Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Luis Bacalov Dies at 84

Soundtrack News - Do, 16/11/2017 - 01:00
[c.417]Luis Bacalov[], Academy Award winner for his score for [m.12191]Il Postino[], passed away today in Rome, Italy. He was also nominated for an Oscar for [m.10117]The Gospel According to St. Matthew[] early in his career, and has scored other movies including [m.22765]Sea of Dreams[], [m.1428]Assassination Tango[], [m.28790]Woman on Top[], [m.15858]The Love Letter[], [m.20368]Polish Wedding[] and [m.13556]Kill Bill Vol. 1[] & [m.13557]2[] (additional music). Most recently, Bacalov has written the scores for [m.36218]Hidden Moon[] and Michael Radford's [m.37886]Elsa & Fred[]. Bacalov was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and immigrated to Italy as a young man. A virtuoso pianist, he began his career writing and arranging...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: 'The Invisible Hours' Soundtrack Released

Soundtrack News - Wo, 15/11/2017 - 01:00
Sumthing Else Music Works, the premier record label dedicated to releasing video game soundtracks, Tequila Works, and GameTrust, are proud to present the original soundtrack to [m.51009]The Invisible Hours[], an immersive and new murder mystery experience in the world of Virtual Reality. Composed by [c.1528]Cris Velasco[], the soundtrack will be released today via digital and streaming outlets worldwide through Sumthing Else Music Works. [m.51009]The Invisible Hours[] experience plays like an elaborate immersive theater production, which can only be realized through a virtual reality game. Players freely explore an intricate web of interwoven stories within a sprawling mansion in order to untangle a dark truth. A group of strangers...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Weekly Roundup: November 10

Soundtrack News - Za, 11/11/2017 - 01:00
Announced this week were new composer assignments for [c.50]Patrick Doyle[] ([m.50622]Artemis Fowl[]), [c.1065]Ramin Djawadi[] ([m.51030]Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan[]) and [c.133]Charlie Mole[] ([m.51032]Swimming with Men[]), among many others. For the full list of composer and music supervisor assignments from this week, [url./composers/]click here[]. Over 30 new soundtrack albums were released this week. [da.2017-11-07]Click here for the full schedule[]. Opening in theaters nationwide this weekend are (with music by): [m.48442]Daddy's Home 2[] ([c.809]Michael Andrews[]) and [m.45166]Murder on the Orient Express[] ([c.50]Patrick Doyle[]). Among all new theatrical releases, we are tracking song credits for: - [m.48442]Daddy's Home 2[] (35 songs) - [m.45166]Murder on...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Kraft-Engel Reps Music Producer & Composer Harvey Mason Jr.

Soundtrack News - Vr, 10/11/2017 - 01:00
[url./representation/database/?id=28]Kraft-Engel Management[] announced representation of executive music producer, music arranger, music producer and composer [c.23435]Harvey Mason Jr.[] today. In addition to writing and producing songs for Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Chris Brown, he produced the soundtrack for the movie musical [m.7137]Dreamgirls[], which received three Academy Award nominations in the Best Original song category. In 2008, Mason Jr. composed the score to the documentary [m.31150]More Than a Game[] and served as executive producer on the [a.21980]soundtrack album[]. In 2012, he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for the song "The Living...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Varese Sarabande Announces 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Do, 09/11/2017 - 01:00
Varèse Sarabande will release the [a.21689]Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack[] digitally on November 10, and on CD November 17, 2017. The album features original music by [c.24]Carter Burwell[] ([m.39926]Carol[], [m.47184]Wonderstruck[]). "Frances McDormand, can do anything," said Burwell. "We've done so many different things together, including [m.8255]Fargo[], [m.39242]Olive Kitteridge[] and going back to [m.2796]Blood Simple[]. Martin McDonagh, with whom I previously worked with on [m.29797]In Bruges[], has similar sensibilities to me, and I'd be happy to work with him on anything. This film really felt like getting back together with my family." "I think that the music is really...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Weekly Roundup: November 3

Soundtrack News - Za, 04/11/2017 - 01:00
Announced this week were new composer assignments for [c.648]Tyler Bates[] ([m.40703]Deadpool 2[]), [c.274]Harry Gregson-Williams[] ([m.44040]The Equalizer 2[]) and [c.237]Hans Zimmer[] ([m.49272]The Lion King[]), among many others. For the full list of composer and music supervisor assignments from this week, [url./composers/]click here[]. Over 50 new soundtrack albums were released this week. [da.2017-10-31]Click here for the full schedule[]. Opening in theaters nationwide this weekend are (with music by): [m.48105]A Bad Moms Christmas[] ([c.630]Christopher Lennertz[]), [m.45925]LBJ[] ([c.198]Marc Shaiman[]) and [m.38138]Thor: Ragnarok[] ([c.139]Mark Mothersbaugh[]). Among all new theatrical releases, we are tracking song credits for: - [m.48105]A Bad Moms...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

Interview with Graham Reynolds

Film Music Magazine News - Vr, 03/11/2017 - 01:28

Of their five films as composer and director, fellow Austin-ites Graham Reynolds and Richard Linklater have journeyed together through any number of genres, among them the romantic drama of “Before Midnight,” “A Scanner Darkly’s” cerebral sci-fi, “Bernie’s” quirkily grave comedy and a girl’s globe-trotting search for her mother in the forthcoming “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” What unites each moviemaking venture beyond these collaborators’ mutual, alt. music-friendly home is how they’ve shined a distinctive light on relationships with all of the eccentricity, marital burn-out and head trippiness they might entail.

Perhaps no distinctive film from Reynolds and Linklater might be as relatable to an audience of a certain political, or moviegoing age in our polarized nation as “Last Flag Flying.” It’s been 44 years since we meet the hellraising trio of Buddusky (Jack Nicholson), Mulhall (Otis Young) and Meadows (Randy Quaid), two Navy MP’s and the prisoner they escorted to the slammer, but not before giving him a blow out sex and booze time before hitting the brig. As directed by Hal Ashby from Darryl Ponsican’s novel, the Oscar-nominated film stands as a counter-culture classic about men equally trapped by and rebelling against the military system. Now reunited by the same author, but under the different names of Sal (Bryan Cranston), Reverend Richard (Laurence Fisburne) and Larry, these grumpy old salts give the finger to military decorum in service to Larry’s son, a casualty of Iraq. Shanghaiing his casket from the forces’ preferred internment place at Arlington Cemetery, the trio becomes a personal escort to take the slain youth for his final rest in Larry’s New Hampshire hometown.

Along the incident-filled way to Larry’s old digs, comedic bickering and heartfelt emotion ensue, fueled by a distinctively thematic score that’s also the closest to musical home for Reynolds. With movie composing one of his many gigs, Reynolds is even more frequently on the stage with The Golden Arm Trio, The Golden Hornet Project (a composer laboratory for the 21st century) and any number of theater and dance works (including a new opera about Mexican neighbor Pancho Villa), “Last Flag Flying” is Reynolds’ heartfelt salute to the kind of 70’s guitar and organ grooves that these men listened to, and likely haven’t stopped to since their first politically incorrect misadventure. Here Reynolds gives that melodic style humor, energy understandable melancholy, as joined by piano and atmospheric synths to remind the men of the sad, honorable purpose of their venture, a musical destination also abetted by military timpani.

