The communiqué that Ennio Morricone’s family published the same day we received the news, was a letter written by the composer himself, where, with sublime elegance, he said goodbye to everyone.
The team and the usual collaborators of SoundTrackFest, didn’t want to let this opportunity pass, to dedicate our last tribute to this great composer and write our own letters to him.
From his most hardcore fans, to the most knowledgeable experts of his work, everyone wanted to do their bit, telling personal stories, anecdotes, experiences, or even talking about meetings & encounters with the Maestro… 12 texts, 12 points of view, 12 ‘Letters to Ennio Morricone’, which you can read below.
Thank you very much to all the people who, without thinking twice, have collaborated against the clock to make this special article a reality: Asier G. Senarriaga, Carmen Ruiz, Curro Martín, Felipe Múgica, Frederic Torres, Gori Martínez, Javier Vicente, Luis Rico, Rafael Melgar, Reme Díaz, Sergio Hardasmal, and Tony Alicante Spain. And to Diego Ruiz Exposito for the poster and the designs. 🙏🎶💓🎶🙏
Cinéfila y melómana
Composer and guitarist
Bachelor in Journalism and writer
Veteran film music critic
President of the Association Mallorca Plató Musical
Geek without remedy
Film music fan /SoundTrackFest
Filmmaker and photographer
Passionate about movies and soundtracks
Passionate about movies and soundtracks
Listening to music
Asier G. Senarriaga (IFMCA/SoundTrackFest)
Ennio Morricone. A Man. A Legend. A Maestro of Maestros.
He left us July the 6th, 2020, an unbearably sad date from now on to recall, a day the world of Arts will remember with sadness, heartache, and less hope, for Eternity, a day when the most extraordinary musician of the 20th century and part of the 21st entered the Heavens.
What can you tell in these moments of grief, knowing that we will never have another new Melody written from the soul by Master Morricone?, the tears are not letting us notice right now that from this very instant, Ennio is inmortal, he has not passed, he lives on in every note, in every sheet paper of every one of his more of 500 works along the years, every concert to revisit, every film on TV, every article remembering him, every sentence talking about his greatness, his passion, his love, his art, his magic. The Legacy. The Master of Masters is now Eternal.
I will never forget the night I met him for the first time, it was a rainy winter night, December 2001. The Place, The Arriaga Theater in Bilbao, Spain, I was back from the Isle of Wight in England after a year working there, coming home from the airport I noticed that next week, Ennio Morricone was going to be for a concert of his work in my hometown. I was not believing my luck when I got the ticket the next day, and at the day of the concert a journalist friend provided me kindly of an even better ticket to enjoy fully the glorious experience. I was in awe.
The concert was extraordinary, unforgettable, pure bliss, his son Andrea conducted it with a couple of suites at the baton of Ennio too, but the most impressive thing was meeting Maestros Andrea and Ennio afterwards and the sparkling eyes of both enjoying the talk with the fans. Luckily it was not the last time I shook hands with the Maestro.
Ennio was back to Bilbao 5 years after, and I was going to cover the Press Meeting at the Carlton Hotel for BsoSpirit.com. I will never forget the moment when Ennio smiled at me after the Press Conference and with an unforgettable grin offered his hand to me extremely satisfied with my questions, asking the company which contracted him for a private concert in Bilbao’s Euskalduna Palace, to give two tickets for the event to this fine gentleman for giving him a joyful time with his interesting questions (the concert was only for members of that enterprise, no press allowed, I must add).
After that handshake (Ennio used both hands) I cried of joy, ecstasy, and fulfillment and walked out the room on air, like floating.
A few minutes later at the lobby I was sitting in a sofa checking my notes of the Press Conference in preparation for the article I was going to write, and a hand touched me in the shoulder, Ennio’s assistant asked in an agitated manner for anything to be signed by the Maestro right there before leaving for rehearsals. I was petrified, astonished, happy.
The picture below was the result, I had several covers just in case, I picked one without even looking which one it was. Now it is my favorite Ennio Morricone score. Now you know why.
The pictures that you can see here are like treasures to me, the proof that angels exist “On Earth as it is in Heaven”, that the melodies that forged the soundtrack of our lives, giving us peace, hope, happiness and joy are a legacy that it is as immortal as the titans that created that music, those symphonies, the power to move, to help us understand complicate things the easy way, to help us relaxing in angry times, in difficult times, in hard times, or to felt us transcended, exhilarated, astonished by the beauty of a solo, or the grandeur of the symphony orchestra, are making them Eternal.
