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

Friday, June 01, 2007

Three items of news from Costa Communications

I have no less than three press releases from Costa Communications for you today.
Firstly, next month "Arsenio Hall Show" pianist Starr Parodi will play selections for invited guests from her new CD, 'Common Places,' at a private residence in London's Highgate Village. Here is the release regarding that album.

James Bond theme Featured on New Release Nov 14

"Parodi's pianistic sense and delivery go way beyond creative. Words that come to mind while listening to Common Places include imaginative, courageous, dynamic, passionate, gutsy, pensive, restrained, and euphoric. I'm thoroughly entranced by the whole experience."-- Mark Vail - Keyboard Magazine

(Hollywood, CA): Recognized as the talented, funky, multi-keyboardist who appeared nightly on the groundbreaking late night hit, "The Arsenio Hall Show," composer/pianist Starr Parodi returns to the spotlight with "Common Places." The album, which features a re-interpretation of the classic James Bond Theme, will debut November 14, contemporaneous with the release of "Casino Royale," the latest James Bond installment. Parodi draws inspiration from her 1928 Steinway grand piano that once adorned the legendary MGM sound stage in its most glorious era and was used on such classic films as "The Wizard of Oz." Her new CD "Common Places" echoes with cinematic, neoclassical, Americana and gospel themes, all played as "stream of conciousness" improvisations.
Parodi is also well-known in the television and film industries for her music scoring abilities as one half of the Parodi/Fair partnership with her husband Jeff Fair. She recently scored the 2006 critically acclaimed film "Conversations With Other Women," starring Helena Bonham Carter and Aaron Eckhart, "High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story," with Michael Imperioli and the hit Lifetime Show "The Division." Her music has been included in movie trailers for many of Hollywood's biggest films including "The Last Samurai," "X-Men 3," "The Last Holiday," "War of the Worlds," "Mission Impossible," "Failure to Launch," "Everyone's Hero," "Akeelah & The Bee," "A Good Year" and "Flight 93" among others.
While listening to "Common Places," it's easy to understand why Starr has accompanied such a stellar array of artists including Al Green, Mavis Staples, Celine Dion, BB King, Seal, Jimmy Cliff, Phil Keaggy, George Howard, Patti LaBelle, Carlos Santana, Phil Collins and Marilyn McCoo among many others. She played keyboards at the Kennedy Center for the inauguration of President Clinton, and performed as an artist at Keyboard Magazine's 20th Anniversary concert in which 20 of the world's top keyboardists were invited to play.
Continuing her multifaceted musical journey, Starr has returned to her touchstone and first love, the piano, for an intimate solo recording of spontaneous and uncommon improvisations on themes. Included in the collection of 10 songs is Starr's recording of a completely solo piano version of the classic James Bond Theme. This new version takes its inspiration from Parodi's earlier version of the theme arranged, produced and performed with her husband and production partner, featured on the gold-selling Capitol CD "The Best Of Bond ... James Bond" and heard in the trailers for "GoldenEye," "The World is Not Enough," "Tomorrow Never Dies" and "Die Another Day."
The new album grew out of a spontaneous recording of the title song "Common Places." "I had just finished recording another project and happened to have the microphones up and ready to go on the Steinway," Starr says. "I was doing some chordal improvisations while watching the poetic movement of the sycamore trees in the canyon outside my studio window. As the Santa Ana winds kicked up, I felt a well of inspirational emotion inside and just started to play." Over the next few months the other nine songs on her album followed in this spirit and fashion.
Though all the sounds on this CD were originally created on the piano, after recording the basic improvisations, Starr and Fair experimented with a new sonic palate. They continued to use only the piano but affected it with various filters and other devices. Sometimes the result was ambient, sometimes percussive & many times subliminal. Adding these textures to the improvisations broadened the musical voice of the piano and contributed another layer of emotion and interest to the performances.
"I recorded this music purely out of joy, purely out of sorrow, purely out of a longing and a searching, a peacefulness and a restlessness," she says. "These are the common places we all share."

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to New Ethan Hawke Film Includes Oscar Contender "Never See You" by Rocha
Soundtrack Release Aug. 7



(Hollywood, CA) On August 7, the soundtrack to the new Ethan Hawke film "the Hottest State" will be released. The soundtrack features sixteen songs, plus two score passages, all recorded exclusively for the film. Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Jesse Harris composed the score and wrote all the music for the soundtrack and serves as the album's co-executive producer along with Hawke. Together they assembled a peerless group of artists to record Harris' songs: Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, Cat Power, Bright Eyes, Feist, The Black Keys, M. Ward, Brad Mehldau, Tony Scherr and Argentinean newcomer, Rocha, whose song "Never See You" is performed in the film and soundtrack three times in both English and Spanish. Jesse Harris also appears in the film. The soundtrack will be released through Hickory Records.
"From our first conversation, I was overwhelmed by the quality of Jesse's songwriting and how perfectly matched it was to my aspirations for the tone and mood of the film," recalls Ethan Hawke. He continues, "An idea began to develop: What if we scored the film entirely with original songs written by Jesse and performed by contemporary artists hand-picked to match certain scenes? To my mind this would give the entire film a continuity of authorship while still providing massive shifts in energy."
Harris, who has known Hawke since the early 1990s, has released six albums as a solo artist. His songs have been recorded by Madeleine Peyroux, Pat Metheny, and Lizz Wright, and in 2003, he won a Song of the Year Grammy, for writing Norah Jones' smash hit "Don't Know Why."
Adapted by Ethan Hawke from his novel of the same name, 'The Hottest State' is a bittersweet romance that distills the joy, pain, erotic highs, and emotional lows of first love. Hawke directs and co-stars in the film along with Mark Webber (`Broken Flowers'); Oscar-nominees Catalina Sandino Moreno (`Maria Full Of Grace'), Laura Linney (`Mystic River,' `The Squid and the Whale'), and Michelle Williams (`Brokeback Mountain'); and Sonia Braga (`Kiss Of The Spider Woman').
Hickory Records is an imprint of Sony/ATV Music Publishing. 'The Hottest State' soundtrack follows the debut album from American Idol finalist Elliott Yamin, released on Hickory earlier this year.

01 Rocha - "Ya No Te Veria Mas (Never See You)"
02 Willie Nelson - "Always Seem to Get Things Wrong"
03 Feist - "Somewhere Down the Road"
04 Bright Eyes - "Big Old House"
05 Emmylou Harris - "The Speed of Sound"
06 Jesse Harris - "It Will Stay With Us"
07 The Black Keys - "If You Ever Slip"
08 M. Ward - "Crooked Lines"
09 Norah Jones - "World of Trouble"
10 Brad Mehldau - "Never See You"
11 Cat Power - "It's Alright to Fail"
12 Jesse Harris - "One Day the Dam Will Break"
13 Tony Scherr - "You, the Queen"
14 "Morning in a Strange City (Cafe)"
15 Rocha - "No More"
16 Jesse Harris - "Dear Dorothy"
17 Rocha - "Never See You"
18 "There Are No Second Chances"

U.S. Comedy Arts Festival Winner Opens June 29

(Los Angeles, CA) Award- winning British composer and playwright Murray Gold scores "Death at a Funeral." This Black comedy directed by Frank Oz won this year's U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. The film stars Matthew MacFayden, Rupert Graves, Ewen Bremner, and Peter Dinklage and tells the story of a dysfunctional British family attempt to bid a somber farewell to the family patriarch, only to find their mourning disrupted. "Death at a Funeral" opens in the U.S. on June 29.
Famed for his work on the legendary "Doctor Who" series, Gold is one of the most inspired and uncompromising composers in his field; the composer of choice when it comes to scoring the most innovative programs on television. He has been nominated for a BAFTA three times in the category Best Original Television Music, for "Vanity Fair," "Queer as Folk" and for "Casanova." His score for the BAFTA winning film "Kiss of Life" was awarded the 'Mozart Prize of the 7th Art' by a French jury at Aubagne in 2003. He has also been nominated four times by the Royal Television Society in categories relating to music for television.
Murray Gold also wrote the theme tunes for "Doctor Who" spin-offs "The Sarah Jane Adventures" and "Torchwood," and composes music for the latter series alongside Ben Foster. He arranged the theme tunes to "Totally Doctor Who" and "Doctor Who Confidential." He has appeared as himself in several episodes of the latter program.
In film, Gold composed an evocative jazz score to Jez Butterworth's acclaimed first feature, "Mojo," followed by providing the music for further UK film productions in "Heavenly Creatures," "Wild About Harry" and "Miranda." Recent film commissions include "Mischief Night," directed by Penny Woolcock.
As a playwright, Gold was awarded the Michael Imison award for best new play for "Electricity" after its broadcast on Radio 3 in 2001. It subsequently transferred to the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2004 and was performed with Christopher Eccleston in the lead role. His other plays include "50 Revolutions" performed by the Oxford Stage Company at the Whitehall Theatre, London in 2000; and "Resolution" performed at Battersea Arts Centre in 1994.


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