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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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

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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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

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

NEWS: Back Lot Music to Release 'Happy Death Day' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Wo, 11/10/2017 - 01:00
Back Lot Music announces the release of the [a.21751]Happy Death Day[] soundtrack, featuring music by [c.1238]Bear McCreary[] ([m.47990]Rebel in the Rye[], [m.44831]10 Cloverfield Lane[]) digitally on October 13 and on CD on October 20, 2017. "When I first saw [m.49066]Happy Death Day[], I was immediately struck by the film's perfect balance of horror and dark comedy," said McCreary. "The main character, Tree, hilariously captures a millennial spirit the horror is genuinely terrifying, and the comedy pitch perfect. The film is a goldmine for musical inspiration!" In the thriller, the killer's identity is hidden behind a baby-face mask. McCreary had to look no further than to his three-year old daughter for inspiration in...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Lakeshore Records Announces 'Wonderstruck' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Di, 10/10/2017 - 01:00
Lakeshore Records will release the [a.21551]Wonderstruck - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack[] digitally October 20th and on CD/LP later this year. Simultaneously second version of the album, containing three bonus tracks, is also being released as an [a.21784]Amazon Exclusive Special Edition[]. Both releases feature original music by [c.24]Carter Burwell[] ([m.39926]Carol[], [m.8255]Fargo[]). Based on Brian Selznick's critically acclaimed novel, in [m.47184]Wonderstruck[] Ben and Rose are children from two different eras who secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known, while Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Weekly Roundup: October 6

Soundtrack News - Za, 07/10/2017 - 01:00
Announced this week were new composer assignments for [c.58]Danny Elfman[] ([m.50121]Dumbo[]), [c.16693]ToyDrum[] ([m.50716]Future World[]) and [c.159]John Ottman[] & [c.1620]David Buckley[] ([m.50718]The Gifted[]), among many others. For the full list of composer and music supervisor assignments from this week, [url./composers/]click here[]. Over 35 new soundtrack albums were released this week. [da.2017-10-03]Click here for the full schedule[]. Opening in theaters nationwide this weekend are (with music by): [m.45794]Blade Runner 2049[] ([c.237]Hans Zimmer[] & [c.1354]Benjamin Wallfisch[]), [m.42915]The Mountain Between Us[] ([c.1065]Ramin Djawadi[]), [m.45108]My Little Pony: The Movie[] ([c.13568]Daniel Ingram[]) and [m.50175]The Stray[] ([c.9578]Christian...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Lakeshore Records Announces 'Mr. Robot' Vol. 4 Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Vr, 06/10/2017 - 01:00
Lakeshore Records will release the second of two volumes of music from the second season of the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-Winning USA Network series [m.43390]Mr. Robot[].The [a.20968]Mr. Robot V.4[] soundtrack features original music by [c.3207]Mac Quayle[] ([m.48533]Feud: Bette And Joan[], [m.33054]American Horror Story[]). Volume 4 will be released digitally and on CD October 13th. Later this year, Invada Records, in partnership with Lakeshore Records, will release the Volume 4 soundtrack on LP. "If the first season of [m.43390]Mr. Robot[] took us into Elliot's mind, the second season drew us deeper into his subconscious," said Quayle. "As we learned, it's pretty dark in there and so naturally the music followed suit. Darker,...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Varese Sarabande to Release 'The West Wing' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Do, 05/10/2017 - 01:00
The next release in Varese Sarabande's WE HEAR YOU series will be [a.21749]The West Wing[], a masterwork in composition from beloved composer [c.500]W.G. Snuffy Walden[] - available directly from Varèse Sarabande on October 6, 2016. "As I turned the pages of that first script, the rich characters and informative stories captivated me" said Walden in describing his first reaction to [m.28103]The West Wing[]. "I was convinced: this would be an opportunity that was very rare in network television. As the project got deeper into production, it became obvious that this was exceptional work and I was blessed to be a part of the experience." "With our schedule and its breakneck speed, we hardly had time to give a second thought to what...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

