September 1, 2018

ASTS 016: Listening To… John Barry

Welcome to the next new episode of the podcast! In this episode, my topic is the unmistakable and always resonant music of the unrivaled, brilliant, often imitated but never duplicated John Barry. His unique and indelible film scores have elevated every project for which he composed, from the James Bond series to DANCES WITH WOLVES and so much wonderful music in between. My focus here is mainly on his music outside of James Bond, since I feel that 007 would deserve his own episode, and how Barry's style evolved from the jazz & pop trends of his day to the lush, sonorous orchestral works that garnered him awards and notoriety, heard in scores such as SOMEWHERE IN TIME and OUT OF AFRICA. 

 

John Barry was born in York, England in 1933 and became steeped in the craft of movie-making thanks to the fact this his father owned several local cinemas, allowing the young Barry to watch, observe and absorb films of all types. His formal music studies led to him to the trumpet, then diving into the world of jazz and pop, expressing all of this during the late 1950's and early 1960's primarily through his own band, The John Barry Seven. In a way, he could be considered one of the first film composers who came from the world of pop music, an early example for current composers such as Danny Elfman and Hans Zimmer, themselves formerly from the pop/rock genre.

 

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