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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

News from Costa Communications and Review of the Latest Offerings from Extreme Music

From Costa Communications

FILM COMPOSER CHRISTOPHE BECK TRIUMPHS AMIDST TRAGEDY WITH "WE ARE MARSHALL" Warner Bros. will release film in theaters December 22nd.

(Hollywood, CA) Film composer Christophe Beck scores the Warner Bros. "We Are Marshall," which releases in theaters December 22. Based on actual events surrounding the 1970s plane crash that killed most of Marshall University's football team, the film tells a story of perseverance and healing as the survivors attempt to rebuild their team and spirit. Matthew McConaughey stars as the determined new coach alongside Matthew Fox ("Lost"). McG, who made his mark directing award-winning music videos before moving into film, directs.

With "We Are Marshall," Christophe Beck further demonstrates his ability to deliver a poignant and somber, yet hopeful and inspiring score. The prolific composer has demonstrated his scoring versatility in such varied films as comedy "The Pink Panther," thriller "The Sentinel" and romantic drama "Under The Tuscan Sun." His other credits, which include scores for "Elektra," "Bring It On," "American Wedding" and "Two For The Money," helped earn Beck the title of "Busiest Composer" from Hollywood Reporter in 2005. Beck began his composing career in television and won an Emmy for Outstanding Music Composition for his work in the series "Buffy."

Because of Christophe Beck's extensive musical experience, he has been described as a musical genius. His talents span a wide range of genres, instruments, mediums and geographic locations. The Montreal native began piano studies at the age of five and by high school had mastered flute, saxophone, trombone and drums. While studying music at Yale, he realized that his talent for writing exceeded that of performing. He wrote two musicals and an opera during his time there. Soon after, he moved to the opposite coast to study with Jerry Goldsmith in USC's film scoring program.

Beck most recently completed the score for "School For Scoundrels," starring Billy Bob Thornton. He is currently working on "License to Wed," a comedy starring Robin Williams and Mandy Moore.

Here is an overview of three new releases recently received from Extreme Music:-

Directors Cuts: Dramadey
Music by Various Composers
Directors Cuts DCD026 (U.K.)
28 Tracks 42:15 mins

This is a very nice collection of themes, highly suitable for use in trailers for rom-coms or fantasy. Music is by a variety of composers, with only Harry Gregson-Williams and James S. Levine being more familiar to me, and is largely orchestral, though some electronics feature.
Atli Ovarsson starts things off with "Miss Understood," a magical, fairytale waltz. He is followed by the first of two by Paul Thomposn, "Creature Comfort," which is an eager little mover, as is his "Pleasure Trove," though this is also somewhat mischievous. Gregson-Williams' "Lucky Charm" is a percussive, ethnic-styled mover; whilst Joshua Goldberg provides "Miracle Smile," which is quite bubbly before bursting forth with choir. Barry Michaels offers "Glass Houses, which is somewhat piompous and quite strident; with the first track by james S. Levine being the slow, mysterious waltz "Nevergreen." His second offering is the purposeful, yet playful "Immortal Chortle." The first of two from Rob Elliott is "Rise & Shine," a busy mover, with angelic voices drifting in and out. His second is the romantic, fairytale waltz "Cream Machine." Oswin Mackintosh's brace includes the enchanting, light and airy "Light Club," and the charmingly optimistic mover "Dizzy Heights." Finally, Stephen Rees contributes "Law and Peace," which builds expectantly and eagerly to its climax; and "Reel of Fortune," a lively electronic jig. As usual, 30 second versions of each theme are also included.

Directors Cuts: Rises
Symphonic Music by Wesson/Fowler/Zimmer, Electronic Music by Clay Duncan and Ian Tregoning
Directors Cuts DCD028 (U.K.)
50 Tracks 27:54 mins

I can't really review this one, as basically it consists of a series of variations on "rises," which basically are pieces used in trailers, especially for action movies, where towards their conclusion a series of fast cuts build the excitement to a big climax, hopefully leaving you breathlessly wanting to see the film being advertised.
The first 42 tracks are orchestral in nature, whereas the remaining are electronic offerings. All are very effective and highly appropriate for this use, so if you're seeking some good rises, look no further.

The final offering from this batch of releases from Extreme Music is in their Ultimate Classix series and is the first volume of music by Saint-Saens, featuring fine performances by the Royal Philharmonic of the composer's Carnival of the Animals, Danse Macabre and Symphony No.3 in C Minor. If you're looking to add a touch of musical class to your trailer, whilst keeping it familiar, again, look no further. The catalogue number is XCL024.


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