The Music and The Movies
This is a very important concert for all of us who have been part of it. We were friends of Basil’s. Colleagues of Basil’s. And we loved him.
Basil had been one of my own favorite composers from the very beginning, when I first heard his scores for The Blue Lagoon and Conan: The Barbarian, in 1980 and 1982 respectively. I never could have imagined at the time that I would be working with Basil for the first time by 1989 and then, subsequently, with him on the majority of his albums for the next couple of decades. We became very dear friends.
I was with Basil until the end. I was with him for the beautiful, inspiring, but also tragically sad concert in Úbeda, Spain in July of 2006. The entire experience meant so much to Basil. He received an infusion of love from his international fans. The reality of what Basil was going through was with us all, but never got in the way of the celebration and the fun.
There were melancholy moments also. I remember one morning in the breakfast room of our hotel, I think John Debney and John Frizzell had just left for rehearsal, leaving just Basil and I finishing our breakfast. We got into a conversation about life and what the experience of being there really meant to him. He said to me that even if he never scored another film, he felt that just being there with the other composers allowed him to think about being part of film music’s continuing lineage. Being there and having the time to spend with Debney and Frizzell, and John Ottman and the Spanish composers was an incredible opportunity for him that meant so very much to him. I knew that everyone was feeling the same way about being with Basil and having this time with him. It was a life-changing experience for all.
The memories we all hold of him from that trip will be cherished forever. You may hear other stories and perspectives from some of our special guests this evening. Another memory of Spain that I have is from the end of Basil’s concert, where he received an instant standing ovation, quickly followed by the entire audience, in unison, beginning a chant of “Baas-il! Baas-il! Baas-il! At first, Basil couldn’t make out what they were saying. Then, I think it was the concertmaster leaning in to him who told him. Basil was overwhelmed.
Tonight’s concert is part of that film music lineage that Basil spoke about at breakfast. How I wish he could see and hear his music being performed by his friends from Spain in Walt Disney Concert Hall. Though I am well aware that there is a point of view that considers a composer’s greatest achievement to be having their music survive them. It’s as simple as that. My hope for tonight’s concert is that it may introduce the concept that so much more than just Conan deserves to be played in concert halls all over the world. Basil’s music will indeed outlive all of us. Just listen!
Enjoy the show!