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

Friday, October 31, 2008


Dead Space
Music by Jason Graves
Composer Promo JG011 (US)
15 Tracks 60:59 mins

EA's new sci-fi survival horror game, Dead Space, features music by Jason Graves who, in association with Rod Abernethy, has produced many a fine game score in recent years. Available for download at, more than 3 hours of music was recorded over two sessions, the first with the Northwest Sinfonia in Seattle, the second with the Skywalker Symphony Orchestra.
The composer's publicists, Top Dollar PR, kindly sent me a promotional CD of the score, which is a mix of eerie, suspenseful passages and furious dissonant action. The opening "Welcome Aboard The U.S.G. Ishimura" alternates between Alien-like mystery and frenzied action, whilst "The Necromorphs Attack" generates some genuine excitement in its furious, percussive action writing, as does "The Leviathan;" with "I Left My Heart in Med Lab 3" ending in a furious blast of cacophony. An almost Goldsmith-like ostinato opens "Severed Limbs Are Hazardous Waste," whilst "I've Got You Devolving Under My Skin" opens spine tinglingly, before ending really menacing. After a subdued start, more exciting action follows in "Plasma Cutters Are Your Friend," with "Manual Survival Mode Seven" opening with more cacophony and later developing that same Goldsmithian feel again. "The Cost of Living is on the Rise" alternates eerieness with powerful action; with "Do Not Vomit - Do Not Shout" building to yet more exciting action writing, with rasping brass to end. "The Hive Mind" opens quite monstrously, before developing into powerful, menacing action, which continues pretty much in "Fly Me To The Aegis Seven Moon," before turning cold and otherwordly. "Cyanide Systems Offline" builds to a furious crescendo, before proceeding menacingly; continuing in "Habeas Corpses." The final cue, "Must...Go...Faster" begins as if ending the score on a light note, signifying a satisfactory conclusion to all the trials that have gone before, but quickly turns dark and brooding, concluding quite ominously.
In conclusion, if you like melody, don't apply here, but if challenging, pulse-pounding action music floats your boat, you're certainly going to enjoy this one.

Milano Rovente
Music by Carlo Rustichelli
Beat Records CDCR 85 (Italy)
23 Tracks 41:45 mins

A second new recording to come my way in Beat Records' new series of limited edition digipack releases is of Carlo Rustichelli's music for the 1973 crime thriller Milano Rovente, directed by Umberto Lenzi, and starring Antonio Sabato.
One element of the composer's score is the use of the popular Sicilian song "Vitti 'na crozzo supra 'nu cannuni, fui curiusu e 'nci vonsi spiara...," which the director had come across in 1951 as part of Rustichelli's score for Il Cammino Della Speranza. Many years later Milano Rovente presented the opportunity to revisit the song that had so impressed Lenzi.
This digital premiere of the original stereo mastertapes commences with the urban jazz of "From Sicily to Milan," with its saxophone opening, a theme continuing into "Dramatic Discover" after its opening Hammond organ chords, a device used by the composer in other of his scores, including "Call of the Wild," to denote danger. Both the main theme and the organ motif are to appear in fragments and variations throughout subsequent tracks, many of which feature a good deal of tension and suspense, though there are uptempo moments as well, as in "Doggy Fighting," "Running and Hiding" and "Final Struggle."
"Fly 747" is a catchy dance number and is followed by a floaty ballad "What is this Love?" written by Harmonica player extraordinaire Franco De Gemini and Stefano Torossi, with lyrics by Guiseppe Cassia, and performed by Melody. The melancholy, piano, guitar and organ-lead "Remembering a Far Home" follows and also features in subdued mode in "Suite before End, sharing the honours with the main theme in "Still Remembering" and "From Milan To Sicily, with Jews Harp featuring in the latter, bringing the score to a dramatic close.
The aforementioned Sicilian folk song emerges as a male choral in track 10 on the album. Jews Harp again carries the theme from "Remembering a Far Home" to open "Girls and Drug, "before the main theme introduces more action music; the mood continuing in "Flic's Compromise."
The main theme is presented as a straight forward source cue in "Just a Bite," with "Mainly Slow Theme" again featuring the theme is more subdued mode.
The disc concludes with an altenate version of "From Milan To Sicily," somewhat lighter on the Jews Harp than the previous version.
Accompanying the disc is again a colourful foldout poster, featuring notes by Claudio Fuiano and Fabio Babini, with an introduction by the director, who also features on a 15-minute video that can be accessed through your PC. Go to

From Costa Communications:




DIGITAL: iTunes, Amazon Digital on October 21st

IN STORES CD: November 11

Los Angeles, CA – Singer, songwriter and composer Jon Brion (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Magnolia) composed original music for the soundtrack for SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK. Lakeshore Records will release the soundtrack in stores on November 11, available now via iTunes and Amazon Digital.

