|Behind the scenes|
Ennio Morricone was born in Trastevere, a district of Rome, on november 10, 1928. His family was poor, and father used to earn some extra money as a trumpet player in Jazz clubs. Hence young Ennio grew up in a music-friendly environment and started composing music at the early age of 6. Later he was allowed to study the subjects trumpet, fanfare, orchestration and composition at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia and left with three diplomas.
A man of practice, Ennio worked as a nightclub musician, composed scores for the TV-station RAI-Televisione and arranged hundreds of popular tunes. Up to the mid-1960ies he had worked for numerous stars like Mario Lanza, Charles Aznavour, Paul Anka, Milva, and even Joan Baez. Though Morricone always stayed in the background, these collaborations gave him the chance to experiment with melodic hooklines, thus gaining a lot of experience that would later show in his movie soundtracks.
In 1965, Ennio Morricone became a member of the "Gruppo Improvisazione Nuova Consonanza", a group of experimental artists who tried to go beyond the traditional scheme of harmony. Ennio would play the trumpet in an unusual way, trying to explore the limits of the instrument. At the same time, he started experimenting with serial composition and unusual combinations of sounds, which again would influence his later works and movie soundtracks.
In 1959, Ennio Morricone wrote the music for "Agi Murad Il Diavolo Bianco (The white warrior)", an Italian film who gained quite some national success, though remaining unnoticed by most of the rest of the world. Nevertheless, the soundtrack for this movie started Morricones career as a famous movie score writer. In 1964, or 12 movie soundtracks later, "For a few Dollars more" gained Morricone the well-earned success and marked a breakthrough in his musical history. But it was not until the soundtrack for Sergio Leone's classical Italo-Western-movie "Once upon a time in the West" that Hollywood noticed the outstanding quality of Morricone's work.
In those days, Morricone was
mostly known as a composer writing the catchy, but spooky, music for Italo-
(or, as some nicknamed the genre: Spaghetti-) Western-movies, although
back then he had written the soundtracks for more than a hundred movies,
most of them being of a different kind. Soon-to-follow-films like "The
Sicilian Clan" or the two parts of the saga "1900" showed to an international
public that the composer Ennio Morricone was not fixed on a certain kind
of movie and could as well write scores in a more "classical", orchestral,
manner. Despite his international success, Morricone remained modest and
continued writing for small-budget Italian productions and even controversial
movies like Pasolini's "The 120 Days of Sodom".