News Archive... AKA The Old Blog

Friday, March 31, 2006

HGW: Live

SONCINEMAD, the film music festival in Madrid, has just announced the program for Harry Gregson-Williams' Symphonic Concert for Orchestra and Choir (the concert kicks off the festival on June 30th).

Gregson-Williams asnd Silvia Sanz Torres (Orchestra Director) will conduct the 160 piece Chamartin Symphonic Orchestra and the Talia Choir, performing suites specially orchestrated and specifically adapted for the two hour concert.

The final program is as follows:

1. Chicken Run
2. Antz
3. Spy Game
4. The Tigger Movie
5. Kingdom of Heaven
6. Sinbad: Legend of The Seven Seas
7. The Magic of Marciano
8. Shrek / Shrek 2
9. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
10. Bridget Jones 2: The Edge of Reason
11. Encore
12. Encore

For more information, visit the SONCINEMAD website.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Argue more with OST nuts

The internet has brought together the world's soundtrack nerds. Nowhere is this more in evidence (the nerd part... Okay, I'm just kidding) than the various discussion lists and msg. boards that enthusiasts post to every day. If you're curious, have ill-informed opinions, and don't play nice with others, there might just be a home for you at one of the four following sites... - A quick, concise msg board that has a band of polite regulars and a few hellraisers too. The discussion centers around current film music, but there are a few gray-hairs around to keep the discussion diverse.

Film Score Montly - Perhaps the busiest of the bunch, this is a good place to start if you think Jerry Goldsmith's score for S*P*Y*S wasn't completely embarassing. Beware, if you post a new topic that was previously discussed in 1998, someone will sternly remind you and post a link to that old topic. So before you post it's important to search the board for "Gladiator, sucks, Hans Zimmer, devil" just in case someone beat you to the punch.

Movie Music UK - I like this board a lot because it's run by the level-headed chap Jon Broxton. So far the board remains almost virginal without the loathesome presence of know-it-alls and jerks. The discussion here is almost always positive stuff, which is a nice break form digesting internet ugliness all day.

Intrada - The record label Intrada's msg. board is the newest of the bunch and is slowly picking up steam. Lable honcho Douglass Fake visits here so it's a great way to connect with him and ask questions about their latest releases and to beg them to release that old MCA or Warner Bros. title that will never see the light of day. The first thing you must do is post how much you'd like to see Gremlins and Back To The Future released. Then tell them that if it was you'd "buy a copy for sure!".

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Soundtrack free

Today is Soundtrack Free day. It's the day I celebrate other music. Let me, a film music nut, elighten you about a handful of non-OST albums that I own that you may (or probably won't) like. If you're still reading this, congratulations, I love you.

Leaving Through The Window, Something Corporate
This power-punk-pop group from SoCal's 2002 album sounds as good today as it did back '02. Lead singer/songwriter Andrew McMahon pounds away at the piano as the e-guitar spins gorgeous melodies. Complete with strings arranged and conducted by film composer Paul Buckmaster, this is a sweet, emotional album ("Cavanaugh Park", "Not What It Seems") that will have you lonely nerds pining for a cute young woman. Click through to for sound samples if you dare.

Everything In Transit, Jack's Mannequin
Something Corporate's frontman McMahon's side project, this '05 disc is "Leaving" pushed up a few notches and even more gorgeous. "The Mixed Tape" is the album's first major single and has even appeared on the WB's One Tree Hill... Ah, I found it, a tenuous soundtrack connection! Check out samples of "Dark Blue" and "Miss Delaney" at

If these are a little soft for your hardcore types, you might like Hawthorne Heights' If Only You Were Lonely and My Chemical Romance's Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge. Or not.

Just remember, unlike our beloved film music, you can actually play this stuff in your car with the windows down.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Scoring vids part three

The third entry into my fascinating collection of composer DVD features. Fascinatingly fastinating! This time it's Brian Tyler discussing his headline-grabbing score for Timeline. Folks still medicated from the stress of Jerry Goldsmith's replacement on the film best skip this one.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Circus of The Stars

Dan Goldwasser at SoundtrackNet continues his coverage of Michael Giacchino's Mission: Impossible 3 (like Entertainment Tonight's monopolistic coverage of cooking impresario Rachel Ray). A new photo essay from the sessions has been added to the site. Sessions that seemed like Circus of The Stars, with tours by Elektra and that best friend who had a wedding... Go to SoundtrackNet to find out what the hell I'm talking about.