Jon Brion received a Best Score nomination at the World Soundtrack Awards for the score for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which was co-written by his Synecdoche, New York director Charlie Kaufman and that film’s director Michel Gondry. He recently composed the scores for Step Brothers, The Break-Up and scored and wrote songs for I Heart Huckabees. Additionally, Brion composed scores for Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love (2001) and Magnolia (1999, Grammy nomination for Best Score), and Hard Eight (1996).

Highly in demand as a producer and studio musician, Brion has collaborated with such artists as

Kanye West, Dido, Macy Gray, Rufus Wainwright, The Crystal Method, Jude Cole, Susanna

Hoffs, Sam Phillips, and The Eels. In addition to his collaboration with top artists, he is an indie music darling and is renowned for his regular Friday-night gigs at the Los Angeles club Largo, which features covers and original songs, a variety of instruments and the occasional guest.

SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK is the directorial debut of two-time Academy Award®-winning writer Charlie Kaufman (Adaptation, Being John Malkovich). The film boasts an all star cast, including Academy Award®-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman, two-time Academy Award®-nominee Samantha Morton, Academy Award®-nominee Michelle Williams, two-time Academy Award®-nominee Catherine Keener, two-time Academy Award®-nominee Emily Watson, two-time Academy Award®-winner Dianne Wiest, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Hope Davis, and Tom Noonan.

Sony Pictures Classics presents SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on October 24, 2008, and theaters nationwide throughout October.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


From Top Dollar PR:


Veteran Composers Create Emotionally Complex and Musically Diverse
Adaptive Music Score For Franchise Debut on Next-Generation Consoles

Los Angeles – October 30th, 2008 – Award winning composer Inon Zur (Prince of Persia The Two Thrones®, Prince of Persia Warrior Within®) and celebrated musician Stuart Chatwood (Prince of Persia®: The Sands of Time, Prince of Persia Warrior Within®, Prince of Persia The Two Thrones®) have created a compelling and epic original score for Ubisoft’s new Prince of Persia video game. Developed by Ubisoft’s Montreal studio, the game opens an entirely new chapter in the Prince of Persia universe in addition to introducing a fresh illustrative art style, evolved combat system, and open world structure. Prince of Persia is scheduled to release December 2, 2008.

The new Prince of Persia score features eastern ethnic instrumentation blended with a cinematic orchestral approach, combined with a different musical treatment for each of the game’s four lands. Lead composer Inon Zur contributes dramatic and majestic orchestral music performed by the Northwest Sinfonia and recorded with Arabic flutes and duduk. Zur’s compositions, which include the Main Theme, capture the complex emotional evolution of the characters as well as immersing players during gameplay and in select locations.

“Inon’s music underlines sumptuously the dramatic and the cinematic qualities of the story,” said Simon Landry, Music Supervisor for Prince of Persia. “Bringing together, in a video game perspective, tragedy, humor, violent confrontations, romance and moral dilemmas is a huge challenge but the new Prince of Persia soundtrack makes it happen, reaching new artistic heights and emotional depth.”

Stuart Chatwood, a member of the renowned Canadian rock band The Tea Party, brings his distinct rhythmic style and unique palette of world music instruments that draws upon the cultural sounds of Persia. In addition to augmenting world music library sounds and mixing his own recordings of multiple instruments from his travels worldwide, including Santoors, Sarods, Sitar, Zournas, and Tamboura, Chatwood performs ethnic instruments such as the Oud, Zourna and snake charmer flutes. The intricately layered music mechanism playing musical variations by both composers enhances the gameplay in such a way that is totally adaptive and embraces the gamer’s performance, as if the composers were scoring in real-time, following the player’s action.

“The musical challenge for the Prince of Persia soundtrack was to further push the interactivity, the diversity and the emotional complexity,” adds Landry. “The colossal achievement of Inon and Stuart’s work is to have composed such a powerful and impressive interactive musical odyssey. The complementary approach of these two skilled composers pushes musical boundaries and creates a fascinating and authentic world.”

