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

Saturday, March 31, 2007

News from Costa Communications & Top Dollar PR

From Costa Communications


New Line Release in Theaters April 20

Score CD Available at iTunes

(Los Angeles, CA) Brothers and award-winning film composers Jeff and Mychael Danna reunite to score "Fracture," a film directed by Gregory Hoblit ("Primal Fear," "Frequency"). In the thriller, a district attorney (Ryan Gosling) embarks on a crusade for justice after a man (Anthony Hopkins) is found innocent for the attempted murder of his wife. The film's release date is set for April 20, 2007.
The Danna brothers recently recorded the film's score with a full orchestra in Los Angeles. This is not the first collaboration between Jeff Danna and Mychael Danna. Their joint film credits include Terry Gilliam's fantasy/drama "Tideland;" "The Matthew Shephard Story," for which they won a Gemini Award for Best Original Score; and "Green Dragon," a Vietnam war drama starring Patrick Swayze and Forest Whitaker. Also recording artists, the pair worked on an orchestral Celtic album that reached worldwide success and reached the top 10 on the Billboard charts.
The Danna's individual accomplishments speak loudly of the talents of both brothers. Both received a SOCAN Award in 2006; Mychael won the Domestic Feature Film Music Award for "Where the Truth Lies" and Jeff won the International Film Music Award for "Resident Evil: Apocalypse." Mychael recently earned a Grammy nomination for "Little Miss Sunshine," which he scored with indie band DeVotchka. His other films include "Breach," currently in theaters, "The Nativity," "Capote," "Being Julia," and the upcoming animated feature "Surf's Up."
Jeff Danna's credits include "Chicago 10," which opened 2007's Sundance Film Festival; and the upcoming "Closing the Ring," a romantic drama starring Shirley MacLaine, Christopher Plummer, and Mischa Barton; and television series "Nimrod Nation," an eight-part documentary series about a Michigan town's obsession with high school basketball. For the film's "Chicago 10" and "Nimrod Nation," Jeff Danna recollaborated with director Brett Morgan for whom he scored the Grammy-nominated "The Kid Stays in the Picture." Additionally, For "Closing The Ring, "Jeff Danna collaborated with famed director Sir Richard Attenborough.
The composers, both originally from Canada, now reside in Los Angeles.

From Top Dollar PR

Inon Zur ( scores the all new original webisode series GHOST WHISPERER: THE OTHER SIDE ( created for CBS by Sander/Moses Productions and directed by Claudio Faeh.

Perennial award-winning composer Inon Zur creates emotionally dynamic orchestral music for film, television, new media and video games. Writing Hollywood-caliber original scores with the highest production values, Inon brings extensive experience composing music-to-picture, and conducting and recording live symphony orchestras. His diverse repertoire includes scores for Crysis, EverQuest: Echoes Of Faydwer, Prince Of Persia: The Two Thrones, Men Of Valor and much more.

Claudio Faeh is an accomplished feature film director who blends top-of-the-line visual effects with quality storytelling to create fantastical worlds for the modern viewing audience. Claudio's first film Coronado, featuring John Rhys-Davies, is a tour de force of humorous action and well-rendered special effects. Following the success of Coronado, Claudio directed Hollow Man 2 starring Christian Slater for Sony Pictures Entertainment's Screen Gems. Currently, Claudio has commenced work as Executive Producer of Starship Troopers 3. Click here to view the trailer for The Other Side:

Friday, March 30, 2007

CD Reviews - Meet The Robinsons & The Wrath of God + News from Air Studios

Meet The Robinsons
Music by Danny Elfman & Various Artists
Walt Disney Records 0094638572527 (EU)
18 Tracks (10 score) 52:52 mins

This zany new computer-generated animation has a typically wacky score by Danny Elfman, though boasts an almost lullaby-like main theme, with a the kind of fairytale quality he brought to the music of previous triumphs like Edward Scissorhands.
Although the score has to share the album with songs from the likes of Rufus Wainwright, Rob Thomas, The All-American Rejects (singing a partly composed by Elman song), Jamie Cullum and Jonas Brothers, it is quite generously represented over 10 tracks, which are thankfully all grouped together and not dotted amongst the songs.
The aforementioned main theme is introudced over "The Prologue," which flows into the joyful choral enhanced "To the Future," which contains a fragment of the lyric from the All-American Rejects number.
The succeeding score tracks take us through a variety of moods and styles, as is the composer's wont, from out and out wackiness, to exciting oompha-styled action, some lounge-styled music, reminiscent of Mars Attacks!, plenty of choral awe and sometimes menace, and some conflict involving heroic variations on the main theme, doing battle with a dark march for the villain of the piece. But at the end of the day, one knows things are bound to work out right and so the concluding "Setting Things Right"makes all the right, satisfying winding up noises to provide a happy musical ending.
Don't expect anything new and original here, but if you are a fan of Elfman's more wacky, fantastical and energetic writing, you'll be happy enough.

The Wrath of God
Music by Lalo Schifrin
Film Score Monthly Vol.10 No.2 (US)
23 Tracks 53:29 mins

During the period from about the mid-60s until about the mid-80s, Lalo Schifrin wrote some of the best film scores around. Sadly, few of them ever made it to LP or CD. But now, with the recent revival of music from that period, with several Bill Conti and David Shire (to name but two) scores finally reaching CD, the time is rife for a Schifrin revival also.
FSM lead the way with this release, in fine stereo sound, of the composer's score for the 1972 adventure The Wrath of God, which was a kind of Mexican western, though more modern, with cars and machine guns alongside the traditional horses and Winchesters.
At the heart of Schifrin's score is what is described in the usual excellent cue-by cue guide as a "questing melody," which is always welcome and more often than not in some travelling or action arrangement. We have to be patient though, as it doesn't arrive until track 5, following three happy Latin source cues and the introduction of the film's romantic flute theme in "Chela," a piece that will reach its ultimate development with yearning strings in "I Wish a Lot of Things."
The other key theme in the score is that for the villain Cordona, a real piece of Mexican menace in the finest traditions. Both the main theme and that of Cordona do battle throughout various sequences that follow, including the lengthy penultimate score cue, where the composer also introduces a somewhat rock-driven exciting action motif.
In addition to the aforementioned cue guide, Jeff Bond and Lukas Kendall also provide notes on the film and its composer, with the booklet also featuring plenty of colour stills. More classic Schifrin please, gentlemen!

I am not familiar with the 2003 film Westender but the Internet Movie Database has it as the story of an heroic knight, set in a fictional medieval world.
The film's composer is Rob Simonsen and he has a promotional album out of the score, which he's kindly said he will let me have to review for you on his return to the States.
Currently he is to be found at London's Air Studios, where he is assisting Mychael Danna with his score for Surf's Up, a new Sony Pictures Animation feature, for which he also contributed to the additional music.
Nicholas Dodd orchestrated and conducts a 71 piece orchestra in the hall at Air Studios, with some additional instruments being tracked in Studio 1, where the score is being mixed with recordist/mixer Brad Haehnel, assisted by Jake Jackson.
Present at the sessions are the film's Directors Ash Brannon, who performs piano on one cue, and Chris Buck; together with Executive Producer Chris Jenkins.
We can but hope for a score album release and I'm sure Danna's usual publicists Costa Communications will keep me posted on that.
My thanks to Rob for the info and I look forward to covering his Westender album in due course.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

CD REVIEWS - Horizons + The Reaping

Well, I'm pleased to say I'm back, albeit not at the height of my powers, due to a touch of ill health, but nothing serious I hope! Anyway, trying to catch up for lost time, I present two reviews today and hopefully there'll be at least one tomorrow - so watch this space!

