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Comments about the soundtrack for Memoirs of a Geisha (John Williams)
Stereotype-casting string players

dude
(adsl-69-228-194-215.dsl.pltn13.pa
cbell.net)


  Responses to this Comment:
Zephros
Jockolantern
Jer
Stereotype-casting string players   Friday, November 25, 2005 (11:00 p.m.) 

Yo-Yo Ma played for 7 years and tibet and this, Perlmann (A jew) played for Schindler's List, and Stern (uhh...American) played for The Patriot.

Draw your own conclusions. I personally think that choosing soloists based on ethnicity is stupid.

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Zephros
(dialup-83.134.221.203.acc02-neer-
bal.comindico.com.au)

  In Response to:
dude

  Responses to this Comment:
dude
Re: Stereotype-casting string players   Saturday, November 26, 2005 (5:34 a.m.) 

> Yo-Yo Ma played for 7 years and tibet and this, Perlmann (A jew) played
> for Schindler's List, and Stern (uhh...American) played for The Patriot.

> Draw your own conclusions. I personally think that choosing soloists based
> on ethnicity is stupid.

So what the hell's that got to do with a Japanese movie? The fact that Yo-Yo Ma played 'cello for Williams for this is solely because he is recognised as one of the best cellists alive and he played for Williams in Tibet. Same with Perlmann. The choice may have been influenced by the emotional and historical attatchments of the players to give more emotion to the music (after all, Perlmann is closer to the events of WW2 more than the rest of the Boston Symphony), but it's clearly not exclusive. It mainly rested on the sheer talent of each musician; It's not as if Williams plucked Ma out of a pool of Asian musicians to perform for Tibet, he is world renowned for his 'cello work.

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dude
(64-142-6-243.dsl.static.sonic.net)

  In Response to:
Zephros

  Responses to this Comment:
Zephros
Antineutrino
EL
Re: Stereotype-casting string players   Saturday, November 26, 2005 (6:34 p.m.) 

So it's a coincidence that Williams' only Asian themed scores happen to revolve around cello solos?

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Zephros
(dialup-36.135.221.203.acc02-neer-
bal.comindico.com.au)

  In Response to:
dude
Re: Stereotype-casting string players   Saturday, November 26, 2005 (9:22 p.m.) 

> So it's a coincidence that Williams' only Asian themed scores happen to
> revolve around cello solos?

No, of course not, but you were talking about the musician, not the instrument

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Antineutrino
(p508cdf67.dip.t-dialin.net)

  In Response to:
dude
Re: Stereotype-casting string players   Sunday, November 27, 2005 (5:35 a.m.) 

> So it's a coincidence that Williams' only Asian themed scores happen to
> revolve around cello solos?

Munich will have cello solos as well...


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EL
(cache-dtc-aa02.proxy.aol.com)

  In Response to:
dude
Re: Stereotype-casting string players   Monday, November 28, 2005 (11:49 a.m.) 

> So it's a coincidence that Williams' only Asian themed scores happen to
> revolve around cello solos?

Oh come on, I think people find great soloists for film work not because of their ethnicity. Ma and Perlman are simply two of the best instrumentalists out there. Ma's done a great deal of work in films- ranging from Tan Dun scores and Williams to (gasp!) Philip Glass. And Perlman's done Hero (for Tan Dun) too. Hard to find a connection there.

So I think your conclusions are a bit superficial.

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Jockolantern
<Send E-Mail>
(71-36-254-46.chyn.qwest.net)

  In Response to:
dude
Re: Stereotype-casting string players   Sunday, November 27, 2005 (11:09 p.m.) 

> Yo-Yo Ma played for 7 years and tibet and this, Perlmann (A jew) played
> for Schindler's List, and Stern (uhh...American) played for The Patriot.

You could at least get your facts straight. Mark O'Connor performed the Violin solos on The Patriot. Also, God forbid that people from specific nationalities are hired because they probably understand the ethnic style the composer is going for.

Sayonara!
Jockolantern

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Jer
<Send E-Mail>
(ip70-187-139-165.oc.oc.cox.net)

  In Response to:
dude
Re: Stereotype-casting string players   Sunday, December 11, 2005 (12:44 p.m.) 

Perhaps you'd like an affirmative action approach to choosing musicians. One where the composer chooses a performer from an ethnic group as culturally distant from the music as possible, in order to seem like ethnicity has no bearing on the hiring process. The ironic thing is that I bet there was no negative racism involved with the hiring in the first place, and the second scenario would be the one which places the most emphasis on race.

And a second note, if I had to write a score with a specific ethnic sound in mind, I would probably want to collaborate with musicians who are familiar with the style in which I was writing. And I bet most of those musicians would belong to that ethnic group by default.

But isn't Yo-Yo Ma Korean anyway? Doesn't this story take place in Japan? Hmmm, Japan.....Korea. That's like saying that a composer hired a Frenchman to perform a Spanish score simply beacause he's European! It sounds to me like John Williams isn't the one who has problems generalizing and stereotyping ethnic groups!

> Yo-Yo Ma played for 7 years and tibet and this, Perlmann (A jew) played
> for Schindler's List, and Stern (uhh...American) played for The Patriot.

> Draw your own conclusions. I personally think that choosing soloists based
> on ethnicity is stupid.


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