Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Benjamin Wallfisch Signs with The Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency

Soundtrack News - Wo, 18/09/2019 - 02:00
The Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency, Inc. (GSA) is delighted to announce the signing of Golden Globe-, BAFTA-, Grammy- and Emmy-nominated composer [c.1354]Benjamin Wallfisch[] for worldwide representation, in partnership with London-based agency COOL Music Ltd. Recognized as one of the leading Hollywood composers of his generation, Wallfisch recently scored [m.50651]It Chapter Two[], which just held its box office position as #1 film in the world for its second weekend, and is also known for his scores for critically acclaimed movies [m.41981]Shazam![], [m.45794]Blade Runner 2049[] (with [c.237]Hans Zimmer[]) and Academy Award Best Picture nominee, [m.44626]Hidden Figures[]. A recent Emmy nominee for his score for Nat Geo's...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Madison Gate Records Announces 'Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Di, 17/09/2019 - 02:00
Madison Gate Records announces the release of [a.26719]Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son (Original Soundtrack)[], featuring music from the upcoming Sony Pictures Virtual Reality game by the same title. The album includes original score by prolific gaming composer [c.1528]Cris Velasco[], an original song titled "Sarah Everyday" written and performed by [c.1528]Cris Velasco[] and David Feldstein, and a collection of songs featured in the game, including "I Got You Babe" by Sonny & Cher, "Lonely Friday Night" by The Blossoms and "Shagpile Shuffle" by Orchestra Heinz Hötter, among others. The album releases digitally on Tuesday, September 17 and is available now for pre-order on iTunes. Commenting on his experience working on this...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Nicholas Britell, Ramin Djawadi & Hildur Gudnadottir Win Big at Emmy Awards

Soundtrack News - Ma, 16/09/2019 - 02:00
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the first winners of the 2019 71st Emmy Awards. Some of the highlights are as follows: Original Main Title Theme Music: - [m.53114]Castle Rock[] ([c.149]Thomas Newman[]) - [m.44784]Crazy Ex-Girlfriend[] ([c.17045]Rachel Bloom[], [c.17046]Jack Dolgen[] & [c.2719]Adam Schlesinger[]) - [m.53004]Good Omens[] ([c.5]David Arnold[]) - [m.53319]Our Planet[] ([c.1974]Steven Price[]) - WINNER: [m.51034]Succession[] ([c.4631]Nicholas Britell[]) Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score): - [m.50202]Barry[] – What?! – [c.1750]David Wingo[] - WINNER: [m.32647]Game of Thrones[] – The Long Night – [c.1065]Ramin Djawadi[] - [m.33760]House of Cards[] – Chapter 73 – [c.674]Jeff Beal[] -...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Milan Records to Release 'Seis Manos' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Za, 14/09/2019 - 02:00
Milan Records, an imprint of Sony Music Masterworks, announces [a.26676]Seis Manos (Music from the Netflix Series[] with music by Grammy Award nominee [c.1767]Carl Thiel[] ([m.40421]From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series[], [m.48477]The Teller and the Truth[], [m.33945]Sin City: A Dame to Kill For[]). Available Friday, October 4, the soundtrack features music from the Netflix original anime series, which makes its debut on the streaming platform Thursday, October 3. "I'm so grateful to Powerhouse Animation, VIZ Media and Netflix for giving me the opportunity, the freedom and the support to create the musical landscape of [m.56596]Seis Manos[]," says composer [c.1767]Carl Thiel[] of the soundtrack. "It is definitely the most expansive...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

Interview with Tim Wynn

Film Music Magazine News - Do, 12/09/2019 - 00:36

From “A Quiet Place” to “10 Cloverfield Lane,” movie theaters have become fortified houses amidst an apocalyptic future. Inside of their boarded-up structures, people are taught to fear what lurks outside world under pain of death. Children longing for escape can only create their own magical worlds. For “Freaks,” its adolescent Chloe (Lexy Kolker has been relentlessly warned by her beyond-fearful Dad (Emile Hirsch) to stay out of sight, particularly from the truck of Mr. Snowcone (Bruce Dern) – lest her appearance and the power she holds within instantly lead to their destruction. As Chloe longs for any kind of connection, composer Tim Wynn weaves a lovely, haunting spell that conjures her mother (Amanda Crew) and the friendships with girls her age that she so desperately wants – all while building to a breakout into a vastly threatening world.

“Freaks” continues to show the expanding abilities, and visibility of composer Tim Wynn, who brings a striking combination of emotional intimacy, hybrid musical powers and high flying orchestral might to this singularly impressive co-writing and directing effort from Zach Lipovsky and Adam B. Stein (“Mech-X4,” “Kim Possible”). With its story calling to mind an even more nightmarish spin on “Heroes,” this team puts their distinctly impactful, metaphoric spin on the genre’s re-invention of meta-humans and a villainous world of outclassed humans trying to contain them at any cost. Wynn has been a long working, stylistically diverse composer in the fields of videogames (“Command & Conquer,” “The Punisher,” “The Simpsons”), indie films (“To Save A Life,” “Superfast!” “McKenna Shoots for the Stars”) and television (“Lucky Seven,” “Tokyo Patrol,” “Wolfpack of Reseda”). But it’s his ability to turn from the brotherly bond of the cult series “Supernatural” to get inside the headspace, and heart of a oppressed girl that shows his breakout cinematic potential like never before. With “Freaks” impressive and memorable thematic structure, Wynn shows his own ability to capture an ever-surprising and emotionally captivating thriller with a distinctive musical signature, conjuring a sense of wonder and might in finding one’s true voice – no matter how helpless it might seem at first.

Tell us about your musical background and what intrigued you about scoring?