NEWS: Alcon Sleeping Giant (ASG) Records & Epic Records to Release 'Blade Runner 2049' Soundtrack

Soundtrack News - Wo, 04/10/2017 - 01:00
Alcon Sleeping Giant (ASG) Records, under exclusive distribution through Epic Records, will release the [a.21699]Blade Runner 2049 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack[] on Thursday October 5, 2017 at all digital retailers. A special 2CD pre-order of the physical album is live now. A true collector's item and piece of [m.45794]Blade Runner 2049[] history, the 2-disc set is numbered and limited to only 2,049 copies. Get it [url.https://bladerunner2049.shop.musictoday.com/store/]HERE[] while supplies last. All physical copies additionally unlock a digital download. The soundtrack highlights the entrancing, ethereal, and enigmatic original score composed by Academy Award winner [c.237]Hans Zimmer[] and Golden Globe & Emmy nominee...

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Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws

Interview with Joseph Lo Duca and Don Mancini

Film Music Magazine News - Wo, 04/10/2017 - 00:57

In the annals of knife-wielding psychopaths seeking to slit your throat while needling your funny bone, no killer has cut quite a diminutively powerful, Comedy Store-ready figure like Chucky. Ever since Charles Lee Ray used his dying breath to transport his twisted soul into the body of a Good Guy in 1988’s “Child’s Play,” there’s been no putting down the sinister brainchild of Don Mancini over the course of seven pictures. Grabbing the franchise as both writer and director with 2004’s “Seed of Chucky,” Mancini sowed an even crazier, fourth-wall slashing mythology for his characters that even possessed real-life doll bride Jennifer Tilly. The filmmaker wouldn’t miss a one-liner beat when he picked up The Good Guy’s adventures with 2013’s “Curse of Chucky,” which took the idea of the Chucky-verse to even more wackily ironic lengths by having the Brad Dourif-voiced doll torment his actress daughter Fiona Dourif as the wheelchair-bound Nica, as well as bringing the very first kid he menaced Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent) back into the grown-up fray.

Now Charles’ embodiment pushes Nica right over the edge of her previous mansion abode into a sterile madhouse for “Cult of Chucky,” where of course no one will believe that trying to cure her with multiple Good Guys might not be such a good idea. Mancini once again turn his undying saga into a family affair by drawing on Chucky’s past mayhem, while showing a fiercely hilarious and frightening panache that makes the series more vital than ever as the last doll standing among the 80’s psycho superstars. The same can be said for the fiendishly fresh voice of “Cult” composer Joseph Lo Duca, who broke out with friend Sam Raimi in 1981’s “Evil Dead.” Suddenly transformed for Detroit rocker into horror score star, Lo Duca has often brought his rampaging (and sometimes darkly funny) talent to any number of terror soundtracks like “Army of Darkness,” “Boogeyman,” “The Messengers,” “Pay the Ghost” and “Burying the Ex,” all while charting a prolific career composing for such fantastical shows as “Hercules,” “Xena” and “The Librarians,” and now a groovy return to “Ash Vs. the Evil Dead.”

But nobody quite brings out Lo Duca’s little devil like Chucky, as could be heard in the claustrophobic, crazily escalating Grand Guignol strains of his first teaming with Mancini for “Curse.” Now thrust into a sterile looney bin whose white walls are escalatingly splattered with blood, Lo Duca first joins Mancini’s “Cult” with weird samples and twisted electroshock rhythms, yet with an old-school orchestral resonance – or course topped with evil child-friendly bells and tinkertoy percussion. But given multiple dolls with a mission, it isn’t long before this fiendishly thematic score becomes more twisted and funny with Chucky’s growing confidence for chorus, rock guitar and crafty metal ratcheting. It’s a killer stand-up act that’s refined itself like never before for a composer-filmmaker team made in horror-comedy hell – especially given just how well this “Cult” takes on an operatic, Herrmann-esque swagger that Brian De Palma would likely smile at, let alone a killer doll before making mincemeat of his two enablers at the top of their Good Guy game.

