Jerry Goldsmith

Jerry Goldsmith
Jerry Goldsmith (1929-2004)

…it’s a composition tailored for a particular film, and all its elements must relate to one another.

This is where I think the seriously-trained composer is of more value, simply because part of the study of composition is the concept of musical relativity and development.

Jerry Goldsmith on film music as ‘fabric’, in The Omen CD soundtrack liner notes, Varèse Sarabande, 1990.

It was relatively late that I got to know the film music of Jerry Goldsmith. At first I found it too traditionally ‘Hollywood’, until I discovered his more experimental work and then understood what was going on under the surface of his scores.

Clever are the ways he relies on irregular metric treatment, develops musical motifs and his handling of 12-note harmony. I’ve been influenced predominantly by his scores for Freud (1962), Planet of the Apes (1968), The Illustrated Man (1969), The Mephisto Waltz (1971), Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971), The Omen (1976), Logan’s Run (1976), Coma (1978) (Coma is a fantastic score), Runaway (1984) and Total Recall (1990).

I heard somewhere that he scored a TV episode of The Twilight Zone with just one clarinet and a set of timpani! Resourceful.

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