Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: 'Bombshell' Soundtrack Released

Soundtrack News - Za, 14/12/2019 - 01:00
[a.27334]Bombshell (Original Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack)[] is available today via Warner Records. The Lionsgate film starring Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie and more of Hollywood's biggest stars hits theaters in New York and Los Angeles today before opening wide on December 20. The soundtrack debuts with Regina Spektor's original song, "One Little Soldier," which is also featured prominently in the motion picture. "As we watched this amazing film on director Jay Roach's couch - we all had an incredibly moving experience. The film was fun, nuanced and smart. The scenes and feelings stayed with me for days," Regina says of her experience with the film. "They wouldn't leave me until I sat down and wrote...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Walt Disney Records Announces 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Vr, 13/12/2019 - 01:00
Walt Disney Records is set to release the original motion picture soundtrack for [m.38439]Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker[]. The album features a new score conducted and composed by five-time Academy Award-winning composer [c.231]John Williams[]. [m.38439]Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker[] digital soundtrack is set for release on December 18 and the physical album will be available on December 20 as the film opens in U.S. theaters nationwide. From the physical album's liner notes, director J.J. Abrams said, "Once again, John has come up with an utterly stunning soundtrack, creating brand new, gorgeous, frightening, mysterious, epic and intimate themes while also revisiting some of his greatest, classic melodies. My gratitude...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Varese Sarabande Announces 'Anne with an E' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Do, 12/12/2019 - 01:00
Original Music from the CBC and Netflix series [m.49068]Anne with an "E"[] will be released digitally on December 27th, 2019 exclusively from Varèse Sarabande Records. A CD version of the soundtrack to Northwood Entertainment's series will release on January 24th, 2020, and is now available for pre-order on VareseSarabande.com and other retailers. The soundtrack includes the theme song "Ahead by a Century" by The Tragically Hip and score from the composing duo of [c.778]Amin Bhatia[] and [c.5055]Ari Posner[]. Season 3 of the program returns in January 2020. "Doing a soundtrack felt natural because much like an orchestra, the series [m.49068]Anne with an "E"[] contains a great many components that are all moving in the same direction...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

The Best Scores of 2019

Film Music Magazine News - Di, 10/12/2019 - 03:46

THE BEST SCORES OF 2019

Click on the album covers to purchase the soundtracks on this list

ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL
(Junkie XL / Milan Records)

Having blown the roof off of genre scoring with his rapid-fire, high-octane brand of percussion both futuristic and retro in such scores as “Mad Max Fury Road” and “Deadpool,” you wouldn’t think that Junkie XL (aka Tom Holkenborg) would be able to take the pedal off the metal. But if his majestic score for the epically underappreciated “Mortal Engines” was a turning point to hearing him emotionally slow down, the anime adaptation of “Alita Battle Angel” takes what could have been an expected cyborg-smashing approach and creates a warrior with a heart of thematic gold, while still delivering on the electronic bad-assery of Motorball. Poignantly charting a heroine’s evolution from innocence to righteous vengeance, Holkenborg uses sumptuous orchestral force, along with chorus and hammering brass to create as much excitement as human feeling, reaching a new level of futuristic mythmaking through his ever-increasing skills with old school orchestral force.

THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
(Jeff Beal / Lakeshore Records)

Beyond scoring not-so-fictional malfeasance in Washington during his Emmy winning run on “House of Cards,” Jeff Beal has become an important voice of documentary outrage with “Weiner,” “Blackfish” and “The Bleeding Edge.” Now he’s given the feel-good, if not downright inspirational true story of a millennial city folk getting their hands dirty in both soil and nature’s survival of the fittest at “The Biggest Little Farm.” Sure there’s playfully plucky hayseed stuff with the rustic instruments you’d expect for an immense pig and his outcast rooster pal, which is as necessary to a score like this as bees are to pollination. But what truly elevates this view of going back to the earth are any number of soaringly gorgeous themes, resplendently played by a surprisingly small ensemble. It’s music that tracks a time immemorial cycle of life, death and rebirth in plants, animals and humans that Beal embodies with beautifully soulful lyricism. It’s a score and film that are truly about a far bigger spiritual picture of being one with the land, here in musically fertile ground that plays both the rustic, and the cosmic.

THE CURRENT WAR: DIRECTOR’S CUT
(Danny Bensi and Saunders Jurriaans / Unreleased)

The independent, inventive spirit of maverick productions has been channeled through the utterly unique composing duo of Danny Bensi and Saunders Jurriaans with the eclectic likes of “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” “The Wolfpack,” “The Autopsy of Jane Doe,” “Barry” and “Boy Erased.” With music that’s boldly embodied everything from evil spirits to the Ozark underworld the duo has bow captured lighting in a bulb with the thankfully rescued, and recut “Current War” about dueling electricity titans Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla. Bensi and Jurriaans create the idea of atoms themself within unique rhythms that are far apart from a synth sound, music whose tension sizzles underneath orchestral instruments in a way that’s both electronic and organic. With distinct themes for this battle of the titans, Bensi and Jurriaans hear both the idea of energy and the neurons firing off within the characters’ brains as they’re between the altruistic desire to brighten America and just how much dark morality it’s going to take to become the winner. It’s a transfixing approach that takes the idea of power to a new musical level.

JOKER
(Hildur Guðnadóttir / WaterTower Music)

Collaborating with fellow Icelander Jóhann Jóhannsson on the dark, string-heavy and otherworldly sound for the likes of “Prisoners” and “The Arrival” set the Gotham stairway stage for Hildur Guðnadóttir to do her toxic masculinity dance – first with “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” before letting the psychosis truly rip for an actor she’d previously scored far more serenely in his incarnation as Jesus Christ in “Mary Magdalene.” Given not only the best mental deconstruction of a non-super villain, as well as an examination of disturbed, downtrodden humanity at that, Guðnadóttir creates a woeful, slow burn to violence, strings and slow percussion aching with sadness. Yet it’s a more melodic approach than one might expect given the composer’s Emmy-winning exploration into sound design with “Chernobyl.” Here, its harmony that evokes sympathy for a character who wants to make the world laugh, and is fated to fail miserably, her lurching theme building into an doom-filled happy dance, the score’s heartbeat rhythm turning to nerve-rending, subway-clacking violence. Much like an understanding doctor at Arkham Asylum, Guðnadóttir gets to the nature of Batman’s arch enemy with a grimly transfixing report that writes a new, hypnotically disturbing book for “comic book” movie scoring.

THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO
(Emile Mosseri / Lakeshore Records)

Filmmaker Joe Talbot’s surreal ode to a black family’s losing, if heartfelt battle against gentrification is given stunning soul by Emile Mosseri in his memorable feature debut score. Best known for his alt. band The Dig, Mosseri inhabits a lyrical house for this tone poem to a vanished urban America once built on a spirit of hard work. With its history told in a stream of consciousness where the past and present become one, Mosseri’s tenderly aching use of orchestra, piano, brass and chorus becomes the lamenting, if somehow still hopeful ghosts of the past, their voices sounding with the history of African American music from gospel to jazz. It’s an elegiac, lush mood complemented with the sound of an organ and hushed winds, music that offers comforting words of farewell to an urban American dream to a city that’s priced its founders out. It’s one of the rare soundtracks that works as well as a piece of modern classical music as it does a movie score of beautiful motivic construction, making for the kind of poignant house that’s especially unique in the Hollywood soundscape.

