This week was the 90th birthday of maestro John Williams, one of the key figures in the history of film music.
One of the composer’s essential pieces came in 1975, in the film Jaws, directed by Steven Spielberg, who enjoyed the honeys of the success of The Devil on Wheels.
The simplicity of the main theme de Tiburón has become a symbol of film music, involving the public as Bernard Herrmann did in his time in Psicosis.
That atmosphere of tension generated by the Tiburón theme makes it impossible today not to evoke the silhouette of a shark when we hear its chords.
But in 1975, Steven Spielberg thought that John Williams was making fun of him, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
“I expected something melodic, and strange, disturbing, at go out of this world. And what John played was two notes “dun dun, dun dun, dun dun.” At first I laughed, I thought he was kidding me“.
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But even though John Williams used to display a great sense of humor, he wasn’t flirting with Steven Spielberg.
The filmmaker was capturing the essence evoked by the theme as he listened to it over and over again. The rest, as they say, is movie history.
Spielberg and Williams continued to collaborate, gifting us with unforgettable movies and soundtracks like E.T. The Alien, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park or Schindler’s List, among many others.
It is difficult to imagine what the great white shark’s stalking of Amity Island would have been like without those now iconic chords that John Williams gave us in Jaws.
Can you imagine if Steven Spielberg had rejected the idea and the film had come with a different type of music? Something like “the space under the sea”, as expected by the director.