And now I feel that Morricone was part of my own family, because I can say with all my self, that my life is better, my heart is warmer, my soul is purer, thanks to Ennio.
Thanks, Maestro, PER SEMPRE, Grazie Mille.
Asier G. Senarriaga
Carmen Ruíz (Film and music lover)
It’s difficult for me to say what Maestro Morricone’s music has meant in my life because his work is immense. I began to listen to it as a child, but then I didn’t even know that the music of the westerns I saw with my father was his. But it was. One day, in the cinema, a few notes of an oboe made me get goosebumps and a few tears of emotion blurred my eyes. Jeremy Irons was playing an oboe in The Mission. Gabriel’s oboe. And he was showing that music goes beyond race, language or creed. I wanted to know more about the composer who had achieved that. So I did slowly discover the work of this genius. And the music I hummed, which I had heard a thousand times, was his.
I had the opportunity to see him in concert only once in Bilbao. I went there because it was imperative to go on his farewell tour and because I loved it. I wanted to see him live. I couldn’t let it go. There wouldn’t be another chance. And it was fascinating. Not only I liked his music, but his presence, and his elegance on stage. To see how, despite his advanced age, he was giving his all he could to his musicians and his audience. I remember that I was struck by the gentleness with which he commanded the different sections of the orchestra, in an almost delicate movement. As if he took his hat off to the music that was playing.
I have always joked that Ennio Morricone only needed a harmonica and a trumpet to make a soundtrack, but his music was much more than the sound of the Wild West, although we all have in our minds a whistle that is a prelude to a conflict. It was emotion, passion. They were sweeping passages, sad or tender ones. It was life put into a score. It’s gone now. He has joined other great maestros who left us before him. And he’s taken a little bit from all of us who admired him. But we have his music. And Morricone will live through it, every time it is played, every time we listen to that CD or watch that movie we like.
Thank you, maestro.
Film and music lover
Curro Martín (Composer and guitarist)
Morricone, in and out of his time
With Morricone’s death, we are missing one of the great living composers who changed the course of film music since the 1970s. That stubborn and reserved child prodigy from Rome became Goffredo Petrassi’s leading student, assimilating the aesthetics that prevailed in the Italy of his time: the neoclassicism that rescued the styles of the past from a new perspective, and the avant-garde of atonal music.
In this way, Morricone arrived at the industry by distancing himself from the Hollywood sound and applying a vision far from any conventionalism, whether in the western, social drama, “giallo”, religious cinema… His scores have many edges, but what stands out is the narrative focused on the emotions of the characters, or just the opposite: a dichotomy that breaks with the image and creates a parallel path, even anticipating the language of the video clip in those impossible duels of Sergio Leone.
No less interesting is his work for television (“Marco Polo”, “La Piovra”, “Secret of the Sahara”, etc.). He never got along with the mainstream and had his ups and downs with the directors. A creator out of his time… Perhaps because he never belonged to it… Without him, a way to conceive of the stories on the big screen ends, but his work remains unfathomable and will continue to influence future generations of musicians and filmmakers.
Composer and guitarist
Felipe Múgica (Bachelor in Journalism and writer)
It looked like he was never going to leave us. I still remember seeing him at the concert he gave in Barakaldo, in Biscay, a little over a year ago. The truth is that it seemed that every opportunity was going to be the last one, but then the following year, a new tour came, as ambitious as the previous one.
And that was in spite of his advanced age, which was palpable that he showed difficulties to walk and had to conduct the concerts from a chair. As if Morricone felt that he was a legend of film music and could not leave so many people who were fond of his music without enjoying his unforgettable tunes. And that, for sure, was a fame he never sought, but the beauty of his melodies (Cinema Paradiso), the groundbreaking nature of his themes (how he totally renewed western music), the energy of his compositions (the choral theme of The Mission), the variety of genres he touched both in Italy and in Hollywood… have crossed the barrier of the screen, of the films for which they were composed and have become universal.
Not only is his name known to anyone you ask on the street, but anyone could hum some of his music to you. Even the band Metallica started their concerts with The Ecstasy of Gold. Tireless worker, prolific (it is well known that he has composed up to 500 soundtracks), experimental (he developed a parallel career within the world of music), overflowing with talent… he has left a mark on film music that will be difficult to fill again. He will be sorely missed.
Morricone left us, but his music will never leave us.
