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

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Due to unforeseen circumstances I've been sitting on a small pile of CDs for a few days now, unable to do anything about them and rather than waiting even longer to find an opportunity to actually sit down and absorb what's on them I thought I had best point you in the direction of some existing reviews, so that you can catch up with what's out there.

Music by Patrick Doyle
Varese Sarabande VSD 6854 (EU)
13 Tracks 36:11 mins

This remake of the old Laurence Olivier/Michael Caine starrer, sees Caine return, but in the Olivier role, with Jude Law taking his original part. What with this and the remake of Alfie, Mrs. Caine had better watrch out, as she might wake up with a strange young man at the side of her one morning!
Of course John Addison wrote an inspired main theme for the original. Here, Doyle enlists largely the string section of the London Symphony Orchestra to produce a somewhat chamber-like sound for the on-screen games of cat and mouse. You can read full reviews of the album at, and

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium
Music by Alexandre desplat and Aaron Zigman
Varese Sarabande VSD-6864 (EU)
" " 302 066 684 2 (US)
37 Tracks 59:16 mins

This new family fantasy adventure stars Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman and features music by French composer Alexandre Desplat, with the help of American Aaron Zigman. I'm not entirely certain of the full story of their collaboration here, but I believe Desplat was originally hired to score the film, then possibly scheduling problems ensued, but he ended up returning to the project at the last minute and Zigman was enlisted to help him. Whatever, it was a fruitful and successful collaboration, as can be gathered from reviews on the and sites. It certainly made a very favourable first impression on me.

Sea of Dreams
Music by Luis Bacalov
Varese Sarabande VSD 6849 (EU)
22 Tracks 50:31 mins

I know absolutely nothing about this film, which doesn't appear to have enjoyed much in the way of a cinema release, but composer Luis Bacalov has written an evocative score, which harkens back to the golden days of Italian film scoring. For a full review go to

Doctor Who - Series 3
Music by Murray Gold
Silva Screen SILCD12560
28 Tracks 74:37 mins

Silva Screen have come up trumps again with this second release of music from the revitalised Doctor Who BBC TV series. This time the music is from Series 3 and, as with their first compilation of music from Series 1 & 2, this is another generous album, featuring Murray Gold's often thrilling and sometimes beautiful music for the time traveller's adventures. Familiar themes from the first twp series, plus all new music combine to provide another great listening experience, with Gold and conductor Ben Foster again drawing excellent performances from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the various vocalists. For a full review, go to

Music by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz
Walt Disney 0207 605 5405 (EU)
15 Tracks 54:58 mins

This playful live-action/animation mix from Disney is released in the UK on December 14th, but the soundtrack is now available and what a great listening experience it is, with composer Alan Menken reuniting with lyricist Stephen Schwartz to provide yet another great score for Disney, which easily ranks alongside anything they produced for the several animated films they worked on for the studios a few years back. The album opens with four fine songs from the film, plus a disappointing pop effort from Carrie Underwood that just doesn't belong here. There follows a generous amount of Menken's dramatic score, which includes some powerful writing along the lines of his work on Hunchback of Notre Damme. For more detailed reviews go to,,, and

Wrong Turn 2: Dead End
Music by Bear McCreary
La-La Land LLLCD 1061 (US)
16 Tracks 52:11 mins

Elia Cmiral did not return to score this sequel to the laughable bloodfest that was the original Wrong Turn, but instead director Joe Lynch enlisted the services of Bear McCreary, having fallen in love with his music for the reimagining of Battlestar Galactica. Having released soundtrack albums for the composer's work on those shows, it's good to see La-La Land Records continue to champion the highly original work of this composer by releasing the soundtrack to this film as well. Though obviously quite different than his work for Battlestar, McCreary's fans will find much to like about his music for Wrong Turn 2. For a full review go to

Dan in Real Life
Music by Sondre Lerche
EMI Catalogue Marketing Promo
16 Tracks 43:16 mins

About a Boy director Peter Hedges's new film Dan in Real Life stars funnyman Steve Carell, but will not be released in the UK until January. In the meantime, this advance features music for the film by Norwegian singer/songwriter Sondre Leche, assisted by Soviet-born Regina Spektor and American folk star Alison Sudol. It's a mainly song-based score, and not unlikeable, though not really my bag. The instrumentals are largely very simple and often guitar-based. I'm afraid I can't point you in the direction of any reviews of the album at this present time.

Well, I hope the above is of use to you and hopefully normal service will be resumed before long.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


From Top Dollar PR




Los Angeles, CA – November 26th, 2007 – Emmy award-winning composer Laura Karpman (Steven Spielberg’s TAKEN), will conduct the second “Games In Concert” ( event in Holland featuring live symphony orchestral performances of popular video game music scores. The concert will be performed by the Metropole Orchestra and PA’dam Choir ( at the Music Centre Vredenburg Utrecht ( in The Netherlands on 8th December, 2007.

Some of the orchestral arrangements scheduled to be performed during “Games In Concert 2” include: Final Fantasy, Grandia II, Halo, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Kingdom Hearts, Legend of Zelda, Max Payne, Shadow of the Colossus, Soul Calibur 2, Super Mario Bros., Star Fox, StarCraft, Tetris and Unreal Tournament, as well as Laura Karpman’s epic orchestral/choral scores for Sony Online Entertainment’s EverQuest II and Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom.

