TamTam Books News

Tuesday, February 24, 2004:

For those who know or dare to speak to me know that I am a huge Morricone fan. So I was thrilled to see this interview on the Observer website. The bad news is that it is not such a great interview. Now if it was me....but sadly it wasn't me asking the questions. But nevertheless here's the interview between David Arnold and the master Ennio Morricone:


David Arnold meets Ennio Morricone

David Arnold, the man who put the 'oo' back into 007 as one of Britain's leading film-score composers, asks the great Ennio Morricone about writing the music for spaghetti westerns, the perils of fame, cooking and the nature of comedy

Sunday February 22, 2004
The Observer

David Arnold: Does the music in shopping centres and elevators annoy you?

Ennio Morricone: Any kind of music that is aimed at a distracted listener annoys me, regardless of who wrote it.

DA: With the Sergio Leonedirected movies of the American West, at what point did you start hearing whistling, distorted electric guitars and screaming choirs? Was that an approach you had thought of previously and were waiting for a suitable film to support?

EM: The music I composed for Sergio Leone's films was specifically inspired by the films themselves. After the first, and on Leone's encouragement, I repeated myself stylistically somewhat, while improving the actual essence of the music.

DA: You have scored hundreds of movies. Which were the biggest disappointments and which were your favourites to work on?

EM: I never answer questions like these.

DA: Well, having scored so many, what is it about a movie that would make you spend so much time and effort writing another?

EM: Passion for music, which my life.

DA: Many of your film scores are for European productions. Do you have an opinion on contemporary Hollywood film-making?

EM: When I work with top American directors I feel there is no real difference compared to working with European directors, as far as the music is concerned.

DA: Were you ever tempted, asked or advised to move to Hollywood? I've stayed in London; I think the music is more challenging here. You don't have the fear of God if your name isn't on a 'coming soon' poster every three months.

EM: You're right. I was offered a villa in Hollywood but I declined. I'd rather work at home, in Rome, where I have everything I need and feel more at ease.

DA: Has anyone influenced you musically or otherwise in your life?

EM: All the great composers of the past, whose work I absorbed and digested - Bach, Palestrina, Stravinsky - while remaining loyal, I think, to my own ideas and stylistic signatures.

DA: Can you cook? What's your speciality?

EM: No.

DA: Your music has influenced many contemporary musicians, many in the world of electronic music. Do you have an opinion of any artists working today?

EM: I have nothing to say on these artists - but I'm pleased to see that my music is both appreciated and useful.

DA: Are you aware of the revolution that is happening with computer and music software?

EM: I'm aware of the progress being made and I try not to witness it passively.

DA: Do you consider your work in music unfinished?

EM: I don't consider it as finished, quite the contrary. I feel I'm at the beginning in terms of enthusiasm, passion and research.

DA: Many of your concerts contain very progressive and challenging work. Your recent concerts to celebrate your seventy-fifth birthday were programmed as a sort of greatest hits evening. Do you have favourite pieces?

EM: All those that were performed, and many more that couldn't be.

DA: What would the 25- year-old Ennio Morricone think of the 75-year-old Morricone, and vice versa?

EM: I've always been very passionate about my work, and have always done my best; so I would have a good opinion of myself.

DA: Film composers can be musically recognisable and hugely influential but completely anonymous personally. Was the concept of being famous ever appealing to you?

EM: No.

DA: Mr Morricone, what makes you laugh out loud?

EM: Crafty and intelligent jokes.

Tosh // 10:32 PM

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