Backstage with Sandy Kenyon: 'Star Wars' with the NY Philharmonic

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Sandy goes backstage with musical director David Newman for a live presentation of "The Empire Strikes Back" featuring the New York Philharmonic

They gathered from galaxies nearby and from far, far away to see a special presentation of "The Empire Strikes Back," its score performed live by the New York Philharmonic under the direction of David Newman.

"When you think of 'Star Wars,' you immediately think of (hums music)," he said. "The music is so iconic, it's such a part of the story."

To synchronize the music to the film while playing for more than two hours, Newman uses a technique developed by his father during Hollywood's Golden Age. He is the son of famed film composer Alfred Newman and the cousin of musician Randy Newman.

"One of the reasons it's so popular, and that the music is so popular, the images feed the music and the music feeds the images," he said. "There's a synergy there."

It is distinctly analog in that he relies on marks on each page of sheet music.

"Without the music, the character development doesn't take you on this journey that it does when you watch the movie with everything in it," he said.

Film scoring is highly technical and developed over decades, but he says starting in the late 1970s, the "Star Wars" movies took the craft to a new level, thanks to John Williams.

"'Star Wars' completely changed film music, utterly, to where things became massive, huge orchestras," he said. "The whole 'Star Wars' saga is kind of unique, because of all the themes that are in it, and how much it's part of the fabric of the movie. It's one of the great scores of all time."
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