Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: 71st Emmy Awards Nominations Announced

Soundtrack News - Wo, 17/07/2019 - 02:00
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the nominees for the 2019 71st Emmy Awards. Some of the highlights are as follows: Original Main Title Theme Music: - [m.53114]Castle Rock[] ([c.149]Thomas Newman[]) - [m.44784]Crazy Ex-Girlfriend[] ([c.17045]Rachel Bloom[], [c.17046]Jack Dolgen[] & [c.2719]Adam Schlesinger[]) - [m.53004]Good Omens[] ([c.5]David Arnold[]) - [m.53319]Our Planet[] ([c.1974]Steven Price[]) - [m.51034]Succession[] ([c.4631]Nicholas Britell[]) Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score): - [m.50202]Barry[] – What?! – [c.1750]David Wingo[] - [m.32647]Game of Thrones[] – The Long Night – [c.1065]Ramin Djawadi[] - [m.33760]House of Cards[] – Chapter 73 – [c.674]Jeff Beal[] - [m.48823]The Handmaid's Tale[] –...

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NEWS: Fox Music Announces 'Stuber' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Za, 13/07/2019 - 02:00
Fox Music releases the original motion picture soundtrack to [m.52941]Stuber[], directed by Michael Dowse. The action-comedy features score composed by [c.2507]Joseph Trapanese[] ([m.41486]Straight Outta Compton[], [m.31230]TRON: Legacy[]) and is available digitally today. Trapanese is best known for his sleek score work for blockbuster films like [m.31230]TRON: Legacy[], [m.41486]Straight Outta Compton[], [m.32636]Oblivion[] and the [m.33635]Raid[] series. As a composer, arranger, and producer for movie, television, theater and video game music, he has collaborated with a number of mainstream musical acts including Daft Punk, Mike Shinoda, M83, Dr. Dre and Zedd. Trapanese said, "Working with director Michael Dowse on...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Weekly Roundup: July 5

Soundtrack News - Za, 06/07/2019 - 02:00
Announced this week were new composer assignments for [c.2590]Dan Romer[] ([m.52688]James Bond 25[]), [c.1465]Lorne Balfe[] ([m.50002]Gemini Man[]) and [c.20877]Michael Abels[] ([m.56084]Bad Education[]), among many others. For the full list of composer and music supervisor assignments from this week, [url./composers/]click here[]. Over 25 soundtrack albums were released this week. [da.2019-07-02]Click here for the full schedule[]. Opening in theaters nationwide this week are (with music by): [m.54005]Midsommar[] ([c.16996]Bobby Krlic[]) and [m.47942]Spider-Man: Far from Home[] ([c.534]Michael Giacchino[]). We are tracking song credits for the following new theatrical releases: -[m.54005]Midsommar[] (2 songs) -[m.47942]Spider-Man: Far from Home[] (18...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Academy Invites 28 New Members to Music Branch

Soundtrack News - Di, 02/07/2019 - 02:00
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to join the organization to 842 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures. Those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy's membership in 2019. Among the composers, songwriters and music editors invited to the music branch are: [c.20877]Michael Abels[] – "Get Out," "Us" [c.3608]Adele Adkins[] – Skyfall [c.810]Nathan Barr[] – "The House with a Clock in Its Walls," "The Last Exorcism" [c.11690]Kris Bowers[] – "Green Book," "Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You" Missy Cohen (music editor) [c.1809]Jane Antonia Cornish[] – "Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood," "Citizen Jane: Battle for the City" John...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Sony Music Announces 'Sea of Solitude' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Za, 29/06/2019 - 02:00
Sony Music Masterworks announces the release of [a.26122]Sea of Solitude (Original Soundtrack)[] with music by [c.28056]Guy Jackson[]. [m.56016]Sea of Solitude[] is a videogame that takes players on a personal journey of loneliness, experienced through the mind of a young woman named Kay. Available Friday, June 28, the soundtrack features music from the highly anticipated, beautiful, yet haunting game. [m.56016]Sea of Solitude[] is available on Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC from July 5, 2019. Guy Jackson commented, "[m.56016]Sea of Solitude[] is founded on a strong creative vision and music was an integral part of that from the start. As Kay's emotional journey grew, so did my response through the soundtrack. They feed each other....

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Composing for the Screen 2019: A Film Scoring Mentorship Program – Apply Now!

Film Music Magazine News - Do, 27/06/2019 - 01:27

Sponsored by BMI and directed by composer Rick Baitz, this NYC-based program selects a small number of emerging film composers and provides a series of workshops, followed by continued consultation and development.

This is an opportunity for nine emerging film composers to participate in a high-level workshop, where music for media will be examined from many perspectives: compositional, psychological, dramatic, stylistic—and more.

Using the elegant facilities of BMI’s NYC offices’ media room, participants will explore a wide range of excerpts – studying, composing, recording, and sharing work in a supportive environment. Students will leave the workshop with greater confidence in their own voices as composers for the screen, an enhanced sensitivity to the art of scoring narrative, several strong cues for their reel, and an increased understanding of the film music business.

During the year following the workshop, the group will meet on occasion to share work and discuss students’ development as film composers. The program will be open to the emerging film composer who has some experience in composing for the screen and wants to learn more about it. Free to accepted participants, it will be limited to nine students.

Accepted students are responsible for their own transportation to and accommodations in the New York area for the six-week duration of the workshop. Enrollees must commit to attendance at all six sessions.

Qualifications: Experience and credits as a composer; media scoring experience preferred. Ability to read and write music. Access to music production equipment: computer, DAW (Logic, Digital Performer, ProTools, Cubase, etc.), notation software (Sibelius, Finale); ability to create MIDI or hybrid scores.

To apply, click here, or contact Rick Baitz at


Six sessions, to be held in the BMI media room, 7 World Trade Center, 250 Greenwich St, NYC 10007 (except for Session 5, recording session).

1. Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, 4-7 PM

2. Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, 4-7 PM

3. Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, 4-7 PM

4. Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, 4-7 PM

(Two-week break to prepare final project)

5. Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019 – Recording Session, 2:30-6:00 PM, location TBD

6. Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, 4-7 PM

Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Sparks & Shadows Announces CD Release of 'Child's Play' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Wo, 26/06/2019 - 02:00
Sparks & Shadows is proud to announce the release of the [a.26003]Child's Play (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)[] on CD, featuring music by award-winning composer [c.1238]Bear McCreary[] ([m.1990]Battlestar Galactica[], [m.32573]The Walking Dead[] and [m.41882]Godzilla: King of the Monsters[]), available June 28th. The album features music from the highly anticipated reimagining of the 1988 slasher film from Orion Pictures. Alongside an exclusive performance video previewing the Theme from Child's Play ([url.]available here[]), [c.1238]Bear McCreary[] revealed that much of his inspiration came from Chucky's toy-store origins, prompting the composer to assemble a "toy orchestra" that is...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Walt Disney Records to Release 'The Lion King' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Di, 25/06/2019 - 02:00
Tickets are on sale today for [m.49272]The Lion King[], the Jon Favreau-helmed feature film that brings treasured characters to the big screen in a whole new way. The film--like the original 1994 version--features unforgettable music by an award-winning team, including Oscar and GRAMMY-winning superstar [c.610]Elton John[] and Oscar and GRAMMY-winning lyricist [c.2840]Tim Rice[], who've written an uplifting new song, "Never Too Late," performed by John, that features an African choir and will appear in the film's end credits and also on the Walt Disney Records original motion picture soundtrack. The digital soundtrack is set for release at 8 a.m. PDT on July 11, and the physical album is now available for pre-order and set for release...

