Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Friday, March 31, 2006

CD REVIEW - Force Ten From Navarone

Before I get to the pleasurable business of reviewing the above, I would just like to point you in the direction of two lengthy and excellent composer interviews that have just come to my attention. Firstly, check out the interview with John Scott at Then go to for an interview with David Shire.

Force Ten From Navarone
Music by Ron Goodwin
Film Score Monthly Vol. 9 No. 4
20 Tracks 50:58 mins

Film Score Monthly have done a wonderful job of preserving the late Ron Goodwin's
music for wartime adventures 633 Squadron, Where Eagles Dare, Operation
Crossbow and Submarine-X1. The film of Force Ten From Navarone, Alistair
MacLean's sequel novel, starring Robert Shaw, Edward Fox and a young Harrison
Ford, fresh from Star Wars triumphs, came along much later than the others, in1978,
but Goodwin's music is cut very much from the same cloth and features another very
memorable and recognisably Goodwinesque main theme, an heroic march, first heard over the "Main Title," and repeated in fragments and variations, some noble, some whimsical, throughout the body of the score, before receiving a marvellous extended treatment over the "End Credits."
In character with the other scores mentioned above, a good deal of his Navarone music is tense, suspenseful and filled with exciting bursts of action. "Take-Off" is a good example, and so is "You Did It," with its martial drumming; but the most exciting track is undoubtedly "Bridge Down," which ends the score triumphantly.
Along the way, there is something of a love theme, though this doesn't get a chance to
develop fully, as the character it supports comes to a tragic end.
A much overdue and fine addition to the Goodwin catalogue. The composer did conduct a generous amount of this music for a European-released CD collection some years back, but it's great to finally have the complete, original recording available.
As always, the CD comes with a colourful and informative booklet, featuring the invaluable cue-by-cue guide.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

CD REVIEWS - The Pink Panther and Madison

The Pink Panther
Score by Christophe Beck Theme by Henry Mancini
Varese Sarabande VSD-6723
22 Tracks 35:11 mins

Whatever the merits or otherwise of Steve Martin reviving Peter Sellers' classic comic creation, Inspector Clouseau for this remake of '60s comedy caper The Pink Panther, composer Christophe Beck has done a very creditable job of writing a score, which is largely based on Henry Mancini's famous original theme. Not only that, but I believe saxophonist Plas Johnson actually performed on the original and proves here he's still got what it takes.
The disc opens with Mancini's theme over the "Main Titles," which is briefly interrupted by a tango for the cartoon character's on-screen antics. Much of what follows is either sneaky or full-on action music, mostly of a suitably light-hearted nature, some with a nod towards the '60s sound, some of a modern techno-based nature. Whatever, it's all quite catchy and enjoyable, even if many of the cues are quite brief. The "End Titles" present Mancini's theme in an up-tempo, even more jazzy arrangement, with the album closing on a straightforward re-recording of the theme, allowing Johnson to shine.
It's amazing that the talented Beck has become somewhat typecast as a comedy composer after having started his career writing deadly serious music for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He undoubtedly knows his stuff, as evidenced here, but enough already, someone please give him a more serious challenge.

Score by Kevin Kiner Themes by Christopher Young
BSX Records BSXCD 885
22 Tracks 53:39 mins

Snap up a copy of this very limited edition release before they're all gone, as this is a fine score in the finest sporting traditions of Rudy, Hoosiers and the Coolangata Gold, to name just a few.
Apparently Christopher Young wrote the themes, with Kevin Kiner fashioning them into the score for this story of the small Indiana town of Madison's hosting of the 1971 Gold Cup hydroplane race. The music is performed by Nic Raine and the City of Prague Philharmonic, and is a mix of small-town Americana, featuring ethnic flute at times, giving the score a folksy feel, and heroic, fast-flowing action music. The main elements are brought together in the opening 7-minute title track, which is quite inspirational. Much of what follows is warm, sensitive and down homey until the time of "The Gold Cup" approaches when the score suddenly becomes filled with eager anticipation, and the final cues capably describe the exciting action on screen, leading to the triumphant "Victory," which brings the score to a close.
The accompanying booklet features notes from director William Bindley and from composer Kevin Kiner.
The same label has another limited release in Joseph Conlan's score for Finding Home. Visit their site at for details and for all your soundtrack requirements, as they are principally a retail outlet. Let's hope for more exciting releases on the BSX label.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

CD REVIEWS - Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School and Escape to Victory

Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School
Music score by Mark Adler
Milan M2-36160
19 Tracks (score element 6) 58:41 mins (score 18:50)

Randall Miller's star-studded film is about a widowed man's life being turned upside down when he goes on a quest to find a dying man's long lost love, at least that's how it is described in the publicity but, judging from the title of the film, the stills featured in the booklet and the nature of the soundtrack album, it seems a lot to do with dancing. And this is one of those frustrating albums. OK the dance tracks are a bit more my speed. After all, with familiar numbers like "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," Begin the Beguine" and "On the Sunny Side of the Street," one can't go far wrong, even if the performers are unfamiliar, save for the late, great Louis Armstrong. It's just that between these numbers are Mark Adler's score tracks. Now, I'm not overly familiar with the composer's music, but this is certainly the best that I have heard from his pen. It truly is a wonderfully emotional score, with a nice Irish lilt and some sensitive piano and violin playing, as well as gorgeous massed string work. It's just such a pity that a) there's not more of it, and b) that what there is has to struggle to be heard between the dance numbers. If only the score tracks had been grouped together, they would have made for a much more satisfying listening experience.
Still, this is undeniably quality film scoring and I shall certainly be seeking out this film, firstly for the music and, secondly for its brilliant cast, which includes Robert Carlyle, Marisa Tomei, John Goodman and Mary Steenburgen.

Escape to Victory
Music by Bill Conti
Prometheus PCR 520 (Belgium)
14 Tracks 42:57 mins

Bill Conti is one of the most underrated of Hollywood composers, with so little of his great music being available on CD. Thanks goodness that at last this oversight is being recognised by at least a couple of labels. Firstly, Varese Sarabande, through their CD Club, have issued his scores for Broadcast News and a compilation of his music for The Rookie, Jimmy Reardon and Bushwhacked; and now Prometheus, whose releases have been sadly few of late, have issued one of his most sought-after scores for 1981's Escape to Victory, which starred Michael Caine, Sylvester Stallone and a host of then famous footballers including greats like Bobby Moore and Pele.
The film followed the fortunes of a team of POWs being paraded in Berlin against an elite German team during WWII, who determine to turn the tables and not only win the match but escape in the process. It's all complete hokum of course, but what a terrific score Conti gave it, with a thrilling march theme for the prisoners, a menacing but versatile theme for the Germans and plenty of fugue-like action along the way.
It's quite a short score though, and three of the cues presented here are actually alternate takes of some of the best moments.
The album is limited to 3000 copies, so you'd better hurry if you want one, as I'm sure they're selling like hotcakes.
Now come on, let's be having CD releases for The Right Stuff, That Championship Season, Bad Boys, A Prayer for the Dying, Private Benjamin, Gloria, The Terry Fox Story, North and South, The Fourth War, Spy Hard and all the Karate Kid films. All feature great music that deserves to be heard.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Jeremy Soule and the music of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire plus news of the 4th Annual G.A.N.G. Awards

Jeremy Soule and the music of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - The Videogame

Jeremy Soule's music for the videogame of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was recently named by Dan Goldwasser as one of the five best computer game soundtracks in his Best of 2005 feature at Soule's score is a marvellous mixture of spectacular, soaring orchestral/choral action and dark, menacing and suspenseful music, with just a touch of romance and a little light-heartedness thrown in. I say orchestral/choral, but apparently this very authentic sound is achieved electronically by way of the composer's wonderful library of samples and so true-to-life is the music that I defy anyone to tell the difference.
Soule also composed the scores for the other games based on previous Harry Potter cinematic adventures. His music for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was nominated by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, whilst his scores for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets both received BAFTA nominations, the latter going on to win the Award. His latest Harry Potter score draws upon themes composed for the previous games, but does not make use of John Williams or Patrick Doyle's film scores.
Other notable Jeremy Soule videogame scores include Icewind Dale, Total Annihilation and The Elder scrolls 3: Morrowind, and he is making inroads into TV scoring with his sensitive music for the recent BBC film Beyond Narnia: The Story of C.S. Lewis.
For more information on Jeremy Soule visit and check out the official website for the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire game at
My thanks to Jeremy Soule and to Adele Cutting.

And while on the subject of game music, reports that at the Game Audio Network Guild's 4th Annual G.A.N.G. Awards, God of War, with music by Winifred Phillips took home seven Awards, including Music of the Year. Jade Empire, Advent Rising and Call of Duty 2, whose music has been reviewed on this site, all took home an Award.