Through its understated journey, you can feel how “Last Flag Flying” comes from Reynolds’ heart, yielding his most memorable theme yet that singularly drives the score for these codgers who aren’t going to go gently into the night. Particularly striking about Reynolds’ old-school rock waving is just how well it captures the spirit of Tom Petty in its southern rock instrumentation – a rock god’s passing that now gives extra, moving resonance to Reynolds’ score for another perceptive road trip into the human condition by Linklater, their tank never running dry.


As “Last Flag Flying” is the sequel to “The Last Detail,” did you go back and watch the original film before starting this one?

Yeah. I read both of Darryl Ponsican’s books, and watched Hal Ashby’s film. I just wanted to be informed by them. There’s also just a touch of a nod to Johnny Mandel’s score as well, which had a lot of military-style drums and horns. The main three characters have different names in “Last Flag Flying” than they did in “The Last Detail,” so this film wasn’t meant to be a direct sequel. But at the same time you can see the connections.

How do you think these men have changed since “The Last Detail?”

The most overt change is in Laurence Fishburne’s character of Richard Mueller, who’s now a reverend. They were mischief causing bad boys in the first film, but now he’s turned his life around in a deep way. Sal and Larry are deeply attached to their pasts, and are continuing from where we left them in the first film. So it’s them meeting in the middle – the two that are more dedicated to their past find a way to move forward into the future, and Richard finds a way to reconnect with his previous self. That gave a couple of different palates to the score. One is meant to reference the songs that these guys would like and agree on – music that’s guitar and drum based. It’s super Tom Petty influenced. I was also listening to a lot of Neil Young, Bob Dylan and The Band. Then we end up moving up a little later to listening to Bruce Springsteen and most importantly Tom Petty.

How did your relationship with Richard work on this film? Or is it a shorthand thing by this point where you just go off, do your thing and come back with a score?

Richard Linklater

Each film we’ve done is different. Some are easier, and some are harder. For “Last Flag Flying,” we talked about a more intimate score at first that would use acoustic guitars. But that wasn’t really quite working, so we needed to adjust. I didn’t know if we’d be starting again with new material or developing what we had. It ended up being that, and adding more layers to it. When my scoring schedule works out, I try to start each morning in my studio by listening to a track to be inspired by for the rest of the day. So one morning on “Last Flag Flying” Richard and I listened to a Tom Petty song, and it was like “That’s what we need to do to these tracks.” So we took sketches that were more acoustic guitar-based, and then we layered on bass, drums, the organ and other elements that made the music a full band thing. It transformed the score and made it much more relatable to these characters, and just fit the world more effectively.

All of Richard’s movies are about relationships. How do you think “Last Flag Flying” carries on that thematic thread?

It’s a buddy movie of sorts, as they haven’t seen each other for decades. So it’s about the complexity of these deeply bonded relationships that have grown far apart, and where they go when you reunite. That’s the central thread of this movie.

There’s essentially one theme in “Last Flag Standing.” Why not create three separate ones for the characters?

As distinct as the three characters are, the core of the movie is their bond. So that theme represents that bond. It never felt like “Ok Bryan Cranston’s on the screen, so we need the high-energy music! Now Steve Carell’s on the screen, so let’s have something quiet and shyer. Or now Laurence is on the screen. He’s a preacher, so let’s have religious music!” The score’s about their singular relationship, so that’s where the music went.

Yet it also reflects their distinct personalities within the one theme.

Sure. You take that musical core and adapt it to the different scenes. If it’s a higher energy thing, like when they set off on their adventure, then the music goes with them. But what’s changed is that the more intimate, delicate music that plays with them in a way that I don’t think you would’ve heard back when they were young.

There have been mournful movies made about escorting the war dead, like “Taking Chance” and “The Messenger” Yet these aren’t exactly inward characters like those movies had. How important was it for your score to create that sense of playful ribbing between these guys, as opposed to music that would have been just solemn and potentially depressing?

It’s important, because all three actors are amazing, and they’re also very funny. Even though the movie’s dealing with a tragic subject, you need permission to enjoy them and be able to laugh at the film without disrespecting its tragic elements. So it was trying to find that right balance of levity combined with the seriousness that was also needed.

How did you also want to play the emotion in a stripped down way that defines Richard’s subtle style?

Dealing with how much emotional information that the music needed to carry here was also a big question about this score. We had some delicate music under dialogue in a way that we often don’t have when we work together. So we stepped very lightly and didn’t hit things too hard. That gave us a little bit of support for what was happening without the music screaming “You must be sad now!” or “You must be happy now!”

Do you know any military families who’ve lost someone overseas?

No one comes to mind, but my dad was in the military during Vietnam, though he was stationed in Germany. He’s the demographic that these characters are from. So when I’m wondering “Will the guys like this music?” I’m also thinking, “Will my dad like this music?”

Is there anything you notice about guys from that generation?

I think the war of course lingers more for people who were in Vietnam. But being in the army was a huge deal for my dad, even if he didn’t go there.

How do you think your score fits the “road trip” aspect of “Last Flag Flying?”

When you go on a road trip, music sounds and feels different. Once you get on a highway, you experience this freedom where there’s a lot of driving music, a lot country and rock music. It’s not super fast, or super slow, but steady as she goes. That makes it a real pleasure to sit inside of while your car. And then when you’re driving at night you just hear that music is so much more detail. Being in your car is just a different kind of listening. So for their driving in “Last Flag Flying,” we tried to have music that sat in that “feel good” place, that feeling of being on a road trip.

There are some cool, dreamy sampled atmospheres to the score as well.

Yeah. That’s a totally different palate from the Tom Petty-influenced thing. It’s delicate for the dialogue to sit on top of. Sometimes it’s tricky to have two different palates like that in a movie, but I tried to loosely tie them musically and thematically a bit.

“Last Flag Flying” is a relatively brief, but impactful score. Do you think movies in general need a lot of score?

I think Richard’s movies play well with no music. There’s so much about character, dialogue, relationships and conversations in them, so I need to step lightly to help frame and support Richard’s vision without getting in the way of what his films are already doing. “A Scanner Darkly” had a lot of music and “Bernie” had a fair amount of music. So when there’s a heightened element, like the animation for “Scanner” or the comedy for “Bernie,” then I think his films can work with more music. But in movies like “Before Midnight” and “Last Flag Flying,” I don’t want to overstep. It’s a delicate touch kind of thing.

Tell me about your opera about Pancho Villa that you’ve been performing?

It came from a commission out of West Texas, which I was doing a musical portrait of. It’s a huge part of the United States, but super sparsely populated. The first piece was a country and western big band piece. The second drove the audience out to the middle of the desert to hear a live score from sunset to moonrise. The director and I wanted an operatic figure from West Texas, for the third, and we and ended up in a hotel in El Paso where it turned out Pancho Villa had lived in during the beginning of the Mexican Revolution. He immediately became the obvious, most operatic figure we’d found in West Texas, and we latched onto that for “Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance.”

As an Austin resident, do you think there’s a “Texas” thing that goes through most of what you do?