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NEWS: Weekly Roundup: June 21

Soundtrack News - Za, 22/06/2019 - 02:00
Announced this week were new composer assignments for [c.452]Theodore Shapiro[] ([m.48739]Trolls World Tour[]), [c.21552]Branford Marsalis[] ([m.55952]The Kyd's Exquisite Follies[]) and [c.8161]Danny Bensi[] & [c.1781]Saunder Jurriaans[] ([m.48860]The Current War[]), among many others. For the full list of composer and music supervisor assignments from this week, [url./composers/]click here[]. Over 20 soundtrack albums were released this week. [da.2019-06-18]Click here for the full schedule[]. Opening in theaters nationwide this week are (with music by): [m.53320]Anna[] ([c.197]Eric Serra[]), [m.54166]Child's Play[] ([c.1238]Bear McCreary[]) and [m.40665]Toy Story 4[] ([c.150]Randy Newman[]). We are tracking song credits for the following new theatrical...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Milan Records to Release 'Midsommar' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Do, 20/06/2019 - 02:00
We are pleased to announce the release of the score to [m.54005]Midsommar[] on July 5th via Milan Records. [m.54005]Midsommar[] is the highly anticipated film release from Ari Aster, the director of the smash horror film, [m.51428]Hereditary[]. The complete [m.54005]Midsommar[] score was created by [c.16996]Bobby Krlic[] aka The Haxan Cloak. Krlic has been releasing his own often-harrowing electronic music for the better part of the past decade under the moniker of The Haxan Cloak. It was his solo output that led to working with Aster on this new film: Aster had heard Krlic's work and wrote the whole script entirely to his music. In addition to the more traditional underscore, Krlic was also responsible for the music that exists...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: John Williams & Anne-Sophie Mutter Announce 'Across the Stars' Album

Soundtrack News - Za, 15/06/2019 - 02:00
Legendary film composer [c.231]John Williams[] and superstar violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter have announced a new album, [a.26033]Across The Stars[]. Released on 30 August, the album will feature Williams conducting new arrangements of some of his iconic movie themes, including pieces written for the [m.24564]Star Wars[] and [m.10738]Harry Potter[] movies. Across The Stars was recorded at the historic Sony Pictures Scoring Stage in Hollywood, where many great film soundtracks of the past were recorded. "There is only one [c.231]John Williams[]," said Anne-Sophie Mutter. "What he writes is just extraordinary. Every time I go to one of his films and there is a violin or cello, I think, I would like to play that! And now I have his...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

Interview with Sean Callery

Film Music Magazine News - Za, 15/06/2019 - 00:18

From the big to the small screen, there’s been a fine tradition of gumshoe music that’s blazed a trail of clues from the jazz past to the electrified present. Built from rainy saxophone streets, the smoke of lush strings and the atmospheric synths of future noir, it’s a realm of morally beat-up detectives with a distinctive tone for anti-heroes who keep taking a beating. But rarely has the genre seen, or heard the super-powered likes of Jessica Jones, a Marvel comic book character who became the trailblazer for Netflix’s Marvel shows in 2015. Now she is the last of them at the streaming service to be given The Big Sleep, which makes it only fitting that her continual composer Sean Callery is sending her off in style – building on a mesmerizing, Emmy-winning signature sound to mark her final prowl through the city as she takes on an especially nasty serial killer determined to end her career on a lethal note.

Callery’s own TV-centric beat has boasted some of the most popular women and men of action to grace the medium in the last two decades – music that’s helped create a sound for new, no-nonsense wave of “appointment television” that’s broken down the quality wall between movie theaters and one’s living room. Starting his career as a sound designer on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” Callery would develop a suspenseful, pulsating sound through the spy action of “La Femme Nikita” and real-time race of “24.” His hundreds of episodes and numerous seasons of music have encompassed the procedurals of “Medium,” “Elementary” and “Bones,” heard the dark political intrigue of “Designated Survivor” and accompanied the boastfulness of the crime doctor “Bull.”

Callery’s music is no more intense, or filled with character than when in the company of women, whether it be “Sheena’s” jungle queen, “Homeland’s” spy mistress, or a female virus hunter who’s just now crossed into “The Hot Zone.” But among these strong females, none quite has the physical abilities or sarcastically sullen personality of “Jessica Jones,” a P.I. who’s unleashed especially hypnotic music from Callery in service of show creator Melissa Rosenberg (who’d previously tackled DC Bat-verse heroines with “Birds of Prey”). With Jessica (Krysten Ritter) first facing off against the omnipotent just say yes powers of Kilgrave, Callery delivered a mesmerizing soundtrack caught between eeriness, empathy and action, delivering the film noir goods in an ear-catching way, no more so than in its rocking, sultry main title that netted him an Emmy. In her second outing that saw Callery nominated for scoring, Jessica found herself at odds with a murderous, power-crazed mom Alisa (Janet McTeer), a tragic conflict that let the composer bring more humanity to its emotionally deadened heroine, as well as energy to the show’s batty detour into mad science.

Now as Jessica’s dangerously opens her apartment door with the tragic finality of season three, Callery further expands Jessica’s sound as her surreally jazzy, moodily sampled presence is pitted against the twisted, organic strings of a serial killer with an ego the size of Kilgrave’s – a villain here who makes up for his lack of mutant ability with a Lector-ian web of deadly cunning that upends Jessica’s world. Matters are equally taut among Jessica’s friends as they sink deeper into their own psychological pits, with ex-bestie Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor) finding that her own newfound powers bring as much pain as good, The fatally afflicted lawyer Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) joins an anti-superhero bandwagon to mask her desperation’s body count and ex-junkie NYC neighbor Malcolm (Eka Darville) falls several steps down his ladder while trying to find success in Hogarth’s firm. It’s a hypnotically tangled, vibe-filled web that Callery thematically weaves through an impactful season brimming with tragedy and menace, his sensual and menace-drenched tones swinging between detective scoring past and its future to still stand tall as some of most intriguing, and suspensefully haunting music heard on television for an investigator unlike any other,

How did you become interested in composing? And how much did soundtracks, especially what you might have heard on TV, influence your career path?

It started with watching reruns of “Lost in Space” as a kid. I remember the music grabbing my attention. The credits listed the composer as ‘Johnny Williams”. The main title themes (2 of them) were awesome, and the underscore was amazing – and still is. Dr. Smith’s antics took a back seat to what Mr. Williams was doing with the music. Then I saw “Jaws” at the age of 11 in 1975. This, I suppose, was the hook for me (pun intended). In my opinion it is still one of the all time greatest film scores.

You first worked as a sound editor on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” for which you got an Emmy nomination. Do you think that experience taught you anything about music, and the particular impression it had for television?

I learned much about composing by working as a sound effects editor. My job initially was sound designing ship interiors, alien world ambiences, Cardassian doors and exotic weaponry. I had to design the shape shifting sound for the character “Odo” – things like that. Designing ambiences for alien worlds was where I learned that very subtle sounds could have profound effects on an audience’s emotional response. If we went to a hostile world I would put very subtle pulsing textures or unsettling reversing sounds in a background to conjure a sense of unease. I would go on to apply these kinds of techniques into the scores I would compose for later on. Working on the Star Trek shows also taught me about the importance of interrelationships between music, sound effects, and dialogue. They have to work together to tell the story properly. The quality of those older Star Trek shows hold up brilliantly after decades.

Tell us about how you made your transition into professional scoring?

I moved to Los Angeles in late 1987. I was lucky enough to land a product support position for a digital audio company that made the first digital samplers and recorders (This was pre-Protools). Through that company I met composer and producer John Farrar, who wrote and produced for Olivia Newton-John. John hired me to do a few arrangements for one of Olivia’s albums, and when she was offered a part on an NBC Christmas movie, “A Mom for Christmas” in 1989, John asked me to compose it with him. That was my first credited music composing job. I would go on to briefly be Olivia’s music director for her upcoming tour.

Years later, Mark Snow (composer of “The X-Files”) took a liking to me when I did some arranging for him. He took me under his wing and helped me get my first television series, “La Femme Nikita”. That was a wonderful experience and I made some life long friends on that series. The show runner on La Femme Nikita was writer / executive producer Joel Surnow, who would go on to create the television series, “24” in 2001. He brought me along with him.

Some of your first shows were “La Femme Nikita” and “Sheena.” How do you think those strong female characters helped shape your approach for “Jessica Jones?”

Each character is different. It begins with the script and getting to know each of these amazing characters and their unique stories and situations, male or female. Nikita, Jack Bauer, Carrie Matheson (“Homeland”), and Jessica Jones all possess the qualities of being fiercely independent, having their own moral code, and each being very intelligent (to name a few). Their journeys however couldn’t be more different in terms of their emotional life and the challenges they face and how they evolve.

Your true breakthrough show was your Emmy-winning work on “24.” Could you talk about scoring a “real time” action show, and how it shaped the kind of atmospheric and percussive style that’s distinguished your work?

