Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Weekly Roundup: September 19, 2014

Soundtrack News - Za, 20/09/2014 - 02:00

Announced this week were new composer assignments for [c.631]Joe Kraemer[] ([m.38497]Mission: Impossible 5[]), [c.4295]Alex Ebert[] ([m.42034]A Most Violent Year[]), [c.274]Harry Gregson-Williams[] ([m.42027]Southpaw[]), among many others. For the full list of composer and music supervisor assignments from this week, [url./composers/]click here[].

There were 49 new soundtrack albums released this week. [da.2014-9-15]Click here for the full schedule[].

Opening nationwide this week are (with music by): [m.37015]The Maze Runner[] ([c.1154]John Paesano[]), [m.39057]This Is Where I Leave You[] ([c.534]Michael Giacchino[]), [m.39494]Tusk[] ([c.1619]Christopher Drake[]), and [m.40104]A Walk Among the Tombstones[] ([c.13643]Carlos Rafael Rivera[]).

Among all new...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Dario Marianelli's 'The Boxtrolls' to be Released

Soundtrack News - Vr, 19/09/2014 - 02:00

Back Lot Music will release [a.13451]The Boxtrolls – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack[] digitally and on CD [da.2014-09-23]September 23, 2014[], with a vinyl version of the soundtrack will releasing at the end of this year. The album features an original score for the Focus Features and LAIKA family event movie by Academy Award-winning composer [c.1069]Dario Marianelli[] and an original song by Eric Idle (of Monty Python fame), plus classic songs performed by the group Loch Lomond. The Boxtrolls is the first animated feature that [c.1069]Dario Marianelli[] has scored, and he began his work notably early in the production process.

"That was a huge benefit for us," said The Boxtrolls co-director Graham Annable. "Dario started work when most of the movie was still in the...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

Interview with Harry Gregson-Willams

Film Music Magazine News - Wo, 17/09/2014 - 20:57
(Photo by Matt Dames)



Harry Gregson-Williams has often been a man on a mission of dark righteousness. Sure he’s done far gentler scoring for the likes of “Antz,” “Shrek,” “The Tigger Movie” “Arthur Christmas” and the “Narnia” movies, where he even essayed the voice of Patterwig the Squirrel. But if you cross the side of justice, just hear Williams’ family-friendly orchestral voice set its watch to 60 seconds, and become a distinctive sound of simmering electronics, imposing strings, slicing rock guitars and beds of raging percussion – melodic, often hallucinatory music that builds for characters’ with haunted pasts to explode into body count action in such scores as “Spy Game,” “Domino,” “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Town.” And when that music is in the hands of Williams’ frequent embodiment of vigilantism known as Denzel Washington, you can be sure the bad guys are going to hit the floor with a distinctively dream-like tone of emotional, and percussively brutal efficiency, no more so than with the stopwatch countdown of a rebooted Robert McCall in the cinematic spin of the 80s CBS show “The Equalizer.”

“The Equalizer” marks the first time in sixteen years that Gregson-Williams has teamed with filmmaker Antoine Fuqua, who set him on a more-than occasional musical path of darkness with 1998s assassin free-for-all “The Replacement Killers.” However, it’s certainly not the first time Gregson-Williams has been to the action dance with Denzel Washington, most often in the company of late director Tony Scott, who had the charismatic leading man playing civilians who battled runaway trains in “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three” and “Unstoppable,” a cop using time travel to stop a murder in “Déjà Vu” and an ex-military man out to severely mess up the thugs who’ve taken a little girl in “Man on Fire.”

It’s that character, and plot that “The Equalizer” resonates the closest with, as not so ex Black Ops operative McCall avenges the abuse heaped on the teen prostitute Terri (Chloe Grace Moritz). As is the case with the prolifically versatile composer’s frequent entries into the thriller genre, Gregson-Williams goes for his own film noir tone, using the electronic vibe that distinguished his rise alongside Hans Zimmer’s team, as paired with an organic orchestral approach, creating a hypnotic hybrid sound that deals with inner, thematic turmoil as much as it does meting out rhythmic payback. It’s a skill that “The Equalizer” does with brutal, anguished proficiency, its sound a long way from Stewart Copeland’s far brighter synth groove for Edward Mulhare back in the TV day.

With such other suspenseful scores waiting to be unleashed from Gregson-Williams for Michael Mann’s cyberthriller “Black Hat” and the next evolution in the “Call of Duty” videogame series, the composer talks about a style that gets into the soul of his tormented characters, and one actor in particular who’s out again for the big payback.


Did you ever watch the original “Equalizer?”

Yes, I did watch “The Equalizer” back in the day. I don’t recall Stewart Copeland’s original score, but I do recall the character of Robert McCall and what a smooth, cool personality he was. Maybe it was his English accent! But the character of McCall changed quite a bit with Denzel’s portrayal in this version, I think. Denzel brings such a gravitas to anything that he does and I found him entirely believable throughout the film. In fact, I recall Antoine Fuqua telling me that Denzel had said to him, “I don’t want my character to do anything that I can’t do myself.” He didn’t want him to have any superhuman strength or powers. He wanted his actions to be believable and not have a heightened reality to them. So that was a guideline for me; that the music should be grounded in reality and not too fantastical.


“The Equalizer” is your fifth movie with Denzel. What kind of qualities do you think he brings to your music as both an action hero in “Man on Fire” and “The Equalizer,” as well as when he’s playing a regular guy thrust into dangerous situations in “Unstoppable” and “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three?”

Denzel is an amazing actor and certainly Tony Scott must have shared that opinion by casting him numerous times and I was fortunate enough to score some of these films. He brings a certain star power to a part without being too conspicuous somehow – he’s never too showy and always interesting. I don’t know how he does it, but he does.

The last time you scored Denzel on a mission of vengeance, it was for “Man on Fire.” How do you think they differ when it comes to their personalities, and music?

The lead character in “Man on Fire” is very driven by what his heart tells him. This is very similar to the character in “The Equalizer.” They both use their heads, too. They are smart about their actions and seem to know what they’re doing, so these personality traits are certainly similar. They are both on a vengeance mission and both are triggered by the actions of a young girl. In “Man on Fire,” it was a child. In “The Equalizer,” it is a young woman. I got the feeling that in “Man on Fire,” Denzel’s character had always been a loner that had never really connected with anyone, whereas in “The Equalizer,” we learn that McCall’s wife had passed away and that they had shared a loving relationship.

How did you want to show Robert’s humanity, and the sadness that cloaks him?

I love the scene at the beginning where we first meet Robert. We can see that he is a very solitary, self-contained man who’s not needy and not dependent on anyone else. There is certain sadness in that knowledge and the music reflects that. He’s torn as to whether he can continue the life he leads now or whether he has to go back to something more violent and volatile.

With so much secrecy about Robert’s background, did you find yourself inventing his past while writing the score?

Not at all. Antoine asked me to score what I saw on the screen and to be quite literal with his character.

When it comes to Teri’s character, did you want the music to paint her a lost child?

No, not as a lost child, but more as a sensitive soul in search of meaning. Her character really is in need of belief in a future. The one really stand-out scene that Denzel and Chloe share together – in the cafe – where she really lays that out on him and he implores her to be what she wants to be and what she can be is a winner, I think. We found it necessary to score this whole scene, but we didn’t want it to be in your face at all. It’s a very quiet, sensitive, and supporting cue and only makes a couple moves and shakes; and hopefully enhances the sense of innocence lost and of secrets shared.

Antoine Fuqua gave you your first all-out action score with “The Replacement Killers” in 1998. How important do you think that score was for launching you into that realm, and what’s your collaboration been like for this film?

It’s been fantastic working with Antoine again. We’ve both been involved in multiple projects since “The Replacement Killers,” and yet he’s certainly made a leap of faith to circle back to me as his composer and I’m really grateful for that. “The Replacement Killers” was very important for me as a composer at that time, for my confidence and feeling of worth. I had not embarked on a solo action score before and this was a great opportunity, and while the film/score wasn’t particularly well-liked or well-received, we had a good time on it, and we both went off to make many other films as a result of it, I think. I’m happy to say that I’m already writing the score for his next movie called “Southpaw,” which stars Jake Gyllenhaal.

Another frequent director you worked with is the sadly passed Tony Scott. What kind of inspiration did he give you? And do you think directors like Antoine carry on his stylish spirit?

Tony continues to be my inspiration on many levels, actually. He made a huge impact on my life, you see…not to mention my career. He was thoughtful and sensitive towards my music, and me, yet at the same time über critical and impossibly demanding and we went through an awful lot together. Eight or nine feature films (all with in excess of 70 minutes of music), a few short films, commercials, and various TV projects all spanning 18 years, is something really special in this business, It was a heck of a ride and an unbelievable honor for me to be a part of. It’s still difficult for me to imagine this journey can’t continue…he died two years ago last month.

How did you want your music to “hit” Antoine’s “over and out” depiction of violence that Robert often sets to his stopwatch?

Antoine made it clear that he wanted sound effects to play a large part in the action sequences – for the music to stand out on occasion, but not always, and when it did, it needed to be sharp and punctuate various events.

More than ever with “The Equalizer,” you’ve hit a vibe where samples and electronic percussion are completely bonded to the orchestra. Would you say that’s your signature when it comes to action scores?

Yes. Certainly that’s the way I compose my scores. There’s a hybrid here between electronic and acoustic instruments. I love the spot where these seemingly disparate things converge!

While “The Equalizer” has harsh, slicing notes, do you think there’s a dream-like quality to the score here as well during it’s more introspective moments?

Absolutely. There are two facets to the music for Denzel Washington’s character. On the one hand, there is a gentle, safe, calm, and deliberate feeling, which you can hear during introspective moments – often portrayed simply by a melodic piano theme. On the other hand, when he springs into action, there is a dangerous, swaggering, and muscular tone that can be heard. For this, I employed heavy drums, guitars, and synths. There were occasions where I employed a medium-sized string section to pull out emotion within both of these thematic strands, either vengeful and violent or reflected and sad.

