Sunday, April 05, 2009

RIP Maurice Jarre

I love movies. I am fascinated by the whole process of making movies, and I am one of those people who actually sit in the theater when everyone else has cleared out so I can read the credits.

One aspect of movies to which I often pay attention is the movie's score. The score is the music that plays in the background during various scenes. If the scene is exciting, the score will be driving and fast-paced. If the scene is sad, the score will slow down and convey the seriousness of the moment.

Famous scores include the simple yet ominous two-notes of the Jaws theme and the inspiring brass of the Indiana Jones movies; both written by John Williams. Or who could forget the electronica-based scores of numerous movies from the early to mid-1980s, such as Chariots of Fire, Blade Runner, and The Bounty? I also cannot fail to mention the haunting boys choir vocals that set the mood for the Civil War movie, Glory. Oooh, one more: the Back to the Future score by Alan Silvestri. That one is a classic in my book.

There are some musical scorers who have stood the test of time and worked in the business so long that they had the opportunity to dabble in different styles of scores. Maurice Jarre is one of those people. He wrote the drum and brass-heavy score for Lawrence of Arabia, the depressing score for Doctor Zhivago, and the electronica-heavy score for Witness - the "Amish" movie with Harrison Ford.

Maurice Jarre died the other day. His work is what, from an early age, inspired me to begin paying attention in the first place to who wrote the music to all those movies. Check out a rundown of his life's work and see if there is a movie whose musical score might have moved you.

Good Day to You, Sir

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