Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Weekly Roundup: January 17

Soundtrack News - 14 uren 52 min geleden
Academy Award Nominations were announced this week honoring the best achievements in motion pictures in 2019 -- including the Original Score and Original Song categories. For the list of music-related nominations, [url./news/article/?id=2917]click here[]. Announced this week were new composer assignments for [c.752]Alexandre Desplat[] ([m.56201]Black Widow[]), [c.1480]Henry Jackman[] ([m.57508]Cherry[]) and [c.45]John Debney[] ([m.54942]I Still Believe[]), among many others. For the full list of composer and music supervisor assignments from this week, [url./composers/]click here[]. Over 25 new soundtrack albums were released this week. [da.2020-01-14]Click here for the full schedule[]. Opening in theaters nationwide this week are (with music by):...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: 92nd Academy Awards Nominations Announced

Soundtrack News - Di, 14/01/2020 - 01:00

This morning, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominations for [t.57487]The 92nd Academy Awards[]. The nominees are as follows:

Best Original Score
[m.53148]Joker[], [c.7675]Hildur Gudnadottir[]
[m.53146]Little Women[], [c.752]Alexandre Desplat[]
[m.56170]Marriage Story[], [c.150]Randy Newman[]
[m.54413]1917[], [c.149]Thomas Newman[]
[m.38439]Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker[], [c.231]John Williams[]

Best Original Song
"I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away" from [m.40665]Toy Story 4[], Music and Lyric by [c.150]Randy Newman[]
"(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again" from [m.52669]Rocketman[], Music by [c.610]Elton John[]; Lyric by [c.2371]Bernie Taupin[]
"I'm Standing With You" from...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Fox Music/Hollywood Records Announce 'Underwater' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Za, 11/01/2020 - 01:00
Fox Music/Hollywood Records releases the digital original motion picture soundtrack to 20th Century Fox's [m.52471]Underwater[], directed by William Eubank today. [c.14]Marco Beltrami[] and [c.3355]Brandon Roberts[] composed and conducted the music for [m.52471]Underwater[], which was recorded at Pianella Studios in Malibu. The [m.52471]Underwater[] score album is available today at digital service providers, as the film opens in U.S. theatres.      Beltrami and Roberts have collaborated on numerous projects since 2013 including [m.40705]Logan[], [m.33298]The Wolverine[], [m.32331]Warm Bodies[] and [m.32675]World War Z[]. The duo received an Emmy Award in the Outstanding Music Composition for a Documentary Series or Special category...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: 10th Annual Guild of Music Supervisors Awards Nominations Announced

Soundtrack News - Vr, 10/01/2020 - 01:00
The Guild of Music Supervisors announced today the nominees of their landmark 10th annual award ceremony celebrating outstanding achievement in the craft of Music Supervision in movies, television, games, advertising, and trailers. Crowning the evening will be this year's Icon Award honoree composer and lyricist [c.9]Burt Bacharach[]. Bacharach will join industry legend Bob Hunka who will receive the organization's prestigious Legacy Award. Bacharach and Hunka will receive their honors at the 10th Annual Guild of Music Supervisors Awards taking place on Wednesday, February 6th at The Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles. Here are the nominations in the major categories: BEST MUSIC SUPERVISION FOR FILM: BUDGETED OVER 25 MILLION DOLLARS [c.4106]Mary Ramos[] - [m.51210]Once Upon A Time In...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: BAFTA Nominations Announced

Soundtrack News - Wo, 08/01/2020 - 01:00

The nominations for the 73rd British Academy Film Awards were announced today. The nominees in the film music related category are as follows:

Original Score:
[m.54413]1917[] - [c.149]Thomas Newman[]
[m.55572]Jojo Rabbit[] - [c.534]Michael Giacchino[]
[m.53148]Joker[] - [c.7675]Hildur Gudnadottir[]
[m.53146]Little Women[] - [c.752]Alexandre Desplat[]
[m.38439]Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker[] - [c.231]John Williams[]

The British Academy Film Awards will be given out on February 2, 2020. For further details on all of the nominees in each category, visit...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Hildur Gudnadottir, Elton John & Bernie Taupin Win Golden Globes

Soundtrack News - Ma, 06/01/2020 - 01:00

Earlier tonight, the 77th Golden Globe Awards ceremony was held at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA. The nominees and winners in the music categories were as follows:

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

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

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Weekly Roundup: January 3

Soundtrack News - Za, 04/01/2020 - 01:00
Announced this week were new composer assignments for [c.534]Michael Giacchino[] ([m.57437]Let Him Go[]), [c.452]Theodore Shapiro[] ([m.57436]The Good House[]) and [c.365]George S. Clinton[] & [c.29234]Amit May Cohen[] ([m.57429]Zombies 2[]), among many others. For the full list of composer and music supervisor assignments from this week, [url./composers/]click here[]. 4 new soundtrack albums were released this week. [da.2019-12-31]Click here for the full schedule[]. Opening in theaters nationwide this week is (with music by): [m.52233]The Grudge[] ([c.1742]The Newton Brothers[]). We are tracking song credits for the following new theatrical releases: -[m.52233]The Grudge[] (3 songs) The following composers are celebrating their birthdays within the next...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Hollywood Records/Fox Music Announce 'Spies in Disguise' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Za, 28/12/2019 - 01:00
Fox Music/Hollywood Records release the digital original motion picture soundtrack to the animated spy comedy adventure [m.46768]Spies in Disguise[] directed by Troy Quane and Nick Bruno. Emmy- nominated composer, [c.452]Theodore Shapiro[] composed the score, which was recorded at the Newman Scoring Stage. The [m.46768]Spies in Disguise[] score album is available today, as the film opens in U.S. theatres.     To create the score for [m.46768]Spies in Disguise[], the filmmakers turned to composer Shapiro, whose credits also include [m.39378]Spy[], [m.43480]Central Intelligence[] and [m.30135]Tropic Thunder[]. Bruno and Quane's first challenge to Shapiro was to compose a hero theme that would immediately evoke Lance Sterling,...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

