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

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Nim's Island
Music by Patrick Doyle
Varese Sarabande VSD-6889 (EU)
16 tracks 53:13 mins

That most consistently excellent of contemporary film music composers, Patrick Doyle, has another new score out for Nim's Island, a charming family film, starring Jodie Foster and Little Miss Sunshine herself, Abigail Breslin.
As is most often the case, Doyle's music is orchestral, with the Hollywood Studio Symphony conducted by James Shearman, with delightful, sunny and melodic material, perfectly suitable both for the island setting and also illustrative of childhood innocence, opening the score in the title track and "Baby Turtles." There are however darker colours at work for the perils that beset the film's characters, with plenty of exciting and powerful action writing, like in "Volcano & Door," "The Great Outdoors," "Volcano Erupts,""Helicopter Storm," and "Alex Nearly Drowns," together with the semi-comedic "Lizard Attack," for which the composer utilises choir, and almost slapsticky "Woman Overboard." Choir again subtly enters in the awe-filled opening of "Alex Swims Away."
The lovely, singing strings of "It's Empty" restore calm after all the preceeding events, with the gorgeous and inspiring "Nim Sees Jack" bringing this fine score to a very satisfying conclusion.
I'm sure I've said it before, but Patrick Doyle has to be the most consistently excellent composer working in films today. I always await his next score with eager anticipation.

From Costa Communications:-



the 10,000 steps

Lisbeth Scott & Greg Ellis’ Debut Collaboration as biomusique

(Hollywood, CA) Kosmic Music releases biomusique’s “the 10,000 steps” [street date May 13th]. Biomusique is the group name of acclaimed singer/songwriter Lisbeth Scott (“Chronicles of Narnia,” “Munich,” “Passion of The Christ”) and eclectic percussionist Greg Ellis (“The Matrix, “300.”) The project brought the two noted L.A musicians together in a creative process that spanned months of intensive recording – and birthed a work of sweeping, cinematic beauty.

Working in the aerie of his Beechwood Canyon studio with its panoramic city views, Ellis' multi-instrumental talents were broadly exercised to support and embellish Scott's extraordinary, multi-textured vocals. He contributed not only the shimmering pan-global sounds of his subtle, signature percussion -- Balinese gongs, Tibetan bowls, African udu, Indian table & nagara, Middle Eastern frame drums -- but also bass, guitar, dulcimer and trumpet.

Ellis’ intricate, carefully-crafted arrangements sensitively frame the tonal nuances achieved by Lisbeth Scott’s luminous voice in masterfully precise performances, with eclectic instrumentation surging bravely around some of her vocal tracks with understated grandeur and a deft chiaroscuro – or in other pieces enhancing her voice with the delicacy of fine filigree. Instrumentally, Ellis is joined by bassist Dan Lutz; African drummer/vocalist Mabi Thobejane; guitarist Sugizo (also on electric and acoustic violin), as well as by Lisbeth Scott -- who plays piano (the maiden recording for her 1911 Steinway grand), harmonium, guitar and calimba.

“The songs range from poignantly moving to serene and radiant, weaving a richly textural tapestry of emotion and sound – a ‘sonic sculpture,’ similar to a film score”, as Ellis describes it. This is hardly surprising, as both Ellis and Scott have long been ubiquitous as contributors of note to major film music; Greg's prolific work has shaped the sound of such films as the “Matrix” series, “Fight Club,” “Dukes of Hazzard,” and “300,” among others, while Scott's includes music forNarnia,” “Shrek,” “The Passion of the Christ” (for which she received a Gold record), and Spielberg's “Munich.”

With the unmistakable words of a film composer, Scott describes the spontaneity and flow of “the 10,000 steps” creation process: "My lyrics present themselves with visuals all the time. A movie begins in my head…and I simply describe what I see. As soon as I heard Greg's dulcimer playing for the song "Ohroo," I saw a fluid and strong young horseman riding across an open land with mountains in the distance…Iceland? Finland? He was riding at night in desperation, not a minute to spare, longing for the woman he loves, calling the whole time…and she far away in a tiny room, asleep, dreaming of him. And then I realized the metaphor: we all wait, we all dream, we all wonder what our awakening will be…when we are already in it! Do we create this magical world to relieve us of the pain we feel?"

In addition to their film work, both Ellis and Scott maintain eclectic musical careers. Ellis is well-known as half of the ambient world music ensemble Vas, in which he collaborated with singer Azam Ali (now of Niyaz) over four albums on EMI's Narada label. He also released his solo, Kala Rupa, through Narada. Ellis has toured with Beck, Billy Idol, and most recently UK-based Juno Reactor. He has performed with such world music heavyweights as Indian tabla masters Zakir Hussain, Bikram Ghosh and Pandit Shankar Ghosh, Grateful Dead’s Micky Hart, Brazilian percussion monster Airto Moreira, and Japanese taiko drummers Kodo – as well as with master musicians from Iran, Africa, and Turkey. An advocate for the healing power of organic rhythm and "real time" music, Ellis has presented seminars at the national conferences of the American Music Therapists Association, and was invited to speak at the World Conference on Music Therapy in Oxford, England. His RhythmPharm organization is dedicated to the dispensing of organic, unprocessed rhythm as "audio-pharmaceuticals" called RhythmTonics.

Originally trained as a classical pianist at the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston native Lisbeth Scott has creatively collaborated with artists as diverse as Paul Schwartz, INXS, John Prine, Mark Isham, John Martyn, Tom Rush, and composer John Williams – who for the film Munich composed a solo expressly for her, calling her distinctive voice "absolutely ravishing." She has produced and released four critically-acclaimed solo projects, including her sophomore effort Dove – which was named Record of the Year by New Age Voice and reached #2 on the New Age music charts. Lisbeth Scott has toured nationally and internationally.

Biomusique will bring their lushly resonant sound to live audiences across the U.S. and internationally the coming year. Those fortunate enough to catch the live concerts will come away feeling moved and restored by the other-worldly beauty of the unique new sound genre.

Kosmic Music U.S., Inc. is based in Los Angeles. The label originally rooted in India, brings together talented writers and musicians from around the globe. Kosmic Music maintains the integrity of World music as well as fuses Eastern and Western styles. The label releases include World, Health & Healing, Meditation & Relaxation and Soundtracks. Kosmic Music is distributed nationally by Allegro and all music is downloadable


“the 10,000 steps”

ananda 5:00

caeli et terra 8:17 .

the tender green 7:12

ohroo 3:20

redemption 7:00

empty spaces 9:00

persephone 8:00

10,000 steps 6:00


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