About the Prince of Persia video game
Set in a land rooted in ancient Persian mythology, the Prince finds himself caught in an epic battle between the primal forces of light and darkness: the God of Light, Ormazd versus his brother Ahriman, the destructive God of Darkness. The Prince arrives just in time to witness the destruction of the legendary Tree of Life – an act which threatens to plunge the entire world into eternal darkness. Manifested in the form of the Corruption, a dark substance that physically contaminates the land and the skies, the Prince must partner with Elika, a deadly companion, to heal the world from the evil Corruption.

For more information on Prince of Persia, 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 a strong and diversified line-up of products and partnerships. Ubisoft has teams in 28 countries and distributes games in more than 55 countries around the globe. It is committed to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge video game titles to consumers. For the 2007–08 fiscal year Ubisoft generated sales of 928 million euros. To learn more, please visit

© 2008 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Based on Prince of Persia® created by Jordan Mechner. Ubisoft,, and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the U.S. and/or other countries. Prince of Persia is a trademark of Jordan Mechner in the U.S. and/or other countries used under license by Ubisoft Entertainment.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


El Cid
Music by Miklos Rozsa
Tadlow Music TADLOWCD005 (UK)
Disc 1 - 27 Tracks 75:53 mins Disc 2 - 21 Tracks 73:39 mins
Disc 3 - 8 Tracks 32:21 + Footage and Interviews from the recording sessions

Just now and again I get the opportunity to review something that I can say without a doubt should be in the collection of every self-respecting film music enthusiast. This is just such an occasion, the release by Tadlow Music of Miklos Rozsa's complete score for the 1961 epic El Cid, which starred Charlton Heston as the legendary Spanish knight, a film (and score) I am sure most of you will be familiar with. It is one of the last of the great biblical/historical epics and Rozsa's score is simply one of the best ever written for film. It also happens to be a personal favourite of Tadlow's James Fitzpatrick, who undertook the huge task of producing this wonderful re-recording - a pure labour of love.
Previous recordings have of course been available, the original 40-minute-plus Rozsa-conducted album, last available on CD on the now sadly demised Chapter III label, and a not totally successful expanded re-recording by Koch. Here, Fitzpatrick and his team of Nic Raine, who conducts, as well as reconstructed the music (along with Patrick Russ and Jeff Atmajian), present the complete score, much of which is heard for the first time ever, as the composer's music originally suffered at the hands of the film's editors, and what's more the original masters have been seemingly lost forever.
Regular Tadlow and Silva Screen (with which Fitzpatrick has of course also produced many fine albums) orchestra the City of Prague Philharmonic and Chorus perform the music, and it's fair to say that on the whole this is one of the finest performances yet. Of course, one can always find differences in expression and tempo, if one looks hard enough; some of these deliberate decisions, as in "The Fight For Calahorra," which is taken at a faster tempo. To my ear at least, Rozsa's original opening fanfare is certainly more dynamic, and the original "Prelude" displays more of a Spanish flourish at times; but overall this is a very fine effort indeed, at times near to perfect, especially in the more intimate moments. And, let's face it, a lot of the music presented here is new and therefore we have nothing to compare it to, in any case. As for all that new music, there are plenty of new and exciting moments to delight.
As if all 150 minutes or so of Rozsa's score is not enough for you, disc 3 also presents seven extra tracks of alternate versions and takes, including the vocal version of the Epilogue "The Falcon and the Dove." And to round things off, we are treated to five videos (for which you will need QuickTime on your PC), four of these sessions videos, the other a Q & A by Doug Raynes with Raine and Fitzpatrick. Add on a new performance of Christopher Palmer's suite from Double Indemnity, and a great 28-page booklet, featuring forewords by Rozsa's daughter Juliet and renowned director Martin Scorsese, extensive notes and cue-by-cue guide by Frank K. DeWald of the Miklos Rozsa Society, who once wrote an extensive musical analysis of El Cid for the Society's publication Pro Musica Sana; as well as Fitzpatrick's notes on the production of this monumental recording, and you have what amounts to just about the most perfect presentation of a film score you could ever wish to own. So, what are you waiting for, get along to and order your copy now. You won't be sorry.
I would just like to thank James Fitzpatrick for making this review possible, and even more so for undertaking this tremendous task, which sees at least one of my personal dreams come true.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Mission Impossible - My Life in Music
Lalo Schifrin
Scarecrow Press, 2008
219 pages + bonus 71:41 minute CD