Interview with Kathryn Bostic and Joel P. West

Film Music Magazine News - Di, 24/12/2019 - 01:03

There’s no end to the volatile chorus of opinions that accompany the death penalty, or the social inequalities that determine the guilty, and innocent who live or die as the clock ticks down to the final sentence. It’s a countdown and the struggle against it that yields two vastly different scores with “Clemency” and “Just Mercy,” movies that both look at the toll of those caught within a prejudiced system. Fastidiously obeying it is a by-the-book warden, while the other similarly themed film has the lethal ruling confronted at every step of the way by a never-say-die defender. It’s a difference between stolid anguish and unrelenting optimism that marks the musical approaches of Kathryn Bostic and Joel P. West.

As a composer and singer usually given to lyrical and vibe-accented scores like “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am,” “Dear White People” and “Middle of Nowhere,” “Clemency” (for which Bostic also served as an executive producer) restrains the musician from going for the kind of rousingly orchestral score one might expect from the “prison” genre. As compelled by the dramatic restraint of writer-director Chinonye Chukwu (“alaskaLand”), Bostic conjures an impactfully succinct, out of the box score that meshes reversed sound design, hushed voices and transfixing electronics to convey a dreadful countdown both sterilized and morally dirty. Given the muted nature of “Clemency” that relies so much on devastating performances of Alfre Woodard as the warden Bernadine and Aldis Hodge as the inmate Anthony who comes to the realization of his seemingly unstoppable fate, Bostic’s innovative work speaks volumes within its ghostly, mournful intimacy, music that leaves the final opinion for its audience to grapple with.

While “Clemency” fictionalizes a death penalty case with as much truth as possible, “Just Mercy” adapts the good fight of Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan), a Harvard-trained lawyer who journeys to the racially treacherous ground of Alabama to fight for the rights of seemingly doomed inmates, sped on the road to the electric chair thanks to negligent representation and outright false evidence. There he encounters the case of Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), whose lethal conviction seems all the more outrageous given the “evidence” against him. Given a more traditional, and real approach of a crusading hero, composer Joel P. West fights back with a surprisingly bright soulful score that’s all about not giving up on a seemingly doomed case. Drawing on the gospel music that inspires Bryan and Walter, West goes for the heart with chorus, Hammond organ, lush strings and a jazz-pop attitude feel that melodically lets the listener bear the prison system. Reteaming with director Destin Daniel Cretton after hearing the dysfunctional family dynamics of “Short Term 12” and “The Glass Castle,” West builds on his indie, alternative roots to create an emotionally lush, soulful feeling for his biggest Hollywood venture, one that captures the inspiration of a church service without ever feeling like a sermon. It’s a captivatingly tuneful lesson in “Just Mercy” that powerfully encourages the audience to stand up with its heroes against the system.

Now, Bostic and West talk about scoring that’s a study in tonal and emotional contrasts, yet both with a unifying voice that asks listeners to truly open up their ears to the toll of the ultimate punishment.


Beyond being its composer, how did you become involved with “Clemency” as an executive producer?

I had been speaking with the lead producer, Bronwyn Cornelius about this film, and she gave me the script. I thought the story was so evocative and timely and really purposeful that I decided right away that it resonated with me. I met with the director, Chinonye Chukwu, and we talked about scoring the film. I also talked to a friend of mine who had just started working with a production company, Ace Productions, and they were looking for films to develop and to finance. I said that this film is something that I think they’d be crazy to overlook. They agreed. I introduced the lead producer to the financiers, and the rest is history!

When I believe in something, I really think it’s important to get behind it and wear as many hats as you can within reason, without of course, driving yourself crazy. I really believe in this film, and believe in the message and the content of it “Clemency” is an important movie, and I think Chinonye did a beautiful job with the tremendous integrity she had in the telling of this story. She chose to tell it from the warden’s point of view. It’s about the trauma, and its impact on those who are part of this intense and horrific rite of passage. Prior to making “Clemency,” Chinonye spent four and a half years, if not more, working in the prison system. She participated actively with inmates and taught a screenwriting class with women inmates. She really invested in the different types of personnel and people who are involved with this type of incarceration. She talked to several wardens and chaplains, and began to see the impact of the tragedy and the trauma. After the execution of Troy Anthony Davis she felt compelled to make this film.

‘Clemency’ director Chinonye Chukwu

You certainly took an outside of the box musical approach to it.

It was a bit of a challenge in that the edit was done without any music. There was no point of reference, which can actually work in the favor of a composer oftentimes. But in this case, the musicality was so crucial in terms of not needing a heavy handed emotional response. Chinonye really wanted the audience to marinate deep in the emotional tone of Anthony on death row and of Bernadine, the warden. So it took a while to find something that was going to be resonating in a sort of barren and sparse tonality, but something that would still be evocative and witness the unfolding of her journey. Initially I talked with Chinonye about vocal textures. I did a lot of multi-layering of vocal textures, and sounds with voice and different nuances, which is why in some of the cues you do hear that overlay.

