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SoulBoogieAlex

Ennio Morricone passed

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I hum his music on a daily basis, so this one stings - regardless of the good innings living to 91 years old is. 

Thank you, Ennio Morricone, for creating some of the most beautiful music I've ever heard in film, and life in general. Rest well. 

The fact these four themes that have touched me in particular don't even scratch the surface of his influence and legacy says all that needs to be said about the talent of Ennio Morricone. 

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Another legend gone... This felt soothing to read... RIP

"The maestro was lucid until the end, and full of dignity,”  said Assumma. The film composer was able to say goodbye to his wife Maria and to children and grandchildren. He also thanked the audience, from whom he always received support for his creativity. 

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He made some achingly beautiful music. The theme from Once upon a time in The West posted above is a perfect example.
He also made some awesome catchy occult-sounding music such as this:
 

Rest in peace.

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My very first LP I bought some 45 years ago was the soundtrack to "C'era una volta il west".

Thank you Ennio Morricone for all the joy and sentiment you brought in my musical and - together with Segio Leone -  movie life.

Rest in peace.

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...and to witness this music 4 times in the SanSiro in Milano for a Bruce Show - what can I ask for more... I just feel a lot of happyness - and a little bit of sadness about time is passing by...

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1799364-2449612.jpg.5be5611705c070a5e03374988b12be4d.jpg

I was delighted to accept the invitation of Leonardo Colombati to write an introduction for his book on Bruce Springsteen. It’s not a rough hagiography glorifying a legendary rock star; there is no photo of the sweaty singer raising his arms to the sky as he receives the ovation from thousands of ecstatic fans in front of the stage; and, above all, we find no trace of this sloppy and neglected inaccuracy that usually distinguishes works illustrating popular songs.

Throughout the twentieth century, this kind of music was a generous source of emotions, a source that accompanied several generations from adolescence to middle age, relating - often much better than other arts - the human condition in contemporary society.

Here is exposed a simple truth, long recognized in the United States, where popular music is considered an essential part of a unique tradition, by which Hermann Melville and Walt Whitman, Robert Johnson and Louis Armstrong, John Ford and Bruce Springsteen live side by side side by side, in perfect harmony. On the other hand, here in Europe, this tradition is underestimated: the gap, dug centuries ago, between popular culture and - literally - "noble" culture, has never been bridged. As with cinema, despite the many masterpieces etched in our memories, still struggling for a simple recognition of what it is - an art whose ramifications come from the narrative arts, imagination and music - thus, concerning the musical field, there is always an abyss between "cultivated" music and "pop" musk: only music already considered ancient and historical or - on the contrary - experimental and elitist, is recognized as " true art ".

I first met Bruce Springsteen in Rome in 1996, at the end of an acoustic concert he had just given at the Sainta Cecilia Auditorium. He had just come down from the stage, accompanied as often during these concerts, by the background notes of Jill’s Theme, music I had composed for the film Once Upon a Time in the West. Needless to say, my joy. Our meeting took place backstage and was very friendly: Bruce hugged me and insisted on being photographed by my side. We had never seen each other before and had long wanted to meet in person, for a simple reason also: both of us, we felt spiritually very close, both socially and politically.

In his songs, Springsteen creates a strong feeling of piety, pain and humanity inherent in the characters he describes. And he does it, not only through his music, using different timbres and different sounds to give them an original personality, but also through words: that's where his real strength lies. Proof of this is the texts chosen and compiled in this book, with the exhaustive criticism which accompanies them and which highlights their literary opulence, by intermingling different and varied sources - from the Bible to the cinema, from the blues to the news; and also in the narrative power that transforms this repertoire of songs composed for over 35 years into a kind of Great American Novel. Or, using the words of Springsteen, into a screenplay of "great film for an American drive-in".

Just reading the lyrics of Jungleland, Racing In The Street and The River makes us realize that this is a reality. Springsteen's writing is "cinematic": each verse is a camera shot, each verse is a scene, and each song introduces the character's entire personality, taken at a decisive moment in his life.

