How many of you like Spaghetti Westerns? I certainly do. And how many of you like the king of Spaghetti Westerns, Clint Eastwood? Again, me too. And I grew up on a steady diet of that genre with great movies like “A Fistful of Dollars,” “Hang ’em High,” and “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” I even liked the later high-budget variants starring Eastwood such as “Pale Rider” and “The Outlaw Josie Wales.” And there’s one thing that all his movies had that I can remember vividly. Great music soundtracks. Who doesn’t get chills when they hear the recorder and ocarina
whistles of “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”? And many of these soundtracks were written by Ennio Morricone, who unfortunately wasn’t taken seriously as a great composer at the time. Hey, they were only Spaghetti Westerns, right?
So I was really pleased to find that the Danish National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sarah Hicks had recently done a concert of the greatest Clint Eastwood movie soundtracks, with a HUGE orchestra, big choirs, period instruments for the harmonica and ocarina parts, and a woman who can whistle. Wow, talk about a lavish production. If you have the bandwidth and you like Clint Eastwood movies, then you need to put on your headphones and treat yourself to a listen. Watch for the extra set pieces with bodies hanging from ropes and a silhouette of the man himself in a serape with a sunset behind him. Watch it in HD audio and video here
One of the things that makes this production so interesting to me is that I’ve set up and mixed sound on a lot of similar but smaller events, so I see how all the pieces fit together. Hey, I even got to fire live howitzers for an outside production of the 1812 Overture. In any large production each individual has an important part to play, and they’re really serious about it. Guy clapping the boards together for the bullwhip sounds … Check. Mezzo soprano doing the perfect whistle and wah-wah sound … Check. Recorder and ocarina at the ready … Check. Symphonies are a visible representation of all the working parts that generally happen in the background that we never get a chance to see.
For example, imagine all the things that go on in the background to make your Amazon order arrive at your address in a few days – or even the same day. Everything from the order processing to charging your credit card properly, to getting it packed in the right-size box, to arriving and being delivered by UPS or the USPS has to happen perfectly, or it all falls apart.
So my take from this gorgeous production is that each of us has a role to play in life. Sometimes it’s just clapping the boards together at the right moment. Other times you get to be the conductor and direct the show. But each of us is vitally important to making the machine work. Without you, me and millions of other cogs in the machine, society itself would grind to a halt.
Thanks for the memories, Clint…
Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 40 years in the industry. Visit NoShockZone.org for more electrical safety tips. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.