“It's so inspiring to be a part of this performance. I believe that games are a terrific way for audiences to hear and experience serious music,” said Laura Karpman. “The sheer number of hours alone that people are listening and engaging with orchestral music is hugely exciting and encouraging about the future of the art form.”

Karpman’s fantasy score for Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom won PLAY Magazine’s (US) 2006 Best Original Soundtrack of the Year Award. The score was originally recorded in Prague with the FILMharmonic Orchestra and Choir, with Karpman conducting. The lyrics sung by the choir were adapted by Karpman from portions of the medieval poetry text “William Wallace” in Middle Scots - the literary source for the legend of “Braveheart” - and woven into the score to complement the game’s intriguing narrative and dramatic storyline.

In 2005 Karpman received a Game Audio Network (G.A.N.G.) award for her EverQuest II video game music, which has been performed by orchestras internationally including the “GC” Symphonic Game Music Concert in Germany, “Joystiq” in Sweden and “Video Games Live” at the Hollywood Bowl in North America. Karpman most recently contributed additional music to Clive Barker's Jericho and the bonus material for Halo 3. For more information visit:

Screen Archives Entertainment has in stock and is shipping the new cd recordings of Mysterious Island and Fahrenheit 451

For more detailed information, click on this URL:

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


From Costa Communications



Queen Latifah Narrates Film Due Dec. 12

(Los Angeles, CA) Emmy-nominate composer Christopher Lennertz scores “The Perfect Holiday,” for director and screenwriter Lance Rivera (“The Cookout”). This African American ensemble comedy for the Christmas season is narrated by Rivera collaborator Queen Latifah. The Yari Film Group has “The Perfect Holiday” in theaters Dec. 12th.

Starring Gabrielle Union and Morris Chestnut, the film updates a classic Christmas family story. A young girl (Khail Bryant) turns to a department store Santa (Chestnut) in the hopes that he will help find a new husband for her divorced mother (Union).

Emmy nominated for his score for the hit WB series “Supernatural,” Lennertz recently received three nominations at the Film & TV Music Awards for his work on “Supernatural” and “Tortilla Heaven.” The USC grad was also nominated for The Don B. Ray Educational Achievement Award.

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. He then attended 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 the hit ensemble comedy “Soul Plane” as well as 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.” His television credits include the WB’s “Supernatural,” Fox’s “Brimstone,” the WB’s “The Strip,” 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.

The same week that “The Perfect Holiday” opens, Lennertz also has the score for the CGI/live action hybrid, “Alvin & The Chipmunks.” He recently scored the Latin themed “Tortilla Heaven” and the sports comedy “The Comebacks.” He is currently working on “Meet the Spartans” from writer/directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer .



For more detailed information, click on this URL:

Monday, November 19, 2007


And When Did You Last See Your Father?
Music by Barrington Pheloung
Silva Screen SILCD1254 (UK)
22 Tracks 63:18 mins

This recently released British film, starring Colin Firth and Jim Broadbent, charts the troubled relationship between a father and son over four decades and features a score by Inspector Morse composer Barrington Pheloung, beautifully played by the London Metropolitan Orchestra.
Two themes pervade the score, the first a fairytale-like," music box-styled theme, heard in the opening "Stars - The Magical Fascination;" the second a winding, intensifying string theme, capable of high passion and/or warmth. There are also more intimate moments and key parts for woodwinds, harp and piano. A very nice listen throughout.
Source music by Bach, Schubert and Bellini complete the album's running time, and there are notes from both the composer and director Anand Tucker in the accompanying booklet.

Lions For Lambs
Music by Mark Isham
Varese Sarabande VSD-6862 (EU)
16 Tracks 37:06 mins

Robert Redford directs and stars, alongside Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep, in yet another recent release dealing with the Middle-East troubles.
Composer first worked with the actor/director on A River Runs Through It and the pair reunite for this project, in which the composer opts for orchestra, although could almost have gone with his alternate synthetic approach, as much of the music just sits there tensely in the background, with drums providing threat here and there. Seldom does the score break free, though there is some action in "Firefight." Only does any real passion enter with "Taxi Ride," which builds nicely with subtle use of voice and then moves tensely to a climax. This is followed by the powerful "Get To Me!" and then the score's highpoint "Last Shift," which builds hopefully with trumpet and voice to a proud, heroic crescendo, concluding on impassioned strings.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Screen Archives Entertainment Announces New Intrada 2 CD release of Jerry Goldsmith's score to ALIEN

For more detailed information, click on this URL:

Saturday, November 17, 2007


From Top Dollar PR



New York - November 16th, 2007 - Sumthing Else Music Works, Inc., through its licensing relationship with BioWare and Microsoft Game Studios, proudly presents Mass Effect Original Soundtrack. Featuring over an hour of original music from the game, the soundtrack CD will be released on November 20 to US retail outlets through Nile Rodgers’ Sumthing Else Music Works label Sumthing Else Music Works is the industry leader in licensing and distributing video game soundtracks.

Inspired by classic sci-fi movies such as ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘Dune,’ the Mass Effect soundtrack was composed by Jack Wall and Sam Hulick with additional music by Richard Jacques and David Kates. The score blends 80’s electronic music with modern orchestral scoring to enhance the dramatic storyline and beautiful visuals set in an epic futuristic universe.

"From the earliest stages of its conception, Mass Effect was meant to be an original artwork about the future, inspired by the great science fiction experiences of the past," said Casey Hudson, Project Director for Mass Effect. "This synthesis of originality and familiarity called for a truly unique soundtrack, with ambitious goals and unprecedented challenges."

