News Archive... AKA The Old Blog

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Shirley Walker, 1945-2006

Shirley Walker, composer, conductor has died. She was 61.

This is truly sad news. And very personal for me. Many years ago I had the pleasure of talking with Shirley, and creating a website for her dedicated to her film music. Since then she made maintaining the site a pure pleasure. She was generous, supportive and thrilled that she had fans of her music - and they were many.

Shirley was a pioneer, but she was also an underdog. Her magnificent talents were often suggested by dreaming fans for every blockbuster assignment. Her music often proved more memorable than the films they were written for, a testament to her abilities and her enthusiasm for the art of film scoring.

I wish I could write more, but I am still shocked by this news. Shirley, I will miss you. My efforts on your website will never equal the memories and emotions you have given me both as a person, and through your music.

Ryan Keaveney

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Vidgames: 'Untold Legend'

Four-time Emmy award-winning composer Laura Karpman (EverQuest® II, Steven Spielberg’s TAKEN) has written the original music for Untold Legends Dark Kingdom, the action-RPG launch title for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system. The fantasy score was recorded in Prague with the FILMharmonic Orchestra and Choir, with Karpman conducting. The lyrics sung by the choir were adapted by Karpman from portions of the medieval poetry text “William Wallace” in Middle Scots - the literary source for the legend of “Braveheart” - and woven into the score to complement the game’s intriguing narrative and dramatic storyline.

Glenn Stafford, Audio Director for Untold Legends Dark Kingdom at Sony Online Entertainment, said, “The score for Untold Legends Dark Kingdom was beautifully composed and recorded, including a full live orchestra and choir. The recording is exceptionally high quality and was recorded in one of the most acoustically perfect concert halls in the world - the Rudolphinum in Prague, Czech Republic. The music enhances and highlights the dynamic and changing moods throughout the course of this intense action/adventure RPG game, and is wonderful to listen to on its own as well.”

After writing music for Sony’s smash hit Everquest II, Karpman went on to become the resident orchestral composer of Sony Online Entertainment. In 2005 she received a Game Audio Network (G.A.N.G.) award for her video game music, which has been performed by orchestras internationally. For more information visit:

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tuesday 11/21: New Releases

It's new release Tuesday! Now available: Harry Gregson-Williams' broiling electronic Deja Vu (Hollywood Records / on iTunes)... Lakeshore Records has a handful of new titles: Various artists comprise Deck The Halls (with "Silent Night" performed by... The Deck The Halls Holiday Orchestra)... Michael Suby's chiller The Zodiac (no not the David Fincher movie Zodiac), and Home of The Brave by Stephen Endelman. Also released: Clint Mansell's The Fountain featuring Kronos Quartet and Mogwai (Nonesuch).

Each week, AOL Music streams new soundtrack albums, sometimes before they hit stores, as a "CD Listening Party". This week they've spotlighted Fast Food Nation (Various) and Babel (Gustavo Santaolalla, various).

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

"Welcome to my life" - HGW

Excerpt from: "Blow it Up and Do It All Over Again"
Published in the New York Times, November 13, 2006
By Laura M. Holson
In October, ago Mr. Bruckheimer attended a music meeting for “Déjà Vu” at a studio in Venice. The meeting was to begin at 4 p.m., but he and Mr. Scott were late. The producer had spent the morning at a screening of “Déjà Vu” and, midday, had been whisked to the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood, where he introduced Mr. Scott to an eager crowd of Disney movie executives who had gathered for their annual meeting. (Later that night he attended a charity event honoring Mr. Iger.)

Mr. Scott and Mr. Bruckheimer were to review music composed by Harry Gregson-Williams for several movie scenes. Mr. Bruckheimer tends to work with the same people; this was his fifth movie with the composer. Mr. Scott, dressed in a sweatshirt and shorts, sat in a chair and tapped his foot nervously, while Mr. Gregson-Williams fiddled with a few keys on a monitor to bring up the scenes on a large screen. Mr. Bruckheimer, prone to long silences, sat quietly on the couch.

The composer showed a car chase where Mr. Washington followed a killer to a hideout. The music was loud and unrelenting. "It would help us if we had a melody, maybe his melody," said Mr. Bruckheimer, referring to a leitmotif that signaled when Mr. Washington’s character was onscreen. “You zone out. You need something over it that distracts you.”

The exchanges were polite — Mr. Bruckheimer rarely spoke above a loud whisper — but Mr. Gregson-Williams seemed unnerved.

For another scene, Mr. Gregson-Williams had created a haunting melody, but left out the last notes. "You didn’t finish it and if you did, I’d be happy,” Mr. Bruckheimer said.

“All right," said Mr. Gregson-Williams, dejected. "I’ll have another go at that."

As Mr. Bruckheimer and the crew were leaving, the composer turned to a guest and smiled meekly. “Welcome to my life,” he said.

