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John Carpenter recalls working with Ennio Morricone on 'The Thing’

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The Thing filmmaker John Carpenter has paid tribute to the late Ennio Morricone’s work on his horror film.

Carpenter, who usually scored his own films, was suggested “Maestro Morricone” by the film’s associate producer Stuart Cohen, due to Morricone’s experience in “experimental music, a strange place,” the filmmaker recalls.

Read more: Il Maestro: Ennio Morricone’s 10 best film scores

Carpenter explained to IndieWire how The Thing theme came to be, through close collaboration “It was all way too flourishy and ornate,” said Carpenter of Morricone’s first draft. “I said to him, ‘Ennio, use less notes.’ And he did. That was the main title theme.”

“He added something to it, that I didn’t realize, didn’t ask for. He brought it: this deep, tragic sense that this is the end of things, of everything. Oh my god, it really worked. I was delighted with it.”

On Morricone’s talent, which was lent to over 500 different film soundtracks, Carpenter said: “He was a traditional composer but with a layer on top that is difficult to describe. He had the knack.

“The music would go deeper into whatever the movie was, it would bring out something in depth, a theme, a feeling. He was like an X-ray composer. He brought out a part of the theme of the movie that hadn’t been thought of before.”

Ennio Morricone passed away aged 91 on Monday (July 6). The composer scored A Fistful of Dollars, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, Days of Heaven and many more – ending his career by working with Quentin Tarantino on The Hateful Eight.

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