Music by Christopher Tyler Nickel
Composer Release CTNCD-001
9 Tracks 53:29 mins

As you will know by now, I am all for lending an ear to the work of a new composing name to me, and this is the case here with Christopher Tyler Nickel, who has managed to stay under my radar, despite having written both concert hall and film and television music since graduating from the University of British Columbia School of Music with a degree in composition. Throughout his schooling, Chris, who plays oboe and piano, performed and toured with many ensembles, including the Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the Vancouver Youth Symphony, the Royal City Musical Theatre Company, The BC Sinfonietta, the New Westminster Symphony and the West Coast Symphony Orchestra. His compositions Have been performed by orchestras and chamber ensembles, not only in Canada, but throughout teh United States and Europe. His music has also been broadcast over the radio in Canada and the U.S., and in 2002 the Northeastern Pennsylviania Philharmonic performed his "Fanfare for Freedom," which was broadcast live on the U.S. east coast as part of their 4th July celebrations. Recently, his concerto for piccolo/flute/alto flute, written especially for Sarah Jackson, piccolo of the LA Philharmonic, was premiered by the Sinfonia of the North Shore. In both 2002 and 2003, Chris composed music for the popular "Bard on the Beach" Shakespeare Fesival Concerts in Vancouver.
As far as film and television scoring is concerned, Chris has worked on not only native productions, but also those for broadcast in the U.S. and Japan. His music can be heard in movies of the week, TV series, DVD only releases, shorts, trailers and documentaries; and he has received awards for his work, including the 2004 Gold Metal for Best Action Score at the Park City Film Music Festival; the 2002 Golden Key International Performing Arts Award for Musical Composition; and a Leo Award Nomination in the category of Best Score - Feature Length Drama.
For even more information, go to the composer's website at

So what of this CD, Horizons? Well, it was recorded in the Czech Republic during the winter of 2006 and features the talents of the City of Prague Philharmonic and Chorus, under the baton of Mario Klemens, as well as the composer's own expertise with synthesizers.
To say that the music presented here is gorgeous, would possibly even be an understatement. OK, so other commentators may have accused it of being derivative, and yes, there are echoes of other composers' works here and there; but it would certainly not be the first time a relatively new composer on the scene has been influenced by established masters of their art. Look at James Horner and Christopher Young's early work, to name just two. In any case, in these times when the temp track still holds sway a great deal, it can't hurt to show you can write to order, whilst still retaining something of you own integrity.
Horizons gets off to a great start with the the title track, a sweeping, inspirational, Americana-styled piece. This is followed with a New Age-styled piece, Aurora, which moves to an insistent piano figure and becomes increasingly more powerful with the addition of more layers of seemingly sampled voice and synthesizers. The Shores of My Homeland is an at times inspiring piece of Celtic flavoured warmth, with flute solo by Jack Chen. Then There was You starts out pretty reverential with synth strings, but piano later takes up the melody, before the composer concludes the piece inspirationally with the addition of choir. The Wind's Last Breath is a somewhat melancholy, yet very nice piece, but is followed by one of the standout tracks on the album, the beautiful A Timeless Love, which again features Chen on the flute, and which positively soars at the end. Three more great tracks conclude the disc with, firstly, the equally beautiful and heartwarming One Moment Under the Stars; then the inspirational the Promise, and the concluding Dream, which is similarly styled as Aurora, but with more of a pure orchestral presence, and with something of a laid-back feel.
All-in-all, a great, easy-listening album, and a great showcase for Christopher Tyler Nickel's versatile talents. If you want to hear samples, in addition to visiting his website, where you can also listen to samples of his other compositions, you should also check out his page at
Horizons can be ordered from and from CDBaby.

The Reaping
Music by John Frizzell
Advance Copy of an album to be released by Varese Sarabande in the US on 3rd April
20 Tracks 48:20 mins

John Frizzell's score for this Hilary Swank starrer, in which she plays a debunker of religious phenomena, forced to review her beliefs when she is powerless to explain a series of Biblical plagues inflicted upon a small Louisiana town, is a typical (for the genre) mix of low-key mystery, often piano-driven, atonal suspense, with cacophonal shock moments and spiritual elements, often featuring choir.
The film is produced by Joel Silver and directed by Stephen Hopkins and with such stellar talents involved, both in front and behind the camera, there was sufficient budget to allow the use of an 80-piece orchestra and 60-voice choir, singing in Gaelic.
Perhaps the most interesting, and possibly the most controversial element of the score, is Frizzell's what I can only describe as hommage to Jerry Goldsmith in the cues"Locusts" and "The Boy." which both recall that composer's unique, rhythmic action style, and particularly in his scores for the Omen films, where he used orchestra and choir to such menacing effect. Frizzell's music for these cues creates a fair bit of excitement, as well as a feeling of nostalgia and regret that the great man is not still around.
With all the predominance of orchestra and choir in preceeding tracks, save for the atonal electronic elements, the album surprisingly concludes with the largely electronic-based menacing"Title Sequence," whilst still retaining the choir. It is nevertheless an exciting piece.

Monday, March 26, 2007

I Am Still Alive - Honest!

For those of you wondering why I have been silent these past few days, unforseen events have prevented me from undertaking any serious soundtrack reviewing. Hopefully things will be back to normal before very much longer, and there'll be plenty to catch up on, believe me. I already have around 15 discs waiting for my attention, with a number expected any time soon. In the meantime, keep checking back as, should I receive any news, I will still endeavour to pass this one via the site.

Thanks for your patience.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

CD REVIEW- Nomad the Warrior + News from Top Dollar PR

Nomad the Warrior
Music by Carlo Siliotto
Varese Sarabande VSD 6796 (EU)
33 Tracks 71:24 mins

After Borat took the mickey out of Kazakhstan last year, this epic historical picture goes some way to redressing the balance. Shot in the Kazakh language, yet starring American actors, the film tells the story of the legendary warrior who rises from a common background to unite the warring tribes into one strong nation.
The music is by Carlo Siliotto and is most certainly the best thing I have heard from his pen to date. The Punisher, though receiving some critical acclaim, really did little for me, but this huge score is another matter. Of course that hugeness, drawing on the talents of the Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra, The Kazakh Kurmangazy Orchestra of Folk Instruments, plus choir, solo vocalists and numerous specialist ethnic instrumentalists, goes a good way towards its appeal. That and a strong main theme, which is sweeping and reminiscent of Maurice Jarre's famous themes for the likes of Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago. This theme returns often in the score, and there is also a very nice sentimental secondary theme for the more romantic and intimate moments.
Added to this are some very powerful moments for choir and throat singers, as well as some huge passages for drums and othe percussion. Action cues are perhaps not as numerous as one would expect, but are effective in short bursts (many of the tracks are quite brief in fact).
Favourite cues include the fateful mover "Amen," the solo cello of "You Are Still My Brother, " the heroics of "Gaukhar Rescues Mansur," and the lengthy "Kazakh Victory," which begins with conflict then proceeds through some of the best variations on the sweeping main theme, before ending quite spiritually.
Although not listed as bonus tracks, the album concludes with a couple of takes on the main theme. The first version of "Nomad" features a brisk arrangement by the Bulgarian Symphony; the second version, a more leisurely, folksy reading by the Kurman Gazi Orchestra. There is also an 'improvisational' rendering of a Kazakh traditional song by Zhanar Sabit, which is quite haunting.
There were some reaised eyebrows when Siliotto's score received a nomination at this year's Golden Globes, but the foreign press had obviously discovered, before most of us, this fine score. Can't wait to see the film!