First off, let me say that this is the latest entry in Scarecrow's "Studies in Jazz" and as such has been presumably edited, by Richard Palmer, so that the author's reminiscences therein largely reflect his career in that particular musical genre. Whilst attention is given to his work in other genres, if you are a die-hard film music enthusiast, you will find little in the way of insight or anecdotes on Schifrin's large body of work for film and tv, with basically two short chapters devoted to that side of his career.
Having said all this, if you wish to build a more complete picture of the great man and his wide-ranging musical career, this is certainly the book for you, even if the structure is a little unconventional, with it taking a somewhat haphazard route, instead of starting at the beginning and following Schifrin's life through to the present date. Nevertheless, the narrative is always interesting and often quite witty, and I certainly learnt a few things about the other musical sides of a composer and man, whose screen work I have enjoyed over these many years; and the generous bonus CD introduced me to some excellent music I had not before encountered, largely due to the fact that practically all of my available listening time is given over to film music, increasingly moreso now that so many recordings are released, where once it was quite a hunt to find a particular soundtrack, if indeed one was issued at all.
The book comes with a complete list of all Schifrin's compositions for the screen and concert hall, plus a discography and biographical notes to fill in any gaps.

Monday, October 27, 2008



Original Music Score by Hollywood Composer Steve Jablonsky
and performed by the Skywalker Symphony Orchestra and Chorus

New York – Oct. 27, 2008 – Sumthing Else Music Works, Inc., through its licensing relationship with Epic Games, Inc., proudly presents Gears of War® 2 The Soundtrack. The original soundtrack from the highly anticipated blockbuster Xbox 360™ action video game will be released on Nov. 25, 2008 to retail outlets through Nile Rodgers’ Sumthing Else Music Works record label, and for digital download at

Gears of War 2 The Soundtrack features a new original music score composed by Hollywood composer Steve Jablonsky (“Transformers”, “The Island”, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”) and recorded with the Skywalker Symphonic Orchestra and Chorus at the world famous Skywalker Sound


Epic Games wanted every aspect of Gears of War 2 to be “bigger, darker, and crunchier” than the original game, including the bombastic orchestral soundtrack. Drawing on his extensive experience scoring big budget action films as well as a unique musical repertoire and Hollywood production values, Jablonsky was the perfect match for creating the adrenaline-pumping, emotionally charged Gears of War 2 score.

“It’s been a real treat working with Steve on the score for Gears of War 2. We have a tremendous amount of confidence in him, and believe the Gears community will embrace the new sound," said Mike Larson, Audio Director of Epic Games. "We’ve designed Gears 2 to impact players on a deep emotional level, and much of that connection is made with music that grabs their attention and makes them feel personally involved with the game universe. We have aimed to create something a bit more serious, cinematic, and refined with a harder-hitting approach toward composition and production.”

“Epic gave me a blank canvas, which was really great,” said Steve Jablonsky, Composer for Gears of War 2. “I experimented with a lot of hybrid organic/electronic elements, and combined them with the power of a large orchestra and choir.”

Track Listing:

1. Return Of The Omen

2. Hope Runs Deep

3. Green As Grass

4. Expectations

5. Finally, A Lead

6. Armored Prayer

7. Hold Them Off

8. Derrick Chase

9. Building Thunder

10. Hell Breaks Loose

11. Bedlam

12. Breakneck

13. Landown

14. Racing To Extinction

15. If They Can Ride Em

16. Hollow

17. Unexpected Changes

18. March Of The Horde

19. Highway

20. Denizens Of The Deep

21. With Sympathy

22. Insurmountable Odds

23. Bump In The Night

24. Frenzy

25. Outpost

26. Finale

27. Autumn Of Mankind

Gears of War 2 tells the story of humanity's last stand against the nightmarish, underground Locust Horde, and is the follow-up to one of the most popular Xbox 360 games in history. Gears of War 2 blends best-in-class third-person shooter action with unsurpassed high-definition visuals, all layered on top of an engaging story of survival, loss and retribution. Gears of War 2 will be available worldwide on Nov. 7 exclusively for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system. For more information, visit

About Epic Games
Epic Games, Inc., based in Cary, NC and established in 1991, develops cutting-edge games and cross-platform game engine technology. The company has created multiple million-selling, award-winning titles in its Unreal series, most recently shipping Unreal Tournament 3 for PC, PLAYSTATION®3 and Xbox 360. Epic’s breakthrough game, Gears of War, sold 5 million copies and won over 30 Game of the Year awards. The highly anticipated sequel, Gears of War 2, is scheduled for release this November. Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 is the current holder and three-time consecutive winner of Game Developer magazine’s Best Engine Front Line Award. Additional information about Epic can be obtained through the Epic Games Web site at

About Nile Rodgers
Award winning record producer Nile Rodgers is one of the most prolific music producers in history. Nile’s production accomplishments include such diverse artists as Diana Ross, Madonna, David Bowie, Duran Duran, The B-52’s, David Lee Roth, Grace Jones, Mick Jagger and top selling game soundtracks such as Halo® 2 Volume One. Records produced by Nile Rodgers have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide. As a founding member of the perennial Rhythm & Blues dance band Chic, Nile co-wrote all of their big hits including "Le Freak" and "Good Times", as well as "We Are Family" for Sister Sledge. In addition to records, he has also scored or produced music for numerous films including "Coming to America", "Thelma and Louise", "The Flintstones", "Beverly Hills Cop" and "Rush Hour II," as well as a variety of television shows and commercials. Nile is a board member of several organizations including the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS).

