Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Ennio Morricone conducting
Beethoven, Bach, Tchaikovsky, and Mozart are dead and will be no more.
Symphony #9, The Barber of Seville, Tchaikovsky's #6 and Mahler's #2 link us to an ominous past before which our era stands small and insignificant.
Shall we infer that meaningful symphonies can no longer be produced?

The quality of Art has changed; anybody today is a potential producer of art, a mediocre one, and so many call themselves artist, but they are a different kind of artists: they lack the capital letter.
Fortunately, we're still blessed by a few unique works of rare profundity, and these can be found in the most common product of mass consumption: the movies.

Ennio Morricone's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (and in general all of his music), Alan Silvestri's Forrest Gump ballad, Trevor Jones's The Last of the Mohicans, Danny Elfman's music to the 1989's Batman, Brad Fiedel's The Terminator, Bill Conti's Rocky, and Gustavo Santaolalla's theme to Brokeback Mountain.

How useless would an actor's acting without the proper music for certain scenes?

The best soundtracks have substituted what was once classical music. The emotions they give us are linked to more or less dramatic scenes, but the beauty of it all is that we can adapt their music to a particular event of our life. Just like classical music, they can accompany us, they reveal an emotional state, they express by means of an articulate language, one that springs from the author's personal interpretation of a dramatic, albeit fictional, event.

Do you have a favorite soundtrack?
Does it accompany a particular moment of your life?   



  1. Oh my gosh... I'm not sure I could pin point a favorite soundtrack... Love Dances with Wolves--Last of the Mohicans is fabulous! Love Gettysburg... And my family are all classical gurus, lol... My brother is a genius and actually does write symphonies and soundtracks, etc... so it's cool to see that the art is still there... Music adds SO MUCH... and can move writers/actors to great lengths... I'm so glad you respect this side of the art world, Jay!

  2. It varies. Much of my life could be happily accompanied by the slow, serene soundtrack to Visconti’s Death in Venice—mostly Mahler, to which I’d add Albinoni’s Adagio. But today I’m in need of “Si, Vendetta!” along with some choice hun-like bits from Verdi’s “Attila,” such as “We celebrate a day of fresh mayhem…”

  3. Hmm, I don't really listen to soundtracks. I guess I should get into it... off to research my favorite movies so I can look into their music!

    1. Morgan,
      So you have it in the family! Sure, I respect and try to learn from any great work in any form of art whatsoever. And music is not just any art, is it?

      I get to see your tastes are particularly dramatic. Which is not a bad thing per se!

      Try it out, maybe you find inspiration for your manuscript!

  4. I've just seen "Beasts of the Southern Wild", which is an astonishing movie, albeit (I felt) a pretty flawed one. The soundtrack is written by director Benh Zeitlin and still haunts me. Question: how much can movie soundtracks exist without the visuals they accompany?

  5. Golly - John Williams for Star Wars and Jaws!

    Take care

  6. Sorry, not much for classical soundtracks. My soundtrack CDs tend to be of the rock music variety.

  7. Tony,
    I think a soundtrack can have a life of its own, although it is conceived in conjunction with a pretty specific visual and conceptual theme.
    If you can think of a soundtrack that might well adapt to a particular moment of your life independently of the movie it comes from, you will know what I mean.

    Star Wars, ok, but Jaws??

    Too bad, you're really missing out. I guess you're not unfamiliar with Queen's soundtrack for Flash Gordon, are you?

  8. I feel like you're in my head. I have The Last of the Mohicans and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly in my CD player all the time as background music. Usually Braveheart soundtrack or The Man From Snow River joins them.