10 February 2022 406 Views

Happy Birthday to John Williams!

by James Murphy

90 Years young: and still making music!

I cannot begin to describe the appeal, magic or influence of John Williams. I will simply say: HAPPY BIRTHDAY! And leave a few bullet points that explain my love for his body of work.

  • Nobody does action, adventure or atmospherics like John.
  • He single handedly captures in sound, the flavour of the Spielberg/Lucas factory: STAR WARS, JAWS, INDIANA JONES et al.
  • There is an innocence to some of his tracks. As in: childhood, romance, love, loss, passion, growth: all there!
  • Equally, a Williams track can get you into the mindset of facing raw evil. The wrath of the Empire; the march of Nazism etc.
  • A religious quality is evident, via choral cues and messianic motifs. Hence, he does earn the ‘classical’ tag, despite his being very much a modern and popular composer.
  • An innate and distinctive style pervades each and every one of his scores, whilst adhering to the bespoke beats of whichever genre or tone he is working within.
  • Yes, one can be snarky and cute and accuse John of repetition, same way one sometimes goes after the equally adept Hans Zimmer? But as John Barry (also a titan of musical composition) once said to me at the Oxford Union: ‘some call that STYLE. You cannot manufacture a musical flavour in a production line. That signature of the composer is what makes the music what it is’. And quite right, too!
  • So, in these days of somewhat ‘samey’ scores across movies, it is an honour, pleasure and privilege to note that Williams is still working to enthrall us all. INDIANA JONES 5 is among his current projects.
  • We will be singing his tunes and praises for many years to come!

 



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