Acclaimed Video Game Composers Provide Cowabunga! Action Music Score for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles®

Los Angeles, March 21, 2007 – Renowned video game composer duo Cris Velasco and Sascha Dikiciyan have created the original musical score for Ubisoft’s TMNT™ video game based on the upcoming CGI feature-length film starring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles®. Developed by Ubisoft’s Montreal and Quebec City Studios, the TMNT video game is rated E10+ and available now at North American retailers.

Drawing on their diverse musical references, Velasco and Dikiciyan have composed a cinematic, action-driven score that encompasses orchestral, rock and break beats to match the acrobatic navigation, collaborative combat and powerful, fast fighting moves of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

As characters from the movie and the original comic book series creep out of the shadows to face the Turtles, Velasco and Dikiciyan’s music captures the sinister landscape of New York City and immerses players in the intense video game adventure. The composers deliver a mélange of bass-driven electronic synths and orchestral swells with an overlay of raw guitar punches, staccato beats and Asian-flavored melodies.

Cris and Sascha’s other video game credits include the dark, epic orchestral score for Dark Messiah of Might and Magic™ and the main cinematic title for Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Double Agent™. For more information, visit their respective websites at and more information on TMNT, please visit the official website at

About Ubisoft:Ubisoft is a leading producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products worldwide and has grown considerably through its strong and diversified lineup of products and partnerships. Ubisoft has offices in 21 countries and sales in more than 50 countries around the globe. It is committed to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge video game titles to consumers. Ubisoft generated revenue of 547 million Euros for the 2005/2006 fiscal year, an increase of 3 percent over the previous fiscal year at constant exchange rates. To learn more, please visit

About 4Kids Entertainment:Headquartered in New York City with international offices in London, 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: KDE) is a global provider of children's entertainment and merchandise licensing. 4Kids, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, provides domestic and international merchandise licensing; product development; television, film, music and home video production and distribution; media planning and buying; and Web site development. For further information, please visit the Company's Web site at and www.4Kids.TV.

©2007 Mirage Studios, Inc. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles™ and TMNT are trademarks of Mirage Studios, Inc. All rights reserved. Software ©2007 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Ubisoft,, and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the U.S. and/or other countries.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

CD REVIEW - The Astronaut Farmer

The Astronaut Farmer
Music by Stuart Matthewman
Varese Sarabande VSD 6790 (EU)
31 Tracks 65:40 mins

This quirky Billy Bob Thornton starrer features a fine Americana-styled score by English songwriter/musician/producer Stuart Matthewman (alias Cottonbelly), who worked on director Michael Polish's previous short films. He certainly takes his chance to score a feature with both hands, supporting Thornton's character's lone attempts to launch a self-built rocket into space with a fine orchestral score, with just a hint of electonics here and there.
The main theme, introduced in the "Opening Titles" is a nice, gentle affair, and is reprised in "Bank." We don't unfortunately get to hear it so much thereafter, though it does return triumphantly in the closing "Home." Every track in the score has something to offer, but my picks would be the light and playful "Sleepy Shepard," the piano-lead warmth of "Farmer and Sunshine," the cello-lead "Sad Family" and the proud, noble and heroic music, often featuring the great Maurice Murphy's trumpet, for scenes involving the rocket.
Rob Mathes is credited with orchestrations, arrangements, and conducting , and also wrote three tracks himself, all of which are winners. "Embrace the Media" features guitar-driven hijinks, whilst "Weatherman and "Dunkin Donuts" are straight out of the Copland school of hoedown music.
The album concludes with a vocal by the incomparable Gillian Welch.
I'm always interested in giving the music of composers unknown to me a listen, and am certainly keen to see the film with its interesting premise.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

CD REVIEW - Bridge to Terabithia + New Release News from Screen Archives

Bridge to Terabithia
Music by Aaron Zigman & Various Artists
Hollywood Records D000011102 (US)
13 Tracks Approx. 15 mins of score

Hollywood Records have released an album to accompany the release of the new Walt Disney/ Walden Media collaboration on Bridge To Terabithia, another family fantasy feature, hoping to follow on from their previous success with The Chronicles of Narnia.
I have to confess that I am writing this review, based on a promo of composer Aaron Zigman's score for the film, rather than a copy of the official soundtrack release, which only contains four cues by Zigman, totalling around 15 minutes of music. The remainder of the album consists of vocals by artisits largely unknown to me, though I have heard of popular young singer/actresses Miley Cyrus (daughter of Billy Ray "Achy Breaky Heart" Cyrus) and Hayden Panettiere.
The four score cues commence with "Seeing Terabithia," an awe-filled varitaiton of the main theme, which is first presented in the film's "Main Title" as a nice, flowing guitar-driven piece, with choir and a slightly folksy edge to it. There follows "Into The Forest," which is by turns mysterious and magical, with some threat and suspense in the middle, before another variation on the main theme closes the track. "The Battle" is a very exciting action piece, whilst "Jesse's Bridge" is a lovely, sunny affair.
Unless you're buying the album for the songs, I am quite sure that these all to brief excerpts from the score will leave you begging for more, and there is certainly plenty more to enjoy on the promo, for which I am indebted to Costa Communications. The score is fully orchestral, with telling use of choir, and much of the music features variations on the excellent main theme, though the score does also include its fair share of mysterious and menacing material, with some comic sneakiness here and there. There are also some good energetic tracks like the high-spirited "To the Museum" and "Running Across the Paddocks." And the folksy edge to the main theme, previously mentioned, comes to the fore in the fiddle-lead "Building the Fort." But it's the main theme and all its variations that leave a lasting impression. It's nice to see Zigman getting a greater variety of assignments these days.



For more detailed information, click on this URL

Monday, March 19, 2007

CD REVIEW - Beat The Drum

Beat The Drum
Music by Klaus Badelt and Ramin Djawadi
Varese Sarabande VSD 6787 (EU)
22 Tracks 53:30 mins

This South African/US production was actually made in 2003, according to the Internet Movie Database, but is only now doing the rounds internationally. The film tells of a young boy, orphaned when a devastating illness strikes his village, and his journey to the big city to find work to help his surviving family.
The music is a collaboration between Klaus Badelt, best known for his modern action writing and Ramin Djawadi. I don't know the dynamics behind this union, but the resulting music is nothing like we're used to hearing from Badelt. It is in fact a wonderfully tuneful effort for orchestra (the Boyana Symphony) and choir, an absolute joy to listen to, more or less from start to finish.
Flute leads a good deal of the melodic content, including the attractive and adaptable main theme, though guitar plays its part also in tracks like "Nobe & Musa," and "Wash for a Rand." "Thandi's Theme" is almost as nice as the main theme, with flute again taking lead.
Naturally, given the subject matter, there are sadder, darker moments in the score and things pretty much take this turn from about track 12, but by track 19 things are warming up again to provide a heart-warming ending with the gentle sentiment of "Did God Send You?" leading to the concluding "Brand New Day", which ends in an increasingly inspiring African choral song.
Just from listening to this fine, melodic score, one can tell that this film is very likely a superior tearjerker and, as a sucker for these, I am sure I will enjoy the film as much as its music.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