LUCE
(Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow / Lakeshore Records)

Since their teaming on the Judge Dredd-inspired concept album “Drokk,”
Portishead player Geoff Barrow and nature documentary composer Ben Salisbury have created experimental futuristic scores for the likes of “Ex Machina,” “Extinction” and “Devs,” as well as boundary-pushing rhythmic gunplay of “Free Fire” and Amazon’s spin on “Hannah.” If the charm of their music is just trying to figure out what it’s trying to be, then that questioning strength couldn’t be better suited for the vague, potential villainy of “Luce,” a Machiavellian example of back exceptionalism who comes into conflict with a perfectionist teacher. Just about the last instrument one might expect for the film’s Hithcockian tone is an organ whose playing veers from J.S. Bach to Philip Glass. But then, who would think of using a guitar for “Exinction’s” alien terraforming of the earth? Here, “Luce’s” music gradually peals away the suburban perfectionism of an ex African child guerilla, with eerie, pulsating music warning us the adopted kid has grown into a bad seed, his urban core personified in angered percussion, tribal vocals and growing electronics that might have accompanied a serial killer in the 70’s. Yet “Luce’s” inventive approach refuses to tell us who exactly this young man is, other than a greatly troubled person beneath a hard-fought façade designed to please everyone but himself. It’s intellectually affecting music that’s unnerving to say the least in making the listener figure out if it’s playing the angel, or the serpent in a woke suburban Eden.

THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE
(Roque Baños / Meliam Music)

Spanish composer Roque Baños’ notable historical quests like “Alitriste,” “Salome” and “In the Heart of the Sea” make him ideal company to compose the decades-in-the-making score for Terry Gilliam’s impossible dream of realizing his “Don Quixote.” Yet there’s no better Sancho Panza than a troubadour with a longtime experience of realizing such batty projects as “The Last Circus,” “Torrente” and “The Oxford Murders,” all of which make Baños equally capable of playing madness as much as epic orchestral strains. His sweeping “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” certainly offers all emotional and ethnic possibilities, especially when it comes to realizing rustic guitars and wild flamenco rhythms that immediately bring sunbaked Spain to musical life. Seeing his score through the eyes of a modern-day peasant with dreams of ancient grandeur, and beset by visions of wanton religion and capitalism, Baños gives his music a presence that’s larger than life, as the voices of the church tilt the windmills of heroic orchestrations, dastardly peril and overt comedy. It’s the stuff of crazed mythmaking that shows Baños in full mental command of his craft, perfectly playing into Gilliam’s crackpot visual grandeur for a score that stands tall with Michael Kamen’s “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen” and George Fenton’s “The Fisher King” among the filmmaker’s best fractured musical fairytales – especially given this is one we thought we’d never see.

MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN
(Daniel Pemberton / WaterTower Music)

For a musical art form that’s supposed to be free form by its very nature, the idea of “movie jazz” in a visual medium that demands structure seems oxymoric by nature – though great composers like Elmer Bernstein, Jerry Goldsmith, John Barry and Mark Isham have certainly done their level best at getting across the style’s improvisatory nature – not to mention the real deals like Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard and Miles Davis. It’s the latter sax player’s fever dream rhythms that Daniel Pemberton does a brilliant job of capturing for the addled mid of a Tourette’s-afflicted private dick in “Motherless Brooklyn,” writer-director-star Edward Norton’s lovingly flawed valentine to the film noir genre. Having put his unique spin on urban hip-hop with “Into the Spider-Verse,” Pemberton now creates one of the truly great jazz scores with music that actually feels dangerous, if not untamable. Of course the genre goods are on display for the lovingly recreated 1950’s setting, from the smoky sax to the atmosphere-drenched pianos and a femme fatale theme. But having the usual, brilliantly done usual musical suspects on hand doesn’t mean that Pemberton’s work is any less unique, or seemingly of-the-second in how the score riffs them, whether it’s using reversed electronic samples to play out Penn Station or having a jam session race across Harlem with rhythm and brass panic. Capturing Davis’ birth of the cool with the sprits of the great jazz styles and scores past (if not Michael K. Williams’ thinly-veiled Davis himself). Bringing in such diverse collaborators as trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and progressive “Suspiria” composer Tom Yorke as part of his band, Pemberton weaves a lovely, brain-electrified score that’s soothing and panicked from one impressive jam session to the next.

1917 / TOLKIEN
(Thomas Newman / Sony Classical)

It’s almost fitting that a composer whose families musical roots’ lay in the golden days of orchestral film scoring would become an innovator in the soundtrack Avant garde before reaching back to his ancestors’ lush symphonic work. Now a career with a foundation in the best of both scoring worlds reaches back, and forward to evoke The War To End All Wars, at first journeying through a seemingly no-edit, no man’s land with his “Skyfall” and “Spectre” Bond collaborator Sam Mendes’s visceral salute to his country’s greatest generation with “1917.” It’s a similar odyssey through Newman’s own stylism, regarding an apocalyptic landscape with chilling, ethereal music, the sense of suck-it-up heroism conveyed with a dynamic orchestra. With so much of “1917” based on wordlessly viewing the unthinkable, Newman also does a remarkable job of inwardly hearing loss with piano melody, his more outré sampling meshing with a string sense of bravery to create a soundtrack at once haunting, rousing and finally devastatingly emotional. With “Tolkien,” an author’s way of surviving the battlefield is to transform surreal horror into hopeful sorcery. Newman conjures his era, and the Middle Earth of his tormented imagination into English classicism and a fantastical safe space, creating a feeling of religiosity that weaves an otherworldly spell with electronics, flute, piano and wistful percussion to send a writers’ band of brothers into an unimaginable nether realm. “Tolkien” lyrically plays a brilliant, sometimes tormented mind as opposed to Hobbits or Orcs – a smart, existential choice that’s also incredibly touching as it hears the dreamer whose seminal work gave rise to new kind of Arthurian legend for the modern age – as expressed through a magically poignant score that turns reality into fantasy and back again.

THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN
(Bear McCreary / Sparks & Shadows)

While Bear McCreary has had a banner year juggling an epic orchestra and a playroom of kids’ instruments for monsters big and small like Godzilla and Chucky, his most profound and classically minded score went under the radar with “The Professor and the Madman.” Given the legal problems that beset the release of an otherwise exceptional film, we can be thankful that this rapturously moving soundtrack has been shown the light. With his own family’s scholarly, and literary pedigree transferring itself to McCreary’s last, innovating handling of emotionally lost author J.D. Salinger with the psychologically perceptive music for “Rebel in the Rye,” McCreary deals with the arguably far more severe impairment of a Civil War veteran whose demons claimed an innocent’s life, only to find spiritual salvation from the asylum where he helps an Oxford professor collect the meanings of thousands of words for the first Oxford dictionary. It’s a struggle for literate, and spiritual awakening through a PTSD haze, as channeled for a late 1800’s sensibility. McCreary evocatively realizes insanity through feverish chamber strings and ghostly percussion, orchestra mostly the sound of rationality. It’s music that movingly asks for forgiveness, the more bucolic passages evoking the birth of a new English classicism. Tying the score together is a lovely, waltzing theme that’s about the romance of words, and their ability to heal the soul. All make for a moving period score that shows a composer who can be as musically literate, and intimate as he is at enjoyably unleashing the strains of multiplex chills and excitement.

THE RUNNERS-UP

ARCTIC
(Joseph Trapanese / Sony Classical)

Since his breakout score (along with Mike Shinoda) for “The Raid,” Joseph Trapanese has progressively varied powerful rhythms for men of action in “Oblivion,” “Wolf Warrior II” and “Stuber” with more meditative scoring in “Straight Outta Compton,” “Only the Brave” and “Shimmer Lake.” Now with his trip to the “Arctic,” Trapanese reaches his ultimate destination between atmospheric music and do-or-die determination as Mads Mikkelsen battles the elements with an injured rescuer in tow, both with on a seemingly impossible trek to reach safe haven amidst crevices, polar bars and blizzards. Given that barely any dialogue is spoken during this riveting film, Trapanese has his own challenge of conveying a landscape as majestically alien as any sci-fi movie he’s scored along with an unspoken inner dialogue. Trapanese accomplishes the quest impressively, travelling for spectral electronics to inch-by-inch percussion and stirring orchestrations. It’s music that only grows more passionate, and bigger as Mikkelsen’s character undergoes the trials of Job, the music reaching an emotional catharsis of Zen courage in a way that melodically stirs the soul of what humanity is capable of at its breaking point in this awe-inspiring musical trek across the top of the world.

