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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


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