CD REVIEW - Little Children

Little Children
Music by Thomas Newman
Silva screen SILCD1226 (UK)
19 Tracks 38:03 mins

After the good notices Thomas Newman received for his retro-styled score for the equally retro-styled film The Good German, he returns to his more familiar style for this contemporary drama dealing with the tricky subject of paedophilia from director Todd Field, whose film was nominated for three Academy Awards.
As a result, it's another score which reveals moments of brilliance and others of frustration due to the brevity of some tracks, as is often the case with Newman's albums. Indeed, the first four tracks on this CD go by quickly and without any great substance, although the tentative classical strings of "Tissue" and child-like piano of "2 Hillcrest" promise more. Track 5 "Bandshell" is where we first find some meat in the form of a light and comical pizzicato with lush string backing. "Red Bathing Suit" follows, with its ethereal piano lead; and then the gentle, repetiitive walker "Lucy." "In the same vein is the nice paino-lead drifter "Pool days."
Things take a more sinister turn with the edgy marimba piece "Weekends Were Difficult" and the threatening "What's the Hurry?", but lighten up briefly with the swinging source track "Fly Me to the Moon," before things take a downturn again with the anxious "May," and the return of the marimba in "A Sniff or Two."
The lonely piano of "Be a Good Boy" leads into the propulsive strings of "Slutty Kay," which I wish could have been longer, but the "End Title" makes up for things somewhat, although at over 7 minutes if it perhaps a touch too long. Nevertheless, at its best, it's mighty fine, almost celebratory, with rhythmic strings, strident at times, and ending with gentle piano. Often Newman will come up with at least one track to treasure on an album and, in this case, this is the one.
Unlike most correspondents, I found Newman's score to The Good German rather dull. This is much more like the Thomas Newman we know and admire and will I feel hold more appeal for his fans.

Friday, March 16, 2007

News from Cota Communications

From Costa Communications

It's a Miracle!


Film Opens March 16

(Los Angeles, CA) Film and television composer Christopher Lennertz teams with celebrated multi-cultural band Ozomatli to provide a tasty score to the indie release "Tortilla Heaven" for director Judy Hecht Dumontet. Lennertz and Ozomatli previously worked together on the band's "Street Signs" CD, where Lennertz's arranging work with an orchestra helped the 10-piece band take home a Grammy award for best Latin Rock Album of the Year. "Tortilla Heaven" opens in limited release March 16. For "Tortilla Heaven," Lennertz collaborated with members of Ozomatli to incorporate a rock'n Espanol sound into the comedy film. Starring George Lopez and Miguel Sandoval, the comedy based on a true story begins when the face of Jesus appears on a hand-made tortilla in a tiny New Mexico town, a miracle that threatens to turn the sleepy community upside down.
Emmy nominated for his score for the TV show "Supernatural," his television credits include Fox's "Brimstone," the WB's "The Strip," "Supernatural" and the theme song for the MTV series "Tough Enough," which appeared on the album for the show and put him on the Billboard top 100 charts for weeks. His powerful, full orchestral score for the Stephen Spielberg-created videogame "Medal of Honor: Rising Sun" earned an award from the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences and led him to score two more "Medal of Honor" games.
Ozomatli's festive music has been heard in a number of movies and television shows, but their work with Lennertz is something different. "It's totally way out from what you would think," bassist Wil-Dog Abers says. "Now we're doing this really moody scene and I think it's cool that people are really learning what we can do. It's really exciting."
Lennertz began his musical education at the early age of nine and quickly developed what director Joshua Butler ("Saint Sinner") calls "an incredible gift for melody." After learning to play the trumpet and guitar, he ventured out of performance to study composition, jazz arranging, and theory in high school. Soon, he made his way to the University of Southern California to continue his musical education and begin scoring films.
Lennertz has since expanded his repertoire as a composer for all types of media, from film to television and even to videogames. Among his film scores are several notable independent films, including the jazz-based gangster drama "Baby Face Nelson" featuring Academy Award winner F. Murry Abraham, the seductive thriller "Lured Innocence" starring Dennis Hopper, and the film festival favorite, "Art House."
Of late, Lennertz scored the thriller "The Deal," starring Christian Slater and Selma Blair; and "Sledge: The Untold Story," a mockumentary featuring Angelina Jolie. Upcoming projects include, "The Comebacks" with David Koechner ("The Office," "Talladega Nights," "Anchorman"); and "Perfect Christmas," a family romance starring Terrence Howard, Queen Latifah and Gabrielle Union.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

CD REVIEW - Catch and Release

Catch and Release
Music by BT and Tommy Stinson
Varese Sarabande VSD 6793 (EU)
23 Tracks 34:20 mins

This new drama stars jennifer Garner (of Alias fame, and of course wife of Ben Affleck) as a young widow coming to terms with her husband's death and uncovering the secrets he kept from her.
The score is by BT, who has of course written the music for a number of films in recent years, including Stealth and Monster, teamed with Guns N' Roses bassist Tommy Stinson.
Just who is responsible for what I do not know, but the score is largely guitar driven, though mostly of the acoustic variety, with just occasionally electric guitar surfacing. Light synth backing and ethereal and sometimes more strident piano make their presence felt here and there, particularly early on in the score, though the synths return more in the concluding album tracks. Much of the time though, the mostly quite brief tracks are acoustic and folksy, and whilst not especially overflowing with memorable tunes, nevertheless make for an appealing listen and are largely very positive, I suppose representing the new love Garner's character finds.
A very undemanding listen then, and perhaps somewhat of a surprise offering from this pair of writers, who certainly show their versatility here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

CD REVIEW - Breach

Music by Mychael Danna
Varese Sarabande 302 066 795 2 (US) VSD 6795 (EU)
12 Tracks 35:34 mins

Ryan Philippe (how could he let the gorgeous Reese Witherspoon get away?!) plays a young FBI Agent intent on proving his boss (Chris Cooper) is selling secrets to the Soviets in this new thriller, which is based on true events.
The score is provided by Mychael Danna and is one of his more conventional efforts, a mysterious, melancholy offering, with much of the music harp-driven, with strings to the fore and excellent piano solos. It reminds me a touch of Bernard Herrmann in its elegance, but also puts me in mind of Jerry Goldsmith's great, mysterious music for Basic Instinct.
Occasionally the melancholy mood is broken by suspenseful, dark, and threatening music, ending in the odd powerful crescendo; and there are also a couple of more uptempo tracks, which move to a combination of electronics and percussion. At one point a trademark Desplat electronic pulse threatens, but wisely the composer backs away from it. Overall, it's that mysterious, melancholy mood that dominates this classy effort.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

CD REVIEW - Hellsing - Original Soundtrack Best Of

Hellsing - Original Soundtrack Best Of
Music by Yasushi Ishii
Colosseum CLJ 8601.2 (EU)
22 Tracks 66:40 mins