BRIGHTBURN
(Timothy Williams / Sony Classical)

After playing on the side of superheroic right with his work on Tyler Bates’ “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Deadpool 2,” composer Timothy Williams finally unveils his major solo scoring abilities for the side of evil, or at the least the seriously misguided with the twisted superboy called “Brightburn.” Given a gleefully sadistic inversion of Earth’s mightiest visitor in the guise of a seemingly harmless kid, Williams takes what could have been a John Williams approach into the sinister mirror universe with terrifying style. For where a piano theme might go up up and away in conveying a boy soon to soar out of the American heartland, Williams takes the theme down, a simple, and striking piano melody leading to a score delivers a powerful sense of dread, then outright horror. It’s music that wants be do good, but can’t help but be bad thanks to its conquering genes of strings and samples. It’s a mixture of sympathy and growing apprehension that gives “Brightburn’” its disturbing power as Williams’ percussion hammers with brassy, guttural aggression, his sonic booms ripping through a farmhouse and plane while breaking its parents’ hearts, quite literally.

DARK PHOENIX
(Hans Zimmer / Fox Music)

With the Marvel / DC Justice League of Superman, Spider-Man, Batman (and soon Wonder Woman) behind him, Hans Zimmer generated his best superhero score for this unsung final chapter of The X-Men franchise. Given the most overtly science fiction of the bunch that possesses its telepath with the force cosmic (yet at the same time most “realistically” ground approach), Zimmer creates a memorably rhythmic, melancholy theme capable of infinite transfigurations from planet-hungry to emotional isolation. In its way, his 90’s-set “Phoenix” fusion of orchestra and electronics is an energized throwback to the kind of experimentation that put him on the map with the likes of “Black Rain” “Backdraft” and “Broken Arrow.” With an entrancing sense of woefulness, Zimmer’s themes convey the raging life force within, his female vocals ranging from a full chorus to bird-like cries and a sense of religiosity. There’s a pure, ever-morphing strangeness, and sense of gravitas to his “Phoenix” that goes beyond even what Zimmer conjured with the intellectual sci-fi pursuits of “Inception” and “Interstellar” (while also capturing enough material to create a whole secondary “Xperiments” album of fellow composer contributions). Expressed via the lengthy, mesmerizing suites that Zimmer delights in, “Dark Phoenix” delivers on mythic action while not seeming like any “superhero” score, as the ever-shifting emphasis here is on transfiguration as only Zimmer’s cosmic wall of sound can do it.

FREAKS
(Tim Wynn / Moviescore Media)

A unique superhero score on a more earthly scale for a film that gradually reveals its powers and scope, game-centric composer Tim Wynn (“Xcom 2”) takes a major, yet intimate cinematic leap for this excellent indie surprise as an adolescent girl breaks out of her understandably enforced home prison to reveal her family’s true nature. With the sound of a sweet girl desperate for human connection as the score’s key, Wynn uses child-like melody for percussion and piano to create a cloistered, seemingly magical world, yet with a feeling that something is off. Wynn plays a family’s sorely tested bonds, as well as the luring calliope of a strategically parked ice cream truck outside. With his themes constructed as well as “Freaks’” house, Wynn’s score grows from child-like wonder to a mature realization of taking mutant abilities into one’s hands, no matter how seemingly fragile they are, until the score finally lifts off with full symphonic power of destiny realized. It’s a triumph of psychological scoring that reveals a way bigger, and dangerous adult world that makes “Freaks” a triumph in every respect.

HARRIET
(Terence Blanchard / Back Lot Music)

Terence Blanchard’s way of giving iconic resonance to real life black history makers from “Malcolm X’ to “BlacKkKlansman” and “Red Tails” finally delivers his true superheroine score with “Harriet.” For a composer whose brass-driven symphonic touch has conjured the spirit of Aaron Copland, Blanchard’s sense of righteous, spiritually-attuned might is in terrific service of an unstoppable ex-slave’s God-given mission to bring her people out from slavery through the underground railroad. “Harriet’s” repeated missions into the South avoid musical regionalism, instead concentrating on thematic, emotionally driven suspense as it evades brass villainy. While his orchestra is front and center amidst tender strings, Blanchard effectively uses contemporary electronic rhythm to make this period score feel anything but dated, especially given its muscular, anthem-like passages that carry all of the passionate nobility of T’Challa, Blanchard’s depiction of the woman called Moses musically creates a leader in a desperate time with all of the melodic regalness worthy of a freedom fighter and her seemingly impossible feats.

JOJO RABBIT
(Michael Giacchino / Hollywood Records)

For all of the Oscar accolades that Michael Giacchino has had for creating the stuff of heartwarming juvenile and adult friendships in scores like “Up” and “Inside Out,” one might forget he also chronicled the terrifying bond between a kid and an ageless, adolescent-appearing vampire with “Let Me In.” Put that sweetness and horror together into a child’s relationship with his best bud Adolph Hitler during one of history’s blackest moments, and you’ll get “Jojo Rabbit,” a movie and score whose tones shouldn’t work, yet whose wild mix of tones gel exceptionally well. Blending absurdist Germanic pomp and circumstance with the pokey humor of nutty Nazis and the terror of the Jewess that lies in the apartment walls, “Jo Jo Rabbit” gets inside of the addled headspace of a adolescent victim of the worst propaganda on earth, often having fun with the movie’s wackiness as the laughs gradually vanish. Given Giacchino’s talent for intimate, beautifully melodic themes, his use of tender piano, violin, dream-like electronics and child-like bells have never been as hauntingly affecting as they are here, no more so than in conjuring a butterfly’s wings that lead Jo Jo to a devastating discovery. Giacchino’s certainly never scored a “kid’s” movie like this, or one whose music helps its laugh-cry impact at a more fascistically potent moment in modern history.

THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN THE BIGFOOT
(Joe Kraemer / La La Land Records)

Since his violently eccentric work on “Way of the Gun,” Joe Kraemer has scored no end of oddball projects, whether it was the Russian cop show spoof “Comrade Detective” or retro adventures in madcap indie directing for “King Cohen.” Now given this seemingly outlandish tale of a grizzled veteran who notched up a notorious dictator and monster, one might not expect Kraemer to apply the kind of somberness he gave to his score for the seen-it-all veteran called “Jack Reacher.” Yet it’s through this proficient “Man” of action’s age that Kraemer finds unexpected lyricism with music that’s far more about a lifetime of regret than it is finishing off two nightmarish subjects. It’s a theme of being in the twilight years that results in any number of poignantly beautiful Americana orchestral melodies. With strings, winds and piano at their most sympathetically delicate, Kraemer gives Sam Elliott, an actor who personifies the west (even when he isn’t in it) the kind of career-summing melancholy valentine that might accompany a cowboy into the sunset, – though militaristic excitement and pulse-pounding adventure is well on hand as the tall tales end up being down to earth indeed. That writer-director Robert D. Krzykowski takes an utterly serious approach to “Bigfoot” allows Kraemer’s oft times magical approach to wrap up this soldier’s life with touching symphonic uplift, making us believe in the lyrical possibility of a happy ending indeed.

THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON
(Henry Burnett, Zachary Dawes, Noam Pikelny, Jonathan Sadoff, Gabe Witcher / Varese Sarabande Records)

It takes a raft full of composers to create a singularly charming, authentically rustic score, as Jonathan Sadoff teams with bluegrass band The Punch Brothers for this updated wrassling spin on the adventures of Huck Finn. Going with the Florida panhandle flow as they accompany a ne’er do well and a developmentally challenged escapee with big dreams of hitting the ring, Sadoff and The Punch Brothers accompany a mix of humorous misadventures and emotional bonding for this unlikely tag-team. Where many Hollywood scores go might go for the hayseed given a hopeful innocent who’s in his undies for a good duration of the trip, “Peanut Butter’s” indie nature strips down its approach to such American ethnic instruments as the dobro, banjo, fiddle and guitar. “Falcon’s” strumming rhythm feels wonderfully authentic, so much so that you can feel the water gliding through one’s hand, the hot sun baking down, and the eyes of a swamp full of eccentric characters gazing on. The effect is both meditative and pluckily energetic, making for sympathetically naturalistic scoring at its best, with the music reaching drum-pounding, heavy metal energy once we finally get into the ring that takes the “Falcon” into a whole new dimension for this sparking example of musical naturalism.