Any composer who, like me, wrote music for the big screen, cannot feel indifferent to this cinematographic style writing. Film music, if it is valid, can be listened to and appreciated without looking at the images. At the same time, Springsteen's songs - both the music and the lyrics - could very well be compared to the music of a film that is still to be shot: they don't need images to accompany them, because they were created by the songs themselves.

In order to describe Springsteen, rather than the Italian term "cantautore", it would be much more preferable to use the American expression "storyteller". In fact, Springsteen perpetuates a tradition created by bluesmen and folk singers, similar today to the almost extinct figure of our ballad singers.

A certain part of my theme as a film composer, but also his own, although it is very different, has a common base in this use of simple chords which allows to create structured and original melodies. The instrumental music composer must "release" this simplicity through an elaborate orchestration; the composer-performer / storyteller can do the same using both voice and words, as long as the voice communicates an emotion and the words are "sincere". I love Springsteen precisely because it puts his need for Truth first. This is the reason why he manages to escape fleeting trends and the reason why his music runs no risk of being lost on the road of time.

NOTES: this text is the preface from Ennio Morricone to Leonardo Colombati's book "Bruce Springsteen - Come un killer sotto il sole - Il grande romanzo americano (1972-2007)", published in 2007 by Sironi Editore and reissued in 2009.

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Grazie Ennio

"C'era una volta il west", the music features leitmotifs that relate to each of the main characters (each with their own theme music) as well as to the spirit of the American West:

For Charles Bronson ("Harmonica"), the mysterious, searching stranger, there is the shrill, light-sounding harmonica

 

When Jason Robards ("Cheyenne"), the good-spirited freeman, comes into the picture, a cheerful honky tonk piano sounds and, as a precursor to imminent danger

 

A distorted electric guitar sounds like Henry Fonda ("Frank"), the unscrupulous cold murderer, appears on the scene

 

Claudia Cardinale ("Jill"), a former prostitute who leaves for the West to start a new life, sounds a compelling and wordless vocal by Italian soprano singer Edda Dell'Orso accompanied by a choir.

 

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22 minutes ago, el sergio said:

In his songs, Springsteen creates a strong feeling of piety, pain and humanity inherent in the characters he describes. And he does it, not only through his music, using different timbres and different sounds to give them an original personality, but also through words: that's where his real strength lies.

This was one of the quotes that I used in the introduction of my Dissertation. Honestly it didn't sink in back then that this was Ennio Morricone talking about Bruce Springsteen, but today I'm happy to realise that, and proud that I included just a smidgen of it in my best ever piece of writing. 

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4 minutes ago, Paolo's Circus Story said:

This was one of the quotes that I used in the introduction of my Dissertation. Honestly it didn't sink in back then that this was Ennio Morricone talking about Bruce Springsteen, but today I'm happy to realise that, and proud that I included just a smidgen of it in my best ever piece of writing. 

And where can we find this best ever piece of writing?

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9 minutes ago, el sergio said:

Grazie Ennio

"C'era una volta il west", the music features leitmotifs that relate to each of the main characters (each with their own theme music) as well as to the spirit of the American West:

For Charles Bronson ("Harmonica"), the mysterious, searching stranger, there is the shrill, light-sounding harmonica

 

When Jason Robards ("Cheyenne"), the good-spirited freeman, comes into the picture, a cheerful honky tonk piano sounds and, as a precursor to imminent danger

 

A distorted electric guitar sounds like Henry Fonda ("Frank"), the unscrupulous cold murderer, appears on the scene

 

 

Claudia Cardinale ("Jill"), a former prostitute who leaves for the West to start a new life, sounds a compelling and wordless vocal by Italian soprano singer Edda Dell'Orso accompanied by a choir.

 

I really didn't want to post any blog links on this thread as to not to make it seem like I'm using a man's death to promote my writing, but I thought I'd add to the point you've made that I bolded.  

