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Comments about the soundtrack for My Life (John Barry)

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Filmtracks Sponsored Donated Review
• Posted by: Marc Larock   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Sunday, May 3, 2009, at 12:30 p.m.
• IP Address:

(The following donated review by Marc Larock was moved by Filmtracks to this comment section in May, 2009)

My Life: (John Barry) My Life is one of the best scores John Barry has written in the 90's, yet it is becoming rare and challenging to find in stores. This score will make a great addition to any John Barry fan's collection. In My Life, Barry, using his trademark sweeping, heartfelt style, translates it to the listener in three primary emotions; that of love, loss, and nostalgia.

The main theme serves as the love theme (which also appears in tracks 5,11, and the end credits). Its emotional power is stunning in its intensity. This theme is equatable to the John Dunbar Theme from Dances With Wolves, except the My Life theme is accented by an oboe. The oboe serves as a magnificent tool for Barry to utilize in a theme of this nature, it fills the theme with such a tender, profound sense of longing that only an oboe or flute could provide. The main theme is also an example of the knack John Barry has for evoking so much emotional power within a short period of time.

The whole score is redolent of feelings of loss. However, track four seems to deal directly with emotions surrounding death and bereavment. This track is actually very unpleasent to listen to and is an extremly intense contrast with the other softer tracks on the album. Yet, at the end of the track, after a few minutes of harsh low sounding dark strings with rumbling drums in the background, Barry ends the track with a delightful arrangement of the main theme.

My favorite tracks on the album are the nostalgic-sounding ones. To hear synthesized elements in a John Barry score of this emotional provocation, is not only rare but a pleasant surprise. Throughout the score, John Barry incorporates synthesized sounds that are reminiscent of circus music. These synthesized circus sounds become a leitmotif throughout the score, which was a brilliant tool to use given the content and themes of the film. These nostalgic tracks (namely tracks 2,6,7,8,11,12 and 13) contain a distinct delicate and tender quality that seems to be filled with so much yearning,desire, and longing. In these tracks Barry utilizes his trademark flute solo, and orchestra.

The second to last track is also a favorite of mine. It starts out softly and subdued, almost feeble, a timpani drum, low strings and very soft high strings. Later, it blossoms into a triumphant exalted brass cue followed by a very soft orchestral woodwind ending. John Barry concludes the score with an end credits track, containing ambrosial and beautiful musical phrases tied together by invigorating and provocative utterances of melodious eloquence, characteristic of Barry's best work. ****

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