And hey, if you haven't noticed, there are two new reviews added to the site: Kevin Kiner's Madison and Lost In Space (music original series) by John Williams and Co.

My interview with James Dooley, re: When A Stranger Calls is also on the site. As a bonus you can preview three clips from the Stranger score while you read the interview (Update: disc is due from Lakeshore Records at movie's DVD release). So I'm desperately trying to get you to read that damned interview. Read carefully, one lucky winner will also find a hunk of gold the size of Harvey Weinstein's fist.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Giacchino's position is possible to podcast

I have no idea what that headline means, but I feel it's necessary to work in as much alliteration into the website as possible. Anyways...

In case you missed it, Michael Giacchino's remote podcast from the Mission: Impossible 3 recording sessions is now available to download at SoundtrackNet. There's also one there from a recent Poseidon session, though you may want to wait until the podcast from the replacement score sessions is online...

Although he does not link to Cinemusic (I'm learning to get over these snubs), Richard Band's website seems to have been updated and expanded. In addition to audio there is a collection of videoclips from the film's he has scored. This may be the only way you'll ever see footage from classics like Prehysteria!, while it's probably best that you avoid watching the clips from Troll.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Zimpsons?

Crazy-ass scoring assignment of the year: Hans Zimmer handling the big-screen The Simpsons. Apparently FOX has passed over series workhorse Alf Clausen, and signed up The Zim. While it may not move the filmmakers to reconsider their choice, a fan petition has started to raise some hell.

Scoremagacine has a new interview with composer John Scott on their website.

Grab a big bowl of cherries, because John Williams' The Witches of Eastwick score is back in print and available at Collector's Choice Music. Long out-of-print and overpriced on eBay, anyone who has recently plunked down big bucks for Witches has to be burning right now.

Daniel Schweiger talks with former Tangerine Dream-er Paul Haslinger for his podcast On The Score at Film Music Radio.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Vidgames: Schyman goes 'Spectrum'

Film, television and video game composer Garry Schyman has recently written the original score for the upcoming vidgame Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers, developed by Pandemic Studios. Blending Middle Eastern instrumentation with additional orchestral sounds, Schyman recorded with Arabic instrumentalists and vocalists in Los Angeles.

David Rovin, Audio Director at Pandemic Studios, says, “Our vision for the music on FSW2 was a subtle mix of western military themes and middle-eastern timbres. Garry understood immediately what we were shooting for, and he nailed it. In some pieces he leaned more on the traditional orchestral ideas, weaving in subtle ethnic sounds. In others he let the Arabic instrumentalists and vocalists create the dominant atmosphere.”

Schyman's previous vidgame credits include Destroy All Humans!, also developed by Pandemic Studios. Schyman's Destroy All Humans! score was recently nominated by the Game Audio Network Guild for "Music of the Year 2005," "Best Live Performance Recording" and "Best Original Instrumental" - Destroy All Humans! Main Title. The G.A.N.G. Awards are voted on by the leading composers, musicians and audio directors in the video games industry. Winners are announced on Thursday, March 23, 2006 in San Jose, California during the Game Developers Conference. More information available at

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

La-La (ice) picks up 'Basic' sequel

La-La Land Records has announced it will release (on 4/6) John Murphy's score for Basic Instinct 2, containing the theme from Jerry Goldsmith's Oscar-nominated score for the original. John Murphy produced the album with Ford Thaxton, which is probably why Thaxton predictably popped his suspenders when I questioned the inspiration of a previous John Murphy score on Film Score Monthly's message board. Sometimes you just can't help making waves!

Also on April 6th, La-La Land is set to release Joseph LoDuca's The Triangle, music from the Sci-Fi Channel miniseries. Later in April the long-awaited release of Brian Tyler's The Big Empty arrives, as does a limited edition of Jerry Goldsmith's Breakheart Pass, remastered from the original mono master tapes. Hey, no one can accuse these guys of being lazy.

