“It’s almost cheating when you have John Williams [score your movie] because he writes feelings,” J.J. Abrams tells a reporter in the video clip above. ” He knows how to make your heart soar like no one else.”
In a 60 Minutes profile of director J.J. Abrams (a name you’re probably familiar with by now unless you’re alone without communications on Mars), we’re given a rare glimpse at master composer John Williams conducting the music for the opening scene of The Force Awakens. And watching him wave his baton through the air and bring his orchestra pit to life is enough to get just about anybody’s heart revved up and ready for takeoff.
The 83-year-old Williams is, if you’re not familiar with the man’s oeuvre, one of the most legendary composers in film history. He’s scored some of the biggest movies ever, including Jaws, Schindler’s List, Jurassic Park, and of course, all of the Star Wars films. His music is deeply connected and inextricable from the films.
When Vader enters a room, his power comes from Williams’ music just as much as it comes from the Force.
Aside from offering a look at the maestro conducting some of the first notes of the opening of The Force Awakens, the clip above also offers some unique insights into what the working relationship between Williams and Abrams may be like. Williams calls Abrams “baby,” and Abrams notes that Williams “is like a jazz guy from the ’70s.” At about 4:21 in the clip, there’s also a behind-the-scenes look at Abrams editing footage from one of the scenes from The Force Awakens, which contains BB-8 and Rey (Daisy Ridley).
“This may be the most surreal [feeling], being in the presence of John Williams,” Abrams says. Like so many other intangible feelings, it’s hard to describe something surreal with words. Luckily, we have music for that.
What did you think of watching the 83-year-old Williams score the opening scene of The Force Awakens? Did it make your heart soar or was there a failure to launch? Let us know in the comments section below!