Growing up, I think my interest in music came from endless hours of experimenting on the family piano. I would start by writing short melodies and then improvising three-note chords underneath. I was very interested in music theory and how music “worked”. When I was 10, I started to take guitar lessons and began to seriously consider, as much as a 10-year-old can, a future in music. I formed rock bands in High School, where we would play my original songs and a few covers. At High School, I was extremely fortunate to meet Dr. Ralph Opacic, the future director of Orange County School of the Arts. In my senior year, he established OCSA and I was asked to be one of its founding members. Dr. Opacic saw my rabid interest in music and introduced me to the session guitar player and producer Mike Ferenci.

For three years Mike mentored me in guitar, music production and composition. That’s where I first discovered scoring. We would re-write the music to scenes for films and TV. I was amazed by how much the music could control the emotion of a scene. And how the lack of music would alter the story in profound ways. I knew this is what I wanted to do but I didn’t know how I could do it. After High School, I went to Junior College. I enrolled in music theory and production classes, excited to learn new things. There I met Rose Ann Wood, a fantastic music composition and theory teacher. She saw something in me and recommended I try out for the film music program at USC. To get accepted at USC, I had to face a jury of Dr. Skip Lauridson, Dr. James Hopkins, Dr. Erika Muhl, and Dr. Frank Tichelli. To say I was nervous would be a great understatement considering I just had my first official panic attack minutes before entering. Luckily, I was able to pull it together and with Dr. Hopkins testing my ear training on the keyboard, I succeeded in being accepted to USC.

The main thing that led me to score films is I have always been inspired by the marriage between music and visuals. Some of my favorite classical composers (Debussy, Ravel, Holst) used their compositions to paint musical pictures and I was inspired to do the same. Scoring films seemed like a natural extension of this desire to help tell a story with my music.

What was it like studying with such composers as Elmer Bernstein, Christopher Young, and Jerry Goldsmith?

It was truly unbelievable. I am so thankful that I had an opportunity to learn from these legends that were responsible for so many of my favorite scores. You really can’t top an action cue by Goldsmith, or a comedy score by Bernstein and a horror score from Young and I got to study with them. And it wasn’t only their musical knowledge they shared. They taught me how to be a professional and how to handle the ups and downs of their careers. I was even there at Todd-AO studio when Elmer got fired. Unreal. I have always tried to incorporate their lessons into my music and my life.

How did your extensive video game work shape you as a composer? What game scores of yours have particularly stood out for you in that respect?

The scale of video game stories is in many ways identical to film. That’s what initially drew my interest to work on them. They allowed me to write music for these huge worlds and amazing stories. I think my experience writing video game scores allowed me to develop the more epic side of my writing style. Most of the video games I scored have so many in-game movies, it’s very much like scoring a film.

Some of my more notable video game scores would be “The Darkness II,” “Command and Conquer,” “Red Alert 3,” “The Punisher” and “XCOM 2.” But my favorite game experience was working on “The Simpsons” game and spending a week recording it at Skywalker Ranch. It was an experience I will never forget.

Do you think your stint on the giant robots of “Mech-X4” and the horrific menaces and brotherly bond of “Supernatural” helped set you up for “Freaks?”

I think you take something from each score you write but writing for feature films and episodic TV are two entirely different beasts. Probably the most important thing which I carried forward from my work on “Mech-X4” was my relationship with the future directors of “Freaks.” Musically the two were nothing alike but we laid the groundwork for our creative relationship. I learned how to translate what they wanted from the music. What they meant when they wanted a certain hit or sound. How they wanted music to help tell the story. Every director uses a different language to speak to a composer so most of that was out of the way when I started to score “Freaks.”

How do you think “Freaks” fits into the genre of films and score (both fantastical and dramatic) where parents and children are essentially trapped in a house by terrifying forces?

I have read that “Freaks” is being called a “genre-bending thriller”, and I think that’s an apt description. I don’t think that “Freaks” is any one genre and from my perspective that makes for powerful storytelling. The movie isn’t formulaic per se, but it shares the ingredients of those films while adding its own unique voice.

What’s it like to work with two directors, as opposed to one?

directors Zach Lipovsky and Adam B. Stein

For one thing, there are twice as many notes! Actually, it was great. They were both very secure in their vision for the music in “Freaks” and didn’t feel compelled to push their own view as the only right direction. There was an openness to explore all opinions that was refreshing for me. If you think about it, modern filmmaking always has multiple voices for the final approval, so for “Freaks” only having two masters was actually less than normal.

Was it important that “Freaks” would be a score that would work just as well as a relationship movie, sans its sci-fi aspects?

Yes, I think so. I didn’t want any one element to dominate more than the others, rather, I tried to use a multi-layered approach in telling the story. The score is mostly dramatic music with a sprinkle of sci-fi for effect.

Tell us about using music to convey as a little girl trapped in this kind of dark, fairy tale existence created by her father?

After experimenting with a few different instruments and sounds, I ended up recording an upright felt piano and a few processed bell sounds and scrapes to capture the mood. I had to create a delicate balance between scary and magical. I kept the melodies simple and the textures small. I wanted the sound to have a familiar but unique feeling.

How did you want to capture Chloe’s desperate need for love and companionship, especially with what might, or might not be her mother’s ghost?

I had to balance her feeling of emotion and isolation. Chloe wasn’t really sure what to make of her visions and it was scary for her. She wasn’t sure how real her visions were. So, when the mom’s theme starts on the piano, I kept a thread of uneasiness weaving through the melody. It allowed the theme to have the needed emotion but tell the audience that something isn’t quite normal.

Tell us about how you wanted to convey the male characters in the film? And what opportunities did Bruce Dern’s ice cream truck afford you?

At first, I wanted the viewer to sense danger. I didn’t want to give away the nature of their relationship too soon. Her dad (Emile Hirsch) and grandpa (Bruce Dern) are each trying to keep Chloe safe in their own ways. But at first, you aren’t aware of what their motives are. When it comes to the ice cream truck motive, I wanted to meld the traditional bells of an ice cream truck with a whimsical touch of the “Freaks” theme. It’s what draws Chloe out of her safe space and needed to feel magical, yet still scary. I guess you could call it “creepy fairytale”.