Bachelor in Journalism and writer
Frederic Torres (Veteran film music critic)
In the mid-seventies, a film with a monstrous shark as the protagonist was making headlines around the world, causing many teenagers, including me, to respect a beach bath for life. Much of this fear was instilled by the music that represented the shark in question. But there was also another film that summer, which was preceded by a strong aura of respect, and which was shown in two parts because of its length, which in itself was synonymous with seriousness and transcendence.
It told the story of two friends, one a peasant and therefore belonging to the working class, and the other the son of the master, a rich man representing the ruling elites. A friendship condemned to failure due to the social distance, which even reached the dispute for the beloved woman. One could not help but identify with the protagonist, Olmo, because in most of this personal chronicle, a historical metaphor for the hard life and risky struggle of the workers during the first part of the 20th century, the music represented the anthem of those who rebelled against the inequalities, the hunger they suffered, and for the right to a decent education as a revolutionary method to achieve a new, truly democratic society.
That music made a mark on a whole generation, which from then on always knew what class consciousness was, just by listening to a few brief notes of that cinematic anthem. A music that also told the story of an impossible friendship and an idealized love.
I didn’t know then that Ennio Morricone already had a successful popular background thanks to the fame achieved with his innovative music dedicated to spaghetti-western, a B series genre that in my teenage eyes, was vulgar in its rales, during the seventies, when even the parody of the genre prevailed. So the onomatopoeias, the electric guitars, and the original rhythmic paraphernalia that surrounded this type of music was denaturalized and, at the very least, extravagant to me. I have always found it so, in spite of having discovered works of the height of ‘Once Upon a Time in The West’, one of the peaks of that sub-genre, elevated to the category of a masterpiece. But this music made me reflect on the qualities of a composer capable of working on such a different variety of films, and therefore, on the possibilities of musical talent in its cinematographic expression. And of course, on the mood of its creator.
I became a follower of his music through the films, and I fell in love with that other refined, sensitive, and deeply evocative style, for which he was also known and which would reach its zenith during the 1980s, with works of the height of Once Upon a Time in America; The Mission; State of Grace; and Cinema Paradiso.
From then on, I always hoped to go to one of the main auditoriums in the most important cities to hear him live; a place which I assumed could host a concert of his. However, it was not in any Palace of Music that I had the opportunity to hear him for the first time. It was in a bullring, in Lorca (Murcia), where it happened the awaited occasion, in an enclosure of a very little suitable acoustics, and in which you could also find an improvised bar to serve drinks and sandwiches in the middle of the stalls.
There, I listened for the first time live to music conducted with contained emotion by Morricone (whose forms could be confused as inexpressive and monotonous), who appeared behind a methacrylate screen vaguely reminiscent of the Popemobile (presumably, so that the wind would not blow the scores away). And there his music worked its magic to the applause of an ecstatic audience, especially when he performed his “dollar trilogy”, which had caused me so many misgivings over the years.
And in spite of the fame that preceded him for his sour character, I will always remember that while I was drinking a gin and tonic in a plastic cup after the concert (the improvised bar was still active), how the Maestro himself, in an unexpected public irruption in the arena of the bullring, patiently held it for me, allowing me to have my hands free so that I could take out the covers, that I foreseeably carried in my pocket, in case the unlikely opportunity arose to get close to him.
He felt popular and close, friendly, courteous. He was happy and smiling. At the level of his music.
He signed me to Novecento, of course.
Veteran film music critic and essayist
Co-author of the collective book “Play it again, Oscar”
Author of “Alex North. The Unrepentant Traveler”
Gori Martínez (President of the Association Mallorca Plató Musical)
I started late in my passion, which is today, film music, but from a very young age I was enthusiastic about the soundtracks of TV series, movies, and even TV commercials.
I was always very fond of spaghetti westerns and very enthusiastic about the music that a man named Ennio Morricone composed for those films. It was incredible to me that this music could give so much prominence to the film because it included very peculiar instruments that did not appear in other movies.
It was in 2005 that, thanks to the Association of Friends of the Soundtracks of the Balearic Islands (ABABS), I was introduced to this exciting world that has given me so much joy. Practically all I listened to were soundtracks, I had to make up for lost time and by far the best composer, for me, was Maestro Morricone, without detracting from others like Williams, Barry or Horner.
It was quite difficult to be able to listen and buy everything composed by the Grand Maestro, since we are talking of 500 soundtracks. Most of my music collection is by this great composer.
In September 2008 I went to a Morricone concert programmed in Madrid, which was not held since, according to the Composer, even he did not know about it, denouncing the organization for it. We arrived at the right place but there were only fans with tickets in their hands, but without the expected concert. We got our money back and waited to see if we were luckier on another occasion.
