Star Wars Orchestration Review Episode VII: The Sforz Awakens

Reading over the Star Wars: The Force Awakens reviews that I wrote back in December, I’m struck by how much I had to rely on the soundtrack to illustrate my points, and often avoided specific references to the timing of cues in the movie. Part of this was to avoid the horror of revealing spoilers …

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Orchestration Review, Episode VI – Return Of The Jeté

A lot of people, including fairly-well trained musicians, don’t understand John Williams’ approach – or perhaps it would be better to say that they think they do, and typify their misconceptions with a clichéd interpretation of what his music sounds like. And that’s because so few people know how to really listen to what’s going …

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Orchestration Review, Episode V – The Trumpets Strike Back!

There’s no denying that Williams has a settled approach to scoring trumpets, particularly for his Star Wars cues. While it’s been criticised, I feel that some of this is simply because trumpets stand out. It’s impossible not to notice them, so any tried-and-true approach may feel grating at times. The new soundtrack for The Force …

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Orchestration Review, Episode III – Revenge Of The Stop-Mutes

In early 2015, a momentous decision was made that would deeply affect the character of the upcoming blockbuster-to-end-all-blockbusters, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. By mid-March, John Williams went public with an extremely diplomatic announcement: “I’ve had the privilege of working with the very best musicians in both the U.K. and the U.S. The London Symphony …

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Orchestration Review, Episode II – Attack of the ‘Bones!

We orchestrators and composers are a specialised lot, as far a movie fandom is concerned. We love certain films with a passion, for their composers as much as (or more than) how well they’re scripted, directed, and acted. We can get passionately twisted over such issues as who orchestrated what, or whether a great film …

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Orchestration Review, Episode I – The Fan-dom Menace

I’m witnessing two contrary reactions as members of the Orchestration Online community start to report back from their viewing of the recently-released Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. One reaction claims that it’s pretty much the same as all the other films. The other says that it’s different, but the new themes aren’t that …

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Orchestration Review, Episode IV – A New Trope

Spoiler warning: discussions about character roles nearly everyone already knows from watching the previews, but no plot reveals. “Will someone get this big walking carpet of my way?” The year was 1978, and this was my 16-year-old girlfriend’s favourite line from the recently-released Star Wars (now titled “A New Hope”). Like so many young women …