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

Friday, June 09, 2006

CD REVIEWSS - When a Stranger Calls & Breakheart Pass + News of an Inon Zur Podcast

When a Stranger Calls
Music by James Dooley
Lakeshore LKS 338592 (U.S.)
15 Tracks 60:40 mins

I have spoken before about James Dooley's music for the recent remake of 1979's When a Stranger Calls and have commented on it based on an advance I was sent by the composer's publicists Costa Communications. Now to coincide with the DVD release of the film in the U.S., Lakeshore Records have released an official soundtrack album, so that you all may enjoy the score - if enjoy is the right word. Certainly, there is very little melodic material to latch on to, save for a somewhat sad piano theme, presumably representing our heroine, and for the sunny start to the concluding track "Aftermath." Indeed, most of the early tracks on the CD are largely dark, threatening and doom-laden, with just the odd burst of chilling action.
The composer and Tim Davies share duties in conducting the Northwest Sinfonia, which give their usual polished performance, and are particularly fine in the string section, where Dooley produces some eerie and dissonant sounds.
For me, the score only really gets going on record at track ten "Inside the House," this being the first of four truly thrilling action cues, which are as good as anything you will hear in this genre. Exciting and, as I've said before, truly chilling.
So, in conclusion, the album is probably a little too long to sustain the interest in one sitting, but it's nonetheless a worthy effort and I am positive it does its job more than ably on film.

Whilst on the subject of James Dooley, the composer couldn't have done anything more different than having written the score for the Dreamworks Animation short film First Flight, which is showing with their animated feature Over the Hedge.
The computer-generated tale tells of a man and a bird's first attempt at flight and, thanks again to an advance of the music supplied by the composer's publicists, I am able to tell you it's a charming, if of course brief, score, largely electronically realised, but with piano the dominant voice. Early cues are quite balletic, though there's also a fair bit of movement and the music appropriately soars at one point. Naturally, there's comedy and also a dance-like passage, before the score turns wonderfully triumphant, winding to a joyful conclusion.
Having served his time in the Media Ventures trenches, James Dooley continues to impress as an up-and-coming composing talent in his own right, and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before he lands a major feature.

Breakheart Pass
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1044 (U.S.)
17 Tracks 46:43 mins

Not that I'm suggesting you would have one, but at last you can throw your old bootleg LP or CD away, for we finally have an official CD release of Jerry Goldsmith's score for this 1975 western of sorts. I say that because the story is by Alistair MacLean and is therefore as much a detective story as a western.
La-La Land Records have made an impressive job of releasing this much-loved score, presenting it in excellent mono sound, accompanied by a splendid 12-page booklet, featuring numerous colour stills from the film, as well as detailed notes on the film and its music, including cue-by-cue guide, by Jeff Bond.
The score is characterised by one of Goldsmith's most infectious main themes, a truly propulsive, energetic piece, which is given its head over the "Main Title," and then crops up all over the place during the score that follows, in both action and suspenseful variations, before concluding events in fine style over the "End Credits."
Much of the rest of the score is I'm afraid a very dark and suspenseful affair, with just one or two lyrical moments and, unusual for a score in this genre, but typical of the composer's scoring of the time, a menacing electronic motif for the villain of the piece.
La-La Land Records have indeed done us a great service in releasing this neglected score from Goldsmith's heyday.


Inon Zur featured in APM Film and TV Podcast

Award-winning composer discusses music for video games, trailers, film and television

LOS ANGELES, June 6th, 2006 - Renowned film, television and video game composer Inon Zur is featured in the third episode of the Film and TV Music Podcast, sponsored by APM, the largest provider of music for use in film, television, radio and new media productions.

Zur discusses his music background in film and television, how he got started in the video games industry, his involvement with the APM "Endgame" music library, as well as his music for the recently released movie trailer album "Dramatic Fantastic." The podcast is now available at

Internationally recognized as one of the A-list composers in the video games industry, Inon Zur's award-winning music features in blockbuster video game titles such as Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, Champions of Norrath: Realms of EverQuest and Men of Valor. His powerful orchestral scores have also been heard in the promotional trailers for films 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 (Walt Disney Pictures), and Fantastic Four (Marvel/Twentieth Century Fox).

Most recently Zur recorded a new collection of original orchestral music for use in Hollywood motion picture trailers. Entitled "Dramatic Fantastic," the library was commissioned by BMG Zomba and is released through their subsidiary label Bruton Music, distributed in the US by APM. The CD includes an eclectic collection of Zur's exhilarating and stirring feature film music cues and epic finale suites, each tailored with Zur's infectious and in-demand style. For more information visit

The APM Film and TV Music podcast is available at The program can also be heard on any computer desktop or portable MP3 player. Listeners can download and play the podcast on demand, or subscribe to the RSS feed to receive new episodes automatically as soon as they are released.

The podcast is also available through iTunes, Yahoo! Podcasts, Odeo, Podcast Alley and other podcast syndicates. Listeners are invited to send feedback and suggestions for future episodes to

Associated Production Music, a joint venture of EMI Music Publishing (the world's largest music publisher) and BMG Music Publishing (a division of Bertelsmann AG) provides the United States and Canada 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.

With more than 200,000 different musical tracks to choose from, APM's catalogue comprises one of the largest and most diverse collections of original music available to entertainment and media producers. For more information about APM, please visit:


Blogger elsie1888 said...

Is "Dramatic Fantastic" an actual CD that can be purchased somewhere in US? I am very interested in it. You can e-mail me any info you might have

thanks in advance

12:53 PM  

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