Monday, March 27, 2006

CD REVIEW - Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter

Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter
Music by Tom Salta
Ubisoft Promo
19 Tracks 25:39 mins

Having co-written the main theme for Ghost Recon 2, Tom Salta has now been given the opportunity of writing the score for this new entry in the popular Ubisoft videogame series, in which the Ghosts and their Special Forces allies attempt to save the U.S. President, recover stolen nuclear codes and eliminate a vicious band of renegade soldiers.
Salta combines live orchestra (the Northwest Sinfonia) with contemporary electronic sounds to provide an exciting accompaniment, beginning with the bold and heroic "Ghosts' Theme," which re-surfaces often in the action scoring that follows, like "Get to the Embassy, "Save the President" and "Get the Football," to name but a few.
Acoustic guitar can be heard in low-key moments like "Quiet" and "A President Mourns;" whilst the tragic "Can This Be Happening" features soprano and choir. There are also eerie and disturbing sounds in "The Abandoned Rail" and "Bad Dreams," but it is the action writing that stands out, as it should do in a game of this nature, and Salta's main theme closes the disc in "Let's Do This."
No news yet on an commercial release for the score, I'm afraid, but to hear a preview of the main theme, visit, and for more information on Tom Salta, go to
My thanks to Greg O'Connor-Read of Top Dollar PR for making this review possible.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

CD REVIEW - Carwithen: Orchestral Works & News from Costa Communications

Carwithen: Orchestral Works
Music by Doreen Carwithen
Chandos Classics CHAN 10365X
9 Tracks 57:35 mins

These recordings, made in 1996, are not of screen music, but rather "classical music" composed by a lady who wrote more than thirty film scores before leaving that field to devote herself to the man who was to become her husband, and another, more prolific, film composer, William Alwyn. Nevertheless, the music presented here I found quite cinematic and more pleasurable than much concert music I have been exposed to.
The disc opens with the overture ODTAA, which was written in 1945 and was suggested by John Masefield's novel. It opens furiously before turning tranquil, but then builds to a triumphant conclusion.
Next up is the centrepiece of the disc, 1948's Concerto for Piano and Strings, the first movement of which again features a furious opening, becoming quite rhapsodic, before a scherzo leads us into something of a nocturne before racing to it conclusion. The next moment is really quite dull by comparison with what has gone before, though it does have reach a passionate high in the middle. The piece's final movement opens broadly and features another fast mid-section before leading to a dramatic climax.
1952's Bishop Rock, a picture of the lighthouse that stands at the westernmost point of England, beautifully describes the sea at its most turbulent and peaceful.
The disc concludes with 1964's Suffolk Suite, written for the boys of Framlingham College to perform when royalty came to open their new concert hall. A fanfare opens its stately "Prelude; then "Oxford Ness" is described by a largely peaceful seascape. "Suffolk Morris" features a lively dance with a pastoral bridge, before a stirring march representing "Framlingham Castle" closes the piece.
All the music is performed here by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Richard Hickox and features Howard Shelley on piano. The booklet notes, in three languages, are provided by the Doreen Carwithen herself, who passed away in 2003.

From Costa Communications

March/April projects include "ATL," "Take the Lead," "Akeelah and the Bee"

(Los Angeles, CA) With three films due out in spring and several to be released throughout the year, Aaron Zigman is proving to be one of the busiest composers in Hollywood. His spring slate includes Warner Bros.'
"ATL," New Line's "Take the Lead" and Lions Gate's "Akeelah and the Bee."
Each score is distinct in its theme, purpose and instrumentation.

On March 31, Warner Bros. will release "ATL," the story of four teens coming of age in a working class Atlanta neighbourhood. Hip-hop music and roller-skating unify the group as they make tough life choices. Starring rapper TI and directed by music video director Chris Robinson, the film is loosely based on the life experiences of TLC's Tionne Watkins and hip-hop superproducer Dallas Austin. An urban score with beats and a Southern spiritual quality to the orchestra, the score fuses blues, electronic elements and pad imaging.

New Line releases "Take the Lead," starring Antonio Banderas and Alfre
Woodard, on April 7. Based on a true story, the film revolves around a professional dancer who volunteers to teach in a New York City public school. His classic method clashes with his students' hip-hop instincts, but he becomes their mentor when he helps them form a style of dance that incorporates ballroom style with street moves. Co-scored with hip hop producer and performer Swizz Beats, this hip hop score is mixed with tango and jazz to make it fresh, and features classical emotional moments.

On April 28, Lion's Gate will release "Akeelah and the Bee" starring Angela
Bassett and Laurence Fishburne. An inspirational drama told by writer/director Doug Atchison, the film tells the story of a precocious 11-year-old who defies her mother and enters several spelling contests. Tutored by her principal and some supportive adults in her community, she competes for a spot in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. In a hybrid score, Zigman mixes traditional orchestration with melody and themes with electronic beats and organic dulcimer to create a variety of cues. Zigman also arranged strings for the song "Definition of Love," produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis for the soundtrack.

Zigman made a name for himself producing and arranging for artists such as
Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Patti LaBelle, Nona Gaye, the Pointer Sisters and Christina Aguilera. Known for his command of rhythm and different styles, he developed his knack for melody into his current scoring career. His foray into feature film composing began when director Nick Cassavetes, who was familiar with Zigman's pop background and his orchestral works, offered him the opportunity to score "John Q," starring Denzel Washington. The two collaborated again shortly after on the critically acclaimed romantic film "The Notebook," starring Gena Rowlands and James Garner, based on the Nicholas Sparks novel. Their most recent teaming, Sundance crowd pleaser "Alpha Dog," will be released later this year.

Among his other upcoming film releases are "The Wendell Baker Story," the directorial debut of Andrew Wilson and Luke Wilson, starring their brother
Owen Wilson, Eva Mendes and Eddie Griffin, "Flicka" with Alison Lohman and
Tim McGraw and "10th & Wolf" with Giovanni Ribisi, James Marsden and Dennis

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Music of Tuomas Kantelinen

Tuomas Kantelinen hails from Finland, where he has written music for more than 30 films, theatre and the concert hall. He has won the Finnish Jussi Award for Best Film Score twice, with two other nominations and among his recent screen assignments, Mother of Mine, which premiered at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival, was Finland's nominee for the Foreign Language Film Academy Award. I am always eager to sample the work of a composer new to me and am indebted to Tuomas for allowing me to check out three of his recent scores, starting with the aforesaid Mother of Mine.

Mother of Mine
Music by Tuomas Kantelinen
Miracle Records MIR-101
22 Tracks 38:23 mins

Klaus Haro's film follows the fortunes of a 9-year-old boy, who was just one of 70,000 Finnish children evacuated to neutral Sweden during World War II and receives a rich, lush-stringed score from Tuomas Kantelinen, which explores the full range of emotions that such a story holds. There are moments of warmth, sadness, passion, tragedy, tension and nostalgia; all beautifully played by the London orchestra, with telling contributions from the veteran Maurice Murphy on trumpet, David Theodore on English Horn and the composer and Simon Chamberlain on piano.
A wonderful introduction to the music of Tuomas Kantelinen.

Music by Tuomas Kantelinen
28 tracks 54:50 mins

The composer shows his versatility with his largely dark and suspenseful score for Renny Harlin's thriller. In truth, this is one of those scores that is hard to appreciate away from the images it supports, owing to its darkness and appreciable lack of melody. It all starts off well enough though, with some exciting, fateful and powerful action writing, featuring electric guitar prominently, but unfortunately this element suddenly disappears from the mix, as the score descends into darkness, with just a few bursts of action and the odd moment of calm before the triumphant final cue ends the score on a more satisfying note.
Not the most comfortable or enjoyable listen then, but I shall no doubt return to those exciting opening cues and hope to hear more of this kind of writing from Tuomas in future assignments.

Lupaus (Promise)
Music by Tuomas Kantaelinen
Miracle Records MIR-102
9 Tracks 21:29 mins

A very brief score for Ilka Vanne's film which follows the lives of three young Finnish women during World War II. Judging by the score, I am sure this must be a pretty downbeat affair, as the music is mostly solemn, with an air of tragedy throughout, featuring some heartrending string writing, and just a little hope and sentimentality peering through here and there.

My thanks again to Tuomas Kantelinen for allowing me to sample his recent screen work. Obviously Mother of Mine made the most favourable impression on me, but I did enjoy the early part of his score to Mindhunters and would certainly welcome the opportunity of hearing more of his future work.

Tuomas Kantelinen is represented by the Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency

Or visit for further information.

