White Balloon

Daily Journal of Mahaan, an Iranian-American student residing in USA.

Friday, February 04, 2005

A soundtrack of my life

Have you ever felt that a piece of art or works of an artist are very close to your character, life story and mentality that in someway you see a reflection of your characterisrics in that piece of art? I once did and after that many works of that artist became the soundtrack of my life story. I tasted many of the critical moments of my life with that music and in some ways it became part of my mentality. Tonight I’m writing about Ennio Morricone, the Italian composer of over 500 films with icon works such as Cinema Paradiso, The Mission, Once upon a time in America, etc.

It was first my passion to music, specially romanic pieces of classical music. And then cinema came into my life and golden years of discovering the avant-garde cinema of France, Italy, Germen Expressionism, and Independent Cinema of USA. And then soundtrack music merged these two passions for me. And one day: I watched the American movie: The Mission, directed by Roland Jaffe. A movie about the massacre of parts of the American Indians and the efforts of two white priests who tried to help the Indians to get out of white’s slavery system. The movie was nice, with a great performance of Robert Denioro. But the music was truly a heaven for me. An unbelievable strong voice of the chores and an incredible mapping of characters into musical instruments. It’s difficult to imagine how many times I played the final closing of the movie and listened to the music of the end title. It was almost impossible to find the soundtrack of this film in the regular Iranian music stores as most of western products did not enter the country through official and legal channels. In the coming months, I finally got a copy of the Mission’s soundtrack cassette. And man that was a real treat!
And then I saw Cinema Paradiso and that movie itself was a magic work. Now imagine that it had Morricone’s music on top of it! I guess I should spend a separate posting to write about Cinema Paradiso and the passion that I have towards that movie (I guess I have watched this movie over 20 times).

Most of these events happened when I was 15 years old and since then the sound track of my life is still some selective works of Mr. Morricone. My sense and understanding of love and passion, most of my successes and losses are merged with different chord’s of Morricone’s wonderful music.

Morricone is a master of creativity in melody and visual music. His music is so much filled with the sense of nostalgia and poetry that takes you away to your personal islands and keeps you there for while. Some times I think maybe my passion for his music is only because I am a very nostalgic and probably romantic person. But honestly more than nostalgia and romanticism, I have always found my idealism towards the state of human being and my personal passion for a better world in his music. And there is also another reason for me to be passionate with his works: Most of Morricone’s work that I enjoy are attached to beautiful movies which are filled with passion and love for life and humanity. The interactions of these memories create a unique sense of enjoyment for me that is not always easy to find in other forms of art (at least for me).
I should admit that although I have lived with some parts of Morricone’s music, there exist a large volume of Morricone’s works that I don’t enjoy at all. Part of the reason is that Mr. Morricone is busiest film composer of our time who has composed over 500 soundstracks in the past 4 decades and of course many of those works are commercial.

Last Fall, YoYoMa’, the great Chinese-American cellist played a great selection of Mr. Morricone’s work with Morricone’s hometown orchestra and published a memorable unique CD named “Yo-Yo-Ma plays Morricone”. Although I have lived with the original version of Morricone’s CD for years, I should say that Yo-Yo-Ma’s performance was totally a new experience of beautiful music. Ma’s Cello performance of Morricone’s music is a perfect appreciation of his music that only a master like Yo-Yo-Ma is capable of such a work. I should say to anyone who enjoys Morricone’s music or is interested to learn about the extreme beauty of his work: I fully recommend listening to this CD!
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