It was in 2011 when on a trip to Rome we found out that a free concert of film music was going to be held in Piazza del Popolo. When we arrived at the square there were about 10,000 people and what was our surprise when we saw that Morricone himself was conducting the orchestra and it was a concert with his most famous soundtracks. It was a great surprise gift and an enormous emotion since I didn’t expect it.
On another occasion we also bought tickets for a concert in Cologne, but due to health problems it was cancelled.
Another memorable concert, and for me the most endearing one, was in Rome at the Baths of Caracalla, where thanks to Gorka Oteiza, I was able to see Maestro Morricone and enjoy and cry with emotion, and where my illusion of seeing him again came true.
I also did not want to miss the last concert he gave in Bilbao in May 2019, which was, once again, very moving, not only because I could listen to his music again, but also because I could share with friends and fans those moments that cannot be explained in words; you have to live them.
For me, the best composer has left us, and I am sure that we will never have another like him. In 100 years, the music of this composer will be heard as a classic, it will never go out of fashion, and will be studied as one of the best composers in history.
President of the Association Mallorca Plató Musical
Promoter of the Chamber Film Orchestra
Javier Vicente (Geek without remedy)
Ennio Morricone, aspaldi goian egona*
I am invited to write a text from the selection that SoundTrackFest will publish to honor the great Ennio Morricone on the occasion of his sad death. A great honor for me, within the sadness I’m feeling right now.
I guess that in this case I have to be the rookie of this peculiar band of outlaws. And hateful is, without a doubt, the reason that brings me to make this humble contribution.
I would go so far as to say that everyone has listened to Morricone without knowing it, and that, not so much the prizes and recognitions, that is what makes such a Maestro: the fact that his work becomes practically a universal popular reference, transcending even its own author.
I was no more than 6 years old when in the playground I fought a singular duel of gunmen on the esplanade between the swings and the slide while we hummed the melody of “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”. We all know here that a good soundtrack is critical to making an action scene credible. And Morricone’s good music made our hands the fastest pistols and our game much more epic.
Of course, some bullets grazed but none seriously injured me.
The fact is that Morricone was already there without us knowing it and that is already great in itself.
During adolescence, I became friends with a fan of Clint Eastwood’s “spaghetti westerns” and spent many afternoons at my friend Juan’s house watching VHS video movies between role-playing games. There is when I formally discovered Ennio Morricone.
At that time it was not as easy to get music as it is now, but we did what we could and I remember even going so far as recording soundtracks directly from the credit titles of those battered VHS tapes on a cassette tape. It was worth it.
The next milestone in my relationship with Morricone came with “The Mission.” I must confess that at that time I had his music typecast with those peculiar westerns.
As with “The Good, The Bad and The Evil”, I knew “Gabriel’s Oboe” before knowing who was the author (that crazy world without the internet) and discovering that the composer of music of such diverse styles was Ennio Morricone aroused my curiosity.
I bought the original CD (which was not easy at that time when the editions of soundtracks were not exactly abundant in record stores) and that music became one of the soundtracks of the sweetest moments of my courtship with the girl that today is my wife. A cassette copy of that soundtrack always traveled with us in that beloved garnet Citröen AX.
Later I would buy “The Untouchables”, “Cinema Paradiso”, … to name a few. And I do not want to forget that it was his composition for “The Hateful Eight” that served as a soundtrack for me during the reading of the fantastic comic “Texas Jack” by Dimitri Armand and Pierre Dubois (which I take this opportunity to recommend it to fans of western comics) during the recent confinement by COVID-19.
I could write three times what I’ve already written with the prolific work of Ennio Morricone, and I would surely discover along the way that some of the melodies I hum are his without my knowing it, but I was asked not to extend this article too much.
In Euskera/Basque, the language of the Basques, deceased people are usually commemorated by saying “goian bego” which translated into English could be like “in the heights above.” Thinking about this, it dawned on me that in the case of a master of the size of Morricone, both in the personal and in the artistic field, he was already at the top so his death only implies consolidating his title from “Living Legend” to “Immortal Legend”.
That is why I imagine that, if the proverbial Heaven exists, Maestro Morricone hardly had to step aside without needing to gain height. And I imagine his entry into such a paradise flanked by musicians from the past on a triumphal walk while they perform his brilliant “Il triello”.
Ennio Morricone, goian bego maisu handia.