Yeah. I think Texas is such a distinct place. And even in Austin, which is culturally different from the rest of the state, there’s still a huge stamp of Texas on it. For “Pancho Villa,” I dove into country influences quite a bit, but hesitated to dive too much into Tejano or Mexican-American influences for fear of cultural appropriation. Yet I live four hours from Mexico. You drive straight and you’re there. The Tejano population is obviously a huge part of the state. So I finally decided to artistically engage and start that musical dialogue. We ended up with a lot of Mexican and Mexican-American artists who collaborated on the opera. It’s been an exciting world to explore and I’m glad I finally started to engage in that conversation.

As intimate as your collaborations with Richard mostly are, would you ever want to venture together into a Hollywood blockbuster like a “Transformers” movie?

I think it’d be super fun. I’d love to see what Richard would do with a big blockbuster summer kind of movie. He dove a little into that with “School of Rock” and “Bad News Bears.” So he’s got his personal films, and then he’s got his studio pictures. I’d love to see a “Transformers movie by Richard Linklater. It’s a pretty fun thought!

Do you think there’s a direct relation between Richard Linklater and Hal Ashby in terms of their filmmaking styles?

I love both of their work. I would’ve necessarily drawn the line between Richard and Hal’s movies like “Shampoo” and “Being There.” without working on this project. But now I see that line, it made it even more exciting to score a movie that touched on both of their voices.

The Last Detail director Hal Ashby

“Last Flag Flying” is the oldest-skewing film that Richard has made. How do you think it’s going to appeal to his hip, indie crowd, as well as fans of “The Last Detail” who’d want to see these characters’ continuing adventures?

I’m really curious to see how “Last Flag Flying” is received. It has a huge potential to speak to a wide range of people because Richard’s a very sophisticated director. He doesn’t answer the questions for you. These are all working class military guys who are positively portrayed. At the same time they’re often questioning the military, especially its leadership. So “Last Flag Flying” is both patriotic and pro-military, but also questioning the army. Given the polarized state this country is in, this has the potential to be appreciated by both sides of the political spectrum. And I’m curious to see if that will be the case.


“Last Flag Flying” opens on November 3rd, with Graham Reynolds’ score available on Amazon Music HERE

Find out about a performance of “Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance” HERE

Get intimate with “Before Midnight” HERE, listen to the comically murderous twang of “Bernie” HERE and enter the psychedelic animated grooves of “A Scanner Darkly” HERE

Visit Graham Reynolds’ website HERE

Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Lakeshore Records to Release 'Alias Grace' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Vr, 03/11/2017 - 01:00
Lakeshore Records will release the [a.21934]Alias Grace - Original Mini-Series Soundtrack[] digitally on November 3, 2017. The album features original music by [c.257]Mychael Danna[] and [c.652]Jeff Danna[] created for the acclaimed CBC/Netflix mini-series produced by Halfire Entertainment. "[m.49161]Alias Grace[] is based on a novel of the same name written by celebrated author Margaret Atwood ([m.10572]The Handmaid's Tale[]) of a true story that took place in Canada in 1843," said [c.257]Mychael Danna[]. "We wanted the score to mirror the formal rigidity of British Colonial 19th Century society." "We chose a chamber group of virtuosic musicians to lay out the complicated fabric of the musical world of [m.49161]Alias Grace[],"...

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NEWS: Varese Sarabande Announces 'Loveless' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Wo, 01/11/2017 - 01:00
Varèse Sarabande will release the [a.21265]Loveless – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack[] on November 10, 2017. The album features the original score composed by [c.3669]Evgueni Galperine[] and [c.3670]Sacha Galperine[] ([m.46198]The Wizard of Lies[], [m.39075]The Past[]). [m.49414]Loveless[] is directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev and won the award for Best Film at the BFI London Film Festival and the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Evgueni and Sacha began to write the score for [m.49414]Loveless[] without seeing a frame of film or a word on paper. "Andrey wanted us to give an absolutely free interpretation of the story based solely on his description, hoping that the music would become a missing piece of the psychological and...

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NEWS: Weekly Roundup: October 27

Soundtrack News - Za, 28/10/2017 - 01:00
Announced this week were new composer assignments for [c.17124]Fil Eisler[] ([m.48567]Proud Mary[]), [c.1018]Steve Jablonsky[] ([m.50923]Game Over, Man![]) and [c.1744]Victor Reyes[] ([m.50924]Down a Dark Hall[]), among many others. For the full list of composer and music supervisor assignments from this week, [url./composers/]click here[]. Over 30 new soundtrack albums were released this week. [da.2017-10-24]Click here for the full schedule[]. Opening in theaters nationwide this weekend are (with music by): [m.46926]Jigsaw[] ([c.1133]Charlie Clouser[]), [m.48757]Suburbicon[] ([c.752]Alexandre Desplat[]) and [m.48969]Thank You for Your Service[] ([c.149]Thomas Newman[]). Among all new theatrical releases, we are tracking song credits for: - [m.46926]Jigsaw[] (1...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

Audio: Interview with Carter Burwell

Film Music Magazine News - Do, 26/10/2017 - 18:43

ON THE SCORE is sponsored by La-La Land Records

With over 90 scores, Carter Burwell has amassed a singular voice from a wildly diverse body of work. One might say his melodically lush, often orchestral soundtracks are joined by a sense of irony and wistfulness, no matter if he’s playing inside of John Malkovich’s head, gloriously riding a gritty old west or haunting a woeful Hollywood director. From his career-defining start with the Coen Brothers on 1984’s “Blood Simple,” Burwell’s music’s has prolifically pushed the emotional possibilities of the art, no more so now than with three films centered on the theme of children.

Most recently put up is “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” which marks Burwell’s reteaming with Martin McDonagh, a filmmaker well matched to Burwell’s enthusiastic sense of violent, criminal absurdity with “In Bruges” and “Seven Psychopaths.” McDonagh’s brutal humor and in-your-face characters are displayed all over these “Billboards,” abetted by Burwell’s galloping Spaghetti Western sound. Yet McDonagh brings a new sense of empathy to his trademarks, giving Burwell the opportunity for the rural-flavored emotion of a no-nonsense mother out to tell the local cops to solve the murder of her daughter in a particularly brash way.

Another longtime collaboration with an adult-skewing director yields far more innocent and magical results as Burwell scores the first child-friendly film by Todd Haynes (“Mildred Pierce,” “Carol”) with “Wonderstruck.” An especially memorable theme links two deaf children through two different time periods as they venture through New York City, circa a silent black and white 1927 and a colorful 1977 – joining them with a true sense of melodic wonder that speaks for the music of imagination and exploration, especially when sound itself can’t be heard.

Burwell brings a darker, thematic subtext to a children’s fairy tale that’s always seemed to be full of gentle whimsy in “Goodbye Christopher Robin.” Simon Curtis (“Marilyn and Me”) reveals the true story of how a shell-shocked WWI veteran named A.A. Milne turned his son’s private world of play into the worldwide phenomenon of Winnie the Pooh, success that made the real-life friend to a stuffed bear anything but happy. Burwell’s ultimately impactful score conjures the verdant enchantment of the English countryside where stuffed animal friends live, only to gradually capture the dramatic strain on an unthinking author’s family bonds – lost innocence that gives an sharp musical edge to a children’s classic we only thought we knew.

Now on a new episode of “On the Score,” Carter Burwell talks about a distinctly powerful trio of scores, as united by a composer’s always-keen sense of drama and exploration about how youthful past catch up to the present for worse, and better.

