Renowned composer, Local 47 member John Williams was honored at the 2016 Made in Hollywood Honors event for his works including the locally scored “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” (Photo by Linda A. Rapka/AFM Local 47)
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 →
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.
Composer John Williams with guest conductor Gustavo Dudamel during one of the scoring sessions for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at Sony Studios. Photo courtesy Don Foster
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.