a sort of stake in the success of the thing and if it was a success, then you did quite well as royalties. So there was a good tooing and froing we had a number of composers organisations, there was the composers Guild, which I remembered of which worked on the executive committee for some time, there was the breakaway Association of Professional composers who were so fed up with. We're fed up with advisors, guild versus guild was a rather old fashioned composers. organisation, and he dealt with people who are writing new symphonies and songs and that kind of thing. And of course, there are a number of us who were actually not working in that field at all. We were working in the in the film, television, the media, music, and we had quite different needs of those kinds of composers. So a group of composers broke away from the composers guild and setups in sonicwall, the Association of Professional composers, which meant that people in order to qualify, you had to accept about royalties in prs, because we they wanted people who, who were powerful in business, if you see what I mean, we're doing it. Then it was the Songwriters Guild, which looked after, which is an association of people who call themselves thought to themselves more as songwriters, then as composers, you can make that distinction. I mean, the pop this right is a pop music would regard themselves as songwriters, whereas composers would go grab themselves writers or symphonies or what have you. So there was the third organisation. And then there was the unions. Rather feeble, I think, for composers, on behalf of proposes rather feeble section of the Union called the arranges composers and copies section. They looked after the, of course, it looked after the copyists, whose job it was to copy out the parts and there was a rate or isn't published the rate for those and what she was getting what you get, if you work late into the night and all those sort of things which which applied to that job, who have very large, of course, for people working, working for composers who are working in films, and this involves people about this virus woman called absolutely lovely person called Rosie bramson, Rosie bramson. And her partner, Tony phones, who, from the time I came back to mirror in 1946. It was up for 20 years after that. They had the offices just off Tottenham Court Road, and they did a huge amount of film copying. Rosie I used to stand amazed that because she used to have a table, which was a television set. So she would be looking at the score, copying it into the plot and looking at the telly at the same time. He did I don't know. And the telephones they were they were they were spelled F o n e s tau. And they were they were copyist that's right that was the deputy. They had a great webs not webs wrong word network of people, of course, out workers who could be called on come on, I've got three scores to do, but more often Can you do it and then they will go be said they will do it. They had one lgfl who was really good copyist, but he used to work very hard. And then he was used if, let's say healing occurred at the end of the tube line. He then used to get into to deliver his score, get over to trade for fast asleep, and fight himself. You know, at the other end, whatever they have any wake up, get back on the train over and fall asleep, back in over racing, getting absolutely desperate and asking Tony fee Good luck on all the trains that went through the CFO, whatever his name was jack was asleep on the train, because they were desperate for the score. And if you said Tiger I card. Anyhow, that's a digression. But the union suffered Of course in having in looking after composes the union suffered from from the problem that in a sense, composers were on the side of the employers, I don't mean that word that the composer didn't need protection and the integrity of the jolly well did. But in a sense, a composer said to the if the principle of implied with a director or producer, the composer the person who said well, we better employed the violin players and you did the negotiation with the fix or with you know, one, you know all those things. And so there was a sense in which the composer was
from the union's point of view, not perhaps a particularly credible member and the accs the arrangers who were the sort of Craftsman they, they were easy for the union to protect them. They were there, they got a job. He has his tube, you arrange it for three horns and a little for the sensoneo next week, and you know, you you could work out a rake for the for the job that took poses is much more difficult and we didn't. On the whole my colleagues didn't think that the union is very credible protector of competitors. However, when we when this threat from the various film companies came when they started saying to propose it says they did of course. Well, you unless you sign the assumption contract with us, I'm afraid we shall give you the job. Usual sort of blackmail I've had that happen to be affected I had it happen overnight on Sunday enough by a German firm. And I mean, we found that very threatening I've made me want to happen to me and made me absolutely furious. Partly because it's in such a weak position. If people don't deploy you, you will start off you know, work in the middle of my life. That wouldn't have been true because I'm still has roadies by then but still you know, you you need the world like everybody else and freelance is more than most. So we found that very threatening, and we decided that we would band together in such a way that the split in the cabezas between the members of the proposers, guild members, the APC, the member of the members of the Songwriters guild and the union. Were rather those three competitors in the Union were pretty feeble separately, we thought we banded together, we would have more power, we could we could offer some kind of distinguished Well, we could offer some kind of threat, I suppose we'll timetac that's really what it is. But in the negotiations, which went to getting these three organisations to send delegates to a joint composers council to deal principally with this question, to try and get to try and protect ourselves from from film and television makers saying, we won't employ you unless you sign a publisher's contact contract, which gives us half the gravity's I argued very strongly that we would be foolish to make such an organisation without taking on board the union. Because in the end, of course, the union is anyone's company. I mean, they could actually said, We'd never get to that state, but they could have said, if they were desperate, we will call all our members out. And that would have been really, at that time quite harmful to the employers. Right? I mean, the less you use that weapon, the more powerful it is. And I could never have come to that on behalf of proposals. And it still seemed to me that we couldn't, we couldn't have a sensible organisation with those aims with the aim of trying to combat the employers in it produces television and film without joining with the union. And so after a lot of fraying and difficult negotiations, and people saying yes and no, and yet, they wouldn't if they wouldn't, we did actually manage to get together a competitive joint Council, whose job it was to try and see if we can protect and protect ourselves against this particular thread. And for 20 years or more, I suppose I thought when we started, it must have been in the 60s, I first got going. I think we were I think the composer's Guild, I think we were perhaps moving figures in that, in that particular struggle with you probably still goes on, although I have much to do with it. The AAPC is certainly still very much concerned with those kinds of questions. And we went on February trying to try to see if we picked ourselves so that's an interesting part of of my own life and very much to do with the with the behind the scenes and the negotiations and so on.
Another thing that perhaps worth mentioning, rather than just just say just one or two other things, which I did
feel like before we leave this copyright, yes. Could you just briefly define the difference between the prs of Performing Rights society and the mechanical copyright? Yes. Protection society? Yes, that's right. That's right. Yes, well, no. The polarised society was formed to protect the to give composers a some share some some payment for performances, they're working public. So, before we write royalty is a royalty on an actual performance to the public. So, any piece of music which is played to a pain public the player too small or large paying public, which includes television and film audiences, produces as of right or royalty for the composer which is the subject of what if the performing right company in each country of the world and now And there is one there, they cost they talk to each other, they make a charge in various ways, there are a number of ways of charging. The television companies, for example, television exhibiting companies, television broadcasting companies, as opposed to the producers, they're more or less duty bound to send in returns of what music has been broadcast as the radio comes on, some of them are monitored. Some of them monitor or some of them are sampled by the prs, or by somebody so that they listen to an hour every week on radio forward review, and then, you know, distribute royalties get the blood is collected by the society and then distributed to the composers, the members that compose and the publishers, it was in faxes already set up originally by the publishers. And most composers are actually have contracted to publishers. Yeah, I mean, it's all very few competitors, who would not actually I have never been dragged to a punch in my life. And I've managed perfectly well, thank you. But I work in the unpatch, rather a more small scale, and perhaps I wouldn't have felt the same. You know, if I do done a lot of large features, or big collision programmes, or any has now the mechanical copyright protection society is the mechanical copyright arises out of making a mechanical transfer of the work they do with it get performed in public or not. If you take a work of mine, and you might have grabbed a record of it, or a tape recording, or anything else you like, then you have to pay me a fee. If I'm a member of the mechanical copyright society, then you tell me that you're proposing to make a recording of my violins and I don't want my song, whatever it may be, you know, and you then have to pay a fee, which is again on a tariff worked out by the mechanical copyright protection society, and they will collect the money off you and they will then pay me the royalty. Of course, again, it's a protection for its protection. Which publishers actually find important, you imagine a publisher, half the Beatles, you know, the obvious way to do it with 2420, or 30. Absolutely, universally successful songs. So people always wanting to make a new recording of them, or they wanted to use them in some film or anywhere. And if you want to make a recording of any of those songs, then you've got to play a mechanical copyright on those. So is the fee related to the number of copies sold? Yes, yes. If sorted records are concerned, the publisher and the other composer will get so much shares of the of the cost of the of the records and the smartphone really makes huge sums of money. Because when you're sending them in millions, or whatever it is, you're doing drugs. So there are two quite separate things. And they're administered by two quite separate societies. Although I have to say, those two societies are getting much closer. Before we write society and kind of copyright society. I'm a member of both as any sensible composer is, you know, we've got any work performed. And those are things that you don't expect, I mean, somebody makes some kind of mechanical transfer of the of the of something was one film onto video, and you find yourself in touch with mechanical copyrights. He, you know, another way in which composers are living, which is not getting living, or joining into spring dead because it's not identity, it could be anything. By journey and springs, yeah, I mean, I get a nice prs royalty for the for the record keeping broadcast, which depends on the legs of music that is which I have to I have to send the prs, a notification of every piece that I do, where it appears, the production company has to send them a notification saying how much music there is, and I get it and I get paid more of this in accordance with the American music theories. In the end the size of audience, you know, very roughly
well, that that bit of my life to do these sorts of being a member of these areas professional I mean, I've personally been a member of the, of the composer's guild in the APC and the Union and the accsc, riders division copyright section, and the joint Commission's council the prs and mcps had various capacities over the last year courses members. So that's a sort of background to life and I have to say that until I was about 40, I didn't really think I didn't really understand any of that at all is only that you know, one get realise how much it was. Income mustn't be bound up with understanding those processes and getting into it.