From the creators of the critically-acclaimed Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire comes an epic space saga exclusively for the Xbox 360 that spans the entire galaxy. Combining a rich and engaging narrative with intense sci-fi tactical combat, Mass Effect features an immersive and cinematic gameplay experience rarely seen before in video games. For more information on Mass Effect, visit

About BioWare
BioWare Corp. is an electronic entertainment company which develops computer, console, handheld and online video games focused on rich stories and memorable characters. Since 1995, BioWare has created some of the world's best-selling titles including the award-winning Baldur's Gate™ and Neverwinter Nights™ series, as well as the 2003 Game of the Year, Star Wars®: Knights of the Old Republic™. Original BioWare-created IPs include the 2005 RPG of the Year, Jade Empire™, with next-generation titles Mass Effect™ and Dragon Age™ currently in development. Mass Effect will ship to retailers globally in November, 2007. The game has received more than 50 awards, including the 2007 Game Critics Awards for “Best Console Game” and “Best RPG” at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. With studios in Edmonton, Canada, and Austin, Texas, BioWare is also hard at work on a new title for the Nintendo DS™ based on Sonic the Hedgehog, as well as several unannounced projects including a massively multiplayer online game. For more information on BioWare, visit

*BioWare, BioWare Corp., Mass Effect, Dragon Age and Jade Empire are trademarks or registered trademarks owned by BioWare Corp. in the U.S. and other countries. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

About Sumthing Else Music Works, Inc.

Nile Rodgers started Sumthing Else Music Works (SEMW) as a nationwide record label and creative outlet for independent artists and unique musical projects. Through its affiliated company, Sumthing Distribution, SEMW prides itself on its ability to rapidly and effectively deliver to the marketplace many innovative products. In view of the successes of its previous game soundtrack releases, the company is now recognized as the leader in this newly emerging musical genre. Accordingly, SEMW has bolstered its commitment to enhancing gamers’ overall experience by acquiring many new titles to complement its current catalog of releases. For more information visit and

Sumthing Else Music Works and Sumthing Distribution logos are copyright of their respective companies. All other names of products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Debbie Wiseman in Concert

An early heads-up for a forthcoming concert worthy of your attention. On March 30th 2008, at London's Cadogan Hall, Debbie Wiseman will conduct the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a concert entitled Favourite Film and TV Moments: The Award-Winning Music of Debbie Wiseman. The concert will by presented by Simon Bates of Classic FM At The Movies and will feature music from Judge John Deed, Jekyll, Flood, Wilde, My Uncle Silas, Tom's Midnight Garden, Haunted, Arsene Lupin, Warriors and many more.
I'm sure it will be a great evening and I hope to bring you a review of the concert on this site.
Tickets are priced at £28, £20, £10 and £8 and can be booked by telephone on 020 7730 4500, or online at Discounts can be obtained for group bookings by phoning 020 7608 8840. What are you waiting for!

Battlestar Galactica - Season 3
Music by Bear McCreary
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1062 (US)
21 Tracks 79:12 mins

La-La Land records again brings us a generous compliation of music from the third season of the popular reimagining of the sci-fi saga Battlestar Galactica, composed of course by Bear McCreary, who established the somewhat offbeat musical soundscape over the first two seasons and continues it here with pretty much the same results. In fact, it really is a case of more of the same, although, perhaps his music is growing on me, as I did find it a much more consistently satisfying listening experience this time. All the usual suspects are here, the ethnic-tinged atmospheres, the pounding Taiko drums, the emotive strings, the celtic-flavoured dances and of course the memorable bagpipe theme for Adama. It's about as far removed as it can possibly be to the musical approach to the original Battlestar series all those years ago and, like it or not, at least one has to applaud the powers-that-be for daring to be different from the run-of-the-mill synths and samplers scores present in so many American TV shows these days.
As always, the disc comes with a colourful accompanying booklet, featuring plenty of stills, plus notes by Executive Producers Ronald D. Moore and Composer McCreary, who do their best to explain the presence of the Dylan song, "All Along the Watchtower," but I remain unconvinced.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


A new gangster saga has just hit cinema screens, featuring Denzel Washington as a drug dealer and Russell Crowe as his nemesis. The film sees the latter working yet again for director Ridley Scott on this '70s set story.
The music is scored by Marc Streitenfeld, a new name to me, and this really seems to be his big composing break, following his music editing chores on a number of of Scott/Zimmer projects. Costa Communications kindly sent me a sampler of his score for the film, with the packaging saying that a full score album would be following on the Varese Sarabande label, although I have yet to see the title announced on their website.
Streitenfeld's score isn't particularly reminiscent of the period, but in his theme for "Frank Lucas" (the Washington character) he does give a considerable nod towards the kind of scoring often associated with Ennio Morricone's music for gangster-related films, his theme having the same kind of bouncy rhythm and trumpet lead. Much of the rest of the music on this 22-minute sampler moves along nicely enough, sometimes caperesque, sometimes very purposefully, with "Chinchilla Coat" closing proceedings with an initially funky, piano-lead variation on the "Frank Lucas" theme. It's an interesting enough effort to lead one to hope that a full score album will indeed surface at some point.