RAMBO: LAST BLOOD
(Brian Tyler / Lakeshore Records)

With his symphonically thematic muscle and a way with rhythm that plays action like an explosive fandango, Brian Tyler has proven to be a composer especially fitted to follow in the footsteps of Jerry Goldsmith – especially when the star who befitted from his iconically somber, militaristic approach keeps coming to the body count dance. Though it’s likely that “Rambo: Last Blood” is the last time Sylvester Stallone will play that increasingly bruised soldier, leave it to “Expendables” and “Rambo” veteran Tyler to know the key to Goldsmith’s power, and how to make it live on with a new voice. Of course reprising the solemn bugle theme, Tyler’s own trademarked way with rhythm and brass makes for unstoppable, thrilling payback. But what particularly makes this unexpectedly exceptional sequel work is its utter, grim seriousness in playing a mythic character always pulled back in to the fight, with the casualties being all he loves. Through melancholy strings, haunted voice and an overall sense of anguish that dare not reveal its psychological pain, Tyler creates the kind of mythic figure that’s made John Rambo endure for decades. And when it comes time to dish back revenge, “Last Blood” sings with the pounding fury of payback, hammering, rapid-fire percussion notching one beyond-gory kill after the other with barely time to look back. It’s the kind of darkly patriotic music that thrillingly salutes a legend, as well as Goldsmith’s spirit, all with reverence to spare.

SHAZAM!
(Benjamin Wallfisch / WaterTower Music)

Sure there’s a place for powerfully dark superhero scores. But every once in a while, it’s great to have one that’s a bright as a gee-whiz thunderbolt, fun electricity that Benjamin Wallfisch provides in spades with a “Big”-like spin on the big red cheese. Sure there’s the wickedness of the seven deadly sins here that wouldn’t be out of place in the composer’s work with an evil child-eating clown. But for the most part, Wallfisch’s full-blown symphonic approach is charged with a kid’s sense of wonder about being turned into an invincible adult who can buy beer, let alone fly. Charmingly digging into a playbook that John Williams put on the genre’s musical map by the guy whom Captain Marvel was created to imitate, Wallfisch has terrific command of “Shazam!’s” heroic themes with soaring strings, imposing brass and god-like chorus that creates a likable character put together from Greek myths. It’s music that spells out save-the-day cliffhanging action and peril, all with inherent warmth that nicely taps into the film’s theme of family. Say the word, and the score for a joyous exclamation point to the innocence of comic book movies’ good old days when scores unabashedly cheered the good guys.

THE COMPOSERS TO WATCH

The sonic nightmare of growling, slithering and rampaging textures created by Max Aruj and Steffen Thum make for a thoroughly unnerving basement in which a nest of alligators “Crawl” (Intrada Records). It’s ever-ratcheting tension for creative sampling and rousing orchestra that adds up for creature nightmare fuel, the score’s heartbeat pounding away without losing emotional sight of a daughter and father faced with zero odds of survival. But their biggest threat is a musical duo who know how to ratchet up musical tension to an unimaginably degree, making for this summer’s happiest movie surprise that’s anything but a soundtrack sleeper.

Another of the year’s coolest score revelations was pulled from the stone by “Attack the Block” director Joe Cornish, who obviously wanted something hipper than the usually orchestral Arthurian underscore. What springs forth from “The Kid Who Would Be King” (Milan Records) is a delightfully fresh, truly throwback score by the London collaborative Electric Wave Bureau (its musician round table here comprised by Michael Smith, Nelson De Freiras, Suzi Winstanley and her husband Damon Albarn). With a retro 80’s sound now all the rage, the EWB (named after North Korea’s all-media Big Brother) conjure a delightfully synthy sound firmly rooted in the Camelot musical style – its medieval instruments just replaced with cool gear by happenstance. Dropping strongly thematic EDM beats, militaristic chivalry, a magical chorus and a real-deal orchestra to provide that boost of kingly grandeur, this is a score that treats the legend with both reverence and pop cheek with a soundtrack that could ride proudly alongside “Hawk the Slayer” at that.

Long active in her native Russia in both film and the concert hall, Anna Drubich has travelled alongside composer Marco Beltrami’s Danish miniseries “1864” and the Czar-centric “Matilde” to the heartland of American horror, where she’d get inside the mind of Ted Bundy with “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” Now Drubich and Beltrami tormenting a bunch of unwise teens with “Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark” (eOne), a seamless collaboration that signals Drubich’s own loud and frighteningly clear voice when it comes to actually putting musical teeth into the YA horror movie genre’s PG13 rating. With the devilish, fairy tale charm of a crypt keeper, Drubich and Beltrami differentiate a host of monsters and ghosts within the macabre tales, integrating electronics and orchestra to lurk in the shadows before pouncing on those pesky high schoolers with rampaging, full-blooded melodic forcefulness that takes no prisoners. With slashing brass, rampaging percussion, a wailing female voice and just a bit of melodic heart to spare, Drubich and Beltrami certainly aren’t up to kids’ stuff here in this frighteningly effective score.

The long, strange trip of John DeLorean and how his dreams to finance a supercar were set up for a drug bust makes for “Driven” (Universal Ltd.), a biopic or sorts whose seriocomic tone drives all over the map. That this enjoyable move steers straight in its variations is a credit to a team that includes “Speed Kills’” Geronimo Mercado and “Silence’s” husband and wife composers Kathryn and Kim Allen Kluge. Along with Lorne Balfe (“Gemini Man”) and Max Aruj (“Crawl”), they musicians blend retro country guitar rock with the rhythm of a desperate informant, his mental gears clicking as to just how he can evade angered drug dealers and the FBI. For all of the outrageous, death-averting scrapes he gets into, what really puts emotional fuel in to “Driven’s” thematic tank is that the characters’ unlikely friendship is front and center, their music achieving an epic sense of betrayal between a vainglorious, yet somehow likable automotive kingpin wannabe and his pathetic best bud who’s out to save his own skin first. It’s a somber, effective approach amidst “Driven’s” nervous energy that cues us into the rather sad story behind the car that would become famous for both cocaine and 1.21 gigawatts.

Leave it to the French to ingeniously composite a CGI bugs’ life against real imagery of their countryside with “Miniscule: Valley of the Lost Ants” (which Americans can watch on Amazon Prime Video). Now with their adventure greatly expanded to the Caribbean with “Miniscule: Mandibles From Far Away” (Music Box Records), composer Mathieu Lamboley (“I Kissed A Girl”) steps in with a gloriously epic score. But then, you might say the ability to symphonically play nature is in the musical lifeblood of the land’s composers like Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel. The lyrically thematic sprit of his compatriots is very much in acrobatic display in Lamboley’s wondrous score. Conveying the critters’ antics with lush orchestral melody, the composer’s rambunctiously music equally captures the comedic spirit of John Williams and James Horner in conveying a little bug lost and his friends’ efforts to rescue him. It’s music that marches, skitters with tick-tock rhythm and soars with big, brassy adventure. Along with chorus, Lamboley also brings in unexpected instruments like the organ to convey the dangers, and wonder of an infinitely huge world in a score both poetically small scale for piano or sweepingly huge for a full orchestra, but best of all with a sense of natural grace. “Miniscule’s” approach portends big musical things to come for Lamboley’s talent.