Could you talk about your continued relationship with Hans Zimmer as a “go to” composer on his team?

I do have (and am proud of) a long-term relationship with Hans, and yes, I suppose my music is heavily influenced by what I learned in the late 1990s as his apprentice. I do hope that I’ve evolved since then musically. I know Hans has. But is it part of my DNA? Absolutely. Is that something I’m ashamed of? Nope. Is it something that’s a work in progress? Yes. I hope at this stage that I’ve found my own voice.

You’ve next got Michael Mann’s cyber thriller “Blackhat” coming up. There’s always been a “circuitry”-like pulse to your rhythmic music. In that respect, did that make this collaboration slightly easier than it might have been, or one as demanding as his other composers’?

I actually finished scoring “Blackhat” a few months ago. I worked on it for the first six months of this year. I delivered my score in June, having had an interesting time on the project. It was like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. The film is excellent and quite unique and also very topical. Hacking! We all know that he rarely uses a single composer on his scores and I hear that other people might be at work on the film, but whatever works for him, you know. It’s his way. For my part, I wrote 80 minutes of music for a film I liked a lot, and I am looking forward to seeing how much of that will be used in the final version. I have no idea, but I’m hopeful…

Right now you’re scoring the most ambitious game yet in the “Call of Duty” franchise. What can you tell us about your approach to it, and how it will reflect both the new technology of the PS4 console, and those advancements it’s given to the franchise?

I finished scoring “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” in July. I recorded the orchestral elements up at Skywalker Ranch and had some good results there, which I was thrilled with. The new technology of the PS4 console, and other alike platforms such as XBox One, allows for more memory, disk space, and faster processing. This also means the music is able to be played at full fidelity, more specifically at 48kHz, as opposed to previous “Call of Duty” games where the sample rate had to be converted down to fit on the console disk. More processing speed allows for more advanced mixing systems, which in turn, lets the audience experience the music, and all other audio, at a much higher dynamic range.

One of the main goals that Sledgehammer Games looked to accomplish with “Advanced Warfare” was not to make it sound “futuristic”, per-say, but more “advanced”, as the title implies. They wanted the sound design and music to always be “grounded” through the use of natural and organic sounds/musical ideas in combination with more futuristic sounds. I think the score contributed these humanistic elements that emphasized the drama and story-telling aspects of the game.

There’s a whole other, far happier nature to your music with such scores as “The Tigger Movie” and “Arthur Christmas”. Do you try to emotionally vary them up with your darker work so you won’t be immersed in that emotion for so long?

Absolutely. I love to work on films such as these. I’m a happy guy by nature, but somehow over the years I’ve been drawn to a lot of dark thrillers. There was something very, very joyful about producing reams and reams of happy, elf-like Christmas music in mid-June with the sounds wafting over Venice beach! What’s not to like? I had a great time working on that movie.

With that being said, do you have a particular affection for modern-day film noirs after scoring movies like “Man on Fire,” “The Town” and “The Equalizer”?

Yes, of course I do have a particular affection for these types of movies, “Blackhat” being another one of them. I hope to work on many more genres as well in the future. I’m excited to work with Catherine Hardwicke later this year on her movie “Miss You Already,” as this is a bit of a departure for me. Great script, awesome director.

If you had a favorite television show whose movie version you’d like to score, what would it be? And what musical spin would you like to give it?

“Masters of Sex.” I’d inevitably have to give it some balls.


“The Equalizer” opens on September 26th, with Harry Gregson-Williams’ score on Varese Sarabande Records available September 23rd HERE

 

Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Elia Cmiral's Score to 'Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt?' Released

Soundtrack News - Di, 16/09/2014 - 02:00

Composer [c.418]Elia Cmiral[] is proud to announce the release of the [a.13644]Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt? – Motion Picture Soundtrack[]. Cmiral previously composed the first film of the trilogy, based on the renowned and influential novel Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. "I was thrilled when I received the phone call in April of 2014 from producers John Aglialoro and Harmon Kaslow, asking me to write music for the final part of the [m.]Atlas Shrugged[] trilogy," said Cmiral. "When we met a few days later, it felt like coming back home. I was overwhelmed by John and Harmon's enthusiasm as they recalled the work that I did on [m.31348]Atlas Shrugged: Part I[] and explained their expectations for the score of [m.40750]Atlas Shrugged Part III[]."

"[Elia's] passion and...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Weekly Roundup: September 12, 2014

Soundtrack News - Za, 13/09/2014 - 02:00

French composer [c.13881]Antoine Duhamel[] passed away yesterday. For more information on the award-winning composer, [url.http://www.soundtrack.net/news/article/?id=1892]click here[].

Announced this week were new composer assignments for [c.423]David Hirschfelder[] ([m.41988]The Water Diviner[]), [c.568]Jon Brion[] ([m.41970]The Gambler[]), [c.760]Conrad Pope[] ([t.41998]The Whispers[]), among many others. For the full list of composer and music supervisor assignments from this week, [url./composers/]click here[].

There were 46 new soundtrack albums released this week. [da.2014-9-08]Click here for the full schedule[].

Opening nationwide this week are (with music by): [m.38202]Dolphin Tale 2[] ([c.168]Rachel Portman[]) and [m.35318]No Good Deed[]...

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NEWS: Justin Hurwitz's 'Whiplash' to be Released

Soundtrack News - Do, 11/09/2014 - 02:00

Varèse Sarabande Records will release [a.13422]Whiplash – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack[] digitally and on CD, [da.2014-10-07]October 7, 2014[]. The soundtrack features original score and big band songs by [c.2205]Justin Hurwitz[] ([m.31689]Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench[]) and original big band competition pieces by [c.1232]Tim Simonec[] ([t.7266]Dune[]).

"The director Damien [Chazelle] and I started talking about this score a year before the cameras rolled," said Hurwitz. "While the original jazz would be somewhat straightforward, the movie's dramatic underscore was more of a conundrum. How do you score a movie that already has so much music in it?" To navigate these waters, Hurwitz would use the techniques of electronic scoring, but with all real instruments, in a way...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

Interview with Imran Ahmad

Film Music Magazine News - Di, 09/09/2014 - 17:54

When zombie apocalypses are all the rage in every conceivable medium, it seems difficult to come up with a new spin on the undead, let alone a new sound. Yet that’s precisely what Howard and Jonathan Ford did back in 2010 when they switched the usual American-English terrain to the African outback. It was a haunted land to begin with where walking bodies seemed like the natural outcome for the continent where life began. Adding immeasurable atmosphere to their “Dead” was the score by Indian-born composer Imran Ahmad, an unearthly mélange of ethnic percussion, voices and the more recognizable “horror score” elements of gnarled samples, rapid-fire percussion and raging dissonance. But most of all, “The Dead’ impressed in music, picture and emotion as it kept a firm human handle on a mercenary and young boy attempting the impossible task of finding sanctuary, where every sunbaked corner of desert seemed to hold another horde.

Having displayed an epic filmmaking chutzpah with a zombie apocalypse that easily outdid the infinitely bigger-budgeted “World War Z,” the Ford brothers now get back to body-gnashing on another exotic stretch with “The Dead 2.” And this time, it’s one that the London-based Imran Ahmad draws his own blood from, as India becomes the next target for the Ford’s not-so fatal wave of disease. Once again, an ersatz “family” tries to somehow survive, as turbine engineer Nicholas (Joseph Millson) finds himself slicing and dicing far more than wind as he sets off on a s three hundred mile journey to save his pregnant girlfriend Ishani (Meenu), whose home in Mumbai has undead pounding at the door. Accompanying Nicholas is the adolescent Javed (Arnand Goyal), whose bond to a father figure gives “The Dead 2” its emotional power through one viscerally amazing setpiece after the other.

Click Here to Purchase the Soundtrack

But perhaps the most important elemental force to be derived from the land is its soul, as personified by Ahmad’s even more complex score. For a country steeped in mystical belief systems, Ahmad’s melodically beautiful use of India’s vast array of eon-old instruments conveys the Karmic sense of destiny which makes “The Dead 2” moving in a way that few zombie projects are, especially in conveying an unwavering sense of purpose against whatever horrific odds are thrown at our heroes. It’s a sense of vulnerable destiny that’s unique for American-centric horror scoring. But Ahmad’s music certainly doesn’t turn the other cheek when it comes to delivering the ferociously violent goods, as rock guitars and percussion rage amidst wailing, screaming voices, a thrumming beat making the pulse race as the characters try to outrun one wave of the undead after the other. It’s a masala of eerie exoticism and outright terror that gives palpable expanse to what’s arguably the most interesting, and multi-ethnically impressive zombie franchise in the world, with Ahmad’s music an unforgettable tour guide in a land of no Nirvana in white-eyed sight.


Tell us about your own musical upbringing, and what interested you in film scoring?

I was born in London and being of Indian origin I grew up listening to a variety of Eastern and Western sounds, from Indian classical to Western pop. I started playing the piano and later the guitar in my early teens. Later on I became very interested in film music when I noticed how it would make me feel while watching movies. Being a musician, this awareness led me to explore more about how the music was being used to steer emotions and pace the drama to help tell the stories.

Were there any particular genre scores that stood out for you, especially in the zombie arena before “The Dead” came your way?

There wasn’t anything particularly genre-specific as I have been influenced by a wide range of movies and music, from the fantasy adventure scores of Bernard Hermann to the electronic sounds of John Carpenter. I also draw inspiration from Indian and Middle Eastern music. The first film I saw in the cinema was “The Return of the Jedi.” I must have subconsciously absorbed the music over the two hours while watching visuals that were completely beyond my imagination as a child. The exhilarating feeling has never left me!

How did you first team with the Ford brothers for “The Dead,” and what was it about your music that appealed to them?

