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.
The music is gone. Like Jerry himself. Forever silenced, sharing with us no more.
Okay, time to crank up ST:TMP.