Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Man with what harmonica? Video
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- Subject: Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Man with what harmonica? Video
- From: EGS1217@xxxxxxx
- Date: Fri, 10 Jan 2014 22:28:47 -0500 (EST)
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Pretty much the definitive response from the original guy: Franco de
(this is a rough quoted English translation from an Italian blog)
Franco De Gemini talks about of the idea's origin for the film Once Upon a
Time in the West: Sergio Leone a day asked him if he had any ideas for a
movie, and he replied that it would be nice to do a film having like
protagonist the harmonica .
So, De Gemini explains the significance of the variations of the
harmonica's theme in the film.
-The film begins with Bronson (Harmonica) and all those bandits which are
waiting for killing him.At the train's departure, they see that he's on the
other side of the tracks. So Bronson began to play his harmonica as if it
were a threat.
De Gemini says: "The three notes which Ennio Morricone gave me hadn't
something inherent in the division, music, ecc. I must invent anything which
every time I play the theme, it must to be different, though still using the
same three notes. "
-The scene in which Bronson (Harmonica) is in the Posada, with Claudia
Cardinale and the bandit too, he played the harmonica in a different way,
making fun of the bandit .
De Gemini adds: "Bronson had to play the harmonica and I had given him one
of mine. Anyway he didn't really play it.
I showed him how to hold the harmonica in his hands, partly because there
was a piston, something which wasn't in the harmonicas of the time (so this
piston had to be concealed by his hands).
EGS: Note, De Gemini is speaking of the period in which the movie is
set--and using 'piston' to describe the slide button of the chromatic. He
demonstrates this in the video clip.
"They started the movie with my harmonica, but in a second moment, this
was replaced by another harmonica (without piston). The public didn't notice
this change. They made a hole in the harmonica and Bronson can took it to
the neck. "
-The final scene:
The hanging of the Harmonica's brother.
Harmonica remembers when Frank puts the harmonica in his mouth.
De Gemini says: "If the kid can not move himself (his hands are tied) It
is assumed that the harmonica has to be out of tune.
So I had to invent a special harmonica ... in the middle of it I arranged
a semitone with a tone, to make it out of tune.
Many harp players asked me how I had to produce those two notes
because one is blown and the other is aspired.So I made fun of them by
saying that I shared my mouth in two parts, one for blowing and one to aspire
-Frank dies with the harmonica in his mouth.
De Gemini said: "This was the hardest scene, around an hour to realize it,
not because there were difficulties with harmonica, but because I had to
play like i was dying. "
Sergio Leone said: "Now I'll kill you to to play so perfectly for this
scene "and I replied" If I am dead, who'll play it? "
The notes were always the same, but it needs to be interpreted in a
different way every time."
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