I met Howard in London at the time he was beginning post-production for sound on “The Dead.” I watched the initial trailer he sent me and was amazed by the visuals he and Jon had captured out in West Africa (shot on 35mm). Feeling inspired I wrote some music and sent it to him. Both Howard and Jon loved the sounds I had used, especially the adventurous pace and spiritual feeling of the vocal parts. They said it was very different for a horror genre score and that is exactly what they were looking for.

Before even jumping into “The Dead” series, did you listen to past scores in the zombie genre? And how did you want to put your own stamp on it?

Howard and Jon had made a visually stunning movie about a road trip journey across an unfamiliar landscape that happened to have zombies in it! I wanted to use sounds and instruments that were unfamiliar to the zombie genre. Our overall aim was to give the audience a very different aesthetic experience in terms of visuals and music.

Could you talk about your musical approach for the original “Dead?” And how did you want to use the original’s theme here as connective tissue in getting across the global outbreak?

The Ford Brothers wanted the movie to be original in every way possible including the score. They were very keen to communicate the fragile sense of hope the characters were left with. Also, in one of my initial conversations with Howard, I described the intended music as arising from nature itself and turning the environment into a twisted and distorted reality. So musically I wanted to develop a delicate sound for the inner journey of the main characters and use experimental vocals and percussion for the natural world and the horror.

The main theme is primarily vocalized and is meant to outline the feeling of being human and not being able to make sense of the world. The zombie outbreak could very well be a force of nature such as a tsunami or earthquake. All human beings rely on hope and perseverance, and the main theme tries to convey the internal struggle that everyone goes through.

Beyond scoring “The Dead 2,” you also helped in its production. What were some of your wilder experiences on the shoot, and were any of them life threatening?

I only accompanied Howard and Jon on the location scout trip to India. As I speak Hindi, I assisted in planning the route and liaised with local people we met along the way to play zombies for our teaser trailer. In total we drove about a thousand miles around the state of Rajasthan (the land of Kings) in Northern India looking for suitable locations. The countryside was captivating as we drove past sunbaked villages, abandoned palaces eroding away and the immense Thar Desert. The only life-threatening situation was the insane driving that we witnessed!

Could you tell us about how the Ford brothers work as a team, especially when it comes to collaborating with you on the music for “The Dead 2?” Were you all going for a “bigger and better” attitude?

The Ford brothers have always wanted to make a zombie movie ever since they saw the original ‘Dawn of the Dead’. This is why they co-directed both of these films. They are creative explorers and always inclined to go off the beaten track when they shoot their films. That is why they find captivating and haunting locations that are not necessarily on the official location guide. I think this combination of passion for the genre, sense of adventure and relentless enthusiasm, led me to create a music score with a more expansive feel.


What do you think the biggest differences, and similarities are between Indian and African music?

I’m not sure that I can comment in broad terms regarding this! India is a subcontinent and is incredibly large and diverse with varying cultures and musical traditions. Africa, on the other hand is a continent with well over forty countries! It’s way too diverse in music styles depending on which part of the land you go to. What I would say about Indian music is that there is a refined ancient system of musical scales (raags) and rhythms (taals) that are still used to this day in both classical and popular music. These are the musical influences I primarily draw from.

Tell us about the ensemble of Indian instruments that you used.

The Indian instruments were primarily the bansuri (Indian flute) with some sarangi (bowed string instrument) that was processed and distorted. I also worked with Indian classical singer, Chandra Chakraborty. Howard and Jon were keen on embellishing a haunting song or lullaby into the film. Chandra and I recorded a Rajasthani lullaby about a woman who lives in a palace and dreams of her husband returning to her. It had relevance to the film’s setting and the yearning that the main characters Ishani and Nicholas both feel.


In the respect of Indian music’s natural, peaceful quality, do you think it affords “The Dead” more moments of tranquility, and beauty that another ethnic musical approach might?

Indian music is one of many languages in which to communicate feelings and emotions. This is the inherent transcendental nature of music. I used the Indian flute for the more tranquil moments and the sound of the flute naturally possesses the qualities of beauty and peace. I hope that the audience will appreciate and absorb any sounds outside their own cultural frame of reference, as we naturally tend to listen more attentively when sounds and rhythms are unfamiliar.

Could you talk about the electronic and rock guitar elements to the score, and how you wanted it to serve the movie’s pace?

These elements are complimentary to the rest of the musical palette. The energy and textures of sounds generated by amplifying rock guitars are incredible in themselves. Elementally they sound like fire and dramatically give a sense of emergency and danger. The rock guitar isn’t communicating anything cultural in the movie. I love using sounds like this in an unexpected context like when I used the Indian flute in an African setting.

When you think of zombies, a moaning, if not outright screaming voice comes to mind for the tortures of the dead, and the damned. In that respect, how did you want to use voices in this movie, for both terrifying and peaceful ends?

For most of the vocals, I worked with a singer called Saba Tewelde who is originally from Eritrea in East Africa. Her voice was what I felt could represent the natural world turning lethal as the outbreak is a force of nature. She has this amazing vocal dichotomy where the higher registers are very beautiful and ethereal, and the low ones sound haunting and foreboding. The higher tones are short and fleeting during moments when the characters are hopeful. The darker tones just stay with the characters the whole time never leaving them alone. I then added distorted screaming as another texture to some of the sections of the score. It’s disturbing and powerful as it is derived from fear. However, we had a fun time recording that in the studio!

You’ve got some particularly unsettling, and outright ferocious percussive passages in “The Dead 2.” Tell us about that quality of the score.

We wanted to propel the unrelenting threat from the zombies. These are the slow moving zombies that were first made popular in George Romero’s movies. The zombies are silent predators and slowly creep up on you without you even noticing. I think the scare factor is amplified than if you saw them running towards you screaming like an animal, as you wouldn’t have any time to react and plan what to do. The percussive passages help to heighten the terror and sense of panic when the attacks occur.

Both movies share the story point of an American hero trying to get a vulnerable person to safety. How do you think the music reflects that emotion?

The emotional core is a distillation of all our worldly concerns down to what actually matters and motivates us to live. Most people become unconscious of what really drives them in life. The hero is himself now vulnerable too as his world is falling apart. The music reflected in the love theme for Ishani and Nicholas is very simple and attempts to reflect the fragility and sacredness of their relationship. If you became helpless and vulnerable, whom would you naturally turn to for help? I think for most people it will be the people that they love and care about the most.

With the hero traversing so much territory, how did you want the score to reflect the different locations?

I think there is cohesiveness to the overall sound of the score and it doesn’t venture into terrain outside the reality of the story. The scenes at night are particularly unsettling. If the main characters are vulnerable during the day, then they are more so at night when they need to sleep! The music has a haunting and ghostly quality in these quieter moments.

In general, what do you think makes horror music scary? And how important is its balance between melody and dissonance for you?

It has been said that silence is the most effective storytelling device in horror. In a silent scene, there is no musical narrative to inform how the audience is meant to feel. That is scary! Our physiology can be purposely built up to a state of anxiety and panic. Other than this, dissonance is important as it can create feelings of uneasiness and simulate sounds generated by animals and humans when they are scared – a vocal expression of our primal fears. The right balance is very much dependent on what kind of experience the Director wants the audience to have. I prefer a good mix of melody and dissonance.

How do you think things are looking with Indian composers making the crossover into English language films, especially when it comes to movie that have nothing to do with India?

I think it’s great. The wonderful thing about composing is being able to experience different musical cultures, traditions and languages from around the world. It’s very rewarding. When I worked with Gambian musician Jali Kebba Susso on “The Dead,” he was the 75th generation kora player from his family! He not only brought his beautiful sounds to the score, he also infused it with the richness of his ancient culture.

Howard Ford is next up to direct a film outside of the horror genre. What can you tell us about it, and how will it be to break away from the zombies for him the next time out?

Howard’s next film is a thriller that is going to be set primarily in Morocco. It follows an American single mother on vacation in a beautiful but unfamiliar land that takes the law into her own hands when her child is abducted. I’m really looking forward to seeing the visuals he captures whilst he is out there.

What do you think makes “The Dead” films distinctive from the wave of zombie pictures, and TV series we’re getting now?

“The Dead” films are austere and laconic in terms of dialogue and the very few characters, similar in tone to the westerns of Sergio Leone. The landscape and indigenous people are very much part of the visual language. I think this makes it distinctive. Also, the Ford brothers want to take the audience as well as the fans of the genre into new locations with people from different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. I think this creates a fresh perspective for the genre especially with local interpretations and reactions to the outbreak framed through their own culture and beliefs.

What locale would you like to see The Dead series go to next?

There have been talks of the series continuing into Asian countries like Afghanistan or China.

How would you survive a zombie invasion, especially in India?

Indian people are incredibly resourceful and creative. A large percentage of people live and consume well within their means. The people would just know how to survive a zombie apocalypse!

Buy Imran Ahmad’s score for THE DEAD 2 in September from Howlin’ Wolf Records HERE. And visit the movie’s zombie-plagued India HERE on September 16th, or on iTunes HERE

Buy Imran Ahmad’s first DEAD soundtrack HERE

Visit Imran Ahmad’s website HERE

Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Weekly Roundup: September 5, 2014

Soundtrack News - Za, 06/09/2014 - 02:00

Announced this week were new composer assignments for [c.89]James Horner[] ([m.41942]Wolf Totem[]), [c.1061]Marcelo Zarvos[] ([m.41941]Cell[]), [c.1422]Ilan Eshkeri[] ([m.41919]Still Alice[]), among many others. For the full list of composer and music supervisor assignments from this week, [url./composers/]click here[].

There were 30 new soundtrack albums released this week. [da.2014-9-01]Click here for the full schedule[].

The only movie opening nationwide this week is [m.41481]The Identical[] (with music by [c.861]Klaus Badelt[] & [c.1793]Christopher Carmichael[], songs by [c.13277]Jerry Marcellino[] & [c.13278]Yochanan Marcellino[]).

