A look into legendary film composer: Ennio Morricone | Music | Showcase


Composer Ennio Morricone’s roots lie in the experimental But at the time of his emergence in the 1940s the music industry was not seeking such harmonies Eager to share the melodies he created with the masses Morricone decided turn his attention to cinema Finding a kindred spirit in upstart director, Sergio Leone The Italian musician created a series of soundtracks that instantly became classics Today critics label has melancholic pieces an essential ingredient of the spaghetti western iconography At the height of his global popularity Morricone decided to switch gears setting his sights on the Italian thrillers is called the ‘giallo’ he was finally able to exercise his abstract style Making the most of the times he was living in The respected artists used the groovy beats of the 1970s for the euro-crime movies he worked on His scores from this period were so closely associated with the particular genre that many filmmakers from other countries use his music without permission The Rome natives later career saw him collaborate with filmmakers who discovered the groundbreaking composer through his pioneering earlier works One such collaboration finally brought Morricone a best music score Oscar in 2016 almost a decade after his honorary award To speak more about Ennio Morricone I am joined from London by music critic Jonathan Baz Thank you so much for joining us today Jonathan Now tell me about Morricone’s early years before he even got famous Okay, so this year he’s coming up to being 90 So he was born in 1928 His father was a trumpeter He in turn also was a trumpet player Studied it at the conservatory where as well as arranging melodies he was rapidly identified by his peers as they were suggesting to him he should be composing as well and his early years took him from being just a player in bands that played during the war to soldiers Firstly of the German army and later to the American Soldiers But from there very much into a period of calm of composition Well Morricone has said before that he gets annoyed for being remembered by his Western compositions Taking that into consideration what are some of his best works Well of course his Westerns and those Westerns of the 1960’s were directed by Sergio Leone who always recognised Morricone’s talents from having been in fact at school with him But if that was in the 1960s the 1980s were to see a remarkable change in the work for which Morricone became famous for and I think it’s also fair to remember that over his career he has written 500 movie scores Which is an incredibly prolific amount but in the 1980s we saw him write Once Upon a Time in America There was, which was of course another Leone movie there was the Mission and finally there was Tornatore’s cinema paradiso Interestingly for the mission There was a lot of talk that Morricone should have won the Oscar for that It’s a year that he felt he was robbed of the Oscar and it was in the 1980s that there was a huge amount of beautiful famous work that was being composed by him in addition to so much other material The Untouchables, of course was another great movie of his in that decade Alright Now Jonathan what is it about his compositions that truly makes it different and so popular? Morricone has a remarkable love and understanding of the story that he is scoring for I should have mentioned in the 1980s with The Mission there were three themes of music that came into that story There was the music of the Renaissance set at the time The music of the Reformation And there was music of the local tribal music of South America in which the movie was set and it’s Morricone’s ability to understand the human nature in the story that is presented to him that makes his melodies so special For Once Upon a Time in the West most of his melodies were actually composed before the film was photographed and Sergio Leone will talk about the fact that sometimes the music was played on set while the movie was being photographed Precisely because of the atmosphere that Morricone captured He also makes a fabulous use of the human voice as an instrument If you think of the choral work that supports a lot of The Mission If you think of the soprano voice in the Ecstasy of Gold It is, it’s spine-tingling just to think of it Yes his work is absolutely exquisite Jonathan Baz, thank you so much for speaking to us on showcase today thank you