Friday, March 24, 2006

CD REVIEW - King Kong vs. Godzilla

King Kong vs. Godzilla
Music by Akira Ifukube
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1041
33 Tracks 69:58 mins

Serving as a timely tribute to the recently deceased Japanese composer, La-La Land Records have released the definitive version of Akira Ifukube's original score for this 1962 clash of the titans. The Godzilla films are beloved classics, and this one even more so for pitting the all-conquering beast against another beloved character, King Kong.
David Hirsch's essay and guide to the cues presented on the album, relate the complicated history of the film and its various versions, including the American release version, which abandoned much of Ifukube's score in favour of tracked in cues from other films, mainly by Universal monster scorer extraordinaire Hans J. Salter. None of that is present here though, nor any of the cues tracked in for various sequences from other parts of the original score. What we have is Ifukube's glorious music as originally conceived, plus the addition of a few source tracks not from his pen, a comical Japanese song, an easy listening jazz band number, and a familiar marching band track.
The score gets off to a tremendous start with Ifukube's powerful choral/orchestral "Main Title," but then we're plunged into a number of mysterioso/menacing cues, as well as some ethnic-styled music for the natives of "Faro Island," including some variations on the "Main Title" theme.
Of course when Godzilla finally makes his appearance, it's to his theme from the original Godzilla, also composed by Ifukube of course. Kong soon also makes his appearance to a menacing twisted-brass-lead theme, and these themes are later pitted against one another in their titanic clashes, with the composer complimenting these with relentless marching music.
The other major theme in the film, a rousing martial one, doesn't surface until near the end in "The Plan to Transport King Kong." This precedes a number of action cues that conclude the film, where the composer somewhat surprisingly supports his familiar orchestral material from before with sustained chords on the Hammond organ.
Two bonus cues conclude the album; a mono version of the "Main Title" with more prominent choir, and a strange a cappella version by Japanese group Bukimisha, whom we are informed performed at Ifukube's 90th birthday celebration.
La-La Land Records are doing a fine job of presenting Japanese film music for western audiences to enjoy, and there is of course a great deal of fine film music from that land still out there, not just for the monster movies. Let's hope this enterprising label continue to send some of it our way.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

CD REVIEW - Freedomland

Music by James Newton Howard
Varese Sarabande VSD-6717
13 Tracks 45:12 mins

After his excellent orchestral score for King Kong, composer James Newton Howard comes crashing down to Earth with his urban styled music for this Samuel L. Jackson thriller, which I know nothing about, but I believe the subject of racism is somewhere at its core.
Howard's music mixes electronics with orchestra, with prominent guitar by Mike Landau on some tracks to provide a largely threatening and downright menacing accompaniment, with the more action-oriented cues often rocky or beat-driven. Piano adds sadness and sensitivity where necessary, but it's hard to warm to this score, which nevertheless has a few hopeful moments, with the partially triumphant title track, "I'll Come See You" and the concluding "Little Angel." Being the standouts.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

CD REVIEW - Tsotsi plus three press releases

Various Artists
Milan M2-36156 (U.S.)
19 Tracks

The South African film Tsotsi has been receiving universal acclaim, not least from the Academy Award voters, who voted it Best Foreign Film.
It's musical score has also received it's fair share of attention, although I have to say that on the evidence of the soundtrack album, it is unlikely to appeal to soundtrack collectors, as there is very little of Paul Hepker and Mark Kilian's work in evidence here - only four, mainly brief tracks, all featuring haunting wordless vocals, sparsely accompanied by electronics and some percussion.
The majority of the album's tracks feature rapper Zola and his "crew." It's kind of a hip-hop sound, but different. There are some more tuneful numbers to be found, including more traditional African choral sounds, but, as I say, there is very little to interest the serious film score follower.
It's a shame, because it sounds like a film to see but if, like me, you spend your life seeking out new, but largely traditional film score experiences, time will dictate that you'll probably give it a miss.


Lakeshore releases "Date Movie" soundtrack March 7

David Kitay scores "Date Movie" for writers/directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. Starring Adam Campbell, Allyson Hannigan, Eddie Griffin, Fred Willard and Jennifer Coolidge, the film is a spoof of the hit romantic comedies of recent years. 20th Century Fox released the film in February, and Lakeshore Records released the accompanying soundtrack on March 7, which includes a version of the theme song to "The Price Is Right" performed by David Kitay. The "Date Movie" score was designed to operate on two levels. Although it sounds authentic to the familiar images of romance, it also conveys the humour of the spoof.

"Date Movie" is the latest in a series of hit comedies Kitay has done since early in his scoring career. After solidifying his reputation in the teen genre with hit movies like "Clueless," "Can't Hardly Wait," "Scary Movie,"
"Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle" and "Dude, Where's My Car?" Kitay kept his sense of humour and expanded into independent film. Two upcoming releases, "Art School Confidential" and "Darwin Awards," are the next examples of offbeat, interesting films Kitay has done for a variety of innovative directors. Showing remarkable innovation, his score for Finn Taylor's upcoming "Darwin Awards" is the world's first retrograde reverse score, wherein the music was performed backwards and digitally reversed to play forwards, so the notes sound reversed even though they are accurate.

Kitay has also completed scores for "Relative Strangers," starring Ron
Livingston, and John Cosgrove's comedy ensemble "Caffeine," both set for release this year.

Among other honours, David has received four prestigious BMI awards, several for his scores for the hit TV series Mad About You. In addition to scoring,
David has recently produced records for such artists as The Boxing Ghandis,
Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles) and David Baerwald.



Film and Television Composer Garry Schyman Provides Middle Eastern
Flavoured Score Performed by Hollywood A-list players and vocalists

Film, television and video game composer Garry Schyman ( has created the original score for the upcoming THQ Inc. (NASDAQ: THQI) video game Full Spectrum WarriorT: Ten Hammers, developed by Pandemic Studios. The score blends Middle Eastern instrumentation with additional orchestral sounds to deliver an authentic, immersive soundtrack that enhances the drama and emotional experience of the player's actions onscreen. To ensure the best live performances, Schyman recorded with Hollywood's leading Arabic instrumentalists and vocalists.

Sequel to the critically acclaimed squad-based real-time tactical combat game, Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers takes the brand's innovative and authentic military gaming experience to the next level with new features in every aspect of the game. Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers is scheduled to release for Xbox(r), PlayStation(r) 2 and Windows PC on March 22, 2006. For more information visit

David Rovin, Audio Director, Pandemic Studios, LLC, said, "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 video game soundtrack credits include THQ's smash hit Destroy All Humans!T developed by Pandemic Studios. Schyman's score for Destroy All Humans! has recently been 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. This nomination is considered, by many, to be the most prestigious of all music nominations because it is 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

About Pandemic Studios:
Pandemic Studios, LLC is a premier developer of entertainment for PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, and the PC. Over the last eight years, industry veterans Josh Resnick and Andrew Goldman have built the company into one of the largest independent developers in the world, with studios in Los Angeles, California and in Brisbane, Australia. Pandemic games have won numerous awards and have sold millions of copies worldwide. More information about Pandemic is available at

About THQ:
THQ Inc. (Nasdaq: THQI) is a leading worldwide developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software. The company develops its products for all popular game systems, personal computers and wireless devices. Headquartered in Los Angeles County, California, THQ sells product through its global network of offices located throughout North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. More information about THQ and its products may be found at and THQ, THQ Wireless, Destroy All Humans! and their respective logos are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of THQ Inc. For more information please visit

Pandemic(r) and the Pandemic logo(r) are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Pandemic Studios, LLC. All other trademarks, logos and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.




Sumthing Else Music Works, Inc., through its licensing relationship with Microsoft Game Studios, proudly presents Halo(r) 2: Original Soundtrack Volume Two. The highly anticipated Volume Two soundtrack will be released on April 25th to US retail outlets through Nile Rodgers' Sumthing Else Music Works label, the industry leader for licensing and distributing video game soundtracks.

The Halo 2: Original Soundtrack Volume Two CD features nearly 70 minutes of award-winning compositions by Bungie Studios' Audio Director Martin O'Donnell and his writing partner Michael Salvatori, the composers behind the best-selling Halo(r) 2: Original Soundtrack Volume One and Halo(r): Combat Evolved Original Soundtrack. The signature guitar sounds of revered rock guitarist Steve Vai also make an appearance, courtesy of Epic Records, and the album is produced by veteran music producer and Sumthing Else label founder Nile Rodgers.

Commenting on the back-story to the Volume Two soundtrack release, Martin O'Donnell said, "In the summer of 2004 Nile Rodgers and I decided that it would be a good idea to present the music of Halo 2 in two separate volumes. The first volume would contain all the music that was finished and mixed plus some 'inspired by' music from groups whose music was being used in the game."

Since the first Halo 2 soundtrack was assembled before the game actually shipped, it was always envisaged that the second volume would contain the rest of the game's music, some of which Martin O'Donnell was still composing and producing, and would be rearranged for maximum listening pleasure.

"The music in Halo 2 will play back a little differently each time someone plays the game," explains O'Donnell, "But on the soundtrack I have the opportunity to arrange the music in an album format. For Halo 2 Volume Two I decided to use a 'suite' structure that also corresponds to the chapters within the game. In a sense by listening to this soundtrack you will hear the musical representation on the story of Halo 2. Enjoy!"

Halo(r) 2 is the game that redefined first-person combat and multiplayer action for millions of gamers worldwide. In Halo 2, the saga continues as Master Chief - a genetically enhanced super-soldier - is the only thing standing between the relentless Covenant and the destruction of all humankind. For more information visit

About Bungie
Bungie Studios was founded in 1991 with two goals: to develop games that combine brilliant technology, beautiful art, intelligent stories and deep gameplay, and then sell enough of those games to achieve its real goal of total world domination. Over the past 10 years it has produced games such as the "Marathon Trilogy," the first two "Myth" games, and the "Halo" franchise, hailed as classics by critics and gamers around the world. Released in 2004, the award winning "Halo 2" for Xbox has achieved phenomenal success and has sold more than 7.3 million units worldwide. More information on Bungie can be found at

About Microsoft Game Studios
Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the Xbox(r) and Xbox 360T video game systems, the Windows(r) operating system and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse games for Windows (, including such franchises as "Age of Empires(r)," "Flight Simulator" and "Zoo Tycoon(r);" Xbox and Xbox 360 (, including such games as the upcoming "Gears of War" and franchises such as "Halo(r)," "Fable(r)," "Project Gotham Racing(r)" and "Forza MotorsportT"; and MSN(r) Games (, the official games channel for the MSN network and home to such hits as "Bejeweled" and "Hexic(r)."