* From Basque language: “In the heights from long ago”
Grandson of poets. Protector of stars. Captive of the sky
Part-time superhero. Geek without remedy
Luis Rico (Film music fan /SoundTrackFest)
The film world is mourning this week the loss of one of its fundamental names, not only of film music but of cinema in general, Ennio Morricone. He is the creator of an immense work that includes more than 500 compositions for the cinema, television, and concert halls.
For me, thinking about his work takes me back to my childhood and my first contact with his music, which was with The Mission (1986), a film that made a special impact on me, becoming one of my favorite films. At that time I loved cinema but I was not yet able to understand the importance of music as a fundamental narrative element. However, that music remained engraved in my memory and every time I revisit the film I realize that it is not possible to imagine it, without that music capable of giving it meanings that we could not capture with the image alone. This makes it a true masterpiece of film music.
It wasn’t until my university days that I began my true love of film music and Maestro Morricone became one of my favorite composers. If there is something that stands out in his extensive filmography, it is his chameleonic ability to compose for all kinds of genres and movies. As well as his innate capacity for experimentation, having the ability to generate music and melodies with the most diverse instruments, incorporating the use of sounds of all kinds like screams, whistles, shots, etc, as part of his melodies.
It was on an afternoon in the year 2000 when a on a RNEclásica Radio program I had the opportunity to listen to the concert he gave for the National Academy of Santa Cecilia. This concert was a turning point in my appreciation of the Maestro’s music. I was able to record it on an audio tape and I was able to listen to it for weeks. Every time I played it I was moved by its melodies. At that moment, I started to look for and listen to all the music I could, composed by him, and attending one of his concerts became one of my illusions.
On November 10th, 2006, coincidentally on the day of his 78th birthday, I had the opportunity to attend the concert he gave at the Sports palace in Santander. It was a wonderful invitation from my uncle & aunt Fernando and Pili who lived in Santander and who knew about my love for cinema. It was the first time I could see him live and it was a memorable experience at all levels. It was one of my first film music concerts and being able to see this genius live conducting for more than 2 hours the Roma Sinfonietta was an experience not to be forgotten. The program was fantastic and it was a quite complete tour of his entire filmography. The concert had a great moment when the orchestra, in the encores, played him a happy birthday and all the audience stood up to sing. It was a unique and special moment to see Ennio Morricone visibly moved to thank for the detail.
It was not until November 2018 when I had the opportunity to see him again in Paris on his “The 60 Years of Music Tour” thanks to the fantastic present my friends gave me for my birthday. At that time I had already listened and gone deeper into Morricone’s work and I was reading the book in interview format “In search of that sound”, so I was able to capture the details of his music much better.
To be able to see the Maestro live again conducting with an admirable energy even in spite of his advanced age and the fact that he had to remain seated throughout the concert, to many of his fundamental hymns (Cinema Paradiso, Nostromo, Novecento, The Mission, Once Upon a Time in America, Once Upon a Time in the West,…) was an unforgettable moment. At that moment I thought it would be the last chance I would have to see this genius of film music live.
What I didn’t imagine was that I would have the opportunity to see him again and for the last time as part of his farewell tour (The Final Concerts World Tour) in Madrid, in May 2019. This tour was the perfect end to the career of the great Maestro of film music. It was an extraordinary concert, with an exquisite repertoire that covered great moments of his work and made the audience at the Wizink Center vibrate with emotion. The most heartfelt farewell this genius could have had in connection with his audience. A demonstration of the capacity, the strength, and the dedication to his art that he always had until the last moment.
We can only say that really this genius of cinema has not left us, because his music and his cinema will always continue to move us, and this is what makes Ennio Morricone’s legacy immortal.
Thank you for your art, Maestro!
Film music fan /SoundTrackFest
Rafael Melgar (Filmmaker and photographer)
ENNIO MORRICONE, THE MYTH
With the death of the genius, the myth is born. The desire to meet his music again and get excited is born. Dust off the record player and play one of his vinyl records, or take that CD off the shelf and turn up the volume until you manage to mute the “ragheads” who are listening to Yung Beef on a Bluetooth speaker banging away. But above all, a walk through nostalgia like the one felt by Totò is born/appears.
Many people are going to praise (or have already done so in these days of mourning) his genius, his good work and what he contributed and where he left the most unrepeatable mark. I’m talking about “spaghetti western”. In that side of the Maestro, the tasks are more than complete. I’m sure that my colleagues have been able to outline it with precision.
