This weekend, Angelenos have the unique opportunity to hear Williams’s score performed live by the L.A. Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. Unfortunately, Williams won’t be conducting his score due to a scheduling conflict (though he will introduce the film via a recorded video message). Instead, David Newman — a member of the iconic musical family that includes his father Alfred Newman and cousin Randy Newman — will take the baton. So why is David Newman the right person for the job? As he told me when we sat down recently, he happens to know the “E.T.” score very well. – Full article at SCPR.org
In an AP interview published today, Steven Spielberg has confirmed that he and his long-time collaborator John Williams will team up again for next year’s The BFG, Spielberg’s new fantasy adventure film to be released on July 1, 2016:
AP: “Bridge of Spies” is the first film in years you’ve made without John Williams composing the score.
Spielberg: Johnny Williams will be back to do The BFG. We’ve only not worked together twice in 42 years. The first one was “The Color Purple” in 1985 and the second time was because Johnny had a small medical procedure that precluded him from writing and scoring my movie in the window that he was going to do it. He’s fine, he’s 100 percent back to work on “Star Wars,” but it sadly precluded him from working on Bridge of Spies. I was able to work with Thomas Newman, who I’m a huge fan of. This is just a blip and we’re both sad about it, but we’re excited to get back together for “BFG” now.
‘Music for Brass’, a new Williams piece for brass ensemble and percussion which premiered in June 2014 and will be performed in Chicago on Sept. 20, will be available on CD and as a digital download October 9. The piece will be released as part of the album Gabrieli by the National Brass Ensemble, which can now be pre-ordered on Amazon.com.
“The summer of 2015 marked the first time in 35 years that John Williams, having withdrawn this year on account of a back injury, failed to appear at Tanglewood. So, what’s film night without John Williams?”
The Official Star Wars Instagram account has posted a 15-second promo clip for The Force Awakens including a short, new variation of The Imperial March. While the new music could be part of Williams’ score for the film, it might also have been composed specifically for the teaser.
Yesterday at Disney’s biannual fan convention D23 Expo 2015, during which the company announced the creation of two Star Wars-themed parks, The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams spoke about going to composer John Williams’ house and hearing the music for the first time:
“It’s more exciting than I can put into words. To see the thing come together is truly remarkable. To hear the music that John Williams is writing… to hear themes… I went over to John Williams’ house one day and he played me on the piano music that he was going to conduct… and it was just like hearing music from the gods. It was an incredible thing.”
The first official poster for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was also distributed to the fans during the event, and posted online via the film’s official Twitter account.
A short report on one of last June’s recording sessions for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, from a reliable source which would like to remain anonymous:
“I did go to one of the sessions in June and it was beyond anything I have experienced musically in my life. It was a true “full circle” moment. This man has done more to introduce people to music than anyone on the planet. And here was a room full of us, all with our own Star Wars music story, being part of this historic recording session. I still can’t believe how lucky I was to be there for that one session.”
Recording sessions for The Force Awakens began on June 1 in Los Angeles, and will continue throughout the summer.
Andrew Bain has served as the principal horn for the L.A. Philharmonic for the past four years, and even he continues to do studio work. He is currently working on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which will be released in December and features a score by John Williams.
“It’s one of the absolute highlights of my career,” the horn player said, adding that the soundtrack is being recorded in L.A. over a number of weeks. “It’s amazing how new and fresh John’s music is, but it’s also distinctively ‘Star Wars.’ “
Williams’ music for the “Star Wars” movies has made extensive use of the French horn, with memorable solos in each of the previous installments. “A lot of the character development is in the horn writing,” said Bain.
The new “Star Wars” is the first movie in the series to be scored in L.A., according to the American Federation of Musicians, the union that represents professional musicians. Past “Star Wars” movies have been scored in London.
This year’s Film Night with John Williams won’t include the revered composer and conductor whose annual Tanglewood appearance attracts one of the summer’s largest, most enthusiastic audiences. Williams has canceled his appearance at the Aug. 22 event, as well as his participation during Tanglewood on Parade Aug. 4, because of a back ailment that requires rest and only limited travel over the next few weeks. – Full article at The Berkshire Eagle
PBS has uploaded the full, narration-free version of John Williams’ 2009 Emmy Award winning theme for Great Performances (Click here to listen to the MP3), plus a never-before-seen behind the scenes video of the rehearsal and recording of the theme. Last Friday’s “Great Performances” on PBS presented “A John Williams Celebration” with Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Los Angeles Philhamonic. The show is now available online at the PBS website for US residents.