Of course I’m such a huge fan of Thomas Newman’s scoring techniques. I love what he did on “The Shawshank Redemption,” as well as David Robbins’ score for “Dead Man Walking.” So I had tried a little bit of an orchestral sensibility, and that was the wrong tone for what Chinonye was looking for. She really wanted something to enhance the barren and the stark compartmentalization that Bernadine goes through emotionally. So how do you speak to that, as well as the passage of time, which was also another character the director wanted to have as a sort of musical color? There’s the time up until the death of these inmates, there’s watching the clock, the hands of the clock ticking by, the steps being taken, the walking in the prison. In other words, what is that beat? What is that pulse, it’s a heartbeat that becomes stable and unstable at the same time because of the darkness of that environment.

It took me a while to find an approach where I used tones that were metallic and industrial. I did some different phasing with some of the instruments, some backwards looping, and then put a vocal texture here and there. Chinonye really wanted a stripped-down score. She was emphatic about that and I’m really happy with what we ended up with. I think it really works well for this film. And I think it reflects the inner nature of what Bernadine and the inmate, Anthony are going through.

Do you think in a way having a score that’s short and minimal makes it all the more impactful, especially in a film where silence is so important?

Absolutely. The fact that it is as sparse as it is really helps to serve the overlying resonance of the story emotionally. We went back and forth about where the music should be placed, in our spotting sessions. I had wanted more music in several instances, but ultimately that was not what Chinonye wanted. And to her credit, I now understand why. It takes a lot for the audience to just sit in that stillness and silence, to live with these characters. The score is very specific when it appears. Some of it has more of a sound design element, which I think it’s very effective. That was the intention, so that when we do hear tonality, it’s purposeful. It’s not just necessarily to heighten an emotional intention beyond what’s already being experienced. I think it’s important for the audience to be in that barren space that is Bernadine’s world, one that she has compartmentalized so effectively up until this point of her trauma beginning to implode on her.

On the other hand, I was happy in that I was able to create the song “Slow Train” because I love that part of my musicality as a singer and songwriter, It’s heard in the bar scene in a way that captures her response to the deterioration of her marriage because of her emotional turmoil. So that setting gave me a different place to write from.

What links the song to the score is your use of voice.

That’s right. I wanted to have that element of the blues, which was something that Chinonye had initially given me a note about. She wanted a blues sentiment in some of the score. So that was some of the vocal textures we initially tried. I had to be very selective about the placement of that, because this was a very delicate film to score. It was probably one of my most challenging films to score because “Clemency” requires such sensitivity to the space, and the silence … of silence also being music.

The movie is almost Kubrickian, in terms of the kind of sleek, spotless naturalism and rigid emotion, very much what you wouldn’t expect from a film like this.

I feel the story is such an internal reflection of Bernadine, and that internal journeying that she’s been dealing with throughout this entire role that she has as a warden. That’s because she has to have some sanctuary within herself that is vulnerable, and that seeks solace. And even though she masks it, and even though she has to work diligently at compartmentalizing it, that “sleekness” that you’re talking about is present enough in the silence and in her self-reflection that it enabled me to, on a sensory level, to find the tones that I chose.

How do you think your personal opinion about the death penalty is reflected in your score?

I think “Clemency” will make people have conversation on many levels. I don’t like to generalize and say what people are going to come away with. I just know that it’s a powerful film. It’s an evocative film. It’s a visceral film. And that in and of itself is something that can perpetuate awareness, and a conversation that I think could be very important. 


Was giving the score a Gospel flavor always the evident choice for you and Destin given how much that music meant to Bryan and Walter?

I think that Justin’s approach to this was the same as, as everybody on the film. “Just Mercy” is a vehicle to bring Bryan’s work to the world and trying to stay as close to the truth as possible. We kind of knew that music wasn’t going to be used to tell the emotional stories, as music can be an enemy in making things feel like they’re a little fictionalized or overplayed, when in fact a lot of stuff that’s happening in the film is completely real for people right now. There are families who are stuck in this stuff. So the idea was to use music to bring some beauty and dignity to this story, and to be true to Bryan’s life. He grew up playing piano in the church, so he’s a musician himself. I got to go out to a weekend of events the Bryan’s organization, Equal Justice Initiative, put on. Music is a big fuel for his work, and singers like Patti LaBelle and Sweet Honey in the Rock were there. The real life Walter McMillian also loved gospel and soul music. It was important for my score to honor that, and to make you feel that you were in their world.

What instruments reflect gospel music for you?

We experimented with a lot of things. The first idea was to bring in a gospel choir because there’s so much emotion throughout the extremely rich and just amazing history of African American music through vocals. That’s both through gospel choir as well as people seeing together in unison. There’s a powerful feeling of solidarity in that. There’d be string arrangements that ended up becoming gospel choir arrangements.

Another aspect was the film’s setting in the late 1980s and early 90s. Yet from our perspective, “Just Mercy” could seem like something that happened in the past. It’s a story that continues to happen, and has only gotten worse. So the music couldn’t let the audience off the hook with the feeling that these kinds of events only happened in the past, that it’s been wrapped up and now we’re beyond it. We wanted there to be a feeling of something current and youthful in nature. So have used a rhythm section that really felt true to these grooves. There are also the jazz references of Bryan’s world and African American music in general. We recruited the fresh players that are in the current movement of church music, while also taking it into the next wave.

We put together this really incredible band that kind of just took the score over. I got them in a room, booked some really long sessions and just let them go and poke some really long sessions. There’s a drummer named Karriem Riggins who plays with Common. We pulled two people from Childish Gambino’s touring band, and found this really incredible 20-year-old music producer and guitarist named Justice West. He has a really great feel for jazz guitar that doesn’t sound dated. So we assembled this really great group and turned the music over to them so they could put their stamp on it. They provide an undercurrent to the strings and the choir to give the more emotional, pretty stuff that was given a little bit of a backbeat that feels a little more current. So that was the approach there.

