J.J. Abrams talked about working with John Williams in an interview for WIRED that will be part of the magazine’s next issue. Here’s the full Williams-related excerpt:
“Oh my god! First of all, forget his talent and his achievement. As a person, he’s the guy you want to know more than anyone. He is the sweetest soul I’ve ever met. He’s like this jazzman who became one of the greatest composers of all time. He literally calls you “baby”! Like, “Hey, baby.” He calls me “J.J. Baby.” I waited all my life to meet someone who would call me that!
He works in pencil. You go to his home and listen to him play notes on the piano, and while you’re listening, you extrapolate what it will be like when you hear the melody with an orchestra. It is unforgettable, a truly miraculous thing to behold. He has every one of his scores leather-bound. I was like, “Do you mind if I …?” He goes, “No, go ahead!” So I pulled out the Jaws score, and sure enough, there it is, in pencil on paper: baaaa-bum, baaaa-bum. You’re like, “Well, that’s what he wrote!” It’s as if you’re hanging out with Mozart, who happened to score your favorite movies.
I know everybody knows this, but when you actually think about what he’s composed, it is as important as any work ever done on any of those movies. When you think about Superman and Raiders and Jaws and Close Encounters—which came out the same year as Star Wars—and then the Harry Potter movies? He is just superhuman. It’s unbelievable that he is as brilliant and yet as modest as he is. It’s just an amazing thing to get to know that guy.”
As a way of celebrating the Star Wars saga in honor of the upcoming Episode VII, JWFan member Mark Richards has begun a series of six posts on his blog that will analyze one prominent theme from each of the six films in turn. The first is on uses of the Force theme:
A new, Japanese trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens debuted on Friday, including plenty of new footage that hadn’t been shown in earlier trailers and teasers. Although the trailer features new renditions of the Force Theme, none of the music included appears to have been arranged or newly written by John Williams.
Melissa Mathison, who was Oscar-nominated for original screenplay for Steven Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and The BFG, died Wednesday at UCLA Medical Center of neuroendrocrine cancer, her brother Dirk Mathison said. She was 65. – Full article at Variety
Long-time JWFan contributor Frank Lehman writes about the music in the three trailers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens in a special article for the American Musicology Society:
“While the manipulation (and manipulativeness) of themes in these trailers tugs the listeners backwards, there are signs of our current musical times too. This is most apparent in the increasingly obvious use of digital processing, and decreasingly “old-fashioned” sound to the trailers. [...] These are mannerisms like exceptionally reverberant piano notes and indistinct bass thuds, injecting extra punch into Williams’s music like sonic steroidal supplements.”