I Do Declare: A musical genius has departed this world

I was saddened to hear news that Ennio Morricone died today.

The man was a brilliant composer, with an amazing 520 credits (per IMDB.com) going back to 1960. He was well recognized for his art: 91 nominations and 83 wins, though only one Oscar among them.

Helpful IMDB Trivia informs me that he refused to move to Hollywood, despite being offered a villa by a studio more than once, and lived his entire life in Italy. He was married to the same woman for 64 years (staying away from Hollywood may have helped in that regard), and they had four children. I’m not sure which of these details is more impressive. His steadfastness is to be admired.

His music always feels so haunting – in a good way. It follows me around, seizing me at the most unexpected times, and eventually settles into my soul. I have no doubt I am more enlightened because of it, a touch closer to God, perhaps.

Morricone once said, “You can’t save a bad movie with a good score.” That’s an insightful commentary on the movie industry, but I like to think of it as a metaphor for life as well – if we think of “the movie” as our words/actions and “the score” as the façades we often display. It’s likely that his comment was meant to be taken at face value – a note about the industry – rather than metaphorically. That’s fine. I present my interpretation as one more example of his ability to burrow into my consciousness.

It’s difficult to choose one favorite out of his vast body of work, but if pressed, I’d have to pick “The Ecstasy of Gold,” from the movie “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.”

Here’s the man himself, conducting this magnificent piece of work:

And here’s the version from the soundtrack:

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