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Saturday, December 23, 2006

CD REVIEW - Odia il Prossimo Tuo & News from Costa Communications

Odia il Prossimo Tuo
Music by Robby Poitevin
GDM 2077 (Italy)
22 Tracks 50:53 mins

From the artwork of this premiere CD release of the score to this 1968 Italian western, one could be mistaken for thinking the film has something to do with the cowboy equivalent of Freddy Kruger, as a man with a clawed gauntlet is pictured. Curious, I looked the film up on the IMDB and found that it's just a standard revenge movie, with one brother seeking to avenge the death of another. The clawed hand bit is actually from a scene where peasants fight it out to amuse the cliched evil landowner.
Anyway, what of the music? Well, it's always a pleasure to hear Raul's vocals on a western and he voices the film's main title song, an English-language ballad about friendship. This theme is almost constant throughout the score's subsequent tracks, with numerous variations on either the more upbeat verse or the rather melancholy chorus, though sometimes the latter is presented in a more uptempo galloping arrangement, and solo trumpet gives it a dramatic feel at times.
There are no track titles, so I can only guide youas to what else is on offer by saying that track 2 does feature a rather pretty theme, before the main thematic material takes over, and there is another good galloping theme introduced in track 17. Some lengthy dark and threatening suspense tracks are dotted about, but there's still plenty of more melodic material to enjoy, like the muscular Mexican-styled theme introduced in track 4, the dramatic Spanish guitar solo in track 15 and the showdown music of track 21, which eventually leads into Raul's reprise of the song, given an appropriately big finish.
Whilst not a classic Italian Western score, this is still a worthy addition to any serious fan of the genre's collection. Get your copy at

From Costa Communications

Official Selection in "Dramatic Competition"

(Los Angeles, CA) Composer Michael A. Levine scores "Adrift in Manhattan," an official selection in the "Dramatic Competition" at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. The third feature from Hispanic writer/director Alfredo de Villa ("Washington Heights," "Yellow"); "Adrift in Manhattan" is an ensemble psychological thriller featuring William Baldwin and Heather Graham that intertwines the stories of three lonely strangers bound by their commute on a New York subway and the thematic motif of sight. "Adrift in Manhattan" premieres Thursday, January 18 at the festival.

In addition to writing the score, Michael Levine also performs throughout the film, accompanied by only two other musicians. Levine explains, "In scoring a deeply-personal story like 'Adrift in Manhattan,' it is important to keep the score on an intimate human level. So the instrumentation is much more contained rather than a typical big expansive 'Hollywood' film score." The instruments Levine plays on the score include guitar, mandolin, piano, violin and tenor violin (an octave lower than a traditional violin). Levine also co wrote with Carrolee Mann, the film's end credit song, "Through Your Eyes" performed by Heitor Pereira.

In addition to film scoring, Michael Levine was recognized last year by the American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP) with a Top Television Series award for his music to the hit CBS series "Cold Case." He also continues to score the top-rated CBS series, "Close to Home."
Winner of two Clio Awards for his work in advertising, Michael Levine's ground-breaking combination of high-tech sound design with classical orchestration became his calling card. His music for the first of his two Clio Awards, the Mitsubishi Eclipse campaign, combined Japanese flute, an operatic soprano, world percussion, and electronically processed animal noises. His best-known ads are his jingles "Wacky Wild Kool-Aid Style," "Motts and Motts of Motts," and, most infamously, "Give me a Break" for Kit Kat, which is widely considered to be one of the most effective "earworms," a term used to describe a bit of music that you can't get out of your head.
Born in Tokyo, Michael was raised in the Midwest and schooled in Canada (McGill Univ.), Wisconsin (UW), and Boston (Berklee College of Music). He moved to New York City where his first job was playing violin on the streets. In the early 80s he founded the legendary No Guitars, one of the first bands to have a video on MTV. He later moved to Los Angeles to pursue film & TV composing.

In addition to his film and on-going television scoring work, Levine is also music producer for Nickelodeon's "The Naked Brothers Band," a mockumentary premiering in February 2007. All songs for the show are written by its star, 11 year old Nat Wolff. The Web site has already had 7 million plays of "Crazy Car," a song Levine co-produced.

Levine is also working with William Phillip McKinley on mounting a production of "Orpheus Electronica," a multi-media techno-opera which sets the myth of Orpheus in an underground dance party. McKinley directed the Broadway hit musical The Boy From Oz, starring Hugh Jackman, and also directs The Ringling Bros. Circus.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Michael R.

9:22 AM  

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