About Sumthing Else Music Works, Inc.

Since its creation in the late 1990’s by the world-renowned song writer, musician and record producer, Nile Rodgers, Sumthing Else Music Works has become the acknowledged industry leader in licensing and distributing video game soundtracks. Possessing full in-house services worldwide, from creation of original video game soundtracks through physical distribution, Sumthing is partnered with the world’s leading video game developers and publishers including BioWare, Bungie Studios, Capcom, Crytek, Eidos Interactive, Epic Games, Gearbox Software, Microsoft, Mistwalker, Rare, SEGA, Silicon Knights, Sony Computer Entertainment and Ubisoft. Their catalogue of titles includes the best selling video game soundtrack of all time, Halo 2: Volume One, as well as award-winning titles including: Crysis, Advent Rising, Fable, Gears of War, Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2 Volume Two, Halo 3, Hitman: Contracts, Hitman: Blood Money, Jade Empire, Kameo: Elements of Power, Mass Effect, Red Steel, Unreal Tournament 3 and many others.

For Sumthing’s full catalogue please visit and their digital download service at

Epic, Epic Games, Gears of War, Gears of War 2, Marcus Fenix, Unreal, Unreal Engine, and Unreal Tournament are trademarks or registered trademarks of Epic Games, Inc. in the United States and elsewhere. All rights reserved. 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.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Alvin and the Chipmunks
Music by Christopher Lennertz
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1077 (US)
18 Tracks 35:49 mins

If you refer to my blog of December 12th 2007, you will see that I then covered a promotional disc of Christopher Lennertz's score for the mix of live action and animation that is Alvin And The Chipmunks. At the time I said that it would "make an enjoyable commercial release, but no news on that front as yet, I'm afraid." Well, I'm sure I can't take the credit, but somebody else was certainly listening because enterprising label La-La Land Records has now put out what is essentially the same disc as a limited edition release of 1000 units, and I couldn't be more delighted.
To my mind, Christopher Lennertz is one of the most interesting and enjoyable "new" composers out there at the moment, producing scores of equal quality for film, TV and games, and I heartily welcome any recording of his music that becomes available.
I have little to add to my original comments on this orchestral/choral score, which is a great ride, featuring some big, powerful action writing, the required amount of whimsy and slapstick, as well as sentiment, in the form of a tender guitar-lead theme.
Accompanying the disc is a colourful 8-page booklet, featuring plenty of stills from the film, notes from the composer, as well as the film's director and producer; and there are also full orchestral and music production credits. Get along to to order your copy while you can.

