Free program about ‘Star Wars’ soundtrack nears

The soundtracks for a dramatic adventure in a galaxy far, far away rest very close to a Carmel music scholar.

Aaron Krerowicz, who regularly refers to the “Star Wars” films as a “space opera,” will highlight the first seven films’ tunes in the free one-hour presentation, “The Music of Star Wars” scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 16 in the Red Room of the Bartholomew County Public Library, 536 Fifth St. in Columbus.

The 32-year-old completed his first such talk with visual and audio clips five years ago in Racine, Wisconsin. With the latest flick “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” released recently to a huge audience, he expects this program to become an even stronger force.

He did six presentations in Florida alone last month.

“The music (of noted composer John Williams) certainly helps tell the story,” Krerowicz said. “Williams consistently uses themes. Darth Vader has a theme. Princess Leia has a theme. As characters interact on the screen, so too do their themes interact on the soundtrack.

“And that allows the music to have a particular narrative function.”

Although he won’t have time to have a polished portion prepared on the latest epic episode, he knows people surely will ask about the newest soundtrack that he’s been listening to for nearly two weeks now. Its most noticeable element: The new theme for the new character of Rose Tico.

“That’s still a little too new to me to really talk about it (in this talk),” he said. “It’s similar to Anakin’s theme. And I wonder: Is that significant, or is just coincidence? Well, I haven’t figured out all that yet.”

Mary Clare Speckner, the library’s community services coordinator, said she believes the presentation will be stellar. She knew the latest movie’s popularity would be otherwordly. Plus, she’s the one who booked Krerowicz’s similar presentation 11 months ago at the library on The Beatles and Rolling Stones songs.

“He did a great job last year,” Speckner said. “And I knew that people around here are always very interested in ‘Star Wars.’”

Krerowicz has been interested as long as he can remember, too. In fact, when he first watched “Return of the Jedi” as a pre-schooler, his father had to read him the Jabba the Hut subtitles because he himself couldn’t yet read.

“I grew up with all of them,” he said. “And now it’s almost like a profession, though really, it’s a glorified hobby that has grown into adulthood.”

He does note, however, that academic interest in “Star Wars” music exists in a similar fashion to academic attention given the Beatles, a topic for which he has grant support. For instance, he did his “Star Wars” program in the spring at Butler University in Indianapolis, and also will speak this month at Ball State University in Muncie on the film soundtracks.

He’s sorry, though, that he can’t be one other place: at the Hilbert Circle Theatre for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra concert Feb. 11 featuring composer Williams conducting the ensemble in a program of some of his most popular film music.

The event is sold out.

An out-of-this-world presentation

Who: Music scholar Aaron Krerowicz of Carmel in a free presentation of “The Music of Star Wars.” His website that includes a “Star Wars” blog is aaronkrerowicz.com.

When: 6:30 p.m. Jan. 16.

Where: Red Room of the Bartholomew County Public Library, 536 Fifth St. in Columbus.

Information: 812-379-1266 or mybcpl.org.

Author photo
Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at bblair@therepublic.com or 812-379-5672.