The After Dark Horrorfest 2007 is currently running in over 300 cinemas across the States, showing eight scary movies, including two that feature original scores by Czech composer Elia Cmiral who, after his breakthrough score for Ronin, unfortunately seems to have become very much typecast in the horror genre.
Costa Communications were again kind enough to send me a couple of discs featuring his scores for The Deaths of Ian Stone and Tooth & Nail. Both are not currently available commercially, but I did listen to an interview with the composer on, in which he indicated that one of them at least would be available on the lakeshore label.
The shorter of the scores, The Deaths of Ian Stone, is the more orchestral of the two, although electronics do make their presence felt in the more menacing action moments. Overall, the score is mostly suspenseful, with menacing crescendos here and there, but does become more animated as it continues, to provide quite an action-packed ending.
The post-apocalyptic tale Tooth & Nail is much more electronic, although it runs along similar lines - a mixture of otherwordly mystery and suspense, with some menacing action, often featuring industrial percussion sounds.
You've still got a couple of days to catch these two films, with the Festival ending on November 18th.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Music by Craig Armstrong & A R Rahman
Universal Classics & Jazz 1745187 (EU)
20 Tracks 48:40 mins

Recently released in U.K. cinemas is the third in what may possibly be a trilogy of films from director Shekhar Kapur on the life of Queen Elizabeth I. His original film concentrated on the young Elizabeth and starred a then pretty well unknown Cate Blanchett. Now Blanchett reprises the role, taking us through Elizabeth's struggles with King Philip of Spain. Should the third film get made, again probably after a few years gap to allow for more maturing on Miss Blanchett's part, it will tell of the final years of her reign.
The music score for the first film, provided by Aussie David Hirschfelder, really didn't do that much for me and was perhaps too discrete and played second fiddle to source pieces, whereas this film boasts a score by Scot Craig Armstrong, in collaboration with Bollywood composer A R Rahman. Armstrong's familiar and often quite simple and straightforward style of scoring is here enhanced by Rahman's ethnic sensibilities, which results in a full-blown orchestral/choral score, with featured parts for violin, cello, woodwind and guitar, but also with much ethnic percussion and instruments such as duduk and dilruba, as well as a handful of vocal soloists. As an album it all makes for a pretty sataisfying listening experience, but I'm not really sure why a score for a film of this nature and subject should at times sound quite so ethnic.
Highlights include the exciting "War/Realisation" and "Battle;" a nice and very typical Armstrong love theme, presumably underlining Elizabeth's attraction to Clive Owen's Raleigh; the choral triumph of "Storm;" and the glorious, soaring "Closing."
The accompanying booklet includes notes from the director and both composers, as well as colour stills from the film.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


From Costa Communications

"Christmas Don't Be Late"
Gives New Voice to
Sixties Superstars Return in Time for the Holidays
December 14 from 20th Century Fox

(Los Angeles, CA) Award-winning composer Christopher Lennertz is helping "Alvin & The Chipmunks" make a serious comeback. The film by producers Ross Bagdasarian, Jr., Janice Karmen, Steve Waterman stars Jason Lee ("The Incredibles," "My Names is Earl") as David Seville, the role originally created by Chipmunks' creator Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. 20th Century Fox unleashes "Alvin & The Chipmunks" on an unsuspecting world Dec. 14th.

A global phenomenon to generations of fans since they first appeared on record in 1958, Alvin & The Chipmunks become a live action/CGI motion picture event with a contemporary comic sensibility. Songwriter Dave Seville transforms mischievous singing chipmunks Alvin, Simon and Theodore into pop sensations while Lennertz adds a lush orchestral score including French horns, piano, strings, and flute solos to back them up. Elements of the score will bring you back to your youth with the sounds reminiscent of cartoon scores from the Golden Age by Carl Stalling. Lennertz is able to creatively incorporate subtle, technical elements, such as backwards percussion and mallets that sound like acorns falling, without compromising the organic sound of his original score performed by a 94 piece orchestra.

Emmy nominated for his score for the hit WB series "Supernatural," Lennertz has himself made a global impact. He most recently received three nominations at the Film & TV Music Awards for his work on "Supernatural" and "Tortilla Heaven." The USC grad was also nominated for The Don B. Ray Educational Achievement Award.

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. Murray Abraham, the seductive thriller "Lured Innocence" starring Dennis Hopper, and the film festival favorite, "Art House." His television credits include the WB's "Supernatural," Fox's "Brimstone," the WB's "The Strip," 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.

Besides the Latin themed "Tortilla Heaven," Lennertz recently scored the sports comedy "The Comebacks." He is currently working on "Perfect Christmas," a family romance starring Terrence Howard, Queen Latifah and Gabrielle Union.

From Perseverance Records

Rubinstein Released

Martin/Pollock (The Unused Score)
Perseverance Records PRD 019

Dear Collectors,

Our latest CD features two scores by the multi-talented Donald
Rubinstein: the re-release of the long out-of-print score from George
Romero's cult classic vampire movie "Martin" from 1979. The content
of this score is the same as the previous two releases, but in much
better sound quality.

The CD is completed by Donald's rejected music to Ed Harris'
directorial debut "Pollock" (2000). This is the score that was
recorded by Donald for the film, but not used in the final cut for
reasons explained in detail in the extensive liner notes by film
music authority Daniel Schweiger.

The album is limited to 1,000 pressings and retails for $18.00. Order
yours now, as we expect them to sell out quickly.