JOE HARNELL.COM Presents THE INCREDIBLE HULIK episodic Collection Vol. 2

THE INCREDIBLE HULIK episodic Collection Vol. 2
PROMETHEUS Parts 1 and 2 - Music by Joe Harnell presents THE INCREDIBLE HULK: PROMETHEUS PARTS 1 & 2, featuring music composed and conducted by Joe Harnell for the cult television show, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, created and developed by Kenneth Johnson (THE BIONIC MAN, THE BIONIC WOMAN, V) and starring Bill Bixby as David Bruce Banner and Lou Ferrigno as his green-skinned, purple-panted living ID, along with Jack Colvin as Banner’s nemesis, journalist Jack McGee and special guest stars Laurie Prange and Monte Markham.
THE INCREDIBLE HULK: PROMETHEUS PARTS 1 & 2 contains original music composed for the opening of the Fourth Season. Airing in November, 1980, PROMETHEUS finds Banner befriending Katie, a young woman recently blinded by an accident. While helping Katie back to her cabin in the woods, Banner is surprised to see a meteor land nearby. While he investigates the crash site, he is attacked by a swarm of bees, which causes him to change into the Hulk. While trying to fight off the bees, the Hulk touches the meteor rock. Returning to Katie’s cabin, the Hulk begins to change back into Banner but is surprised to discover that the metamorphosis stops midway, leaving him with some of the Hulk’s irradiated features and personality along with the ability to speak and a fraction of his own intellect. Captured by the military, Katie and Banner are taken to a military installation along with the meteorite, where a group of scientists working for the Prometheus Project mistakenly assume that Banner is an alien because of his current physical and mental state. Katie helps him to realize that his proximity to the meteorite is preventing him from completing his change and they must both escape from the installation if they are to survive. PROMETHEUS was a creative high water mark for the show, featuring amazingly high production values, incorporating helicopters shooting from multiple cameras. Even the orchestra was larger than usual, augmented to 40 players, far larger than the usual orchestra size for television scores produced at the time.
THE INCREDIBLE HULK: PROMETHEUS PARTS 1 & 2 is presented in loving memory of the great Joe Harnell. THE INCREDIBLE HULK: PROMETHEUS PARTS 1 & 2 is an Exclusive release, limited to 1500 units, professionally mastered by Digital Outland, factory manufactured and includes exclusive liner notes by series creator Kenneth Johnson.
Purchase either "V" or "Music from THE INCREDIBLE HULK" CDS with "PROMETHEUS PARTS 1 & 2" and you will receive a 15% Discount on these titles!
THE INCREDIBLE HULIK episodic Collection Vol. 2
is available for pre-order at and starts shipping on Oct 28, 2008.
Other recent titles released available from WWW. JOEHARNELL.COM include:
Music from the THE INCREDIBLE HULK TV series -Music by Joe Harnell
THE INCREDIBLE HULK-Music From The Television Pilot Movies
THE BIONIC WOMAN Episodic Collection Vol. 2-Music by Joe Harnell
THE BIONIC WOMAN Episodic Collection Vol. 1-Music by Joe Harnell

Friday, October 24, 2008


Not Without My Daughter
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1075 (US)
20 Tracks 63:49 mins

After a highly successful run of scores in the 1970s and 80s, Jerry Goldsmith wound down somewhat as we entered a new decade. Although he was still producing serviceable scores, apart from the odd exception (Basic Instinct), this writer was generally underwhelmed by his output. Such was the case with 1991's controversial Not Without My Daughter, which saw Sally Field portraying a real-life housewife and her daughter's struggle to escape her husband's homeland of Iran when she was tricked into going there, supposedly for a vacation.
Goldsmith's score mixes orchestra (the National Philharmonic) and electronics, as he was still wont to do at that time. The composer took the decision to omit the brass section, allowing the strings to do the major emotional work, with the synthesizer handling the brass elements when required.
Originally released on LP, the original 35-minute playing time is much expanded here to include the complete score, as well as a previously unheard suite of alternate orchestra-only takes, with woodwinds often substituting for the synthesizer, together with three source cues.
The disc opens in brief dramatic fashion in "The Lake," with synths and percussion, before segueing into a warm strings and piano melody, representing the family, and more especially the bond between Field and her daughter, which continues into "Night Stories." The first sign of things going awry are hinted at in "The Promise," though the strings theme is still present. "No Job" starts sunny enough, with yet more variations on the "family" theme, but gradually things deteriorate, leading into "Trapped," where the theme takes a downward, opressed turn. The dramatic music heard at the very opening of the disc returns briefly in "First Break," with some anguished string writing following in "Threats." "School's Out" pits the lyrical theme against the dramatic figure, whilst the second take on "First Break" is a much longer, tense affair, with what is described by Randall D. Larson in the booklet notes as "curving chords (reported to be the mutated sound of a water droplet at extremely low pitch)" adding a menacing element, before a synth-lead action figure carries the track to its conclusion. More tension follows in "Dry Spell," with "The Flag/Back Home" eventually seeing a return to the lyrical "family" theme, initially in triumphant fashion, then in more pastoral mode, after a brief attempt by the dramatic synths and percusiion to intrude.
Revisiting the score after all these years, I find I warm to it more than when I originally heard it, particularly the lyrical melody representing the love between mother and daughter, but the overall tone is still suitably downbeat, and tense, with few moments of action to get the pulse racing.
The CD is accompanied by a colourful eight-page booklet, featuring stills from the film, plus the aforementioned detailed notes by Randall D. Larson. Limited to 3000 copies, you'd best hurry along to to secure your copy.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Liberi Armati Pericolosi
Music by Gian Franco Plenizio & Enrico Pieranunzi
Beat Records CDCR 80 (Italy)
19 Tracks 45:51 mins