Unknown Speaker 35:08
We're going on to another side.
Edward Williams 35:09
Well, I was just going to say that, you know, I'm thinking about going back to working those on those two features one time has gone on. And I did have other interesting things to do. I did a certain amount of theatre at that time wrote music for priests, or made some musical play Priestley's. Is there right now I can't remember. names. I got really, really sad music did quite a lot work for a film buddies ago jack Hales. dimichele director, jack house had a great feeling for music and words together being a Wellspring. And I'm glad to say he's film about Dylan Thomas with Richard Burton, reading the times. When an Oscar, as did I mentioned before, the Wild Wings field transformation made about Peter Scott's two films, which, because not only the music asked, but the film's got great. Field, it's always a pleasure to speak. And perhaps the other thing that I really ought to mention is passion project that after the first two or three films that I did have to journey into spring and various others, I found myself not wanting to conduct at all. I was I suppose I was totally intimidated by me having mirror as my musical director, because I wanted I needed. I was thrilled about mirror, I admire him greatly. And he was absolutely brilliant. And I think I've mentioned that before that he was really, really, really good at it. Did I talk about as a conductor and the concept sort of thing here? Yes. Well, there was a few bridges. On the other hand, he had, he was a powerful personality. And he himself had always been the person who would advise the director. That was his job. And he talked to the director or the producer, it was discovered what it was the director wanted, and then he thought, who he would choose to be that composer. And he then introduced the composer, director, and he actually acted as an intermediary. I found that trying myself, I wanted to be directly talking to the director myself, I didn't want to have somebody coming to me and say, Well, what jack wants is, you know, I wanted to have long conversations. I mean, I think one of those interesting things for me is the way that you would meet somebody who wanted to director obviously, we want you to write music for that in in dead scenes of South Sudan and said, they thought, well, that's Chairman Hammond Don't forget to vote. In those days, a director and produced a video, it was really, it was really, really bashing for nothing, because it's no idea that what the composer's going to produce for you, you actually went to the section, and they started playing, you know, you had absolutely read it, however, but I can't play the piano. And so my attempts to tell the producer, well, I have to have a to notice of picking up with one finger or you know what I mean, it was a real, Heidi had nothing to him for very difficult, and they would get the session. And then of course, the first rambling a bit, but it's just because of the awful thing about Sessions is that it takes the players quite a bit of time to get into your idiom. So it's not only the producers who are sitting there saying, Jesus partita what awful stuff we got to put play for. And 14 I feel with a composer sitting there say, Jesus, what do you tie, right? God was it as bad as that, you know. So the first half, our decision always consists of everybody looking pale and keeping very quiet, you know. And then from the composer point of view, with any luck, suddenly, the players could begin to get the feeling of thing and then it needs to sound like what you wrote. And then you smell the beans appear on your face. And then with any lack of the smell, but instead of your directors face, and then whether we can get on with actually getting making it right and starting feeling about the writing. But let's always an appalling price. Anyhow. So what I going back to was the interesting thing of meeting a director or producer who wanted to plot you. And how important it was to me is that you should talk about anything, almost anything else but films and music for quite a long time and have lunch good at what golf Look, I don't know much about golf and you know, almost anything except the job in hand because until you knew each other and you've got some kind of relationship, you know, no, let's go to countries. by Fred Allen, also great admired friend and composer, who's mentioned ADA was a What do you want to do sort of conference of composers about filmmuseum various people getting upset what you need to be a good film composers is that the other and
Alan's Hey, this is what you need to be a good film composer to be a good composer, well, I have a different version of that I'd made this version is that is that, that what you need to be a good film composer is to be a good communicator, or a good listener, or a good something rather to be good at relationships, because it's so much about that, for somebody to be able to work through you to get what they want. You really have to come to quite close terms with them about all sorts of things which not to do with music, you have to begin to be able to understand what it is they say when they say I'd like a quick piece, or I'd like something that was like data, right? It sounds like well, you know, the vocabulary that most directors and producers have in order to try and say to a composer, what they want, is bound to be limited. And therefore communication is really terribly important at that time. Nowadays, of course, that's very different. Because in the sense, it's so much easier to play the producer. Director, what do you have in mind, and for him to say, Well, I don't like that. But I'd like if you did a bit more this year. And you can go back and redo it. I'm going to talk a bit about that. In the end, we'll come to talk about technique in a minute. Anyhow, all started with rice saying that, in a way, I felt that we all got between me and my director or my producer that really I needed to talk directly to him. That's a technique perfectly adequate and right from your butt. But for me, I felt that it wasn't like, and I find myself to start with doing more more of our conducting, which I was really good at. And in any case at sessions, I think the composer's job is to be in the box, listening to what the music sounds like those days I'm talking about
and saying that the conductor, can you do it faster, I can't hear the horn or whatever it is. So I then teamed up to that with my great another advantage and love Trent and Marcus Dodds, who had been an assistant you're indeed
Rodney Giesler 0:13
Unknown Speaker 0:17
Edward Williams 0:17
did was just got to the point just mentioning my dear friend Marcus Dodds Marcus and I had been at school together at rugby. Although he was that sort of crucial three years older than me, which meant that he was regarded. I remember regard he was the greatest or we did actually see in the same musical groups as the octet run by the great flavour teacher, Mark Spencer, who, who ran a vocal octet in which markers that tie who sang bass and I same treble and got through a lot of great music that way. But he was, as I said, three out of the nine, therefore, held in the greatest of all, I think I'm right in saying that he held two of the most prestigious multiple positions at school, one of which was he was Captain rugby football, which, as you can imagine, in rugby was a dice near the Goddess. And, and he was also I think, head of the school, and he was also conscious objector, which was quite an achievement journey. And although he wasn't in the Army Corps and the OCC, no, I don't think he can have been I was I later became unconscious and Jacob came in when I was mad at the NIH, the NIH very quickly changed my mind again, I know.