What are your main themes?

The score is dominated by “Chloe’s theme” and the “Freaks” theme. The other themes of importance are the “Sno Cone” theme for the Ice Cream truck and “Mom’s theme”.

Given that the beginning of “Freaks” takes place in Chloe’s house, was it important that the score open up her world so the film wouldn’t seem claustrophobic?

The directors and I actually wanted to keep it a little claustrophobic. I only used the upright felt piano and some sparse textures during those scenes. When she ventured outside, the score began to evolve and add motion. I started by adding instruments to the texture and melodically it started to get more complex. This gradually continued and by the end of the film, we ended up with a full orchestra.

How did you steadily want to reveal the clues of what the “freaks” are? And how did you want to respectively play their powers?

For most of the film, Chloe doesn’t really understand her special powers and how truly powerful she is. I was focused on her emotional journey and how each new discovery affected her. At first, she is unsure of herself and how to use her powers so along with developing her theme I had to keep an element of uneasiness. I also added a slight touch of wonder that occurs when she discovers that her father has the same powers as she.

How did you want to chart Chloe’s evolution from a completely trusting girl to one who asserts her own take-charge will?

Her theme starts by using bells and a solo piano to convey her naivety and wonder. As the story evolves, I start to add string quartet and pull back the bells. As her power increases, the size of the orchestra gets bigger and bigger. During the climax of the film, I started to use brass in the lower octaves to convey her power.

Did being a father of two daughters help emotionally put you into the story? And in some respects, could you identify with Chloe?

Absolutely. When I was writing I thought about how I would handle the same circumstances if I were her father. I could really identify with the feeling of trying to protect your child at all costs might not be the best thing for them. In many ways, children are going to be who they are. It’s our job as parents to nurture that.

“Freaks” has an interesting “hybrid” approach that mixes the emotionally ethereal with suspense and action. Tell us about the instruments you used. And what did their styles represent to you in merging their orchestral and electronic natures?

I used the piano, bells, and strings to signify Chloe’s emotional journey. As I mentioned before, as the story of “Freaks” develops I expanded the textures and size of the orchestra. The electronics were used mainly as a supporting texture for the backdrop of the film. I used them when I needed the audience to feel uneasiness or fear.

Having scored many independent films with both artistic and straight-ahead ambitions, what kind of musical “tricks” have you learned in the trade to make the movies seem bigger – especially in the case of a picture like “Freaks?”

I always like to approach any film from what’s the best way I can help tell the story. Big budgets, little budgets – it doesn’t really matter. As long as the composer makes the artistic decisions with the story in mind, the score will turn out great. With “Freaks,” the budget wasn’t really an issue or a focus. We started from the premise of what the film needed. The idea was to start sparse and small and when Chloe’s world got bigger so would the size and complexity of the orchestra.

How did you want to play the metaphoric aspects of “Freaks” – i.e. the lethal fear of the outsider?

If you look at the score for “Freaks,” the live instruments represent the character’s story arc and the electronic instruments represent the fear of the unknown. There is some crossover but that was how I approached it. The natural vs. the unnatural.

In the end, would you say that “Freaks” becomes a “superhero” score as such?

That’s a good way to describe it. Chloe’s story arc needed to have a big, energetic ending and the superhero vibe seemed to work. With her powers at maximum, it becomes the biggest statement of her theme and gives a nice ending to the movie.

What kind of path do you think your music might take should the story of these “freaks” hopefully continue?

I think it would be interesting to explore where their powers take them. Would they be used for good? Justice? Rebellion? So many places the story to go and I would love to help tell it.

What’s up next for you?

I have an interesting drama called “The Experience” being released in the winter and a comedy called “Later Days” that starts to shoot later this month. I also will be scoring the 15th and final season of Supernatural.

In the same way that “Freaks” is about the next evolution of man, how do you think that your approach shows the direction in which genre film scoring is going, especially having been taught in an “old school” tradition?

I think the approach of the film is not to stick to any one genre or be afraid of being a blend of a few. Focus on telling a story and let that define the genre rather than the other way around. “10 Cloverfield Lane” was a little like that. It didn’t necessarily fit in a little neat box. And that makes for a fresh approach to storytelling, as the audience doesn’t know what to expect next. “Freaks” and my score for it act in the same way. It’s a scary fairytale that has elements of horror with a bit of a superhero movie. You can’t ask for more than that!

“Freaks” opens in theaters and on VOD September 13th, with Tim Wynn’s score available on Movie Score Media HERE

Listen to Tim Wynn’s soundtracks HERE

Visit Tim Wynn’s Website HERE

Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: WaterTower Music Announces 'The Goldfinch' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Za, 07/09/2019 - 02:00
WaterTower Music is excited to announce today's digital release of the original motion picture soundtrack to [m.51185]The Goldfinch[]. The Warner Bros. Pictures and Amazon Studios film, from director John Crowley is slated for a U.S. theatrical release on September 13th and features an original score by composer [c.22750]Trevor Gureckis[] ([m.53843]Bloodline[]) that is a musical tapestry of modern electronics blended with contemporary orchestra. Director John Crowley enlisted Gureckis to score the film, and the two creatives worked closely together in the process. "With the score, I think we're lucky to witness the arrival of a major new musical voice in [c.22750]Trevor Gureckis[]. As an audition piece, he wrote 12 minutes of music...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Milan Records Announces 'Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Vr, 06/09/2019 - 02:00
Milan Records, an imprint of Sony Music Masterworks, announces [a.26628]Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines (Original Soundtrack)[] with music by composer [c.28472]Rik Schaffer[]. Available Friday, October 25, the soundtrack features previously unreleased music from the first installment of the role-playing video game, which will return for its much-anticipated second installment in 2020. The vinyl edition of the album will include a digital download card that includes both the entire album as well as eight special bonus tracks not available anywhere else. Of the soundtrack, composer [c.28472]Rik Schaffer[] says, "Of all the games I have scored over my career, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines was the best because I was given...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Back Lot Music to Release 'Curious George: Royal Monkey' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Do, 05/09/2019 - 02:00
Back Lot Music will release the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to Universal 1440 Entertainment's [m.55982]Curious George: Royal Monkey[] on all digital and streaming platforms on September 6th. The album will feature an original score by [c.16115]Germaine Franco[] ([m.51872]Dora and the Lost City of Gold[], [m.51913]Little[], [m.49329]Tag[]), along with a brand-new original song written, performed, and produced by multi-platinum artist Andy Grammer, as well as 4 other original songs written by Michele Brourman and Amanda McBroom. Curious George makes his royal debut in the new feature-length animated movie, arriving on Digital, DVD and streaming on Hulu on September 10th from Universal 1440 Entertainment, the original content...

