I have found myself being more effected by the death of Maurice Jarre than I was expecting to. I started out by playing a few of his scores and ended up listening to his music all day.
The thing is, I don't listen to his music as often as I do other composers; I really have to be in a certain mood to do so. However, Jarre's style was so distinctive that when I am in the mood to listen to his music, nothing else will satisfy. And despite the horrible circumstances, today was one such a day when I just couldn't get enough of those beautiful textural passages, loopy reversals, Ondes Martenot solos and glorious melodies.
I certainly understand why there are people who never warmed up to the quirky style of his heroic and action music (Jarre referred to himself as a "harmony pervert"), but I just found those elements to be part of what made scores like Crossed Swords, Enemy Mine and Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome so effective... and, of course, when it came to writing beautiful long-form passages, look no further than The Bride, A Walk In the Clouds or Sunshine.
He has left behind an enormous wealth of music, however, filled with color, beauty and emotion. I shall be pulling my LPs of The Lion and the Desert and The Man Who Would Be King off the shelf for a spin tonight, and cycle through a few different recordings of the orchestral version of "Building the Barn" from Witness. When I feel up to it, I may sample the descent into primal darkness that is his music for Jacob's Ladder, and eventually I will close with Red Sun.
Like his music or not (and I do more often than not), there is one irrefutable truth about Maurice Jarre's body of work that was perhaps more clear to me today than it ever was before, which is that it doesn't sound like anything anybody else would have written. His was a completely unique musical voice.