For soundclips, more info, and to spend your money, visit

Monday, March 20, 2006

B- for 'V'

After too much bad food, a friend and I caught an evening show of V For Vendetta, the Wachowski's return to cinema since one of them became a woman. The film is directed by James McTiegue, with cinematography by the late Adrian Biddle (I did not know he had died until I saw the dedication at the end of the film. Biddle was a great cinematographer.)

The music by Dario Marianelli, who contributes the film's strongest asset: heavy, involved, and loud film music the likes of which I have not heard in a long time. This is the kind of score that is mixed so loud, and so obvious that it almost seems completely wrong -- but it's not. It works, unlike the film, with a story that makes too many diversions (a third act flashback/story about a woman and her lover is just one thread that takes us away from the main characters) to keep moving forward.

I walked into V For Vendetta fairly unaware of it's politics. The filmmaker's criticism of a bombastic government hellbent on controlling it's citizens with the media and fear makes eerie, and obvious, parallels with the current government running the United States (and skewers TV news blowhard Bill O'Reilly and FOX News with it's satirical BTN channel, a network that regurgitates government policy and press statements as fact... Hmn...). The message being that it's worse to be secure and submissive than it is to live with freedom, passion and as individuals is one that will surely be lost on the droves of action junkies heading to V for some early Spring blockbuster madness. These folks will be greatly disappointed, as the film is extremely talky and aspires to float these lofty themes packaged with slick and fleeting violence.

Marianelli's score is due in stores Tuesday from Astralwerks.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Get Gertz / Broughton's 'Tombstone'

From Monstrous Movie Music:
Win a free copy of Monstrous Movie Music's acclaimed Creature From The Black Lagoon CD, autographed by composer Irving Gertz. This item has never been offered for sale before!
More details:

Intrada Announces 'Tombstone' 2-disc'r:
For this special 2-CD release of Tombstone, Intrada presents the complete score on disc one, digitally remastered and including Jerry Goldsmith's music for the Cinergi logo. This logo was composed to debut with Tombstone's theatrical release and was conducted by Broughton at the Tombstone sessions. Disc 2 -- included as a bonus -- includes alternate cues and extended source cues heard in the film.
More details:

Scoring vids part two

Here's another behind-the-score video. Elliot Goldenthal talks about his music for Batman Forever. In 1995 the filmmusic world was introduced to a new Batman sound. Danny Elfman fans screamed for blood, while Goldenthal's over-the-top musical theatrics made lovers of soothing melody cringe. Not included in this video is Joel Schumacher's apology for Batman and Robin, the fiasco flop follow-up to Forever. That comes on the final DVD of Warner's Batman set released last fall. Enjoy...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

HSO Debuts May 18th

I received the following release this evening. I didn't reprint it whole-hog. Sadly it's another film music concert that seemingly bolsters itself with classical music and speaking parts. The Hollywood Symphony Orchestra and it's mission are commendable, but the program may induce some head-scratching. Here are the details...

The Hollywood Symphony Orchestra, dedicated to symphonic film music, led by composer/conductor John Scott, will debut in concert May 18th at 8 PM, Royce Hall, UCLA.

The program will feature works by Karas, Jarre, Mahler, Mozart, Steiner, Strauss, Vaughan Williams, Victor Young and John Scott.

John Scott leads an 80-member orchestra with a 40-voice choir through "compositions for the silver screen as well as timeless classical pieces utilized in film scores, from 2001: A Space Odyssey to Death in Venice." The concert will finish with a new symphonic suite adapted from Scott’s score for Antony and Cleopatra with "special performers reciting excerpts of Shakespeare’s immortal dialogue".

Further program details can be found at UCLA Live and the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra website.

Monday, March 13, 2006

David Arnold is 'Stoned'

Milan Records has announced they will release the soundtrack to Stoned, comprised mainly of period tunes and four tracks from David Arnold's score.

Stoned charts the sex, drugs and rock n' roll life and death of Rolling Stones member Brian Jones. Milan describes Arnold's score as "a portal for a modern audience to look back to a world that no longer exists. He created a score both sinister and melodic to mirror and contrast the narrative and character development." Meaning this is more Baby Boy/Four Brothers than Stargate/Independence Day.

