babbit and barry

The world lost two major musical talents recently, serial/electronic composer Milton Babbit and film composer John Barry.

Babbit was 94 when he passed away last Saturday. (Here’s an obit from ABC news.) He’s as remembered for his prolific music output as he is the influence he has had over the many generations of composers who shared his timeline, musical sensibilities, and sound universe through the years. Here’s a work that gives you a good idea what Babbit’s music is all about, this is the first section of a 1964 work called Philomel, for synthesizer and voice (both pre-recorded and live):

I got word of John Barry’s passing early in the morning on Monday, listening to the BBC. Barry was 77, known as the “Bond” composer for the dozen James Bond filmscores he helped to create. He also won Oscars – Grammys – and Golden Globe awards for films such as Dances With Wolves, The Lion In Winter, Out of Africa, Somewhere In Time, and many, many others. He wrote a lot of music, and a lot of great music, in a frequently under-respected genre. This is a really nice tribute to John Barry:

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