Unknown Speaker 1:44
Edward Williams 1:46
but anyhow, he had also got he changed. I mean, during the war, he became a bomber pilot, I think, and, you know, stopping touches. And anyhow, yeah, he went to chemo after World afterwards and as a as a as an assistance he did last night. He was also working for Sadler's Wells. And he was he conducted a lot of operations on as you can imagine, he says sort of jobs. That went very well with doing drugs. And Marcus was very good at being conducting from sessions. See, we hadn't got quite the was I said hadn't got quite Yes, dramatic talent for you know, just managing on the last scope from the second to the last section done. Not as we started it better, not making too much of a cliffhanger. But he was a great friend and the Vegas beautiful state sad thing for him for us all. And then he died a few years ago. Anyhow, talking about him, just like leads me on to the next stage in my life. sudo after a bit. I By this time, got married to Judy swingler, the daughter of the playground. And the niece of Humphreys we've done was by this time
Unknown Speaker 3:19
Edward Williams 3:20
head of the Green Park productions, which was a documentary Academy which had made Cyprus as an island which was run which had been run by my brother in law Ralph keep until he died and hopefully to go over. And we got we went to we went to Dorset lived in Dorset where I became grateful to Frank Sainsbury's and instigated Magellan and continued to work through various fields one time to another. And we had fortunate. And then finally, we moved to Bristol in 1968. The middle of the events of may and student strike and all sorts of God events, it was amazingly stirring time actually to be in. I've lived to 32 of those times. The first time was when, after the war, my friend, Bill Howe, and his fellow students who are all of them have been in the world and so they were in their mid 20s. And students at the architectural Association and with the help of Robert Turner, john was the principal thing. They had gotten themselves in a situation of very nearly taking over the school in the best sense that's to say they decided the students ought to have a say, in the curriculum and what was taught and paid and stored and also things which, which we accept that much more than we did in those days, but there was a there were a month or two when we all thought that was really going to happen and since I should In the house, you know, the excitement of that kind of revolutionary fervour must have been about 47 or 48 was really, really very exciting indeed. And then, again, in 68, when we got to Bristol, the student strike was on but all sorts of other things were happening the Community Schools, Local Primary School, which our children were doing, had been turned into a summer community school, they were loved as events going on, or rather, the students coming to help with the general feeling that Dickens events in Paris that at any minute the Millennium was going to arrive again. Because the previous time it was, in 1945, I started messing with the election of which the Labour Party actually swept, I can remember walking through the officer's club and Sue is when I have to be at that moment. Feeling absolutely marvellous. Yeah, did at last what what you know, what the world would be leading to paradise on earth, you know, when at last, we would be able to put the world right and rain on it, the qualities and give everybody good education, and you know, all those sorts of things that, that the Labour Party carried on his back when when we got into when he got into power in 1945, which was so fun, July. And I can remember that marvellous feeling of excitement and pleasure having but not say that, my friend and I do people in the offices club in series who felt like that as far as I can make it, anyhow. So, I've lived in Bristol for various is we moved because of schools, where we live to Dorset, we had the option of secondary moderns, or grammar schools year ago set up, and we were very good news and comprehensive schools. And so we died, we lose I was it didn't matter where I worked. We move somewhere where we could, where our children go to conferences. And so we found a house in Bristol. And the children went to school here and that's in this different block. And one of those outs moved to Bristol, they took quite a long time, I still got plenty of work from my days, people from my room, I'd worked my butt. I did get a call with got asked to talk at a forum about his human life field. And then I met his boss who's producing they've got proceedings in life on earth. And then he asked me to give him some music. And I'm not going to go into those reasons. One of the reasons why am I getting the job I think was because I had a passion for and an interest in what are called electronic music, that's to say, music made by electronic means, which we tend to call electro acoustic. Anyhow. The job itself when I finally got it, I was introduced,
which they thought quite suitable music, which I didn't say too much it was I was taken on TV. And for the series of cartoons on evolution. Definitely. And that's a beautiful way this year and a half with absolutely, Sony gave us the schedule. And all sorts of technical things, which I'll talk about here and before, yes, but as you can see, here, the museum is produced. And that's, that's one of the things about my job because I was here. So that was that was a lovely job in any way, I placed the most interesting and rewarding job I've done. But the financial rewards and today will diminish. And then I got some more jobs, various theory to Manchester. And I didn't then as a result of that, I started getting jobs with Ms television, natural history series. And there's other things for them social documentaries of various times, if you will, which abroad mostly but not worked worked with when I worked with quite a lot of people that have contacted me and worked on a thing called Mr stabs with the actor who played exactly but Nick is that particular. David J. That's it. That's right. Know that. A lot of David Jason is that sort of other world devil or something. It was only because it was a directive or Richard would you should look His next job was to film various pieces. And he had edited interesting work. And I was doing that. And I also come to later also, now find myself doing a lot of work. Also, there is local television, which is the pistol antonius in the Welsh documentary company in Cardiff. That took letters later, I think.
I do like to talk about the technical side of it now, as I quite often say to people, but I've done quite a lot of graphic casual teaching in my life to people about film music, and particularly about the use of electronics in,
Unknown Speaker 10:52
in, in this
Edward Williams 10:53
bracket, but rather like those people whose life started with horses and carriages, and ended up with flights on Concorde to to the stage, my life seen enormous changes in in my own techniques. Today, I didn't have to tell you I'm not running on unit unit. That was when I started, the composer read all the stuff down. And when I started, music was music made by officers or generals or similar soldiers. That's what music was. Despite the fact that we heard lottery two that speaks more as then, let's say nine, for example, he had a great deal of music on on other phones and radios than we ever heard live. Even if we had looked like this. He knows that he went to a block by itself and which will have concerts, but the proportion that I heard by electronic means through loudspeakers or conference, which was was was much less important, which I actually heard, like, however, that was still the period in which what you thought was happening, or what it was supposed to be happening and thought was that watch you are listening to loudspeakers was a very good imitation was really good reproduction of what was actually happening somewhere else. That's to say, somebody was blowing a horn or blank with it, or what? I can remember very well, that first session addendum where, by the way, it's interesting, Simon just mentioned. The very first q&a session I went to, as I've already described, is the music for Williams identity, adaptive event signs nature demo. And we recorded all the life on Earth music in 1977. San Diego, piano in the same stage. That's right. Yes. Very confident with a comes out at GM didn't didn't do it. No, I had a very, very good goal is to go much. Anyhow. So that was a curious, I just think it was an extraordinary pleasure to do that. There. We are, you know, when I started off in, in films, and because it's poor dancing, so it can't be in your system. Or I can remember very well, the record is the first session I went that way. I mean, coming out into the room, we all said come city, I can go. And I'm not sure I can remember the deputy positions. I certainly had me on stage, they would come and listen to me. You know, you see what you got on the film isn't quite. What do you got? I'll tell you I don't go email isn't quite what we're sending like it. Yeah, you know, so he would come at this meeting and replay, we'll go back in and fill it out with nonsense janky to get better. Well, I suppose like everybody else, I slowly realised that what mattered was whatever the speakers were, what you were listening to, was a construct of the speakers. That's what is the construct made out of the the cone of the speaker striking the air and various patterns of wave shapes. And that's what you're dealing with. If you choose to say well that started with a horn player in the in the studio, maybe 30%. If you like, the concern, what we get is what comes out and then once you once you think that as the great as everybody goes, all the air in it 1415 to two minutes later govt Doctor stagewear and Bowsers began to think quite sensibly. Well what about hormones and things for let's just mess up let's just measure back with the actual basic units of sine which are these two waveforms wave shapes, if we can do electric currents are easily I mean this beautiful arrangement in which in which fiddling about with the equation which relates voltage and resistance and current feedback rather than interest on the hills? Well, it gives you an answer the simple tools I'm messing about with with sound is an exact analogy of rules, I always have exact analogy of the way that electrons move in, you know, in an alternating current longer productive use, you have an exact analogy with a sideways north, which I would go to that video made you in fact, a long time to find that out, too. I continue. However, what I'm trying to say is that
as you know, starting with a number of specialist said this specialist said, as in Paris, for example, which had the right school vehicle. And Darmstadt, Germany were very famous proposals were making us are beginning to use the first tape machine or first recording machine. And every single most of the music that I wrote from 1914 budget 948 onwards releases both of these recordings. And I heard it and my experience for students and speakers, I heard all sorts of interesting things I did was lucky enough to be able to be allowed to do a number of very experimental things. ways of thinking about music, which were in the air because of electronics, one of these ideas didn't come up, actually. But I was allowed to do it. Surely we used to have a regular list of makers over here by the phone to answer the phone is one of them, I didn't fit in I did, I used a device to device diversity musicians put on the interest in this key. I don't know how many other people have done that before. But anyhow, it was a technique which I'd introduced to them. And it was very successful. We did, we did a very nice service aerotech, called New detergents, which we did improvise scoring and all sorts of little bits of thinking of things that had to be done. But we got the players facing the screen, and into play. And of course, they will find more time in the deck when underwater, you'd only make a funny noise and so on. And we then find quite soon that we made a recording of what they played two, three times, but then all you have to do is to pull the recording up towards the end, because their reactions were just that there are four types of the duck sang, they would react and they would react with a bit of a second mouth and you put it all up, it would be absolutely nice. So So I totally like that. And I did music in that way for them. And then kind of another long and they were all racing films, eventually it was nothing but fanfare as well. People cross the finishing line, whoever it is. and family, multiple farmer ash socp. Thanks. Okay. This is this, as I said. So I decided I would try and do a one dimensional electronic piece, but I really don't want especially electronic. But what I did was to like to write a piece of music, which is 32 rounds, so you could fit it every eight bars starting together. So you could have four tracks of that going round around. And my plan was that there would be those four tracks. And then I would get 10 covered because this was really, it can cover up to give me exactly double the speed which can be done in those days. I thought right, I didn't think we take the summer that was possible to make me make the 40 a double the speed to double the speed of recording, we did that. And that meant we then had another session to buy around but taking a look terrified and taking half the time as usual. And then we did the idea of making it long doubling. So we didn't had a knocked around, you know, four or five minutes entrepreneur with the lasting price as long as the original. And then we got those drove tracks to come down a list of all the machines the damsel and the loved ones are so long that we had one of the lads standing out in the yard as objection box passing these loops of film ride and go to the mixers and trying to make a score out of these. That's a procedure which I would do now. Very happy to request Is that but that's the procedure, which is a way of thinking about making this is a rather a strictly parameters about a strictly chosen if you like, and I wouldn't just reject it. But it's, it's a way of thinking about making music as a producer of shell at the time. Yes, experiment, he said, Oh yes, that's advice to go out, you cannot use a good guy can talk endlessly about dogs and Edgar, and basketball and all those people, but I'm not going to promote.
