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19 October 2015, 11:54
Could this be the first proper bit of film scoring that John Williams ever did? And are there any hints at the greatness that was to follow? Listen to John Williams' score for a Newfoundland tourism film from 1954.
As reported in the National Post, the promotional film entitled ‘You Are Welcome’ dates from 1955, when Williams was in the 596th Air Force Band, based in Pepperrell Air Force Base.
Newfoundland native Derek Norman told the National Post: “The first time I saw Star Wars I wasn’t thinking, ‘Oh, that music sounds just like John Williams from our little Newfoundland film.’”
Williams himself commented on the score in September: “It was not an original score. I did not have a clue or an idea on how to do that. What I did was go to the library, it must have been in St. John’s, and pick a Newfoundland folk song or two which formed the basis of what I arranged for that little film.”
The score for the 22-minute film helped it win the title of ‘one of the outstanding travelogues for 1954’ at its New York premiere.
Williams’ feature film debut wasn’t until 1958, when he scored Daddy-O, directed by Lou Place.
The composer’s next activity will presumably revolve around the next instalment in the new Star Wars trilogy, now that recording sessions for The Force Awakens have concluded.