Kamen, You’re the One (English)
A whole month devoted as a tribute to the great Michael Kamen on our website, AsturScore. One month for one of the greatest composers in Film Music. An artist. A musician. A person overflowing sympathy, humanity and love.
All signs of love for his music and his person have been proof of the great affection Michael Kamen’s figure awakened among all those who met him or simply enjoyed his music. Cozy and welcoming, sincere and humble, committed and philanthropist. With time for everything and for everyone.
Michael Kamen was, is and will remain unique. A voice with its own style, an author with his own brand, a purebred. His death, ten years ago, left the Film Music world orphan.
Kamen has conquered me for many years, ever since my passion for Film Music began, when names like Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams or James Horner were familiar to the generations growing up in the late 70’s and in the 80’s.
When I began buying soundtracks, there were always two special composers for me, a couple of whom I began to buy everything I could, considering my limited budget at the time. Christopher Young and Michael Kamen. They were my two personal preferences, apart from the usual suspects mentioned above.
It was a kind of personal obsession and, in the case of Kamen, a very special connection with his music, something that only those of us who love Kamen’s music are able to convey. There is no need for words, a knowing look says it all (something that also happens to me with Jerry Goldsmith).
In my case, a perfect description to define my connection with his music would be hearing the prologue of the movie What Dreams May Come (based on the beautiful song Beside You, composed in the late 60’s by Kamen and his friend Mark Snow) and burst into tears like a child, torn by the beauty and lyricism of this wonderful piece of music, or taking a deep breath and getting excited while listening to Irina’s Theme or to Cole’s in Mr. Holland’s Opus (both of them perfectly incorporated into the mythical American Symphony) or gently putting my daughter to sleep in my arms while I hum Darling I Know You’re the One (for that lovely movie called Circle of Friends), one of the nicest folk pieces I have heard in my life, performed by the ever cool Chieftains.
Such moments define my connection with Kamen, my weakness for his music; the way his emotional ability to bring to life the moving images goes beyond the film strip and becomes part of your life, creating an everlasting memory.
This is the melodic Kamen, the intimate one, the one able to move you with an instrumental version adapted from the Mona Lisa for the awesome movie with the same title by Neil Jordan, with a simple theme, honest and touching, such as the one for Crusoe or with a beautiful and sensitive theme for the father and son relationship of Frequency (who but someone like Michael Kamen could have conceived such an intimate score, as far as possible from action music, a sign of genius).
Before saying goodbye, I just want to say two things. First, thanks to everybody who has taken part, in one way or another, in this special, opening your lives to tell us all sorts of stories and experiences Kamen related. Thanks to you we have shared awesome stories that enhance Kamen’s image, something just and necessary and well deserved by someone who has given everything for his family and fans.
Second, I want to keep with me, apart from all the wonderful people I have met through Kamen (Pablo Ortiz, Amin Matalqa, Gergely Hubai, Jon Broxton, Penka Kouneva, Randall D. Larson…), a small personal story about Kamen’s music.
When we started this special, before recording the radio show, I remember Eduardo listening to Kamen’s old scores he loved to catch up (Die Hard, Company Business, Brazil, The Dead Zone) and combining them with others new to him, all intensely, in a two-week musical tour de force, for commenting with discernment (adding this to the documentation job).
Edu always told me that, although he thought Kamen to be a good composer, his music was a bit tough in some cases, almost like “I cannot make the connection”. But the more he listened to his music, the more he understood the world of Kamen, discovering true treasures, such as The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.
Eventually, after the broadcast, he told me that his musical approach to Kamen had changed completely since we began working in this special, being able to somehow connect with his music, retrieving Kamen’s style in each and every composition he had heard, discovering the musical seeds of many of his works to be.
That, for me, is worth it all. That someone discovers Kamen or connects with his music thanks to this collective tribute represents the success of these Memories of Michael Kamen.
Michael Kamen will remain forever, sharing good and bad times, always encouraging. In fact, he has always been there. Mr. Holland’s Opus, The Three Musketeers or The Winter Guest are works that I visit year after year, without getting even a bit tired.
I cannot express with enough words my love for his music, but my tears, my hair standing on end and my heartbeat when I listen to and enjoy his scores do it better.
Thank you so much, Michael, wherever you are.
You’re the One.
Special Thanks to Oscar Salazar for the Translation