Therefore, as I have a little bit of “rara avis” in my DNA, I want you to go with me into the darkness, into the B series with a soul of culture, into the most shameless exploits or into the slasher with a bolognese flavour. Because Morricone was and is to Spaghetti Western, what Morricone was and is to “Giallo”. Surely the phagocytes of the video club, lovers of terror, are with me in that it is unfair not to recognize the immense contribution in his works to this genre. Whether it was for passion, money or artistic needs, Morricone composed music to a good number of titles that embraced evil.
Two minutes of temptations
Do you know what the “two minutes of temptations” game is? If not, Google it. Anyone who knows it will understand what you are going to read next. I discovered the figure of the composer unconsciously and out of total ignorance at an early age and through fear; as teen and as a potential sociopath I found my entertainment vein thanks to the community video, a wonderful container where you could find from the animated series Rainbow Brite, El Chavo del 8 or movies of all kinds (including horror). During the viewing of THE EXORCIST II it was impossible for me not to close my eyes because of all the terror I felt while watching the movie. In those intervals in which my eyes remained closed I only listened to the music that without understanding much, already generated a certain uneasiness and bad feeling. Those timpani that were relevant to the theme, the chorus of the afterlife and an atmosphere created that made me grind my teeth, produced in me a great interest. At that age the figure of the composer mattered to me close to nothing. When the concern for the world of soundtracks came to stay in me it was inevitable to start with the greatest, and he was and he is. As the years went by I found it endearing to know that “my first time” with Morricone was like the game of “Two Minutes of Temptations”. To have enjoyed something of the most absolute ignorance and when you become aware your head explodes.
A couple of weeks ago I happened to be zapping and found Jaws 2 on Channel Thirteen and it is one of these movies that no matter if it is started, you end up watching it until the end. The surprise was that once the sequel to Jaws was over, it started without leaving to breathe the final credits and in a glorious double programming a new discovery, ORCA, THE KILLING WHALE. My surprise was to discover among the credits the name of Ennio Morricone signing the music. Obviously this was more than enough reason to continue in front of the TV for a while longer. The film was quite poor and I was only interested in how the maestro used the little music that he had composed. A shameless exploitation of Jaws, as shameless as THE ANTICHRIST might be of Friedkin’s The Exorcist, and that Morricone himself would close the circle by composing the sequel (EXORCIST II). In the OST of THE ANTICHRIST he shared credits with Bruno Nicolai. Discovering the composer in such disparate works only confirmed the unmanageability of his work and his talent, making him a total composer.
Giallo, “Stuff” and the Lycanthrope…
The genre of Giallo cannot be understood without these names: Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci or Mario Bava (I know of some more too). They all have in common Ennio Morricone.
The master is undoubtedly part of that golden age of Italian fantasy and horror films in the 70s. His mastery and not chance made his music remain forever in such important titles as FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET, A LIZZARD IN A WOMAN’S SKIN or THE CAT O’ NINE TAILS, to mention a few. Not only for fashion or the golden age of the Giallo, Morricone was creating music, he was faithful to Dario Argento in the 90’s in productions like THE STENDHAL SYNDROME or THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. In short, it cannot be denied that he was a free soul and faithful to his unclassifiable style.
All the above mentioned can be either unknown to the great majority or simply overshadowed by the one that is and will be remembered as the greatest contribution to terror by the Italian composer: THE THING of another master as John Carpenter is. A perfect combination that they formed to give us a masterpiece.
WOLF perhaps generates more rejection than sympathy. I’m one of those who finds virtues in Mike Nichols’ film and I enjoy the score that gives it emotional and deep sensations compared to other films that are dedicated to reinforcing tension and not to creating conflicts in the character himself.
We have enjoyed it
That phrase was the first one I wrote to friends while I was still in shock with the news of his death. It referred to how lucky I/we have felt to have been able to attend one of his last concerts. Getting the tickets and seeing him live almost for the last time (since the farewell was announced in June 2019 in Rome) was and is a pleasure close to the one Steve Kerr felt when he scored against the Utah Jazz. Knowing that you have a chance, and take it to get success. You feel like you are going to attend an event that will always be remembered; something magical and you shouldn’t put “buts” in it, or at least I didn’t. I enjoyed it very much and crossed it off my list of dreams to fulfill.
Fine A Sempre Padrone
One of the two best composers has left and there is no debate about that. A genius who made films with his notes. A name recognizable by all and even by those who have no knowledge of film music.