Click above to Listen Now or Click Here to Download

Buy the Soundtrack: THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI Buy the Soundtrack: WONDERSTRUCK Buy the Soundtrack: GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN Visit Carter Burwell’s website
Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: 'Thor: Ragnarok' Score Album Released

Soundtrack News - Za, 21/10/2017 - 01:00
Marvel Music/Hollywood Records are releasing the digital version of the [a.21663]Thor: Ragnarok[] score album by composer [c.139]Mark Mothersbaugh[] today, October 20, 2017. The physical CD soundtrack will be available on November 10.[m.38138]Thor: Ragnarok[]t is directed by Taika Waititi and returns Chris Hemsworth starring as Thor and Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as Loki. Marvel Studios' [m.38138]Thor: Ragnarok[] opens in U.S. theaters on November 3, 2017. [c.139]Mark Mothersbaugh[] recorded the score at London's Abbey Road Studios and also serves as Soundtrack Producer with Alan Meyerson. Mothersbaugh said, "I was aware of Taika's work before I got the call from Marvel, and was excited about the chance to collaborate....

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

Interview with Rob

Film Music Magazine News - Do, 19/10/2017 - 21:24

In a wave of retro-horror scoring that’s sweeping film and television the world over, few composers are as diverse in channeling the golden synth age of Goblin, John Carpenter and Tangerine Dream with a stylistic voice far beyond them than France’s Rob (aka Robin Coudert). Starting off in his country’s alt. rock scene with such instrumental albums as “Don’t Kill” and “Satyred Love” while also playing in the band Phoenix, Rob made his scoring debut with the short “Pink Cowboy Boots,” directed by wife-to-be Maria Larrea. Rob’s striking synth voice truly made its bloody splash with director Franck Khalfoun’s slick POV reboot of the grindhouse slash film “Maniac” in 2012. But far from remaining an acolyte of sinisterly pulsing keyboards, Rob expanded into the realm of revenge caught between heaven and hell with the American-set “Horns,” dealt with the cold evil of Islamist terror with “Made in France,” and created the symphonically mesmerizing sound for Natalie Portman’s starstruck ghost talker in “Planetarium.”

Now in another, twisted move from France, Rob takes up residence in a house that’s internationally known as a place to get out of as Dimension’s long-delayed remodel of “The Amityville Horror” has finally, and officially landed on the net and dvd. Once again pairing Rob with Kahlfoun, this latest unwise residency finds Jennifer Jason Leigh’s single mom moving her comatose son to the Long Island neighborhood for medical care, where he awakens with a severe case of “Patrick” possession – mute, but communicating terrifying visions of flies, ghastly rashes, mayhem and ultimately murder as the house once again tries to convince a young man to kill.

Yet what’s unexpected is Coudert’s approach. Though again drawing on his love of old school 70’s and 80’s horror scoring for his score’s foundation, Rob conjures another haunting and vital score that doesn’t go for the musical scares you’d expect. Instead through the use of female voices, undulating rhythm and bizarre samples, Rob’s stay has the mesmerizing, melodically otherworld power of a waking nightmare one can’t break out of. It’s a hypnotic approach that shows the continued creativity emanating from Rob, whose own scoring back home continues to range from wacked-out drug smuggling suspense to an epic, symphonic apocalypse in a career that suffuses whatever genre it touches with the unexpected.

Tell me about your initial explorations into music, and what part film scores played in them?

I started to play the trumpet when i was 8, but I soon faced some lung issues that made me quit and move on to the keyboards. I had the chance to possess an AtariST with MIDI plugs, so when I was 10, I discovered the pleasure to observe the relationship between computers and musical instruments. I was tripping for hours by playing some Bach midi files with synths sounds, or to play them slower or reversed. My passion for music started with an electronic approach.

As a kid i also watched tons of cartoons and shows on TV. French networks were filled with Japanese programs during the 80’s, and the scores were beautifully made by a guy called Shuki Levy, mainly on synthesizers. “Les Cites d’or” and “Ulysse 31″ are still a huge inspiration, Those scores were adventurous, cosmic and mystical, which was exactly the kind of music I loved. I should also mention the TV show “Chapi-Chapo,” a program for pre-school kids, scored by the great French composer Francois de Roubaix, who was an electric pioneer. I think this show traumatized everyone in my generation !

How did the name “Rob” come about?

It’s taken from my full name, which is Robin Benoit Cecil Norman Coudert.

You started out working on instrumental albums, and with the band Phoenix, before transitioning to film scoring. What gave you the impetus to move into that arena?

My music’s always been cinematic, I’ve always tried to create music that makes you experience a journey that brings pictures and strong feelings to your mind. I’m not really interested in composing for the dance floors, nor for the radios.I first wanted to be a painter, and i did some fine arts studies in Paris, which might have influenced my work as well. I married a director, and my first score was actually for her first movie “Pink Cowboy Boots.”. She was studying in a Parisian cinema school, where I also met Rebecca Zlotowski, Teddy Modeste etc… I’ve been quickly surrounded by directors, and they simply asked me for music, so my way towards cinema was very natural, and was probably meant to be.

Your international breakthrough was with 2012’s “Maniac” for director Franck Khalfoun. What inspired a retro horror synth approach to it?

Alex Aja had seen Zlotowski’s “Belle Epine” and he loved it. This movie takes place in the 80’s so the score was already kind of Tangerine Dream, or Suicide sounding. It’s the sound i dig anyway, but Alex had the intuition this would fit the aesthetic of “Maniac.” But more than this, what was important to me was to sound very emotional, in order to embrace the feelings of the murderer instead of the victims. And this is how i like the synths the most, when they get very sad, melodic and emotional. The fact that they sound 80’s brings a lot of nostalgia, that comes with the melancholy, that i was looking for – something related to childhood, and primal emotions. Giorgio Moroder is a great inspiration for this in the way he uses synths and melodies, especially in “The Neverending Story.”» They’re so sad and truly beautiful.

You’d soon be able to show an orchestral side to your work. How difficult was it for you to write for one?

Working for an orchestra has always been a fantasy. I’m a huge fan of French arrangers from the 70’s like JC Vannier (who did beautiful arrangements for Serge Gainsbourg and Melody Nelson), Michel Colombier and Georges Delerue.I started experimenting while working on my first album “Don’t Kill,” but working with modern computers has brought me to the next level.It is quite easy now to compose for a symphonic orchestra using some samplers and sequencers, and even though I’m self-taught in that matter, I start to understand how it works. I go to the classical concerts as soon as I see one interesting, and I also work with a great assistant/arranger, Moritz Reich, who helps me translate my demos into proper scores. I feel that my electronic and rock background is real plus, because it pushes me towards unexpected orchestral fields. My unexperienced naive vision forces me to sound original. And anyway, a 50- piece orchestra is an instrument among others, with a larger manual, But after a few sessions, step by step, you get to know it better. It’s like a ultra large new synth.

Your next genre release for “Horns” showed a very different side to your horror scoring with its mix of spiritual emotion and hellbent revenge. What was this opportunity like for you, as well as the chance to work with “Maniac” producer Alexandre Aja on an American horror movie?