Unknown Speaker 20:32
Edward Williams 20:34
What I'm trying to say is that my performance may working life has actually spanned from the moment where, from the time when music and films in the media music in general come to that was something which the composer wrote down on a school, which was then copied by the copyist onto various parts, and the musicians were then assembled in the studio, and you then got them to play it. But what you are listening for was the sound of an orchestra playing that was evolved into an orchestra. And that's what you're after on the on the,
Unknown Speaker 21:13
on the track.
Edward Williams 21:14
More and more, of course, one came to realise to start with you had all sorts of tricks you can do that that you couldn't do doing in real life, I mean, in life, for example. notables would dream of writing the tunes the flute playing bass, often in the low register, let's say I'm making that sound really nice anyway, but still accompanied by trombones playing really loudly or something like that. When you do that in a recorded piece without think twice about what it is you hear you fix the mix so that the microphone that listen to the flute is that really loud and the trombone to hell right back
Unknown Speaker 21:55
to you, like,
Edward Williams 21:55
you must be aware of watching them attention, seeing people saw your way, like mad on the telly, you're not hearing anything at all, because the mix has been dead. And so that's the sort of first lesson that begins to seep through to this business of the,
Unknown Speaker 22:08
you know, put
Edward Williams 22:10
the message is the medium. I mean, it isn't an orchestra being played by last week. It's an unspeakable, that's what that's where it is, that's what's happening. And I learned interesting things that result is I can learning being introduced to
Unknown Speaker 22:30
Edward Williams 22:35
the things I do quite a lot using a digital globe.
the getting scribbling w x he said to me while saying this, I wanted to happen was that somehow rather, the he got some feedback, he said back the end of the beginning of a piece back onto itself. So if you've got some interesting disability where you design the food, I mean, it's a trick that that everybody plays now without thinking about it using lowlanders what you do with it, you know, you can do it and then makes also, but I learned a lot of interesting things there. And of course it did all this was happening in the world. I was interested in electronics very difficult to get into because you needed to be an academic and to have access to some huge, not very expensive equipment. So it was it wasn't really at that time. For me, I'm talking about let's say early 60s 50s. However, there was one composer and English composer coaches can carry, who was what I would call the advice of the of English editor encompasses two very interesting man Indeed, he been pretty much the same age as me and he been to the colleges for the war at the Royal College as a as a cellist focused and physically. And then he got into the war, as he got into the navy seals it but he was aware of his calligraphies. And so he learned a lot about electronics and he was interested. He was one of the sons of the of the novelist Trotsky is what it says. So they live within within Australia. And he got really interested huge credit successful compose economy. Not really, I think he did the man in the white suit. And always he did. Yes, that's right. I think that was just amazing. Yes. Anyhow, Justin, because of his expertise was in the 50s and 60s making the two electronic equipment which you could use to make electro acoustic knew what we know. He made oscillators, and filters and morphs. And he was very keen. I mean, he, he and I were both on the committee of composers Guild. He's very keen that more composers should do this and he in fact, actually set up a call composers in his mid 60s were at his house in Norfolk. And about a dozen of us went out of Russia Dell and I get together and
Unknown Speaker 25:11
Edward Williams 25:14
and we sat around well just read about electronics and about what they think hadn't done send a blind word with I've got my I've got my notebook now and I look at it I find difficult about that. But it was absolute mystery complete up secrecy and understand a blind word working saying, we made it a piece together using something. He'd made all this stuff out in the post office machinery and he told me once I was that long before tape up, the technicians are available. He used to make loops make them on guns. You know? So he would like to bring the circle would compete. It wouldn't go on to the next movie. Doesn't he do it on one group? I mean, he was a pioneer in this scene after I'd done the musical journey to spring my brother No, Ralph Keenan green card with no but yes, he was employed by Edgar to do another natural sefa moved on the go between the times and he is about life on the seashore between high tide and low tide beautiful for another beautiful Jessica This is all that not as generous been because it didn't have already.
Unknown Speaker 26:35
Edward Williams 26:37
it doesn't matter. Anyhow, you didn't come to you wasn't quite as beautiful as it already is. Don't come to us.
Unknown Speaker 26:45
Edward Williams 26:48
You imagine the kinds of things that well, it's the watery shells and stuff shot in 30 feet in high tide and low tide. So I decided I would have to do something about it, which was vaguely electronic, you know, I wrote a piano score, and got it recorded and put it off into the studio, just off my garage. It was quite a posh studio. And he said all our digital work so he couldn't do anything, all sorts of interesting things. And it came back learning just as interesting as it I wanted to design the slides that we done. So that was my first essay. If you enjoyed it then the next thing that happened I know talking about after just a seminar for fellow composers week, I think I was lucky mug the American designer invented a way of harnessing voltage changes of voltage to an amplified voltage controlled amplifier and then voltage control frequency voltage control itself as an idea was an absent minded you know that that actually opened the gates and built the first synthesiser which exaggerate humanises about the size of a house and cost about is you know, and shortly after that, very interesting English than copied his interview was a composer and was using computers is a computer to make comparisons decisions to set up hold off to set up pathways in which it will make some of the decisions and you could you could you could give it the rules for making the decisions and it would then choose the notes and he didn't have that this the Print Titles he then had to be performed and realised it's actually done. So Peter got hold off 15k and said I need something that will realise these be my pretence What can you suggest what should I need? So Justin specified the gadget to need this kind of oscillator need this kind of filtering and as a result of not having the history of design, what two years before and as a result of the miniaturisation Peters and Avi have called him because he had quite a lot of money. He had some major private income, I think he called him David cockerel the designer and said, This is what Justin says you need Can you design them and because of the miniaturisation they were able to make a synthesiser called the VCs three voltage controlled synthesiser, number three, which was the size and cost a mini I mean, really astonishing leap in. It's pretty expensive to figure
Unknown Speaker 29:49
this here's the thing.