The disc is currently available on Amazon as a import, with the release date set for May 28th.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Indie label releases

News from Percepto Records:
"Coming in March and April, Percepto offers up a double dose of soundtracks from two of our favorite composers. The first is a rip-roaring predecessor to Jurassic Park, followed by a rousing six-gun shoot ‘em up for 1960s western buffs.

And in the months ahead, we're prepping not one, but TWO mammoth boxed sets spanning the careers of two of the sci-fi/horror/fantasy genre's most distinquished composers, followed by the deluxe presentation of the very first motion picture score from a multi-nominated Oscar winning composer!"
Digital downloading was a major breakthrough for the distribution of film music. MovieScore Media is a new label from Mikael Carlsson, of Music From The Movies fame. His first release, Peter Calandra's jazzy score for the basketball drama Unknown Soldier is currently available on Apple's iTunes store. Up next, and also set for release on iTunes is Shadows In The Sun, a traditional symphonic score by Mark Thomas (Doogal, Agent Cody Banks 2). Fans of Chris Beck's Under The Tuscan Sun will enjoy Thomas' light and looped score.

Looking for that obscure funky score album from that crap-ass Italian zombie picture? Try Hexacord America. How good are these guys? Well, if you're searching for Fabio Frizzi's breezy but hypnotic score for City of The Living Dead, you'll find it at Hexacord America.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

'V For Vendetta' ost details

The official website for V For Vendetta is now previewing Dario Marianelli's score for the upcoming film. The soundtrack album - 13 tracks, 10 of them Marianelli's score) will be released by Astralwerks on March 21st (available for pre-order at Go straight to those soundclips from the album already.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Scoring vids part one

Enjoy this video, a featurette on Danny Elfman's score for Batman Returns, I've uploaded to Please be patient while it loads. (Runtime: approximately 12 minutes).

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The 'Affair' ends

To the suprise of no one, Varese Sarabande's 1,000 copy issue of Georges Delerue's An Almost Perfect Affair sold out in about 12 hours.  An almost perfect affair, and an incredibly short one.  Also recently selling out was Victor Young's The Left Hand of God (from the previously announced batch of titles).


Roger Hall at Film Music Review has published his annual Sammy Awards, highlighting the best of film music of 2005.  See who won, but not necessarily what they wore, here.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Varese finally calls 'Ghostbusters'

Varese Sarabande announced their new club titles today at 12:00AM PST. The titles slowly rolled onto the site. And they are:

Ghostbusters - Elmer Bernstein / 3,000 copies
Rookie of The Year - Bill Conti / 1500 copies
Return To Peyton Place - Franz Waxman / 2,000 copies
An Almost Perfect Affair - Georges Delerue 1,000 copies

For more info visit Varese's website.

Academy sez 'Brokeback' score is "Fabulous!!"

Gustavo Santaolalla's sparse, guitar-driven score for Brokeback Mountain topped major efforts from John Williams and others to win the "Best Original Score" at last night's Academy Awards.

Long considered the favorite by pundits, Santaolalla's score benefited from the hype around the film.

The real music story of the night was the infuriating muzak burbling behind winner's acceptance speeches. The producers of the show have made some notoriously bad decisions in the past, on average injecting one bad idea into the show each year. Anyone Glenn Close and Peter Coyote wearing headsets and sitting back stage, feeding us facts and figures? Or how about winners -- in what the Academy considered less desirable categories -- accepting their awards in their seats? The idea of underscoring these speeches with bottom-barrel drivel has to top all of these past blunders.

Sadly, the music in the plentiful montages was also dull. I apologize to all of the Golden-agers out there (as that's where most of last night's music was sourced from), but no "Death Montage" has been as touching as when Mark McKenzie's overture from Dr. Jeckyl and Mrs. Hyde was used for the 1997 awards.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

'16 Blocks': Badelt works corner

I swear there is a payoff for fans of both Bruce Willis and director Richard Donner. And it is called 16 Blocks, Donner's first film since the cinematic debacle known as Timeline.