I have a lot in common with Alex, and especially a romantic, almost naive and childish vison of human feelings. We like to cry at movies. So again, Alex wanted me to sound very emotional. Then the movie is also about faith, and the relationship between inner good and evil. So this was a great occasion to sound spiritual, almost religious and elegiac. I really loved the twisted mood in “Horns.” It reminded me of David Lynch’s features, where everything seems normal, but nothing is actually, with a dark humor omnipresent. This was also a great chalenge because this was my very first experience working for an American studio, with screenings etc…I learned a lot then because it is very different from the French way, where the director is the person who decides in the end. The industrial aspect of the cinema wasn’t that obvious to me before. I much admire Alex Aja to manage to keep his movies that much original and personal working with studios.

What are some of your favorite horror scores?

I think “Rosemary’s Baby” is one of my favorite movies ever, and Krzystof Komeda’s score for it is sublime. I think the contrast between the tenderness, the emotional melodies, and the satanic moods work amazingly. I love the use of the choirs and the vocals in general. The idea of having Mia Farrow singing the main title is pure genius and make me fall instantly for her.I am an enormous fan of Komeda and Polanski’s American career. “The Fearless Vampire Killers” remains my #1 movie AND score. I love the jazzy input mixed with harpsichord and satanic choirs, it is so cool! I love how evil is designed here to be hilarious and terrifying. DePalma’s “Carrie” is also one of my favorites. Once again, the balance of fear and tenderness, the psychotic and the sweetness, makes it really unique. And Pino Donaggio is a true master to me. « Carrie’s « score is a masterpiece, in every aspect.

Were you aware of the “Amityville Horror” legend, and films before you took on the remake? And did you believe in the actual haunting?

I don’t believe I’ve seen any of the Amityville movies, though i knew about it of course, as it is legendary, even in Europe! I think the concept of haunted places is part of the American culture, probably related to the history and birth of the nation, the “Poltergeist” case of the Indian cemetery, the voodoo vibes in New Orleans or Key West, or even the « Ghostbusters » scenarios. Ghosts are part of the American mystic. My family owns a house in the French countryside, in a swamp area. It was built in the 16th century. During the war between Catholics and Protestants, a pastor had to hide in the house and his kids got killed in the underground tunnel under the house that was meant to let them escape. He buried them in there. I have to say that knowing this story makes the sleeps there a bit agitated. But It’s always better to believe in instead of not believe, there’s a benefit for sure when you’re living in a world where there are ghosts, it makes it more thrilling.

Given the explosion of retro genre scoring in projects like “It Follows” and “Stranger Things” after “Maniac,” how much of a “throwback” score did you want to make “Amityville?”

I didn’t intentionally make a retro score for “Amityville.” It wouldn’t have made any sense! Plus, I worked on “Amityville” in 2015, so there’s no link at all with the retro thing in scoring it. But, the sounds of John Carpenter, Tangerine Dream, Giorgio Moroder are really part of my DNA. It is pretty obvious for anyone visiting my studio in Paris that I’m into synthesizers, and i love to use them whenever I can. They’ve been very helpful on “The Amityville Horror.”

What’s the difficulty in playing evil that’s essentially inanimate – from a possessed structure to the comatose man it’s possessing?

In “Amityville,” evil is in almost every shot. Whenever you see the house, you should feel an evil presence. The house is the main character in a way, and it gives its tone to the movie. So I tried to design a general mood or tone that would bathe the whole movie. You want to feel the house breathing without even noticing it, to make it alive and powerful.

There’s an effective sound design quality to the “Amityville” score, with one sample even sounding like the Martian death ray from the original “War of the Worlds.” How did you want to create a flow between effects and melody?

The movie uses some traditional effects, like “jump scares” for instance. They’re very classical, yet effective, and i tried to emphasize their power as much as i could. I love when music jumps out of the picture, when it becomes almost too loud and annoying, and i felt this was great on Frank Kahlfoun’s pictures. Also, as I said, i’ve tried to create a sound that would be almost present during the whole movie, like a mud bathing the whole thing, in order to create a permanent, subtle discomfort. I believe it’s a great thing to approach the music with, keeping in mind it has a to be also a physical experience, and to work on the textures and melodies all along. That’s why it’s very important to me to produce the music myself, to be able to control precisely the sound and create my own original sounds.

Your main theme has an interesting, “chopped” effect in its rhythm. How did you accomplish that?

This is a typical producing trick i like. It’s a synth sound that goes through a noise gate, synchronized with the tempo of the song. It’s simple, but nicely violent. I’ve heard that the « chopped effect » has a very strong impact on the brain, that’s why it’s often used in the trailer As a sound design effect. I chose to use it on the theme.

Where more visceral scoring a la “The Conjuring” goes for outright fright, your approach to “Amityville” is more dream-like than dissonant. How did you arrive at this approach?

It’s a bit too easy to be dissonant to express fear or discomfort. I’ve tried to reach the same feeling with melancholy and sadness in the chords, to use what’s good in the characters and situations to contrast with the sordid out of it – to hear a beautiful and emotional melody while watching a disgusting or uncomfortable situation is very powerful to me. It really makes me feel bad, and I love that mind twisting effect. Also, this movie is much about brotherly love, and faith, so it had to be nice sometimes. There are a lot of dream hallucinations in the movie, and the feelings are always a bit mixed in a dream, with good and bad frontiers that are blurry. This is a very interesting thing to explore.

How important in a film like this is it to set up a creepily placid atmosphere before the real horror gets unleashed?

It’s all about creating the right state of mind to allow the audience to let their feelings go, to abandon themselves in a way, so that any emotion will be emphasized. It’s like musical hypnosis that puts the audience is in a trance state, and then slashes them up with a huge sound effect. That’s quite amusing, because it’s what you expect when you go to see a horror movie. It’s like a roller coaster, highly sensational.


Tell us about the use of female vocals in the score. Would you say they give the music a religious quality?

I didn’t mean it that way, but that’s interesting point of view. To me, using voices was more the reflection of the innocence, the inner voice of the main character and her purity. So considering this, the voices have something religious about them, because it’s good against evil, something like sort of an angel, maybe? But really, I just thought it was nice to hear some pure female vocals, where I could have otherwise used the flute.

With this “Amityville” being produced by many of the people behind the Blumhouse brand, do you think there’s a “formula” as it were in terms of genre filmmaking, and what they want their scores to accomplish?

I was hired by Frank Kahlfoun directly, as we did « Maniac » together. So he was my only contact during the whole process, We did it in a very short schedule, so I didn’t really had time to realize what I was doing. But retrospectively, I think there’s both good and bad things in every formula. Good is that you know what works, what’s efficient, and you go straight for this. You should always try to invent within the formula, to be original, to never repeat things. I had the feeling that Frank had to fight to save his genuine idea of the movie. And i’m glad he succeeded in keeping the score in its original form. But again, cinema is an industry.

Photo by Charlotte Ortholary / Figure.fr

When you do a film like this, is your goal to scare yourself?

My goal is to explore new directions, and to serve the purpose of the movie. So in that case, it had to be scary, but I wanted it to be moving, to make the scary parts even darker. But it’s true that it is very intense to work on a movie like this, especially when you have a tight schedule, because you literally live with it for a few weeks, and you reach some weird states of mind. It happened to me, to stay up late at night, alone in the studio. I experienced some really scary hours then. But I took that as a sign of good work!

Now having come out of two remakes of cult genre films with Franck, what do you think makes the re-imagining of these stories work, especially when it comes to their music?