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NEWS: WaterTower Music Announces 'IT Chapter Two' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Za, 31/08/2019 - 02:00
WaterTower Music announced today's digital release of the soundtrack to [m.50651]IT Chapter Two[], the conclusion to the highest-grossing horror film of all time, director Andy Muschietti's critically acclaimed [m.46339]IT[]. he film is slated for release in theatres and IMAX on September 6, 2019, and features new music by Golden Globe, Emmy, Ivor Novello and World Soundtrack Award-nominated composer [c.1354]Benjamin Wallfisch[] ([m.45794]Blade Runner 2049[], [m.41981]Shazam![]), who delivered an ambitious album of 45 tracks recorded with a 100 piece orchestra and 40 piece choir. Wallfisch reflected on his return to continue the work he began with Muschietti on the first installment of the film. "Andy has created such an ambitious...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

Interview with Daniel Pemberton

Film Music Magazine News - Vr, 30/08/2019 - 16:46


(Photo By Chloe Pemberton)

In 1982, movie audiences ventured to another time, and another place to enter the world of Thra, a magical kingdom whose shattered gem sundered its world into good and evil in the forms of gentle mystics and the cruel skeksis. These rulers of the realm were on the verge of using their soul-sucking talisman to create eternal darkness, until the last two gelflings set out to fulfill their prophecy of light. It was a quest unlike any viewers had seen before as they encountered a world of living, breathing puppets, whose landscapes and sets were designed down to the last cultural detail. As a collaboration between fantasy illustrators and sculptors Brianand Froud (“Trolls”) and Muppet creator Jim Henson, “The Dark Crystal” showed off the state of the hand-piloted art in a way far outside of child-like constraints, even while offering a more menacing sense of wonder.

Jim Henson with Wendy and Brian Froud

Though some Kermit-loving adults’ consternation at “The Dark Crystal’s” unexpected peril made Henson take a far lighter, human-populated approach to bigger box office results with “Labyrinth” (also scored by Jones), “The Dark Crystal” has continued to enchant viewers, if not create an outright cult through the ages with the daring realization of its handmade universe. Now in our darkening times where real realms and puppet physicality has been replaced by CGI, Netflix and director Louis Leterrier (“The Incredible Hulk”) have turned back the clock and made fans’ seemingly impossible dream come turn with the ten episode prequel series “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.” With Lisa Henson as executive producer and the Froud family in the creature department, this series shines with a spot-on fastidiousness to the original’s techniques, but with an eye and ear on expanding Thra’s conceptual boundaries. Though crystal healers Jen and Kira might be far in the future, “The Age of Resistance” offers dazzling recreations of just about every other character and race from the original film, as newly populated by gelflings, pod people, land striders and Fizzgig furballs whose realms and lifeforces are yet to truly be decimated.

director Louis Leterrier

Yet if there was one spark that truly made Thra truly believable the first time out, then it was mythically melodic flesh and blood magnificently bestowed by South African composer Trevor Jones. Having brought an epic spell to King Arthur’s realm with “Excalibur,” Jones approached “The Dark Crystal” with enchanted commitment, weaving lavish symphonic music and ominous electronics with the instrumentation of cultures to whom music was an on-screen essential. It’s a kind of magic that now falls into the hands of Englishman Daniel Pemberton. A composer who’s swiftly on the rise for with his inventive scores for “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” “Steve Jobs,” “Black Mirror’s acclaimed “U.S.S. Callister” a grungily tweaked take on the legend of “King Arthur,” and an electrified hip-hop superhero score for the Oscar-winning “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,”

Pemberton has specialized in rebooting film score genres by shattering stylistic boundaries while not leaving richly traditional orchestral melody in the dust. It’s this unique musical approach that fills Pemberton’s take on Thra, taking the cosmically medieval tone of Trevor Jones’ classic score and hearing it for a brave new world that the Gelfling-filled lands used to be. With a tip of the shard to Jones’ main theme, Pemberton (along with Samuel Sim) fuse together eldritch orchestras, otherworldly electronics, massive percussion and of course majestic strings into their own fantastical sound, opening up a whole new world of musical possibility. Using a host of medieval instruments that reprise the joyful podling dance as well as delineate the distrusting Gelfling realms that must come together before their souls are drained, “Age of Resistance” is if anything way darker in creating a cunning, and beastly sound for the skeksis overlords – which takes on terrifying motion like never before for their apex predator. Orchestral might and magic rises in the bewitching form of Aughra as throttling battle music throws of Thra’s shackles. It’s scoring as fantasy world building, given all of the intricate care, experimentation and rich ethnic imagination that went into a “Dark Crystal” past and present, all combining for a rich musical tapestry that brings a mythic film with all of the delight of the past while opening up a new TV series world of adventurous, hand-fashioned possibility.

