Ennio Morricone (1928-2020)
His sound is unique.
Aspects of Morricone’s music that interest me are the way he used instrumental effects and human voices in his spaghetti western scores, as if they were wild animals – employing the natural rules that determine how and when animals cry, to structure layers of his film music textures. I find the way he writes with heterophonic polyphony (sorry for the jargon, it’s about deliberately ‘smudging’ chords) effective, interesting and fresh.
Morricone sometimes incorporates unusual instruments (e.g. the Clavioline, harmonicas, wordless voices and even machine guns as percussion!)
Sometimes he’ll set off spiralling musical patterns and let them run, allowing the material to take itself over, in ways that carry the listener away.
Dogged and uncompromising, I love Morricone’s prolific Italian art. Beautiful. The theme for Cinema Paradiso (1988) is one of the longest musical melodies I have ever heard. Morricone has written literally hundreds of film scores. They are all of good quality, so it’s difficult to know where to start. Check out: A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), Navajo Joe (1966), The Good, the Bad & the Ugly (1966), Danger: Diabolik (1968), Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), Oceano (a.k.a. The Wind Blows Free) (1971), Moses the Lawgiver (1974-5), Le Professionel (1981) and The Mission (1986).