John Williams: Last News

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Mike Lang, Leading Jazz and Studio Pianist, Dies at 80

Jon Burlingame editorMike Lang, one of the preeminent pianists in Hollywood history, died of lung cancer Friday morning at his home in Studio City. He was 80.Lang played piano (or organ, harpsichord or celeste) on an estimated 2,000 film and TV scores dating back to the mid-1960s, including scores by virtually every great film composer of the past 50 years: John Williams (“Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “Catch Me If You Can”), Jerry Goldsmith (“Gremlins,” “The Russia House”), John Barry (“Body Heat,” “The Specialist”), Henry Mancini (“10”), Alex North (“The Shoes of the Fisherman”), Elmer Bernstein (“The Rainmaker”), Miklós Rózsa (“Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid”) and many others.Composer Lalo Schifrin (“Mission: Impossible”) was among Lang’s earliest champions in Hollywood, adding Lang’s piano to what eventually became the Grammy-winning Paul Horn album “Jazz Suite on the Mass Texts” in 1965.
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'Just because you don't see a shark doesn't mean the shark doesn't see you,' says expert
READ MORE: Shark expert warns ‘we are going to get more fatalities’ as bait fish bounce back "Just because you don't see a shark doesn't mean the shark doesn't see you," Shiffman says."Most of the time, they leave you alone … If you go in the ocean and you see a shark and it's just minding his own business, you do not need to be worried."Shiffman says the 1975 film Jaws is partly responsible for the creatures' bad press, which has made people far more afraid of shark attacks than they need to be - with the theme tune becoming an especially powerful tool to terrify audiences."John Williams figure[d] out how to make sure the audience understood that this was a terrifying, death-creating machine coming after you that you could not stop," says film music historian John Burlingame of the iconic tune.Rather than pounce on beach-goers, as is often portrayed in film and TV, sharks usually just bump into people in the water and sometimes don’t even physically touch them.While injuries can happen and sharks have been known to kill people, Shiffman explained that you are more likely to die by falling off a cliff than from a shark attack.Sharks, on the other hand, are the ones who are really in danger.Around 100 million sharks are killed a year, with many dying from unsustainable fishing practices that either intentionally target their fins and meat or through bycatch - meaning accidentally catching a shark when you’re trying to catch another fish.And with sharks being a crucial element of the ecosystem, keeping the food chain intact and oceans balanced, the threat to the aquatic titans poses problems to our oceans as a whole - which creates issues for humans too.READ NEXT: Teen dies on school trip after constant vomiting is put
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