Quote

It’s excellent as well as interesting in how the music reflects the personalities of the characters. Where Harmonica’s theme indicates his threat and mystique and Jill’s her beauty, the prominence of banjo in Cheyenne’s (Robards) theme can easily be compared to his somewhat unstable personality. There’s a beauty to the theme of Morton (Ferzetti), but underlying are sinister piano riffs that mirror the evil personality hidden by his defenceless persona. In fact, the only theme that contrasts the mirroring of a personality is Frank’s. It’s tinged with something of a remorseful sound, and that’s the complete opposite of what he is.

https://cantfindtickets.wordpress.com/2019/08/19/film-review-once-upon-a-time-in-the-west-1968/

Alongside Leone, Morricone was a genius, and together they crafted iconic characters that I can only hope will still be appreciated by people in 2068.

And, of course he composed some bangers away from Leone with a couple other genius directors.

 

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26 minutes ago, el sergio said:

And where can we find this best ever piece of writing?

All 30+ pages are stored away on my Mac haha. I might share it with you guys sometime.

I'd actually copy and paste it into a blog post, but it's not exactly blog material. If any of you are really interested in reading it I'd be happy to email it to you, just shoot me a PM.

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1 minute ago, el sergio said:

Sad Hill Unearthed

An eclectic group of fans of 1966's "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" attempt to restore the cemetery set in Spain where the movie's climax was filmed. https://www.netflix.com/be-en/title/80988832

not Bruce related, but very recommend to watch with some very surprising appearances

Nice to see a shout-out for this one. It's essentially a "making of" of the film and it's definitely worth a watch if you're a fan.

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My last post of the day in this topic as I suppose it's reaching overkill now.

Today Ennio Morricone's death has impacted me more than I thought it would. Maybe even more than it should considering I wasn't alive for the bulk of his greatest work. 

I've spent the majority of the day playing the tracks posted on here and the ones we haven't gotten around to spotlighting yet - it's been 15 hours and we haven't even mentioned the actual theme for The Good, The Bad and The Ugly yet. You know, the most important piece of music in the Western genre. Ever. And while a lot this music has made me feel wistful in the past, today that's just been notched up a few extra levels. I don't think it's a case of remembering how life is so fragile, no matter your age, but more a sadness about how so many stars from this era are continuing to pass on. You older fans have had them for years upon years, us younger fans a lot less, but I expect for both demographics it feels like that time hasn't been long enough. 

So tonight as I type this I'm thankful for Ennio Morricone's music, Sergio Leone's films and also for the fact that the likes of Clint Eastwood, Claudia Cardinale, hell, even Bruce Springsteen (I know the connection is minuscule, but still...) are still around. We've gotta appreciate the time we've got with them. 

Thanks for reading. 

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I was incredibly sad when I woke up to this news last Monday. Maestro Morricone is the greatest composer of our time in my opinion, he belongs to the greatest such as Beethoven and Tchaikovsky. 

He is of course most well-known for his western movies, and each of these scores are absolutely great (see also the videos posted above). Ecstacy of Gold is one of my favorite pieces of music ever, and it is the music I'd like to have played on my funeral. 

In 2016 I was lucky enough attend one of his concerts in Belgium (which is abroad for me). I forced my dad to come with me, I simply said "We HAVE to go. It's a necessity!!" I feel very blessed that he wanted to join me and the concert itself was just breathtakingly beautifull. The soundtrack of "Once Upon a Time in the West" (which is, by the way, the greatest movie ever made), was my Granddad's favorite record. It is also one of my dad's favorite records and now it's also one of my favorite records. So to hear Jill's theme live, conducted by the Maestro himself, was a very touching moment in my life. Whenever I hear pieces of the soundtrack, I am always reminded to my dad and granddad. 

 

 

 

Besides the western soundtrack, one of the best movie soundtracks is from "The Mission", the fact that he didn't win an oscar for that still baffles me.

 

 

 

Just listen to those first two minutes (this piece is called Gabriel's Oboe), that just sends a shiver down your spine! The last three minutes (On Earth as it is in Heaven), Just Beautiful!! 

 

 He also wrote the music to a piece called Here's to You, with lyrics from Joan Baez. Here's a choir version of it:

 

 

 

 

I want to end with his best piece ever (in my opinion) and I feel very, very, fortunate to have seen this legend live:

 

 

Maestro Ennio Morricone is one of my heroes. His music will not be forgotten! 

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