Legendary composer Ennio Morricone dies at 91

Best known for his work on films such as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon A Time In The West.

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Ennio Morricone

Photo: Pier Marco Tacca / Getty Images

The legendary film composer, Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Morricone died in Rome, following complications after a fall last week.

The legendary Italian composer scored over 500 films and was best known for his work with esteemed director Sergio Leone on critically-acclaimed films such as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon A Time In The West. In 2015, Morricone won his first Oscar for his work on Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight.

Morricone’s iconic approach to scoring in the ‘Spaghetti Western’ genre was highly dictated by budget constraints, and was considered highly unconventional for the time.

It relied heavily on electric guitars and sound effects from cracking whips and gunshots in lieu of the grander, and traditional orchestral arrangements as heard in American productions from the period.

This methodology, however, would prove to be the perfect pairing to Leone’s directorial vision – who would collaborate with Morricone on most of his films.

Morricone also received Oscar nominations for his scores for Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven, Roland Joffe’s The Mission, Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables, Barry Levinson’s Bugsy and Giuseppe Tornatore’s Malena.

In 2007, Morricone also received an honorary Oscar, celebrating his “magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music”. The award was presented to Morricone by Clint Eastwood.

When asked to define his style in a 1984 interview with Scraps From The Loft, Morricone described it as “the unconscious sum of all the things I love”.

“From the music I love to people, things, experiences from childhood,” he said. “The sum of all this is combined with study and guidance of my maestro and the condensed technique acquired from certain composers.”

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