1m1: Celebrating a rich musical legacy

John Williams during a rehearsal with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra (September 2017) Photography by Kurt Heinecke

To everyone landing on this blog: Welcome to The Legacy of John Williams.

My name is Maurizio Caschetto, I’m from Milano, Italy and I am a longtime admirer of the music of John Williams. The music of Maestro Williams accompanied my cinematic dreams since childhood, when I was a little kid dreaming about the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Indiana Jones, Superman and little Elliot and his alien friend from outer space. I literally grew up with the music of John Williams accompanying my everyday life until nowadays, where I’m about to reach the so-called middle life point of age 40.

It’s no exaggeration to admit that my love and admiration for the Maestro’s music, together with a sincere devotion toward the art of directors such as Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, helped to form my own identity and nurtured my choices in my school path and, later on, in my professional life. I work in the media entertainment industry, but I also nurtured my love for music through the years by reading books, writing articles and going deep down the “reasons why” of the subject, also with the help of people and friends with whom I share the same passion. The love for Williams’ music of course soon expanded to the great artform of film music in general and also to the great classical repertoire. I soon became enamoured with the music of composers such as Bernard Herrmann, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Franz Waxman, Miklos Rozsa, Alfred Newman, Max Steiner… and the breed of composers coming more or less from the same generation of Williams such as Jerry Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein, Henry Mancini… and therefore discovered the immense classical literature with composers like Sergej Prokofiev, Igor Stravinsky, Dimitri Shostakovich, Maurice Ravel, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Jean Sibelius, Edward Elgar and so on… all the way up to the titans: Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven and Johannes Brahms. In a few words, I could say that John Williams has been the best music teacher anyone could have.

Throughout the years, I pondered a lot about how much the music of John Williams influenced my life (and still is a constant presence), especially after seeing more and more people sharing very similar stories around the world. I was particularly fascinated by stories from people who chose to follow a musical career thanks to Williams’ music, therefore spending their lives studying to become composers, conductors and practicing the art of an instrument. I recently realized how much the music community around the world owes to Mr. Williams. But I was also intrigued to hear stories from people who didn’t follow a music career, but ended up working in the film/tv/record industry after being influenced no less by the music of John Williams.

Then I suddenly realized how much of a gift this incredible artist is to our world and perhaps I needed to find some way to pay back my gratitude for him. So I decided to start this project: The Legacy of John Williams. The internet is already brimful of websites devoted to John Williams and film music in general, so perhaps there wasn’t a dire need of another one. However, this blog/website isn’t aimed for general news updates about Williams’ music and his upcoming projects or CD releases. Nor it’s aimed to analyze or discuss his music from critical or historical perspectives (even though I plan to publish some in-depth writings too). I leave to much better minds than mine all those honours. What I want to do here is to build a platform to collect and gather material from people who were inspired by the music of John Williams: musicians, composers, conductors, directors, film professionals, historians, music critics and scholars. But also simple admirers who have interesting stories and perspectives to tell and share. The goal is to celebrate the rich musical legacy John Williams is giving and leaving to our lives, for centuries to come.

There is a larger and much more ambitious goal at the core of this project, but it’s too soon to speak about it. If this blog will get momentum and will become the platform I hope will be in the foreseeable future, everything will be addressed. For the time being, The Legacy of John Williams will be a constant work-in-progress. Taking a cue from Williams’ modus operandi when composing, I will add sections and categories as I will gather material to publish and share with you, perfecting the blog to a shape that will be satisfying. I also welcome any written contribution from anyone who has something interesting to tell. I hope to offer some good contribution to every John Williams admirer around the world and – borrowing a term coined by record producer extraordinaire Mike Matessino – to provide a useful resource to every passionate “student” of his music.

I want to thank my brother Gianmaria Caschetto for creating the beautiful piece of art used as logo and header of the website.