Upon the release of Quentin Tarantino’s latest instalment ‘The Hateful Eight’ much of the hype surrounding the movie came from the directors decision to shoot on 70mm film and release it as a ultrapanavision experience.
For music fans however, perhaps the most exciting prospect was that the film would feature an original score by Hollywood Legend ‘Ennio Morricone’.
It is certainly not the first time the 87 year olds music has been featured in a Tarantino movie, but to have the Italian maestro compose an original soundtrack for a Western, perhaps for the first time since his pivotal collaborations with Sergio Leone in the 1960’s and 70’s, left little doubt that he would be graced with his first Academy Award for an original score. And after 6 previous nominations it was about time.
Much of the material for ‘The Hateful Eight’ soundtrack came from left over pieces composed by Morricone for 1982’s ‘The Thing’.
‘The Thing’ shares an almost similar story to ‘The Hateful Eight’ in the sense that it features a group of individuals confined to a small space in a snowy surrounding, shadowed by the constant threat of violence and much of that atmosphere is created by Morricone’s dark, rising textures and clever use of instrumentation to create an unsettling nature in many of the films scenes.
Although these days many hollywood movie scores focus heavily on experimentation and abstract uses of melody and rhythm to create pieces of music of increasing complexity, 2015 was a great year for a more ‘old school’ simplistic approach to composition writing, and it is fantastic to see the likes of John Williams and Ennio Morricone still at the forefront of film composition. There will always be a place for rich, emotive, storytelling music in movies.
Oscars 2016 Winners in Sound / Music Categories
Best Sound Editing – Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Sound Mixing – Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Original Score – Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight
Best Original Song – ‘Writings on The Wall’, Spectre