The Literary Salon

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Location: Toronto, now Ottawa, Ont, Canada

Sunday, June 17, 2007

RIP, Basil

No, not Basil Fawlty.
I just found out today that that Basil Poledouris, a not too well known composer of film scores, died about six months ago. I don't know what else he did, but his greatest works were the scores to the films Conan the Barbarian, Robocop, and Hunt for Red October. Though many don't remember the first of these movies, which featured a younger, buffer, Arnold Scwharzenegger (I grew up with the film, so it has a nostalgic value for me), many consider the score to be one of the best epic film scores ever.

In the future, when I have time, I may compare him to one of my favourite 20th century composers, Aram Khatchaturian. Listening to some of the latter's more epic pieces leads me to believe that Basil was influenced by him. Growing up in mid-2oth century America, Basil would likely have been familiar with him as Khatchaturian was a household name in America at the time (also, I believe, the only composer ever to have a top 40 hit on the radio).

Though Basil was not as prolific or well-known as, say, James Horner, I think he composed some of the greatest epic music. His music will be difficult to find, but that's what Limewire is for :)

Oddly enough, Basil was born in, of all places, Kansas City, Missouri. His name must have stuck out like a sore thumb in the heartland of America, especially back in the day.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Ranylt said...

Damn right Conan's got a great score--some of us can't play a good round of D&D without throwing on the old soundtrack.

I wish I were kidding.

(A, I own the film--you can borrow it any time.)

5:47 PM  

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