To order please click here: <

All the best,

Robin Esterhammer
Perseverance Records

For more detailed information, click on this URL:

Monday, November 12, 2007


Fields of Freedom
Music by Trevor Jones
Contemporary Media Recordings CMR-2007-4
10 Tracks 29:57 mins

Available from is the composer's score to the 30-minute Gateway Gettysburg production Fields of Freedom, which is based upon actual diaries by combatants on both sides of the bloody American Civil War battle, and which plays exclusively at the new state-of-the-art ginat screen theatre adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park.
Conductor Geoffrey Alexander leads the always excellent London Symphony Orchestra through Jones' emotive and exciting score, which features an epic and moving main theme, heard throughout, often in tandem with a thrilling, propulsive action theme, in the style the composer first established with his Dark City score. And of course, as is the norm for historical pictures these days, the score incorporates music from the period, like the Battle Hymn of the Republic, a very moving Shenendoah, and the march Stonewall Jackson's Way.
The score must be wall-to-wall in the film, because the album runs for almost the full 30 minutes and is a very satisfying listen throughout.
Visit the website to browse the label's catalogue and listen to music samples.

Greg O'Connor-Read of Top Dollar PR informs me that Ubisoft have approved the release of a couple of sample tracks from Jesper Kyd's score for their new game Assassin's Creed. These along with samples from another new Ubisoft game Beowulf, with music by Sascha Dikiciyan and Cris Velasco, can be heard by going to

And DirectSong has informed me that an expanded release of Jeremy Soule's acclaimed music for the Supreme Commander game is now available, which includes the music from the Supreme Commander Forged Alliance Expansion. In all, there are 17 new tracks, providing 44 minutes of new music, and if you already own the original soundtrack version, you can download the expanded release for no extra charge. To take a listen and find out what the press are saying about it, pay a visit to

Friday, November 09, 2007


From Top Dollar PR


2008 MIDEM Music For Images Conference

Videogame music’s cinematic leap of faith - Learning from the “Music For Images” shared keynote between Jesper Kyd and Nitin Sawhney at MIDEM 2008

Cannes, France November 8th, 2007The 42nd edition of MIDEM (, the world’s leading music market, is taking place in Cannes, France, from January 27th - 31st, 2008.

To ensure that music professionals from all sectors can best cope with the fast-changing music landscape, MIDEM offers a strong and diverse conference programme covering the most burning topics for the industry.

One of these essential topics is today’s synchronization business. With music for images representing an important revenue stream for the industry, MIDEM proposes to its world audience to listen to those directly involved in the movie and videogame music business and learn how to make the most of these great opportunities.

Building on MIDEM's previous exposure of the genre, videogame music - notably its increasing familiarity with film scores - will be discussed at a special “Music for Images” joint keynote.

Nitin Sawhney, the Anglo-Indian musician who penned Sony’s HEAVENLY SWORD, and the award-winning Composer Jesper Kyd, whose soundtracks include top titles such as ASSASSIN’S CREED, HITMAN and KANE & LYNCH will share their wisdom on the convergence of music, films and videogames.

For more information please visit

From Top Dollar PR



Acclaimed Composers Provide Epic Orchestral Score for Game Based on
Paramount and Shangri-La’s Upcoming Feature Film

Download audio clips and recording session images here:

SAN FRANCISCO - November 8, 2007 - Today, Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced that top video game composers Sascha Dikiciyan and Cris Velasco have created an original orchestral music score for Beowulf™, the new action combat video game based on Paramount Pictures' and Shangri-La Entertainment's upcoming feature film Beowulf™. The Beowulf™ video game is scheduled for worldwide release in conjunction with the movie's opening in November 2007.

Created by the industry’s most in-demand composer team in Dikiciyan and Velasco, the Beowulf™ video game score is an epic musical journey featuring anthemic choral/orchestral compositions and bombastic action cues driven by heavy brass and thunderous percussion. The grand orchestral score was recorded with many of San Francisco’s best symphony musicians at the world famous Skywalker Sound studios.

"The biggest challenge we had for Beowulf’s soundtrack was that the music not only had to support and enhance the game’s actions, but it also had to follow the evolution of Beowulf universe; starting as a very heavy middle age Barbarian music and ending as a modern and powerful Hollywood score,” stated Manu Bachet, Music Supervisor at Ubisoft. “Within a very aggressive schedule, Cris Velasco and Sascha Dikiciyan managed to compose the most refined barbarian soundtrack ever heard on this side of the Danes kingdom."

"Working with Ubisoft on Beowulf reminds me of why I love being a game composer; it was an amazing experience from start to finish,” said Cris Velasco. “We began by meeting with all the creative teams from around the world to review the incredible visuals and game play that we would use as inspiration for the music. The score was recorded using top players and singers from the San Francisco area, and over the course of two days we had a great time both working in the studio and hanging out at the Skywalker Ranch."

The Beowulf™ video game takes players deep into Academy Award®-winning director Robert Zemeckis’ vision of the classic saga, Beowulf. Gamers live the life of Beowulf, the legendary Norse warrior with the strength of 30 men who is torn between the nobility and brutality within him. Arrogant, self-serving, and lustful for gold and glory, Beowulf will journey to Denmark to destroy a bloodthirsty beast wreaking havoc on a frigid land. But evil persists, and Beowulf succumbs to its lure of even greater fame, quietly maneuvering to claim the Danish throne. As King, Beowulf must face the consequences of ambition, even as war descends on the realm. As Beowulf, players lead their men, called Thanes, into battle, slay the Titans of a dying age, and crush the enemies that threaten to annihilate both their kingdom and people. Only then, when Beowulf looks Destiny in the eye, will he know what kind of hero he has truly become.