Edward Williams 29:51
And I got what I eat with every medicine successful every school in Europe Hadn't they weren't they wasn't ever designed by composers, they were very, very difficult to everybody at all. And funnily enough, in the end, it bought nobody. That's because I didn't give him 100 bucks for doing so. She knew that we had to have drones because my friend Robin Hood, no talk to me. still making the repairing machines and you can't make them unless you have the drawing students, I had divided what we had to add a noise. And it's not I've acquired whatever title means of an obvious company wasn't a venture.
Unknown Speaker 30:34
Unknown Speaker 30:36
We're all the stuff. We work with you. You mentioned
Unknown Speaker 30:39
that. Yeah. I mean, did
Unknown Speaker 30:42
you meet any of these bonuses? Well,
Unknown Speaker 30:44
I mean, people like Stockhausen?
Edward Williams 30:45
No, no, I didn't, I would like to have done but I didn't move. I just did all these things. I followed what they were into, was, I mean, I thought design that evening I was was as good a piece and I found that you know, I took off that is not as big. But most of he seems to me to be bloated beyond beyond tonight, because I don't have Oh, he's great, because it is so different matter. But I mean to see, you asked like that, but but enough he doesn't do his own electronics, I mean, the the electrons that he did for for his last operatic these were done by somebody else. And he commissioned, he said what he wanted to be in the petroleum. But anyhow, I didn't acquire this actual machine, no keyboard or whatever keyboard. And shortly after that, I got commissioned to do a job for Shell for that film called this land, which was a geological history of the North Lake project. And they really needed a lot, there were a lot of fossils and stuff, and they really needed some electronic music. And so I was able to do part of the school for an orchestra and part of the school for your, for your Metro PCs. Three, just add that, I think was one of the reasons why I got the life on Earth. Because I'd actually, if you could imagine the evolution story, which depends on its first two or three numbers from a tremendous amount of fossils, and, you know, amoebas, and all sort of curious speeches lately about underwater electronics, you need some medical reserves, and I was able to do that, I suppose that was what I was taught. That's one of the reasons why this person took me on to do that. And of course, from then onwards, that rapidly change very rapidly I've refined raised with from this house in the studio. This is these these have the studio on top floor that have been rapidly by machines. This the eyes of the doors, I did this video. Oh, by the way, I'm not going to go into mine, I have always been here, you know, I've been stupid for reasons, which I'll get into later. But anyhow, the whole thing changed. No sooner after that, I did find myself getting very bored with the
Unknown Speaker 33:22
Edward Williams 33:25
that that particular machine produced or latency that the machine that turns that I could produce on that machine. And I got very interested
Unknown Speaker 33:33
Edward Williams 33:34
modifying the sounds of humans. So I would get to this route and record
play second type is not needed, if the localization and then I will probably do a lot of
processes like is take gx and pass it through the VCF reason. He was interesting places to introduce insides which were not no longer acoustics at all anyway, physically based. So I had the the richness of the upside of the original dimension instruments, but you know, most of it, and I did a film called the water walkers, which has had windows navigational system, but had a video success was the music. It was a very good film. And it was about the creatures that live on the surface of the water. It's part of life water. But it's a it's a nice it's great to finish because it is race because it doesn't get shown over and again and reward. But I did the music for that. Which is adequate, no better than that. And so using a single fiddle, and then messing about in the same sorts of ways to produce interesting which, which in no way could have been produced. In the studio by just getting sort of native blade knife I get the gun away from the original idea. And now of course, I do some recording, but very little comparatively, I've got a series to do in this document about the economic six part series for for 10 years and Channel Four. And, you know, I'm find myself I suspect perhaps recording two or three incidents and stuff made right because the incidents getting interesting. And then in my studio, so using a sample and also sometimes prices to produce what I want. And now of course, we
get what I talked about before, which is the appalling situation of the of the producer. And I started to
shell out a lot of money and pay these huge sums of money for recording these chaps in the room. Lots of money, face you every minute. And no idea what's gonna light or not depending on the piano. You know, I mean into it to nice tunes, I like that tune, but then you may, you may not work when you focus to yours. I mean, it's quite difficult to, to tell anybody what you're up to. I find so and I think most producers finding quite difficult to grasp what it was their companies were going to do for them when they paid on the penny to get them to write jolly tune, or sad, you know, maybe that. So nowadays, because your things are really easy, you can actually play the music to the director in the way that he has the authorization to go. In, let him actually hear exactly what he's able to do. If he doesn't like it, you go back, you don't go do something else. I mean, you know, it's in the business of producing the finished article is a great deal less cumbersome than the one which used to happen when you guys that you started by spending a month writing the score. And then sounds way too weak to copy out the parts. And then you end your orchestra in recession that you went civilization from any way taking the country and hoped that it was going to fit
not only when the major countries in Southeast Asia mechanism to do their thing. All this happens now very much more easily, much more quickly
and produces much more. Control drones ethics say, Well, I didn't like that. Take it away. And he knows that he's not asking for the earth back that he can he do it again, but not all that much. what you were saying just now taking conventional warfare. Yes. Thank you. Oh, Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Oh, yes. They don't have that separately that showed that you can orchestrate. Absolutely. Pepsi.
Unknown Speaker 37:58
It's very exciting.
Edward Williams 38:01
So that's, that's a big change in my life. And it's led to all sorts of interesting stuff. which we thought was like, man, just Really? Yes. You asked me about my friend Eleanor thornwell. As I said, in conversation with Tom about if you want luxury cars need is that that is difficult, or I find it very difficult to be objective about him. I don't I don't find it easy to talk about things that relates in the interest of the people as far as I'm concerned. Alan was a great family friend really. I met him when I was working from your the end of the ties right up I think and I had a horrific I always open up out of his car with that you used to drive back. So this is the same Elvis car which for which they lost the drill a hole in scores, because I put it on the on the back of the thing and having to secure them. Anyhow, I can remember Alan must have gone to see me in Dennis, where he lived not far from Ghana, about his wife
Unknown Speaker 39:19
Edward Williams 39:22
children is what have you. And I must I must admit, I remember meeting Alan there. And what often happened is I think Alan's way Jessie Hinchcliffe who is seems valiant was playing in the first sidings of the film must have done a session down there. And Alan was to come to collect and and he might have think he might have been going to film for me. I didn't guess probably what was going on. I can't remember now. Anyhow, I took Alan and Jesse back To the arbitrator for conflict today we're going to talk is a performance analysis and somehow rather assumes that we became tremendous friends. I don't know whether Alan was still living I don't think he was. And he had a number of other relationships in general. But we became tremendous friends, or at least I admired him greatly. He was great with great education. He seemed to know about everything. He could be really funny. He was a tremendously good companion. Did you have a drink with or do you know to address Josie? And he was immensely kind to me.
So as a result of meeting Alan, I found myself with a new guest close to an interest, very interesting circle of people, and of course, new great many people in both musical painting, and as a result of his friendship, I met a whole lot of people who subsequently focus being friends in their own right. who became my friends in my head, right. So I think I'm slightly fazed by
Edward Williams 0:15
Well, I'd like to finish by talking a bit about what I've been up to, apart from the various films and television pieces and series that I've done over the last 10 years. And what's taking up a good deal of my life now. There are two developments really. One of them has turned me and said, again, we've been before, apart from as a composer, organisers have to be reasonably good businessmen, otherwise they stop. So I've always managed my own affairs as those that don't do it in that way.
Unknown Speaker 0:58
Lots of assessment
Edward Williams 1:01
in my life, and I wish I could recommend this game successfully. However, as a result of my interest in electronics and music making, I found my job in about 1970 looking for a device, which would enable dancers movements to play electronic instruments. So I knew that it was possible for something like this was possible because I knew about it, Mr. Chairman is the inventor in 1990 1920. The device which he called it the ketamine box, I'm not sure about dissolve producible determine, which uses the capacitance of the human body in relationship to a conductor. I'm talking about conducting these mechanisms to velocity, the frequency of the valve and the aptitude of valve. In fact, in fact, the sentiment was the first to electronic music This reflects the question, and he had great success. The Theremin introduced in Russia, in the 30s into a lot of important because it's ripe for it. He found a marvellous lady in America, New York, Clara rockmore, who learned how to play with enormous skill, if you imagine you have nothing but one, one hands on the left hand because the up to the right hand controls the the frequency and she played it, like a genius you could make review shapings note, make it sound like a really explicitness linstor it's places already been taken no days by the old not to know. But quite recently, there was somebody who played the therapy in the Moscow music and also misstatements just died after a few months after he sued the interesting television programming. But I know the back to the origins, of course, in general knowledge and on time, and I knew therefore, it was possible that they must be possible to devise some way of doing what I wanted to say, enabling the movements of dances to control any kind of emotions.