As a lifelong fan of film scores, what are some of your favorite horror-comedy soundtracks?

DM: I love horror-comedy, and I love the challenge of walking the tightrope between legitimately frightening an audience, and then making them laugh at what has frightened them. “Death Becomes Her,” the Danny Elfman-Tim Burton stuff like “Beetlejuice,” Jerry Goldsmith’s “Gremlins”… These movies also all bear the unmistakable signature voices of their composers. I liked that. I’m not into anonymous-sounding scores. I wanted “Curse of Chucky” and now “Cult of Chucky” to have the unmistakable, unabashed voice of Joe Lo Duca.

In particular, how did Joseph’s scores for the genre impress you?

DM: I was always impressed with his versatility, his dexterous comfort-level and expertise in any number of genres and even media, as well as his ability to mix traditional orchestral elements with modern electronics. His scores were romantic but not sentimental; witty without being silly; and never condescended to the material. Plus, of course, I am a huge fan of his work fro Rami’s “Evil Dead” universe.

Right from “Evil Dead,” you’ve often been in a position of scoring horror films with no small amount of laughs in them. What do you think makes your style suitable for that kind of gory black comedy?

JLD: Perhaps it is because I truly like and get the filmmakers I work with in that genre. In my experience, the writers and directors who make horror movies are among the nicest people I know! On a dramatic level, it’s all about tension and release, predictability and surprise. When it’s well done, it’s like great music. Comedy can be the release, but sometimes-gory violence can be the release, too. It puts a temporary end to the suspense and dread you have worked together to set up.

How did you become involved with “Curse of Chucky?”

JLD: Richard Kraft, my agent for many years, introduced me to Don Mancini. He thought we would be a good fit. And he has uncanny instincts about people and pairings. The fact that I composed the scores for the “Evil Dead” trilogy didn’t hurt. I have learned it gives me instant street creed in that world.

What did you think of the previous Chucky scores? And what did you hope that Joseph would bring to them with “Curse of Chucky?”

As a film score fan, this part of the process is always very exciting for me — meeting with the composer, talking with him or her, spotting the film, and the thrill of hearing the cues for the first time… I’ve been fortunate to work with a number of very talented composers over the years throughout the Chucky series. But working with Joe has been my favorite experience, and has resulted in my favorite music from the franchise. His Chucky motif is perfect — sinister yet playful, as befits a child’s toy. I knew Joe would bring an exciting mix of traditional orchestral elements blended with a modern, electronic vibe. And he always plays the characters, not just the situations.

Having scored some of genre’s most iconic characters, how did Chucky stand for you in horror superstar pantheon? And was he a character you hoped you’d score one day?

JLD: A film composer never knows or expects when he will be invited to the dance. Getting to work with Don on “Curse” was a welcome surprise. Honestly, I did not seek out horror movies growing up. They made me queasy. Then I got to know Sam Raimi, and I came to view horror as the exercise of a prankster who gets unabashed glee from getting a rise out of an audience. But even though there is a lot of humor in the “Chucky” and “Evil Dead” films, the humor is rarely reflected in my scores for them. But every once in a while we go for it!

What do you think makes a good director-composer team?

Communication, a shared vision and a common language certainly help -which theoretically can get tricky if the director is not a musician, which I am not — although I do have a musical background (I sang in chorus throughout my school years). But what I do have, like your readers, is a fairly encyclopedic knowledge of, and passion for, film music — including, specifically, the music of Joe Lo Duca. I am definitely a fan of his! It’s definitely helpful (as well as incredibly fun) to discuss film scores with Joe in the course of our work. Joe also approaches the music character-first, which is how I approach writing and directing. And then there are the surprises, the stuff he did that was completely unexpected. He had to create a whole weird soundscape, to capture the warped psychologies of these mentally ill characters.

