I read the glowing review by Mark Swed of the first night of the Celebration of John Williams in the Times last month, and was moved to have a personal kind of celebration; of knowing John Williams, from our time in Tucson in the 775th Air Force band, through my time as Union VP and President, when I presented both John Williams and Steven Spielberg a commemorative plaque on behalf of Musicians Local 47 at a scoring session of 105 players. The plaques were inscribed with our Local 47 musicians’ thanks for consistently scoring their films here in Hollywood, and thereby using our musicians in the resulting scoring processes. Mr. Spielberg told me at that time that he was genuinely touched by this recognition. Continue reading
Made In Hollywood Honors event honors renowned composer for works including L.A.-scored ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’
Story & photos by Linda A. Rapka/AFM Local 47
Entertainment industry VIPs, local union officials and political leaders celebrated this year’s Oscar-nominated films made here in California at the Made In Hollywood Honors Oscar event Feb. 4, 2016. Continue reading
by Linda A. Rapka
IN A GALAXY NOT SO FAR, FAR AWAY….
For the first time in the epic film saga’s history, the music for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was scored here in Los Angeles with AFM Local 47 musicians.
John Williams, a Life Member of the musicians union, composed the music once again for this seventh installment in the “Star Wars” franchise. He has written the music for every film in the series since its 1977 debut, but while previous films were scored at Abbey Road with the London Symphony Orchestra, “The Force Awakens” marks the first time a “Star Wars” score was recorded stateside.
“This experience of working on the latest ‘Star Wars’ in Los Angeles is probably the most momentous of scoring occasions in our long history of recording,” said Bruce Dukov, a violinist who has recorded on over 1,800 motion pictures over the past 30 years. “The main reason is that for 38 years of that franchise, all the music was recorded in London. For us to be involved in this venture now is nothing less than fantastic, and worthy of major historic notation.”
For the first time in the film saga’s epic history, the music for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was scored here in Los Angeles with AFM Local 47 musicians. Dan Redfeld, AFM Local 47 member, classically trained composer, conductor, orchestrator and pianist, shares his review of the film’s score.
We’ve all been waiting to hear what the Maestro, composer John Williams, has fashioned. The reports of the sessions beginning in June and lasting until November have been plastered everywhere. What kind of things were we going to hear? Will the score feel like “Star Wars”? Are the themes catchy?
For me, the score is nothing short of miraculous and a testament to why Mr. Williams is the greatest American composer this country has produced since Bernstein or Copland. He’s 83 and shows no sign of resting on his laurels. The music is complex, thematically driven, impeccably orchestrated, passionate, sinister, heart-wrenching, beautiful. It’s definitely written in his later period style (which began surfacing in the ’90s): an intricate harmonic structure, the high xylophone/woodwind riffs during action sequences which make the music cut through sound design, detailed counterpoint and a sense of assuredness of a master craftsman operating in top form. Continue reading at listen-la.com
Check out Dan’s full film review of “The Force Awakens” here.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LOS ANGELES, CA (MARCH 24, 2015) — The Force is with Los Angeles musicians: For the first time in the film saga’s history, the musical score to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will be recorded in Los Angeles by members of the American Federation of Musicians Local 47.
Composer John Williams—himself a Life Member of Local 47—is currently at work writing the music for this seventh installment in the “Star Wars” franchise. Williams has composed the music for every film in the series since its 1977 debut. While previous films were scored at Abbey Road with the London Symphony Orchestra, “The Force Awakens” marks the first time a “Star Wars” score will be recorded in the United States. Continue reading
Motion Picture Academy debuts first time Oscar Concert
by Linda A. Rapka
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented the first live concert of the year’s Oscar-nominated music at UCLA’s Royce Hall Feb. 27, three days before the 86th Annual Academy Awards.
Alternating between performances of the year’s nominees for best original score and best original song, the historic concert featured the 80-piece Academy Symphony Orchestra comprising some of Los Angeles’s finest studio musicians.