The show was quite different. I’d never seen anything like it. The earliest cuts were very experimental in the picture editing. Multiple boxes onscreen, overlapping dialog, and of course, the digital clock and the aspect of the show running in real time. The real challenge was figuring out how to convey sonically to the audience that all the stories were interconnected and happening at the same time, in real time. The visual boxes certainly helped with that concept, and when I started experimenting with music, I began working on pulsing kinds of textures and atmospheric things that would seamlessly carry over into other scenes without interruption. By having the music carry over in this way (much longer than I would on other shows) it would try to convey at a subtextual level that the characters are all interconnected by the thread of time and the continued progress of existence. Experimenting with spotting was key.

What did scoring such detective shows as “Bones” and “Minority Report” teach you about how to play the process of investigation?

“Bones” was such a joy to do because it was the first series that had some wonderful light humor woven into it. I had never really done that before, and it was a wonderful new area to explore for me personally. It was also the first investigative procedural I ever took on, and this presented its own set of unique challenges. There are many scenes where people are exploring a crime scene or looking at cells under a microscope, and much information is exchanged between the characters in these moments. There are unique story turns when discoveries are made. Sometimes there are jolts of fear, and there are little quips and light banter between the characters. All of these things have to be worked with in composing the music for a scene on “Bones,” all while keeping a good sense of pace. “Bones” was also the first series where I hired younger composers to work with me on a series. Jamie Forsyth and Julia Newmann were both credited as composers on the show, and I loved the collaboration I had with them.

“Minority Report” was such great fun too. It was based loosely on the terrific film (with a phenomenal score by John Williams to boot). However we did not use any themes from the movie in the television series because the series was centered more around the lives of the clairvoyant subjects in the floating pools instead of the police detective in the series, and the mood was different.
Nonetheless, it was a very full orchestral score with a lot of sound design and some humor as well.

Tell us about what led you to take on the case of “Jessica Jones?” Did you find the “real world” take the show had interesting?

Show runner Melissa Rosenberg heard my music on “Homeland” and asked me to come in for an interview. True story—I wrote the time down wrong and was an hour late for the meeting. Not exactly a great first impression. But thankfully she was very understanding. I knew nothing about the character, but it was clear this was a different kind of hero. The earliest discussions were about finding a different kind of score involving a possible jazz score. I was very intrigued. In terms of “real world,” the first season addressed Jessica’s past involving ongoing psychological and physical assault that was put upon her by a person she trusted (who would later be her adversary) the villain, Kilgrave. It was an extraordinarily prescient topic coming at a time when the entire world’s consciousness was being raised by the shining of bright light onto these kinds of issues.

Sean Callery and Melissa Rosenberg (photo by Jana Davidoff of Rhapsody PR)

Once you got the assignment did you do your own research into the Marvel comic character? And if so, what do you think distinguished her from the “typical” super heroine, let alone detective?

I’d never heard of Jessica Jones before. She was a superhero who drank, heavily, was ambivalent about her powers; and worked as a private detective set in a noir kind of moody city world. I was hooked. I found that the show mirrored very closely the mood and feel of the comic character. Our show runner Melissa Rosenberg truly conjured that world onscreen, led by the great Krysten Ritter. The Marvel folks, led by Jeph Loeb and Karim Zreik, also contributed greatly to the initial tone.

Sean Callery and Krysten Ritter (photo by Jana Davidoff of Rhapsody PR)

Talk about establishing the surreally jazzy tone, and instrumentation of “Jessica Jones.” What kind of detective, or film noir genres did you want to call upon?

I was thinking about the remarkable scores to great noir films like “Double Indemnity” and “The Maltese Falcon.” I also thought the music of “Blade Runner” was also a wonderful kind of sound. We wanted to create some kind of noir sound—but have it refreshed and updated, if we could do that. We called it a ‘neo-noir’ kind of approach. Melissa Rosenberg was so great in our conversations about tone. One of the great insights she gave me was that she wanted the show to remain intimate and personal. And that clue for me was to have the instrumentation be minimal and be no more than 4 or 5 instruments. Each instrument would be very expressive and have its own kind of voice and execution. Jessica’s main theme in the show was performed on guitar. Often in scenes, you’ll hear nothing more than guitar, piano, bass, ride cymbals and some sound design. Even in the bigger action scenes, I often kept things confined to a drum kit with additional percussion.

How much of an influence did you think the hypnotically omnipotent villain Killgrave had on the mesmerizing, overall tone of “Jessica Jones?”

Jessica Jones and Kilgrave

David Tennant is such an amazing actor, and his performance as Kilgrave is simply mesmerizing. He doesn’t appear onscreen until episode 4, but his presence and influence on Jessica needed to be felt early on The music and sound effects played a big role in evoking the notion that he had a hold on Jessica’s psyche. She would sometimes dream of him, or hear his voice in her head. This involved the introducing of very subtle moody textures that would just sort of permeate and overtake Jessica in certain moments. Often this was accompanied by an ominous purple hue onscreen.

Was it important to musically signify her super-strength in how you played the show’s bursts of action?

We made a specific choice that the score not be overly enhanced for her super-strength sequences. We wanted to stay grounded in the real world, even when she was demonstrating the extraordinary. There were of course exceptions to that rule, but the intent was always to keep the orchestration to a quintet / sextet kind of ensemble, even in the most intense of action scenes. 

Given that Jessica is so sullen, was it even more important to bring a sense of empathy, and even a bit or ironic humor to her character?

Yes! You made a very important observation about the character. I’ve always thought that Jessica has a huge and loving heart, and it is there underneath the trauma and damage that she has suffered. The humor can often be a bit of armor to cover up some pain she’s feeling, but she also was genuinely good-natured, and I quite loved those moments when those parts of her character could manifest. Her relationship with Trish, her Mom, and Trish’s Mom all had elements of real warmth and compassion, and those moments balance nicely with the other parts of her personality.

Your first season on Jessica stood out for not so much playing the action as much as it did atmosphere. Was that important for the show’s creator Melissa Rosenberg?

Yes it was. Melissa and I spent much time discussing the relationships on the series, and how each character evolves and what that journey sounds like and feels like over time. For example, the first time we meet Malcolm he is in the throes of addiction. He has an incredible transformation throughout the series, and we took great care how each step in his journey would unfold musically. Kilgrave was also interesting in that his effect on people changed over time. It was very important that we didn’t overplay his influence on people. We had the luxuries of experimenting with these things because the writing and the acting and directing were so good.

“Jessica Jones’” introduction got you an Emmy for the first season. What do you think makes for a memorable TV theme like “Jessica Jones’” – especially in an age when main titles are drastically shortened?

When I think of the great themes like “Mission Impossible,” “Star Trek,” or “The Jetsons” (the list goes on and on) they each have recognizable and catchy themes. They also capture the mood of the show you love. They are almost like folk songs for those of us who grew up watching television. Pay channels and streaming services have more freedom here with main titles, and I’m so grateful to Netflix and other pay networks for keeping up the tradition of having a proper main title open a show.

Season 2 of “Jessica Jones” got you an Emmy nomination for its score. How did having her murderous, super-powered mom add to your work here, especially as you couldn’t help but feel sympathy for her, let alone Jessica?

The relationship between Jessica and her mother was probably the most interesting and complicated relationship of the entire three-season run. There was love, anger, compassion, pain, a desire for making amends, a fear of forgiveness, and the ups and downs of holding that difficult journey. The music had to weave very carefully between these various states and emotions. It was such an honor getting a nod for Jessica Jones’s season 2 score.

In Season 3, Jessica is pitted against a serial killer with a distinct superiority complex. How did you want his music to stand out from Jessica’s?

This man is a really strange and scary character. He’s genuinely one of the darkest characters of the series. He has a sense of precision and isolation to him. He is a very intense individual, and the music I composed for him is its own new sound, consisting of only 6-8 string instruments. I am hoping people will find this character a great addition to the Jessica Jones world.

Trish Walker now has super powers, which she puts to “do-gooding” use. What do you think that having Jessica with a peer, who murdered her mom, adds to this season’s music?

Trish has a major transformation in this season, both emotionally and story-wise, and there ends up being two different themes for her and a new theme for Jessica and Trish, which I introduce towards the end of the season. Their relationship is tested in all kinds of interesting and engaging ways.