About Xbox
Xbox ( Microsoft's future-generation video game system that delivers the most powerful games experiences ever. Xbox empowers game artists by giving them the technology to fulfil their creative visions as never before, creating games that blur the lines between fantasy and reality. Xbox is now available in North America, Japan, Europe and Australia.

About Nile Rodgers
Award winning record producer Nile Rodgers is one of the most prolific music producers in history. Nile's production accomplishments include such diverse artists as Diana Ross, Madonna, David Bowie, Duran Duran, The B-52's, David Lee Roth, Grace Jones, Mick Jagger and top selling game soundtracks such as Halo(r) 2 Volume One. Records produced by Nile Rodgers have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide. As a founding member of the perennial Rhythm & Blues dance band Chic, Nile co-wrote all of their big hits including "Le Freak" and "Good Times," as well as "We Are Family" for Sister Sledge. In addition to records, he has also scored or produced music for numerous films including "Coming to America," "Thelma and Louise," "The Flintstones," "Beverly Hills Cop" and "Rush Hour II," as well as a variety of television shows and commercials. Nile is a board member of several organizations including the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS).

About Sumthing Else Music Works, Inc.
Nile Rodgers started Sumthing Else Music Works (SEMW) as a nationwide record label and creative outlet for independent artists and unique musical projects. Through its affiliated company, Sumthing Distribution, SEMW prides itself on its ability to rapidly and effectively deliver to the marketplace many innovative products. In view of the successes of its previous game soundtrack releases, the company is now considered the leader in this newly emerging musical genre. Accordingly, SEMW has bolstered its commitment to enhancing gamers' overall experience by acquiring many new titles to complement its current catalogue of releases.

Microsoft, Bungie, Halo and Xbox are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries, and are used under license from Microsoft.

Sumthing Else Music Works and Sumthing Distribution logos are copyright of their respective companies. All other names of products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

John Frizzell's music for Stay Alive

Malcolm in the Middle's Frankie Muniz is growing up and as proof he stars in a new horror film from William Brent Bell, in which a group of teens stumble on a new video game called "Stay Alive" and, having played it, they find themselves murdered one by one in the same method as the character they played in the game.
On the back of his tunefully enjoyable score for The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio, John Frizzell returns to the kind of scoring he has undertaken in the past for films like Ghost Ship. In other words, this score couldn't be more different, being a chilling mix of orchestra and electronics, with plenty of cold, suspenseful music and action cues often featuring an accelerating electronic motif, occasionally alone, or accompanied by some determined and at times quite frantic string writing. The few moments of respite are largely whilst sad piano and subtle strings lament the passing of another cast member.
There's no word as yet on a commercial recording for this score and, to be honest, effective though it may be on film, it's a difficult one to warm to away from the images it supports.
My thanks to Costa Communications for giving me the opportunity of sampling this music.

Monday, March 20, 2006

CD REVIEW - The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments
Music by Randy Edelman
Varese Sarabande VSD-6714
24 Tracks 50:09 mins

Randy Edelman uses his usual combination of orchestra and electronics in his score for this Hallmark remake of the biblical classic, which actually works out fine, despite my initial trepidation, although I do think a solely orchestral approach would have been more suited and electronic brass just does not cut it in the couple or so powerful moments it is utilised.
Edelman's main theme is suitably weighty and noble and crops up tellingly throughout the score, before concluding the album in a solo piano treatment. "Desert Passage" is one of many good cues, starting out determined and becoming proud and triumphant; whilst "The Greatest Sorrow" is one of several to feature solemn string solos, which perhaps is somewhat clichéd for Jewish-themed stories, but is nonetheless effective. Cues like "The Burning Bush," where God is working his wonders are suitably mystical and a little menacing besides; and there is warmth in cues like "Becoming a Family;" and some exciting action in "Call to War at the Red Sea" and "Ascending the Heights." My favourite cue is "A Bond That Never breaks," beginning with a proud string solo before turning upbeat and orchestral.
This really is a first-effort from a composer who wouldn't perhaps be your first choice to compose the music for a production of this nature, but Edelman's gift for melody carries him through as usual.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

CD REVIEW- Firewall

Music by Alexandre Desplat
Varese Sarabande VSD-6717 (EU)
15 Tracks 52:14 mins

For the new Harrison Ford thriller, and carrying on his good work on Bruce Willis' Hostage, French composer Alexandre Desplat has again written some exciting action cues, none better than the opening title track, although "The Epi-Pen" and "The Fight" come close, and thank goodness he's finally left that irritating electronic pulse that so spoilt Syriana and Birth behind. In addition to the exciting action cues, there are a number of expectant, tense, and purposeful movers and some genuine moments of suspense. Adding some much needed lightness to the score is his "Family Theme," which is first carried by piano in that track, but receives a full-blown treatment for strings in the concluding "Together Again."
Desplat continues to make significant inroads into the Hollywood mainstream, whilst still able to write award-winning music for domestic product. I think it's safe to say that we will be hearing much more of the composer in the months and years to come.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

CD REVIEW - The World's Fastest Indian & yet more news via Intrada

The World's Fastest Indian
Music by J. Peter Robinson
Milan M2-36146
18 Tracks 44:38 mins

Roger Donaldson's filming of the story of New Zealander Burt Munro and his quest to set the land-speed world record on his rebuilt 1920 Indian motorcycle has received much critical praise, not least for its performance by Anthony Hopkins.
Donaldson's composer of choice is J. Peter Robinson, a name that might not easily come to mind, although he has been around the film and TV scene for many years, writing scores for all kinds of genres, including three Jackie Chan films; an entry in the Elm Street series; Eddie Murphy's Vampire in Brooklyn and the popular comedy Wayne's World. But Indian is probably his most high profile assignment yet and he has written an emotional score with the right degree of sentiment where necessary, as well as some pretty exciting race music, which is not without its moments of tension.
Robinson mixes orchestra, electronics and a select group of soloists to provide a varied score, folksy at times, but which unfortunately suffers a little from its occasional likeness to Thomas Newman's American Beauty music, for Burt's more quirky moments. Overall though, it's a fine effort, which obviously supports the on-screen action well or I'm sure the film wouldn't be receiving such great acclaim.
The accompanying booklet features notes by both director and composer.


Windemere Music Publishers WM 3001

Early 20th-century Russian spiritual master Gurdjieff, known for his teachings, also wrote music. The latter talent was developed in collaboration with composer Thomas de Hartmann. Their sizeable body of work is a major subject of the Gurdjieff Foundation. Composer Laurence Rosenthal, known mainly for his film work, is also one of the three editors well known for collecting the actual Gurdjieff/de Hartmann piano output for publisher Schott in Germany. Many years ago, Rosenthal adapted some of it in his score for Peter Brook's film MEETINGS WITH REMARKABLE MEN. Now, the Gurdjieff Foundation - having a significant event in New York last weekend - inspired Rosenthal to record many of the original piano pieces. He recorded these works at Skywalker Sound, and many will be impressed to find that not only can Rosenthal compose, but he's an incredible pianist, too.

Rosenthal prepared the album with Intrada under his Windemere publishing umbrella. His 16-page booklet presents a fascinating history of these remarkable men, their mystical and atmospheric music, and how during his
Air Force years he became involved with it.

This album is being distributed by INTRADA.

Windemere Music Publishers WM 3001
For cover art, track listing, and sound samples, please visit

Friday, March 17, 2006

CD REVIEW - La Battaglia del Deserto & News from Intrada

La Battaglia del Deserto
Music by Bruno Nicolai
Digitmovies CDDM049
30 Tracks 49:16 mins

I've long treasured my old mono LP of Bruno Nicolai's music to this 1969 war film, especially for its splendidly bombastic main theme. Now Digitmovies have done us yet another great service in releasing the complete score and in glorious stereo to boot. That extended main theme is also included as one of three bonus tracks - and all of these in stereo too, but the theme gets plenty of workouts throughout the score in any case. There is also a very nice love theme for "Nancy,"
performed principally by guitar; and more piano-lead romantic music can be found in "Sogno D'Amore." A tragic variation on the love theme can be heard in the powerful "Suicido."
Much of the score is tense and suspenseful, with the variations on the main theme providing the more uptempo moments, though it is occasionally performed in more laid-back mode.
Completing the score are a couple of jazzy source cues and a very nice waltz.
The accompanying booklet features the usual notes on the music, cast and crew and a plot synopsis, as well as full colour artwork and stills.
After this splendid batch of three, I can't wait to see what this enterprising label's next releases might be.

INTRADA Announces:

Composed and Conducted by BRUCE BROUGHTON
Performed by the SINFONIA OF LONDON

The story of TOMBSTONE (1993) is a famous one: Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell), after cleaning up the wild Dodge City, decides to move to Tombstone to get rich and live in obscurity. There he meets his brothers and old friend Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer). But there's no rest to be had in the old west, as a band of outlaws, "The Cowboys," are maliciously performing random acts of violence. The confrontation between The Cowboys and Holliday and the Earps is inevitable, leading to the famous shoot-out at the OK Corral.