Among all new theatrical releases, we are tracking song credits for:
- [m.9008]Forrest Gump (20th Anniversary IMAX...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Marco Beltrami's 'Nobemer Man' to be Released

Soundtrack News - Vr, 05/09/2014 - 02:00

Varèse Sarabande Records will release [a.13082]November Man – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack[] digitally and on CD, [da.2014-09-09]September 9, 2014[]. The soundtrack features the original score composed by [c.14]Marco Beltrami[] ([m.34084]Snowpiercer[], [m.32675]World War Z[]).

"It was a thrill to write music that would play under Pierce Brosnan, an actor who previously portrayed an iconic spy; he brings to mind the kind of energy I hope my score captured," said Beltrami.

Award winning composer [c.14]Marco Beltrami[] established an early reputation as a genre innovator with non-traditional horror scores for the [m.]Scream[] franchise and [m.32078]Don't be Afraid of the Dark[]. Beltrami's musical palette has since expanded to virtually all film genres. Beltrami has...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Weekly Roundup: August 29, 2014

Soundtrack News - Za, 30/08/2014 - 02:00

Announced this week were new composer assignments for [c.3198]Johann Johannsson[] ([m.41837]Sicario[]), [c.1480]Henry Jackman[] ([m.38137]Captain America 3[]), [c.1240]Rob Simonsen[] ([m.41836]Master Cleanse[]), among many others. For the full list of composer and music supervisor assignments from this week, [url./composers/]click here[].

There were 38 new soundtrack albums released this week. [da.2014-8-25]Click here for the full schedule[].

Opening nationwide this week are (with music by): [m.39471]The November Man[] ([c.14]Marco Beltrami[]) and [m.40105]As Above, So Below[] ([c.9137]Keefus Ciancia[]). [m.9664]Ghostbusters[] (Elmer Bernstein) celebrates 30 years with a theatrical release this weekend as well.

Among all new theatrical releases, we are...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Bear McCreary's 'Angry Video Game Nerd' to be Released

Soundtrack News - Do, 28/08/2014 - 02:00

Sparks & Shadows announces the release of the [a.13513]Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack[] digitally on [da.2014-09-02]September 2, 2014[]. The soundtrack features original music by Emmy Award-winning composer [c.1238]Bear McCreary[] for the film based on the popular [t.]Angry Video Game Nerd[] web series.

In addition to writing the original music, McCreary remixed two songs for the album, "Sacred Ground of the Golden Turd" and "The Angry Video Game Nerd Theme Song." The band Young Beautiful in a Hurry contribute two songs, "Nerds Before Birds" and "Barcade." Both songs were written by the band's Brendan McCreary, who regularly collaborates with Bear on the TV series [t.36956]Defiance[].

"I can honestly say that the score for...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Scoring Session: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Soundtrack News - Wo, 27/08/2014 - 02:00

Director Jonathan Liebesman's summer hit [m.33662]Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles[] was scored by composer [c.361]Brian Tyler[]. Tyler conducted the recording of the score at the Eastwood Scoring Stage at Warner Bros. Our friends at [url.http://scoringsessions.com/news/277/]ScoringSessions.com[] have just made pictures of the session available.

[a.13414]Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - The Score[] was released digitally on [da.2014-08-05]August...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Weekly Roundup: August 22, 2014

Soundtrack News - Za, 23/08/2014 - 02:00

Announced this week were new composer assignments for [c.13685]Bibio[] ([m.41821]Men, Women & Children[]), [c.1540]Frederik Wiedmann[] ([m.41806]Dying of the Light[]), [c.823]Josh Kramon[] ([t.41822]Forever[]), among many others. For the full list of composer and music supervisor assignments from this week, [url./composers/]click here[].

There were 28 new soundtrack albums released this week. [da.2014-8-18]Click here for the full schedule[].

Opening nationwide this week are (with music by): [m.38856]If I Stay[] ([c.827]Heitor Pereira[]), [m.33945]Sin City: A Dame to Kill For[] ([c.1767]Carl Thiel[] & [c.889]Robert Rodriguez[]), and [m.37707]When the Game Stands Tall[] ([c.1154]John Paesano[]).

Among all new theatrical releases, we are tracking song...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Nonesuch Records Celebrates 50 Years

Soundtrack News - Vr, 22/08/2014 - 02:00

The Brooklyn Academy of Music is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of Nonesuch Records with a film series devoted to some of the greatest films they've covered with score releases. From September 8th to the 25th they will feature classics such as [m.21391]Rebel Without a Cause[], [m.7370]East of Eden[], [m.1757]The Bad Seed[], and [m.36147]Spartacus[].

There will be special guest appearances by [c.74]Philip Glass[], [c.]Peter Sellars[], and [c.2950]John Adams[].

For details regarding the series, including a complete schedule of the films to be featured, [url.http://www.bam.org/NonesuchRecordsonFilm]click...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Game Music Connect Unveils Full 2014 Program

Soundtrack News - Do, 21/08/2014 - 02:00

Game Music Connect organizers today revealed all remaining undisclosed sessions for the second annual international video game music conference which returns to The Purcell Room at London's Southbank Centre on September 24. The final sessions to be announced include a high-powered roundtable discussion, "Score To Studio," featuring top industry executives, audio directors and talent agents on the process of orchestral contracting, as well as two star-studded composer panels (with audience Q&A) addressing a wide variety of issues pertaining to the art and business of composing music for games. Full programme details are now online at [url.http://www.gamemusicconnect2014.com/]www.gamemusicconnect.com[].

Game Music Connect is for aspiring and professional composers of all...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: The Newton Brothers' 'Life of Crime' to be Released

Soundtrack News - Wo, 20/08/2014 - 02:00

Varèse Sarabande Records will release [a.13438]Life of Crime – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack[] digitally and will be available as a disc-on-demand, date TBA. The soundtrack features the original score composed by [c.1742]The Newton Brothers[] ([m.38489]Oculus[], [m.38599]Proxy[]). [m.38488]Life of Crime[] opens in theaters, on demand, and on iTunes on [dt.2014-08-29]August 29, 2014[].

"This movie is really a dark comedy," said Taylor Newton Stewart. "But it has moments of tension, suspense and even some romance. We worked hand-in-hand with the director to achieve some cool stuff with riffs, grooves, songs and orchestration. A lot of opportunity to be creative on this film."

[c.1742]The Newton Brothers[]--aka Andy Grush and Taylor Newton Stewart--have combined their...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

August Soundtrack Picks

Film Music Magazine News - Di, 19/08/2014 - 02:14

Soundtrack Picks: ‘DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES‘ is one of the top soundtracks to own for August, 2014

Also worth picking up THE BOOGEY MAN, COLD IN JULY, THE GIVER, HER ALIBI, THE LION KING: THE LEGACY EDITION, LUCY, THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY, WICKED BLOOD, X-FILES: FIGHT THE FUTURE and many more!

To Purchase the soundtracks from this list, click on the CD cover

THE TOP PICKS

1) THE BOOGEY MAN / COLD IN JULY

      

Price: $17.95 / $15.40

What Is It?: Amidst the music that’s continually re-defined horror scoring across the decades, from grand guignol orchestras to slithering, solo violins and crashing cacophonies of percussion, perhaps no style remains as affective for members of a certain “Halloween”-raised generation that the repetitive chords, ambient atmosphere and rock rhythms that defined serial killer-cum supernatural minimalism. Now a seemingly lost prime cut from back in the day returns to life, while another modern day score hits the eerie vibe so perfectly for its human monsters that you’d swear its soundtrack was written back in 1980.

Why You Should Buy It?: The rise of that slasher decade comes alive as horror-centric label Howlin’ Wolf digs particularly deep to unearth “The Boogey Man.” Exploitation-friendly German director Ulli Lommel (“Bloodsuckers”) creatively jumped onto the “Halloween” bandwagon with his first supernatural picture from 1980, which took a more spectral, silvered angle in its ghostly child molester, who avenges his murder at two kids’ hands by seeking haunted mirror payback on them decades later. Still notorious today for its pitchfork impalement and glowing shard in the eye, “The Boogey Man” (and its 1983) sequel marked the only two scores to be composed by the ominously named progressive rocker Tim Krog (along with Ed Christiano and Jan Bartlet at Synthe-Sound-Trax). It’s simultaneously chilling and cheesy – namely everything that’s great about synth slasher scores of yore. None of these soundtracks were worth their bloody salt without a memorable theme, and Krog certainly had one with a growling, bell-like melody that’s more in the haunted spirit of Goblin than John Carpenter. With a lullaby nature to convey two cursed kids. Krog’s melody never gets tired through numerous variations, especially when it’s possessed with the kind of progressive rock attitude that shows the whole synth style of these works as one blade removed from the likes of Jethro Tull and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. These horror scores were simplicity at its finest, and at its best, Krog’s work is the equivalent of a fiendish music box, enticing its victims with effects that conjure evil, watery glass (compete with flying blunt instrument whooshes). Fans of the synth genre will dig “The Boogey Man’s transfer from collector’s vinyl to digital. Better yet, the album climaxes with Fernando Pereyra using retro state-of-the-art synths to impressively recreate Krog’s choice cuts, including a truly enjoyable track that should have been titled “Disco Dance Theme from The Boogey Man.”