Given that Don is a horror and music fan to begin with, does that give you shorthand when collaborating?

JLD: Don has immense background in all things film-related. The fact that I could see the link between “Curse of Chucky” and “Lady in a Cage,” an obscure 1964 thriller starring Olivia de Havilland and James Caan, got us off to a great start. The best directors sweat all the details. Don is one of those. He is also aware of the expectations of his fans. In a few scenes on “Cult,” he resisted my taking a classic Hollywood approach because his fans might consider them glib. I find that if I ask the right questions, we can address challenges that are posed in the music. It helps that we have a lot of respect for one another.

Do you hear the unborn score in your head as you’re directing?

DM: Well, I’m listening to stuff all the time for inspiration, and like a lot of writers I raid my soundtrack collection and cull a bunch of stuff that seems in the ballpark, musically and dramatically, for what I’m writing at the moment. While I was writing the “Cult” script, I listened mainly to a combination of Joe’s score for “Curse” and Cliff Martinez’s score for “The Neon Demon,” the latter of which of course has a distinctly trippy, electronic vibe. That sound struck me as evocative of this world, a somewhat abstract sound for a mental hospital populated by a bunch of warped minds. A kind of psychedelic feeling is what I was after. Joe captured that, in his own way, of course; the resulting score sounds nothing like Cliff Martinez. Nor did I want it to. I just wanted Joe to give me HIS version of an abstract, psychedelic vibe.

With “Cult,” did you want to return the series back to the first film’s idea of having a doctor doubt an inmates “ravings” about a killer doll on the lose? And how did you think music could add to that?

DM: I thought the setting provided for a fun twist on the traditional “boy who cried wolf” scenario we exploited in the first three films, but in “Cult of Chucky,” it’s “the whacko who cried wolf.” Before, no one would believe a kid; now, no one will believe a crazy person. Also, our goal really was to humanize the patients, to depict and convey their sadness… And Joe’s score really does manage to capture a certain bleak mournfulness, which is of course augmented by the modernist environment and the freezing, snowy realm outside.

Right from its title, the idea of a perverted child’s plaything has been embodied in the “Chucky” scores. How did you want to convey that twisted “toy” bell motif here?

JLD: Coming on board on “Curse,” it was surprising and liberating to me that this iconic character did not have a theme. The idea of an out-of-tune little jingle came to me immediately. “Chuck-y is my spe-cial friend…”. What’s creepier than a beat up toy piano?

When you’ve got a lethally wisecracking character like Chucky, how do you want to balance the humor and horror?

JLD: Most of the time, you stay away from the humor and let the score play the straight man. I’m Dean Martin; it’s actually funnier that way. Musical camp usually involves parody. I tend to stay away from that. Chucky gets all the good lines. Let’s let him have them.

DM: One of the things that most impressed me about Joe’s score was his ability to navigate these hairpin turns, to juggle serious, even tragic horror on the one hand, and the wackiness that Chucky and Tiffany represent — sometimes in the same scene. The music is a really crucial factor in making such tonal changes work. It can make or break the movie. And Joe just has great taste; he’s very sensitive, for example, to the danger of tipping over into the objectionably goofy, or the too sentimental.

Like our best horror “heroes,” there’s an evil part of us that roots for Chucky to succeed. How do you think the score adds to that?

DM: Well, there’s an intrinsically humorous aspect to Chucky, a twisted playfulness that’s appealing. Chucky really loves his work. Joe captures that sense of mischief with his toy piano motif for Chucky, which he introduced in “Curse,” and which in “Cult” is lavished with all kinds of thrilling new orchestrations and variations.