There’s also a song-like approach to the score that’s reminiscent to the jazzy soulfulness of how David Grusin (“The Firm”) or Quincy Jones (“In the Heat of the Night”) might have approached a story like this further back in the day.

There were a lot of places in the movie where we felt like the initial idea was, “Okay, this is a good spot for a song. This is a section that needs some energy and it should feel like a needle drop.” We looked for those songs. But while we felt that approach would be right, we couldn’t find the song. So we took the alternate approach of “Let’s make some score that feels like a song, like maybe an instrumental version of what could be a Marvin Gaye tune, or a live backing track for a hip-hop thing.” So a lot of it was just trying to solve places where a song would have been nice had that song existed. But it didn’t, so we sort of made a vocal-less “song” that was totally tailored to the scene, and allowed space for the dialogue.

I was struck by how warm, and even optimistic the music sounds for all of the terrible things that have happened to these prisoners, and the danger facing those defending them.

Bryan Stevenson is an incredible person. He’s larger than life and an incredible human being. He totally could have had a parallel life of probably being a professional musician or making a lot of money and doing other things. But he’s chosen this path. What’s most impressive about him is that he spends his time in the most deflating, ugly, horrific world that most of us don’t know that much about, and would prefer not to because it’s pretty uncomfortable stuff and pretty overwhelming. Yet somehow, even though he exists in those spaces, and fights with no response, he somehow still has this crazy optimism. I think he really does treat people with dignity, honor and joy. It’s pretty unbelievable. But I think it does illustrate how truly he sees a person of power, a person of wealth, or a person who is on death row as equals and as just humans who are broken. He treats them all with the same amount of patience and love. Because of him, “Just Mercy” isn’t really a heroes and villains story about some racist caricatures from South versus some innocent people of color. It’s about all of us living together in this country and thinking about what we tolerate, either ignorantly or not – about whether or not we really believe at our core that we’re all entitled to the same and justice and the same opportunities.

“Just Mercy” builds it emotions to the release of a full gospel chorus. How important is it to give the audience that musical satisfaction after all they’ve gone through with Bryan and Walter?

There was a lot of debate about that until the very last day of the sound mix about how much the music should let the audience “off the hook.” Ultimately we all sort of trusted that the film had not let them off the hook. Because if you’ve made it to that point, you’ve already seen some ugly truths. So we didn’t think there was the risk that ending on a nicer note would let people forget about all of these terrible things that are still happening. As a viewer when I watch “Just Mercy,” I have so much emotion that’s built up. We needed the music to give them an invitation to release that. But it’s still a tough question cause we really want people to leave the theater with an urgency to learn more and to think about the solutions to these very large systemic problems. We just had to trust that feeling was there as the music gives them a chance to regroup. I also think they’re cheering Bryan for being an endless well of hope. I don’t think he’d want the film’s score to end on a note of doom and gloom. His take on it is “We have work to do. Let’s get into it and keep our heads up.”

Having scored nearly all of Destin’s films, how do you think that “Just Mercy” has shown how you’ve both progressed as artists?

‘Just Mercy’ director Destin Daniel Cretton

It’s fun because when we made “Short Term 12,” I don’t think either of us knew what we were doing. Since then we’ve worked with each other and on other things as well. I’ve learned from working with other people, honing my craft as a musician and expanding my network of musicians that I work with. “Just Mercy” felt like a full homecoming for both of us because of how much we cared about Bryan Stevenson and doing whatever we could to help further his message and his work. I think that Destin and me just have shorthand now. The puzzle is knowing we’re going to land somewhere, even if we have no idea where that’s going to be. I think we feel really, really comfortable experimenting with things together. There are a lot of directors I’ve worked for that I would never show some of the stuff that I’ve shown Destin in terms of the demos not quite being full quality yet. But that’s because Destin is open to the process. That’s the benefit of working together a lot.

I can definitely say that “Just Mercy” was a big team effort where the moto was “no idea is a bad idea.” My amazing music editor Del Spiva, was onboard from the very start and a huge part of developing what the music was. There was a really cool family that formed around this movie and then particularly this score. I’m really proud to be a part of it.

How do you think the score reflects your own personal opinion about the death penalty? And how do you want that to affect the audience?

For me the most emotional scene in the movie is about Herbert’s last day. He has his head shaved, then is walked down to his execution. Bryan’s book talks about watching this old, pretty harmless, very troubled man with PTSD from Vietnam. And he points out that once everybody in that death chamber, no matter what they think about the death penalty, and everybody, all the staff and the generalist and everybody that regardless of what everybody thinks about the death penalty or race, feels that this isn’t the right thing to do. It’s not a heroes and villains moment. It’s really just a bunch of people asking, “What are we doing?” That sort of selective human experiences is what I wanted to put in the score – to just remind us that with all of the heavy opinions and politics, that this is just the story of a bunch of people trying to live together. I think the music is trying to stay true to Brian’s approach in seeing the humanity in everybody, no matter, no matter where they’re coming from.