Were you a fan of “The Dark Crystal” as a kid?

I really wasn’t familiar with “The Dark Crystal” until I did a film music concert in Tenerife where I saw a whole suite from Trevor Jones’ score with video. I remember thinking, “What the hell is this film? It looks insane!” I was kind of familiar with it as a part of pop culture, but I realized I’d never seen the actual movie, as it came out when I was four or five. Then once I saw “The Dark Crystal,” I realized how unique it was. It was like nothing else in cinema. Today the film seems even more so that way with all of its imagination and just how complex the morals and ideas in the story are.

What was your impression of Trevor’s score?

Trevor’s score is beautiful. It’s got such richness, romanticism and depth that makes the world really come alive. It’s also really interesting with all of its unusual instrumentation with things like electronics and voices. “The Dark Crystal” had the advertising line of “Another world, another time.” And it’s the same thing with this series. So there’s one side of me that wanted to create our own sound world, but to also pay homage to some elements of Trevor’s theme, which you hear in the first episode. But we’re a new entry into the musical vocabulary of “The Dark Crystal.”

What were the challenges of taking on “Age of Resistance”

Doing a 10 hour Netflix series has a whole different level of pressures and constraints, both time wise and financially. Our director Louis Leterrier is brilliant. He’ll keep pushing to make every episode better and better. So you kind of have to work out a system that allows you to try and create something unique and special for the series, but still deal with the whole logistical infrastructure of doing a modern day TV series. That means you’re not going to get a lot of scenes cut in the same way that Trevor likely would’ve gotten the picture. A film will usually give you a lot of time and resources to spend on four minutes of music and really, really work on that. Every episode of “Age of Resistance” was is in flux in a series that would end up have eight hours of music. When I first came on it, we talked about having a lot less music, and it’s approach as not being orchestral. Louis’ intention was to make the soundtrack very unique with specialist instruments and unusual sounds – kind of like similar to what I did in the “King Arthur” film, which Louis was very taken with.

Did you come on board “The Dark Crystal” because of “King Arthur?”

Louis was a fan of my work. But he really loved “King Arthur.” They’d temped music from it into early “Dark Crystal” tests. It really fit that world, because “King Arthur” was a very organic and visceral. A big part of this score has been trying to make a soundtrack that’s very visceral in that way It’s a series that feels so real because it is real, and I wanted the music have a physicality as well.

Because it’s a prequel, this “Dark Crystal” really opens up a whole new world, with different lands and kingdoms that these disparate characters emerge and unite from. Did you want to have specific music for each region and character?

The project starting off was so daunting because there were so many worlds and characters. I had to find different ways to tie everything together. I came up with a bunch of themes that represented certain characters, which sound was a bit part of. We have a lot of these pre-tuned string glissandos that you always associate with the skeksis, a sound that also is heard with the crystal sometimes because they’ve tainted it. There’s also resistance theme, which comes back in different ways. Characters like Rian and Aughra have themes. So you tie all of these motifs together in different aspects through the series. It’s been very tricky because I wanted all the themes to feel very simple so they can be easily grasped and easily modulated and manipulated between the different worlds.

One thing that also stood out with Trevor Jones’ approach to this world was his use of “ethnic” music, especially for the pod people, whom we revisit here. How important was it for you to give the characters a similar cultural identity?

composer Trevor Jones and orchestrator/conductor Marcus Dods

Originally I didn’t really want to use orchestral music. I wanted it all to feel like instruments you’d never heard. I’m always immediately drawn to unusual instrumentation and sounds because I think they have a kind of otherworldly resonance with an audience. That’s because the more you hear things that you’re not familiar with, the more exciting it is. You see the characters playing these unique instruments, and I wanted them to sound in the score like they could have been made by someone in Thra. So there are a lot of interesting instruments like the nickel harp, crumhorns, bansuri flutes, and sazes, along with a lot of unusual, more medieval instruments in the mix to create that visceral feeling that plays like part of this world. You also had this cute podling character that I played with very staccato-y recorders. It’s all just me responding to the characters, really. But as we went on, I felt we needed the emotional weight you get from orchestral themes.

Maybe the quality that your score has most in common with Trevor’s is in its use of low strings and electronic sustains for the skeksis.

Playing the skeksis took a lot of experimentation. They’re freaky-looking characters, so I wanted to make something that had a real edge to it. One of the big things we did for their music was a lot of de-tuning and micro-tuning on the orchestra, like playing it at a quartertone rather than a semi-tone. It creates an unstable, rough feeling in the score.

Some adults criticized “The Dark Crystal” for being too dark to a genre that had once been viewed as a simple, juvenile “puppet” film. “The Age of Resistance” certainly equals the original when it comes to its more nightmarish scenes.

There are really traumatic scenes in this series! When I was asked to score “Age of Resistance,” I didn’t really want to score 10 hours of music because I was already exhausted, and I didn’t think I could do that much work on my own. Yet they urged me to come visit the set. And then if I still didn’t want to do it, there’d be no hard feelings. But as soon as you visit the set, it’s all just absolutely mind-blowing. Everything is real. There’s no green screen, but massive, massive worlds in this huge warehouse. Then you go to another room and here are all of the creature workshops. They’re braiding hair. They’re making swords. So you’re in this amazing cathedral of creativity and imagination, which I’ve never seen on any other project. As soon as you see that, then you’re like, “I’ve got to do this show!” This was like nothing I’d really seen in my life as a composer. Then they played me the horrific sequence in the first episode where a character has his life forced drained by the dark crystal, and I found myself really moved by it. I was close to tears. And I said, “Wow, if you’ve managed to do that with puppets, then this is going to be really special.”

How were you helped on the score to finish this enormous task?