I think it’s important not to consider the remake as a tribute, but more to consider the original as a mythology that you can interpret your own way. It’s not even trying to modernize it, but rather doing another reading of the story. To me mythology’s important because it contains the essence of our culture, and “Maniac” or “Amityville” could pretend to contain some roots thoughts about fears, neurosis and family. It’s nice to think this movies have a meaning, at least it helps me find inspiration. But for sure, I didn’t take Lalo Schifrin’s original as a source of inspiration for my music. I tried to create some real new vision of the story, along with Frank’s work.

It’s rare that horror films of this sort have an end song, especially one as cool as “True Love” with Chloe. Could you talk about writing it, and how you wanted it to match with the score that’d come before it?

Photo by Charlotte Ortholary / Figure.fr

I like the idea of placing this type of movie in the pop culture. And what’s better than a pop song to aim for it? I did work with Chloe Alper for the ending song in “Maniac” already, and I loved the effect of achieving this hard journey with a sour candy feeling, a pop song that’s sad and sweet. We worked on it in the very beginning of the process, so we knew from the start how it would end, and it sort of showed us the way. Chloe is amazing, i just need to send her the instrumental and a short brief about the mood of the movie and she does everything else by herself. She writes, sings and sends back the vocals, it’s as easy as this. To be able to compose songs for cinema is a great way for me to continue to express my love for pop music along with a great cinema tradition of an end title song. The two songs composed by Pino Donaggio for « Carrie » are classics to e, and that’s the kind of detail that I adore in a score.

You have an equally impressive talent for unusual, dramatic scores, some of which of are out on France’s Music Box label. A particularly stark soundtrack is for “Made in France,” which is about homegrown terrorism. Does it make it far more emotional to score a film like this having been in a city that’s been repeatedly attacked by Isis?

We worked on this movie before the wave of terrorism we just had in Paris. So it was rather a very scary prophetic thing. It’s been a big question to know if it was right or not to release this movie in theaters. The mood in France after the Charlie Hebdo attack was very tense and emotional, and though the movie is very clever and tries to ask the right questions, there was a real ethical question of releasing it in that context. We didn’t want to take any profit out of this nightmare.It was very interesting to find the right tone to score this story, and the idea of telling the story from those lost guys’ point of view was very challenging and made the film very strong. It allowed me to compose a genre score whose subject is very serious. The music makes these men even more pathetic.

Some of your most unusual and striking work is heard in “Planetarium,” which collects your work for director Rebecca Zlotowski, with a range that goes from “Maniac”-like retro grooves for “Belle Epine” to intimate ethnic music in “Grand Central” and then the symphonically lush and magical approach to a period film about cinema-obsessed mediums with Natalie Portman. Could you tell us about that collaboration and the creative avenues it’s given you?

Rebecca Zlotowski is the first director to have asked me to score a long feature. We started 10 years ago with “Belle Epine,” and we’ve been working together ever since then. It feels like our careers have grown up together. It is a very nice feeling to share that level of artistic intimacy with a director. It’s like we understand things along with someone who’s the same age. That’s a very precious collaboration to me. She is a very demanding person, and one of the most brillant I know. Her brain is very powerful machine, and I feel she needs my more intuitive way of working. Rebecca really uses my sensitive inspiration along with her rather intellectual approach, which is why we complement each other so well. We have tried to re-invent the nature of our work on every movie together, so these three sound very different, as you mentioned. I learned a lot working for her.

With “Seuls,” you’ve composed your first score for the “YA” sci-fi genre with an emotional, epic “fusion” score for orchestra and electronics. What was it like to approach the genre here given kids in a seemingly depopulated Paris?

This movie was very ambitious. I don’t think i’ve ever seen any French movie of this kind. The atmosphere is very unique because it is a genre movie, sort of a film noir, quite dark and pessimistic but for kids! Then it is quite violent, epic and wild. It had to be scored with these strange and specific directions so I decided to use a bigger orchestra and some synths all together that allowed the music to be huge, violent, experimental and modern. I’ve worked quite a lot on this one to make the score sound massive, which was a great challenge.

With your recent score for the drug smuggling comedy-thriller “Gangsterdam,” you have an obviously great time mashing together the sound of orchestral suspense, Tangerine Dream, club music and “The Third Man.” Do you look towards opportunities where you get to be musically all over the place like that?

My love and interest for music has no boundary. Any type of music can reveal its treasure, and I’m always in demand for new fields of expression.
It’s true that I had fun scoring « Gangsterdam, » even though comedy remains the hardest type to score. But the director really trusted me and let me go for it! So I mashed up different styles, thinking it would be fun to create such a colorful soundtrack. Plus it was a fantasy to do a “Trouble Man”-like score, with funky grooves, orchestras and mini Moog solos. That could all sound very random so the challenge here was to stay coherent and to bring a strong artistic direction to the movie. But it’s not an exercise that I especially look for, though i really like to explore new directions like « Gangsterdam » whenever I can.

Do you think scoring is now meant for artists who can stylistically move between the alt. music, rock and film worlds?

I think the cinema industry has always been looking for original profiles to work with, depending on the project. That is why Wendy Carlos, Tangerine Dream, Popol Vuh or Francois de Roubaix appeared, from other circles, and opened up the width of cinema scores. Even if you think of Quincy Jones, who would be considered as kind of classical composer, he’s a jazzman, and produced songs for Michael Jackson, so… That is why i like scoring so much, because it’s all about music, any kind actually, as long as it serves its master, which is the movie itself.

What’s up ahead for you, especially when it comes to getting your name out their for American projects?

I just finished the third season of “The Bureau” that is out in the US too, and I just started another TV show for Netflix called “Troy,” which is about the Greek mythology. Next month also start my new collaboration with Alex Aja, it’s VR project called “The Campfire Creepers,” which is horrific obviously. And I’m on tour with my teenage friends Phoenix. We’ll be playing in New York and at the Hollywood Bowl. So it’s been pretty busy times for me !

At what point do you think you’d move out of a house like “The Amityville Horror’s?” Or would you stay for the musical inspiration?

I believe i would never have moved in, because me and my wife are very sensitive to the vibes that come out of a place, so we would have instantly felt bad. I remember, i puked once staying in an old French house that I found out later that was a Nazi headquarters during WW2. So just trust your instinct !