Duncan Thum, a composer who’s likely caused no end of overeating with his music for “Chef’s Table” and “Street Food” now rhythmically burns calories in “Brittany Runs a Marathon” (Lakeshore Records). With any number of percussive grooves to start a sarcastic, life-lost woman’s race to better health, Thum’s use of hand-clapping, drum-smashing, wacky keyboards, Zydeco music and club beats are their own mildly sarcastic pep squad. It’s wittily knowing enough to cause any woman to be exasperated, which is exactly the point as Thum’s nudging gradually turns to more emotional melody in tracking the character across Manhattan and its boroughs, ultimately revealing the inner sadness that makes Brittany run. It’s the definition of creative indie scoring in relatively short bursts that go somewhere new with every turn, making this a winningly eccentric score that goes the distance.

The musical idea that preparing for death is a state of mind more than an actual place has rarely been droller than in the way that Alex Weston’s score says “The Farewell” (Milan Records). Though it’s about a family of Chinese expatriates returning to their motherland for a living funeral, Weston eschews any sense of the Orient for an exceptionally performed classical chamber score that evokes a gathering in 18th century England at opposed to the Far East. Vocalese in the Vivaldi style also evokes the hip 60’s group The Swingle Singers among the mordant style here. Yet far from being disrespectful, the aching string and piano approach brings an elegant touch to the proceedings where death not dare say its name, with the sense of a family desperately trying to keep their sorrow-filled chins up. Both beyond ironic and deeply felt, the approach of “The Farewell” at first brings a double take, and then a knowing nod as to how to musically handle the inevitable.

After abetting such humorous Christopher Lennertz scores as “Identity Thief,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and “Baywatch,” composer Philip White really gets to shine with a co-composing credit on “Jexi.” And even if the score is so-far unreleased given this hilarious comedy’s undeserving box office hang-up, those hearing it on home video will receive a wonderfully catchy score that shows White and Lennertz working in time-proven synergy to truly embody all that’s hilariously wrong with modern technology. Employing electronic tones alongside strings and a rhythm guitar, “Jexi” casts a magical spell with the glow of a sexy-voiced cell phone, until rhythm guitar quickly reveals a sarcastic device with a jilted mind of its own, and the power to wreak the havoc of world wide web on its virginal owner. It’s a highly listenable score full of sweet energy that veers from phone tone to wild jazz band, as well as guitar romance, all making for a delightful, exceptionally listenable score for “Jexi’s” amusing melodic realization of a man’s worst friend when it comes to the real romantic world.

Israeli composer Tal Yardeni (“Greenhouse Academy”) makes an impressively authentic splash with English language horror, as set in the old Eastern European country whose murderous prejudice gives rise to an apocalyptic “The Golem.” The Paz Brothers, who last brought the end of days to “Jeruzalem,” have created a terrific reboot of this distinctly Jewish avenger who brings grief to all through a child’s personage here, as opposed to a giant clay hulk, a Shtetl-set rethink that lets Yardeni bring in a truly Hebraic touch with the use of ethnic instruments that evoke a people under constant threat. With the story driven by the kind of childhood loss that’s the root of many a horror film’s grave mistake in raising the dead, Yardeni brings in the eerie resonance of a mother’s grief, the resulting tragedy scoring that old-time religion payback. Yardeni unleashes “The Golem” with impressive, limb-stomping vengeance that delivers the feeling of a classic Hollywood monster score, as well as the religion fueling a creature that will turn on them. Filled with as much terror as tragedy, “The Golem” trods its bloody ground with fresh, ethnically authentic vengeance for a score that demands a release.

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Golden Globe Nominations Announced

Soundtrack News - Di, 10/12/2019 - 01:00

The nominations for the 77th Golden Globe Awards were announced today. The nominees in film music related categories are as follows:

Best Original Score - Motion Picture:
[m.53146]Little Women[] - [c.752]Alexandre Desplat[]
[m.53148]Joker[] - [c.7675]Hildur Gudnadottir[]
[m.56170]Marriage Story[] - [c.150]Randy Newman[]
[m.54413]1917[] - [c.149]Thomas Newman[]
[m.54695]Motherless Brooklyn[] - [c.1318]Daniel Pemberton[]

Best Orginal Song - Motion Picture:
"Beautiful Ghosts" - [m.53473]Cats[] Songwriters: [c.1092]Andrew Lloyd Webber[], [c.]Taylor Swift[]
"I'm Gonna Love Me Again" - [m.52669]Rocketman[] Songwriters: [c.610]Elton John[], [c.2371]Bernie Taupin[]
"Into the Unknown" - [m.49218]Frozen II[] Songwriters:...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: 'Jumanji: The Next Level' Soundtrack Released

Soundtrack News - Za, 07/12/2019 - 01:00
Sony Music today releases [a.27273]Jumanji: The Next Level (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)[] with music by award-winning composer [c.1480]Henry Jackman[]. Available everywhere now, the album features music written by Jackman for the newest installment in the Jumanji franchise, following his 2017 score for [m.44389]Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle[]. Directed by Jake Kasdan and starring Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan, [m.52974]Jumanji: The Next Level[] makes its theatrical debut Friday, December 13 from Sony Pictures. "Composing the score for [m.52974]Jumanji: The Next Level[] was as adventurous as the movie itself," says composer [c.1480]Henry Jackman[] about the project. "It was a great privilege to...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Sony Music Announces 'A Hidden Life' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Di, 03/12/2019 - 01:00
Sony Music announces the release of [a.27228]A Hidden Life (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)[] with music by Grammy- and Emmy-award winning composer, conductor and producer [c.151]James Newton Howard[]. Available Friday, December 6, the album features music from the Terrence Malick-directed film, which makes its theatrical debut Friday, December 13 via Fox Searchlight. Of the soundtrack, composer [c.151]James Newton Howard[] says, "[m.55464]A Hidden Life[] is a deeply affecting, meditative, and relevant story about love and the moral struggle between a conscientious objector and his wife in a small village in Austria during World War II. The emotional complexity Terrence Malick explores in the film provided a moving and...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Weekly Roundup: November 29

Soundtrack News - Za, 30/11/2019 - 01:00
Announced this week were new composer assignments for [c.58]Danny Elfman[] ([m.52970]The Woman in the Window[]), [c.1620]David Buckley[] ([m.57234]Greenland[]) and [c.1287]Roque Banos[] ([m.57232]Larry[]), 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.2019-11-26]Click here for the full schedule[]. Opening in theaters nationwide this week are (with music by): [m.54405]Knives Out[] ([c.1347]Nathan Johnson[]) and [m.53155]Queen & Slim[] ([c.12476]Devonte Hynes[]). We are tracking song credits for the following new theatrical releases: -[m.54405]Knives Out[] (9 songs) The following composers are celebrating their birthdays...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Lakeshore Records to Release 'Servant' Season 3 Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Do, 28/11/2019 - 01:00
Lakeshore Records is set to release the soundtrack for [m.57222]Servant[], a new Apple Original series from Academy Award-nominated director and executive producer M. Night Shyamalan, and created and executive produced by Tony Basgallop, which will premiere November 28th exclusively on Apple TV+. The soundtrack features music by composer [c.22750]Trevor Gureckis[] ([m.51185]The Goldfinch[], [m.53843]Bloodline[]) and will be released exclusively on Apple Music on November 28th, followed by a digital release on iTunes January 3rd, and all other digital platforms on March 6, 2020. Beginning November 28th, the first three episodes of [m.57222]Servant[] will be available to watch exclusively on Apple TV+ in over 100 countries and...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: 'The Crown' Season 3 Soundtrack Released

