Thank you, John Barry.
I woke up this morning to a tangible sense of loss upon hearing of the passing of the great John Barry. This composer’s music (and a composer is what he is–we needn’t qualify the title with descriptions like “film” or “movie” or “soundtrack”) has been an integral part of my life since I was a little girl. Most of my favorite composers have been dead for 200 years, give or take a few; Barry, though of a different generation from mine, is a contemporary–his passing affects me differently. I’ve known and loved his music for as long as I can remember, and felt excited that music of this caliber was written in my lifetime. There is not a single instance that listening to his music didn’t move me, melt me or amaze me. My husband knows better than to try to strike up any conversation with me when I’m listening to “We Have All the Time in the World,” or the theme from Frances, or the Dances with Wolves soundtrack or his great jazzy 90s album, The Beyondness of Things. As with all great music, none of this is background noise; listening to it is the activity and the goal. Zulu, Midnight Cowboy, Goldfinger, From Russia with Love, among dozens of others…his contribution to music and film will be fondly treasured.
For some biographical info and a nice little tribute to Barry, check out this article posted on The Guardian’s website, “John Barry: The composer who was as pop as The Beatles.”