Maestro, you leave a huge void that no one can fill. But you also leave us a rich heritage with the smell of gunpowder from the desert of Almeria, the immensity of the Iguazu Falls, the intense red of the blood of the Giallo, the faith, the criticism, the Prohibition in Chicago, we are left with those days in Sodom and the snow on the way to Red Rock.
We are left with the look and nostalgia of Totò every time we look at his work. Thank you for so much and so good.
So long, maestro.
Filmmaker and photographer
Reme Díaz (Passionate about movies and soundtracks)
When someone we don’t know in person but who means so much for our lives leaves us, we try to find a way to express with words this void. We rummage through news that summarize his biography, information, anecdotes that make up the character or some powerful words that he himself left us before leaving: “I, Ennio Morricone, have died”.
Faced with that certainty that we still can’t believe it, we found other messages, tweets, comments on social media in which that character, that Maestro, that “sullen” but deep human being, is shown to us not only by what he did but by the mark that he left in us. It is then when we discover in others the words we were searching for, what has evoked in our existence someone who with his music filled the emptiness to, in his own words, narrate what couldn’t be told in images.
And that’s because music has such universal binding power. Thousands have reacted to Morricone’s death by remembering special moments in their lives or their loved ones. I recently listened to the main theme of The Mission, conducted by the Maestro himself, and I couldn’t help but shudder, not only because of his music, but because he always reminds me of those early discoveries of soundtracks in my childhood and how they were admired by my mother and grandmother, even without watching the movie or being big movie buffs or music lovers. You don’t have to be that to get that “film music”, as he liked to say, ignites that emotion and spreads until we get goosebumps.
With those memories we stay, beyond the fact that such inspiring people have disappeared. Memories are so whimsical. They hide those frames that we insist on censoring, and when we least expect it, they’ll make us cry when they appear projected like stolen kisses in an abandoned cinema.
Passionate about movies and soundtracks
She writes at the blog Theendornotblog.wordpress.com
Collaborating writer in SoundTrackFest & Metodologic.Net
Sergio Hardasmal (Revista Acción Magazine/Writer)
Ennio Morricone and I
I grew up glued to a Super-8 projector. Together with my childhood friend we used to help his father project films in a number of locations in my town. They were my upstairs neighbors. We would load the projector, a sound amplifier, the coils… everything fit miraculously into a tiny car that would take us to deliver magic to a thousand places and to really diverse audiences. Years later, my neighbor burned his hands when an old nitrate coil was lit. It was an old film he had been handling and was highly flammable. I grew up watching him go through the rolls of film and how, just by pressing the start lever, the light would come on and the magic of cinema would begin. All of this, together with the special sessions of the morning cinema of my childhood, and formats such as Beta video, made me a film buff to the core, without being able to avoid feeling identified to some extent with the characters of Cinema Paradiso.
I grew up with the B series movies, the Spaghetti Western, the Giallo… and with Ennio Morricone, an important figure in my unconditional love for cinema and its music. And not only for being the author of the soundtracks of several of my favorite films, such as Once Upon a Time in America, Once Upon a Time in the West, Duck You Sucker, etc, but because I lived endless hours discovering forgotten reels, many of them low-cost co-productions of terror and mystery where the great Roman composer made the audience uncomfortable with his enigmatic sounds, his feminine and sensual voices, his strange mix of sounds and styles… All of this took place in the projections of our private cinema club, where any format served to spend an unforgettable afternoon, with copies in Super 8, 16 mm or 35 mm that were sometimes very spoiled, but that also excited us.
Ennio Morricone was always a genius capable of making me feel a thousand sensations; that’s why I associate him with something in the gut and not just in the heart. The bird with the Crystal Plumage, The cat o’ nine tails, Chi l’ha vista morire?, A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin, Spasmo… there are so many films that are suggestive of that special European cinema… and so many the sound discoveries from my childhood… A childhood in which many of us recorded music directly from the television and on cassette tape. I also recorded it in my private cinema. And I can consider myself enormously lucky because I had (and still have) access to my own projection room and to feel that enormous love for cinema and music.
For all this, Ennio Morricone will always be much more than The Mission or The Untouchables. Morricone represents a multipurpose magic, with his own recognizable style, personality and craft. A composer capable of moving me with symphonic, romantic, and silky themes, with atonal and dark pieces, with pop tracks and commercial rhythms. Any kind of registry or genre always had a place in his unique and special universe. A whole enigmatic world that was always of enormous inspiration for other authors. It would be very extensive the amount of examples that I could enumerate of how I found references to Morricone here and there. Small findings that always moved me and made me love his music even more. But I’ll cite one, which is usually the one that always comes first to mind: that episode from a lovely Nani Moretti film, Caro Diario, in which the director and some friends, on their way to the island of Stromboli, make reference to the Maestro and his unforgettable central theme of Duck You Sucker, perhaps my favorite soundtrack of his. When you love film music in an inexplicable way and with true passion, it’s when harmless anecdotes like this one in particular move you to something inside that cannot be described with words.
