Tuesday 8 February 2022

Star Wars composer John Williams at 90

John Williams needs no introduction. The award-winning Hollywood composer is synonymous with the movies of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. He turns 90 today, and I'd like to wish him a very happy birthday.

For seven decades, John Williams has written the soundtrack to the lives of generations of movie-goers (myself included) and continues to add emotional gravitas to summer blockbusters.

When I began the long journey of rehabilitation following a life-changing childhood trauma in 1977, his music for Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Superman: The Movie gave me inspiration and hope at a time of deep uncertainty about the future.

Every weekday lunchtime at home (the primary school I was moved to wouldn't accept liability outside of classroom hours) I'd eat a snack, play a John Williams soundtrack LP, and let my imagination soar as Palitoy Star Wars and Fisher-Price Adventure People action figures embarked on another galaxy-saving adventure.

John Williams' music for the 9-part Skywalker Saga is regarded as a touchstone - an education in the use of leitmotifs to tell a story spanning generations. The beloved composer shows no signs of retiring and is currently composing music for Indiana Jones 5.

From Harry Potter to Star Wars. What are your favourite John Williams soundtracks? Let me know in the comments below.

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