Just occasionally I'm surprised by something dropping through my door that I know absolutely nothing about. Such an occasion was when I was confronted by this album, with its garish cover and very little clue to what the music was or what it was composed for. The track titles being in Japanese certainly didn't help; and the composer's name was completely unfamiliar to me.
Well, I put the disc on and was blown away, almost literally, by the music's hard rocking sound. Now normally I'm more of a symphonic score fan, but overall I would say I'm a fan of good music, whatever form it takes, and this is good music.
As for Hellsing, well a quick search of the internet found that it is a 2002 Japanese TV anime series, known there as "Herushingu," set in modern-day England and featuring Van Helsing's daughter, aided by a couple of vampires, battling against supernatural forces. Unfortunately however, another search turned up nothing on its composer.
With Japanese track titles that are beyond my understanding, I would just guide you by telling you that the music is, as I said, of the hard-rocking variety, suitably guitar-driven for the most part, though keyboards occasionally take the lead. Some cues are straight instrumentals, whilst others are rock ballads, with Ishii's whispered vocals being somewhat drowned out by the backing. I think he's singing in English, but straining my ears as I might, I just can't understand him. Whatever, it's all good foot-tapping stuff.
Some tracks dare to be different. Track 6 for instance, has a Flamenco feel, with acoustic guitars added to the mix, and Track 15 also features a flowing acoustic guitar solo. Tracks 16 and 18 are melancholy whistled themes, whilst Track 19 is a brief honky tonk piano source piece, like one finds in any Spaghetti Western you can name. And Track 21 features a child-like tune, with added childrens' laughter.
So, to conclude, if you're in the mood for some hard-rocking music, this might well fit the bill, though, as you can see from the last paragraph, there is more to the score than just that. Not all the surprises that hit my doormat are pleasant, but this one was quite acceptable, thank you.

Monday, March 12, 2007

CD REVIEW - Cinecocktail

Music by Various Composers
Beat Records CDX 1001 (Italy)
Disc 1 - 20 Tracks 56:31 mins Bonus Disc - 3 Tracks 21:40 mins

This compilation is subtitled "the ultimate easy listening compilation." Well, I don't know about that, but it certainly is a great disc to put on as background or just to put your feet up and relax to; filled as it is with fine tunes from various Italian films of the 60s and 70s, from the pens of familiar composers to those of you who enjoy quality Italian film music. Many of the greats are represented, including Ennio Morricone, Francesco De Masi, Stelvio Cipriani, Robert Pregadio, Piero Piccione, Nicola Piovani, Riz Ortolani, Guido and maurizio De Angelis, and the album producer's father Franco De Gemini. And many of the tracks also feature sterling vocal work by I Cantori Moderni di Alessandro Alessandroni, Edda Dell'Orso and Giulia De Mutiis, so what's not to like?
It's difficult to select my favourites, but if forced to, I'd plump for the fast-flowing jazz and bubbly vocals of "Cheops and Nefertiti;" "Tema di Londra" - great music to spy by; "the easy-going Edda vocal on "Malinconica Serenita;" and the extremely catchy "Bi Di Bi Da," from Il Medico...La Studentessa, which you will remember I reviewed here a few days back. Close runners-up would be another great vocal from Edda on "Voce D'Amore;" the pretty little keyboard number "La Figlia di Belli;" the delicate piano romance of "Musica per Anna;" the happy piano of "La Bella Signora;" and the light, tropical feel of "Papaya Song."
Included in this set, along with the colourful accompanying booklet, which features reminiscences by Daniele & Franco De Gemini, Francesco De Masi, Enzo G. Castellari and Roberto Pregadio, in three languages no less; is a bonus disc, which features three tunes from Il Medico...La Studentessa, given a modern dance spin, but with an overall Brazilian samba feel.
Don't forget to visit the label's website at, where you can keep up to date with their fine releases.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Starr Parodi's Conversations With Other Women

You may recall I recently ran a press release from Costa Communications regarding Starr Parodi's music for the critically acclaimed Conversations With Other Women, which has recently been released on DVD in the States.

Unfortunately I have been unable to determine a release date for the DVD in the UK, but Costa Communications kindly sent me a promotional disc, featuring some 34 minutes of her score, written in collaboration with her husband Jeff Fair, spread over 11 tracks.

The first half-dozen tracks are very much in the source music form, with "Her Story," "Where's Your daddy?" and "Fuzzy Headset" in swinging jazz mode; "Last Dance," a smoky, trumpet-lead slow dance; "Shirley Temple With Pineapple," a fun, Hawaiian steel guitar number; and "Another Time," a sad, emotion-filled, acoustic guitar-driven piece, with muted trumpet taking lead. The remaining tracks highlight the dramatic score, which is largely of the ambient variety and less attractive to listen to, I have to say.

Let's hope the film is soon released on DVD in the UK, so I can better assess the score's effectiveness.

Friday, March 09, 2007

CD REVIEW - Roma Contro Roma

Roma Contro Roma - War of the Zombies
Music by Roberto Nicolosi
Digitmovies CDDM076 (Italy)
29 Tracks 55:11 mins

The third in their series of albums devoted to the Italian Peplum genre, sees Digitmovies premiere the score, in fine mono sound, by Roberto Nicolosi for 1964's Roma Contro Roma, which sees an evil priest turning dead Roman legionaries into zombies in an attempt to overthrow Rome.
The album starts with Nicolosi's powerful, propulsive, march-like theme, which is followed by an exciting action cue (there are no track titles), giving way to a brass fanfare.
Following these impressive opening tracks, the composer introduces the eerie sound of electronic origan and percussion, an approach which is to dominate many of the subsequent tracks. Occasionally timpani signal something of a dark march, which rises from all the eeriness.
Some dramatic orchestral cues appear late in the score, but largely the eeriness dominates, along with a bittersweet, tragi-romantic theme.
Not the easiest of listening experiences then, but a good, workmanlike genre entry.
As always, the disc is accompanied by a colourful booklet, with plenty of stills and artwork from the film, as well as Claudio Fuiano's introductory notes.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

CD REVIEW - Il Medico...La Studentessa + First results of Zigman/Legend collaboration on Pride

Il Medico...La Studentessa
Music by Roberto Pregadio
Beat Records CDCR 064 (Italy)
19 Tracks 43:19 mins

Exploring the recent back catalogue of releases from Beat Records, one comes across Robert Pregadio's music for the 1976 sex comedy, the title of which translates to The Doctor and His Sexy Student, directed by Silvio Amadio and starring a very sexy (from the alluring booklet stills) Gloria Guida.
This is not a film score in the modern sense, whereby the music often follows the action, almost Mickey-Mouse style, but rather a collection of extremely easy listening jazz-pop instrumentals of varying styles.The main theme "Bi-Di-Bi-Da" is first heard as a vocal by the reliable I Cantori Moderni di Alessandro Alessandroni, accompanied by what sounds like a synthesised voice, adding a comedic touch to the theme, especially at the end. This very catchy theme is reprised instrumentally a number of times on the disc, including a slow and quite weird variation where the synth voice dominates.
The disc is expanded from the original soundtrack release and includes a number of shorter versions of the themes found on the original album. These themes are mostly source-like numbers, including bossanovas, slow dances, striptease numbers, and lightly jazzy tunes. Apart from these there is a sneaky little mover "Indagando;" the cliched drum and Native American voices of "Ildottore Indiano;" and the light-hearted trumpet-lead military march "Il Colonnello."
Add it all up and one has an extremely pleasant album, ideal for both background play and for just relaxing to.
The already mentioned accompanying booklet includes a summary of the film's plot in both Italian and English languages.