Unknown Speaker 3:21
Edward Williams 3:23
the long and fairly desolately search most of the time and I found a friend I was at a party who had actually made it circuitry thing I mean, and after many years, he actually produced it brought it down to my studio, and indeed it did more or less you could use it to control my voltage reading the frequency and amplitude of the oscillators on my synthesiser and but it really wasn't an issue particularly loud for public performance. However, sometime around about 1983 or 84, my friend and associate robinwood, who was who had been working for the electronic instrument firm called TMS who made the bcsd because an obvious he suggests to me I think it was he was just as we should try using a Polaroid rangefinder, ultrasonic rangefinder kind of probe using that cameras to give us information relating to whether something interfered with it. And its distance from the sensor. And sure enough, that works pretty well. And we got the designer, which in my case, were designed for quite a few things. So the idea was to design it something that he called the Lone Ranger. And, indeed, he produced the first prototype of this at a workshop for handicapped people doing the group as I was associated with That is to say more about those groups. Anyhow, we decided that it worked. All right, although it didn't mean very much more about it. But I did have in the conference with various people who have expressed interest amongst Sally Silverman, in level friends, family, friends lagina is a teacher of blind Nadia had captured, and she was determined that the tiny children, she definitely could find enormous use for this device. Well, shortly after this, along came the development called MIDI in the language, the code which music, news links or manufacturers have agreed on as a protocol for all electronic business so that any single musical instrument can be made to fit into play another one so that you can use the Yamaha keyboard, for example, to play a relative standard song, everybody. And so we thought, well, let's answer that then we'll add MIDI to this machine. Sally I think gave it to them same beam. And we started making them robinwood and como started making them and we sold it. No, it doesn't. In the first year, two people thought was quite interesting. However, after it became apparent that for people with special needs, it was absolutely enormous. All sorts of people who had had no physical capabilities making music because of their physical disabilities, found themselves in the position of being able to move by tiny movements of a finger or have a toe or the head or do you like to be able to make music to play a synthesiser and we took a 1990 we took somebody on to sell them and do what to promote them. And we've started saying women back to large quantities, we've now got a small business, we're selling them all over, but separate many European states, all over the world, primarily for people with special needs. But there's other ancillary products like vibro, acoustic boxes, beds, and a means of using this invisible ultrasonic beam, not only for playing instruments, but for switching on lights or of ns or whatever you like in the multi sensory rooms that are which so many special schools that can cater to special needs. Find every minutes important. So to give a decent quality of life to these be. So here am I now in the last part of the business, I must, I can't resist telling you the story of my business. My induction into business. Now after we've been going for the bank, like a year or something I talk late I know so badly in business, and I really want to get some advice. So the guy I got hold of the government, small business advisor very kindly came out and said Arjun talking to me for about two hours straight looking at the books. And he said
he said to me, as he got up from practice papers raised Well, Mr. Williams, we'll just have to hope that sadly doesn't come that doesn't take off. Because I'm afraid to be done. We'll be bankrupt in six months. Well, he was quite right. I don't mean that I got bankrupt in six months he graduated, I was breaking physics. And we went pricing a property and all sorts of things. However, the touchwood at the moment, we are selling it a respectable few and making ourselves quite respectable profit in doing so. Now the point of all that, of course, was that he was set out to be in order to provide a mean for dancers, movements to be used to, to play musical instruments. And now I have to go back again, perhaps to you know, the beginning of the 80s or so, when the mother great population is with the idea of actually articulating largely actually giving performances in real time. From tape. Knocking by means a computer with a setup sequence right here that I'm doing right in real time so that whoever is performing the PCs have got control over as he goes through time. So this means I'm including if I want to go slow like this, the first thing across as will in mind will is the differences take place. I had to be in my body and still have the disease, something absolutely essential to the nature of making musical performances. And since Of course I'm interested in two deputies very interesting can do go to a fair amount of contemporary The concept, particularly concepts of electro acoustic music, because that's what interests me. And I find myself appalled to find that the general run of opinion is that the way to do is is to get it to sit down in the whole setup extended loudspeaker set up in which you've been making really, really beautiful sound you presentation if you like, and then deploy 10 machines. So now that security are the dollar knife, Business Objects. And another component of this was my own interest desire in making music, electro acoustic music for performance in real time concerts. And Sunbeam is really one part of this, the idea that we might be able to use the musicians gesture or dances with different gestures to trigger different bits of music. And in fact, we need that she did. However, the other side of this particular activities and he was really quite small part of his that I and my friend Martin just bear with me, my sister comes out because it was me. And my wife Judith, we started a group called Uncle jambres. pendula vibrations, being good vibrations in the air being the translation of the beautiful German words for sine waves, which was owns expression of that particular law of ohm, which says that all sounds over complex could be made out of so called sound waves. pendula vibrations in here, very beautiful title. And I couldn't resist. Since this is what this group is all about, is making electro acoustic music which had its raison d'etre, very largely unknown speakers back then, but which I wanted to do live. So we actually put together with great labour. I mean, I swore I'd never do it again. Because the process of raising funds to do it quite I mean, there's no way in which you could have got an audience large enough to begin to pay the cost. Since it was a sort of exploratory innovative idea, I thought, I felt reasonably justified in trying to get Arts Council grants. And indeed, we did get some grants to Michael to be trusted to run it. And for the Arts Council in Vegas, right, what was right, and we gave two workshops to series of workshops in Constance in New York, we did various things ending up with a performance using a dancer. And in 1985, I think know. During that last gig 1984 yaksha, a lot of courses, I was introduced to Ron Johnson, whom I subsequently with whom I've subsequently gone into partnership,
run as the business produces said to me, he's just like, he's interested in real time. And he's interested in real time manipulation of things and his video. And Rand turned out was the video artists and indeed he can work with us on this first, Yorkshire is to Yorkshire sector where it drops in prices. And again, on subsequent riding Barton identified, but Brian and I then started working together, Brian had, in fact developed ways of harnessing both music and information about dancers movements, via Sony to effect a solid graphics, the colouring, the shapes of various images, which he would then mix together and project behind the performance. We because we had the idea that this was an interesting way of presenting musical performances to an audience, as I say something to look at, which was actually over word use heavily overused word but let's say almost organically connected with the news. There's a sense in which the things that happen to the images, the colouring and the movement of the shapes, organically connected with what the music is with the music which is being played, and the movements of the dancers as as reported by devices like sound. And we started off by getting some equipment right up here and setting them up so that they could see the monitors, passing their sounds through to the recording room and getting the pants down from the recording room to run, whence you At which point he extracted, whichever, whichever bits of his key wanted to use, it might be used quite quite a crude So feel free to start with you just the middle fingers over and over. And he's got very, very much mostly since then, but, and then mixing together what images he had, including black and white camera images of the players themselves in the studio. So the synchronous image and mix them together and applying these various modifications in real time. And of course, the players themselves, were able to see these going on, and they were able to see the effects of the notes they played on, on the images. So there was a sense in which this was circular, it was critically into into efficient workflows. Interactive, thank you. Which this was an interactive process, in which the sense in which you could say that the instrumentalists were actually playing the image in some sense or clinical, and thanks, Miko. And we spent a happy week producing, doing trying to decide with two or three advisors who stole a piece as well, real time differentiations don't say we didn't pay them two or three times. But they weren't impressed. They're made up on the spot. And we also used some setups which I'd invented with my assistant mark, which enabled which enabled the players I don't read the instrument, specifically to control all the electronic processes and services. So when you hear what sounds like to us, you can see all the same times here, well, that can't be advised you must have things to help with. Those are all done in real time at the chosen times with the players. Now I will add a loop, which I've recorded by pressing a button from the from the former from the labour board. So at the end of that, we found ourselves a certain amount of video material, on some degree, bad quality, and lots of journalism shakes me, because it was definitely usually pretty cheap, Brian pan is not the cube giving us great stories, teaching my man another, and all these in all these machines, he's a device and, you know, designed himself put together so it's all not very inexpensive stuff. Anyhow, we find ourselves with a lot of interesting material. And we extracted six five minute pieces, which are simply the video, which is the moving video, which is which had been inspired, which had been