For “The Dark Crystal,” I brought in a great British TV composer I’ve known for years named Samuel Sim (“Maigret”). He wrote some really nice themes and bits of score. I ended up doing about 75% of the soundtrack of “Age of Resistance” and he did the rest. That was interesting for me, because I don’t want to be like certain other composers who basically pretend to write everything, but don’t. The idea was for me to set up “The Dark Crystal’s” tone and the themes. But then I couldn’t really let go because I wanted everything to be fantastic. So I ended up doing a lot more on this than I thought I would during the year and a half we were on the show.

Samuel Sim

How important was it for the music to convince you of the living, breathing reality of Thra?

I always think cinema or TV is always about trying to take you to somewhere else, so it’s special when you have any kind of project where you really believe you’re entering a different world. And I think this project really does take you into the world of Thra. I wanted to do the same thing musically by giving you that kind of escapism. So I didn’t want the score to feel conventional because if it did, you’d be reminded of other worlds you’ve been to.

In “Age of Resistance,” the characters truly seem to be alive, and often scary in a whole new way, especially with the Predator-like Skekse named The Hunter.

Because The Hunter has this size and stature, I wanted this sound that felt big and scary every time you saw him. So I got a lot of bass players play together and then detuning them very slightly. From that we created these sounds that we re-sampled and manipulated through this sort of 1970’s phaser. It just creates this really horrific noise, and you don’t know what it is!

Who’s your favorite character musically, and why?

Aughra has my favorite theme because she represents what’s noble and best about Thra. The main’s “resistance” theme pulls in Lian’s thematic ideas into it, so I like that a lot as well. A lot of my musical process of discovery in “The Dark Crystal” was figuring out the overall theme of the show, because there are so many aspects to the series. It was very hard to try and come up with one piece that would capture every character, because the show is about all of these tribes trying to resist against this sinister power base, which is the skeksis. In fact if you want to look at it, “Age of Resistance” has many parallels to our current political climate. You have a bunch of people who are very powerful. They maybe don’t have the best interest of their planet at heart. They’re more concerned with their own self preservation. In that way, I think that’s one of the most interesting things about this show is all the parallels from everything like global warming to how we treat the country and the political structures of different groups of society. And even within that “good” society there are parts where characters go to one part of the world and they look down on the people because they’re kind of racist. It’s funny to watch these parallels in this puppet world, which you can just draw into modern day life.

Does it weigh upon you that we’re only going to end up with two gelflings by the time we get to “The Dark Crystal” movie?

This is still quite a way before that time. I think there’s a lot of space before we get to the movie. It’s like humanity. We might not end up with any humans left on the planet, so you might as well enjoy the stories that are there are right now before they screw them all up!

One of your most unusual scores was in the superhero / scratch / hip-hop approach you took for “Into the Spider-Verse.” Were you surprised that the film became an Oscar-winning hit?

Daniel Pemberton scoring the Spider-Verse

When I was working on “Spider-Verse,” I remember thinking, “Oh my God, this is so special. This film is so unique and all of us working on it felt that way – that we were doing something new, fresh and really exciting, which sadly is not as common as it should be in cinema. It was funny hearing other people’s reactions when you told them you were working on it. They’d be like, Oh Spider-Man, I’m not really interested. It was really funny having this project that you knew was really special and was going to blow people’s minds then watching people’s reactions change over time. They said, “I didn’t want to watch that movie because it sounded kind of rubbish. But I just saw it, and it’s amazing!” That’s such a testament to all of the departments on that movie that gave it everything.

“Into the Spider-Verse” really created a new hip-hop sound for superheroes, especially animated ones. You almost functioned like a record producer in that sense with creating a “street” sound for its urban hero.

Production is a really important part of how I create scores, just as much as I do in my writing. In the same way that Ennio Morricone always wants to conduct an his score’s orchestra, I want to be producing everything on my scores, because it’s a whole world where you can really create something totally fresh. For me, being a modern film composer means using the modern production techniques that you can only do now. It’s about how you can make the most exciting scores because you want to create something that you haven’t heard before. “Spider-Verse” is a really great platform for that because I was always obsessed with record scratching and hip-hop culture growing up. When I was 19 I began going a lot of hip-hop clubs in London, which is the first time I really saw turntable-ism. There were places called The Blue Note in Hoxton Square, which is a really influential London Club. I always thought this could be a great language if properly explored in film scores, where scratching and hip-hop were usually throwaway elements. “Spider-Verse” suddenly gave me the opportunity to incorporate hip-hop as part of the score.

What was the challenge of adapting The Beatles for a one-man band in a world without them for “Yesterday,” let alone writing a score that could encapsulate their music?

With “Yesterday” I wanted to make a score that felt less like a Beatles pastiche but more trying to think ‘What would this film sound like if The Beatles got to score it?” So I used a lot of similar recording techniques, gear and instruments they did, but then tried to write with the same spirit of invention and experimentation I thought they might have used. I was really lucky in that the lead actor Himesh Patel was an unbelievably dedicated performer and we spent a huge amount of time trying many of the songs in many different ways until we found the approaches that our director Danny Boyle was happy with for the film. Beatles songs are very hard to adapt because they are so unique really. It’s not just four chords going round, there’s a real musicality and originality to the structures that weirdly makes it very difficult to change into something else.

An upcoming Oscar prestige movie you’ve scored is Edward Norton’s period mystery “Motherless Brooklyn,”

I’d literally just recorded the last note of “Spider-Verse” with the orchestra, when I had to go meet Edward Norton one hour later at a hotel bar. I was a big fan of his work, but I didn’t think I was going to do the movie, because I was just exhausted. But after a half an hour of chatting with him, I’m like, “Wow, this guy is really awesome, smart and insightful with his ideas of music that don’t go for the obvious choices.” He wasn’t named dropping the trendy scores of the day. He was really thinking about stuff. So I agreed to have a look at the film, and saw that Edward has made something special here, and what he wanted to score to doo was just as exciting. So I went straight away into “Motherless Brooklyn” after “Spider-Verse.” Edward was brilliant to work with. He was really supportive, and wanted the score to bring a whole extra character to the film and not just use it to paper over cracks.