Composer Bruce Broughton describes his approach: "The music to Tombstone is not particularly “western” in that the orchestration depends not at all on the typical western instruments such as the guitar and harmonica. It relies, in fact, on instruments of ethnic colour like the Hungarian cimbalom, the Irish tin whistle and bhodran, and the French contrabass sarrusophone. The brass section includes, along with tenor and bas trombones, the more massive contrabass trombone. Much of this score reminds me of what I once heard Bernard Herrmann tell a studio orchestra — 'The highest note here is the middle C.'" This powerful, dramatic work is performed in stunning detail by the Sinfonia of London.

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.

INTRADA Special Collection - MAF 7097
Available Now

Thursday, March 16, 2006

CD REVIEW - Il Federale & Latest News from TopDollar PR

Sorry there was no entry yesterday - sometimes one has to make sacrifices just to earn a living!

Il Federale
Music by Ennio Morricone
Digitmovies CDDM048
22 Tracks 40:13 mins

Released in celebration of his 45 glorious years in the business of writing music for the screen, and with the co-operation of the man himself, Digitmovies proudly present Ennio Morricone's first ever film score for 1961's l Federale, which was directed by Luciano Salce and starred Ugo Tognazzi. Selections were previously released on an EP single, but this represents the premiere release of the complete score, which is presented as recorded in very fine mono sound.
There are two recurring themes, the first a quirky comic march, which appears in several variations throughout the disc, the second serious and vaguely religious, and in stark contrast to much of the comic material presented throughout the score. Much of the score is either militaristic, like the bombastic "Tema dell'Auto Anfibia" and the splendidly stirring "Finale;" or comical, like "Ritrovamento," with its almost classical theme at its heart, or "Campo Minato," with its sneaky tuba-lead theme, or the Mickey-Mousing of "Fuga di Bonafe." But there is also some dissonance in the more dramatic moments of the score, and religious organ music in "Bonafe al Convento." An interesting track is "Colloquio delle Fragole," which is a traditional Western-styled pastorale, very suggestive of wagons rolling across the plains, and much different from the kind of Western music the composer would go on to write for the Leone films that were shortly to follow.
The accompanying booklet features much original artwork from the film, the usual notes on the music, plus a few words from Morricone himself.
It's wonderful to finally have this historic music available and I would rush out and get a copy while you can, as this one is destined to be a collector's item.



Composer Inon Zur Scores "Dramatic Fantastic" Trailer Album for use in Motion Picture advertising

Los Angeles, California - March 15th, 2006 - Award-winning composer Inon Zur has written and recorded a new collection of original orchestral music for use in Hollywood motion picture trailers. Entitled "Dramatic Fantastic," the album is commissioned by BMG Zomba and will be released through their subsidiary label Bruton Music on April 1st. Zur was hired to write a range of dramatic orchestral music based on his emotionally charged scores for film, television and blockbuster video game franchises such as "Prince of Persia," "EverQuest," and "SOCOM." The "Dramatic Fantastic" trailer album features an eclectic collection of exhilarating and stirring Hollywood-calibre feature film music including anthemic and bombastic orchestral, choral, classical, fantasy, sci-fi, military, Middle-Eastern, and epic finale suites, each tailored with Zur's infectious and in-demand, distinctive style.

Zur conducted and recorded with the critically acclaimed 80-piece Northwest Sinfonia at the prestigious Bastyr University Chapel in Seattle, the recording venue for numerous feature films including Underworld, The Gift, Pitch Black, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Brokeback Mountain, Arlington Road; hit TV shows including Battlestar Galactica, Helen of Troy and Zur's own Au Pair and Au Pair 2 telemovie scores for Twentieth Century Fox, as well as several high profile video game scores such as Zur's Shadow Ops: Red Mercury and SOCOM II: U.S. Navy SEALs. The "Dramatic Fantastic" recording sessions were supervised by Roberto Borzoni, Music Producer for BMG Zomba Production Music, the music was mixed at Zur's project studio in Sherman Oaks and co-produced by Dori Amarilio, and the album was mastered by Chris Parmenidis at Unity Mastering.

Duncan Schwier, Creative Manager at BMG Zomba Production Music, said, "I'm delighted with the whole project, especially the extraordinary talents of Inon Zur. Inon is a composer of great talent and originality. That, together with his energy and enthusiasm is reflected in the music on the Dramatic Fantastic production. It's powerful and emotional, with a great sense of theatre and impact. The orchestration is punchy and creative, and I am certain that Inon's music will become the soundtrack of choice for the Trailer industry."

Zur's powerful orchestral scores have previously featured in the promotional trailers for Hollywood movies such as Annapolis (Touchstone Pictures), The New World (New Line Cinema), Kingdom Of Heaven (Twentieth Century Fox), The Pacifier (Walt Disney Pictures), The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Touchstone Pictures), and Fantastic Four (Marvel/Twentieth Century Fox). Inon's music can also be heard in the hit television series Into The West from Executive Producer Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks Television. Inon is a classically trained graduate of the Music Academy of Tel Aviv in Israel, and also studied at the Dick Grove School of Music and UCLA. Inon Zur is managed by Bob Rice of Four Bars Intertainment. For more information visit

Bruton Music, a division of BMG, is one of the world's leading music libraries, providing music with great depth and diversity. Drawing on top composers, musicians and producers from the UK, Europe, USA, and Australia, Bruton delivers top quality musical recordings that are fresh, contemporary, and creative. Bruton Music is distributed in the US and Canada by Associated Production Music a joint venture of BMG and EMI Music Publishing, with music selection services and exclusive licensing rights to over 25 different music libraries specifically for use in film, television, radio, recording, and new media.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

CD REVIEW - El Cisco

El Cisco
Music by Bruno Nicolai
Digitmovies CDDM047
28 Tracks 53:31 mins

Digitmovies have done it again, and in an especially big way this time. This is the first of three really exciting new releases from this enterprising label. I'll bring you my reviews of the other two in the next few days but, in the meantime, we firstly have another fine western score from the pen of Bruno Nicolai for 1966's El Cisco, which was written and directed by Sergio Bergonzelli and starred William Berger.
This is a premiere release for the score, which is presented complete in stereo sound.
At the heart of the score is a typical Deguello, first heard as a travelling trumpet-lead theme, with Jew's harp accompaniment. This latter instrument pops up in most tracks and just adds a little quirkiness to the mix. The theme is versatile, sometimes played in more confrontational vein, either on trumpet, very dramatically, or sometimes by Franco De Gemini's harmonica.
Nicolai's secondary theme is a very nice love theme for strings and guitar, and there are also some tuneful source cues; but largely the score consists of tense, suspenseful and downright doom-laden music, with bursts of dramatic conflict here and there. So, these melodic moments are very welcome when they arrive, as of course is the main theme, which combines with the love theme to provide a suitably grand finale.
As always, the CD is accompanied by a colourful booklet, with a brief note on the music, details of cast, crew and plot, plus stills from the film and a reproduction of the original poster.

Monday, March 13, 2006

CD REVIEW - Enduring Love

Enduring Love
Music by Jeremy Sams
Mellowdrama Records MEL108 (U.K.)
13 Tracks 40:43

For Roger Michell's 2004 dark tale of obsession, the director turned to composer Jeremy Sams, who had scored his previous film The Mother. Sams is better known for his work as a stage director, lyricist, and translator of opera libretti, but has also written for TV, and won a BAFTA for his score to his first collaboration with Michell, Persuasion, in 1995.
Enduring Love was originally temped with music by such British greats as Vaughan Williams and Benjamin Britten, but I would liken Sams' score more to Richard Rodney Bennett, and in particular Far from the Madding Crowd, especially as it starts off with a fine pastoral, featuring solo violin. This music, although reprised throughout the score, is further developed in the strings, becoming the "Obsession" theme, which also features strongly. And a third major element is a "passacacaglia," which becomes increasingly turbulent, but ends in disturbing piano and strings. All these elements combine to result in a score, which has sparse beauty, amongst genuinely eerie and threatening moments.
Mellowdrama Records are to be commended for rescuing this music from obscurity and, as usual, have done a fine job of supporting the disc with an informative booklet, which includes a note from the composer himself.

Sunday, March 12, 2006



Conducted by Academy Award nominee John Debney

Film composer John Debney brings his Passion of the Christ Symphony based on his Oscar-nominated score for the film to North Little Rock's Alltell Arena on Sat., May 6, 7 p.m. Debney will conduct over 200 musicians performing his inspiring work, which made its worldwide premiere last July at Rome's Saint Cecilia Arena and ended with a 15-minute standing ovation. Tickets are available now at $41.75, $51.75, or for premium seats at $76.75. With purchase of a premium seat, audience members will be invited to a "Meet & Greet" with John Debney and vocal soloists and will also receive a copy of The Passion of the Christ Symphony. Group tickets are available for $25 on orders of 15 tickets or more and also receive a pair of complimentary tickets. Tickets are available by phone or online by calling 501-975-7575 or logging onto

Under Debney's direction, the performance will feature a full orchestra, ethnic and ancient instruments such as duduk, bamboo flute, and Japanese taiko drums. A visual arts presentation will accompany the show featuring images of artwork and photography highlighting key moments in the music. According to Debney, "The Passion of the Christ Symphony is something I have wanted to do ever since I composed the musical score to Mel Gibson's film."