Extra Special:
Jeff Grace has done exceptional work in a new wave of indie horror scores, where movies like “The Last Winter,” “The House of the Devil” and “The Innkeepers” go for slow-burn scares where art is dolloped out far more than gore. “Cold in July” represents a bold film noir departure for Grace and director Jim Mickle, whose provided Grace with his most stylistically fertile grounds for the rustic, blood-drenched “Stake Land” and the family cannibals of “We Are What We Are.” Here the appalling acts come courtesy of the video nasties section, with a revenge-minded Sam Sheppard turned into a bad ass that would give Michael Meyers pause (let alone a non-psychotic Michael C. Hall). It’s likely Sheppard’s boogey man presence that’s inspired Grace to go into Carpenter synth mode here with a particularly unrelenting theme, twinkling, percussive suspense and simmering, rhythmic concern to spare. It’s a pretty audacious move on Mickle and Grace’s part, given that this is a thriller set in the heart of 1989 Texas. But it’s exactly this stripped down, almost surreal, electrified musical quality that adds to “July’s” effectiveness as it shows just how low heroes can go in their shoot-first righteousness – people driven to their basic, machine-like instincts when it comes to all-consuming payback. Without this movie’s stars and directing gloss, you might imagine picking it up off the VHS shelf right next to a copy of “Rolling Thunder.” It’s a time-specific tone that Grace nails with a spare, beating serial killer pulse that makes “Cold in July” a brutal throwback in all the right ways, yet with a sense of vulnerability that doesn’t let the listener, or viewer, off the troubling hook – here generated by hard-ass killer synths and piano at their simple best.



2) CALVARY / WICKED BLOOD (1,000 edition)

      


Price: $16.77 / $17.98


What Is It?:
Varese has lately been turning its attention to becoming a boutique composer label as well as releasing major soundtracks like a newly upgraded “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” prestige that’s now shining the spotlight to such worthy scores as Nuno Malo’s “No God, No Master,” Reinhold Heil’s “Haunt” and Luis Bacalov’s “Hidden Moon.” But when it comes to music that deals with moral transgression, two especially impactful Varese soundtracks are Patrick Cassidy’s “Calvary” and Elia Cmiral’s “Wicked Blood.”

Why You Should Buy It?:
The wages of sin that an Irish priest himself had little to do with play heavily in “Calvary,” as a confessor promises to take his pound of flesh in a week’s time for pedophilia visited upon him in the past. Though writer-director John Michael McDonagh (“The Guardian”) finds black humor as this man of the cloth is pushed to the mostly silent limit by the seemingly cheery small town that in reality hates his guts, Patrick Cassidy solemnly plays it straight to impressively moving effect. One of the foremost composers in his native Ireland with concert works to that country’s great famine, Cassidy certainly knows how to capture overpowering tragedy, yet with a sense that faith will conquer all. These are two major emotions that drive “Calvary’s” priest in the score’s alternately hopeful and elegiac themes, penance conveyed with somber, psalm like melody. This religious tone that capture a man asking forgiveness for his church’s transgressions, while in its more bucolic moments feeling as positively, peacefully green as the landscape. For while “Calvary” beautifully captures an overwhelming sense of sadness, as well as a slowly moving, and foreboding sense of a ticking clock that will run for seven days, the biggest, most satisfying feeling that Cassidy’s lovely score ultimately conveys is one of acceptance, and transcendence in its chorus, lush strings and solemn piano. And with his Latin songs appearing in such soundtracks as “Veronica Guerin” and “Kingdom of Heaven” Cassidy certainly knows how to write a powerful end benediction. Yet for a movie about seemingly immovable fate, the elegiac triumph of Cassidy’s beautifully melodic work is about how a truly pious, earthly priest moves towards inner, poetic peace, with music as devastating in its sense of fate as it is spiritual in acceptance, the final, soaring combination of both emotions likely to move the hardest-hearted of listeners.

Extra Special:
As “Sons of Anarchy” has more than convinced us on TV (not to mention any legion of AIP Hell’s Angels pictures way before then), it’s not wise to mess with biker gangs and drugs, especially when your uncles are dealing in the family business. Such are the wages of rural sin in Czech composer Elia Cmiral’s powerfully authentic southern-fried crime score. Having done many effective, experimental horror works like “Splinter” and “The Deaths of Ian Stone” of late, “Wicked Blood” takes Cmiral in a roundabout way back to the hillbilly flesh-eating land of “Wrong Turn,” as crossed with the beautiful, melodic poignancy he gave to the underseen drama “Journey to the End of the Night.” Using a wounded guitar, dulcimer, piano and violin-topped strings with sweltering, soulful, atmosphere, Cmiral powerfully conveys two sisters seeking a way out of the meth trade. It’s the sound of innocence going down a troubling path that gradually escalates the stakes with menacing percussion and rock guitar rev ups. But while Cmiral definitely gets in his suspenseful, percussive licks in a way that does Ry Cooder proud, “Wicked Blood’s” score is mostly centered on thematic emotion, its rural, female-centric sound amidst the tough biker guy chords giving Cmiral’s work the impact of melodic vulnerability clawing its way out by any bad means necessary.



3) DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES



Price: $11.88


What is it?:
There’s nothing better than letting a composer out of his cage to run amuck with material he so obviously has a love for. And ever since a one-time Disney publicist named Michael Giacchino got a shot to apply his own savage tune for a videogame spin on “Jurassic Park,” this musician has been bounding through numerous, often fantastical genres to Oscar winning effect, giving his energetically melodic all through both hits (“Up”) and cult misses (“John Carter”). Perhaps no movies seem to ignite Giacchino’s big orchestral guns than when he’s taking on classic franchises, whether it be his energetically heroic music for “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol,” or spinning the Enterprise on two blazingly thematic explorations for J.J Abrams’ rebooted “Star Trek’s.” Now Giacchino gets a shot at an equally daring re-envisioning of another classic warhorse, and does The Lawgiver proud with an alternately understated, and gun-blasting “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” his first entry for the second in a terrifically re-imagined series that likely won’t be the composer’s last trip to this madhouse.

Why should you buy it?:
Unlike the original series that ended in “Battle’s” silliness, or the dreadfully campy Tim Burton reboot, the charm for anyone entering a “Planet of the Apes” movie is to take the material as seriously (though with a touch of irony) as the very first 1968 outing, which pondered the human condition through a world turned upside down. If it can be said that “Rise” redid “Conquest,” then “Dawn” is this series’ “Battle,” as done far more realistically, and with infinitely better special effects. Giacchino’s time portal in is through his relationship with director Matt Reeves, from whom he did an awesome Akira Ifukube-style “Godzilla” end title tribute for the otherwise music-free “Cloverfield,” before writing a slow-burn horror score for Reeves’ unfortunately pulse-less redo of “Let the Right One In” (Americanized as “Let Me In”). Thankfully, Reeves rises to a whole new level of excellence with “Dawn,” especially with Giacchino in tow for this dazzlingly ambitious sequel. Always a composer to pay professional fanboy tribute to the great maestros of yore, from John Barry in “The Incredibles” to Alexander Courage in “Star Trek” and Lalo Schifrin in “Mission,” Giacchino gives proper due here to the percussive, primal sound that was truly revolutionary when Jerry Goldsmith used it for the first, classic “Apes” score. It’s a pounding, African sound that’s lost none of its effectiveness decades later, as given fresh purpose by Giacchino. Yet, he doesn’t leap into the fray off the bat, ingeniously using a lullaby piano and chorus to track the simian flu that wipes most Homo sapiens off the globe. Giacchino paints and eerie, empathetic portrait of what’s left, conveying the outward menace of its ever-evolving apes through guttural drumming. But once you get to know them, the composer uses warm, sweepingly thematic orchestral colors and noble horns. It’s regal music fit for a king, presaging the Christ-figure that Caesar will ultimately become, while his home life is conveyed through tender strings and piano. It’s a majestic, romantic feeling that isn’t too far from Barry’s “Out of Africa” when you think about it, an emotional approach that links the desire of the more virtuous humans to live in peace with the planet’s new rulers. But of course things are not destined to end well, and Giacchino jumps into the rampage with the zest of a gorilla given a big-ass gun – or several dozen of them. There are enough throttling ethnic rhythms enough to fill up several of Goldsmith’s “Hunts.” With Giacchino’s training in the “Medal of Honor” videogame series also paying off nicely with its terrific, banging battle music, complete with giant chorus. If the “Star Trek” movies get to take on the entire Klingon Empire, “Dawn” provides a hell of a warm up. But in the end, it’s the stirring emotion of “Dawn,” and the music for a flawed messiah that really elevate this score (and film) right up the evolutionary ladder of this series, music that not only impresses us with Giacchino’s passion for the subject, but also his devotion to Caesar himself. It’s the feeling that we’re followers, bowing down as a legend lopes by.

Extra Special:
Perhaps it’s because he deliberately doesn’t have any Cheetah-worthy jokes to play on the score that Giacchino’s monkey business comes out on the album’s cute cue titles, whose highlights include “Past Their Primates,” “Monkey See, Monkey Coup” and “Aped Crusaders” – with apes even making an appearance in the control booth photos that line the CD booklet. Give this guy a banana, and pass him the next franchise that needs musical rebooting while you’re at it.



4) LUCY



Price: $8.99


What Is It?:
One of the most continually interesting outside-the-box director-composer collaborations belongs to Luc Besson and Eric Serra – a filmmaker whose often lunatic stylism has given particular zest to such done-to-death American standards as sci-fi and action, his gonzo sensibilities aided by a musician steeped in progressive Euro-pop. It’s a partnership that’s had a stunning range from the flowing “Big Blue” to the religious power of “The Messenger” and the cute fairy tale stylings of “Arthur and the Invisibles.” But for American fans, there’s nothing quite like Besson and Serra when they’re blasting away with big guns, or venturing to otherworldly outer limits, two activities that “Lucy” offers in psychedelically energetic abundance with this summer’s most enjoyably unique studio picture, and score at that.

