Sunday, 4 November 2007


Peter Weir's 1985 feature Witness, threw Harrison Ford into the Amish community to protect a witness to a murder linked to police corruption. Not perhaps the most exciting concept at first glance, but nevertheless Witness proved to be a popular hit with cinema audiences.

Veteran composer Mauric Jarre supplied the soundtrack. Instead of reflecting the somewhat bucolic non-technical nature of the Amish by using traditional acoustic instruments, Jarre provided an entirely synthesiser based electronic score. The film's main title and the Building of the Barn are stunning examples of how well Jarre's soundtrack works. In less sensitive hands this juxtapostion could have been jarring (no pun intended). It is perhaps because Maurice Jarre as a trained classical musician regards a synthesiser in terms of the sounds it can produce as opposed to its technology thus injecting warmth and humanity into a pure electronic instrument. It's a gift that only a few other musicians like Vangelis have mastered. So watch the movie and let the sonic textures of Maurice Jarre's lush score for Witness envelop you.

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