“Just Mercy” opens in theaters on December 25, and “Clemency” December 27th. Listen to Kathryn Bostic’s score on Milan Records HERE and Joel’s score on WaterTower Music HERE

Visit Kathryn Bostic’s website HERE

Visit Joel P. West’s website HERE

Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Weekly Roundup: December 20

Soundtrack News - Za, 21/12/2019 - 01:00
This week, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the shortlists in consideration for the 92nd Oscars in nine categories, including Music (Original Score and Original Song). To see the complete list of shortlisted scores and songs, [url./news/article/?id=2907]click here[]. Announced this week were new composer assignments for [c.9466]Mica Levi[] ([m.57367]Zola[]), [c.200]Howard Shore[] ([m.57369]The Lost Prince (Le prince oublie)[]) and [c.2438]Frank Ilfman[] ([m.57368]Gunpowder Milkshake[]), among many others. For the full list of composer and music supervisor assignments from this week, [url./composers/]click here[]. Over 25 soundtrack albums were released this week. [da.2019-12-17]Click here for the full schedule[]. Opening in theaters...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

Audio: Interview with Thomas Newman

Film Music Magazine News - Vr, 20/12/2019 - 22:56

ON THE SCORE is sponsored by La-La Land Records

As a composer who at once embodies his legendary film music family’s melodically old school symphonic lineage with his generation’s risk-taking exploration of the Avant garde, Thomas Newman has never failed to make history come alive. From the rapturous orchestra of his Oscar-nominated “Little Women” to the tone poem mob saga of his similarly recognized “Road to Perdition” or the stylized Hollywood approach of “The Good German,” Newman’s hybrid approach through over a hundred stylistically diverse scores in a career spanning four decades has always offered listeners a transfixing journey into the past through new musical territory.

Yet the composer has never quite been offered an unblinking, seemingly unedited voyage into no man’s land like the World War I odyssey of “1917.” As directed by Sam Mendes, for whom Newman gave a supercharged reboot of 007’s musical license to kill in “Spectre” and the Oscar-nominated “Skyfall,” “1917” grabs viewers on a seemingly one-take trek alongside two young British soldiers. Their seemingly impossible mission is to make it across the battle-scarred charnel house of France to stop their comrades from a sneak attack lethally known to the Germans. As a composer given to ethereal instrumentation that can convey lyricism and horror, Newman conjures the insanity of war with one of his most intensely creative scores. Eerily poetic music pulled from the worst of humanity joins with rousing orchestral bravery, all as poignant inner monologues for the pain of loss steadily realize the melodic fortitude that will take them across hell on earth. Like Mendes’ astounding film, Newman’s score is thematically there every mud-soaked, death-fearing and humane step of the way to a rousing destination that at once pays tribute to the greatest generation while acknowledging tragedy beyond measure.

Sam Mendes and Thomas Newman

Now in a new episode of “On the Score,” Thomas Newman talks about the journey through a musical experience unlike any other that brings a war to end all wars to daringly creative, and dramatically impactful musical life.

Click above to Listen Now


Buy the Soundtrack: 1917

Buy the Soundtrack: TOLKIEN

Buy Thomas Newman soundtracks HERE


Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Oscar Shortlists in Music Categories Announced

Soundtrack News - Di, 17/12/2019 - 01:00
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced shortlists in consideration for the 92nd Oscars in nine categories, including Music (Original Score and Original Song). MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE) Fifteen scores will advance in the Original Score category for the 92nd Academy Awards. One hundred seventy scores were eligible in the category. Members of the Music Branch vote to determine the shortlist and the nominees. The scores, listed in alphabetical order by film title, are: [m.41690]Avengers: Endgame[] [m.54508]Bombshell[] [m.54815]The Farewell[] [m.52940]Ford v Ferrari[] [m.49218]Frozen II[] [m.55572]Jojo Rabbit[] [m.53148]Joker[] [m.56240]The King[] [m.53146]Little Women[] [m.56170]Marriage Story[] [m.54695]Motherless...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

Interview with Alexandre Desplat and Greta Gerwig

Film Music Magazine News - Ma, 16/12/2019 - 19:23

Alexandre Desplat is a composer who particularly delights with being in the company of women. Arriving in Hollywood from an already-impressive career in France, the musician’s scores for a woman convinced of boyish re-incarnation in “Birth” and Vermeer’s object of artistic obsession in “Girl with a Pearl Earring” set the tone for an emotionally lush, empathetically understanding style that’s highlighted no end of female characters in scores like “Coco Before Chanel,” “Julie & Julia,” “Fanny” and his Oscar nominated soundtracks for “The Queen” and “Philomena.” Desplat has often played women striving to make their artistry and independence heard, mixing his talent for memorable, gossamer themes with determination in “Coco Before Chanel,” “Florence Foster Jenkins” and “Suffragette.”

Now Desplat’s talent for gilded melody, feminine feeling and conjuring the past combine to write an iconic cinematic book with “Little Women.” As heard numerous times through the decades in cinema and television, such composers as Max Steiner, Adolph Deutsch, Elmer Bernstein and Thomas Newman have put their melodic imprints on the renditions of Luisa May Alcott’s autobiographical 1868 novel. Now what might be the most lavish adaptation by “Lady Bird’ filmmaker Greta Gerwig once again brings together the March family. As comprised of the determined writer Jo (Saoirse Ronan), the artistically inclined Amy (Florence Pugh), the seemingly conformist Meg (Emma Watson) and the piano playing Beth (Eliza Scanlan) “Little Women” charts the Marches through their love, loss and togetherness in a tale spanning the decades from the Civil War home front in New England to the glimmerings of female independence.

The notable difference in Gerwig’s take on Alcott is a positively modernistic time-shifting structure that lends a particular stream-of-consciousness flow in contrasting the characters in youth and maturity. It’s a dreamlike quality for Gerwig’s significant step up in Hollywood craft that’s beautifully befitted by the well-honed and prolific melodic skills of Desplat. With a score that’s the equivalent of faerie dust, the composer’s sparkling percussion, delicate piano, lush strings, and segues from belle of the ball rhythm to the period’s source music evokes a sense of optimism. Centering the score is the spirit of Jo, who’s lifelong desire to be heard as a writer is central the score, most strikingly as it accompanies Gerwig’s lyrical end montages.

With that adored filmmaker in the company of a composer who’s been walking down the Oscar aisle just about every year (last winning for casting a romantic spell between a mute and a fishman), “Little Women” marks another love letter to the spirit of sisterhood for Desplat, one that just might strike a little golden man’s fancy.

