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

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.


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