Soundtrack News - Za, 23/11/2019 - 01:00
Sony Music today releases [a.27174]The Crown (Soundtrack from the Netflix Original Series)[] with music by BAFTA and Ivor Novello Award-winning composer [c.1449]Martin Phipps[]. Available everywhere now, the album features music from the third season of the critically-acclaimed Original Series, which is available to stream exclusively on Netflix. Of the soundtrack, composer [c.1449]Martin Phipps[]. says, "It was a great honour to pick up the musical reigns on this pitch-perfect show, and so rewarding to collaborate with Peter Morgan and the team of directors. The genius of [m.44918]The Crown[] is its ability to find the human stories inside the heightened world of the monarchy. In Season 3 we tried to connect the score less with the...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: KRO Records & Sony Music Masterworks to Release 'The Turning' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Vr, 22/11/2019 - 01:00
KRO Records / Sony Music Masterworks today announce the January 24 release of the official soundtrack for [m.52486]The Turning[] (DreamWorks Pictures). Produced by Los Angeles singer/songwriter Lawrence Rothman and producer Yves Rothman, the soundtrack features a dumbfounding amount of revered artists, including Courtney Love, Mitski, Soccer Mommy, Empress Of, Vagabon, Warpaint, Cherry Glazerr, Kali Uchis, Alice Glass, girl in red, MUNA, The Aubreys (Finn Wolfhard's new band) and more (full tracklisting below). Directed by Floria Sigismondi (The Runaways, Handmaid's Tale) and starring Finn Wolfhard, Mackenzie Davis and Brooklynn Prince, the film will be released in theaters on January 24. The soundtrack came together when director...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Grammy Nominations Announced

Soundtrack News - Do, 21/11/2019 - 01:00
The nominations for the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards were announced today. The nominees in film music related categories are as follows: Best Song Written for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media: "The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy" - [m.40665]Toy Story 4[] Songwriter: [c.150]Randy Newman[] "Girl in the Movies" - [m.54057]Dumplin'[] Songwriters: [c.2070]Dolly Parton[] & [c.22850]Linda Perry[] "I'll Never Love Again (Film Version)" - [m.47155]A Star Is Born[] Songwriters: [c.]Natalie Hemby[], [c.19387]Lady Gaga[], [c.]Hillary Lindsey[] & [c.]Aaron Raitiere[] "Spirit" - [m.49272]The Lion King[] Songwriters: [c.]Beyoncé Knowles-Carter[], [c.]Timothy McKenzie[] & [c.]Ilya Salmanzade[] "Suspirium" - [m.49347]Suspiria[] Songwriter: [c.21756]Thom Yorke[] Best...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Sony Music to Release 'Little Women' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Di, 19/11/2019 - 01:00
Sony Music announces the release of [a.27132]Little Women (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)[] with music by Academy Award, Golden Globe and Grammy Award-winning composer [c.752]Alexandre Desplat[]. Available for preorder now, the album will be available in digital, CD and vinyl formats beginning Friday, December 13. Recorded in New York City under the leadership of Desplat, who conducted a chamber orchestra to perform his original compositions, the score serves as a sonic companion to the film's coming-of-age narrative Directed by Greta Gerwig, Sony Pictures' [m.53146]Little Women[] will make its highly-anticipated theatrical debut on Wednesday, December 25. Of the soundtrack, composer [c.752]Alexandre Desplat[] says, "To...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Weekly Roundup: November 15

Soundtrack News - Za, 16/11/2019 - 01:00
Announced this week were new composer assignments for [c.1154]John Paesano[] ([m.57145]Tesla[]), [c.247]Terence Blanchard[] ([m.57146]Da 5 Bloods[]) and [c.810]Nathan Barr[] ([m.57147]Hollywood[]), among many others. For the full list of composer and music supervisor assignments from this week, [url./composers/]click here[]. Over 35 soundtrack albums were released this week. [da.2019-11-12]Click here for the full schedule[]. Opening in theaters nationwide this week are (with music by): [m.49477]Charlie's Angels[] ([c.361]Brian Tyler[]), [m.52940]Ford v Ferrari[] ([c.14]Marco Beltrami[] & [c.1654]Buck Sanders[]), and [m.54010]The Good Liar[] ([c.24]Carter Burwell[]). We are tracking song credits for the following new theatrical releases: -[m.49477]Charlie's...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: 'Ford v Ferrari' Soundtrack Released

Soundtrack News - Za, 16/11/2019 - 01:00
Fox Music/Hollywood Records releases the digital original motion picture soundtrack to [m.52940]Ford v Ferrari[], directed by James Mangold. [c.14]Marco Beltrami[] and [c.1654]Buck Sanders[] composed the music for [m.52940]Ford v Ferrari[], which was recorded at the legendary Capitol Records Studio in Hollywood. The soundtrack includes three score cues alongside classic 1960's tracks including "Money (That's What I Want)" by The Kingsmen, "Have Love Will Travel" by the Sonics and "I Put a Spell on You" by Nina Simone. The album also includes "Polk Salad Annie (Ford v Ferrari Remix)," an exclusive remix by Grammy Award-winning producer/mixer/writer David Sardy (The Rolling Stones, Oasis, Fall Out Boy) who worked from guitarist James...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Hollywood Records Announces 'We Have to Go Back: The LOST Concert' Album

Soundtrack News - Za, 16/11/2019 - 01:00
Hollywood Records is pleased to present a live recording of [c.534]Michael Giacchino[]'s concert performance of his music for the hit television show [m.15702]Lost[], in celebration of the 15th anniversary of the show's premiere. The digital album is available today at streaming services and the Mondo/Hollywood Records vinyl version, [a.27142]We Have To Go Back: The Lost Concert (LIVE) 3XLP[], is available at MondoTees.com. The vinyl was mastered by Patricia Sullivan at Bernie Grundman Mastering and is pressed on 3X 180 gram colored vinyl (SRP $50). Recorded live in Dublin, Ireland in the summer of 2019, [c.534]Michael Giacchino[] conducted a performance by the world renowned RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, playing 18 selections...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Lakeshore Records Announces 'The Report' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Za, 16/11/2019 - 01:00
Lakeshore Records announces the release of [a.27082]The Report--Original Motion Picture Soundtrack[] which is now available digitally. Composed by Emmy-nominated [c.1750]David Wingo[], the score is redolent with atmospheric electronics providing a subtly intense backdrop to the thriller. The Amazon Original, directed by Scott Z. Burns and starring Adam Driver, Annette Bening and Jon Hamm, is in select theaters today, November 15 and streaming on Amazon Prime Video November 29. [m.54421]The Report[] is a riveting thriller based on actual events. Idealistic staffer Daniel J. Jones (Adam Driver) is tasked by his boss Senator Dianne Feinstein (Annette Bening) to lead an investigation of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program,...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

Interview with Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders

Film Music Magazine News - Vr, 15/11/2019 - 21:37

When there are so many composers in heated rhythmic competition with funk, jazz and rock that speeds listeners back to the 1960’s glory days of anti-establishment heroes, leave it to the enduring team of Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders to jockey their retro vehicle into pole position with “Ford v Ferrari.” As an exceptionally well-oiled musical team that’s been running for decades since their scoring career inceptions (during which they’ve received a co-Oscar nomination for 2008’s “Hurt Locker”),” this tale of a seemingly mis-matched collaboration between two high-octane individualists revs up a whole new, vibrantly old school song sound for the duo – not to mention their director James Mangold.

Given their previous, Oriental-styled super heroics for the director’s “Wolverine,” a fateful Spaghetti western return to the character in “Logan,” and a full-on period shoot ‘em up with the Oscar-nominated soundtrack for “3:10 to Yuma” “Ferrari” is a wonderfully unexpected flashback – a 60’s style mix of spot-on funk, hep jazz, surf rock and brass wrecking crew attitude that exceptionally delineates the period in which American race car specialist Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and English hotshot rider Ken Miles (Christian Bale) team together. Their seemingly impossible mission is to pull off the impossible at France’s Le Mans racetrack by taking a seemingly bland, if nonetheless iconic Detroit brand and creating a super speed metal monster that will take on the far snootier, and better made Italian carmaker with no end of medals under his checkered flag. It’s a race against time with no end of macho swagger that Beltrami and Sanders can truly swing with, while also getting in a western-style sense of sports mythmaking.

