Monday, January 31, 2011

Born Free To Dance With Black Holes


John Barry
11/3/1933 - 1/30/2011

Like many of us, I have gone through stages in my musical tastes. There was a time when the Beatles were Gods to me. Then I found Led Zeppelin in high school, and that changed everything. Gin Martini’s sipped to the tunes of Steely Dan, Little Feat and the Clash followed in college.

We all have a soundtrack to our lives. Even more so with the advent of digital music players. Back when I was in college I studied a lot of film. The films I really liked, I read the credits to. I learned about Foley Artists, and Production Design and Directors of Photography. More than anything else I learned to pay attention to the Musical Score.

There aren’t any ‘classical’ composers around today. They are all long dead and buried. They have been replaced by film composers. Those individuals that can give even more of a sweeping scope to the images created by David Lean and Stanley Kubrick.

One of those composers passed away yesterday. His name was John Barry. He had scored dozens of films and won Oscars for his work. You might not have known him, but you have heard his music. You have probably heard more than you realize.

I have a bunch of it. Along with the works of Jerry Goldsmith, Alex North, Michael Legrand, John Williams and Thomas Neuman, their works have been filling my headphones for a long, long time. While I walk in the wilderness, or stroll through a museum, walk to work, or build things in my garage. They give an epic scale to what may otherwise be an ordinary life.

From the James Bond films, to 'Out of Africa', to 'Dances With Wolves' to 'The Black Hole'. This guy was good. Very good.

Thanks John, for making my life a bit more cinematic.