Monday, June 29, 2009

Book Excerpt of the Day

Jerry Goldsmith’s outstanding score for 100 Rifles (’69) is very experimental and dynamic, and doesn’t seem to have much in common with Hollywood’s Golden Age westerns or Ennio Morricone’s re-imaging of the sagebrush sound. As is his wonderful habit, Goldsmith pits cacophonous brass against clamorous percussion on the riveting “Escape and Pursuit”. And who else but Goldsmith would use detuned guitar and bass along with prepared piano in a western? The effect is strangely sinister and mysterious (“The Church”), and highly suggestive of mounting danger (“Ready for Ambush”). It’s an awesome display of the composer’s ability to re-imagine the western sound in Morricone’s wake. If one must limit their western soundtrack collection to a single Goldsmith score 100 Rifles should be the one.

– from Chapter 4: Staccato Six-Guns of Kristopher Spencer’s Film and Television Scores, 1950-1979

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