With race car-embodying music that crashes through roaring engines with a bigger than life sense of acceleratingly thematic fun, Beltrami and Sanders are once again in perfect synch to pull off the unexpected, as “Ford v Ferrari” continues to show a partnership in synch like few others in Hollywood’s racetrack.

Buck, how did you become aware of Marco?

Sanders: I became aware of Marco through a Fred Dryer TV show he scored called “Lands End” around 1996 or so. The show was a lot of fun and seemed to be trying to do something different with every episode. Marco’s score reflected that same sense of exploration within the shows.

What are your respective strengths that complement your work together?

Beltrami: I come from a much more traditional pencil and paper background. Technology is not my forte, whereas Buck is much more comfortable with the technology side of the business. So, we sort of work hand in hand, because at this point there’s no way to separate. You can’t do a strictly pencil on paper scoring anymore. And just being caught up in the technology can somewhat limit the scope of what you do as well. I try to think in terms of the big picture and unlocking the key to the film and to me that has nothing to do with technology. It’s all just part of the creative process.

Sanders: In general, my main contribution over the years has been creating electro-acoustic manipulations and designing the sound pallet for the scores. My goal from early on has been to make a new pallet for each film to help give each film an identity. That naturally progressed into composing as well as becoming very involved with the recording and mixing process. Each part of those processes is equally important for producing a score for most of the films we do. Marco’s strength lies with orchestral writing and over the years he’s moved from larger, more gestural orchestral writing that focused on strongly accenting picture edits (such as the “Scream” movies or “Blade 2”) to being particularly interested in thematic development over a scene. That said, even though he doesn’t have a personal interest in computers or electronics he does enjoy discussing the early concepts and obviously has a knack for using the sounds that are made for the scores. Often times what one of us is doing really inspires the other. Marco’s thematic ideas, harmonic movement etc can inspire the sounds I make and vice versa.

Buck, many co-composers can spend their careers laboring in anonymity. In that respect, how important was it for you to begin getting front-end co-scoring credits?

Sanders: When we’re working on a film I’m pretty much as happy as can be creatively and Marco has always encouraged whatever ideas I may come up with to help develop a score’s palette or if I’m inspired to write cues. Marco was the one who very generously instigated sharing credit initially. Since then occasionally a film comes up that Marco and I both have strong ideas for and generally it develops into a co-score credit. I’m not much of a limelight seeker and really enjoy the work if it’s a co-score or if I’m helping our team of composers help us finish a massive project or a time crunched gig. I started out musically playing in bands and have always enjoyed collaborative relationships.

What did getting an Oscar nomination for “Hurt Locker” tell you about your partnership?

Buck and Marco back in The Hurt Locker

Sanders: It was one of the first co-scoring credits we had together and I really appreciated Marco requesting that with the filmmakers. I’m also very appreciative to those directors who recognized the collaboration between Marco and myself.

Were either of your attracted to cars, or racing, before taking this film on?

Sanders: Marco is into racing. I’m into using a car to pick up cool gear for the studio. His racecar is so loud that I can’t hear the Goldsmith CD playing in my car!

Beltrami: I dabble in amateur motorcycle racing and I’ve been to the track with the car as well numerous times and follow moto GP and Formula One racing when I can. Also, I train at Willow Springs Raceway with my son Coleman, where part of the film was shot.

How would you say your relationship has evolved with James Mangold to the point of “Ford v Ferrari?” And how would you say his skill as a director has developed to take on such a hugely ambitious project like this?

James Mangold directs Ford v Ferrari

Beltrami: This is the fourth movie that we’ve done together and over the course of our relationship. For a director working with a composer, it’s almost like you have to develop a language, because the language of music is abstract and that takes time. And I find that each time I work with Jim it gets easier and easier. I understand more instinctively what he’s talking about and vice versa. I feel like he understands our ideas as well. I think he is one of the most talented directors I’ve ever worked for. And this movie I think is a masterpiece. I think it’s the best movie I’ve ever worked on. And I feel that what Jim does so well, is that he takes a big story, but makes it very personal at the same time and focuses on the relationships. So, even though it’s about a simple concept of Ford beating Ferrari at Le Mans, it really functions on a relationship level, which makes you really care about it, even if you’re not a race fan.

Sanders: One of my favorite things about Jim is that he is a real fan of vintage film scores. He’s consistently referencing composers like Jerry Fielding, David Shire and Lalo Schifrin and the sound and energy of those scores. I remember the day before we were recording “The Wolverine” score he had us come by his office so he could play us some music to inspire the sessions and it was Elmer Bernstein’s “The Sweet Smell of Success.” That was not what I was expecting to hear. He didn’t want that style of music obviously but loves the sound of the band and how raw and energetic it is. I think we got closer to some of that unbridled energy from classic scores with “Logan,” and with “Ford v Ferrari,” I think we have gotten even closer. We purposely decided to produce the sound of this score with the band in the room at Capitol instead of having heaps of production done beforehand which can end up dictating the energy and dynamics of a band’s performance. All the production we added to the ending Le Mans race cues was all edited to the band to keep their energy as the main focus throughout the whole score.

Why choose this particular style of music? And would you say it made your collaboration with James differ here? Or is there now shorthand in the process after so many years together?

Beltrami: Jim and the music editor Ted Caplan turned us on to the sound of the film early on by playing us records that he liked. Jim didn’t want a smooth Hollywood score. He wanted to embrace this idea of when they used to make records and you have a band play in the room and not be so constrained by strict meters and everything being perfect, smooth. He wanted us to embrace the rough edges of it. And in this score, I feel like we were able to do that in a way we haven’t previously been able to. We didn’t use traditional orchestra and we really cared about the performance, not so much technique in the studio, but the actual performance on the scoring stage.

Sanders: We all wanted to reference music from the times of the films settings and use instrumentation and production techniques to help sit with the source music that’s also in the film. It was important that the band members be able to comfortably shift between the jazz and rock inspired cues and the more modern sounding stuff we did for the Le Mans race. We were really responding to Jim’s tastes in music from that time. There is certainly developing shorthand with Jim but more importantly we are developing good communication with his whole team that he has been working with for years now. We have full trust in the music editing/supervision by Ted Caplan and dub mixer Paul Massey who handles the music mix on the final dub stage. They can usually easily handle most of any changes Jim may want during the final mix.

“Ford v Ferrari” is certainly your funkiest score together. What kind of albums or songs from the era did you dig into for research?

Sanders: We got to pay some homages to stuff that I’ve always enjoyed like Lalo Schifrin and Henry Mancini and I did a lot of research on guitar fuzz pedals from the 60s. I’ve been collecting fuzz pedals for years to be able to one day do a fuzz guitar and brass score and this film was the perfect film to explore that idea. We worked closely with the Mark Graham, the score’s orchestrator and conductor, regarding the brass mutes and which ones may be good combinations with the different fuzz pedals.

Tell us about the ensemble you used?

Beltrami: We had a unique ensemble of 15 instruments, sort of like a big band. We had three guitars that would play everything from acoustic guitar to electric to pedal steel. And we had a piano that also played B3 Organ. And we had a drum kit and percussion that played also a vibraphone. And we had an electric bass player that also played jazz, upright bass, and we had two trumpets and three trombones and a saxophone that doubled on flute. And we did the entire score with this ensemble. There are no strings, no synthesizers, there’s no electronic outside electronics coming from the studio. Everything we wanted this score to be so that you could basically play it as if you were just going into the studio and playing it. And that’s the score. That was the concept. And the thing that was great about it was that we didn’t have all the sessions at the end.

Marco

We started scoring, I think it was in January, and we had, over the course of five months, five sessions and we kept coming back to the same band. So, we got to know the players. We knew whom we were writing for, we knew what their strengths were. We knew what Jim liked because we played cues for him and then he would listen and he would give us notes on what he liked, and sometimes we would come back and revisit those cues. Sometimes we would take ideas from one cue and adapt it to something else. It was a real collaborative process, something that we don’t often get to do on a film score, but we had the luxury of multiple sessions with the same band and having Jim attend all the sessions and try stuff in the picture. So, I feel like we were really able to connect and collaborate as director and composers and really develop our relationship.