“Jessica Jones” has always had an interesting moral dance with characters behaving in self-destructive ways that they try to redeem, particularly in this season with Jessica’s neighbor Malcolm now working for a fatally-afflicted Hogarth, whose own needs push her over the line. Do you think that gives the music an extra depth?

Yes. The ‘dance’, as you nicely describe it, changes relationships and forces Jessica to make choices she was hoping not to make. These are the kinds of stories that could only happen in a later season, when you’ve gotten to know the characters so well. I think the fans will really enjoy seeing what certain peoples’ fates are.

Where many television shows have wall-to-wall scoring, “Jessica Jones” has especially impactful spotting that really lets silence play out. How important was that?

For “Jessica Jones”, the spotting was so important. This was not a show where the music could be everywhere. It just wasn’t the show’s style. We picked our moments very carefully so that the music would be at its most effective at telling and supporting the story. As an example, we were looking at a scene once where Jessica was examining an abandoned apartment. It was quiet and in the daytime. There was a little rodent in the apartment crawling around out of sight making sound. Her being in this crowded apartment space, with the sound a moving rodent was just perfect. Unsettling, and a little creepy. Music wasn’t needed there. Then, when Jessica finds a clue, the score comes in. The music works so much better playing her discovery than if we played the rodent moment leading into the discovery. These are the kinds of these we discuss and play with.

In the end, what do you think makes this season of “Jessica Jones” stand out both story wise and musically? And how do you think it places in your large repertoire of action hero scoring?

I love the way the last season unfolds and how it ends. I loved having a new villain to score. The relationships between the characters deepen, which is a luxury afforded to longer running shows. There is a sense of ‘coming full circle’ towards the end of the series, which provided a nice sense of closure for me. Hopefully Jessica will return again somehow, somewhere.

Is it especially bittersweet for you that “Jessica Jones,” which started Marvel’s Netflix run, now ends it?

Yes, I am sad. How can you not be? But at the same time, I am so happy for the series. I am so proud to have been a part of it. To be able to return to my early jazz roots for a score like this is a once in a blue moon kind of opportunity. I’m sad, but also so grateful for it having happened.

Does “Jessica Jones” give you the taste to score more superhero shows, perhaps one where the “comic book” elements might play a bigger, more symphonic part?

I would love to expand more into that world. The superhero genre is evolving in such exciting and unpredictable ways, with new characters and new kinds of stories. I would love to be a part of that.

How do you think your work shows how television scoring has changed, and evolved, especially when it comes to suspense shows? And would you hope that your music would have the same kind of influence on young viewers as the shows that first caught your ear?

It is the highest compliment when a composer writes me to say that they thought the music I composed for in an episode or series was inspiring to them in some way. I keep every one of those emails. They mean the world to me.

Watch “Jessica Jones” on the case HERE, and listen to Sean Callery’s music for her HERE, with Season 3’s soundtrack available digitally July 19th on Hollywood Records

Listen to Sean Callery’s soundtracks HERE

Visit Sean Callery’s website HERE

Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Laura Karpman Reelected to Academy Board

Soundtrack News - Wo, 12/06/2019 - 02:00
The Academy announced today that incumbent governor [c.855]Laura Karpman[] was reelected to the Academy Board representing the music branch.The Academy's 17 branches are each represented by three governors, who may serve up to three consecutive three-year terms. [c.777]Charles Bernstein[] and [c.534]Michael Giacchino[] are the other two governors of the music branch currently serving on the Academy Board. The Board of Governors sets the Academy's strategic vision, preserves the organization's financial health, and assures the fulfillment of its mission Visit the [url.]Academy's website[] for the full list of board...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Weekly Roundup: June 7

Soundtrack News - Za, 08/06/2019 - 02:00
Announced this week were new composer assignments for [c.5964]Sarah Schachner[] ([m.55829]Call of Duty: Modern Warfare[]), [c.743]Anton Sanko[] ([m.55854]Fractured[]) and [c.349]Lesley Barber[] ([m.55852]Four Weddings and a Funeral[]), among many others. For the full list of composer and music supervisor assignments from this week, [url./composers/]click here[]. Over 45 soundtrack albums were released this week. [da.2019-06-04]Click here for the full schedule[]. Opening in theaters nationwide this week are (with music by): [m.49264]Dark Phoenix[] ([c.237]Hans Zimmer[]) and [m.47126]The Secret Life of Pets 2[] ([c.752]Alexandre Desplat[]). We are tracking song credits for the following new theatrical releases: -[m.47126]The Secret Life of Pets 2[] (13...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Sony Music Announces 'Men in Black: International' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Za, 08/06/2019 - 02:00
Sony Music announces the release of [a.25984]Men in Black: International (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack[] with music by [c.58]Danny Elfman[] and [c.1590]Chris Bacon[]. One of the most acclaimed and distinctive film composers of his generation, [c.58]Danny Elfman[] returns to [m.16910]Men in Black[] after scoring the franchise's first three installments. He is joined by [c.1590]Chris Bacon[], who has previously written additional music on Elfman's scores including [m.34056]Avengers: Age of Ultron[], [m.39501]Alice Through the Looking Glass[] and [m.40390]Goosebumps[]. Available Friday, June 7, the soundtrack features music from the hugely-anticipated summer film, which makes its theatrical debut via Sony Pictures on Friday, June...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: 'Stranger Things' Season 3 Soundtrack Announced

Soundtrack News - Vr, 07/06/2019 - 02:00
Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, will release [a.25983]Stranger Things: Soundtrack from the Netflix Original Series, Season 3[] in digital and CD formats as well as an FYE-Exclusive cassette on Friday, July 5. 12″ vinyl editions of [a.25983]Stranger Things: Soundtrack from the Netflix Original Series, Season 3[] - featuring a mini-poster and bonus 7″ vinyl single - will be released on Friday, July 26. Exclusive colored variants of the vinyl with bonus items will be available at Walmart, Target and Urban Outfitters while an alternate cover edition will be available that day at Barnes & Noble. [a.25983]Stranger Things: Soundtrack from the Netflix Original Series, Season 3[] will feature 15...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

Interview with Lesley Barber

Film Music Magazine News - Do, 06/06/2019 - 20:51

In a comic book movie year, women have shown a winning talent for super intellectual powers from “Long Shot” to “Booksmart.” But there might not be a more comically fearsome, or sweetly emboldened dynamic duo than Katherine Newbury and Molly Patel. One is a bitingly imperious Brit who refuses to acknowledge that her talk show has long lost its sharp teeth in the face of crass social media comedians. The other is her number one fan whose ethnicity, gender and talent have gotten her in the door of an all-male writer’s room. There she attempts to save Katherine in spite of herself with fresh-faced ideas that are bloodily shot down by her firing-happy boss from hell, as enabled by chauvinists with no desire to have a woman in the women’s room. But with a good dose of perseverance, “Late Night” blazes a path as a delightful new take on the kid-makes-good boardroom genre that follows in the fine tradition of “The Secret of My Success,” “Working Girl” and “The Devil Wears Prada.” A big credit goes to comedian Mindy Kaling, who impressively rewrite her own book as both Molly and as the author of “Late Night’s” terrifically acerbic, and heartfelt screenplay, its bon mots delivered with droll relish by Emma Thompson as the force of nature behind The Katherine Newbury Show.”

However, if you’re expecting a score that plays every dialogue-driven joke and heartstring here like a TV band drummer enthusiastically hitting his cymbal, composer Lesley Barber defies expectations with a score as smartly energetic, and vibrantly attuned to its material as “Late Night’s” winning sisterhood act. Beginning her career with lyrical, female-centered scores as “When Night is Falling,” “A Price Above Rubies,” “Mansfield Park” and Kenneth Lonergan’s Oscar nominated “You Can Count On Me,” Barber’s intimate talent for strings, guitar and orchestra received particular accolades in the choral company of grieving men with Lonergan’s “Manchester by the Sea.” Yet her work has steadily been breaking out of its arthouse conceptions with hip rom-coms like “Irreplaceable You” and “Nappily Ever After” while schooling itself in eeriness for “The Moth Diaries” and “Boarding School.”