Mr. Bruckheimer said afterward it was up to him to remind the composer of the audience. “I know what I felt it should be, and when he got it there, he loved it,” he said. “You don’t just not do it.”

Monday, November 13, 2006

Quote of the Day: Jack Black

"I loved Lord of the Rings, but I think Peter Jackson fumbled the ball a little bit there because he had so much good fuckin' Led Zeppelin and he decided to go with the Howard Shore classical music. Which I'm sure JRR Tolkien would have approved of, but I wanted the rock! That's a fuckin' movie I'd like to see - Led Zeppelin's Lord of the Rings." - Jack Black (via

Friday, November 10, 2006

Elfman's 'Charlotte's Web' on the web

Sony/BMG has samples from every track of their upcoming (December 5th) release of Danny Elfman's Charlotte's Web. Listen to them here.

Also... In select theatres today is Night of The Living Dead 3D, with music by composer Jason Brandt. Lakeshore Records released the NOTLD 3D score album on iTunes and in stores on October 31st.

There will be a CD signing for Night of The Living Dead 3D at Dark Delicacies in Burbank on November 11, 2006 at 2pm. Night of The Living Dead 3D director Jeff Broadstreet & Jeff Brandt will be there to sign CDs & mini posters. More info at Dark Delicacies.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Basil Poledouris has passed away

Basil Poledouris, popular and prolific film composer, has died. News of his passing has first appeared at Film Score Monthly's message board, via publisher Lukas Kendall.

Basil was 61. He penned some of the most enduring film scores of modern times, including Conan The Barbarian, Flesh and Blood, Farewell To The King, Robocop and The Hunt For Red October among many others.

Messages for his family can be left on his official website.

Update (11/09/06), from Yahoo! - "Emmy-winning composer Basil Poledouris, best known for his powerful music for action-adventure films of the 1980s and '90s, died of cancer in Los Angeles on Wednesday, a spokeswoman said. He was 61.

Poledouris worked on the scores for the early Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicles "Conan the Barbarian" (1982) and "Conan the Destroyer" (1984), and his orchestral-and-choral compositions came to be considered high points in the genre of music for fantasy films.

His other feature credits included "The Blue Lagoon" (1980), "Robocop" (1987), "The Hunt for Red October" (1990), and "Free Willy" (1993). He won an Emmy in 1989 for his folk-based Western score for the miniseries "Lonesome Dove."

The Kansas City, Mo., native is survived by his mother and two daughters. No services are planned."

Monday, November 06, 2006

New Varese club titles announced

Varese has announced their latest club titles. And they are:

Birdman Of Alcatraz, Music by Elmer Bernstein
Limited Edition of 3000 copies

Runaway: The Deluxe Edition, Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Limited Edition of 2000 copies

Lucas, Music by Dave Grusin
Limited Edition of 2000 copies

Seven Cities Of Gold / The Rains Of Ranchipur, Music by Hugo Friedhofer
Limited Edition of 1000 copies

Careful, He Might Hear You
, Music by Ray Cook
Limited Edition of 1000 copies

For soundclips and to order visit

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Intrada brings Broughton's 'Eloise' home for 'Christmastime'

Intrada Announces:

Eloise at The Plaza / Elouise at Christmastime
Music by Bruce Broughton
Intrada Signature Edition ISE1009

Eloise is a precocious six-year-old girl who lives at the New York Plaza Hotel. She roams its halls day in and out in search of adventure. In 2002 and 2004 Handmade Films brought ELOISE to the small screen in two live action adventures: Eloise at The Plaza and Eloise at Christmastime. Both were directed by Kevin Lima, who had graduated from such animated fare as Disney's The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Tarzan (which he co-directed). Actress Sofia Vassileva (Medium) brings the energy, sass, and shrewdness of the beloved children's book character to life in both sparkling adventures at the Plaza Hotel. Julie Andrews plays Nanny, a tolerant, motherlike figure to Eloise's who still appreciates her young charge's exuberance.

Composer Bruce Broughton and Lima were on the same page with regards to the musical approach -- the movies' quirky energy and frenetic pace called for high-energy music -- much like a cartoon score. In Eloise at The Plaza, Broughton graces the score with 1950s New York sophistication. He took two approaches to the score: the hotel, city, and romantic scenes are underscored by full orchestra, while the music associated with Eloise is performed by a playful nine-piece ensemble. The score for Eloise at Christmastime takes on even larger orchestral proportions. For a festive holiday feel, Broughton weaves elements of "The Nutcracker" into the score, going so far as to Nutcracker-ize some of his own themes. The end result are two effervescent, fun-filled scores...the closest thing to capturing a rambunctious childhood musically on CD.

Intrada presents both scores on this 2-CD set and is limited to 1200 copies.

For cover art, track listing, and sound samples, please visit