Saturday, November 11, 2006

RIP: Basil Poledouris



They say movies are not real. It's probably true. Maybe. But one thing is inarguable: the music that composers like the great Basil Poledouris have created for movies have nothing unreal about them. Basil wrote genuine music that spoke from his heart. Basil's inspiration and effect on me is real. The excitement he created is real. And the effect he had on me growing up will resonate until the day I die.

Whether it was the mighty power I felt listening to his forceful choral in Conan the Barabarian (one of the greatest scores of all time) while running, whether it was the incredible blend of orchestra, electronics, and Russian choir in "The Hunt For Red October" pumping in my headphones while I sat next to my brother flying over the city lights in the little airplane from Columbus to wherever. Whether it was the soaring arpeggios recreating Basil's love for the ocean and sailing in "Wind" and "Free Willy", or the innocent romantic colors of "The Blue Lagoon" that made me fall in love every time. Or the unbelievably heartbreakingly beautiful Western scores for "Lonesome Dove" and "Quigly Down Under"... the complexity of action and sadness in "Robocop"... his love for animals came through in scores like "Jungle Book" and "Lassie". Basil was one of the handful of compsers who had their own unique musical voice. Not someone who stole from others or copied certain styles.

Basil's music played an enourmous part in my life. In my dreams, many times I hoped to work with him one day. And now another one of my childhood heroes has left us. Cancer took Basil Poledouris on Nov. 8.

But like Michael Kamen and Jerry Goldsmith and all the great creators who've made the world a better place for the many they've inspired, Basil will be immortal. He will live on forever through his music.

To get a glimpse of his immense music, watch this tribute/collage of some of his work:

  • Basil Poledouris Music Tribute
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