Watch “Amityville the Awakening” in the comfort of your home on Googleplay HERE, or on dvd HERE

Get Rob’s scores for “Maniac,” “Planetarium,” “Seuls” and “Made in France” from Music Box Records HERE

Get Rob’s score for “Horns” HERE

Visit Rob on Spotify HERE

Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Johann Johannsson & Rupert Gregson-Williams Honored at World Soundtrack Awards

Soundtrack News - Do, 19/10/2017 - 01:00
Icelandic composer [c.3198]Johann Johannsson[], who previously scored such films as [m.41837]Sicario[] and [m.40675]The Theory of Everything[], was awarded Best Film Composer of the Year for Dennis Villeneuve's feature [m.44592]Arrival[]. Best Television Composer of the Year went to [c.540]Rupert Gregson-Williams[] ([m.34033]Veep[], [m.44885]Wonder Woman[]) for scoring the Netflix-original drama series [m.44918]The Crown[]. The track City of Stars from [m.43740]La La Land[], written by [m.41122]Whiplash[] composer [c.2205]Justin Hurwitz[], was awarded Best Original Song Written Directly for a Film, while [c.4631]Nicholas Britell[] was voted this year's Discovery of the Year for his Oscar-nominated score for [m.46878]Moonlight[]. The budding composer's portfolio also includes music for...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: WaterTower Music Announces 'Dunkirk' Double Vinyl Set

Soundtrack News - Wo, 18/10/2017 - 01:00
WaterTower Music is pleased to announce the release of the double vinyl soundtrack to acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan's epic action thriller [m.45378]Dunkirk[] is now available. The album features an original score by Academy-, Golden Globe-, and Grammy Award-winning composer [c.237]Hans Zimmer[], who previously collaborated with Nolan on the director's [m.36450]Interstellar[], [m.30396]Inception[], and [m.5812]The Dark Knight[] Trilogy. The double vinyl set of the soundtrack has now become available along with the digital and CD versions of the album. The [m.45378]Dunkirk[] soundtrack features a powerful and unique score unlike anything produced before by this formidable and inspired artistic pairing. "[m.45378]Dunkirk[] is...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: 'The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)' Soundtrack Released

Soundtrack News - Zo, 15/10/2017 - 01:00
Lakeshore Records has released [a.21811]The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack[] digitally on October 13, 2017. The album features original music by multiple Grammy, Emmy, and Academy Award winner [c.150]Randy Newman[] ([m.18251]The Natural[], [m.26572]Toy Story[]). The all-piano score is also performed by Newman. The veteran film composer did something completely different for [m.49349]The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)[] - Newman crafted a score utilizing only the piano. "After I saw the movie I wrote and recorded a little piece so that Noah [Baumbach, writer/director] could hear something that I thought might work for the picture," Newman described. "He liked it and he decided that...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Weekly Roundup: October 13

Soundtrack News - Za, 14/10/2017 - 01:00
Announced this week were new composer assignments for [c.27]John Carpenter[] ([m.50579]Halloween[]), [c.24]Carter Burwell[] ([m.50779]The Ballad of Buster Scruggs[]) and [c.2994]Federico Jusid[] ([m.50782]Life Itself[]), among many others. For the full list of composer and music supervisor assignments from this week, [url./composers/]click here[]. Over 45 new soundtrack albums were released this week. [da.2017-10-10]Click here for the full schedule[]. Opening in theaters nationwide this weekend are (with music by): [m.46152]The Foreigner[] ([c.124]Cliff Martinez[]), [m.49066]Happy Death Day[] ([c.1238]Bear McCreary[]), [m.48246]Marshall[] ([c.825]Marcus Miller[]) and [m.49411]Professor Marston and the Wonder Women[] ([c.5141]Tom Howe[]). Among all new theatrical...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Lakeshore Records Announces 'Jigsaw' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Vr, 13/10/2017 - 01:00
Lakeshore Records will release the [a.21798]Jigsaw - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack[] digitally on October 27, 2017. The album features the original music by [c.1133]Charlie Clouser[]. "For [m.46926]Jigsaw[] I actually started working on the score by concentrating on the end of the film, because there would need to be two thematic cues that came before the obligatory re-interpretation of 'Hello Zepp,'" described Clouser, the composer of the previous seven films in the [m.22583]Saw[] franchise. "Each film has its own musical vocabulary that is grafted onto the established tonal framework, and there are certain chord progressions, subtle melodies, and trademark sounds that helped to give that sense of continuity across the whole...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Varese Sarabande Announces 'Only the Brave' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Do, 12/10/2017 - 01:00
Varèse Sarabande will release the [a.21750]Only the Brave – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack[] digitally on October 20 and on CD on November 17, 2017. The album features the original music composed by [c.2507]Joseph Trapanese[] ([m.41486]Straight Outta Compton[], [m.32636]Oblivion[]). "After two films and unique scores together, Joseph Kosinski and I knew we wanted to create something special for our third film," said Trapanese. "When I started writing, I knew I wanted the music to feel incredibly human and vulnerable." "I wanted the music to feel like you were in someone's bedroom listening to them play for you, as if these characters were right next you telling their story," Trapanese described. "We made a deliberate choice...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

Interview with Tom Howe

Film Music Magazine News - Wo, 11/10/2017 - 12:22

A memorable super hero often arrives like a bolt from the blue, the same can be said of a gifted composer, especially when riding the phenomenon of “Wonder Woman.” But when it comes to Tom Howe’s beautiful score for “Professor Marston,” we aren’t talking about musically embodying a potentially Sapphic, and likely one-man woman given the discretion of a PG-13 rating. For in this decidedly adult, if still tastefully restrained R-rated movie, non-prudish fans of Princess Diana will be likely surprised, and then aroused to find that she hails from the decidedly progressive mind of William Moulton Marston (aka comic book writer Charles Moulton), who turned his intelligent and erotic passion for a long-lasting ménage a trois into a kid-friendly, if bondage-heavy icon that’s stood the test of time. That the polyamorous relationship happened way before its time in the late 1930’s, to be hidden with the secrecy of Clark Kent, gives the score a feeling of erotic discovery, iconic creation and fear of being found out that makes for Howe’s standout soundtrack.

Directed by “D.E.B.S.’” Angela Robinson, “Professor Marston the Wonder Women” chronicles the shackles that come off between Marston (Luke Evans), his hyper-intelligent wife Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall) and their student aid Olive (Bella Heathcote) who becomes far more to these inventors of the lie detector and the wielder of the truth-telling golden lasso. It’s a glowing hue of discovery that Howe at first conveys with playfully sparking, clip-clop percussion and lush strings. They weave a gossamer, yet strong emotional bond through memorable themes that define Marston’s ethos of dominance, inducement, submission and compliance. Indeed, where bondage has usually been portrayed as a dangerous, forbidden fruit in the movies, Howe’s score captures restraint with tenderness and desire, no more so than when Olive is transformed into a backlit vision of a super heroine to be. Awash in gorgeous rhythm, romance and then heartbreak in the face of an uncomprehending, hopelessly square world, Tom Howe’s score is indeed a thing of romantic wonder, no more so than when it might seem that super-strong symphonic themes might be going the way of the golden age of comic books.

A well-storied composer back in England with over seventy credits, Howe has gradually been creating his own breakout in Hollywood with additional music for such Rupert Gregson-Williams scores as “The Do-Over,” The Legend of Tarzan” and ironically “Wonder Woman.” But it’s the revelation of the real women who provided Marston with his inspiration that’s going to open up new solo pages for a composer who can capture delicate femininity with all the assurance of an Amazon.


Tell us about how you got into composing? And were you always drawn to melody?

Although I had a classical background, I initially pursued songwriting as a career. I supplemented this with composing music for adverts and jingles (and some teaching in schools). All of these disciplines are short form and require not only different stylistic approaches but also a strong hook and melody. I also sung as a chorister and later in a band so melody has always been king for me. I think that has filtered into my writing, or at least I hope it has.

You’ve done quite a lot of work on British television. What were your favorite shows to score, and why? How do you think it contributed to your work as a film composer?