Now reteaming with director Nisha Ganatra after the fantastical adventure of “The Hunters” and a kid’s Groundhog Day holiday in “Pete’s Christmas,” Barber has carried off her most mainstream dramedy yet with panache. Artfully letting Kaling’s razor-sharp dialogue take care of itself along with the ensemble’s exceptional performances, Barber delivers a soft-spoken, strongly thematic score that accentuates both Molly’s can-do drive as well as her vulnerability, all while digging out the fragility and humanity behind Katherine’s beyond intense personality. Rhythmically conveying the starstruck wonder of being in the big city, as well as the process of crafting comedy itself, Barber’s music is as smart and melodically poignant as ever. But no talk show would be worth its monologue without a band to send its host in with, a swinging energy that Barber jazzily hits to segue from golden oldie to the hip beat of a re-energized Katherine. In the end, Barber walks onto a whole new mainstream scoring stage with “Late Night’s” especially catchy soundtrack about sisterhood, music that shows the empathetic vibe she’s always had going while finding a new, energetic groove to deliver for a nationwide audience.

Had you watched late night talk shows before tackling “Late Night?”

Yes. As a watcher of late night talk shows, I was aware of how their bands had changed over the years. For “Late Night,” I needed to come up with a central theme that would permeate the harmonies and melodies of the score that would stem from the music of Katherine’s show. The theme needed to feel really authentic as a late night theme, as the music had to be in place before filming began so the band could play it on set. It was crazy fun listening back and studying late night bands from Doc Severinsen on The Tonight Show to Jay Leno’s band and the more “New York” sound of Paul Schaffer on David Letterman and the band on Saturday Night Live. And I also looked at the bands on Jimmy Kimmel, Fallon, Stephen Colbert – and other Late Night shows as well.

Once I’d found a theme for “Late Night,” it was important that it could evolve and change with the characters, showing how they in turn make Katherine’s show evolve. So “Late Night” is a score within a score within a score, one that accumulates in meaning over the course of the film. When we first meet Katherine Newbury, she’s had her show for some time, and it’s in need of a shake-up. In my research, I realize that the one thing that really drives each shows’ sound, and marks how they’ve evolved, is the percussion approach. Late night bands are now very drum-driven – and this led me to a theme that had a drum driven voice that evolves over the course of the score and film. In the beginning of “Late Night,” Katherine’s theme has a classic swing style to it that was more reminiscent of Doc Severinsen’s style. And as the story and Katherine evolve, the sound of the band changes as well. It’s taken over by new arrangements for the drums and guitar, and ultimately gets closer to the Saturday Night Live meets Kimmel meets Colbert sound. The other aspect of having a theme that could permeate the other motifs was that it allowed me to create a theme for Molly and Katherine. As their two lives really begin to interact with each other, the writer’s room, and the bigger world, their music comes together as well. So it’s a score that has many moving parts, and maybe more music than people realize. Yet it’s all very cohesive and part of the same world. That’s what I was hoping to do, and it’s exciting to hear how it all turned out.

“Late Night” definitely does bring out a new jazzy side of your work.

Yeah. It was fun looking at recent dramedy/comedy driven films and coming up with the right voice that could be closer to my a lush, orchestrated contemporary sound. By getting close to Katherine’s character I found walking base line and drums based on her talk show theme worked well in the writing room scenes. Katherine’s an acerbic, tough in-control character, annoyed and impatient with everyone around her. She’s also hilarious, so we looked at creating themes that walked hand-in-hand with Katherine and could also open up into a bigger orchestral – the sound that people are aware of through my past work, which often has intimately played guitar, warm piano, lots of percussion and a string orchestra. For “Late Night,” I varied that sound from twenty strings to the sound of a bigger orchestra that brings a musical depth of field to the emotion, and the city. That’s a challenge because you have this very authentic house band style that you have to put in its most cinematic light.

What do you think that Katherine’s unique standing as an at-first uncompromisingly intelligent American talk show host brings to the score?

This might sound funny, but sometimes when I’m looking at scores that enter into different male points of view is that their characters’ themes don’t enter into the score or scene with them. Marking Katherine and Molly’s entrances into the room, as opposed to male counterparts observing them, gives their characters the space with the music that expands the depth of their voices in the film. I really thought of “Late Night” as the musical connection between two characters who are from two different worlds. At the beginning, they each have their own themes. But as the story connects them with each other, their themes connect. And by the end, the music shares their story and emotions, and hopefully draws their separate worlds together. The backdrop of the writers’ room brings their themes together. That was what I was most excited by in doing the score.

How did you want to reflect the more personable, and vulnerable character of Molly, who wears her emotions on her sleeve apart from the guys who are climbing over each other for Katherine’s attention?

That was fun. Both Molly and Katherine are dead serious in their own way, which is where the movie’s incredible humor comes from. It’s being committed to these two women who are separated by their culture and generation. But they become united by their love of good work, writing, humor and punch lines. That’s what was so exciting about composing for them. Of course the film looks at diversity, feminism and inclusion at a time when particularly the entertainment industry is being pressured to become more inclusive. That also creates a backdrop that underlines the humor in the film.

How difficult is it to write music that doesn’t try to go for punch lines in a film that’s so dialogue-driven?

When I look at classic films that have humor and accumulate emotional meaning at the same time, usually the writing goes hand-in-hand with the character, whether it’s a subtler like “About Schmidt and “The Big Sick,” or an Adam Sandler film. When comedies and their scores are at their best, they’re connected to character, and not commenting on them. They’re expanding, and deepening the characters. So with comedy, I try to be intensely inside the scene as composer.

There’s also a wonderfully touching relationship between Katherine and her Parkinson’s-afflicted husband Walter. How was it literally playing those scenes?

They were an interesting place to start since John Lithgow’s character plays the piano. When I got the script, I realized that I had to play the piano pieces and set those in place before the film was shot. The piano represents the world, and relationship that Katherine and Walter share. So while some of the music in the score is a little more extroverted, their cues are more intimate. For those scenes I wrote closely to picture to get inside of their emotional world and the structured the cues through my piano solos.

How did you want to capture the rhythms of making it in the big city?

When we first meet Molly, there are a few themes I use, one of which is a piano theme that is also used at times with Katherine’s character. It’s a relationship theme that works at first for Molly, and then for both of them. When we first meet Molly, there’s a kind of intimate, “indie,” close-up sound in the score. I wanted it to sound like we could hear the hands on the guitar, and more up close performances. I worked with percussion to come up with something that was drum-driven as well. I used close-up strings and a large indie string sound, almost like a pop sound, and that evolved into some lusher orchestral arrangements. It was an interesting challenge.

Tell us about working with Mindy Kaling.

Late Night director Nisha Ganatra and Mindy Kaling

I’d worked with the director Nisha Ganatra before, and we had a real shorthand in terms of what we wanted to do. Right away Mindy and I were in touch, as I had to write the theme for Katherine’s show, and she emailed me back let me know from the set about how much she loved it. Then as the project moved on, Mindy and I checked in about the score, as I worked with Nisha It was a wonderfully collaborative experience. We had a Sundance deadline looming and there was an incredible amount of work to be done between December 1st and January 14th. All of our collaborative conversations were really great. It was really a dream project.

How did you identify with Molly’s character?

It’s part of the composer’s world, work that we’re constantly putting all of our passion and emotion into our music, and then sending it out into the world. It can be surprising what the response is, especially when it’s not always what you think it’s going to be. Those collaborative moments between composers and the filmmakers are going to have humorous moments when you’re trying to figure out your way forward. With every score there’s the pressure for authenticity and to get the music right. Often you only have a few days to do it right. Yet those moments of pressure and criticism are when the best ideas can happen.

When people hear “Late Night,” do you think they’ll hear another “rom-com” side of you that will be new to them?

I think most recently my work has been associated strongly with my score for “Manchester by the Sea” and a variety of films that are orchestral. At the same time, when I started out I was very much doing percussion, loops and string driven work. So “Late Night” was certainly a great opportunity to write a different kind of score. I’ve done more comedy and dramedy over the last couple of years – “Irreplaceable You” and “Nappily Ever After” come to mind – and they’re really fun. Because like “Late Night” they’re about people and emotion, which are great places to write from and get inside of the characters. The scores coming up are also giving me a chance to get into this kind of writing. Right now I’m working with Mindy on Hulu’s “Four Weddings and a Funeral.” and have another feature coming up in the fall. “Four Weddings” has been one of the most inspiring projects I’ve worked on in recent years, and Mindy’s writing is again genius and fun. It’s a hugely exciting project.

