Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pins and needles ... and John Barry

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.

~Frederick Delius

Thank you John Barry!

More Out of Africa

Somewhere in Time

Other Favorite Mostly Instrumental Soundtracks

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


Unknown said...

Great all times music.
Thank you for sharing.

jane said...

i loved the music from missing with sissy spacek. but i´ve never been able to find it. it´s really beautiful if you ever get the chance, :)

Candy said...

Thank you for this post, Lucinda. I've enjoyed listening to a few minutes of the soundtrack from Out of Africa. What a great way to start my day. The Holmes quote on music is wonderful.

Loree said...

What great tracks. I am going to have to listen so some of them because I am not familiar with all of them. I love the soundtrack from Fellini's Romeo and Juliet and the soundtrack of Lord Of The Rings. There are so many brilliant ones that is is hard to stop but I will :)

KathyA said...

At least you were in the right place for treatment!

Joyti said...

Great stuff. I'm not familiar with John Barry, so thank you for the introduction.

A Brush with Color said...

Oh, I didn't realize John Barry had died either! Sad! I love so many of the list you made. I'm also a hopeless romantic--I have them on my iPod for moments when I want to have Calgon take me away.

I like "Il Postino," too. And the flip side of that is all Neruda's poems recited by actors--wonderful!

A Brush with Color said...

Oh--I see you DO list Il Postino! I also love Schindler's list, but hesitated to mention it, thinking some would find it sad, but I find it so moving--love it. It's also on my iPod.

I also like the music from "Green Card!"

A Brush with Color said...

OK, and Moonstruck, too!

Cobalt Violet said...

Thanks for the comments!

Jane, I will definitely have to check out Missing!

Loree, I forgot about Romeo and Juliet! That was the second piece of music I ever learned on the harp! I will have to take a listen to Lord of the Rings. I remember thinking it was beautiful watching the movies.

Suzanne- I will have to check out Green Card -LOVE Moonstruck! That's a great one!

Kerry O'Gorman said...

Be still my beating heart! The soundtrack from 'Out of Africa' is a regular on my cd player...I am always amazed at how much a soundtrack can make you hear music in a different light. I never much liked The Beach Boys but after I saw an odd movie called "It's all gone Pete Tong", 'Good Vibrations' had a whole other meaning! If you do watch this one, give it a good's worth the story (true by the way)