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Chasing Indy

A video of John Williams conducting the Train Chase from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade live with an orchestra.

This one is especially insightful as we get to see the streamers and punches used for synchronizing the music to the film during recording sessions.

This requires a very good sense of rhythm and solid baton technique.

This is something I did for a good many cues for my “Legend of Silk Boy” score, conducting the Evergreen Orchestra with streamers and punches to guide me. It was a challenge!

this is called “free conducting”, when not using clicks, and this is great for when the music is very rubato in feel and you wish to achieve a musical result. The click, when it comes to rubato, can make things feel very stiff.

However, for a rhythmic scene like this train chase, where the tempo is pretty steady throughout then clicks would work just as well I would imagine. On the other hand, free conducting allows orchestral musicians to listen to each other the way they normally do, to achieve intonation and phrasing. And if you use a group of musicians used to playing together then that is a real advantage.

So here’s the video!

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