This is the first in a new series of limited edition soundtracks from Beat Records. CDs will have a release of 500 to 3000 copies, and each will have a serial number on the back. Like this one, all will be presented in attractive digipack packaging, complete with a 24x36 poster, featuring notes on each film presented and its music, in both Italian and English. Also, in addition to the music, by inserting the disc in your PC, you will be able to access digital content; in this case a 15-minute interview with composer Gianfranco Plenizio, in Italian of course, but with English subtitles, in which he discusses his music for the film and Pieranunzi's contribution, as well as sharing his views on the current state of film scoring.
As for the music presented on this release, it comes from the 1976 crime thriller Liberi Armati Pericolosi, directed by Romolo Guerrieri, and starring Tomas Milian. There are no track titles given, but the disc commences with a surprisingly easy-going and very catchy little harmonica-lead number, with of course Pieranunzi's jazz piano stylings making their first contribution, along with trumpet. The theme receives another variation in the following track, and also appears in a variety of moods and variations in a further eight tracks, including a vocal by an uncredited female singer. Track 3 is the first of a number of jazzy source-like tracks, in which Pieranunzi's piano leads the way, but sax also makes a valued contribution. Tracks 9, 13, 15 & 16 present a totally different approach to the soundtrack, being duets for flute and harpsichord, written in the classical form; whilst track 10 again features flute, but against a bossa backing.
All in all then, a highly tuneful and varied soundtrack, and a fitting way to start off this new series.
Order you copy from www.beat, where you can find further information and reviews of all the label's releases.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Easy Virtue
Music by Noel Coward, Cole Porter, Marius de Vries etc.
Decca 478 1417 (EU)
17 Tracks 50:25 mins

A new screen adaptation of Noel Coward's 80-year-old play Easy Virtue hits UK screens on 7th November, with the soundtack album preceeding it on 27th October. The film stars Jessica Biel, Ben Barnes, Kristin Scott Thomas, Veronica Whittaker and Colin Firth, with Marius de Vries responsible for any original scoring, though, as the album suggests plenty of Coward's music features, along with numbers by the likes of Gus Kahn, Cole Porter and even film scorer and songsmith Bronislau Kaper. Well loved offerings include "Mad About The Boy," "A Room With A View," "Makin' Whoopee," "You're The Tops," "Mad Dogs and Englishmen," "You Do Something To Me," "All God's Children Got Rhythm," "When You're Smiling," "Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag," and "I'll See You Again. More up-to-date fare, though given a suitable period spin, includes "Car Wash by Nick Whitfield, "Sex Bomb" by Mustafa Guendogdu & Errol Rennalls, and "When The Tough Get Going" by Billy Ocean, Robert Lange, Wayne Brathwaite & Barry Eastmond; all presumably voiced by the film's cast, though no actual credits are given for the performers.
De Vries' contributions to the album include the piano solo "In The Library," plus two dances - the "Easy Virtue Foxtrot" and the "Easy Virtue Tango.

From CineMedia
La-La Land Records To Release Soundtrack For Rest Stop: Don’t Look Back