What makes “Motherless Brooklyn” particularly distinctive is that it’s about a detective with Tourette’s Syndrome, which is usually something that Hollywood plays for laughs. How does that affect the style of the score?

My American agent Robert Messenger heard the score and thought it was really cool, but didn’t know what it was. I thought that was great, because the best kind of music is what you can’t put a label on. It’s something very new and fresh. I kind of call this score “neo-noir,” because it takes place in the 1950’s with music that could only really exist today. There’s a jazz band in the film and a key character who’s a trumpet player, and is modeled on Miles Davis. Wynton Marsalis’ band is also in the film. So I basically took the traditional instruments of jazz and approached them in a very modern way. I work with a great saxophonist in Britain called Tom Challenger to make a lot of Avant-garde abstract ideas that would be a starting place for me to build the score. Then I’d have Wynton Marsalis playing trumpet on top of a lot of cues. Overall, I was trying to take the abstraction and imagination of jazz and put that into film scoring in a way that you haven’t hopefully heard before. Yet alongside that there’s still more classically melodic film score writing. So the music of “Motherless Brooklyn” is a mixture of both things I love, which is an experimental way to score films, but also to have melodic, emotional pieces that are very musical.

What unique take to do you plan to put on the adventures of Sherlock’s sister with the upcoming “Enola Holmes?”

I can’t tell you a lot, because I haven’t started it yet! It’s a weird one, because I think the Hans Zimmer’s “Sherlock Holmes” score is one of the best soundtracks of the last two decades. It looms over you in a way where you say, “Well, I can’t make my score sound like that.” And then you’re like, “Shit! That’s got so many good ideas.” While I haven’t worked out what I’m doing yet, I’m thinking that “Enola Holmes” might feel a bit more “British” somehow, but I’m not sure yet. I’m still formulating ideas in my head.

Given how you like to work in the worlds of traditional and cutting edge scoring, what kind of place do you think that puts you at?

There are barriers around a lot of different genres of music that can pigeonhole you. The same exists with film music. But I’ve always tried not to repeat myself with, with my work. I’d rather do something that will push me into an uncomfortable position. For me, it’s always about what will make the most impact for a film or series. With every project that I do I think about the audience, and what’s going to be the most exciting score for them to hear. I personally love hybrid scores because they give you an opportunity to create something you haven’t heard before. While I love writing orchestral scores, there’ve been a million orchestral scores done by people way better than me who spent all their life doing them, and know every single great trick. I got to write a pretty straightforward orchestral score for the “USS Callister” episode of “Black Mirror,” which was a lot of fun, But I think the thing that excites me the most is trying to make these scores that you aren’t able to describe like “King Arthur.” Is it traditional orchestra? Is it vocal? Is it metal? I like writing music where you can’t explain what it is.

I’ve read rumors about them creating a spin-off “USS Callister” show within the “Black Mirror” universe. If true, would you want to score that?

The crew of the USS Callister

I’ve heard those rumors as well. A lot of people from “USS Callister” have become friends of mine. They’re a fun crew to go out and get drunk with! But I don’t know what’s happening. It’s all up to Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones, who run “Black Mirror.” Though they’ve got a lot on their plate, what really admirable is that they don’t just farm things out and try to do everything at once. They want everything to be good and that’s the way I try to do my music as well. I want it all to feel unique and special so it won’t sound like every other piece of film music. I want it to feel like me. All I can say is if they pull off what they’d like to do with a “USS Callister” show then it will be very interesting. You’d be wrong if you think it would just be some “Star Trek” series, I can say that!

Watch “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance” on Netflix HERE, with two volumes of Daniel and Samuel Sim’s music available on Varese Sarabande Records HERE (Vol. 1) and HERE (Vol. 2)

Listen to Trevor Jones’ “Dark Crystal” soundtrack HERE

Listen to Daniel Pemberton’s soundtracks HERE

Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Universal Music Announces 'Downton Abbey' Movie Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Vr, 30/08/2019 - 02:00
Decca Records/Decca Gold/Universal Music Canada announces the upcoming release of the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to the highly-anticipated feature film, [m.53623]Downton Abbey[], scored by composer [c.1448]John Lunn[]. Composed in a similar style to the two-time Emmy Award-winning music from the series, the score is richly orchestrated, with the familiar title theme making an appearance throughout. In a throwback to the 'Roaring Twenties', upbeat jazz arrangements appear alongside lavish waltzes, reflecting the popular styles of the day. The original television series first aired on ITV in September 2010 and has enjoyed six critically-acclaimed seasons, gaining legions of fans worldwide and a plethora of awards for cast and...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Decca & Republic Records to Release 'Judy' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Do, 29/08/2019 - 02:00
Today, Decca and Republic Records announce the release of two star-studded duets, to appear on the brand-new album [a.26548]Judy The Original Soundtrack[] which coincides with the release of the highly-anticipated feature film in which Renée Zellweger stars as 'Judy', is set for release globally on 27th September 2019. The film is based on the true story of Judy Garland's final concerts in London in the late 1960s. Academy Award winner Renée Zellweger is joined by [c.16773]Sam Smith[] for a totally unique version of one of Garland's best-loved numbers, 'Get Happy', and teams up with Rufus Wainwright for a beautiful rendition of 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas' – both newly-recorded especially for the album. Long-time Judy...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Mark Isham's 'Blade' Score to Receive Vinyl Release