Referring to the music, director/producer Mel Gibson commented, "This score, with its mix of ethnic authenticity and symphonic sweetness, propels the images to a higher, almost lyrical plane. It had to be an extraordinary piece of work, something that helped the images. It had to tell a lot. John made my film 10 times better."

The RIAA Gold Certified "The Passion of the Christ" original soundtrack recording on Sony Music/Integrity topped Billboard's Soundtrack Chart its first full week of sales and remained number one for weeks. The film has grossed over half a billion dollars at the box office worldwide.

John Debney is one of the most successful composers in Hollywood. Last year, he became the youngest recipient of ASCAP's Henry Mancini lifetime achievement award. Debney's diverse list of film credits includes Sin City, Elf, Chicken Little, The Scorpion King, Bruce Almighty and Spy Kids. Debney utilizes his classical training along with a strong knowledge of contemporary sounds in order to adapt to his assignments.



Original music composed by Bob and Barn, with performances by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir

Sumthing Else Music Works, Inc., through a licensing relationship with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd (SCEE), is pleased to announce their first release of 2006: MediEvilT Resurrection Original Soundtrack. The soundtrack album from the third title in the multi-million selling MediEvil series, developed by SCEE's Cambridge Studio, is now available at European and US retail outlets through Nile Rodgers' Sumthing Else Music Works label, the industry leader for licensing and distributing videogame soundtracks.

The MediEvil Resurrection Original Soundtrack encompasses an eclectic mix of styles that reflects both the gothic horror and the irreverent humour of the MediEvil series. Featuring original compositions as well as new arrangements of the previous MediEvil game scores written by Bob and Barn (MediEvilT, PrimalT), the re-mastered score was orchestrated by Nic Raine (PrimalT, Kameo: Elements of PowerT) and recorded by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir in the Czech Republic. For music samples please visit

Piers Jackson, producer of MediEvil Resurrection, said, "I've often heard Bob and Barn state that of all the games they have worked on MediEvil is their most requested soundtrack, so for all of you who have been waiting for it, and for all of you to whom this is the first outing, I hope you gain as much enjoyment from it as I have."

MediEvil Resurrection is a hilarious action adventure game designed exclusively for PSP that sees the return of the 'fearless' knight, Sir Daniel Fortesque. In his latest misadventure, Dan 'bravely' attempts to rescue the land of Gallowmere from the evil Zarok and in death, becomes the hero he never was in life. Inspired by the myths, characters, and environments of the PS One games, the beloved MediEvil franchise comes to the PSP with new characters, environments, mini-games, and more!



Composer/Producer records Northwest Sinfonia Orchestra for Blockbuster Military Action Shooter

New York - February 9th, 2006 - Following his work on Cold FearT and Ghost Recon 2T (main theme co-writer), Tom Salta has composed and produced the anthemic live orchestral soundtrack for Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced WarfighterT, the next instalment in the smash-hit squad-based action franchise. Scheduled to ship for March 2006, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter focuses on the deployment of the Soldier of the Future - the "warfighter," into the chaos of urban warfare.

Salta has written all of the original music for the game, including the Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter main theme, which enhances the drama and emotion of the epic storyline and intense tactical gameplay action. The score was recorded with the Northwest Sinfonia Orchestra at the prestigious Bastyr Chapel in Seattle. Combining his expertise in programming and mixing hit records with the highest production values; Salta also blended contemporary electronic sounds into the score to capture the modern, hi-tech feel of the game. Visit the Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter official website via to hear a preview of Tom Salta's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter main theme music.

Manu Bachet, Artistic Director at Ubisoft, said, "Tom Salta has created an explosive 5.1 score that mixes hi-tech elements, wild rhythms, and a live symphony orchestra. Not only was he able to find the perfect alchemy, but his music supports the action perfectly, and, most of all, it brings real emotion to the gameplay experience."

In addition to these recent videogame composing and recording ventures, Salta's hard-driving electronica and orchestral grooves grace many television shows, commercials and film promos. Recording under the artist name 'Atlas Plug' (, he is currently working on the follow-up to his highly acclaimed debut solo album 2 Days or Die. For more information please visit

In Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, players will embody Captain Scott Mitchell as he commands the Ghosts and Special Forces allies equipped with the IWS in the quest to save the president of the United States, recover stolen nuclear codes and eliminate a vicious band of renegade soldiers hell-bent on unleashing catastrophe. The game unfolds entirely in Mexico City, where numerous, meticulously researched and detailed environments will deliver complete immersion into the future of urban warfare. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter will also include multiplayer and cooperative gameplay with exciting new elements, continuing the Ghost Recon tradition of setting the bar for multiplayer action.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

CD REVIEW - Zigzag/The Super Cops/Hawkins

Zigzag/The Super Cops/Hawkins
Music by Oliver Nelson & Jerry Fielding
Film Score Monthly Vol.9 No.2
Disc 1 - 27 tracks 72:17 mins Disc 2 - 28 Tracks 79:55 mins

Fans of cult TV series The Six Million Dollar Man are no doubt still hoping that someone like FSM will one day serve up a collection of music from the show, but in the meantime, its principal composer Oliver Nelson's music for the 1970 thriller Zigzag, starring George Kennedy, is served up here.
Disc 1 features Nelson's original score, totalling just over 26 minutes, coupled with the re-recorded original soundtrack album at nearly 29 minutes, with the rest of the disc being devoted to big band singer Anita O'Day's contributions to the soundtracks of both Zigzag and The Outfit, the score of which was the subject of another FSM release.
Nelson's score is largely based on a jazzy main theme, which shows its versatility, cropping up in various forms throughout the disc, whether it be fast-moving, as in the "Main Title," an action variation, or rather more laid-back and gentle. Nelson's secondary theme is a very nice love theme, first heard warmly on strings in "This Robe is Shot." The score has a good deal of melancholy about it, as befits this doom-laden tale.
The album version of the score features a lot of material, which is pretty faithful to the original film performance, but some of the cues are extended and the "Love Theme" is given a bossa nova treatment. Bobby Hatfield, one half of the Righteous Brothers sings a couple of songs and Roy Orbison sings the title song.
The Anita O'Day portion of the disc features well-knows songs like "On Green Dolphin Street" and "You Were Meant for Me."
Disc 2 is devoted to the music of Jerry fielding, with his 38-minute score for the 1974 comedy-thriller The Super Cops leading the way. The composer's approach is a mixture of militaristic and comedic music, with plenty of jazz, source or in the scoring, and some typical action writing in the vein of his more serious thrillers of the period.
Jerry Goldsmith scored the pilot to the short-lived TV series Hawkins, and this music is available on FSMCD Vol.6 No.13. Of the other seven episodes, Fielding scored three, and music from all of these is included here. "Life for a Life" includes music reused from the composer's scores for the Star Trek episode "Spectre of the Gun" and the featureLawman. There's a harmonica/banjo folk track from "Blood Feud," together with the score, which contains similarly folksy moments. "Murder in the Slave Trade," features a lush-stringed source cue, taken from the feature Scorpio, plus the largely dark and uninteresting score, with just a snatch of Goldsmith's theme towards the end.
The final selections on this disc fall under the heading "Jerry Fielding's Source Café," and feature source music, written by the composer, for both The Super Cops and The Outfit.
An informative booklet, as always, accompanies the discs, with stills from the films and the invaluable cue-by-cue guide.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Latest News from Costa Communications



Proving that these penguins have legs, Warner Independent Pictures' March of the Penguins won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. The film ranks as the second-highest grossing non-large format documentary in history. Milan Records released Alex Wurman's emotional soundtrack for the documentary last fall. Without dialogue, images and music blend to tell the noble and emotional story of one of Earth's most resilient and determined species. "Alex's soundtrack conveys the character of the penguins, the emotional heat and the epic adventure of their arctic journey," says Adam Leipzig, President of National Geographic Feature Films. "It's a great score from a great composer that deserves to be noticed."

"The chance to be a voice for such beautiful and dynamic characters rarely comes to a film composer," says composer Alex Wurman. "The lack of verbal presence from the lead role was liberating."

Fred Selden's flute follows the steps of the penguins throughout their challenging journey and subtly evokes the difficulties, the joys, the dangers, and the sorrows that the penguins encounter. Alex's score stays fresh and strongly evokes what the images or the narration cannot always explain. "There are no actors or dialog, so the film rides on a marriage of Alex's music with the film images." explains Leipzig.

Salon's Stephanie Zacharek writes, "there's more drama, and more heartbreak, in 'March of the Penguins' than in most movies that are actually scripted to tug at our feelings." Narrated by Morgan Freeman, this film - directed by Luc Jacquet and presented in the United States by National Geographic Feature Films and Warner Independent - tells with vivid images the dramatic and emotional story of the penguins in their quest for love, family and procreation. Luc Jacquet and his crew followed the penguins in Antarctica during their thousand year-old pilgrimage to meet their mate and preserve their species. More than a documentary, March of the Penguins enters the soul of a deserted continent where the birds with no wings must face snowstorms, hunger, loneliness and predators in order to give birth to and protect their offspring.