“Little Women” is a big cinematic step up for Greta. Why do you think she turned to you to score it?

photo by Wilson Webb

Desplat: Greta told me that she was obsessed by my score for “Birth,” and that one day she wanted to do a movie that I would compose. I loved “Lady Bird,” and thought it would be great to work together. You could even say that “Lady Bird” deals with the same topic as “Little Women,” because it’s main character is a young woman who want to be creative, and to have no limits in her desires and dreams. But where “Lady Bird” had a troubled relationship with her mother, here it’s one of kindness. Another interesting difference is “Little Women’s” absence of the father figure, which makes the film all about how the sisters and mother bond through love, even if they don’t have much money. Yet they still have their dignity, dreams, joys and fights. You always fight with your siblings and love them one second later. In the end, the scope of “Little Women” was certainly larger than “Lady Bird,” but it’s not as if Greta did “Titanic!”

Gerwig: I was so excited to have a larger cinematic canvas to play with in “Little Women,” and to create a world that didn’t exist. While this movie didn’t have songs, I always viewed it as a musical, which is how I described it to Alexandre I knew that I needed a composer who could be both completely modern and completely classical, as there would be an aspect of the score that would be cozy and traditional, and then a side of it that would be spikey and strange. I knew that Alexandre had both of those elements to his music. Though I didn’t really start working with Alexandre until after the movie was completely edited, he’d given me a few sketches during filming that I could play when I was setting up shots or working with the actors. That allowed me to anticipate what the film’s musical landscape would be like. Because his score was the last element, I truly didn’t have the film until I the final music in it.

One aspect that really sets this “Little Women” apart from its previous versions is it’s time-jumping structure. How do you think your music made the film cohesive in that respect?

Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, and Emma Watson in Columbia Pictures LITTLE WOMEN. Photo by Wilson Webb

Gerwig: I was playing with both the idea of time and authorship. I wanted to introduce the film with them as adults, and then have childhood be the snow globe, halcyon days that they’re trying to get back to, but trying to learn from and quite understand how that’s all gone. That idea allowed me to introduce the idea of is that what really happened, or is that how you remembered it, or wrote it down? That idea of authorship is about Jo wanting to be a writer, but also Louisa May Alcott writing Jo as her avatar – but also me interpreting Jo and Lousia May Alcott allowed me to introduce the idea of an author in the filmmaking. So Alexandre and I talked a lot the idea if the movie that’s playing is in Jo’s head, the author’s or all of us? There are moments in the film when that becomes very explicit when the movie music starts back up, and when it goes away. So he was able to play with that reflexivity and meta-ness and also play with the idea of childhood versus adulthood just in the structure. Take for example when they’re on the beach all together and they’re all young. You hear this glorious, romantic score that just killed me. Then as adults you see Jo and Beth alone on the beach, and it’s just the outline of what we’ve heard before. That’s the kind of element of storytelling that I didn’t have until I had Alexandre’s score. He was able to strip away and add so we could enjoy the fullness of childhood, but also the excitement of fiction and then what the intimate moment of reality is.

Laura Dern in Columbia Pictures LITTLE WOMEN. Photo by Wilson Webb

Desplat: It’s crucial that the score links it. What I loved when I first read the script was that Greta wasn’t repeating the how the past movies told their story. We’ve already been there, so let’s move on. Greta had the great strength, intelligence and talent to take the story and make it more like how your memory works – in how you remember the past and have grown into adulthood. It’s how these characters anticipate their loves and desires. Yet the music couldn’t jump that way. It had to link everything together. So the music is like a ribbon that knits the storylines together. The score keeps you in the same mood of what the characters are living on screen. The only thing I did at times was to of course change the tempo of these moments, because memories are made of moments, not of chronological order. That might make these moments more nostalgic like when they’re at a beach, tenderer when their father comes back or more energetic when they dance, run and embrace, when they have fun. But the orchestra is the same. I don’t change colors, but keep the sound similar so we have this string orchestra with two pianos. That gives us four hands, which represents the four girls. It captures what Greta told me about how she imagined the score sounding, which was “Mozart meets David Bowie.” It’s a classical orchestra that calls back his piano concertos, which is some of the most beautiful music ever written for that instrument. The rhythm has the energy that comes from a Bowie song. It’s bouncing and jumping, yet is played by strings.

Yet it might have been anachronistic to totally go that “Bowie” route.

photo by Wilson Webb

Desplat: Greta and I actually thought about it at first with. But what she did in the art direction is as far as you could go. It’s having a score that is “period,” but still doesn’t sound that way. I think it’s as simple as that. If I’d used electric guitars and drums, it would have been “Come on!” I think the audience is smarter than that. And we always have to respect them.

Why do you think that Alexandre has such an affinity for doing scores that play strong female characters?

Gerwig: I’d never thought of that. But I’d say that as a composer, I think Alexandre is very intellectual and also very emotional. His scores are never just one thing. They’re not just an idea or an intellectualization of what the film is. Nor is it purely emotion. He’s playing with both. For me, that’s what I was interested in for “Little Women.” Not only the structure of the film, and also the characters themselves. They’re very intellectually engaged in the narratives of their lives, but also overwhelmed with emotional life. The heart is driving these characters’ stories. I don’t know if that’s exactly “feminine.” But that complexity is what he was able to answer. He doesn’t flatten one part of them. And maybe that’s what it is about his writing is that he’s able to get inside the contradictions of the characters, and why the female characters that he scores feel particularly rich.