Aaron Zigman and John Legend's collaboraton on Pride

I recently posted a press release from Costa Communications regarding the film Pride, which is based on the story of inner city Philadelphia swim coach Jim Ellis, and which opens in the USA on March 23rd.
Aaron Zigman is responsible for the film's score and collaborated with R&B artist John Legend on the soulful, inspiration ballad "Dare to Dream." Whilst the Lionsgate soundtrack is yet to hit the stores (it does so March 13the), Costa Communications kindly sent me a copy of "Dare to Dream" and I have to say that it is an excellent ballad, with Legend's vocal combining well with Zigman's orchestration, which strongly features choir. A fine song and I hope the soundtrack album will also feature selections from Zigman's score, but no word on that as yet.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

CD REVIEW - L'Uomo Senza Memoria + News from HUGEnews PR

L'Uomo Senza Memoria
Music by Gianni Ferrio
Digitmovies CDDM075 (Italy)
21 Tracks 46:50 mins

This 1974 thriller was directed by Duccio Tessari and starred the strikingly beautiful Senta Berger, and here, for the first time, is the original score in stereo, featuring Gianni Ferrio's often mysterious and suspenseful score, through which runs the memorable main theme, first heard as a vocal, with Italian lyrics, performed passionately by Rossella. The theme is somewhat nostalgic, after a mysterious intro, and flows nicely to a pop beat.
Throughout the score this theme emerges in all kinds of arrangements, sometimes fragmented, at others more flowing, with Hammond organ lead, like in track 10 (there are no track titles as such, save for the main theme "Labyrinthus."), or with wordless female vocal, as in track 7.
In addition to this theme, there is a more upbeat, light and poppy mover introduced in track 3, but best heard in a more lengthy arrangement in the second of two bonus tracks (the first being another version of the opening song) included at the end of the disc, which were discovered in the archives and were intended for release as both sides of a 45 rpm single, which unfortunately never happened.
The overall feel of the score however can be likened to the kind of atmospheres the likes of Lalo Schifrin was composing for thrillers of the time, often with flute to the fore, sometimes moving stealthily, at others seductive and lightly jazzy. There are of course dissonant shock moments for the various "splatter" moments present in the film, and some Hammond-lead chase music here and there to get the pulse going.
As always, the disc is accompanied by a colourful booklet with stills and artwork from the film, together with Claudio Fuiano & Pierluigi Valentini's introductory notes.
Visit to keep up to date with the label's fine releases.

From HUGEnews Public Relations



Historic Videogame Score Available Everywhere March 6, 2007

The videogame soundtrack that first opened a door to the Grammy Awards™, defined new production standards for game music, set sales records and eventually led to an Academy Award™, is being commercially released worldwide by Universal Music Group Recordings, Inc.

The classic soundtrack from Sierra's Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire, composed and produced by multiple award-winner Chance Thomas, will be available March 6, 2007 for free preview and commercial download on iTunes, Liquid Audio, Napster, MusicNet, Listen/Rhapsody and Sony Connect. MP3 excerpts of the soundtrack can also be sampled at:

It was the music from Quest for Glory V that first turned the heads of Recording Academy leaders in 1997 and began the process of bringing game music into the Grammy Awards™. The soundtrack's film-score sensibilities and high production standards demonstrated a maturing approach to game music that placed it on par with film and television soundtracks. "I still remember sitting in NARAS' offices for the first time, watching Academy VP Diane Theriot place the Quest for Glory V soundtrack in her CD player and push the play button," says Thomas. "I was so nervous. Quest was my opening move to get game music into the Grammy Awards. So when she started smiling and nodding her head at me, I knew the orchestra had done the trick. She said, 'I'm very impressed,' and got the ball rolling that very day." Grammy™ eligibility was extended to game music for the first time, and ultimately three new categories were added for it's inclusion.

Today the modern film orchestra is ubiquitous in dramatic game scoring. But 10 years ago, the live symphonic tracks in Quest for Glory V were ground-breaking. They were among the very first orchestral recordings for any American-made game, and the first ever for game-maker Sierra. Said Craig Alexander, Sierra's general manager at the time, "Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire features a full orchestra, classical guitar, gothic harp, layered vocals, even a handful of exotic instruments, all played by the finest studio musicians. It cost us a bundle, but every reviewer out there is raving about the music. I wish I could get that much bang for the buck out of all aspects of production." (Grammy Magazine, Getting In The Game, Spring Issue 1999)

The Quest for Glory V soundtrack literally led to an Oscar™. The soundtrack CD caught the attention of Ken Ralston, then president of Sony Pictures Imageworks, during pre-production for his animated short film, The ChubbChubbs. Said Ralston, "That led me to pursue Chance Thomas for our first animated short... His scores are ingenious, evocative and have a sophisticated filmic sound." Chance delivered a comic, foreboding original score for The ChubbChubbs that won Best of Show at the International Aurora Awards™ in music scoring. The film went on to dominate short film festivals and awards, eventually taking home an Oscar™ at the 75th Annual Academy Awards™. This was the first time a game music composer had scored an Oscar™ winning film of any kind.

Music from Quest for Glory V was performed live at the world's first game music concert held outside Japan. The historic symphonic concert at the 2003 European GC conference featured the "Overture" from Quest for Glory V's soundtrack, a five-minute exposition of the game's main themes. Maestro Andy Brick conducted the Czech National Symphony Orchestra in its performance at the renowned Gewandhaus Concert Hall in Leipzig, Germany.

With a CD release in the late 1990's selling more than 50,000 units, Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire was the most commercially successful game soundtrack of its day. It remains among the best selling American game soundtracks of all time.

Jonathan Firstenberg
Universal Music Group Recordings, Inc.
(310) 235-4860 - phone
(310) 235-4905 - fax

HUGEnews Public Relations
(559) 642-4843 - phone

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

CD REVIEW - Raintree County + News from Perseverance Records

Raintree County
Music by Johnny Green
Film Score Monthly Vol.9 No.19 (USA)
Disc 1 - 17 Tracks 74:02 mins Disc 2 - 25 Tracks 70:25 mins