Soundtrack News - Wo, 28/08/2019 - 02:00
The Original Motion Picture Score for [m.2697]Blade[] by award winning composer [c.91]Mark Isham[] will be released for the first time on vinyl on October 4th and is now available for pre-order on and other retailers. The LP's jacket, inner sleeve and labels thematically reference the infamous warehouse rave scene of the vampire thriller from 1998. "The score needed to have an epic super-hero quality but with a very dark side, and it needed to be able to live next to the world of 1990's electronica - The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Aphex Twin etc. We used a large symphony orchestra supplemented with electronic synthesizers and samplers for a unique musical vocabulary. I did a lot of sampling of weird and strange...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Music.Film Recordings to Release 'The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Di, 27/08/2019 - 02:00
The Soundtrack Volumes 1 & 2 for The Jim Henson Company's fantasy adventure series [m.54235]The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance[] are being released digitally on Friday, August 30 (the same day as the series launch on Netflix), and on CD and vinyl in the coming months, exclusively through Music.Film Recordings. Volume 1 of the soundtrack features original music by composer [c.1318]Daniel Pemberton[], while Volume 2 consists of tracks by Pemberton and by [c.6285]Samuel Sim[]. "I approached the music the same way I approached the filming and the puppetry," explains executive producer and director Louis Leterrier. "I wanted somebody to come on this journey that would be willing to take big risks. I wanted something that was almost...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: WaterTower Music Announces 'Motherless Brooklyn' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Di, 27/08/2019 - 02:00
WaterTower Music is proud to announce the release of two versions of the song "Daily Battles" from [m.54695]Motherless Brooklyn[], the film written, directed and produced by, and starring Edward Norton, and slated for release from Warner Bros. Pictures on November 1, 2019. "There's a certain risk entailed in working with people you love and admire because, let's face it, collaboration can get messy for all kinds of reasons" The song was written by multiple Grammy Award-winning artist [c.21756]Thom Yorke[], who, along with his Atoms For Peace bandmate Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), performs a sparse and emotionally captivating version of the song. The second version of "Daily Battles" was arranged and performed by [c.24961]Wynton...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Weekly Roundup: August 23

Soundtrack News - Za, 24/08/2019 - 02:00
Announced this week were new composer assignments for [c.519]Craig Armstrong[] ([m.56396]The Burnt Orange Heresy[]), [c.1278]Atli Orvarsson[] ([m.56397]The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard[]) and [m.56400]The Friend[] ([c.1240]Rob Simonsen[]), 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.2019-08-20]Click here for the full schedule[]. Opening in theaters nationwide this week are (with music by): [m.54292]Angel Has Fallen[] ([c.1620]David Buckley[]), [m.52748]Overcomer[] ([c.408]Paul Mills[]) and [m.55257]Ready or Not[] ([c.361]Brian Tyler[]). We are tracking song credits for the following new theatrical releases: -[m.54292]Angel Has...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Milan Records Announces 'Angel Has Fallen' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Za, 24/08/2019 - 02:00
Milan Records, an imprint of Sony Music Masterworks, announces [a.26526]Angel Has Fallen (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack[] with music by television, film and game composer [c.1620]David Buckley[] ([m.33234]The Good Wife[], [m.39488]Jason Bourne[], [m.41972]The Nice Guys[]). Available Friday, August 23, the soundtrack features music from the Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman-starring action thriller, which makes its theatrical debut Friday, August 23 from Lionsgate. Of the soundtrack, composer [c.1620]David Buckley[] says, "When Ric (Director) and I first discussed the direction for this score, he was keen for the music to remain in a dark space as our hero becomes a fugitive. There is some light and shade as the drama enfolds,...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: '13 Reasons Why' Season 3 Score Released

Soundtrack News - Za, 24/08/2019 - 02:00
Paramount Music has released the original television score soundtrack from [m.48473]13 Reasons Why[] (Season 3), featuring music by [c.16747]ESKMO[], today. The riveting 16-track album is now available for purchase and streaming on all digital platforms. The third chapter of [m.48473]13 Reasons Why[], which has grown into a dark murder mystery, returns to Netflix today with its stellar main cast including Dylan Minnette (Clay Jensen), Christian Navarro (Tony Padilla), Brandon Flynn (Justin Foley), Justin Prentice (Bryce Walker), Miles Heizer (Alex Standall), Devin Druid (Tyler Down) and Alisha Boe (Jessica Davis). "Season 3 turned into a captivating thriller. The kids and parents have been through so much. The vilest character in...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: 'Ready or Not' Soundtrack Released

Soundtrack News - Za, 24/08/2019 - 02:00
Fox Music releases the original motion picture soundtrack to [m.55257]Ready or Not[], directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett. The score was composed and conducted by [c.361]Brian Tyler[] and is available digitally today. Fox Searchlight's [m.55257]Ready or Not[] follows a young bride (Samara Weaving) as she joins her new husband's (Mark O'Brien) rich, eccentric family (Adam Brody, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell) in a time-honored tradition that turns into a lethal game with everyone fighting for their survival. On his score for the Fox Searchlight fantastical genre film, Tyler said, "[m.55257]Ready or Not[] was an incredible opportunity to fuse completely unlikely tones: elegance, insanity, and beauty. The narrative...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: 'Overcomer' Soundtrack Released

Soundtrack News - Vr, 23/08/2019 - 02:00
AFFIRM Films, a Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. (SPE) company, and Provident Films will be releasing the newest feature film from the Kendrick Brothers ([m.43175]War Room[], [m.31364]Courageous[]) on August 23rd. In anticipation of this upcoming film, Provident Label Group has just released the [a.26396]Overcomer Soundtrack - Music from and inspired by the Original Motion Picture[[]. The Soundtrack features songs from Koryn Hawthorne, Casting Crowns, Zach Williams, Tauren Wells, Hillsong Worship, Mandisa, Tenth Avenue North, Donald Lawrence & The Tri-City Singers (Feat. Lejuene Thompson) and Bonray as well as musical score by [c.408]Paul Mills[]. In addition the song "Enough" by Koryn Hawthorn will be released to CCM radio. "We...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws
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