MakingStarWars.net contributor Mark Seyb shares some updates on the Star Wars: The Force Awakens recording sessions:
George Shaw of nerdreactor.com has said William Ross appears to be doing the majority of the conducting at Star Wars: The Force Awakens Recording Sessions in Los Angeles at Sony Studios. William Ross is a composer, orchestrator, arranger, conductor, and music director and has worked with many of the top composers in film. He has also worked with top music icons such as Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, and Whitney Houston (to name a few).
One assumption is that John Williams may be requiring assistance right now due to lingering back issues that caused him to cancel his appearances with the Boston Pops on May 22nd and 23rd of this year.
This is not the first time that Williams has had help with conducting on his projects. Two of his more celebrated scores, Jurassic Park and Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, have had “guest” conductors on the recording sessions and those are some of his masterworks. So there is no reason to assume “doom and gloom” due to Williams having assistance for the recording sessions.
Shaw also shared this entertaining anecdote:
Funny story: as the orchestra was recording, a cell phone went off (which can get a musician fired), but it was J.J. Abrams’ father who forgot to silence his phone. Guess he has the right connection to not get thrown off the Sony lot.
Let’s hope that Maestro Williams returns to full time conducting again soon, but it’s nice to know that if he is unable to, the conducting of the score is in such able hands.