Monday, March 13, 2006

Ennio Morricone - Crime and Dissonance

Ennio Morricone, "Corsa Sui Tetti (from The Bird With the Crystal Plumage)"

Ennio Morricone, "Forza G (Quella Donna) (from Forza G)"

Ennio Morricone, "Astrazione Con Ritmo (from Il Serpente)"

Ennio Morricone, "Ric Happening (from Metti Una Sera A Cena)"

As I mentioned in the last post, Ennio Morricone was possibly the most prolific composer for films ever. Having scored more than 500 films, he has quite a catalog and lots of compilations dedicated to his music. Unfortunately, many of them cover the same ground, highlighting his early work on the spaghetti westerns or his later work on famous films by Coppola, Scorcese and Tarantino.

This CD, Crime and Dissonance, attempts to remedy that by highlighting some of the experimental pieces that Morricone produced during his career, especially on lesser-known Italian films of the 1970s. It's an impressive project, lovingly put together by Mike Patton and his label, Ipecac Records. John Zorn, one of my all-time favorites and our next music upload, does the liner notes (they are very brief, which was disappointing). Alan Bishop of Sun City Girls fame compiled the music. The booklet features beautiful stills from the various represented on the two discs.

As you can tell, this is the work of some of the biggest names in the avant garde, conjuring up images of noise and weirdness. It never gets that far out, although it is clear that Morricone was willing to try any instrument or sound to achieve the right music for a particular scene. The music, again, holds up incredibly well outside of the context of the movies, elevating Morricone to the status of composer, not just a film composer. I prefer the more famous works done for the westerns, posted up yesterday, but would recommend this CD for anyone interested in getting a broader perspective on Morricone or fans of experimental music.

-The films represented on these CDs are just the type that the International House's film series would show in Philadelphia. Sam Adams has an article in this week's Philadelphia City Paper on the change at the top there and the struggle to have a film repertory series in Philly. It was an eye-opener, as I really didn't know much about this program and have always complained at the lack of film options in this city. Now that we know, we're going to show lots of love.

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