"The images on the screen provided all the inspiration one could want. They challenged me again and again to match their beauty and emotional range," says Wurman. "From them I learned that courage does not need to be understood, only found."

After studying music at the American Conservatory of music in Chicago,
Wurman started his film career composing and arranging for Hans Zimmer, contributing to blockbusters such as Armageddon, A League of Their Own and
The Lion King. Independent films started coming his way, and soon he was working with hip directors such as John August, Doug Liman and Ron Shelton, with whom he has collaborated several times. Winning the respect and admiration of directors, producers and reviewers, Wurman's resume reflects the quality and diversity of his talent, boasting films such as Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Thirteen Conversations About One Thing, Hollywood Homicide, Anchorman and Play It to the Bone.

Film Opens March 31. Soundtrack Releases March 21

Emmy winning composer Mark Adler scores "Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School" for Samuel Goldwyn Films and director Randall Miller. Starring an impressive and diverse cast that includes Robert Carlyle, Marisa Tomei, Donnie Wahlberg, John Goodman, Sonia Braga and Mary Steenburgen, the film is a story about a widowed man's life turned upside down when he embarks on a journey to find a dying man's long lost love. The movie opens March 31 in limited release. Milan Records releases the soundtrack March 21.

Adler took his first inspiration for the score from Robert Carlyle's decision to give his character an Irish accent, which director Randall Miller suggested as a jumping point in developing the score's main theme. Adler and frequent collaborator Sid Page worked together to find a tone on his violin that suggested Irish Uillean pipes. For a number of contemplative scenes between Robert Carlyle and John Goodman's characters, Adler used fragments of the fiddle theme against an ambient backdrop of tuned Tibetan bowls, high and low wind chimes and piano layered with gamelan and muted strings to create a meditative atmosphere. The result is a lyrical score that conveys the memory of first love, and how those feelings can stay with you into adulthood. The romantic sentiment is found in the score's melodic orchestration, played quietly with minimal accompaniment. This emotive score plays in dramatic counterpoint to Adler's re-recordings of classic big band tunes for the film, and a dance band tune he composed for a pivotal scene.

Mark Adler's feature film scores include Paramount Classics' "Focus," based on the novel by Arthur Miller and starring William H. Macy and Laura Dern, with the soundtrack released by Milan Records. He has been a regular at the Sundance Film Festival; having scored over a half-dozen Sundance films over the years. These include the Miramax film "Picture Bride," which won the Audience Award in 1995. Other credits include the Wayne Wang films "Eat A Bowl of Tea" and "Life Is Cheap," numerous National Geographic Specials, and three Oscar-nominated feature documentaries. Recent feature projects include "When Do We Eat?" with Jack Klugman and Leslie Ann Warren.

He also wrote and produced source music for the Philip Kaufman films "The
Unbearable Lightness of Being," and "Henry and June," and was involved as a producer in the recreation of indigenous Brazilian music for the Saul Zaentz production "At Play in the Fields of the Lord." He recently composed original music for "The Road To Memphis," directed by Richard Pearce as part of the Martin Scorsese-produced series, "The Blues." This range of experience has resulted in an eclectic musical style, often drawing on jazz, folk, world music, and traditional orchestral idioms. In 1999 he won a Primetime Emmy for his work on HBO's "The Rat Pack," which featured Ray Liotta, Joe Mantegna and Don Cheadle.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Score by Mychael Danna Songs by A.R. Rahman
Varese Sarabande VSD-6695 (EU)
20 Tracks 59:50 mins

Mychael Danna, having recently written a number of conventional orchestral scores, returns to more familiar territory with this Indian-set film, mixing traditional Indian instruments with string orchestra to provide a thoughtful score, largely based on a kind of lament, very reminiscent of that featured in James Horner's Titanic. This theme opens the album, first played on sitar and flute, but orchestra joins later to give the theme more emotional clout. The theme continues to crop up in variations throughout the score, which features a number of brief cues in more traditional style. "Carriage" however, is a tender orchestra-based cue, which is expanded emotionally in "Train." "Across the River" concludes the album with solo flute and strings bringing proceedings to a warm and tender finish.
Danna's score shares the disc with five songs of varying styles, performed by various artists, with music by the popular A.R. Rahman, and lyrics by Sukhwinder Singh, who also performs three of the songs, and Raquib Alam, as well as the traditional "Vaishnava Janaiho."

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


The 50th Anniversary Issue of The Robert Farnon Society's Journal Into Melody is now available and naturally spends some time looking back, but also forward, with details of the Society's Celebratory London Meeting on Sunday 2nd April, and an introduction to new President David Farnon, eldest son of the late lamented composer and an accomplished composer and musician in his own right.
As far as film music-related content is concerned, the issue features an article on David Rose and why he composed his famous "The Stripper;" an interview with Neal Hefti; some photos and a report from the November meeting, where Debbie Wiseman gave a talk about her work; and of course you can also find my regular "Film Music Bulletin" feature. Go to for further information on the Society.

From Costa Communications

"Best Foreign Language Film"

South African composers Paul Hepker and Mark Kilian have provided the score that helped drive "Tsotsi" to its Academy Award win as Best Foreign Language Film. A Miramax film from director Gavin Hood, "Tsotsi" stars Presley Chweneyagae in the title role as a gang leader who grew up on the streets of Johannesburg's shantytowns. The film is a psychological drama in which the protagonist is compelled to confront his own brutal nature and face the consequences of his actions. Miramax Films released "Tsotsi" in the U.S. February 24. Milan Records released the soundtrack February 14.

The atmosphere of the score was designed to reflect not just the landscape of Tsotsi's township, but also the external and internal struggles he goes through to find his redemption. To do this, Hepker and Kilian worked with accomplished singer, guitarist, percussionist, composer, arranger and bandleader Vusi Mahlasela, whose songs address social and political issues. He has traveled the world with his messages of peace, but still lives in Mamelodi Township, where he grew up.

Both native Africans, "Tsotsi" marks Hepker and Kilian's first collaboration, and each has enjoyed successful careers in music. Paul Hepker was South Africa's top musical director, known for several award-winning stage productions and the South African Grammys and Tonys, as well as performing on stage and composing for TV and radio. Before immigrating to the US, Paul toured the world as a member of Grammy-nominated band Johnny Clegg & Juluka (Savuka), and peerformed/recorded with artist such as Shirley Bassey, Ice Cube, and African legends Miriam Makeba and Yvonne Chaka-Chaka. His TV work in the U.S. has included original music for several Discovery Channel series, as well as music for Fox, NBC and Disney. He is currently working on a solo album.

Mark Kilian's repertoire of US work has been featured in several films, television programs and video games, including "Raise Your Voice," "Jake In
Progress," "F/X (The Series)" and "The Animatrix." He is a member of Nu
Jazz Connection and Shades, one of Durban's leading full-time club bands.
Mark is currently recording a second album with "The Ape Quartet," a live techno improvisational band whose members include fellow composer Christophe

Watch out for my review of the Tsotsi soundtrack album - coming soon to ScreenSounds.

You may have seen my recent reviews of the latest two releases in the Directors Cuts Production Music Library from Extreme Music, well; they've since sent me another CD, not in the same series. Indie Rock Three (XCD-122), is colourfully described as "fuse-blowin' art skool gutter pop," and features 16 guitar-driven tracks by Fuzzman/Whammy Boy, Blues Saraceno, Matt Bzcker, Disposable Youth, Marcus French and Nick Welsh. It's not really my scene, but it's the kind of rock, which would be very suitable for the independent movie scene. Not too heavy and quite accessible.

Finally, just to remind you that is always worth a visit, as they keep you regularly updated with all the latest news. For instance, did you know that Julian Nott won an "Annie" Award for his score for Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit? Or that there are Spanish film music festivals planned for Madrid and Ubeda in June/July? Or that Howard Shore has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures? Or that Thomas Newman received the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing this year? See what you are missing! And the latest print issue of their magazine is due any day now, promising features on the scores for all the recent blockbusters.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

CD REVIEW - Ennio Morricone - The Man and his Music

Ennio Morricone - The Man and his Music
Warner Classics 5101 12304-2
Disc 1 - 16 Tracks 55:39 mins Disc 2 - 14 Tracks 49:23 mins

This 2 CDs for the price of 1 release is a strange animal. The first disc features the composer conducting largely concert arrangements of some of his many film themes, which are in some cases performed by orchestra, whilst at others just featuring piano, flute, cello and viola, or combinations of these. There's nothing wrong with these performances. In fact they make for quite delightful listening, and it's nice to hear lesser known compositions like L'Eredita Ferramonti, Metti Una Sera a Cena, Il Prato, Per Le Antiche Scale and Gott mit uns, alongside familiar favourites like Once Upon a Time in the West, the Mission, Once Upon a time in America and Cinema Paradiso, but I doubt they will appeal to serious film music collectors, and the many Morricone fans out there will doubtless have the originals.
Disc 2 features pianist Gilda Butta, who also plays on disc 1, initially performing piano versions of more film themes, though actually repeating some tracks from disc 1, which seems somewhat pointless when other material could have been included. The final 4 tracks feature the concert works Four Etudes for Piano and Rag in Frantumi, which to anyone with a melodic bone in their body will find unlistenable like me. The accompanying booklet provides an overview of the composer and his works.
In conclusion, I would recommend disc 1 as a very pleasant listening experience, but cannot say the same for disc 2, which left me cold. Doubtless however, die-hard Morricone fans will seek this collection out, as some of them simply have to have everything ever recorded by their hero; and I suppose some classical music listeners might like to dip their toes into Moricone's creative waters, if only to see what all the fuss is about.