Donner is a talented filmmaker. His films are often loud and confusing, like life. He hasn't always hit one-hundred, but his highlights are shining examples of numerous genres. Action: Lethal Weapon, fantasy: Superman, comedy: Scrooged. Yes, Scrooged!

Thanks to foreign financing, Klaus Badelt landed the gig of scoring 16 Blocks, an at times tightly wound thriller that pits Willis' ambiguously good NYC cop versus his precinct buddies out to "quash" a witness set to testify about their corrupt operations.

16 Blocks deserves better then the stock stack of plickity crackles and pops that Badelt gives it. Foot chases are all scored precisely in the same manner: an incessant loop of percussion. There is no personality to this score. Even when the film takes a serious, dramatic turn, Badelt dials in his oppressive K-19 bombast and makes the whole thing devoid of heart and pathos.

You think a movie with tension, street chases, and a barrage of bullets fired would provide a diverse score. A tried-but-true blue-sy theme for Willis' drunken, beat-down detective. A bustling, Gershwin juiced action motif for the sprawling streets of summer-time New York. Well, we get none of those things. Instead, 16 Blocks is seemingly scored by that fantastic new plug-in called "Hit the percussion button, open a bottle of wine, see you at the final mix".

Friday, March 03, 2006

Composer mad bills

What do composers get paid? That's been a topic of conversation as old as the internet (and we all know there was nothing before the internet).

Well, "thanks" (I am sure Disney isn't so happy) to the muckrackers at The Smoking Gun, you too can go behind-the-scenes of film budgeting. TSG has posted the budget for M. Night Schymalan's disastrous The Village in an "effort" to educate the public. What intrigued me was the budget for music. James Newton Howard wrote the terrific score, and was eventually nominated for an Oscar. What did James bank for his efforts? According to the budget posted at TSG, a cool $1.3 million. Worth every penny!

This should indicate the going price for today's top composers: Williams, Horner, Elfman and Zimmer must surely be in this price range. Particularly when they sign on to score projects for frequent collaborators like Howard does with Schymalan. The added bonus of having the director in your corner must surely help nudge up your asking price.

Check it out: music budget from The Village, at

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Prepare to get 'Lost'

Varese has posted the tracklist for their upcoming soundtrack album from the television series Lost with music by Michael Giacchino. The CD is due March 21st in stores and on iTunes.

1. Main Title (Composed by J.J. Abrams) (:16)
2. The Eyeland (1:58)
3. World’s Worst Beach Party (2:44)
4. Credit Where Credit Is Due (2:23)
5. Run Like, Um... Hell? (2:21)
6. Hollywood and Vines (1:52)
7. Just Die Already (1:51)
8. Me And My Big Mouth (1:06)
9. Crocodile Locke (1:49)
10. Win One for the Reaper (2:38)
11. Departing Sun (2:42)
12. Charlie Hangs Around (3:17)
13. Navel Gazing (3:24)
14. Proper Motivation (2:00)
15. Run Away! Run Away! (:30)
16. We’re Friends (1:32)
17. Getting Ethan (1:35)
18. Thinking Clairely (1:04)
19. Locke’d Out Again (3:30)
20. Life and Death (3:39)
21. Booneral (1:38)
22. Shannonigans (2:25)
23. Kate’s Motel (2:07)
24. I’ve Got A Plane To Catch (2:37)
25. Monsters Are Such Innnteresting People (1:29)
26. Parting Words (5:30)
27. Oceanic 815 (6:11)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Song to 'Crash' and burn?

Hmn, had the Academy nominated something from Corpse Bride this wouldn't be happening... According to Movie City News:
"The Oscar nominated song from Crash is in another undistributed film called The Civilization Of Matthew Bright.... Sources tell MCN that the Academy is now investigating and considering disqualification, though it is unclear whether any Academy rule has been broken."
Update from Movie City News (4:33 PM PST)...
"The Academy has confirmed its ruling that Crash's Original Song nominee, "In The Deep," is not in any way at issue and is qualified for its nomination and win, if it so happens on Sunday."

Once you go 'Black'...

Samples from Chris Tilton's score for the gun-crazy vidgame Black are now on his website. The score features a theme by Michael Giacchino and Tilton. EA Games will make the album available for download on iTunes next week.