Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) is the film score to the 2015 film of the same name composed by John Williams with Williams and William Ross conducting, and Gustavo Dudamel appearing as a "special guest conductor". The album was released by Walt Disney Records on December 18, 2015 in both digipak CD and digital formats.
In July 2013, Williams was confirmed to be writing the score. The music from the first two trailers for the film was reworked from earlier compositions. Williams began working on the score in December 2014 and by June 2015, he had been through most of the film reels, working on a daily basis. In May 2015, Williams said he would reuse themes from the previous films, such as those for Luke, Leia and Han, in ways that "will seem very natural and right in the moments for which we've chosen to do these kinds of quotes. There aren't many of them, but there are a few that I think are important and will seem very much a part of the fabric of the piece in a positive and constructive way." He said that working with J. J. Abrams was similar to the process he went through with George Lucas in the earlier films.
Recording sessions for The Force Awakens began on June 1, 2015 at the Sony Pictures Studios' Barbra Streisand Scoring Stage in Culver City, with William Ross conducting most of the music. Williams attended the sessions and conducted the remainder of the recordings. He called the recording process “very luxurious,” with 12 sessions scattered over a five-month period between June and November. The score was recorded by a freelance orchestra—making it the first live-action Star Wars soundtrack not to feature the London Symphony Orchestra with sessions continuing on and off over that five-month period. The 85-piece orchestra recorded 175 minutes of music, although nearly an hour of that was discarded, modified, or rerecorded as Abrams re-edited the film. The theme for Snoke was recorded by a 24-voice men’s chorus. Gustavo Dudamel conducted the opening and end title music for the film at Williams' behest. The last recording session took place on November 14, 2015.
Leading up to the release of The Force Awakens multiple music streaming services began offering users Star Wars-themed playlists. "Streaming platforms didn't exist for the previous movies, so that's something that we'll be rolling out, along with character-driven playlists with sounds and dialogue from the movie," said Ken Bunt, president of the Disney Music Group. "People love to hear dialogue and sound effects, so we're working on some ideas now that will incorporate some of that into playlisting."
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