Musical Influences – Part 4 – The Mission Soundtrack

This is part of a series of blog posts written to share songs, bands and musical experiences that have shaped me as a musician and artist.

This is my first mention of a movie soundtrack but probably won’t be my last.  I LOVE movie soundtracks (musical scores) and have since I was young.  This particular movie soundtrack came into my life through my dad.  I don’t know how or why Dad had it, but on a cassette tape he had a copy of the movie soundtrack from the film, “The Mission”.  This soundtrack, according to Wikipedia,

…combines liturgical chorales, native drumming, and Spanish-influenced guitars, often in the same track, in an attempt to capture the varying cultures depicted in the film.

Of course, like any movie soundtrack, listening to it brings back emotions that were evoked from watching the film.  I remember listening to my Dad performing “Gabriel’s Oboe”, one of the main themes of the film, on his oboe.

The soundtrack was composed by Ennio Morricone, the composer of famous western soundtracks including, “Good, Bad and the Ugly”, which is often used when imitating western movie scenes with your buddies.

For some reason, this soundtrack got into my hands and the music took root in me.  One of the main themes, as you’ll hear in the first video, is extremely simple, yet powerful. The second video is “Gabriel’s Oboe”.  The third video is entitled, “On Earth as it is in Heaven” and is an amazing piece that combines multiple themes, styles, and even time signatures into a multi-layered mosaic.

1 comment

  1. Nice write up about one of our favorite movies. I found the movie – at the Sidney Library – just looking for a movie to bring home and watch. Of course – once we saw it, me-being an oboist, LOVED THE OBOE THEME!! The movie it self has such a powerful theme.
    I loved your musical analysis of the three musical examples you gave – glad that you still have the music for it. Some day, I’ll play it with the band – and perhaps have YOU be the guest conductor!
    Thanks Ben … I’m so proud of you!

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