Why Should You Buy It?:
While they first paired on “Le Grand Dernier,” it was “La Femme Nikita” that rocketed Besson and Serra into the stratosphere as the director’s assassin fatale was accompanied by surreal military percussion, dark ambiance and sultry pop-accented synth romance – a tune that grew with Serra’s percussive and orchestral abilities for “Leon,” then took on delightfully weird grooves with “The Fifth Element,” a triptych that “Lucy” goes a long, happy way to reminding us of as a beautiful, very reluctant drug mule goes beyond brain-awakened delusions of goddess-hood. Besson divides his movie between dark, fascistic menace, exhilarating chases and cosmic wonder in a way that never allows you to peg where “Lucy” will go next. And Serra gives terrific chase as he channels “Nikita’s” unnerving tones, then starts hallucinating big time with acid jazz, weird didgeridoos that sparkle with electric fireworks and whirling symphonic grandeur. Like its heroine, Besson blasts through bubbling sensory perception as he opens one new musical level after the next. It’s a great, eccentric balancing act that dances with the beat rhythms of a tripped-out action score and music that goes for something symphonically headier, a soundtrack at once groovily into the gun-blasting, car-chasing fray and intellectually above it. Yet there’s also a nice, somewhat solemn depth of feeling to “Lucy” in its heroine’s sense of inevitability and loss of humanity, an determined poignancy for strings, voice and solo piano rushing to accomplish its mission on Earth, with her ultimate destination yielding especially dynamic orchestral results from Serra. With “Lucy,” he impressively returns with Besson to the eccentric star stuff that made the international film community take notice, a talent that’s really gotten its nutty groove back.

Extra Special:
“Lucy’s” eclectic enjoyment is greatly enhanced by The Crystal Method’s “Single Barrel,” Damon Albarn’s weirdly waltzing song “Sister Rust” and a five-minute excerpt from Mozart’s “Requiem,” because nothing conveys an intellectual giant speeding towards cosmic finality like that composer’s rapturous, posthumous piece.



5) THE X-FILES: FIGHT THE FUTURE



What Is it?:
Mark Snow was already five seasons into scoring Fox’s hit sci-fi show, a way more frightening spin on “Project UFO,” which here had two FBI Special Agents not only investigating potential alien invasions, but all manner of killer earthbound mutants, ghouls and ghosts – neither denying, or confirming their veracity to maddening, cult-viewing effect. Seeing so many acolytes wanting to discover the truth, Fox put a major movie out there in 1998, along with its key on-camera and behind the scenes personnel, one of whose foremost players was Snow. It was an opportunity the composer ran with to give his relatively (and purposefully) lo-fi sound for the show a major orchestral upgrade – not to mention getting a solid big screen credit after logging over a hundred hours of TV scoring on every show from “Falcon Crest” to “T.J. Hooker.”

Why Should You Buy It?:
You knew you were in a far bigger arena when Snow’s even-then iconic “whistle” theme was played by an 80-piece symphonic compliment for the first time, the show’s “black oil” conspiracy now broadened to truly epic dimensions with pounding percussion, and an emotional, “human” quality considerably amped up with a wealth of strings, brass and chorus. While the show’s scores were effective, but never all that melodic (which was another of Snow’s deliberately effective choices), the theme-filled “Fight the Future” turns into a full-on rebellion against that sort of TV minimalism, especially in Snow’s robust approach that mixed harmonic grandeur with terrifying dissonance – a powerful hybrid of the organic, and sampled, much like the Cigarette Smoking Man’s hidden creatures. It’s an all-enveloping, musical sense of unease that makes us identify all the more strongly with true believer Mulder and no-longer Doubting Thomas Scully as they get submerged in a labyrinth of killer E.T. goo. Sweeping, majestic crescendos also abounded as the show’s mythology finally began to give up the secrets its fans had been clamoring for, its revelations daring to sing with a sense of wondrous release. Overall, Snow’s work here is of an entirely different and dare I say far more impressively “conventional” thematic nature, a score that truly filled the big screen to entire those non “X”-acolytes (consider me one) who were just out to see an interesting sci-fi thriller without any idea of the episodes before it.

Extra Special:
Having released nearly all of Snow’s work for the show on several impressive volumes, La La Land runs with this impressively cinematic opening up of the “X-Files” mythology, expanding on the original Elektra album to come in at an exciting 76 minute presentation, complete with a nicely designed booklet featuring new liner notes by Julie Kirgo, and Randall D. Larson’s updated interview with Snow on one of his most impressive achievements. He’d have the theatrical “X” chance again a decade later with the far less successful movie “The X-Files: I Want To Believe,” whose music was the strongest thing about an otherwise muddled head-swapping movie whose story would have been wiser to continue the black oil flow. Here’s hoping that La La Land can get around to a similarly inclusive release to truly make themselves the label that is all things “X-Files As is, “Fight the Future” remains the movie where Snow turned a creepy playground into scoring worthy of the big studio deal, opportunities he should have far more of, whether or not Mulder and Scully continue on the case.



ALSO FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION:



. ALL GOOD THINGS

While Rob Simonsen is now riding high with his inventive, alt. scores for the teen tsuris of “The Way Way Back” and “The Spectacular Now,” this former assistant to Mychael Danna on such scores as “Breach” and “Moneyball” showed his far more sinister orchestral talents early on with the 2010 true-life thriller “All Good Things.” Ryan Gosling brought his suave, creepy charm to a murderous rich kid who ends up showing his true colors to his impossible loving wife Katie (Kirsten Dunst). Simonsen’s work on the Danna brothers-scored Gosling courtroom thriller “Fracture” certainly paid off here as lush, Hermann-esque seduction pulls Katie into a spider’s web of the twisted Manhattan rich, gossamer chords capturing both the elegance of their lifestyle, as well as the victim-to-be’s growing sense of anguish and betrayal. It’s gorgeously melodic, spellbinding stuff that soon takes on a harsher, classical edge with militaristic percussion, sinister plotting that’s captured in an elegant, piano-driven melody and slashing violins as the music gets across a well-bred murderer cunningly covering all of his bases for a perfect crime. Simonsen’s “Good Things” are gripping from soft start to its intellectually nasty finish for this auspicious feature score, one that makes the anticipation to hear what Simonsen will cook up for his upcoming killer millionaire score to the already-acclaimed “Foxcatcher.” Caldera Records has brought forth Simonsen’s first score in the genre with another impressive release for the label, with Gergely Hubai’s liner notes, and an audio recording of Simonsen himself revealing the facts behind the musical crime scene, even as the actual “Katie”’s sad whereabouts remain unknown.



. DEEP IN THE DARKNESS

Subtlety isn’t something to fear with Matthew Llewellyn’s score for this Chiller Network movie. But then I suspect, having hushed music isn’t that big of a deal for the horror channel itself. However, if you’re a fan of big, old-school horror scores that proudly wear their swirling scares on their mutant hide, then you’ll be right at home with this thoroughly entertaining, rampaging score that would fit right in with the black and white Universal creature features of yore. Here the beasties are called “Isolates,” who make sure that a Manhattan doctor will find little quiet in the seemingly quaint town of Ashborough. Given this kind of a burning eyeballs-in-the-dark set up, Llewellyn (a frequent collaborator with Brian Tyler, and composer of such other DV craziness as “Alien Opponent,” “Good Satan” and “Dead Souls”) shows himself as a particular admirer of Jerry Goldsmith. The nice result is that this score’s biggest, and most welcome monster is melody, with shivering, bump in the night build ups, bat-like violins and moaning horns that lead up to crashing symphonic exclamation points of the Isolates arrival. It’s deliriously romantic horror scoring that’s perfect for a bunch of subterranean ghoulies as its is the crypt opening for a Saturday night creature feature host – scoring with a great sense of humor about the throat its going for, yet committed to its goose bumps at the same time. Indeed, Dracula would be proud to pounce with the rapturously performed strains of the Slovakia National Symphony Orchestra playing behind him.



. THE GIVER

Between such scores as “Snowpiercer,” “Knowing” and “Warm Bodies,”
Marco Beltrami has probably had more musical experience ending the world than there are actual YA (i.e. “Young Adult”) post-holocaust dystopia films. So it’s only natural that he’d finally be given a shot at one with “The Giver.” But as opposed to insuring conformity with hunger games or divergent sets of social classes, the black and white hook here is that all emotion has been numbed, with oldsters and the unclassifiable sent into the cornfield as it were. Of course, one kid finds out the full color glory of emotion, which sends him running into the great, cloud-covered unknown. With this cross between “1984” and “Logan’s Run,” “The Giver” is a far more cerebral, and emotive picture than the rest of the multiplex pack, which is likely why the best movie of the lot is the most underachieving at the box office. Yet that doesn’t discount how much soulful imagination “The Giver” has inspired from all concerned – particularly when it comes to Beltrami’s excellent contribution. In fact if you discount the very few action cues for the drone and super-bike chases that it seems the filmmakers had to throw in, “The Giver’s” score is positively un-Beltrami. It’s as if the frequently nightmarish composer has been infused with the soulful spirit of Cat Stevens in just how peacefully flowing its vast, intoxicatingly thematic melodies are for orchestra, samples and chorus, getting across the sense of beauty that can be found in a drug-induced sameness. It’s some of the most graceful writing for a sterile, high-tech world since John Williams’ “A.I.,” reflecting a sense of discovery in a character who sees his ultra-clean life for the nightmare it is. Beltrami gradually lets in the rapture of true humanity. With a repeating, hypnotic style that’s just as reminiscent of John Adams as it is of Williams, Beltrami lets us feel this heavenly flood of new sensation, while also keeping the rhythmic suspense going of how long it will be before our hero is found out. “The Giver” raises the bar yet again for the composer in putting soulfulness into oft-done genre material, creating a real journey of musical discovery that touches all the emotional senses.