For more information on the Beowulf™ video game, please visit

For more information on the movie, visit the official site at

About Ubisoft

Ubisoft is a leading producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products worldwide and has grown considerably through a 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 sales of 680 million Euros for the 2006-07 fiscal year. To learn more, please visit

About Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is a global entertainment company that produces and distributes filmed entertainment through the Paramount Motion Picture Group which includes Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, MTV Films and Nick Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Home Entertainment, Paramount Digital Entertainment, Paramount Studios and Worldwide Television Distribution.


Beowulf™ Paramount Pictures. © 2007 Paramount Pictures and Shangri-La Entertainment, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Game 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. Microsoft, Windows, Xbox, Xbox 360, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. “PlayStation”, “PLAYSTATION”, “PS” Family logo and “PSP” are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

Beowulf™ Paramount Pictures. © 2007 Paramount Pictures and Shangri-La Entertainment, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Game 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. Microsoft, Windows, Xbox, Xbox 360, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. "PlayStation", "PLAYSTATION", and "PS" Family logo and "PSP" are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment

Hello Film Music Fans,

FILM SCORE MONTHLY ONLINE is coming up on its two-year anniversary,
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In a nutshell, the October issue epitomizes what FSM ONLINE offers in
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Jon Kaplan

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Music by Johnny Keating/Music by Stanley Myers
Film Score Monthly Vol. 10 No.12 (US)
23 Tracks 64:04 mins

Two very different scores from the 1960s, presented here on CD for the first time, and both in stereo. First up, for the 1967 star-studded adaptation of Arthur Hailey's novel, British big band composer/arranger Johnny Keating wrote his most well-known film score and provided the film with a melodic, largely easy-listening sound, which makes for a delightful listening experience on disc. His main theme is quite versatile and can be heard on a number of tracks, including in a vocal rendition by Carmen McRae, with lyrics by John Worth, the same pairing also being responsible for a vocal of the rather melancholy, but still lovely "Love theme," which is first heard instrumentally with trumpet lead. The only real dramatic score track is "Elevator," a tense, jazzy mover, with the rest of the 12 tracks featured here being source music, a romantic piece, plus some Dixieland jazz. All in all though a very pleasant listen.
Paired with this more conventional '60s offering is a much more "hip" and "with it" contribution by another British composer Stanley Myers, best known for his "Cavatina," first written for The Walking Stick, but made famous by its use in The Deer Hunter, and as a mentor for the likes of Hans Zimmer and Harry Gregson-Williams. His music for the 1966 film Kaleidoscope, a mixture of romantic comedy, spy thriller and crime caper, starring Warren Beatty, is very much a period piece, just oozing "swinging sixties" style. The main theme is a bouncy affair with sax lead. This is followed by a quirky pop song, "Kinky Dolly" (!), for vocal group, then an exotic groove, "Shazam!" which makes use of Indian instruments, which was of course very fashionable at the time; then "D.B.6," a breezy, trumpet-lead affair. Another '60s staple follows, a bossa nova, then the theme song with vocals by Romeo Z. Some catchy jazz-pop, "Barney," follows, and then "A Present for Daddy," my favourite piece on the album, of a style heard in countless spy films and TV shows of the period. Another score track ends the 11 selections, with some good jazzy action in the "End Title," before a brief reprise of the main theme.
As always, a splendid booklet accompanies the disc, with artwork and notes from the original LP releases, together with Lukas Kendall's notes on the films and their music, plus the always welcome cue-by-cue guide. Go to for further details and for sound clips.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Bad Boys
Music by Mark Mancina (with Nick Glennie-Smith)
La-La Land LLLCD 1057 (US)
17 Tracks 70:32 mins

Once in a while (and more often these days than used to be the case) a specialist soundtrack label does a great service to the film score fan and this is one of those occasions. For more than ten years we've been lamenting the absence on record of Mark Mancina's highly enjoyable score for the cinematic success of 1995 that was Michael Bay's Bad Boys, an equally enjoyable mix of thrills and laughs that really broke buddy cop pairing Will Smith and Martin Lawrence cinematically in a big way.
Of course it's a score right out of the Hans Zimmer Media Ventures stable, and has that big and distinct sound that graced so many films of the time, but where it differed was that it boasted a fine, rhythmic main theme, somewhat reggae influenced, even going so far as to feature the sound of steel drums at times, that the composer was not afraid to use and use often. Yes, it could be more serious when it had to be, like in the exciting action sequences, but it could also be lightly comedic and downright sneaky.
As I mentioned there is plenty of exciting action writing to get your teeth into, but also quieter poignant and romantic moments, featuring acoustic guitar and piano. In fact, it's just a thoroughly enjoyable score, totally suited to the picture, and aiding not inconsiderably to the success thereof.
Accompanying the disc is a colourful12-page booklet, featuring stills from the film, Randall D. Larson's essay on the film and score, which includes comments from Mancina, as well as full orchestra credits.
La-La Land Records' limited edition release is restricted to just 3000 units and I should imagine they are selling like hotcakes, so I shouldn't delay in seeking out a copy.