Monday, March 06, 2006

CD REVIEW - Music from the Films of Marlon Brando

Before I get on to the subject of today's review, I must first offer congratulations to Gustavo Santoalalla for his Academy Award win for Brokeback Mountain. I think, with two nominations, most people were expecting John Williams to triumph, probably for Memoirs of a Geisha, but I always had a sneaking suspicion that Santoalalla might get the vote, as his largely one-themed score has been the most audible, what with all the coverage Brokeback Mountain has received in the media. Personally, the best new film music I have heard this past year has all come from the pen of veteran maestro Ennio Morricone, with Cefalonia probably just shading it.

Music from the Films of Marlon Brando
Silva Screen SILCD1166 (U.K.)
21 Tracks Disc 1 - 56:12 mins Disc 2 - 50:28 mins

A fine two-disc compilation of music from the best of Marlon Brando's films, generally well-performed by the label's usual forces of the City of Prague Philharmonic and Crouch End Festival Chorus. Quite a few of the tracks are newly recorded under the baton of producer James Fitzpatrick, but there are older recordings conducted by Paul Bateman and Nic Raine, with the only track really letting the side down being the selection from Julius Caesar, which obviously dates from a time before the brass section got sorted out.
Whilst regular Silva Screen devotees will have some of the tracks in this collection, it is still a nice one to pick up for the more rarely heard selections, like the tracks from Sayonara, The Wild One, The Young Lions, One Eyed-Jacks and especially the 7-minute suite from The Men.
More familiar fare includes three selections from A Streetcar Named Desire, The Godfather, Superman, Last Tango in Paris and Viva Zapata.
It is slightly disappointing that a 20-minute suite from On The Watefront takes up so much of disc two; a much tighter suite would have held the interest more, and paved the way for selections from the likes of Desiree, The Nightcomers and maybe Morituri, to name but a few.
David Wishart pays tribute to the actor in the accompanying booklet, as well as providing a guide to all the films and music represented.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

CD REVIEW - Music from the Harry Potter Films

Music from the Harry Potter Films
Music by John Williams and Patrick Doyle
Silva Screen SILCD1206 (U.K.)
15 Tracks 54:34 mins

Continuing Silva Screen's series of recordings of music from films featuring iconic characters, on 10th April the label will release this collection of music from the big screen adventures of the popular children's literary character Harry Potter.
Music from all four films thus far is featured, with a surprisingly even split between the work of Williams and Doyle, especially considering Williams worked on three of the films and Doyle only the most recent.
There are three tracks from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, including the ever-popular "Harry's Wondrous World" and "Hedwig's Theme;" four from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which of course featured Williams' music adapted by William Ross, including "Fawkes the Phoenix," another popular theme; just one from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, though this is a suite of three cues; and seven selections from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Not to say that Doyle didn't do an excellent job on this latest film, but the album does appear balanced in his favour, with so many selections from his score, even if the lion's share of the actual running time is slightly in Williams' favour. Whatever, there isn't much of missing from the Williams scores that I would have liked included.
The City of Prague Philharmonic of course perform all the music, with just two tracks being conducted by one-time regular conductor Nic Raine, the remainder featuring the album's producer James Fitzpatrick at the helm. Fitzpatrick appears to be conducting regularly these days and elicits near perfect performances from the Orchestra.
Devoted film music followers among you will no doubt already have all the original soundtrack albums to these films, but this album would make a nice gift for any young Potter fans you might know.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

CD REVIEW - The Greatest Game ever Played and news of John Frizzell's latest assignment

The Greatest Game Ever Played
Music by Brian Tyler
Hollywood Records 2061-62541-2
29 Tracks 55:28 mins

Actor-turned director Bill Paxton's regular musical collaborator Brian Tyler has written another fine score for the former's golfing film The Greatest Game Ever Played, which is well represented on this CD, despite the presence of three songs towards the end, performed by Dawn Upshaw, Amick Bryan and Joe Jackson.
Composers seem to rise to the occasion when scoring a sporting film and this is another inspiring effort, with a proud main theme, some martial expectancy, exciting action music and some folksy touches along the way. It's an orchestral score but, as with the same composer's Annapolis, reviewed earlier this week, Tyler himself performs numerous instruments, with drums again being pretty prominent, but he also does a nice job on piano for the reprise of the film's love theme, "Broken Dreams," which is earlier given a lovely orchestral treatment. It's all highly enjoyable, with the "Main Title" music reprised at the very end of the disc, bringing things to a satisfying close after the intrusion of the three songs.
With Annapolis, and now this score, Tyler continues to be one of the brightest new lights in Hollywood.


Touchstone Release Comes Alive March 24

(HOLLYWOOD, CA) Composer John Frizzell scores "Stay Alive." Written and directed by William Brent Bell and starring Frankie Muniz ("Malcolm in the
Middle"), the film tells the story of a group of teens who stumble upon a new video game called Stay Alive. The game details the grisly true story of a 17th century noblewoman known as "The Blood Countess." A chilling connection is made when the gamers are murdered in the same method as the character they played in the game. Touchstone Pictures releases the film March 24.

"Stay Alive" explores the composer's suspenseful side, successfully explored on his score for the cult classic "Ghost Ship" and the upcoming thriller
"The Woods." Frizzell recently completed work on "The Prizewinner of
Defiance, Ohio," starring Julianne Moore as the mother of ten whom, in the 1950s, supported her family by writing jingles and entering them into contests. For that score, Frizzell teamed up with newgrass band Nickel Creek, whose latest album hit number one on Billboard's Internet Sales and Independent Album charts.

Frizzell is known for using a colourful array of instruments for his scores, from a psaltery (an ancient harp-type instrument) to African drums. He has written scores for a variety of genres, and has proven his musical talent and versatility.

John Frizzell's credits range from comedies such as "Beavis and Butthead Do
America" and the cult classic "Office Space," to the dark comedy "Teaching
Mrs. Tingle" and the sci-fi drama "Alien Resurrection." Recent credits include the adapted Neil Simon comedy "The Goodbye Girl," the Civil War drama "Gods and Generals," and urban actioner "Cradle 2 the Grave."

Watch out for my thoughts on the music of Stay Alive - coming soon!

Friday, March 03, 2006

CD REVIEW - Bell, Book and Candle/1001 Arabian Nights

Bell, Book and Candle/1001 Arabian Nights
Music by George Duning
Film Score Monthly Vol.9 No.1 (U.S.)
27 tracks 73:05 mins

Two highly tuneful and enjoyable scores by the underrated George Duning, originally released on LP by Colpix. Despite however, claims to the contrary, this is not in fact a premiere CD release for Bell, Book and Candle, as the U.K. label Harkit Records released the same recording on CD a little over a year ago. I would say however that the sound quality here is an improvement on that release.
The witchcraft comedy Bell, Book and candle was released in 1958 and starred James Stewart, Kim Novak and Jack Lemmon and received a highly tuneful score, which is represented by the first 15 tracks on this CD. The score is based on a catchy main theme, which is in turn mischievous and romantic. It gets a number of workouts, with "The Spell" being a highlight, with its mysterious, low, wordless vocal. This cue continues into "Shep Hooked," where the orchestra blossoms romantically, before taking a mischievous turn. There's a striking and unusual electronic effect that was achieved by manipulating taped sounds that appears throughout the film, but is sadly only present in "Only Human and End Title" on the album. In addition to Duning's score proper, he composed a number of jazzy source cues, which utilised the services of the Candoli Brothers on trumpet The whole package makes for very enjoyable listening indeed.
1001 Arabian Nights was a 1959 animated feature, featuring the vocal talents of Jim Backus as the bumbling, near-sighted Mr. Magoo as Aladdin's uncle no less. The score is a tuneful mixture of Arabian-styled music, both light and more serious, and jazz, evident from the beginning in the "Main Title." There follows "Magoo's Blues," which Backus recites as much as sings. A gorgeously old-fashioned love theme is introduced in "Sultan's Parade and You Are My Dream," with Ned Washington's lyrics interpreted by mixed chorus. This is given a fine instrumental workout in "You Are My Dream-Reprise." A third, catchy song, "Three Little Maids from Damascus" is performed by the Clark Sisters and interestingly; the liner notes reveal that Peggy Clark is the mother of Doug Schwartx, the mastering engineer for this CD. "Dream Ballet" is an enjoyable cue, starting off briefly comedic, but then featuring variations on the love theme - I just can't get enough of it! "Crazy Carpet" follows, all comedic action and suspense, before the score concludes with a reprise of the main thematic material in the "End Title."
Both scores are in stereo and are of course accompanied by the usual informative booklet with its always-useful cue-by-cue guide.