Do you think you’ve helped blaze a trail for female composers, much as the way that Mindy is doing for female writer-stars with “Late Night?”

For me it’s been an amazing series of working with great people on stories that I care about. Every film has been an amazing experience and opportunity to try something new with my music while also recalling my past scores. I don’t know how to describe my own work, but I just know that it’s about commitment to the story and where that story takes me that excites me as composer.

Late Night’s cast and filmmakers at Sundance

“Late Night” opens in select cities on June 7th, and then wide on June 14th. Strike up the band with Lesley Barber’s score on Lakeshore Records HERE

Listen to Lesley Barber soundtracks HERE

Visit Lesley Barber’s website HERE

Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

Interview with David Arnold

Film Music Magazine News - Vr, 31/05/2019 - 13:10

In a career that’s going on nearly four decades, David Arnold has always impressed with his boldness. He’s symphonically jetted across the universe, patriotically liberated earth from an alien invasion and reinvigorated 007’s orchestral action with state of the art beats. His numerous styles shut everyone’s mouth with “Shaft’s” Afro-funk, collided strange percussion while “Changing Lanes” and liberated slaves to the moving orchestral strains of “Amazing Grace.” But if his scoring has been missed in Hollywood of late, it’s because Arnold’s been quite busy on his side of the pond with a modern-day re-invention of “Sherlock,” (scored with Michael Price), staging the worker power West End musical “Made in Dagenham” and providing a heroically melodic stage for The Olympics themselves.

As a composer who’s always thought creatively big no matter the medium, David Arnold is now ready to unleash what just might be his most devilishly wonderful work yet for “Good Omens.” Think the cheekiness of “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” meeting the Antichrist endgame of “The Omen,” and you’ll hear the stream of apocalyptic satire that has its jolly way with the musical tropes of heaven, hell. Based on the book by Terry Pratchett (“Discworld”) and Neil Gaiman (“Sandman”) and directed by “Sherlock’s” Douglas Mackinnon, this Amazon miniseries has angel and demon frenemies Aziraphele (Michael Sheen) and Crowley (David Tennant) haplessly uniting to stave off the much-desired final war of their bosses. It’s an Avengers-worthy teaming between effete halo-ism attitude and Queen-blasting infernal attitude that drives Arnold’s score, all as an ironically rebooted four horsemen lead a hapless witch finder and the antichrist and his tween pals to their fateful destination, with Frances McDormand’s God ironically narrating the way.

Good Omens’ writers Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

It’s not as if “Good Omens” is the first black comedy score to goof about with the stalwart music of heaven and hell. But what makes the difference here is the sheer, insane fun that Arnold has with iconic absolute good versus total evil stuff. Jumping about history with elfin cheekiness and surprising humanity that never forgets the big stakes at play, Arnold’s “Omens” are a constant shifting soupcon of whimsical whistling, raging choruses, Spaghetti western strumming, delicate Renaissance-era music, alien visitation electronics, grave symphonic suspense and tolling bells among the seemingly infinite approaches on hand that occasionally hearken back to Arnold’s “Stepford Wives,” “Stargate” and even his Bond scores. Yet as batshit as “Good Omens” might get, Arnold keeps the thematic reigns on, with a witchy, waltzing theme that ties together an infernal and do-gooding tapestry. “Good Omens” is a gleeful danse macabre that not only blows up the genre’s scoring clichés, but will likely make David Arnold’s fans hear a whole new musical trickster at work for this delightfully insane miniseries.

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What was your experience like of moving more from films to TV?

Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve done a film, pretty much since I did the Olympics in 2012, where I couldn’t do any films, because I was 19 months solid on that event. So I had to sort of say no to a few things, and in a way, got out of the habit of doing them. The first thing that came up after the Olympics was “Sherlock” and plays that still just involved me writing music. It just happened to be for a different medium.

Did that affect your more epic cinematic style?

I’ve always listened to lots of different sorts of music, and to a certain extent, the fact that I suppose my cinematic style was broadly symphonic was just because that’s the way the films were. I mean, the ones that didn’t have to be like that weren’t like that, but the bulk of them I appreciate, were. So for me, there’s not really any difference in the job. I’m still in the same room with the same equipment, looking at something moving on a screen and figuring out what the musical answer to the questions that it asks me is.

Did TV give you more artistic freedom?

I think artistic freedom is afforded to you by several factors. One of them is the project itself. One of them is the director’s attitude to the music and to his working with a composer. The other one, if it’s a movie especially, is whether the studio and the producers are interested in something that’s a bit less predictable and safe, a project that’s rather than out the box.

“Good Omens” in particular was a project that demanded that you went everywhere musically. The show, as coherent as it is, is also a vast, sprawling story with characters all in focus, and very much on the same path towards the same focal point at the end. But the characters also have their own agendas and stories to tell across the world, across heaven and hell, across the universe, and across time as well. So there’s not really a way of doing that without trying to match the program for its reach with the immense creative canvas that it presents us with. If you don’t step up to match and understand it, then I think you would do this show a disservice.

How did you come on board “Good Omens?”

I got asked to do “Good Omens” by the director, Douglas Mackinnon, who I’d previously worked with on the Victorian Christmas special episode of the series “Sherlock. I had a great time working with Douglas on that. When Douglas was himself pitching for the job of directing “Good Omens” he asked me that if he were to be successful if I would come on board with him. Douglas is one of the great collaborators because he listens to what you have to say and he listens to the music that you’ve written. He’s a person with a huge amount of trust and a very good understanding of how his cut is working. So the process of “Good Omens” was an absolute delight once we got going.

Director, Douglas MacKinnon

Was it easier to have Doug direct every episode as opposed to having different ones, which is often the case with episodes of a miniseries?

Obviously with “Sherlock” there had been directors who’d done more than one episode, But for a show of “Good Omen’s” size and scale, it helps to a certain extent because it’s consistency of understanding and of a view of how it should be. The great advantage of “Good Omens’ was that I was only ever really dealing with Neil and Doug. I met with several people from BBC and Amazon as we were going along, but they were largely watching what was happening between me and Doug and Neil. And once you get over your initial hurdle of “What is this going to be and do I like it,” it’s very much an exercise in complete trust. Douglas and Neil looked to me to solve the problems of the show musically, and weren’t dictatorial. The only thing I was encouraged to do was “The more out there, the better,” and every time we did that, it worked. “Good Omens” was a show that would should great creative leaps of faith, partially because what it’s about, but also because it’s so structurally strong. Upon that, they let me dance around as I saw fit.

How did you choose the instrumental styles for “Good Omens?”

To a certain extent, when you see things that are set in a certain period, then it dictates an approach for you to belong to that world. The show itself starts at the dawn of time as far as mankind is concerned in a biblical sense, with Adam and Eve in the Garden. It then shows how they’re cast out by committing the first sin. From there, it travels through time to the present day or not so long ago, not quite the present day. When we are in 14th century with the witch finders, then there’s a certain amount of traditional instrumentation, which you’d be stupid to ignore. It’s the same way when we’re in Rome, Shakespeare’s England, or the 60s in swinging London. Part of what you’re doing is making a sound that belongs to the world that we were in at the time when we’re watching it.

How did you want to convey the love-hate relationship between Aziraphale and Crowley?

I never felt that it was a “love-hate relationship.” I always felt it was just a love relationship with a little bit of chafing at the edges. So to that extent, the beauty of that relationship was so much on the page and in the performance that there was very little that was required for music to do other than agree with it as it happened before us. Sometimes, it had a little bit of sort of storytelling twists and turns, where the attitudes may have indicated one thing or another may or may not be happening, and we collude with those looks from time to time. But the heart of their relationship is, I think, unadulterated and pure, and unspoiled, – though it’s tested from time to time. I do sort of fall on just such admiration and surprise at how fantastically well Michael Sheen and David Tennant played against each other, and on screen as those characters. They’re utterly, completely believable. They created two characters that you sort of fall in love with immediately. It’s a trick that very few actors are able to pull off, but when it works, it’s fantastic.

How “funny” did you want the music of heaven and hell to be?

