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Jerry Goldsmith would have turned 82 today.

I want to crank up Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the score that, to me, still perfectly encapsulates Jerry’s genius and continues to reveal depths and shadings to me after decades of play.

But instead, I’m listening to The Illustrated Man.

It opens with a haunting motif that perfectly captures the melancholy of remembrance, the bittersweet feel of memory, of a past that can no longer be visited.

We move to dissonance. Discord. A slow build. A return to the motif, a simply gorgeous snippet of melody. Like Jerry himself, moving from furious avant garde to touching Americana.

Crazy electronics. Harsh, unrelenting. And yet here’s that tune again, popping out of a cold future to give us an unthinkable emotional link.

And then, suspense. Foreboding. Quiet, brooding strings building to orchestral footsteps threatening to envelop you.

But there’s the theme, protecting you at the last moment. There’s Jerry again, giving us warmth and familiarity amidst the cold.

And a final, tense cue that hints of death, of no easy way out, only to close with that ethereal voice, once again whispering that motif, taunting us. The story will repeat, for all of us, forever. We arise from nothing, we return to nothing.

Then silence.

The music is gone. Like Jerry himself. Forever silenced, sharing with us no more.



Okay, time to crank up ST:TMP.

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Comments (4):Log in or register to post your own comments
Absolutely touching and beautifully expressed. Thanks for sharing. I join you, though, in wishing Happy Birthday, Jerry! Wish you were here to celebrate and reflect with us. His absence is even more poignant to consider amidst the recent passing of John Barry. So much of the music we love is moving from the present tense to past. Having just celebrated John Williams' birthday as well, though, I am sending all my warmest, happiest thoughts and saving the melancholy ones for the next blizzard.

Well said. I so glad I saw him in concert twice in Los Angeles and on his birthday! Wonderful, just awe inspiring. Wish he was still making music today...

Just yesterday I tried to find out who is the oldest active working actor and came up with Eli Wallach who, with 94, still played in "The Ghostwriter" and "Wall Street II".

So if we imagine that Goldsmith had not died and he would be in a similiar good shape as Wallach we could expect a new score by him even in 2022 !!!

An incredible mind experiment to think of the scores which might have come. Perhaps Goldsmith scoring "Pirates of the Caribbean Part 9" ?


Just yesterday I tried to find out who is the oldest active working actor and came up with Eli Wallach who, with 94, still played in "The Ghostwriter" and "Wall Street II".

Ernest Borgnine is 94 and still working too. I'm sure there must be some who are even older?

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