Superman: Doomsday
Music by Robert J. Kral
La-La Land LLLCD 1063 (US)
26 Tracks 57:34 mins

Australian composer Robert J. Kral is probably best known for his music for the successful Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off series Angel, for which he wrote some pretty fine music, given the restrictions of episodic TV. He now brings his mix of synths and samples to this animated adaptation of the most successful graphic novel of all time, The Death of Superman. What, Superman dies? Surely it's not possible, is it? Well, it's not for me to say - go see the film!
As for Kral's score, well it all gets off to a great start, with an heroic new theme for the iconic hero, which is slightly spoilt by the synths taking the lead, where real brass (or samples at least) would have been so much better. The theme does crop up in subsequent battle scenes with Doomsday, but the killer's lumbering and powerful music gradually overwhelms it, with evil definitely triumphing. Following all this conflict, which culminates with something of a moving elegy for the fallen superhero, followed by a brief moment for sad piano, the score takes a much quieter, supporting role, with much darkness and mystery, with just a glimmer of hope here and there. It does however gradually gain momentum until combat is again resumed in a much more purposeful and positive manner, with welcome bursts of heroism and triumph, whilst still staying somewhat restrained at the outcome. The disc closes with a reprise of the heroic Superman theme, with a nod to to the Doomsday material bridging it.
As with the label's Bad Boys release, another attractive booklet accompanies the disc, featuring stills from the film, together with notes from the composer, as well as producer/co-director Bruce Timm.
Visit to keep up with all the label's current and forthcoming releases, and go to for an extensive interview with Robert J.Kral.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


From Costa Communications

Film Opens Wide Nov. 16, Score Release Nov. 13

(Los Angeles, CA) Award-winning composer Aaron Zigman scores "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, a Twentieth Century Fox film written and directed by Zach Helm. "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium" stars Natalie Portman, Dustin Hoffman and Jason Bateman and opens wide in the U.S November 16. Varese Sarabande will release the score CD November 13.

When a young pianist named Molly Mahoney (Portmman) inherits a magical toyshop from her eccentric 243-year-old boss, Mr. Magorium (Hoffman), she struggles with self-doubt. She learns to believe in herself, and finds that she does possess enough magic to run Mr. Magorium's shop by finding herself in places she's never imagined.

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 incredible range has taken him from Industrial to Urban sounds for "Alpha Dog," from a classical score to R&B with John Legend for "Pride," as well as the epic score to "Bridge to Terabithia." He began his musical career as a producer and arranger for notable popular music stars including Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Tina Turner, Carly Simon, Christina Aguilera and Seal. 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." His work garnered the attention of director Nick Cassavetes, for whom he completed his first feature score for "John Q.," starring Denzel Washington. The two soon collaborated again on the box-office hit "The Notebook," which the versatile composer scored in the musical style of the 1940s, performing it with vintage instruments and using period-specific recording instruments for an authentic sound.

Zigman's most recent projects include such diverse films as "Flicka," "ATL," "Akeelah and the Bee," "Take the Lead," "Step Up" and "Alpha Dog." For the next year, Zigman will have at least one movie premiering each month. In addition to critical acclaim, Zigman has received various accolades for his work including an Emmy, 2 BMI Film Music Awards, and a Black Reel Nomination.

Screen Archives Entertainment Announces New limited Intrada release of Richard Band's score to METALSTORM: THE DESTRUCTION OF JARED-SYN
For more detailed information, click on this URL:

Monday, November 05, 2007


Agi Murad il Diavolo Bianco/Ester e il Re/Gli Invasori
Music by Roberto Nocolosi & Angelo F. Lavagnino
Digitmovies CDDM092 (Italy)
Disc 1 - 34 Tracks 73:54 mins Disc 2 - 27 Tracks 66:44 mins

Another fabulous collection of music, this time by Roberto Nocolosi (with Angelo F. Lavagnino on Ester e il Re) for Mario Bava's historical adventure films of the late '50s and early '60s.
Disc One is in mono and presents firstly the score for the 1959 telling of the story of 19th-century Chechen chieftain Hadji Murad, Agi Murad il Diavolo Bianco (The White Warrior). The film stars Steve Reeves and sports a symphonic score by Bava favourite Nicolosi and gets off to a good start with a noble, almost religious theme for the chieftain, which ends warmly. A feature of the score is its plentiful action, in which the theme is often turned into a brassy fanfare, accompanied by marching material. There are however quieter moments in the score and "Notturno Romantico" presents some ethereal romance, which subsequently appears in a couple more tracks. "Balletto" features something of a wild ethnic dance, whilst "Danza di Corte" is a much more formal affair. But ultimately it's a score that will be remembered for its action writing.
The second score on the disc, for the biblical tale Ester e il Re (Esther and the King), from 1960, features music again by Nicolosi, but this time in collaboration with Angelo Francesco Lavagnino, who wrote the original score, before Nocolosi composed material for later changes to the film. Therefore much of the lush and exotic music on display here can be credited to Lavagnino. The title theme starts grandly, before seguing into a sweeping and quite lovely theme, which throughout the score is developed romantically for scenes involving Joan Collins, often voiced exotically by flute, though at times allowed to soar on strings. Whilst there is some tension and conflict in the score, it is this romantic material that dominates. A strangely compelling cue however is the ethnic dancer "Balletto nel Tempio," with its somewhat overpowering female vocals.
The second disc features four of the Ester cues in stereo, including the main and end titles, before launching into Nicolosi's stereo score for 1961's Gli Invasori, which stars Cameron Mitchell as an unlikely Viking. The composer's score is very much the darkest offering in this collection, with much drama, tension and conflict throughout. There is however a delicate love theme, largely voiced by solo piano, and some fanfares and timpani-driven march material.
As always, this release is accompanied by a colourful booklet, featuring stills and artwork from the films, together with informative notes by Claudio Fuiano and Tim Lucas.
Visit for details of the label's upcoming releases, all of which I hope will continue to be reviewed here.