I have been fortunate enough to score a lot of varied projects in the UK. The one that is probably best known is “The Great British Bake Off.” I had just finishing working, with director Andy Devonshire, on something else for the BBC when he called me and said, “You’re not going to want to do this but please can you help me out with some music for a baking show”. The show went on to become a global hit. No one knew it would be. It was just one of those things where the stars aligned. The music had to have a British sensibility about it and I had a great time doing it. Other things that I have loved being a part of are “Locked Up Abroad” and “Paranormal Witness”. These were both quite cinematic and the production wanted a “Hollywood” sound. Trying to sound like the latest Hollywood score on a small budget is a great thing to try and accomplish. I did so many different things ranging from classical to dubstep and I think that all helped on my journey to be a film composer. Getting used to tight deadlines helped too!

You have the distinction of scoring both Marston and his creation. Could you tell us about your additional composing on “Wonder Woman?” And did that lead directly to “Doctor Marston?”

I had written additional music for Rupert Gregson-Williams on several other projects when he called me about “Wonder Woman.” I had spoken to Angela around the same sort of time, but I knew that I would have time to work on “Wonder Woman” before I launched into “Marston.” Though working on “Wonder Woman” did not lead to “Marston,” it was interesting to see the character from different perspectives. I had no idea about her “real” origin.

Tell us about your collaboration with “Martson” director Angela Robinson.

Tom Howe and director Angela Robinson

Angela and I were introduced by a friend. We set up a skype call as she was on set at the time and about to start shooting, so we couldn’t initially meet face to face. I had read the script and loved it so we spoke about story arc and character and what she wanted the music to try and achieve. I went away and wrote a 15-minute suite of ideas based on our call and the script. Angela told me she listened to this on set everyday and the main “Marston” theme came from this. Once filming had finished Angela visited my studio often and I would write with her in the room so I could try and get things just how she wanted them and understand from her the nuances of the and scenes. She has a real energy and it was a great way to work. I was also able to try things out with instant approval, or not! These sessions together also bore the idea of spanking and bondage sounds for percussion.

How did you want to convey the sense of erotic discovery in Marston’s polyamorous relationship with Elizabeth and Olive, as well as how “forbidden” it was?

We didn’t want the music to accent the taboo of their relationship. Instead, Angela wanted the music to play to the heart of the film: A passionate, defiant, sometimes even naïve, love story.

How did you want to play both the gradual bonding, and character differences of Elizabeth and Olive?

Throughout the film, we really focus on the dynamic between Elizabeth and Olive. Initially the music highlights the tension between them, but as the film develops we realize that, unlike Professor Marston, Olive is able to make Elizabeth more of a submissive, even though she perceives herself as being in control. It was important for the music to guide us through the development of their relationship.

Your score has an interesting, almost metronome-sense of percussion. How do you think it embodies Marston, let alone his invention of the lie detector?

As a psychologist, Marston is naturally inquisitive and a thinker. The “metronome-sense of percussion” felt right to capture this mood. There are many moments in the film when he is thinking what he might do next or how something will play out.

What’s the challenge of having a protagonist, who’s a psychologist, yet has some particularly unorthodox personal approaches to sex and bondage, ones that people try to declare him a deviant with?

The challenge is treading the fine line where music captures Marston’s beliefs without superimposing an idea of what is right, wrong, taboo or normal.

There’s a lush sense of classical, thematic elegance to “Marston” that recalls the period. How do you want to capture that sense of a “period” score as such, while making it contemporarily vibrant?

It’s always a challenge with period dramas because, as you say, there needs to be something that gives it a fresh voice. In this case, I kept the orchestration fairly traditional but peppered in some unorthodox sounds, percussion-wise, to try and add a fresh approach. Some of the more percussive cues are actually recorded with sounds of spanking and bondage, with things like belts and whips.

There’s also a real charm, and non-judgmental attitude to the Marstons, let alone one that has a sense of fun. How did you want to play that “magical” approach?

I tried to have fun with the music and instrumentation. That was key to keeping the score light throughout the first half of the film, and then to juxtapose that with what happens later into the film.

Which character were you most drawn to?

Elizabeth. She seemed to go on this journey of being in control of everything and then ultimately giving that up for Olive.

There’s the cool, if anachronistic use of the Nina Simone “Feeling Good” when Marston, Olive and Ethel finally realize their passion. What do you think that unexpected song adds to the film, and how did you want your score to come in and out of it?

I think it plays a big role in the pacing of the film. As far as the score, we wanted to fade in and out of it using long reverb tails, almost to imply a shift into a dreamlike haze that lingers.

How did you want to score the sequence where Olive becomes the real-life embodiment of Wonder Woman?

It’s the final phase of her “transformation” both emotionally and physical. Even though she knows that Elizabeth doesn’t approve of her interest in “rope tie,” she gets in costume. I wanted the music to guide us through the transformation, some hesitation at first, a bit of Elizabeth’s initial reaction, and finally a downplayed grand reveal of Olive dressed as Wonder Woman. There was very little foley in this scene and after we get the grand reveal and having built to this moment I decided to go small. This felt right, as even though Olive is an amazing spectacle in her outfit, she is also very self-conscious about it at this stage.

Do you think it’s particularly hard for a male composer to capture the emotional idea of feminism, much in the way that Marstron drew on Elizabeth and Olive to empower Wonder Woman?

I think it’s a question of time, an open mind, and a deep desire to empathize with the characters on the screen. It is difficult, but as a composer part of my job is to try and develop a sensibility so that I can understand the characters I’m writing for. I was also lucky enough to have Angela to help guide me.

There’s also some fun big band music from the era in your score. Was it particularly fun putting jazz into a bit of the score?

Whenever there is an opportunity to write a cue that contradicts the rest of the score it’s always great fun. One of the things I studied was jazz, so I really enjoyed doing those cues.

How did you think the score changes as the Marstons are seriously buffeted by the morals of their neighbors, and society at large?

There is a very clear moment when their bubble is burst. It all spirals downhill from there and it was important for the music to drive home this abrupt shift. All of a sudden we go from an almost dreamlike state to “reality”. From this point onwards, the score drops all of the “plucky” and “playful” instruments and I introduce darker harmonies to add weight and density to the energy of the film, that was key to scenes like the one where Olive leaves.

Recording Professor Marston


On that note, given how emotional your score becomes, what do you think that “Marston” have to say about true love and all of its possibilities?

That we’re all deserving of it, and happiness. Who cares what people think?

Tell us about your upcoming score for “Charming.”

“Charming” comes out through Sony in the New Year. It is an animation fairytale score, so it’s very different to “Marston.” I was lucky to have Harry Gregson-Williams as the score producer. The score wasn’t a million miles from “Shrek” sonically (as both films have the same producer) so Harry’s input was valuable. I scored at Air Studios in England over a few days with a big orchestra and choir and just had a lot of fun doing it.

Given that “Professor Martson” is the movie that truly introduces you to Hollywood, what do you think they’ll take away from your music and your abilities?

I hope they enjoy the film and get a sense of how much I enjoyed scoring it, especially with how source music and non-score tracks weave into the fabric of the film to guide us through the decades and time period.

How do you think that “Wonder Woman” fans drawn to this film will react to “Professor Marston?”

I’m hoping that after the success of “Wonder Woman” that people are eager to dive into an origin story like no other.


“Professor Marston and the Wonder Woman” opens on October 13th, with Tom Howe’s score available October 20th from Sony Classical Music HERE

Visit Tom Howe’s website HERE

Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws
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