Johnny Green was head of M-G-M's music department from 1949 through many of the great years of the studio, working on many classic films, particularly musicals such as An American in Paris, Brigadoon and High Society, but his composing contributions were actually quite few, which is a great pity for when he did apply himself he showed he was a composer of no little talent. His masterpiece was 1956's Raintree County, a film based on a portion of Ross Lockridge Jr.'s huge 1000-page novel and set before and during the American Civil War.
The film concerns a young man's entanglement with a southern belle, her pregnany and his resulting marriage to her, despite his love for his childhood sweetheart, and his wife's gradual descent into madness. Montgomery Clift took the lead as Johnny, with Elizabeth Taylor as the doomed Susanna and Eva Marie Saint as childhood sweetheart Nell. Lee Marvin was also memorable as Johnny's friend Flash.
For the film's characters, Green wrote numerous excellent themes, including a gorgeous love theme and a melancholy one for Johnny and Susanna's relationship. Susanna also has three "madness" motives, the most memorable being a descending figure for alto sax. Johnny and Nell are characterised by another lovely and innocent theme, whilst Flash's theme is a catchy, folksky affair. But best of all is the film's main theme "The Song of Raintree County," a truly memorable tune, which is given countless renditions throughout the score, some quite beautiful, exotic and mystical, and sung in the film by the great Nat King Cole. Sadly, until now, Cole's vocal was not available on any of the album releases, where choir was substituted. So, if there's just one reason for you to upgrade to this recording it's that here we finally have Cole's vocals. All of the most attractive of these themes are introduced in the early cues, making up the first 8 tracks of Disc 1 of this double CD set. When you add them all up they make for some of the most gorgeous and memorable film music ever composed, both with the film and as a stand-alone album listening experience.
That's not to say the remainder of the score isn't equally memorable, as the various character themes re-surface on a regular basis. It's just that as war breaks out and Susanna's madness takes hold, the score understandably turns darker, and there is a good deal of tension and exciting action writing for the war, plus dissonant writing for Susanna's madness.
Various recordings of Green's music have been issued over the years, and I have long cherished the Entr'Acte double LP, in stereo, of 1976. Film Score Monthly has assembled this splendid latest incarnation of the the score, remixed and remastered from the original 35mm three-track scoring sessions, and aiming to provide the best of all possible worlds, both by taking tracks as they appear in the film and others from Green's album version, where changes were made, as often was the custom of the time. The result is the definitive version of the score, which runs for over 110 minutes over the two discs, plus a further 33 minutes of bonus tracks, featuring alternate film versions, where album versions have been used, together with unused cues and source tracks. Particularly fascinating is Carlos Noble's vocal rendition of the johnny & Susanna love theme, with lyrics by Paul Francis Webster, and there is an interesting demo version of the "Song of Raintree County" by Bill Lee.
As always, the music is accompanied by a splendid booklet, featuring many stills from the film, plus Ross Care's detailed note about the film, its score and composer, together with the customary cue-by-cue guide.
Long-time film music collectors don't need to be told that this is a fabulous score, but if you're new to appreciation of the art, this really is one you should have in your collection.
For more details, to listen to samples, and ultimately purchase the album, go to _detail.cfm?ID=6617

From Perseverance Records

Deadly Friend now available for ordering

Although the official word isn't out yet, the first sales have already happened. Deadly Friend will be out on Monday, and you can order it already from our Yahoo store.
We are particularly proud that we were able to get director Wes Craven to join Charles Bernstein and myself for a 35 minute interview for the CD, in which they both went into depth about the relationship between a composer and director, who have worked together on three pictures. (Although we didn't touch on the third movie.)
The album features all the orchestral cues for the movie along with a handful of remastered electronic cues that were available on the 1986 LP which we included for a more listenable flow of the music overall. The record that Varese Sarabande released when the film came out only contained the electronic mock-ups for the score. For cost reasons the orchestral music wasn't included. This CD features the world premiere release of Charles' complete symphonic score.
There are no sound samples on the Web site yet, but they will follow soon.
To order, click here: <>.
This title is limited to 1,000 pressings.

Bloodsport soundtrack to include songs by Michael Bishop and Stan Bush

Although no release date has been set yet, we are happy to announce that coming soon is a complete recording of Paul Hertzog's music to the Jean-Claude Van Damme cult hit "Bloodsport", which will include the songs "Fight to Survive", "On My Own - Alone" and Michael Bishop's "Steal the Night". The CD that was released in the early Nineties was only available in Germany and the UK and didn't contain the songs; the Stan Bush songs were performed by a different artist, and "Steal the Night" was missing altogether. We are proud to say that we have secured the rights to all three songs.

The Abominable Dr. Phibes is out of print now

We just sold the last copy of this marvelous Basil Kirchin score. There won't be a repressing of this CD, so treasure yours well.

Coming Soon:

The Film Music of Jim Manzie Volumes 1 & 2

Monday, March 05, 2007

Film Score Monthly new releases plus news of some exciting golden age music in concert


THE WRATH OF GOD by Lalo Schifrin
SOME CAME RUNNING by Elmer Bernstein

For more detailed information, click on this URL:-

Go to The London Philharmonic Orchestra's website at for details of some exciting concerts coming up in at London's Royal Festival Hall in November.

The main event is a concert on 2nd November, in which John Wilson will conduct the Orchestra in suites from Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz, Escape Me Never, Street Scene, The Adventures of Robin Hood and The Philadelphia Story. There will also be themes from The Sea Hawk, The Thief of Bagdad and The Constant Nymph. Strangely, a suite from Close Encounters of the Third Kind completes the programme.

As if there is't enough Korngold in the above concert for you, there will be further performances of his work in November by the same orchestra, at the same venue. On 14th November, his Violin Concerto in D will feature as part of a concert with other non-film related works; and on 21st November there will be a concert performance of Korngold's wonderful opera Das Wunder der Heliane. Take you cushion as the performance will run for more than three hours, although there will be intervals.

I had hope to bring you a review of Film Score Monthly's splendid new release of Johnny Green's classic score for 1956's Raintree County today, but the sheer volume of music in this double CD set just about beat me, but hopefully it will appear tomorrow.
And watch out for many more CD reviews in the coming days. I have numerous Varese Sarabande CDs to cover, plus four from a couple of Italian labels, with hopefully releases from Lakeshore and Silva Screen also on the way.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Latest Issue of Film Music Magazine = News from Top Dollar PR and Intrada release Holdridge's East of Eden

Volume 6 Number 2 of Film Music features John Ottman on the cover and carries a lengthy interview with the composer. Other interviewees are Bear McCreary on his work for the Battlestar Galactica series; The Underdogs, who have just taken their first big steps into film scoring with Dreamgirls; trailer composer Chris Field; and legendary scoring mixer Dan Wallin, with a brief contribution from Michael Giacchino. The issue also includes regular features "Game Theory," "Inside the Composer's Studio" and "Final Note," in which Film Music Publisher Mark Northam takes an interesting look into the seemingly unsatisfactory workings of the PROs.
To subscribe visit

From Top Dollar PR


Award-winning composer records dynamic emotional soundtrack with Hollywood A-listmusicians and vocalists for next installment in popular squad-based action franchise

New York – February 27th, 2007 – Composer and music producer Tom Salta, whose previous credits include the MTV VMA nominated original score for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter™ (Tom Clancy’s GRAW), has written and recorded the dark and epic original score for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter ® 2, the next installment in the smash-hit squad-based action franchise. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter ® 2 is being developed by the award-winning teams that created the original Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter™ in Ubisoft’s Paris and Red Storm Studios, with developer GRIN once again developing the specific version for Windows® PC. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter® 2 is scheduled for release on the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system and Windows® PC in March 2007, with the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system version scheduled to release in June 2007.
For Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter ® 2, Salta has written a more aggressive and expressive original score to enhance the game’s intensive action and memorable, dramatic scenes, with only a few select motif references taken from the anthemic musical score of the first outing. To ensure the best performance of these tense and emotionally complex compositions for Tom Clancy’s GRAW2, Salta recorded with the Hollywood Studio Symphony and the Page LA Studio Chorus on the Eastwood Scoring Stage at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California, a premier orchestra recording venue for Hollywood’s major motion pictures. Manu Bachet, Music Supervisor for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter ® 2 at Ubisoft, said, “Our goal on the sequel was to match the same high quality level as the acclaimed Tom Clancy’s GRAW1 soundtrack. However Tom exceeded our expectations and has brought Tom Clancy’s GRAW2 score to the next level, guiding the whole orchestra and choir performance to beautifully balance the thin line between emotion and violence - right where the magic happens.”To hear preview samples of Tom Salta’s music for the game, visit the official website at Salta’s other recent projects include Ubisoft’s exclusive first-person action title for the Nintendo Wii console, Red Steel, drawing from traditional and contemporary Japan for the game’s original soundtrack which received IGN’s Wii Award for Best Original Score. His music is also featured in the Warner Bros. movie trailer for “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” For more information visit Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter ® 2 builds off of the events in the first game and places gamers in control of the U.S. military’s elite fighting unit, the Ghosts. In the year 2014, the rising conflict between Mexican loyalists and insurgent rebel forces has thrown Mexico into a full-scale civil war. Under the command of Captain Scott Mitchell, the Ghosts are called upon to face an imminent threat to the United States. The fate of two countries now lies in the hands of the Ghosts as they fend off an attack on U.S. soil. Equipped with the most cutting-edge weaponry and technology, the Ghosts must battle on both sides of the border to neutralize the escalating rebel threat.
© 2006-2007 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Ghost Recon, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, the Soldier Icon, Red Steel, Ubisoft,, and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the U.S. and/or other countries. PC version developed by GRIN. "PlayStation", "PLAYSTATION", and "PS" Family logo are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. TM and Wii are trademarks of Nintendo. © 2006 Nintendo.