JLD: The music imbues Chucky with immense, unstoppable power. For example, despite his diminutive stature, his musical footprint is always huge. He is mischievous, but the music tells us to be very afraid. He always wins, so one might as well join him, ‘cause you can’t beat him. And he’s a funny guy, though I can’t say the score adds to that.


Is it more fun to score a character that enjoys killing?

JLD: I talk to my fellow “decomposers” about this. Horror movies are the most fun to score for the sheer fact that there are no rules. You can be as crazy as you wanna be, and if the psycho killers are having fun, too, so much the merrier. With Chucky, there is as much a “Gothcha’!” aspect to his murders as the poetic injustice of the murders themselves.

What would you say are the links, and differences between your two “Chucky” scores?

JLD: Both are rather lush and traditional in many respects. Both have central thematic material. “Cult of Chucky” has a more modern sound, with a lot more electronic sound design and manipulation of traditional instruments. I’ll confess. I like melody and harmony. Constructing dissonance is merely an extension of those elements.

Chucky has always involved the idea of family, whether it’s the doll tearing apart Andy’s life, or trying to create his own “nuclear” family of sorts. With the gang back together here, how do you think that idea plays into the score?

JLD: I think the score informs the viewer that the characters are all damaged people that have been literally ripped from their families. So their sadness and despair, and the desperate measures to which they are driven are very much in the music. I guess you could say fate has brought Vincent, Nica and Tiffany back together as a cursed, dysfunctional codependent family. You might say that the reflection in the score is the sense of doom, futility and inevitability.

The dulcimer gets a particularly fun workout here. What do you think makes the instrument so ideal for Chucky?

JLD: In “Cult,” what you are calling a dulcimer has more of an electronic bent. There’s something about the biting, percussive nature of the sound that feels right. It is sinister, and let’s not forget that Chucky’s favorite method of execution involves cutting of some kind.

What does having multiple Chucky dolls bring to the score?

JLD: Each Chucky has it’s own personality. The score gets to have a little fun with that. It is not a major feature, though. Without giving anything away, what happens to Nica is a much more important to the score and the story.

“Cult” makes use of some particularly creepy sampling that’s both echoed and metallically gnarled. Could you tell us what went into this score?

JLD: I did a lot of programming and processing of the sounds in this score. Don and I are very pleased with the result. There are sounds and techniques I discovered on this project I never thought to try before – processes like time stretching already warped string samples, and ring modulating the brass into shards of metal.

You could call both “Chucky” films “old dark house” pictures in how he maneuvers about them to terrorize his victims from a mansion to mental asylum. On that end, how hard is it to score those sort of “creeping about” sequences?

JLD: I don’t find those challenging; the fun is always in setting up a good scare that will likely follow. I do find extended action sequences tiring. I find there is a physical component that goes along with scoring the action. ”Curse” most definitely plays on the haunted house trope, but I found “Cult” quite different. The asylum is stark, cold and blue, so electronic sound was a better choice. By contrast, Andy’s cabin is warm and woody, so strings and woodwinds predominate.

DM: Well, while we on set, I’d often hum a tune, or a rhythm, to get the camera operators in the mood, and to ensure that our timing is in the right ballpark. And on “Cult.” very often I was humming something of Joe’s — whether from “Curse of Chucky,” or sometimes something from an “Evil Dead” movie. I knew those staccato string pluckings from “Evil Dead” would totally work for Chucky wandering around and spreading mischief.

Was it important for Joseph’s scores to start out “straight” and then get more satirically demented as they go along – especially in the case of “Cult?” where organ, evil chorus and a Spaghetti Western rock guitar ultimately join the jam?