I never want music to be funny. I think it’s a huge mistake. It’s a bit like waving a flag and saying “laugh here,” which draws attention to itself in a very unbecoming way as far as score’s concerned. So, if the comedy is there, then you have to create the launch pad for it to succeed and to land properly. And that usually means timing more than anything. So I wouldn’t know what “funny music” is. Every time I’ve done a comedy, I’ve done it sort of deadly seriously and completely straight because comedy works against a background of truth, even when it’s ridiculous. So I never, ever tried to write funny music. The show, when it’s funny is funny and certainly didn’t need any help. But what it does need is a score that keeps out of the way of the jokes and lets them work while keeping the story telling process going.

As far as the idea of music for heaven and hell, if there is a kind of expected relationship between them, it’s presumably that heaven is harps and choirs, and hell is sort of metallic clangs, moans, and possibly heavy rock. So, I adopted those two styles, I suppose, and the sounds of them rather than run away from them. So, heaven doesn’t have a music of it’s own. It has a sound that I’d describe as a factory for love, while hell sounds like a factory for evil. So the sound for heaven, is made out of all the things that we normally expect heaven to be, but there’s something sort of industrial about it. It’s choirs and it’s harps and it’s bells and things of great beauty, but they’re messed with and mangled a bit and made to be functional in that it’s almost like a work environment where people are trying to produce “good.” It’s the same for hell, with bells made awful with distortions and guitars and rock drums and moaning choirs. It’s a production line of great misery, and like all of the show, it was enormous fun to score that.

What about playing the seriousness of the impending apocalypse?

What the show does quite brilliantly is to make you laugh and then knocks you on the head with something quite profound or beautiful or prophetic. When those moments arrive, you go with them in a very, very honest way. I treat those moments of serenity, seriousness, and contemplation with the utmost respect, so they almost live in a different way in the score

Tell us about developing the main title

The script originally had the Buddy Holly song “Everyday” to open and close the episodes, with a different version of the end title reflecting what had happened in that given show. I liked that idea, and recorded a sort of Shakespearian version of it, a sort of death metal version of it and a sort of folk-y version of it. But all the time I was thinking that what I love about doing shows is to write an original theme that opens the world of the show up at the beginning. It’s a bit like the shop window isn’t it? You’re walking past it, and it catches your eye, and you go, “What’s that?” You look at it deeply, you go, “Oh, it’s all of these things. I want to go in.” So I asked Neil and Doug if they’d give me the chance to write a title sequence. Having done the Buddy Holly versions that they wanted. I said, “Look this is no pressure and no obligation, but give me a chance to write something” because I had an idea. I wrote the lullaby quite quickly because it was something that they needed quite quickly to shoot to, as they were shooting a scene where David Tennant had to sing the song on the set,

I felt like what I wanted the lullaby to be as if Walt Disney had been possessed by Satan – to sound kind of sweet, but be very much in contrast to the lyrics about blood and brains and ruling the world when everything’s destroyed. That was the first thing I wrote, and I sort of knocked it down quickly, sang them the demo and sent it off. Then they were shooting it, and it was in the show. All the time I was thinking that I really liked the melody and thought, “What if we abuse that quality? What if we do things to it which maybe you shouldn’t do with darker intentions?” I sort of carried on with this idea of a waltz. These things can be like a demonic kind of world.

The main title thing became a sort of demonic and angelic thing together. The opening section of it is the demonic waltzing of Mephistopheles’ dark side and the middle breaks into a sort of boy soprano, which sounds very angelic. In a way it’s not a staggeringly original concept, but it seemed to work. Thankfully, Neil and Doug liked it, and then we dumped the idea of doing the Buddy Holly song and stuck with the theme. That theme became the gateway to the entire rest of the show working musically. I think it ticked a lot of boxes for Neil and Doug and gave them confidence that they could leave me to run wild and respectfully go to all these different places, all while constantly checking with them that it was okay.

Did you want to musically differentiate mere mortals from the supernatural characters?

I didn’t make an effort to differentiate music either stylistically or emotionally, because if you start adopting a style for everything that crops up in the show, then it would be a terrible mess. What made sense was to try and identify the human emotional part of all of their stories because that’s the only way we can really relate to it. So I sort of relied on just a very basic, quite normal in a way, interpretation of what was going on. Because how else could we see what was happening than by being “us?”

What was your approach to the adolescent Antichrist?

The Antichrist is an unaware kid. And when he realizes it, he’s only going to be aware of that a relatively short amount of time. So I didn’t really play the Antichrist from an internal perspective. The relationship with his group of friends was this sort of very bucolic English countryside, gentle, pure relationship that they all have as kids together. Our first sort of suggestions of something going wrong is when he’s asleep and hearing the voices. So we would go from a sort of very innocent sound to something being dredged up and dragged along from a dark place. It’s music that I wanted to sound as if this stranger was coming up from behind you in the dark. You’re sort of aware he’s there, but you don’t look round to see him, even as he’s getting closer.

Did you see the black humor of “Good Omens” as tying into your score for “The Stepford Wives?”

I suppose that “Good Omens” has a spiritual cousin in The Stepford Wives, which in itself was a slightly demonic, perverted situation of a film, in terms of its story. I certainly liked the tonal color of that score, and it did feel like it was slightly devilish. But I suppose if you do anything in 3/4 with some choir, then it’s going to sound a bit like that.

“Good Omens” makes the best use of Queen and their guitar licks this side of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” How did the band’s music and style end up in the series?

Queen was in the original “Good Omens” book in the book, which had the idea that if you leave a cassette in a car for any amount of time than it will turn into Queen’s Greatest Hits – whether you like it or not! So the sound of Queen really belongs to Crowley’s Bentley, and most of what you hear when Crowley’s in the car is Queen playing, no matter what goes into the CD player. I was a massive fan of Queen when I was younger. I bought all the sheet music and learned how to play it. I saw loads of concerts with them, and I even tried to copy what Brian May was doing by watching his fingers when he was performing on telly. So Queen was a very welcome addition to “Good Omens.”


I’d worked with Brian and Roger before on the Olympics. Where I’d demoed stuff in a Queen style for them. Now I could orchestrate that here with guitar, in the same way that Brian May had done so brilliantly in so many of their songs. I mean, if I’m sitting down for fun with a guitar, I’ll probably still play a Queen song! So to actually do it and have it in a show is fabulous. One of my favorite pieces in this is a sort of Queen-ified black metal version of the main theme that closes episode one. I applied a lot of my Queen wish-list of things to do on that, and I recorded that with my Brian May copy guitars, with a brilliant programmer and guitarist named Toby Pitman, We’re both massive fans of playing guitar loudly. And I think that’s true of most people who play electric guitar.

How did you choose Tori Amos singing “The Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” to end the series so beautifully?

Tori Amos

I can take zero credit for that being in the show. It was in the script from day one, and Neil, who is friends with Tori Amos, had asked her to sing it. Lucky for us, she said yes. And it was lovely for me because I had written a song called “Play Dead” for my very first film “The Young Americans” and I wrote that after seeing Tori Amos do a songwriter’s showcase in London before she was well known. I think she’d just finished making her first album and it hadn’t come out. I was transfixed by her physical performance, the songwriting, her piano playing and the nature of what she was saying in the music. So I went home that night wanting to write a Tori Amos song, and I thumped out what became “Play Dead.” So it was a lovely little squaring of that circle to be able to add a little bit of extra something to her piano vocal performance. Obviously, it’s a very beautiful song, and beautifully performed, and it holds our hands so delicately as that show comes to an end that you feel like you were delivered somewhere familiar, but better.

What can we expect from your music for the forthcoming British “Dracula” series?

It’s a few weeks before I really start on “Dracula.” It’s a show that I’m doing with Michael Price again, whom of course I wrote “Sherlock” with. It’s going to be three 90-minutes episodes, which is the same format as the Sherlock series. Michael and I at the moment are creating the sound world for it to try and define what the tone of it will be. We both feel very strongly about what we should be doing with it. It’s a few weeks after conception, and it’s growing healthily and we’ve yet to find out whether it’s a boy or a girl.

La La Land Records has released any number of complete editions of your scores. And now they’ll be putting out an extended anniversary edition of “Stargate,” which was the score that really put you on the Hollywood map. What’s it like to have the music be so remembered years later, and what was the experience like of creating an epic score like it?

