Tributes pour in for Ennio Morricone

The legendary Italian composer has passed away aged 91


Words by: Felicity Martin

Legendary film composer Ennio Morricone sadly passed away in Rome today, aged 91.

The Oscar-winning musician’s spaghetti western soundtracks for films like ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ helped to define the genre.

Throughout his career he scored over 500 movies, producing scores for Quentin Tarantino, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Terrence Malick, and Brian De Palma, among others.

Metallica, El-P and Goldfrapp are among the many artists leading tributes to the iconic musician today – read a selection below.


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It’s a sad day indeed when a cultural titan like Ennio Morricone bids us farewell. It seems crass to say that he wrote around 520 soundtracks in his time, as though that is any metric by which to gauge success. This is both reductive and only one part of the picture. The real proof is in how his music engaged the listener/ viewer in an emotional way. The world mourns today because of this connection. A Hollywood studio once offered to buy a house in California for him, most probably in the interests of keeping him close to hand. An attempt at access and expediency. Morricone refused, preferring the stately elegance of Rome’s amphitheatres, aqueducts and archways. This speaks volumes about the man’s priorities. He knew exactly what he wanted. I particularly loved that he collaborated with The Pet Shop Boys on “It Couldn’t Happen Here” — combining his soaring string arrangements with Neil Tennant’s usual arch observational lyrics to form a fascinating, heartbreaking song about the impact of AIDS upon a generation. Any mention of Ennio immediately reminds of my close friend Bonar @pbrstreetgang knowing as I do, how much Bonar adores Morricone’s work. A lifetime of intense devotion to his craft, yielding countless moments of alchemy between form and function. A beautiful legacy. Rest In Peace, Ennio Morricone

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