. HER ALIBI

In the 1980s, Frenchman Georges Deluerue’s ultra-melodic talents had him well ensconced in Hollywood as a composer who could play tragic, heavy drama like no American’s business with the likes of “Platoon,” “Silkwood” and “Agnes of God.” But no genre at the time particularly suited the composer’s true joie de vivre like such studio comedies as “Twins,” “Maxie” and “Biloxi Blues.” Amid the frothy list, one of the most delightful Delerue soufflés has now finally risen to release with the Hitchcockian rom-com of 1989s “Her Alibi.” Director Bruce Beresford, who’d worked with Delerue on the less flighty scores to “Crimes of the Heart,” “Rich in Love” and “Black Robe” showed an unexpectedly sweet touch with the lethal near-misses that a mediocre mystery writer has when he takes a potential murderess under his wing, only to begin thinking that he has similarly bad taste in writing as he does women. Delerue delights in bringing out the suspects for romantic concern, contrasting lush, swooning orchestrations with the speedy, plots-afoot rhythm of finding out the truth of a potentially lethal amour, whose Romanian origin gives Delerue the chance to engage in Klezmer music and chilly cimbalom intrigue that at times makes “Alibi” play like a less threatening version of “The Third Man.” Deleue also has much fun twisting about his tuneful cheer into the sound of lethally ironic domestic bliss, while also getting to play the attraction between femme fatale and potential victim with touching heartstrings. “Her Alibi” is also nothing if not eclectic, with diversions into gossamer, classical music a la “A Little Romance,” galloping western rhythms and a whole album’s worth of circus-calliope music for the revelation of the mystery woman’s knife-throwing skills. Adding up to a generous 79 minutes that plays as well for merry go rounds as it does tender thrills, “Her Alibi’s” is a real joy for Delerue amours, a none-too threatening, richly tuneful score where at least the musical innocence of true love is never in doubt.



. THE IN-LAWS (1,500 edition)

Next to any classic Mel Brooks comedies made during the 70s, Arthur Hiller’s singularly hilarious pre-nuptial teaming of a mild-mannered (and soon outraged) New Jersey dentist (Alan Arkin) with a wily, self-professed CIA spook (Peter Falk) stands as one of that decade’s most beloved screwball pictures. Playing their chase that leads from the big city to banana republic was no less than Brooks’ muse John Morris, whose oft-repeated, bouncily cartoonish theme that melds Bondian-spy music with wedding bells and a soft-shoe shuffle is the next best thing to laughter-filled instant recall. Oddly enough between satirizing Frankenstein, Rudolph Valentino and Beau Geste for Brooks and his compatriots, “The In-Laws” was the only “straight,” present-day movie that Morris scored during those ten years next to Brooks’ Hitchcock spoof “High Anxiety.” But while there might be a “North By Northwest” quality to its chase, Morris’ approach is way more Carl Stalling than Bernard Herrmann. Charge-ahead brass, chopsticks percussion wacky synths, slurred trumpets, orchestra and cliffhanging runs of the piano hilariously convey the clash between a freaking-out Arkin and sweetly in-control Falk in a silent movie manner that feels like the Marx Brothers chasing after Bugs Bunny. And once the plot lands us with Richard Libertini’s dictator and his Senor Wences-esque smooching hand friend, Morris brings in another hilarious layer of Latin shenanigans. But while the music is never less than jokey, or outrightly absurd, there’s a wonderful sense of melodic control to it all, a lush nostalgia that distinguishes such other Morris comedy classics as “The World’s Greatest Lover,” “Clue” and even his very serious efforts like “The Elephant Man.” The slapstick score obsessed La La Land does a fine job at showing “The In-Laws” is just as vibrantly hilarious as ever, with Randall D. Larson’s liner notes doing a great job of breaking down a score that still has us breaking up.



. LEGENDARY

Scottish composer Paul Leonard-Morgan has made an electronica-heavy impression in Hollywood with his cool, beat-driven scores for “Limitless” “Dredd” and “The Numbers Station.” But recently he’s been able show his exciting, primal effectiveness with an orchestra for the feature version of “Walking With Dinosaurs,” a rocking sense of excitement and humor that started off with the prehistoric critter that’s bugging a Chinese village in “Legendary” (i.e. “Tomb of the Dragon”). While there might not be a big Asian element at play here in the big, percussive action cues, “Legendary” offers a lot of fun, unexpected musical diversions in its race between “Expendable 2” stars Scott Adkins’ let-it-live zoologist and Dolph Lundgren’s blast-it big game hunter, among them pokey spy heist music, a ripping rock guitar, sentimental sweetness, cliffhanging thrills and downright goofy comedy. “Legendary” is certainly one of the most eclectic and eccentric scores to grace a Dolph Lundgren movie. Better yet, its rhythmic, and melodic determination to have a ton of “dragon”-chasing fun makes this a very listenable, and well-performed score given the obvious CGI beast restraints at hand. “Pleasantly Dynamic” could be the better title here, musically at least, in showing as composer who’s just as adept at good-natured popcorn excitement for the younger set as he is at electrified adrenalin for far more violent adult action.



. THE LION KING: THE LEGACY EDITION

Few movies, or soundtracks better represent Disney’s feature cartoon renaissance than 1994’s mostly traditionally animated re-telling of Shakespeare’s “Henry IV” and “Macbeth,” a tale of royal backstabbing, revenge and assuming adult responsibility – as turned into talking animals on the Serengeti. It was kid’s stuff with an appealing, all-age bite, graced with an Oscar-winning Elton John and Tim Rice song “Circle of Life,” and a rousing African-styled styled score by Hans Zimmer. It was certainly a long way from “Rocket Man” for the pinball wizard, and a big step up pride rock for the German composer who’d begun his Academy ascent with a 1989 nomination for the funky, tribal beat score of “Rain Man.” For a studio with enough re-issues of movies and albums to fill the big box store veldt, Disney takes its fourth shot at holding up “The Lion King” album with its best presentation yet, its glossy, lyric-and-art filled booklet leading to two CDs that not only contain all of the songs and score, but demos and alternates as well. Listening to the Broadway-made likes of “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King,” “Hakuna Matata” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” along with Zimmer’s thunderous score, it’s easy to know why some properties have no end of re-issuing, though this “King” album will be hard to top. But the real treat is hearing Zimmer’s work in all of its complexity and splendor. Having re-visited Africa in musical terms many times since “Rain Man” with “The Power of One,” “Millennium” and “Green Card,” Zimmer was making a move out of his distinctive synth-orchestral combos into a far bigger symphonic realm, a transition that gives even more regal power to his dance between ethnic rhythms, the trumpeting voice of Lebo M., humorous toon music and the religious power of a giant father in the sky. “The Lion King” stands as one of the rare animated scores to have a sense of fun (if not jazzy craziness at times) and utter, chorally important seriousness that would befit a Wagner opera, scoring that gave “The Lion King” the roar of animated myth, not to mention fully making “world music” the soundtrack rage. Heard in this kind of splendor, “The Lion King” continues to hold his baby as a timeless accomplishment in the annals of animated scoring, as many times as it might come out.



. MOOD INDIGO

Filmmaker Michel Gondry is full of flowery, poetic whimsy when it comes to his dream-like taste in visuals in music, an at-times wonderful madness that the French seem to possess in particular. Having previously employed Jon Brion and Jean Michel-Bernard for his more personal surreal affairs like “The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” and “Be Kind Rewind” (I think we can count the otherwise fun James Newton Howard-scored “Green Hornet” out of this list), as well alternately nostalgic and hip artists like Beck, Billy Preston and Fats Waller, Bernard’s newest, and perhaps most exuberant exercise in love it or leave it surrealism serves up another wonderful bouquet of arch musical delight. Jazz appreciation is again another Gallic predilection that’s led off with Duke Ellington’s “Take the A Train” (and continues with the artist’s “The Mood to be Loved” and “Sophisticated Lady”) as a bachelor-inventor falls in love with “Amelie’s” Audrey Tautou. Her very presence dictates an equally charming and magical underscore approach, provided very ably by Etienne Charry. With his other feature score being for a movie called “Robert Mitchum is Dead,” you know this is one musician who isn’t going to be playing with a conventionally full deck. “Mood Indigo” certainly shows him as a composer after Gondry’s own crazily romantic heart, conjuring wondrous, dream-like passages for shimmering percussion, retro 60s romance for organ, humming and guitar and breathless, humming bird-like passages of the orchestra that’s all hearts aflutter – yet with a sense of darkness that creates the dread of crashing to earth. At its instrumental best, Charry’s “Indigo’s” weird bouncy, longing, bell filled passages and cute, unearthly percussion is like hellzapoppin collision of Nino Rota and Danny Elfman at their most bizarrely romantic. And when it comes to songs, Charry’s tune “The Rest of My Life” is certainly the off-kilter rival for a Lennon-esque Jon Brion tune. From winking nostalgia to nicely wacky underscore, “Mood Indigo” colorfully shows that Michel Gondry’s musical taste remains as wonderfully French as ever.



. PATERNITY

Though David Shire is better known for playing groovy subway-robbing action (“The Taking of Pelham One Two Three”), government conspiracies (“All the President’s Men”), conveying the majesty of a doomed dirigible (“The Hindenburg”) and the nobility of the common working woman (“Norma Rae”), the composer is far less recognized for his gentle touch with romantic comedy, especially when it comes to America’s leading macho man of the 70s and early 80s. Thankfully, Kritzerland is here to show off a very pleasant slice of Shire sweetness with this soundtrack to a 1981 Burt Reynolds movie, where a very eligible bachelor seeks a woman to bear his child (of course, no vials full of the white stuff will be involved in this hunky transaction). Coming at a time when Shire’s melodic touch was in full, gentle bloom with such scores as “The Promise,” “Old Boyfriends” and “Only When I Laugh,” the delightful “Paternity” is an absolute charmer. While its opening synths might temporarily fool you into thinking you’ve just joined an episode of “Three’s Company” (helped by the fact that Mr. Roper is in this) “Paternity” is more often old-fangled in Shire’s use of Stephen Grappelli-like violin swing, as few instruments better gets across a wry, sophisticated sense of humor. It’s this jazzy orchestral heart that also gets across the film’s NYC magic, especially with swelling strings to tell us conception with Burt will be a success that goes beyond the contractual act. But what really drives “Paternity” to 80s rom-com home is Shire’s zippy, effervescent themes, one for bouncy motivation and the other for tenderness – and absolute adorability when a child and adult alternately sing it’s “Baby Talk” lyrics for the main title. Kritzerland can claim proud ownership of the delightful “Paternity,” including several bonus tracks that show off Shire’s talent for arranging jazz standards like “Stella By Starlight” and making his theme feel like it’s playing from a 30s-era Paris nightclub – or from the Christmas school pageant as the theme is heard only with kid’s chorus. It’s a score that’s as impossible to refuse as Burt.



. PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE

While he started out his action career with the jovial action adrenalin likes of “Bad Boys” and “Money Train,” Mark Mancina’s need for speed has found a more kid-friendly home, especially at the Mouse House with the likes of “Brother Bear,“ “Tarzan” and most recently “Planes.” But that doesn’t mean that scoring a G-rating has meant any loss in energy, especially when those adorable, big-eyed flying vehicles take on Mother Nature’s fury in this even more action-oriented sequel to “Cars” kissing cousin. In fact, Mancina’s thematic engines and orchestral thrust are anything stronger than ever as he out-flies “Planes,” as soaring, patriotic music gives metal heroic flesh and blood in a way that will certainly please fans of Mancina’s Americana storm chasing in “Twister,” complete with a poundingly percussive sense of danger that’s just light enough for the little ones. But while Mancina certainly pay off the tyke audience by differentiating the characters from military pomp to pokey jazz, “Fire and Recue” truly captures the magical thrill of swooping about the sky, given his distinctively melodic brand of blazing, thematic patriotism that’s just as ready made for Jerry Bruckheimer as it is Mickey Mouse. Whether it’s chorus, country rock guitar or a majestic orchestra blasting this exceptionally performed score, this new “Planes” is a top flight score that continues to show Mancina as having the right, soaring stuff that’s lost none of its daredevil impact.



. RED SKY

A long time orchestrator for Tyler Bates on such energetically rocking scores as “Doomsday,” “Super” and “300” (not to mention “Guardians of the Galaxy”), Timothy Williams has increasingly been making inroads as a solo composer on such dramatically versatile scores as the WW2 resistance of “Walking With the Enemy” and a fateful relationship under “The Mulberry Tree.” But if you’re looking to hear what Williams is capable of in all of his rock ‘em, sock ‘em glory, then “Red Sky” delivers on the action thunder as an unjustly demoted Top Gun pilot jets after redemption by blowing up a WMD plot. Lots of lethal espionage, explosions and smoking hot babes ensue, all under cover of William’s terrific theme that’s all about bravery and solemn nobility, all given exceptional symphonic production value. And with the usual Islamist and Russian suspects, Williams also shows off a flair for scheming, ethnic villainy, which of course will go down under the tomahawk missile flair of rapid-fire percussion and blazing rock guitar, which kicks into a female “Red Sky Anthem” in the album’s coolest bit. Maverick and The Goose would definitely dig how Timothy Williams has enthusiastically continued to fly with their musical spirit, especially in how his music spruces up a DV plane with feature film polish.



. SOUNDER / DECISION FOR CHEMISTRY

Among the classic scores that Intrada has put out by the maestros whose innovations led film scoring into a brave new world, perhaps none embodies that go-to spirit with as much periodic table spunk as Alex North’s “Decision for Chemistry,” an otherwise obscure 1953 industrial short that the composer scored as he was ascending up Hollywood’s ladder through such revolutionary scores as “Viva Zapata!” and “A Streetcar Named Desire.” While this look at Zinc Oxide and You might have burned with the scintillating presences of Marlon Brando or Anthony Quinn, North’s rousing work does its darndest to wow audiences over with the increasing wonders of modern science with a score that’s every bit as futuristic as his modernist writing. Energetically bringing home the enthusiastic message that the film’s pre-seed sponsor Monsanto wanted to wow audiences with (especially given a subject that otherwise would’ve put people to sleep), North’s music if full of brash, brassy dynamism. It’s the sound of exuberant energy in motion, as well as the mysterious Pandora’s box being opened by these brave scientists. I’d dare any other composer of the day to make a cue called “Phosphorous Plants” as piano-banging, jazz-swinging exciting as a city on the march. “The Silkworm” spins like a dynamo of modern classicism, while a “Spin Dope” is a run of whacked-out, neo-Oriental percussion. Even “The Soil Demonstration” has a yearning feel of Americana in a score that’s the embodiment of can-do innovation for our corporate masters, given all the enthusiasm of a composer on the vanguard of a film scoring revolution. Intrada pairs “Chemistry” with another North score debut for 1973s Best Picture nominee “Sounder.” Martin Ritt’s poignant film told of a black sharecropping family (and their titularly named hound) desperately trying to stay together after their patriarch’s arrest for stealing food. North’s orchestral score is full of tenderness, but in a way that never overpowers this intimate story. But beyond its nicely muted drama, what’s surprising about “Sounder” is the gentle humor that North brings to the tale. While a guitar and harmonica atmospherically play the south, “Sounder’s” also full of upbeat, 1930s style jazz. For a composer who got across the music’s improvisational energy within film score restrictions with his groundbreaking score for “Streetcar,” North’s rural swing here feels authentic, from a lonesome, humorous horn and piano to a big band ensemble, all of which capture the spirit of a black musical art form that had its beginnings in this kind of grinding, rural poverty – which North’s music poignantly tells us won’t keep this family down despite the adversity they face. Where North unaccountably had his score replaced by “Sounder” actor (and not to mention musician Taj Mahal), this album at last lets us hear a North masterwork, with “Chemistry” given still-vital audio quality as well. Nicely nostalgic graphic layout by Joe Sikoryak and justifiably reverential liner notes by John Takis shine for a musician who often embodied a heroic, American spirit, from the halls of the industrial complex to family nobility.



. THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY

Any sap meeting a new “best friend” in international waters should know to stay away, especially if they’re at all familiar with Patricia Highsmith, the “Ripley” authoress on whose tale this movie about a scenic, seemingly friendly relationship gone wrong is based. Stylishly adapted by “Drive” scripter Hossein Amini in his directorial debut, “January’s” intrigue is exceptionally served by composer Alberto Iglesias. He’s a Spaniard who knows his way around Oscar-nominated international intrigue with the English moles of “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and the corporate havoc wreaked on Africa in “The Constant Gardener.” Told on a more intimate scale that takes us from Greece to Turkey, Iglesias creates a mesmerizing, suspenseful feel of exoticism with ethnic instruments that distinguish both locales while also tying them together as a con man, his unhappy wife (here’s looking at you again Kirsten Dunst) and an out-of-sorts tour guide flee a murder rap. Set in the 50s, this is the kind of good-looking film where everyone’s in the height of American expatriate fashion. You can feel the sultry, heat-soaked mood where characters are either getting seduced by sex or money in Iglesias’s brooding, Herrmann-esque string melodies, haunting flutes, or more outré repeating violin rhythms, indigenous percussion always letting us know that the police are on this trio’s tail if they don’t expose each other first, with all Kasbah roads leading to a dynamically indigenous foot chase. Like his Spanish composing compatriots, Iglesias has a subtly unabashed feel for soothing, fateful melody, which becomes the height of deception in “January,” which stands as yet another impressive, and subtly intelligent entry into Iglesias’ exotically suspenseful repertoire.



CLICK on the album covers to make your hardcopy or download purchase, and find the soundtracks at these. com’s: Amazon, Intrada, iTunes, Movie Score Media, Perseverance, Screen Archives and Varese Sarabande

Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Alan Silvestri Wins Big at Emmys

Soundtrack News - Ma, 18/08/2014 - 02:00

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences handed out the Creative Arts Emmy Awards yesterday. Some of the nominees with winners noted are as follows:

Original Main Title Theme Music:
- WINNER - [t.39789]Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey[] ([c.201]Alan Silvestri[])
- [t.38319]Black Sails[] ([c.1238]Bear McCreary[])
- [t.33984]Magic City[] ([c.710]Daniele Luppi[])
- [t.37723]Sleepy Hollow[] ([c.361]Brian Tyler[] & [c.10106]Robert Lydecker[])
- [t.39676]The Spoils of Babylon[] ([c.2349]Andrew Feltenstein[] & [c.2350]John Nau[])
- [t.33760]House of Cards[] ([c.674]Jeff Beal[])

Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score):
- WINNER - [t.39789]Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey[], Standing Up in the Milk...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: First Nominees for World Soundtrack Awards Released

Soundtrack News - Zo, 17/08/2014 - 02:00

[c.237]Hans Zimmer[], [c.752]Alexandre Desplat[] and [c.4506]Pharrell Williams[] are the most familiar names among the first nominees that were released by the World Soundtrack Academy. Besides Film Composer of the Year, the World Soundtrack Academy also published the nominees in the categories for Best Original Film Score of the Year and Best Original Song Written Directly for a Film. The WSAwards, one of the most prestigious events in the world of film music, is the closing event of Film Fest Gent and will take place on 25 October at Kuipke in Ghent.

World Soundtrack Academy
Launched in 2001 by Film Fest Gent, the World Soundtrack Academy aims at supporting the art of film music & sound design and its worldwide promotion. In fourteen years time the membership of the...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Weekly Roundup: August 15, 2014

Soundtrack News - Za, 16/08/2014 - 02:00

Announced this week were new composer assignments for [c.1738]Brian Byrne[] ([m.41794]Boychoir[]), [c.564]Christophe Beck[] ([m.41793]Cake[]), [c.1555]Ludovico Einaudi[] ([m.41791]Samba[]), among many others. For the full list of composer and music supervisor assignments from this week, [url./composers/]click here[].

There were 19 new soundtrack albums released this week. [da.2014-8-11]Click here for the full schedule[].

Opening nationwide this week are (with music by): [m.38021]The Expendables 3[]> ([c.361]Brian Tyler[]), [m.38924]The Giver[] ([c.14]Marco Beltrami[]), and [m.39884]Let's Be Cops[] ([c.564]Christophe Beck[] & [c.3914]Jake Monaco[]).

Among all new theatrical releases, we are tracking song credits for:
- [m.38021]The Expendables 3[]...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws
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