It’s In My DNA

For today’s blog post, I went back to the “What Film Music Means To Me” contest comments and pulled out this intriguing entry by Mark Ford.

My blood when viewed under a microscope reveals the presence of black blood cells which appear in the shapes of musical notes. DNA testing further reveals an extra chromosome with sequences of genetic markers labeled Goldsmith, Herrmann, etc. Film music is in my blood and integral to who I am.

I’d like to thank Mark for graciously giving me permission to use his name as well as provide me with the inspiration behind today’s post.

Music has been an integral part of my life since I was very young. From my early days playing piano through my college degrees in music and to the present, music is the thread that strings together my days. I could probably skip food (and if my waistline is any indication, it might not hurt to do so every once in a while), but I need a steady diet of new music, which often gets me into trouble.

Over the years, I’ve pretty much cut down my listening choices to the bare essentials. I seldom buy pop albums anymore and I no longer listen to showtunes. The occasional classical piece or opera will sneak in here and there. But, like Mark, film music courses through my blood.

A veritable cinematic symphony travels the highways and byways of my bloodstream. Steiner flows through my circulatory system, while zing go the Newman strings of my heart. The strands of Goldsmith and Williams twist and turn, weaving among each other to make up every fiber of my being. Who needs electrolytes and amino acids when you can be nourished by Elfman and Amfitheatrof? Some days my genetic structure is more Legrand than Lochner.

The “Rule of Three” in survival skills states that humans cannot survive more than:

  1. Three hours exposed to extremely high or low temperatures.
  2. Six days without water.
  3. Nine weeks without food.

With the best of film music at my side, I can survive almost anything. Without it, angiographies and ultrasounds would reveal vascular degeneration of the highest order. Film music is the temperature of my emotions, my nourishment, my sustenance. I am alive because of it.

Who and/or what is in your DNA?

  1. I actually know a woman who, while both fiercely bright and exceedingly learned, has almost no use for music in her life. She is, quite literally, indifferent to it. To paraphrase Eric Burdon, and I believe a musical analogy is apt here, this really blows my mind, for you’ll find music in my DNA as well. I can’t remember a minute growing up that wasn’t informed by music (home stereo, car radio, film and television), and I feel for those who are curiously unmoved by a weeping string section or the thunder and the might of brass and timpani.

    1. I’ve met a few people like that over the years. And I’m not just talking about no use for anything symphonic. They have no use for ANY kind of music–not pop, country, R&B, nothing. Could care less one way or the other. To each their own, I suppose–and no judgments per se–but I don’t usually get to know people like that. Music is too much a part of my life. What would we ever talk about?

  2. There’s such a wealth of styles in soundtrack music, that I rarely need go outside the genre for my music needs. Eclectic is the very definition of film music – there really is something to cover all tastes, no matter your DNA, and nearly everyone has at least one piece of movie music somewhere in their collection. I did stray when bossa nova was the thing and I first heard Antonio Carlos Jobim – so I’ve got some great Brazilian jazz sessions – but even Jobim contributed to the classic score for BLACK ORPHEUS, and eventually wrote a beautiful score for THE ADVENTURERS in 1970. As for my other non-soundtrack recordings, they’re pop-culture recordings by composers mainly known for film work: Henry Mancini, Neal Hefti, Burt Bacharach, Dave Grusin and Les Baxter, whose bachelor-pad exotica was really “it” back in the days when men where measured by the size of their stereo systems. Oh yeah, I also have all of Ann-Margret’s 1960’s RCA sessions – but then she had something to do with the movies too! Hahahahahahahahahahaha.

    1. Sounds like you’ve got one “groovy” collection there, Gary. I certainly can’t fault you for anything of them. All EXCELLENT choices! :)

      There is something special about bossa nova, isn’t there? So effortless and, well, “cool”.

  3. I listen to several soundtracks everyday. I have no musical training or real practical knowledge, but I do need music in my life. On the (very few) occasions that no music is playing when I have company over, people notice or at least say at one point “something’s missing here”… While the bulk of my music collection is soundracks, I have other types of music too like classical, jazz, rock/pop (anglophone/francophone), world, etc. The only artist that breaks the cycle of soundtrack music on a more regular basis is Peter Gabriel (and he did a few soundtracks too!).

    1. “Something’s missing”… I know the feeling. On those rare occasions where I don’t have any music on, that’s the exact feeling I get. Sometimes I just need the quiet. At other times it’s a palpable void that I can feel.

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