connected to the music, and we put titles on them, send them off to Channel Four level
blog, put them in provisions, really improvise. And then we went on in the next the two subsequent years to go further we started, what we hadn't gotten. The idea was what the effect of having the performance on this day, with these images projected behind in sync in real time, so that when the performer played, what you saw in the way of image manipulation and change was actually organically related to what we're working on is next week, next year, we had to go down this. So when came to these numbers, okay, these ones are pretty well, behind it took a few days and made time to get from the film point of view says you've come to as an audience made to see it. And last year we did another week, but this time working on three specific projects for performance. And I have to say at that moment that I suppose about a year and a half ago, I decided that I must revitalise uncle john, from life again, because we need to do that. And so I won't live again, this time is electrohome. Super good name because this sort of cover, you have to avoid you have to be mobile, and which would actually enable us to do warranties and commissioned pieces, because it enabled me to write my emphasis for me and putting them in order a personal. So that's what I have at the moment. We haven't done it yet. I mean, this new, not the new No, no. Not yet. But, I mean, it's a question we need to manage. We had support from Southwest darts for the last stage and we just covered that one that we can take there. And we're ready now to go on to the next stage of the programme of five or six pieces, which I think we would entertain entertaining and interesting step by geometry to concept which we never get to get the money back and we will see what I mean we've got to find some means of getting sponsorship. I still hope that the musical trusts with help
will help because it's in its I believe it's the non normative and important and the visual analogies. With music, visual analogies of music seemed to me to be an extremely
interesting something that's very natural that somebody spent their life making these images should think so. And I'm not saying every musician, but I think so. And so those two things are accompanied by the usual business of actually getting on with writing whatever music one gets conditioned to on the way I get used to doing the way his home I live, right now. I must say the business side of Sunbeam takes up random ordinary rubbish. professions will make enough money to pay for by debt today. That's
Unknown Speaker 20:52
interesting. Like while you were talking, I was remembering. Probably the first attempt at pictorial lighting samples. Yes. in Disney's Fantasia. That's right. Yes,
Unknown Speaker 21:07
I would rather
Unknown Speaker 21:10
die. The soundtrack comes into the central St. Yes. Central State. Yes, I see the sound performance.
Edward Williams 21:17
Gosh, I forgot that I seen I saw it a long time ago.
Unknown Speaker 21:21
Yes. See, it's very interesting. This relationship between Dr. cfop earlier on about trying to describe physical force emphasise you're trying to describe to a producer or producer trying to describe cu, ledger music, what they want to try to find is the possible music. That was the words that at least was a sort of relationship there between sound generated pictures. Yes. I don't know what aesthetic opportunities are opened up there. And they may be strictly limited by them. I mean, can you see far enough ahead where it could become an art form in its own right. But its own rules?
Edward Williams 22:04
I think though, yes. I mean, I can see such a huge amount of possibilities for me to exploit. I don't read only me, but from me and my friends and my colleagues. And this time, you know, 1994, things like that I can't see for the end of my nose. I mean, the thing that one of the things that I find, very telling, as far as I'm concerned, the other video P of A sound like this. Brian, when he used the images that he uses can be anything. There's nothing that can't be incorporated into the mix, which he then manipulates he manipulates the shapes, if you really, really look at the shapes. They seriously have silly graphics, which are of course, as you were saying earlier, in information, the reason for that they still isn't that wouldn't have been manipulated. They're still actually based in the in the frequencies, patterns and amusing so you don't get for the internet.
Unknown Speaker 23:04
Because the only thing you've got is harmonic relationships presented visually. Yes.
Edward Williams 23:10
Yes, yes. Yes. Yes. Yes into? Well, that's what he uses. That's right. That's right. That's what you see. That's what he uses. I mean,
motivation. But the other thing you see that you actually write about that I mean, a whole lot of
technical, technical techniques, technically connected ideas, which mean that what happens in the music can be reflected in some of the images. In addition, we have, of course, the synchronous images, whatever is happening, it might be a dance with me, would like to introduce themselves so that someone can look at that goes into the mix of images and get superimposed of all sorts of interesting and commonplace ways in television. No, but nonetheless, as always, the individual artists to make something special
Unknown Speaker 24:11
look to a faculty, you've got visual movements,
Edward Williams 24:14
generating corresponding news virtually works. And the other thing that's most interesting, particularly, is the fact that Brian also
Unknown Speaker 24:25
Edward Williams 24:28
anything in the way of graphics he can get his hands on. So in the one of the provisions, we had him, he got some footage, he stuck a camera outside the window of his workshop in Huddersfield, in favour of people walking down the street. And ambiguity got me to explain but it's a very beautiful and working part of that particular thesis. The only one being the only one we got into the into inversions, we sold One of the provisions that we made one time a sequence of a warship, steaming up, Tim was towards the cabbage towards time ridge. state. And it was amazingly powerful image, which seen through the masks that will include over to render the colour mask, because at times he could only just distinguish the shape, but you couldn't see the shape. And he began to get a significance quite way beyond the significance of the original shock. So what I'm saying is that for somebody like myself, who dreams of some kind of an electronic music, and dance, the Opera House and Granny, which costs perhaps, a small number of 1000s, a night to put on, as opposed to a small number of hundreds of 1000s of dollars. Once I talk about economics, accessibility, mobility, get your hands on it, do it yourself, you know, all those things, which matter, I wouldn't. If it hadn't produced the VCs theory, I shouldn't be able to have these ideas, because you've used a synthesiser that suddenly like me professionally. Now, anybody with a high speed even by someone can do eight times what
it means to mix Texas orders. So we can already talk normal. Normally, this is simply
I had a really expressive means for the future, in which I press to say something which is slightly self regarding, I remember giving a lecture being invited to give a lecture to some Film Society a long, long time ago, perhaps in the 50s. And it takes to eat now. And what I said then goes on to say, what I said thing was 30 reasonable for you filmmakers to employ compresses to be useful to you. And that's lovely. But I must tell you, that composers within the time, they'll get their hands on that, as vogner got his hands on the Opera House and said, I don't want to know how to do what's the right one? Maybe we'll have this in your eyes. All right, libretto. I'm going to what the accident? I mean, he wanted control over himself. I don't control in that sense. And I know it's not possible. I want to collaboration, it all the same. I regard these impositions, I'm talking about the wiggers. They're as capable as being music based in the sense that they can serve a composer's needs, as opposed to serving your needs. And that the in the way that you're watching a really good film Yokai, please, if the music's app works, running, running, there might be moments where you think, Oh, hang on, let the music back, but not get taken away tomorrow from the main business, which is watching the human being moved by that in the same way. I think that musicians are going to make multimedia pieces in which they're going to say, No, this is a music based, and it's the musical emotions and the help with the images, people's emotions, this is what I want to achieve. Exactly.
Unknown Speaker 28:19
Someone said, that position will be easier because you're just taking what you see putting resume questions on campus, he is much more of an interpreter for positive results on the stage. who happens to generate responses? I mean, where is the rarest cases? proposal
Edward Williams 28:58
was I mean, you're quite right. It's very, very complicated. And what I've been what I've been moving to, I'm not quite sure when it's well, I'm actually talking about collaborative making a piece collaboratively. What we essentially what I've just applied for nonsense has gone from what haven't got time to time fact is to make a collaborative narcissist speech piece by the contemporary narcissist. But in which myself and another composer and two dancers and a runt and Brian are going to leverage to make a piece on an agreed that alright, since the dancer can see effects that he or he are producing on the screen as well as in their own films and we don't get it we're talking about performance in which the audience actually sees it. Huge predictions of these things happening behind the players that the players and I say the players maybe the singer, the dancer, the instrumentalists themselves actually performing to the audience in front of the things are complimentary.
