WAVE Magazine Fall 2018 JU_WaveMag_Fall18_2 - Page 43

"So m ebody s h o u l d wri te a b o o k , I sai d t o m y wi f e, a nd t h e n that s o m ebody t u r n e d out to b e me," Dr . S c o t t Wa tk i ns worth of photo albums.” Scanning the album pages would have been problematic, he says, due to the way they were attached. Instead, he captured the writings with his smartphone and will then transcribe as much as possible. “A few years ago, when I first started this project, I thought I'd found evidence that Hanson had fallen in love with a young woman in California named Marjory Fisher, a violinist.” Gossip columns at the time indicated that Hanson and Fisher were often seen together, performed together, and attended parties. Neither was yet married. Hanson was between 19 and 25 years old during his stay in California, and Watkins' discovery of a College of the Pacific yearbook, dated 1919, included further evidence of a romantic relationship. “This page in the yearbook, titled Campus Cases, referred to cases of infatuation, and it's the only photo I have ever found of the two of them together.” From what he can tell, no letters between the two have been unearthed, but he says that the prospect of such a romantic interest certainly drives the potential for emotional content. Furthermore, Watkins says he was curious about why Hanson and Fisher never married. “Immediately after that photograph was published, she resigned from the college, and I'm suspecting that the influence of the president at that time, John Seaton, may have played a role. Seaton hired Hanson under the condition that he didn't smoke or drink. That was 1916.” He believes it stands to reason that a relationship between colleagues would also have been frowned upon and been probable cause for Fischer's hasty exit from Hanson’s life. “Remember, he was not much older H o w ar d H an s o n an d M ar j o r y Fi s he r C ol l eg e of t h e P a c if ic Y ea r b ook, "Na r a j a n d o, " 1 91 9 than his students,” Watkins said, “and I think that's why there existed so much affection for him on the part of students.” Hanson's resignation from the College of the Pacific, officially, was due to being awarded a two-year study opportunity in Italy, under the direction of The American Academy in Rome. Hanson’s last day on campus is one of Watkins' favorite stories to narrate. “He told them to keep studying and celebrating art in America 'because she needs you.'" Then he dashed out of the room, about to burst into tears. All the students were crying and couldn't believe that he was leaving.” At this point, Watkins is about 95 percent finished with the research phase but not yet ready to speak with editors or publishing houses. In the meantime, he says that Hanson’s music is making a come-back. “I credit that, to a certain extent, to the popularity of film scores.” Specifically, the 1979 classic science fiction horror film “Alien,” directed by Ridley Scott. Watkins explains that when a film director finishes a movie and hands it off to a post- production team, included is what the film industry calls a “temp track,” or temporary musical score that gives the hired composer a glimpse into what the director and/or producer wants to hear in the finished film. track for “Alien” included music by Hanson. Composer Jerry Goldsmith, to whom Ridley Scott entrusted the film, wrote the Academy Award-nominated score, but the final moments of the film which segue into closing credits have inadvertently become a shining yet controversial moment for Hanson. For that unforgettable and explosive scene, in which the alien is blown out of the airlock, Goldsmith wrote a three-minute cue called “Out the Door,” but only twenty seconds were used. Instead, a 1976 recording of Hanson’s first movement (Adagio) from his 1930 Symphony No. 2, “Romantic” was kept. “Hanson was furious. They used his music, without his or the publisher's permission. Lawsuits were thrown back and forth, but the Hanson family later, graciously, decided to drop it. He would have been in his late 80's then.” According to Watkins, it was his “Romantic” Symphony that put Howard Hanson's name on the international map. All that remains now is re-tracing Hanson’s journey and preserving the untold narrative of his remarkable life, a task that JU Professor of Music Dr. Watkins will ensure happens. Dr. Scott Watkins next performs the Hanson “Symphonic Rhapsody” at Jacksonville University, October 26, at 7:30pm in Terry Concert Hall. “The musical score is the last character to be added to a film,” Watkins says, and the temp WAVEMAGAZINEONLINE.COM 43