Thursday, November 09, 2006
I was deeply saddened by the news that we lost Basil Poledouris--one of my favourite composers. Check out Ain't It Cool and the Basil Poledouris msg board to leave messages if you want to. I'm going to play my Conan sndtrk til the laser chews through the CD. *sniff*
What evocative scores.. I am a veteran Role Player (for those of you with no clue at all, it does not involve leather and whips [unless you're role-playing Lord of the Rings or something!].) I started when I was round 11 with TSR's Dungeons & Dragons with my cousin Todd Burley & pal Frank Hollington and also with my buddies Vicki, Fiona & their older brother Chris (who incidentally killed all of our 1st level characters in our beginning adventure in one fell swoop.)
Undeterred, we went on to play many MANY adventures over the years, in many game systems (Rob introduced us to Palladium), using all kinds of polyhedric dice, occasionally cards, and sometimes miniatures. I even enjoyed a LARP (Live-action rpg) or two as a teen, with my buddies, running around in the woods behind our old place on Carp Rd. They were games fueled by imagination, the cameraderie of fellowship and yeah, cause we got kicked out of the house and told to "go play" ;-)
It was only in my 20's that I discovered you could play music while rpging and it would help create a specific mood & atmosphere. I was in Montreal, visiting my pal Andrew & I got to sit in on an ongoing game for a dude who was sick. I got to play with complete strangers (a first & last experience!) The DM (Dungeon Master) put on Clannad's "Legend" on a turntable, then would send various players off to change records during the game. Great music, including Jethro Tull's "Beast & the Broadsword", some classical, Steeleye Span and back to Clannad, helped to draw the imagination of the 5 of us into perfect unison. It gelled the game & it was a moment I've never forgotten.
I would like to thank Keith S for helping to introduce me to MORE of Basil's music than I could've possibly discovered on my own, and for taking music + role-playing = incredible experience to an entirely new level. A great story-teller, and avid sndtrk fan, he totes his entire collection around compressed electronically on a massive iPod and can drop whatever tune is required into the game at a moment's notice. Thanks dude.
Basil Poledouris' music helped to provide the backdrop to so many games that I can't start listing them here...tempting as it is. Oh ok, I'll indulge. From Blackcomet, Abraxia & Mallory ( "Starship Troopers" sndtrk) to Atalanta the Gladiator & Magna ("Conan the Barbarian"), to Bekka, Angelfire & Bad Penny ("Robocop & Robocop 3"), games sprouted full-formed from Clayton's head & characters exploded like Athena bursting from Zeus to stomp around and keep us in thrall for months at a time. (Sometimes even years.)
He will be greatly missed.
But I know his music will live on to inspire more games, movies, animation and other crazy creative projects. Let's take a short moment to reflect on the fellow who brought us "The Anvil of Crom" and "Klendathu Drop", to name just the top two of my favourite Poledouris tunes. Here's the theme from "Lonesome Dove" too: spectacular!