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There was a time when music for film wasn’t just a generic background for the visuals on screen.
Sadly, that is what I think of most modern film scores.
Very few original soundtracks have moved me in the last couple of years.
One exception being Jonny Greenwood’s compositions for Paul Thomas Andersons film “There Will Be Blood”.
I often return to the work of the 1960’s and 1970’s era film composers.
Without a doubt, the output from that period is far more than just background for film.
It was a real golden age of music.
It’s not a surprise Quentin Tarentino always picks from that era to add a sense of larger than life to his films.
To me, the Italians were in a league of their own.
They were amazingly prolific and boldly original.
It’s hard to believe that the bass line opening of Ennio Morricone’s “Mystic and Severe” is from 1967.
It sounds eternally hip and fresh, timeless.
I also admire that composers like Stelvio Cipriani have always approached their work with all the professionalism of a classic composer.
Even for the weakest of Joe D’Amato exploitation flicks.
A further influence of mine would be the omnipresence of Alain Goraguers score in the philosophical sci-fi French cartoon “Fantastic Planet”.
This score blurs the line between music for film or film for music.
It is definitively one of the best unknown soundtracks out there.
I also pay great respect to John Carpenter and Alejandro Jodorowsky.
Who often composed the scores in their films as well as directing them.
Which was, and still is not, a common practice.
They approached this process as merely an extension of the film makers creative process.
This was a time when even the lowest grade productions were calling a professional composer to score their film.
It was not uncommon for very obscure films to often give birth to the best film music.
This just goes to show how much respect these filmmakers had for the art.
Unfortunately, all too often many of the original movies have been forgotten.
Although, a great number of their soundtracks still survive and stand the test of time today.
As a musician, I couldn’t resist the temptation of re-interpreting some of these film scores.
I hope you’ll enjoy this second volume of Revisiting Obscure Film Music.
– Frank Rideau