Overshadowed by the election news: Basil Poledouris died of cancer last Wednesday at the age of 61. In many ways, it was far too soon.
I first encountered Poledouris' work, like most folks, when I saw Conan the Barbarian. The music was every bit as magical as the Hyborian Age itself. My Conan CD is in my car, where I can play it during the commute. (Now that I've sworn off of the yammering idiots of talk radio, I have much more time to devote to music; I'm entering more deeply into what has always been one of the great pleasures of my life.) Had Robert Howard (Conan's creator) lived to hear the score, I'm sure he would have approved. I also found his work for Flight of the Intruder, Iron Eagle, and Hunt for Red October to be memorable--in the case of the first two, far more memorable than the movies themselves!
I am, with the usual frustrations, missteps, and screwups of a first-timer, writing a novel. I had hoped that Poledouris would have scored the movie (assuming one was made). His work has inspired me; it has led me to consider and flesh out aspects of my main character that I would not have otherwise; it has given me the feelings of wonder, despair, conflict, and soaring triumph that I seek to work into my plot and charcters.
Sadly, we will hear no more of the Maestro's work.
My prayers go out to his family. Requiescat In Pace, Basil.