DM: Yes, because that’s basically what the movie is doing — it’s going crazy. The story and camera work are designed to make the viewer feel that he or she is right there with Nica as she starts questioning her own reality and her own sanity. As I said, one of the huge accomplishments of Joe’s score is that it manages this tonal change with such style and energy and wit, really. Joe’s “main title” music is, to me, like a thrilling celebration of the psycho-slasher genre, complete with his own version of shrieking violins, and Chucky’s “toy-piano” motif interpolated. The rock guitar at the end was an interesting case, because the scene in question represents a huge turning point for Chucky – a moment of incredible, unprecedented, swaggering triumph for him. We knew it had to be “big” in an interesting way. At first Joe had a choral element there, but it wasn’t quite right. While the voices captured the supernatural gravity of the situation, it was still missing something — a sense of Chucky strutting. Ultimately we realized what it needed to be: Chucky as rock star. Hence the guitar. (Which Joe had utilized at one point in the “Curse” score, as well).

JLD: All of the Chucky movies ramp up to a rollicking climax. So goes the music. Anything goes. However, the palette remains fairly consistent. If a new sound pops up during a score, I hope there is good reason for it. That said, the rock guitar idea might have come from Don.

With its voices and rampaging dulcimer and finally hugely sinister orchestral statement, would you call “Cult” a Grand Guignol score?

JLD: I think my favorite parts of the score would classify as ‘psychological thriller’. Chucky is on the loose in an asylum. The patients project their psychoses onto him. And he kills them for it. It’s more like “Snakes on a Plane” of the insane!

In the midst of this madness, what it important to give genuine emotional empathy to the wheelchair-bound Nica?

JLD: She is our doomed heroine, yet she is also survivor. Fiona Dourif is so good in this role. Her performance needs no help from the music. Yet at times we want to underline her powerlessness, or her growing panic. There are long sequences that Don portrays this sans dialogue, doing it instead with crafty editing and music.

You’ve made a specialty of bringing musical presence to smaller-budgeted horror films. What tricks have you learned along the way to getting the biggest musical bang for the bloody buck?

JLD: I am the only performer on both scores. Don told me that Pino Donaggio (“Carrie”) was a bit miffed because he told Pino he did not have budget for a live score. Pino was surprised to learn my score was all samples. I’ll take it as a compliment. I am always trying to realize the music I hear. And that takes a lot of time and effort. Unfortunately, we had so little time. 80+plus minutes of music in three and a half weeks is not humane. But there are no short cuts.

Can you tell us a bit about your work on “Ash Vs. the Evil Dead,” and what we can expect from the upcoming season of “Ash Vs. Evil Dead?”

JLD: “Ash” is just as nutty as ever. I had to score a scene where he is attacked by all the instruments in the high school band room. Who knew a harp could also be a face slicer. Need I say more?

You’ve also scored the pot comedy series “Disjointed” on Amazon. What’s it like to be able to do something unexpected like this?

JLD: D.J Javerbaum, our show runner and creator, is also a gifted lyricist. We have written some great songs together on this show. I work with the cast, headed by Kathy Bates, on their performances. I got to record LA’s finest jazz players for all the bumpers. That just doesn’t happen on a sitcom, that is, unless you have David and Chuck Lorre behind you. Wait till you see how next season opens. “Disjointed” has been a real highlight for me this year.

What do you think that Joseph has brought to the “Chucky” series? And how do you see his music continuing for them, or your movies in general?

DM: Joe has brought his distinct voice, and his impressive pedigree and experience from his iconic work in the horror genre, but also other genres and media, as well. I’m excited to see where we’ll go together next… both in the “Chucky” universe, and hopefully in other frontiers, as well.

There’s never an end to Chucky. Where do you see your films, and scores going from here for him?

JLD: The answer to that is in the mind of Don Mancini, and I’ll gladly go with him on Chucky’s next adventure!


Join the “Cult of Chucky” on Netflix, blu ray and digital asylums HERE

Listen to Joseph Lo Duca’s scores for “Curse of Chucky” and “Cult of Chucky” on Backlot Music HERE and HERE

Fight the Evil Dead with Ash and Joe HERE

Visit Joseph Lo Duca’s website HERE

Categorieën: Filmmuziek nieuws
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