I love soundtracks. When I want to wake up in the English countryside and imagine for a moment I am Marianne Dashwood, I pop "Sense and Sensibility" into my CD alarm clock. When I am having a glass of red wine and getting ready to go out? A little Nino Rota please. For fantasizing that I am in a riding a train across the Italian countryside? Ennio Morricone.
But it all started with John Barry. It was high school and I would burn candles in my bedroom, pining away for some surfer boy, listening to my 33 of Somewhere in Time on my stereo. (For the youngins, a 33 was a big round black thing with a hole in the middle that we used to use to play music.) I was a hopeless (key word) romantic and I loved it.
College was all about the soundtrack to Out of Africa and part of that was that in 1989 I had gotten to go to Kenya with my family. It was one of the great experiences in my life and that soundtrack reminded me of being in Africa. (And Robert Redford.)
So, last Friday I am lying on a table in the acupuncturist's office, in a little white paper gown listening to "Classical KUSC" on Dr. Yu's boombox. Actually, it sounds more like an old transistor radio since it gets fuzzy every time Dr. Yu walks by. Anyhow, the announcer came on and said, "With the Oscars Sunday we are going to pay tribute to John Barry who passed in January, by playing a medley of his music." Whaaaa? John Barry? Where was I? I had no idea.
Lying there, the music started to play and my eyes welled up, spilling tears into my ears ... the sense memory was overwhelming. Music will do that. There I was, lying on my back, half naked, in my little white paper gown, acupuncture needles quivering, trying not to go into full blown sobs and freak out my sweet and very reserved acupuncturist.
I took deep breaths and let the music (and the memories) wash over me.
Music is an outburst of the soul.
Thank you John Barry!
More Out of Africa
Somewhere in Time
Other Favorite Mostly Instrumental Soundtracks
Passion: Music for the Last Temptation of Christ Peter Gabriel (amazing!)
The Mission Ennio Morricone
Cinema Paradiso Ennio Morricone (all time fave!)
Schindler's List John William's with Itzak Perlman playing
Breakfast at Tiffany's Henry Mancini (fab-u-lous!)
Braveheart James Horner
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon Tan Dun with Yo Yo Ma playing
Seven Years in Tibet John Williams
Powaqqatsi Philip Glass
The Ultimate Best of Fellini & Rota Nino Rota (Any of his scores!)
Il Postino Luis Bacalov
Frida Elliot Goldenthal
Big Night (OK there are vocals on a few, but this is a great one!)
Smile from Modern Times by Itzhk Perlman (iTunes)
Obviously there are other amazing film scores like Gone With the Wind but they are so attached to the visuals for me that they just make me want to sit down and watch the movie. Like Star Wars, for instance. :)
Do you have any favorite film scores?
Take a music bath
once or twice a week for a few seasons.
You will find it is to the soul
what water bath is to the body.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes