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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Monday, July 06, 2020

entry arrow4:41 PM | Ennio Morricone, 1928-2020

The film scores of Ennio Morricone [1928-2020] heralded my growing awareness of film as an art form in my 1990s youth: it came to me that many great movies became involving experiences primarily because of their marriage of image to music. That was when I started taking note of Bernard Herrmann, Henry Mancini, Nino Rota, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, John Barry, Alan Silvestri, Maurice Jarre. And then there was Morricone. A random listing of his film scores alone would give us an idea of the sheer pleasure of his music -- music full of body, music full of stories: the mournful nostalgia of Cinema Paradiso, the heart-pounding thrill of The Untouchables, the Wild West twang of A Fistful of Dollars and The Good The Bad The Ugly, the wistfulness of Days of Heaven, the soul-bearing confessions of The Mission, and countless of others. Robert D. McFadden writes of his prolific work and musical reach at the New York Times: "He sometimes scored 20 or more films a year, often working only from a script before screening the rushes. Directors marveled at his range — tarantellas, psychedelic screeches, swelling love themes, tense passages of high drama, stately evocations of the 18th century or eerie dissonances of the 20th — and at the ingenuity of his silences: He was wary of too much music, of overloading an audience with emotions." He himself has no compunction for the range, ascribing it all to just plain music-making: "If you scroll through all the movies I've worked on, you can understand how I was a specialist in westerns, love stories, political movies, action thrillers, horror movies, and so on. So in other words, I'm no specialist, because I've done everything. I'm a specialist in music." He will be missed.

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