Live Session with Alexandre Desplat for Greta Gerwig’s LITTLE WOMEN. Photo by David Giesbrecht

Desplat: I’ve done a few scores that are set during the same period as “Little Women.” I guess I’m at ease with femininity because I was raised was raised with two older sisters and female cats (laughs). So I was always, more at ease with women than with men when I was younger. Since childhood, I could understand their struggles, their dreams, their desires and who they were.

Though part of the film takes place during The Civil War, there’s a dreamlike quality to the movie that feels like characters that are living in their own bubble. The way you use bell percussion captures the feeling of a privileged gilded cage in a way.

Desplat: Yes. It’s like families who are not rich. They struggle and the parents work hard. But their kids have memories of happiness and joy. That’s what Greta created so beautifully, especially with the beautiful natural scenery of where their house is. It’s the way you see the seasons change around it that keeps you in this beautiful environment that childhood should be. They way that Louisa May Alcott and Greta bring the story to us is made of that.

Eliza Scanlen in Columbia Pictures LITTLE WOMEN. Photo by Wilson Webb

Gerwig: It goes again to me as viewing their childhood as having a “snow globe”-like feeling. I wanted that in all ways, whether it was the exterior of their house. It might be drab. But when you open it up it’s like a magical jewel box. So I wanted his score to create a magic circle around these people. He did that. If you read the literary criticism of the book where a lot of critics noted that it’s a book in the tradition of “female utopias,” where Mr. March isn’t there. He’s gone to war. So you have this kind of idyllic community of women existing on its own. And I wanted the score to have that utopian feeling.

In that way, your score also calls back Bernard Herrmann’s approach to Orson Welles’ “The Magnificent Ambersons,” which is about a family in this sort of dream existence during a gilded age – of course minus the tragic aspects.

Desplat: That’s a compliment for me because that’s a beautiful score. It’s certainly a different score than others by Herrmann, who’s known mostly for his suspense thrillers. It all goes to the beauty of what Greta has put together that resonates with my music. Just look at the costumes here, which are incredible. They’re period, yet contemporary. It’s also in how the girls’ hair is styled. She has the talent of bringing this story so close to our times. You could even see Jo running in New York today with the same outfit.

Saoirse Ronan in Greta Gerwig’s LITTLE WOMEN. Photo by
Wilson Webb

Which of the sisters do you identify with most?

Desplat: I guess Jo is the one that I can refer to the most because she’s the writer and she’s the one who’s locked in her dreams. Amy moves on when she realizes that she can’t be a painter. Beth’s story is cut short, and Meg is more taken by the tradition of being the wife and a mother. But Jo keeps the dreams of her childhood vivid and doesn’t want to go into adulthood in the way that her society decides. She wants to keep her freedom and her dreams as they were when twelve. That is the lesson for any artist – to keep this genuine innocence. It’s hard cause we use it all the time. It’s hard to bring back.

What did you particularly learn from working with Alexandre?

photo by Wilson Webb

One of the things that I did with him that I hadn’t done before was to cut the movie “dry,” and then to play it for him without music. So he watched with absolutely no score, which I’d never done before. But as a filmmaker, I realized that the imagines in my montages had to have integrity outside of what a composer can do for them, or cover their faults. That was an exercise that forced me to frankly be a better director in terms of making sure the film would have as much integrity as it possibly could. This was like working with an actor, or a costume designer. It was working with someone who responded about what was interesting to you, and having you being open to surprise. So it’s very much a conversation. And the truth for me is that I can’t write music, but I know when I hear it and it’s right. Because “Little Women” has so much music, I felt I really got to get into a conversation with him.

photo by Wilson Webb

There are a lot of striking musical montages in the film, especially in the end where Jo decides to write, and put together her book. At the conclusion, just when you’d think the music would go up with her triumph, you actually bring it down with a sense of uncertainty.

Desplat: That music starts with low key chords, like there’s something that’s going to happen. Then silence, and then she starts writing. The music grows and grows and grows. But I wanted the music to go back into her head. I didn’t want the music to explode and smash the walls. I wanted it to just fall down, like the water in a brook might. You see this incredible book being made with the leather and the gold, and then I come back down with just a piano chord at the end. That also reflects the delicate touch that Greta has brought to the film. It’s incredibly detailed.

Gerwig: A montage in the classic sense of film theory going back to the earliest days of movies is that you’re making meaning with the juxtaposition of images. So for me, it was finding that ebb, flow and play of reality, fiction and past and present to create something that was emotional and cubist at the same time in terms of how we edited them.

There’s a real seamlessness as well as to how the score transitions to the “source” tunes here.

Photo by David Giesbrecht

Alexandre was very involved with the source music that we chose with our music editor Suzanna Peric, who’s just extraordinary. For example, take Beth who plays piano. I didn’t want her just playing normal songs on a piano. I wanted her playing Bach, Schuman and a very expansive 19th century classical repertoire on the piano, and how that would weave in what the other music was. Similarly, he was also a big part of, the pieces that the characters are dancing to in ballrooms, even though they are pieces that he didn’t write. There was no part of the soundtrack that he didn’t touch.

When you look at the wonderfully melodic French composers who’ve succeeded in Hollywood, where do you think you stand among them?

Despat: Well, they inspired me for sure. Georges Delerue and Maurice Jarre were my idols, Michel Legrand was in another dimension as a great songwriter and melody writer. If you listen to his scores, what stays is his talent for writing incredible melodies. I learned a lot from listening to them, and I’m proud of being one more.

Now, do you think you’re saving unapologetically lush themes and melody in today’s Hollywood?

photo by Wilson Webb

Desplat: I like melodies. I still think I have to improve in my writing before being as good as Henry Mancini, John Williams or Jerry Goldsmith. I think being able to write melodically is something you need to learn, and be able to do as a composer, which is a lot of work. It’s good to write chords and textures. But to me it’s not enough. When the movie is calling for it, I’m happy to be able to, to try and write a melody. Of course there are some scores like “Zero Dark Thirty” where it would be wrong to have too much melody.