It’s always really lovely when a company like La-La Land puts out complete versions of scores. To a certain extent, I think I was quite reluctant when I did the original ones to put everything on it, because I thought it was going to be quite hard as a listening experience, I tried to make Milan’s first “Stargate” album as much of a coherent and listenable a journey as I could. That one is still out there. But what’s great about this new one is that it’s an additional thing for collectors. La La Land does such a brilliant job of locating things that have never been heard and then getting the permission to release it. They do great sleeve notes, good artwork, and it’s remastered, so everything sounds better. So if you like soundtracks, I think their reissues are special. And that’s a word that people use more frequently than they should. But it’s a really lovely thing to have because finding rarities is trickier.

In the day when I scored “Stargate,” there weren’t that many computers. Everything was on fax. There were no electronic files or anything. Anything that I sent as an idea was on a cassette, and it was FedExed across the ocean. Those initial ideas were listened to by Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin. And once they said “Yes we like it,” or, “No we don’t,” they probably end up in a bin somewhere. So, there’s still a few more places I have to search to see if there’s anything I can find, But sometimes it feels nice listening to old things. I think probably most people would say that it only seems like yesterday, but it actually does to me!

Good ideas make me think of music. Listening to those old cassettes made me remember when I was told the idea of “Stargate” by Roland. He had all of these original concepts of the great what-ifs, like “What if we found a doorway to somewhere else buried underneath the pyramids?” Those are the kind of what-if’s that let you go anywhere you like, and I just remember being very enthused by the idea, and hearing some of those themes appear. It was an enormous marathon period of writing in America. There’s a lots of good energy, honest intentions and enthusiasm in my writing for “Stargate.” You can hear that kind of enthusiasm in “Good Omens” as well. I’m happy that “Stargate” became so popular and created a lot of TV shows that were part of that world. It only really struck me when I heard other people sort of doing versions of what I’d done for the TV shows that I realized that the world of “Stargate” had a “sound.” Something that I’d come up with was now a thing that was travelling around to be adopted and recognized. It’s like shaking hands with everyone without having to get on a plane.

John Singleton, for whom you’d scored “Baby Boy,” “Four Brothers” “2 Fast 2 Furious” and “Shaft” for was a vibrant filmmaker whose passing is a tragic loss. What are your memories of working with him?

David Arnold and John Singleton, photo by Dan Goldwasser

I feel like I’ve lost this unfair amount of collaborators, with Chris Cornell, and Scott Walker. John was a huge shock. He was young, and I’d done four movies with John. That’s a lot of experiences to go through with someone. The main thing that I recall and remember from my time with John Singleton was that I spent most of it laughing because he was funny. He made what were sometimes quite tricky projects enjoyable to be on. He was protective of his cast and crew. He was protective of his ideas. He was doubly protective of music. He understood music and musicians and why it worked. He would trust you to do what you did. I was initially a bit shocked and surprised that he would allow me, considering where I came from, to work on a film like “Shaft.” But that worked so beautifully that he asking me to come back and do his next film, and then the one after that and then one after that. That’s a really special thing, when you feel that you have the trust of someone as important as a filmmaker as John Singleton was. It feels like an honor to be asked to be a part of the team.

John was at heart the sort of person that I like the most. You just wanted to hang out with him regardless. You feel like you would be a friend whether you were working on his films or not. It’s a strange industry at the best of times, but when it throws up opportunities to become friends with John Singleton, then I’m more grateful for that aspect of it than I am for the work aspect of it.

What do you think that shows like “Good Omens” signal for television music?

There are lots of interesting shows on the TV, but I do think that “Good Omens” is very much of its own world. I don’t think it is like anything else. If it’s a success then it will hopefully open up opportunities for bigger creative leaps in writing and filmmaking and scoring in general, with bolder attitudes towards everything. I think we’re starting to see that already on TV in a way that maybe isn’t happening in film. People on TV shows like “Good Omens” aren’t afraid to be different, and trust creative people to come up with something new.

Do you think that “Good Omens” redefines that kind of music that people might expect from you?

The Good Omens chorus at Air Studios in England

I’m not sure that I mind what they think I can do. If I’m being so perfectly honest, I only really want to do what I want to do. I want to be able to spend my day writing something that I enjoy writing, with people that I enjoy working with. I want to look forward to it and feel supported and safe in the process. So I don’t particularly mind if people think that I can’t do a certain “thing.” Before I did a Bond movie, I’d never done a Bond movie. Before I did a sci-fi movie, I’d never done a sci-fi movie. At some point, someone will say, “Well, maybe we should give him a go and see what happens.” And if it’s something new, I think that’s always when the best results happen, because it’ll be on something that I’ve never done before.

Would you like to return to blockbuster scores like “Stargate” and “Independence Day?”

If I’m interested in something, and I want to do it, then I’ll do it. Now, if that means that it’s a $200 student movie, or $200 million studio movie, it doesn’t matter. I don’t really want to do anything that I don’t want to do. I’ve been offered some films where it’s been something that I didn’t care about. I like working on musicals performing, writing songs with people and doing charity work with Care International. They all take time, and time is hugely important. I just want to be on projects that are hugely enjoyable, and make me happy.

What stands out from the experience of “Good Omens?”

The execution of these things is still very much a team sport. We had a very tight, friendly, fantastic group of people getting “Good Omens” musically across the line – in particular, Toby Pitman who was programming guitars, and Ben Foster who did orchestration and conducting. Both of them were just fabulous. It’s having those support networks of having brilliant engineers like Nick Wollage and Adam Miller. Being able to record the amazing string section, and the Crouch End Festival Chorus, who were full of enthusiasm and ideas. The weirder the music went, the happier they were.

I’ve been doing this for quite a long time now, and you start thinking, “How much more can you learn about the process?” I think I might have learnt more on “Good Omens” than I ever have before. And because “Good Omens’ was a team sport as far as the music was concerned, I really did have a door kicked open for me. Like those monkeys that get out of captivity and you see them leaving a compound for the first time and touching grass. I was the monkey thrown out of that compound and told to run and live in the trees and make the most of it. This might not be the best analogy to make, actually, but I was trusted with it.

“Good Omens’ was certainly a great joy to have done. I can’t imagine it ever being like that ever again, somehow. This show is so much of itself, and so much of its own world, maybe the only way it could have been done is for us to be in a little room by ourselves, creating it for ourselves and not really worrying too much about all the other things that you normally worry about .

“Good Omens” premieres on Amazon Prime Video May 31st HERE with David Arnold’s score available HERE

Find David Arnold soundtracks HERE

Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Weekly Roundup: May 24

Soundtrack News - Za, 25/05/2019 - 02:00
Announced this week were new composer assignments for [c.2269]Ludwig Goransson[] ([m.55714]Tenet[]), [c.1271]Geoff Zanelli[] ([m.53092]Maleficent: Mistress of Evil[]) and [c.16996]Bobby Krlic[] ([m.54005]Midsommar[]), among many others. For the full list of composer and music supervisor assignments from this week, [url./composers/]click here[]. Over 30 soundtrack albums were released this week. [da.2019-05-21]Click here for the full schedule[]. Opening in theaters nationwide this week are (with music by): [m.50573]Aladdin[] ([c.294]Alan Menken[]), [m.54435]Booksmart[] ([c.27418]Dan the Automator[]) and [m.53846]Brightburn[] ([c.3228]Tim Williams[]). We are tracking song credits for the following new theatrical releases: -[m.50573]Aladdin[] (11...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: 'Aladdin' Soundtrack Released

Soundtrack News - Vr, 24/05/2019 - 02:00
Multi-platinum and global award-winning superstar singer/songwriter ZAYN and emerging sensation singer/songwriter Zhavia Ward perform the Oscar and Grammy-winning duet "A Whole New World." The song is featured in the film's end credits and on the Walt Disney Records soundtrack, and is available as a single and music video. The new updated rendition of the classic song is produced by Saltwives aka Alex Oriet and David Phelan (ZAYN and Charli XCX) and the music video was directed by Philip Andelman (Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran).    "The selection of artists, producer and tonal direction was critical for the success of updating a classic song like this," said Mitchell Leib, president of Music & Soundtracks for the Walt Disney...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws
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