Saturday, November 03, 2007


From Costa Communications

After Dark Horrorfest 2007 Nov 9-18

(Los Angeles, CA) Composer Elia Cmiral turns up horror-fying scores for “The Deaths of Ian Stone” and “Tooth & Nail,” two of eight films featured nationally during After Dark Horrorfest 2007. Along with its partners AMC, Regal and Cinemark, After Dark Horrorfest 2007 runs over the course of one week, including two weekends, on over 300 screens across the United States from November 9 18th, making it the largest commercial film festival in the world.

This unique festival is the first of its kind, premiering “8 Films to Die For,” celebrating the horror genre by showcasing films that run the spectrum of horror from thrillers to gore to the supernatural. Cmiral’s score adds to the mystery in “The Deaths of Ian Stone.” The film produced by Stan Winston and Brian Gilbert with whom Cmiral collaborated successfully on “Wrong Turn,” is the tale of a young man hunted by an evil presence, forced to die every day until he can solve the mystery of his own life. Filmmaker Mark Young’s “Tooth & Nail” uses Cmiral’s music to tell the post-apocalyptic tale of a group of survivors followed by a savage band of cannibals.

No stranger to the world of thrillers, Cmiral most recently provided the score to “Pulse” from director Jim Sonzero and The Weinstein Company/Dimension Films. This was Cmiral’s second collaboration with Craven, having scored “Wes Craven Presents: They” in 2002. He also scored John Frankenheimer’s suspense thriller “Ronin,” starring Robert DeNiro. Following the success of “Ronin,” Cmiral has continued to provide highly original and evocative scores for major Hollywood studios as well as independent filmmakers, including “Stigmata,” “Bones” and “Species 3.”

Born in Czechoslovakia, Elia Cmiral quickly established himself as one of Europe’s leading young composers after graduating from the prestigious Prague Music Conservatory. He wrote scores for several European films and three ballets before coming to the United States to attend USC’s famous Film Scoring Program, after which he was hired to produce tango-based music for “Apartment Zero,” composing a now-classic full length score in a scant ten days. By the mid-1990s, Cmiral had garnered a reputation with Hollywood executives, leading to his scoring the successful “Nash Bridges” television series.

For more information on After Dark Horrorfest 2007, visit the official website at

Friday, November 02, 2007


Return to House on Haunted Hill
Music by Frederik Wiedmann
Varese Sarabande VSD 6855 (EU)
21 Tracks 44:01 mins

Don Davis wrote a very capable score for 1999's House on Haunted Hill. Now, eight years on, for some reason we have a sequel which, according to the Internet Movie Database, has been released straight to video. But, despite a cast of relative unknowns, compared to the original's star-studded lineup, I have read at least one glowing review of the film.
As for the music, well, like the original cast, Davis doesn't return, although material from his score is utilised in the music, which is this time composed by an unfamiliar name to me, Frederik Wiedmann, recipient of the 2004 BMI Film Scoring Scholarship at Berklee College of Music and whose previous credits saw him working on electronics and orchestration for 2006's Stay Alive and this year's Primeval and The Reaping. I guess this is his first break into film scoring and it's a thankless one, really, as this kind of film is invariably scored in the same cliched way.
Wiedmann's score is a mix of orchestra (the Belgrade Film Orchestra) and electronics and pushes all the right buttons, but is unremarkable as a result. There is much mystery and suspense, and building threat, which is usually released in the form of some exciting bursts of action, mixed with powerful, dissonant moments, sometimes utilising manipulated voices.
It's a solid, workmanlike job and I'm sure is just what the film asks for, but it's a pity that the best moments often involve the Davis-composed material. Maybe next time, and I hope there will be another scoring opportunity soon, Wiedmann will be given the chance to write his own themes. Then we will really see what he's made of.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

CD REVIEW - ERCOLE ALLA CONQUISTA DI ATLANTIDE + News from Screen Archives Entertainment

Ercole Alla Conquista di Atlantide
Music by Gino Marinuzzi Jr
Digitmovies CDDM090 (Italy)
23 Tracks 43:37 mins

Here we have the original mono score tracks from a 1961 instalment in the Hercules series, in which our hero (played in this case by Reg Park), seeks to preserve the life of an Atlantean princess and battles cloned blonde warriors in the process.
The score is provided by a new name to me, Gino Marinuzzi Jr, who apparently wrote quite a few scores in the '60s, one of which, Terrore nello Spazio, is also available on the Digitmovies label. For Hercules and the Captive Women, to give it it's English title, the composer provided a strong, adventurous main theme, sometimes enhanced by female choir, first heard in the title track, surrounded by some percussive, ethnic-styled music and with one turbulent passage suggesting stormy seas. The theme crops up in variations throughout, including something of a balletic version in "Balletto e il Piano di Antinea," culminating in its final, short, strong statement in the "Finale." Other tracks of note include the religios female choral "Processione;" the timpani-driven feats of strength of "Ercole Trattiene la Nave;" and the flirtatious romanticism of "Un Tenero Amore."
Five bonus tracks are included at the end of the score proper, including choirless versions of some tracks, and a stereo mix of the aforementioned "Ercole Trattiene la Nave."
As always, the disc is accompanied by a colourful booklet, featuring stills and artwork from the film, plus Claudio Fuiano's informative notes.


For more detailed information, click on this URL:

Screen Archives Entertainment Announces New limited Intrada release of Bruce Broughton's score to Harry and the Hendersons
For more detailed information, click on this URL: