The Force is strong in Bundy musician
A LONG time ago in a country far, far away a young musician joined the London Symphony Orchestra and helped create one of the most memorable film scores in cinematic history.
As Star Wars: The Force Awakens breaks box office records across the globe and rekindles a passion for the beloved space opera, Bundaberg Sinfonietta director Barry Davis remembers working on the music for the original Star Wars trilogy.
London. 1976. A 20-something Barry Davis had already established himself as a talented oboist with orchestras at Bournemouth, Manchester and London before he was made an offer he could not refuse.
"In 1976 I was, I suppose you could say, headhunted by the London Symphony Orchestra," Davis said.
In 1977, Davis began working on a little space movie directed by George Lucas with music composed by John Williams.
From the main theme, which is heard over the opening title to the memorable Imperial March, which represents the Galactic Empire and Darth Vader in particular.
Williams' scores for the two existing trilogies are among the most popular contributions to modern cinema.
But in 1977, like many at the orchestra, Mr Davis had no idea he was taking part in what would become a cultural phenomenon.
"Not at all," he said, laughing.
"We knew it was a big deal because John Williams was involved.
"When we looked at the first playback, the music was great but we couldn't understand why Alec Guinness was starring in a space movie."
Davis worked on subsequent Star Wars films The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and The Return of the Jedi (1983) and in between worked on other familiar John Williams scores including Superman (1979) and Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).
"Before I left London I was given a discography to highlight everything I worked on so I could get paid royalties," he said.
"It was then that I realised how many films I had worked on."
Surprisingly, Davis only recently watched the original Star Wars films in their entirety and had yet to see the new film.
"My children bought me the box set some years ago and I watched it and they brought back marvellous memories," he said.
"They (children) are coming up for Christmas so I'm sure we'll go see it."
And when Davis does sit down at the cinema and hears that famous Star Wars theme booming from the speakers it will have special significance for him.
"Whenever I hear that Star Wars theme I think of the principal trumpet player who was at the time Morris Murphy who died a few years ago and was a great friend of mine," he said.
"I just think of him when I hear the marvellous trumpet sound."