In a way, was scoring “Ford v Ferrari” like being in a garage together working on a car?

Beltrami: Buck and I really worked on everything together. I would come up with perhaps a melodic idea for something and Buck would have a way of translating that to how we were going to achieve that with guitar, fuzz and muted brass, things like that. And he’s had this concept for a long time. And we finally got to use it. Or there’s a rhythmical idea that starts at the beginning of the race, I think Buck came up with that on his guitar and then I ran with that and developed it into a cue that we would sit down and work on together. Like we’d be in the same room together, he’d be playing some things on the guitar. I’d be recording him while he did that. I would be playing some things on the piano or the organ and he’d be recording me doing that. We actually write these cues together.

How does the final album differentiate in some parts as to what’s heard in the film?

Buck

Sanders: The soundtrack’s first track (“Le Mans 66”) is an edited suite of the Daytona cue, the “7000RPM/Perfect Lap” cue and the cue where Miles starts to catch up with the Ferrari driver Bandini and then back to the Daytona finale. There are also a couple of alternate versions of cues that are slightly more developed thematically (“Ferrari Factory” and “Crescent Wrench”).

How did you want to musically differentiate the personalities of Ken and Carroll?

Beltrami: I had something thematic for their relationship and I had something thematic for Miles’s headspace, when he had his 7,000 RPM idea, and then when he reaches the perfect lap. We had thematic ideas that were solidly based for the race as well that were more mechanical of nature.

Sanders: I don’t think we saw them so much as individuals to focus on. The film is really about the friendship between them and Miles relationship with his family.


Given that retro rock-pop scores are now the rage, did you want to bring in the “western” sound to make yours different?

Sanders: I wasn’t aware that they are so popular right now. It just felt right for the film, especially considering the period of it. We’re always throwing in Morricone inspired “western” sounds. It’s hard for us not to do that, especially on a Mangold film. I think you could easily transcribe a lot of his films into westerns.

Would you say there are elements of “3:10 to Yuma” and “Logan” in this score?

Beltrami: I’ll say that there’s also a cue that’s used a few times. It’s used in the very opening of the movie when Shelby’s on fire, it’s used when Shelby is giving a speech for the unveiling of the Mustang and it’s used when Miles has to slow down. There’s this cue that goes by, it’s fairly ambient, but there is a piano line, right? Very sparse, simple, right-hand piano line that I realized after we did is similar to a piano thing that I did in “Logan.” So I guess, unconsciously, there was a connection.

Sanders: From “Yuma,” certainly with the gritty acoustic guitars and the trumpet/fuzz guitar theme that movie had as well like. I didn’t really think of “Logan” in conjunction with “Ford,” but perhaps some of the darker racing moments in Le Mans have some similar vibes. The dark piano clusters and the drum kit could have worked in “Logan.”

How difficult is it to musically capture the sensation of speed?

Sanders: The fast tempo of the cues certainly helps. Letting the players play beyond their parts and improvise parts helps create urgency as well. Mangold seemed particularly interested in wanting the feeling of precision for the GTs once they show up which is why we had the extra percussive guitars and tight percussion that were edited to follow the band’s performance for the GT racing scenes.

Was it also important to get across a mythic quality in the score as to the sense of racing, and automotive history being made?

Beltrami: This idea of the nature of your relationship to the car changes at 7,000 RPMs where at a certain point when you’re driving has almost a mythical feel to it. And that I felt needed musical support. And Jim shot it in a way that he needed score at that point. There’s a moment at the end when right before he, Miles, slows down. And then also in the very beginning, when Shelby leaves the doctor’s office and he’s driving down Mulholland Drive in his car, we wanted to connect this feeling from the beginning of the movie and right up to the end when actually even when Ken Miles loses his brakes at the very end and crashes.

Sanders: I think Marco did a great job of capturing a mythical quality with his 7000RPM cue (during “Miles’ Perfect Lap in Le Mans”). It’s a very ethereal combination of sustained fuzz guitars, brass, B3 organ and electric bass. It reminds me of a very organic version of a Vangelis type piece. When I was originally thinking about fuzz guitars and muted brass I was always thinking about energetic, dissonant sounds but Marco had this great idea for an ethereal piece. It’s a very unique and rich sound.

How did you want to get across this playful, Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid-like relationship between Ken and Carroll? In that way, would you describe this as your most “fun” score together?

Sanders: We did have lots of fun on this one, particularly at the sessions with the players. Since the sessions were spread out every few weeks we tried to maintain the same players. We were always very excited to see the band and hear them play. I think while we were writing, particularly for the scenes with Shelby and Miles, we were easily caught up in the great dynamic that was already present on screen before we wrote anything. The film looks great and you can’t beat that cast so it makes the job pretty easy inspiration-wise.

How important was it for the music to reflect both characters’ sense of individuality, while also showing the importance of teamwork, let alone cooperating with Ford?

Sanders: The film does that so well on its own. I’d say the sense of energy and motivation from the Shelby team as a whole inspired the music mainly.

You’ve probably never had to deal with sound effects on the level of this movie before. How did you want to choose instruments that could punch through the car roars? And did you work closely with the sound mixers to ensure the score could be heard?

Beltrami: Well, first of all, I don’t think we’ve ever had a better mix on a movie. This is absolutely brilliant how the car engine sounds, which are like music in and of themselves, and the way they’re used, especially in the race sequences are vitally important to this movie and the music is a lot of that. I think the way that it comes, so you can hear it, a lot of how it comes through was a choice by Jim to have certain elements of the score. I think because of the way we recorded it and the way we had the time to think about it collectively over five months, we found how it could best serve the picture. And so by having certain elements be heard and picking moments that you would hear the cars more prominently or you hear the score more prominently were all choices that he made with the mixers on the dub stage. And when I first heard it, I was blown away by how clear everything was.

Sanders: There was certainly thought put into sounds and instruments that might be able to cut through but it was really the magic of Paul Massey’s music mix in the film that made any of it audible. He and effects mixer David Giammarco have a great working relationship and know how to weave around each other, much like the driving in the races. Paul’s mix in the film was so impressive to us that we included his treatment of the tracks back into our mixes for the final stereos. The soundtrack release is a co-mix with our usual mixer Tyson Lozensky and Paul Massey.

How did you want to spot where the music came in and out of the races?

Sanders: Jim has great instincts about music spotting and I think in general he had a lot of that figured out with Ted Caplan before we got to scoring those sections. Spotting was continually being fined tuned even well into the dub, but again, with Jim and his dub stage crew we had full trust that they’d make great choices with editing and mixing decisions for what’s best for the film.

You’ll be back in monster mode next year with “Underwater.” What can you tell us about the score? And on that note, have you started talking about your approach for the “Quiet Place” sequel?

Sanders: Marco and Brandon Roberts have already finished “Underwater”. I had a lot of fun working on it helping to create the pallet of sounds and helping produce the score. We should be mastering the soundtrack soon. “A Quiet Place 2” should start up soon. We don’t know any details about the film or the musical approach John Krasinski has in mind but hopefully we get to explore ideas from the first film. I hope we can get deeper into the microtonal piano stuff we did previously.

Would you want your music for “Ford v Ferrari” to make people drive faster?

Sanders: Ha! When Mangold was reviewing the soundtrack mixes with us he made a joke about old men getting the score album and playing it in their cars and flying off the road from the score’s racing tension.

“Ford v Ferrari” is now doing laps in theaters, with Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders’ score album available digitally and on retro vinyl.

Listen to Marco and Buck’s digital (and vinyl soon) score soundtrack on Hollywood Records HERE

Listen to Marco and Buck’s score soundtracks HERE

Watch “Ford v Ferrari” scoring sessions at Marco Beltrami’s website HERE

Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

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