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Friday, February 23, 2007

CD REVIEW - Arthur and the Invisibles + News from Costa Communications

Arthur and the Invisibles
Music by Eric Serra
Atlantic 7567 946752 (EU
42 Tracks 78:12 mins

Quite a change of pace for director/composer team Luc Besson and Eric Serra is this part live action, part CGI childrens' adventure.
Composer Serra hasn't previously dabbled much in full symphonic scoring of films, but here he has composed a wonderful, sweeping effort, splendidly performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and Metro Voices. Geoffrey Alexander conducts and is also credited as orchestrator, and I suspect his contributions in the latter field are major.
Two splendid themes lie at the centre of Serra's score, the first a sweeping, magical theme for the "Minimoys" and their strange kingdom at the bottom of the young hero's garden; the second a noble and heroic theme for the young hero, Arthur, himself. Both themes have quite a part to play throughout the score, which also features quite a bit of light, comical writing and a good deal of powerful menace, as well as some exciting action. Orchestra and choir combine quite wonderfully throughout.
Incidentally, in case you were put off by the large number of tracks, it is true to say that many are quite brief, but the album is sequenced in such a way that many of the tracks run into one another. For instance, "The Blueberry Catapult," "Lovebirds" and "Feeding Time," make up one continuous, exciting action sequence.
There are three vocals on the album, by Jewel, Snoop Dog and Elijah, but all three open the disc and so are easily skipped.
A really enjoyable fantasy score from a surprising source.

From Costa Communications


Lionsgate Releases Film March 23, Score CD March 13

(HOLLYWOOD, CA) - Composer and producer Aaron Zigman scores "Pride" for director Sunu Gonera. Starring Terrence Howard, Bernie Mac, and Tom Arnold, the film is based on the true story of inner city Philadelphia swim coach Jim Ellis. The story revolves around Ellis' fight to build a swim team in one of the city's toughest neighborhoods in the 1970s. "Pride" hits theaters March 23 through Lionsgate Entertainment with the Lionsgate soundtrack leading March 13.
In addition to providing the film's score, Zigman co-wrote the film's signature song "Dare to Dream" with R&B crooner John Legend This inspirational and melodic ballad cleverly combines Legend's smooth voice with Zigman's powerful orchestration.
As one of Hollywood's most diversified young composer, Zigman is no stranger to collaboration. He made a name for himself producing and arranging for artists such as Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Patti LaBelle, Nona Gaye, the Pointer Sisters and Christina Aguilera. Known for his command of rhythm and different styles, he developed his knack for melody into his scoring career, ranging from R&B to a classical score for "Pride"; Urban to Industrial for "Alpha Dog"; and the epic score for Disney's "Bridge to Terabithia."
As a classically trained pianist, Zigman developed a strong musical foundation early in life, allowing him to work on everything from popular music to orchestral concert works. His numerous symphonic pieces include a 35 minute-long tone poem divided into five movements, composed as a tribute to former Israeli Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin; and "Impressions," a suite for a wind ensemble. Zigman premiered his original concert work, "Vis Vitae," at the Third Annual Beverly Hills International Music Festival. Expanding his repertoire to include film, Zigman began to arrange and orchestrate for features such as "Mulan," "The Birdcage," "Licensed to Kill" and "Pocahontas."
"Pride" is a clear indication of another very productive year to come for Zigman. Zigman-scored films released in 2006 include projects as diverse as "Flicka," "ATL," "Akeelah and the Bee," "Take the Lead," "Step Up," "Alpha Dog," and "The Virgin of Juarez." His latest film for the busy composer is Disney's "Bridge to Terabithia" for Gabor Csabo. Upcoming projects include "The Martian Child" with John and Joan Cusack.


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