I have been lucky enough to attend two concerts by Ennio Morricone. The first one in Seville, where he presented his soundtrack for The Legend of 1900. There I could approach him for the usual photo that would later be a treasure, as well as to ask for some autographs. It was just the day before I got married.
My friends will always joke about it, but I understood going to that date with the Maestro as something natural: Ennio Morricone in concert two hours from my house… how could I miss it? It was a unique occasion. Decades later I could see an aged Morricone, physically damaged but still a living legend. It was in Madrid during his farewell tour. We were all convinced that it wouldn’t be the last one. Morricone seemed eternal and even today I think he is. Indeed: his music is, and the myth will never die.
Revista Acción Magazine
Author of the books “La Música de Basil Poledouris” &
“John Barry, de James Bond a la Eternidad”
Tony Alicante Spain (Listening to music)
He leaves, his music stays…
Unanimous condolences in the world of music, the legacy and the mark he has left will go down in history as one of the best composers of the 20th – 21st centuries. I will try to go beyond mentioning his most famous and essential works.
Ennio worked for films of several nationalities, including may Spanish ones, and I want to emphasize, since I am also very devoted to everything that has to do with “the history of the Spanish Civil War” his work in The End of a Mystery left a mark on me, especially its final song.
Right now I’m regretting not having been attentive and more active and having seriously proposed to attend live some of the last concerts that Ennio Morricone gave for example in Bilbao or Madrid… the only live concert I’ve seen of him is the “Live in Venice” of 2007 at home on TV and with sound in DTS 5.1, and it’s a different feeling… (which doesn’t have to be worse)…
The first soundtrack of Ennio Morricone that really marked me and the one I will have heard more, as the movie, was “The Untouchables” which I got shortly after watching the film, the theme “The strenght of the righteous” as “Al Capone”, totally descriptive of the character he mentions, or the most emotional melody “four friends” that sounds after Malone died wrapped in the arms of Elliot Ness. Not many years later, in the 90’s, Tele 5 (Spanish TV channel) used the main orchestral theme of “The Untouchables” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Pd35CrRHVU) as a tune for the headline of the film “5 stars”, which was always broadcast on Friday nights. It should be noted that life then was not like now that you give 2 clicks to the mouse and put the movie you want, there are many times I saw that header before the movie that was supposed to be special one (this did not always happen).
The Mission is another of his most acclaimed works. I saw this film as a child, during the rest hours at school and advised by our music teacher, and I remember saying after seeing it “I thought it was a shit, a boring movie, but the music is really cool”. The themes stayed with me and although I have never seen the film again, the soundtrack has been listened to on countless occasions… it is also worth mentioning, as it is something that rarely happens, that the film is a big failure at the box office (and almost a critical failure as well) and the soundtrack, unexpectedly, a success and this is only achieved by geniuses like Vangelis in “1492: Conquest of Paradise” or Ennio Morricone in this “The Mission”.
Ennio also with several of his compositions has crossed the audiovisual world and gotten more recognition for the world of music in general, and so, it is not surprising that even the Heavy-metal band Metallica made a cover of his piece “The ecstasy of gold” for his concerts with the San Francisco orchestra “S&M 1 and 2”.
As an additional anecdote I would like to tell you that while I played the long game of the west Red Dead Redemption (I mean the 1… on 2 it changed the thing for much better) and although the soundtrack of this one in isolated listening did delight me, I didn’t like how it was implemented in the game with too many “silences/unmusicalized moments”, so I didn’t hesitate to put a pendrive with a very wide compilation (about 200 songs…) of Ennio Morricone’s movies of the west that accompanied me during the very long hours of the game. It’s one of the few times I’ve played videogames without having their own original soundtrack in the background.
However, the name and the legacy that Ennio Morricone leaves to the history of music is immense and although we will not hear anything new from him, do not doubt that his songs will continue to be heard and revered, look for example to Quentin Tarantino, who in almost all his films has purchased the license to use some of his unforgettable themes.
Tony Alicante Spain
Listening to music which is the gymnastics of the soul