Monday 4 July 2022

John Williams retiring from movie music

Happy 4th of July to all our US-based readers! As has become an annual tradition, I'll be watching director Steven Spielberg's seminal summer blockbuster, Jaws.

The shark was brought vividly to life by Hollywood composer John Williams' unforgettable Oscar-winning soundtrack.

Williams, who celebrated his 90th birthday in February, has suggested the soundtrack for Indiana Jones 5 may be his last for the big screen. He most recently composed the main theme for Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+.

“At the moment I’m working on ‘Indiana Jones 5,’ which Harrison Ford — who’s quite a bit younger than I am — I think has announced will be his last film,” Williams says. “So, I thought: If Harrison can do it, then perhaps I can, also.”

The legendary movie music maestro, synonymous with the films of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, has wowed generations of moviegoers and, by extension, scored the soundtrack to our lives. Oftentimes those lush scores transcend the movie itself.

SpaceCamp is a perfect example.

For years I've had to settle for listening to a suite from SpaceCamp on Star Tracks II, performed with gusto by Erich Kunzel and Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. I'm hoping to review the highly sought-after original soundtrack newly re-released by Intrada.

Williams has intuitively drawn on the timeless tapestries of forebears such as Erich Korngold, Gustav Holst and many more. As a child, I vividly remember listening to Holst’s Mars: The Bringer of War and excitedly thinking it reminded me of the Death Star trench battle from Star Wars: A New Hope. Mum graciously indulged this revelation.

It’s virtually inconceivable to think there potentially won’t be any further movie soundtracks bearing Williams’ name. However, he leaves an enviable legacy spanning six decades that will be listened to for generations to come.

Somewhere an aspiring cinephile will be discovering his soundtracks for the first time on Amazon Music, Apple Music and Spotify like I did in HMV.

What are your favourite John Williams soundtracks? Let me know in the comments below.

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