One of my favorite composers of music for movies died today - John Barry. Unknowingly I was first exposed to his music in the movie "Born Free" the soundtrack of which my parents played quite a bit at home.
I think I was in eighth grade when a friend and I sneaked into a movie theatre to watch the James Bond movie "You Only Live Twice." That was my first concious exposure to John Barry's music and I was blown away.
"On Her Majesty's Secret Service" quickly followed (I love that score) and soon I was a John Barry collector. His simplicity and depth, his wide expanses of sound and delicate touches, as well as sense of humor, shall be missed.
Rest quietly, John Barry.
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.
He was one of the 'modern' greats of film scoring. I remember reading about him in one of my film scoring bio books. He grew up in a real live Cinema Paradiso environment; his folks ran a movie theater and he was bitten by the perfect marraige of film and music from an early age.
Also in the book was the story of the fantastic turn of events that created one of the most enduring and iconic pieces of film music ever composed: The James Bond Theme. The producers of "Dr. No" had contracted Monty Norman to score the film. Dissatisfied with the direction his score was going, the producers asked Barry to see what he could come up with over a weekend (he had by now had some stature as a jazz and pop arranger). Voila ... the weekend piece was "The James Bond Theme"! Norman, due to the prior contractual obligation, is given credit for this piece as well as the score ... but everyone who knows film music knows it was Barry who wrote the cue and practically invented the modern spy music genre.