About Ubisoft:
Ubisoft is a leading producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products worldwide and has grown considerably through its strong and diversified lineup of products and partnerships. Ubisoft has offices in 21 countries and sales in more than 50 countries around the globe. It is committed to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge video game titles to consumers. Ubisoft generated revenue of 547 million Euros for the 2005-2006 fiscal year. To learn more, please visit

About Tom Clancy:
With more than 80 million books sold, Tom Clancy is arguably the world’s most recognized author. His works include fiction such as The Hunt for Red October, Clear and Present Danger, The Sum of All Fears, Rainbow Six, Without Remorse and The Teeth of the Tiger. Clancy also writes nonfiction works about weapons and various military units. Four of his books have already been adapted into highly successful feature films.


For more detailed information, click on this URL:

Friday, March 02, 2007


Music by Tyler Bates
Warner Bros. Records 101479
25 Tracks 59:58 mins

Zack Snyder's adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel detailing the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC, in which 300 Spartan warriors went up against the might of the massive Persian Army opens in the UK on March 23rd, and very impressive it looks from the trailers I have seen, brought to the screen in the manner that Sin City was, with computer generated backgrounds to the action in the forefront.
Having collaborated with composer Tyler Bates on his previous film, the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead, Snyder turned to the composer to create the unique soundscape for the picture.
This not being a straight remake of The 300 Spartans film from many decades ago, and in view of the manner in which this film has been brought to the screen, a traditional orchestral score was obviously not the way to go, and Bates has created an impressive and pretty distinctive soundscape, utilisng full orchestra and choir, recorded at London's famed Abbey Road Studios, together with electronics and the haunting vocals of Iranian-born Azam Ali, who was last heard so effectively in Mychael Danna's score for The Nativity Story.
The score is short on melody, I'm afraid, but instead weaves an atmospheric web over the proceedings, with Azam Ali's exotic, ethnic-styled vocals, sometimes supported by choir, combining with said orchestra and electronics, including electric guitars. I know the use of the latter may not sit well with purists, but it is a valid approach for this project and quite effective. In fact the 'bad ass' sound of "Fever Dream" is quite comparable to Christopher Young's writing for the recent Ghost Rider film.
Of course, Bates acknowledges the film's more epic and fateful moments with some powerful crescendos and elegiac moments, sometimes featuring trumpet in time-honoured fashion.
Battle scenes often feature pulse-pounding action writing, with drums and guitars driving things on but, as in "A God King Bleeds," he is not averse to suddenly dropping the odd ethereal moment in here and there.
My favourite track on the album has to be "Returns a King," which starts with a proud a capella choral, before the choir unite with the rest of Bates' forces for a tremendously powerful processional, a feel continued later in "Come and Get Them." But "Goodbye My Love" also comes close, commencing as it does with a mournful trumpet, with Azim Ali taking over, as the track builds in power and intensity to its conclusion.
"Remember Us," concludes the album in fine style - very elegiac, again with trumpet, before building to its impressive finale.
In conclusion, this may not be the most easy listening soundtrack album you will come across, but it is certainly an interesting and affecting experience, and I cannot wait to see how it fares in the film, where I am sure it will combine perfectly with the amazing visual style on display.
The 300 album is released on March 6th, and is also available in a special edition deluxe-version Digipak, which includes a 16-page booklet as well as three two-side trading cards. Visit the following websites for more on the film and its score:- and

Thursday, March 01, 2007

CD REVIEW - Sodom and Gomorrah

Sodom and Gomorrah
Music by Miklos Rozsa
Digitmovies CDDM074 (Italy)
Disc 1 - 28 Tracks 57:51 mins Disc 2 - 22 Tracks 53:43 mins

To mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Hungarian born Hollywood composer Miklos Rozsa, Digitmovies have released a deluxe double CD edition of his great score for the 1962 biblical epic Sodom and Gomorrah.
When the great composer's music for historical/biblical epics is discussed, Sodom and Gomorrah is often neglected in favour of his more well-known and popular scores for Ben-Hur, El Cid, Quo Vadis and King of Kings. True, the film may not have been the critical or box office success that the others were, despite being directed by Robert Aldrich (with Sergio Leone on second unit) and boasting stars of the calibre of Stewart Granger and Stanley Baker, as well as popular continental stars such asPier Angeli, Rossana Podesta, Anouk Aimee and Anthony Steffen (of Italian Western film fame), but Dr. Rozsa took the assignment just as seriously as any of the aforementioned films, studiously researching music of the time and locale.
The results are here for all to hear, and in stereo (albeit with less than state of the art sound quality), in not only the many dance sequences and religious chorals, but also informing his dramatic scoring, whilst always retaining that distinctive Rozsa sound.
The score bristles with great themes, from the power of the opening music in the "Overture" to the noble and sweeping theme for Lot that follows, to the two love themes, very different in feel, but equally gorgeous at their height, the first in "La Favorita della Regina," the second in "Risposta ad un Sogno." In fact the first of these themes is introduced in the "Prelude" in a dramatic, and powerful mood of foreboding, and it is also played in quite sinister style at times, such is its versatility.
Other great tracks include the joyous heights of "Il Giordano;" the turbulent action of "La Sconfitta di Astaroth;" the bombastic "Marcia degli Elamiti;" the beautiful "Pastorale del Fiume;" the exciting conflict of "La Battaglia della Diga;" the anguish and anger of "Gelosia;" the dark and dramatic "La Disfatta di Astaroth;" the triumphant "Esodo;" and the three cues that make up the finale of the picture, the drama and excitement of "Destruction of Sodom" and "Statue of Salt" and the powerful "Epilogue."
Listening to this fine music only make one long for the days when composers were given the time to produce such memorable scores that not only fit the film like a glove, but spawned many memorable themes to treasure thereafter.
The score for Sodom and Gomorrah has been previously released in several versions, both on LP and CD, but this is the definitive version, featuring the complete score, plus six previously unreleased unused source music tracks, mostly featuring a capella choir.
As well as the deluxe packaging, the two discs are accompanied by a splendid 20-page booklet, featuring many colour stills and poster artwork from the film, together with informative notes by Claudio Fuiano.
Miklos Rozsa's many fans will no doubt be delighted to add this most complete version of Sodom and Gomorrah to their collection, but for those of you less familiar with the composer's work this may well be a good place for you to start your appreciation.