Tom and Jerry Music Performed Like You’ve Never Heard Before
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This joyously energetic medley of Tom and Jerry music composed by the legendary Scott Bradley was performed recently by the John Wilson Orchestra as part of the 2013 BBC Proms at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Peter Morris, who arranged the performance with Wilson, has written extensively about the work:
We wanted to create a score that wasn’t too fragmented and that didn’t rely on visuals so the music you hear is a compilation of some of the best bits of Scott Bradley’s music. There is no single video for the music—it comes from eight different cartoons: Smitten Kitten, Sufferin’ Cats, The Framed Cat, Cat Fishin’ Just Ducky, Jerry and Jumbo, The Cat Comes to Dinner and Mouse for Sale.
John is a dab hand at reconstructing scores from audio. Check his Wiki page for info. In this case, however, we used score fragments, archives and a lot of patience. I used FCP to extract candidate snippets of video and linked them to create a 3 candidate narratives which John and I then worked on. Copyright is a nightmare (MGM, Warner, Sony, Turner, EMI have all owned bits in the past) – only JW has the clout to cut though that quagmire. Scores are as rare as hens’ teeth.
Bradley’s original scores were played by typically 20 to 25 musos. In fact, if you look at the beginning of the performance there are only 3 violins, 1 viola, 1 cello and 1 bass, to start with the original MGM sound. However, more instruments are added as the piece progresses to the full 100-piece orchestra at the end. Scott Bradley also preferred orchestral sound effects to ones added by the sound department, hence the big “shock chords” that you find at various places.