Unknown Speaker 30:14
Other dancers looking at the screen
Edward Williams 30:16
where they can either see as we see them on the monitoring Centre in front of the stage.
Unknown Speaker 30:19
What I'm saying is if they'd like to set the visual effect,
Edward Williams 30:24
yes, you can capitalise? Oh, yes, absolutely. And of course, you do it over again. That's right. That's really not true. I mean, I said, say with that positive press, I mean, yeah, you know, it's rightfully complicated. And, and Brian is only just produced a new version of his machinery, which enables you to do the same thing twice. Or if last time he you know, we had all settings when when he'd fall through once and then tried to do it again and didn't achieve it, and then say, the same results while it was conquered. That was I mean, we have no, we have no such thing as helping if you're not University Department, right. And we just seem to be doing this, in the hopes that we can manage somehow to give a performance, you know, which is, I'm interested in what you said about ethical thinking, because you might, they might be much more difficult than helping neighbours.
Unknown Speaker 31:14
Unknown Speaker 31:15
we just have a few minutes left, I wonder if I can ask you to look back over your life. And perhaps just mentioned the names of some of the people who have influenced you and your question. So as we're walking I guess it's interesting, you know, as you mentioned, once again,
Edward Williams 31:37
no, no, I saw him about you know, abs. But no, I didn't at all. I very much influenced the influences on word, but I've had as a bedside book, he's anthology of the Industrial Revolution, gold
that is coming to my head to meet the people, the people who've influenced you most as human beings, I think. Yeah, I use my first boss, I suppose. He says, I admired him and although I wasn't close to me, when I very much admired him and was delighted and honoured to work for him I thought I was trying to do it. I mean, I thought I used to be that people that I loved Redbird and the characters and you know work particularly john Taylor and Eleanor stone I suppose. Those two people particularly infancy my father in law administration Frank Sainsbury, who really more or less left by the time I got to know him well, but he started five years ago. They're all people whose views I shared or admired and with achievements it and Marcus, my good friend and productive and all those is great many musicians. Many many musicians who've been Sterling friends and have helped me in ways which only composer can know back when you write something really see it's gone off the instrument or something else I mean, a player can show you up he can say, what did you mean that or do you really want me to play what you've written or something like that? whereas they can put it kindly and and see that you've made a mistake and you know help you put a try because everybody bursty in it relative laughter
Unknown Speaker 33:49
Edward Williams 33:51
I think I have a great oh my god i great to be well have have the experience of working conditions with pleasure and satisfaction. And with many, excellent I do would like to say when he's talking to some of this one, listen, I want to do once and I haven't said it, and that is there are a group of people who come between we're part of the the composer's creative process used to be thought there was a composer and the record his job is to do with the reservoir to get 71 and the diver job see what the director wants he can get there my experience both reporters and engineers was that if they were as most of them were people with imaginative, creative abilities, they were absolutely notice I've come across men who so I'm gonna have opposite a special case because there's you meet I mean, the power broke down, man, talk about up as long as you need it. And then he's read around the boring fellow picks up this contraction of wood and capitalism. And suddenly that he is transformed into an entrance into somebody with greater powers. You'll have your 11th grade as nicely as I have in my life of expressive and rude making beautiful things. And that's been true of many of the web engineers and it recording engineers, the guy, particularly w engineers, I can remember. I, I wanted to remember the name somebody who made it difficult man, but do I buy it very much. Is it elderly man, when I first met him who was reported to Riverside, his name was Burgess, George Burns, and he was a writer, sort of a hockey character. You don't I mean, he was. He had been from HQ. But he had such marvellous sensitivity. Really, he told me that he actually, I think that he had actually
recorded the music for a film which I posted because I looked him up recently in the grave, and there's no mention of any films. But it's, I'm almost. And then of course, it's 10. Camera. And Ken Scribner, we've been covering a test our income Scrivener of
Avenger, both of whom were composers. People whose musical imaginations and sensitivity actually understood what's completed by filter convenient for you. In good, you didn't have to say to get a different choice you did having if they would agree. And one or two other people. I had a great friend whom I admired very much when he wasn't a great friend, but he's somebody I admire very much indeed, the man who used to be the W MCs at pathi. Who was brought on No. George Newberry, George Newsday, a lovely quiet man. And I'm sure if you met him in the pub, lessons I showed you bet him in the pub, he wouldn't be careful that if you remark me like him that I'm in the room, and he had this really extraordinary sensitivity to making a phrase work with these with the pots, you know, really, really extraordinary man, I thought. Don't be nervous, but those are the ones that I remember. Most Best of all, I suppose.
Unknown Speaker 37:31
Any interested party?
Edward Williams 37:33
Yes. Is crypton Parker?
Yes, I don't. Yes, I
met, I first met if in must've been in 1940, I suppose. 41. It must have been interesting enough to make a note here that when I went down to dancing with cliff and his wife, yo moans of yo started dancing deals company. They do dances in India up in Cambridge, I think that's most I must admit, this was in the middle of the war. And they do the they'd hold up the house, interesting Woman of the Year, my daughter, Annika, both of them make the presence and set up a dance with the red and they've gone down to doubt it into some forms. And
they took me on the stage to help her out. The two husbands played together and the two girls down. And I remember meeting high net growth there. And you see behind me, right subsequent peoples
who did the designs for for rituals. I mean, he was a distinguished German painter who landed up in the desert as a refugee and then got into films from Michael Powell.
But I don't remember. No, I don't remember. What was the question you asked me. I don't really?
Unknown Speaker 39:04
I think I've
Edward Williams 39:04
never really I've been bringing out news. That's right. Yes, that's right. Well,
Unknown Speaker 39:10
Edward Williams 39:10
I was a friend. I'd I guess I had something to do with the music. Not a great deal.
Yes. I mean, I suppose I had, I had a very
I had a great many friends in the art. For the good years of the war, I suppose I spent as much time in servers anywhere else. So I decided well, so I did that. But then indoorsy I still had spent, I still had roommates, and my friends who were painters, musicians, writers in scalping a protein that mom this sort of atmosphere. What do we love them for me 19 4060 1960 what
was you know, was another such a thrilling bit of education. I remember getting off my friend Michael. He'd been conditioned to do it.
I think I'd helped him to do it a script freeing about brass bands and glassblowers secret to the music analogy, the timeline thing. We never got off the ground but we were sent on a nice exploratory mission to gesture to go with the glassworks and brass bands and so on.
Unknown Speaker 40:36
You mentioned Listen,
Edward Williams 40:37
Floyd, Listen, I've known for years I don't know he's a great friend. I my my first wife was was was had done a good enough mother who my son injured actress and was the daughter of Augustus john the baby so she knew me so well. And I think that's what he was pumped when he was out. I will say he was afraid Yes, it was a friend for those
Unknown Speaker 40:59
Edward Williams 41:00
have been together for so long he was about in such a world I frequently there's lots and lots and lots of writers and and i think if i mean eyes must have seen Dylan Thomas, every two, three nights a week in the same two clubs that used to work with the pub with my brother on the very market is difficult. endeavour remarkable because he was done. multimeters was another friend. You know, writing scripts for greenpark for various companies to question z dailies, even the public the public know, or the Mandrake you know, any of these tubs we spent seems to get a huge amount of time, you know. So, I was I mean, and lots of the repetition histories that I've said, Here's all that's getting nicely documented, you know, and
the most important what's most important, most important if a new thing I can think of is
your delts is crap because it's shift, which you can breathe for the first time, and which was a haven for people in the arts to kick the president mastered his music instability and with that, but that there is nothing. I heard him saying I'm David. I was at one time and the caption is this music