Jerry Goldsmith is a composer who has produced music for dozens of films such as Logan’s Runs, Planet of the Apes, Patton, Poltergeist, Alien, Basic Instinct, the Rambo films, and the Stark Trek movies. Jerry Goldsmith was born in 1929 and was introduced to the possibility of a music career when he started playing piano as a child. When Goldsmith was 13 he took piano lessons with well known pianist Jakob Gimpel and from that point on he became dedicated to a lifelong career in music.
Jerry Goldsmith’s Early Years
In the 1950s Goldsmith began his work at CBS as a typist and later in the network’s music section. It was during this time that he started writing music for shows such as CBS Radio Workshop, Frontier Gentleman and many other shows. Goldsmith also produced music scores for the program The Twilight Zone. After the 1960s Goldsmith left CBS in order to pursue greater opportunities and one of those big breaks was when he produced the score for the movie Planet of the Apes. In 1970 Goldsmith produced the music score for the movie Patton. During this time he started receiving Academy Award nominations for his music scores. For the music score for Planet of the Apes, Goldsmith got innovative by using what is known as echoplex, which is when a composer utilizes an orchestra to create beautiful sounds.
During this decade Jerry Goldsmith experienced a minor drought of sorts, as it relates to producing movies and he went into producing music for some TV shows in addition to movie film scores. Goldsmith wrote some scores for the TV shows The Waltons and other TV programs. However, when the 70s ended, Goldsmith started to slowly make resurgence with movie music scores that would propel him to legendary status over the next few years. Some notable films he wrote magical music scores between the 70s and 80s include The Wind and The Lion, Chinatown, and the Great Train Robbery.
The 1990s until His Passing Away
In the 1990s Jerry Goldsmith continued his music career with more success and this was seen in the score he wrote for the movie Total Recall. Goldsmith was also successful in writing the score for Basic Instinct and he went on to write scores for the Star Trek movies, Air Force One, and LA Confidential. Jerry Goldsmith passed away in 2004.
Some Thoughts from Jerry Goldsmith Regarding His Work
Jerry Goldsmith has also expressed his thoughts on how he chose his scores for different films. He said in an interview with the Washington Post that he doesn’t obtain ideas for the music scores from the scripts and instead he sees the script as a blueprint from which he develops totally different ideas. Goldsmith also mentioned that while he has written scores for plenty of science fiction movies, he enjoys writing music more for movies that pertain to relationships
Awards That Goldsmith Received
Jerry Goldsmith has received several awards over the years for his music scores and they include an Academy Award for the movie The Omen in 1977, and Emmy Award in 1973 for The Red Pony Bell Family Theater, an Emmy Award for the music he produced for the movie Babe in 1976, and an Emmy for Star Trek Voyager in 1995.
Goldsmith’s Usage of Interesting Instruments
Jerry Goldsmith has also been known for his use of interesting instruments for his film scores. For the movie Alien he used a Jewish horn called the shofar and steel drums while for the movie Congo he employed the use of traditional Native American melodies. For the movie The Ghost and The Darkness, Goldsmith used a combination of Irish folk music with African rhythms.
Jerry Goldsmith Was Also a Conductor
Jerry Goldsmith was not only a producer of music movie scores but he also worked as a conductor of a variety of musical pieces for concerts. In 1957 Jerry Goldsmith created a piece called The Thunder of Imperial Names and in 1969 he was invited to write a cantata based on a literary piece called Christus Apollo, which was written by Ray Bradbury.
Jerry Goldsmith’s Popularity
While Jerry Goldsmith’s work over the years was recognized by many insiders in the film industry, he still did not get the widespread recognition as others in this line of work such as John Williams. But despite this, Jerry Goldsmith has continued to maintain a strong level of success and the music that he wrote for movies still resonates with movie fans everywhere.
What Influenced Jerry Goldsmith’s Music Scores?
Jerry Goldsmith was heavily influenced by modernism and other influences including early 20th century classical music, Impressionism, avant-garde style of music, and the use of instruments found in other countries. It is this diverse group of influences that is heard a lot in his music scores, and this is what made Jerry Goldsmith stand out from other film music composers.
Jerry Goldsmith has been married twice and he has six children. One of his sons, Joel Goldsmith, was an influential film music producer in his own right and he collaborated with Jerry on the Star Trek films. Joel Goldsmith was also a video game music producer.
Film music has changed since the early 20th century when the film industry was just becoming popular all over the country. The rise of diverse cultural influences and advanced technology has blended well with film music over the past 40 or so years, and Jerry Goldsmith played a huge role in it. He opened the door for new generations of film music composers and even animators who create sound effects for animated movies. Thanks to Jerry Goldsmith film composers have wider choices regarding how they can make great music and more film composers are taking bold risks in experimentation. Jerry Goldsmith has made it possible for movies to become memorable not just by the well written script and clever acting, but also for the music that accompanies it.