What’s coming up for you?

Desplat: I’ve written three scores since “Little Women.” One is a film for Costa-Gavras called “Adults in the Room.” It’s based on the book written by Yanis Varoufakis, who was the economy minister of Greece during the big financial crisis of 2015. I’ve done “An Officer and a Spy,” which Roman Polanski has adapted from the Robert Harris book. It’s the stunning story about how, uh, one of the prosecutor, author of Alfred Dreyfus becomes his defender. Then I did Wes Anderson’s new movie “The French Dispatch.”

What is it like for you to be continually invited back to the Oscar “club,” especially as there’s a strong likelihood that “Little Women” will bring you another nomination, if not win?

Amy March (Florence Pugh) Meg March (Emma Watson) Beth March (Eliza Scanlen) Jo March (Saoirse Ronan) in Greta Gerwig’s LITTLE WOMEN. photo by Wilson Webb

Desplat: We’ll see. It’s a fantastic honor. I’m very fortunate. I’ve been treated with the best benevolence ever since I’ve arrived on that scene with “Girl with the Pearl Earing.” Every year. I’ve had great movies and great directors calling me with opportunities to write good music. If I’d been given bad movies, I wouldn’t be heard. I’ve been fortunate. The chances of being nominated are very small, because there are only five nominations. Would I be nominated this year? I don’t know. I never thought about that while working on “Little Women.” The only thing I thought about was the deadline! I have to sleep less. I have to work more to make it! That’s what I think when I work on a score. Nothing else!

Gerwig: All I can say about the music’s Oscar chances when I listen to the score is that it makes me cry every single time I hear it. So I think the soundtrack should get a prize just for that! If I had it my way, all of my collaborators would be acknowledged because they’re so extraordinary, and none more than Alexandre. It’s an enormous score. It’s beautiful, soaring and everywhere. When he saw the finished film, he remarked to me that we were making a ballet!

Do you see this as the beginning of a beautiful friendship?

photo by David Giesbrecht

Gerwig: God, I hope so! I hope he’ll work with me again. I’ve never been so nervous as when I showed him the final movie with his score. I’m in awe of what he was able to do for it. His love for cinema shines through it. Composing music for film is what he’s always wanted to do. And he has such a knowledge of cinema and how it works that I think his good opinion was one of the things that I coveted through the process. If he’d work with me again, I’d be very eager to exploit his talents!

“Little Women” opens on Christmas Day, with Alexandre Desplat’s score available on Sony Classical HERE

Listen to Alexandre Desplat’s soundtracks HERE

Visit Alexandre Desplat’s web site HERE

Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: 'Bombshell' Soundtrack Released

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

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

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

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

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Music.Film Recordings to Release 'Seberg' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Do, 12/12/2019 - 01:00
The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack for the anticipated biographical drama [m.56365]Seberg[] will be released digitally on December 13, 2019, exclusively from Music.Film Recordings. The 25-track album consists of captivating and breathtaking melodies by Australian composer [c.2345]Jed Kurzel[]. [m.56365]Seberg[] is inspired by true events about the French New Wave icon and [m.57314]Breathless[] film star, Jean Seberg (Kristen Stewart), who in the late 1960s was targeted by the FBI, because of her support of the civil rights movement and romantic involvement with activist (and cousin of Malcolm X) Hakim Jamal (Anthony Mackie). In Benedict Andrews' political thriller, Seberg's life and career are destroyed by FBI Director J. Edgar...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

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

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

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

The Best Scores of 2019

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


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

(Junkie XL / Milan Records)

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

(Jeff Beal / Lakeshore Records)

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

(Danny Bensi and Saunders Jurriaans / Unreleased)

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

(Hildur Guðnadóttir / WaterTower Music)

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

(Emile Mosseri / Lakeshore Records)

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

(Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow / Lakeshore Records)

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

(Roque Baños / Meliam Music)

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

(Daniel Pemberton / WaterTower Music)

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

1917 / TOLKIEN
(Thomas Newman / Sony Classical)

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

(Bear McCreary / Sparks & Shadows)

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


(Joseph Trapanese / Sony Classical)

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

(Timothy Williams / Sony Classical)

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

(Hans Zimmer / Fox Music)

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

(Tim Wynn / Moviescore Media)

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

(Terence Blanchard / Back Lot Music)

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

(Michael Giacchino / Hollywood Records)

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

(Joe Kraemer / La La Land Records)

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

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

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

(Brian Tyler / Lakeshore Records)

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

(Benjamin Wallfisch / WaterTower Music)

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Golden Globe Nominations Announced

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

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

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

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

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Weekly Roundup: December 6

Soundtrack News - Za, 07/12/2019 - 01:00
Announced this week were new composer assignments for [c.1784]Dustin O'Halloran[] & [c.15056]Hauschka[] ([m.57278]Ammonite[]), [c.2507]Joseph Trapanese[] ([m.57273]Spontaneous[]) and [c.1595]Ben Lovett[] ([m.57272]The Night House[]), among many others. For the full list of composer and music supervisor assignments from this week, [url./composers/]click here[]. Over 35 soundtrack albums were released this week. [da.2019-12-03]Click here for the full schedule[]. Opening in theaters nationwide this week is (with music by): [m.46506]Playmobil: The Movie[] ([c.827]Heitor Pereira[]). Expanding nationwide from its limited release last month is [m.56469]Dark Waters[] ([c.1061]Marcelo Zarvos[]). We are tracking song credits for the following new theatrical...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws
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