The Baton: A John Williams Musical Journey

Episode 29 - Images

June 26, 2019

We've arrived at the score in John Williams' career that sounds pretty much like nothing he had ever written -- and almost like nothing he will write as his career evolves. The collaboration with Robert Altman for "Images" began in the 1960s, when the two were toiling away in television work and Altman had the idea for the story of a schizophrenic woman. Altman allowed Williams unlimited options for his score: "The more absurd, the better," Altman said. Williams brought on celebrated percussionist Stomu Yamash'ta to play the unique instruments that would create some exciting sounds to go along with Williams' performance on the piano and a virtuoso string section. Host Jeff Commings is joined by Jens Dietrich as the two analyze this score and discuss how much improvisation was allowed in the performance.