The soundtrack for Rest Stop: Don’t Look Back will be released by La-La Land Records on October 21, 2008. Composer Bear McCreary, who also scored the first Rest Stop film, composed the score.
The soundtrack album also includes five songs penned by McCreary: “Rattlesnake on the Highway” and “Lonely Woman performed by Brendan “Bt4” McCreary, who sang “All Along the Watchtower” on the Battlestar Galactica Season 3 soundtrack, “Jesus, He Forgives You Too” and “Down Home Salvation” performed by Rev. Buford “Buck” Davis and His Minstrel Singers, and “All That Remains” performed by Raya Yarbrough, a song featured in both Rest Stop films as well as several episodes of Battlestar Galactica’s third and fourth seasons.
Composer Bear McCreary is one of the top young composers working in Hollywood. His work on the television series Battlestar Galactica has been described as offering “some of the most innovative music on TV today,” by Variety, and his blog, which features in-depth inside looks at the process of scoring Battlestar Galactica, was called "one of the best blogs in the business. It's a fascinating look at the process of making music for film and television and the care he takes with aligning the score with the twists and turns of each character's plot lines," by The Hollywood Reporter.
McCreary also scores the hit series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles for Fox. His film credits include Wrong Turn 2 and the Rest Stop films. McCreary was among a handful of select protégés of late film music legend Elmer Bernstein (THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN) and is a classically trained composer with degrees in Composition and Recording Arts from the prestigious USC Thornton School of Music.
Shawn Papazian, who produced the first Rest Stop film, directed the sequel. “This time around, since I was at the helm, I wanted to add a dirtier, grittier flare to the score that was unique but in some way similar to the first Rest Stop, yet take it to another level of funk. Bear brilliantly discovered musically my jumbled rhetoric and brought the soul of the score to life,” he describes. “We were able to unleash instruments that played beautifully and organically within the beats of horror that I feel will make this movie sound artistic in a way that genre movies of this nature have never sounded like before. He truly scored.”
One year after running away from home, Nicole (Julie Mond) and Jesse (Joey Mendicino) are still missing. When Jesse’s brother, Tom (Richard Tillman), returns home from active duty, he sets out with his friends Marilyn (Jessie Ward) and Jared (Graham Norris) to locate the lost couple. Their search leads them to the stretch of old highway with a mysterious Rest Stop, where they find themselves in the same predicament as Nicole and Jesse: confronting the madman (Brionne Davis) driving the menacing yellow truck. As their search continues, a run-in with the ubiquitous Winnebago Family leads Marilyn and Jared to ghostly encounters with Nicole. Meanwhile, Tom is kidnapped and tortured by the psycho, but upon his escape he uses the arsenal at his disposal to take his revenge. But bullets alone may not be enough to stop this sociopath bent on death and dismemberment.
So like Nicole and Jesse, Bear McCreary revisited Rest Stop. “In that movie, we established a rich and lush sonic soundscape, filled with distorted banjos, wailing electric bass and detuned country fiddle,” said McCreary. “All these elements returned for Don’t Look Back with a vengeance…The sound I was going for was ‘Lynyrd Skynyrd Trapped in Hell.’”
Warner Home Video presents Rest Stop: Don’t Look Back available on DVD September 30, 2008. The original soundtrack will be available in stores or from on October 21, 2008. Also available from La-La Land Records are the soundtracks for Battlestar Galactica Season One, Season Two, Season Three, Eureka, and Wrong Turn 2, also composed by Bear McCreary. La-La Land Records will be releasing the soundtracks for Terminator – The Sarah Connor Chronicles later this year.

From Costa Communications




Splinter Sweeps the Awards Ceremony at ScreamFestLA

In Theaters Halloween 2008

Composer Elia Cmiral creates a haunting score for “Splinter,” the first full-length film by award-winning director Toby Wilkins. Splinter premiered at ScreamFestLA and swept the awards ceremony, including Cmiral taking home the award for “Best Musical Score.” The movie also won “Best Editing,” “Best Makeup,” “Best Direction” and “Best Picture.” In the film, a convict and his girlfriend carjack a couple on a weekend retreat in the woods. The couples soon find themselves trapped together in an isolated gas station, on the run from a deadly parasite that occupies the woods outside. “Splinter” opens in theaters on October 31, 2008.

ScreamFestLA, a film festival devoted entirely to the horror genre, showcases some of the best independent short and full-length horror films each year. “Splinter” director Toby Wilkins won Best Horror Short for his film “Staring at the Sun” in 2005, garnering the attention of producer Sam Raimi, who then chose Wilkins to produce, direct, and write a number of short films for his production company, Ghost House Pictures. This year, the festival was held at Grauman’s Mann Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood, Calif.

No stranger to the world of thrillers, Cmiral scored “Tooth & Nail” and “The Deaths of Ian Stone,” both featured at last year’s After Dark Horrorfest. Most recently, he finished scoring “Pulse 2: Afterlife,” the sequel to last year’s Wes Craven film, “Pulse,” for which he also wrote the score. This was Cmiral’s second collaboration with Craven, having scored “Wes Craven Presents: They” in 2002. In addition, he scored John Frankenheimer’s suspense thriller “Ronin,” starring Robert DeNiro. Cmiral continues to provide highly original and evocative scores for major Hollywood studios as well as independent filmmakers, including “Journey to the End of the Night,” “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.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Neal Hefti died on October 11th just short of his 86th birthday. He will probably be best rembered by screen music followers for his themes and scores for The Odd Couple, Barefoot in the Park and the Batman TV series, but, like fellow composer Lalo Schifrin, he also had a whole other career in the jazz music field. Other film credits include How To Murder Your Wife, Sex and the Single Girl, Boeing Boeing, Duel at Diable and Harlow.

One Man Jury
Music by Morton Stevens
BSX Records BSXCD 8841 (US)
19 Tracks 55:36 mins

Morton Stevens was one of those journeymen composers who wrote consistently quality work for all kinds of film and especially television productions through the 50s, 60s, 70s & 80s, and is probably best known for his theme for Hawaii Five-0, though I enjoy equally his theme for Police Woman and very much admire his work in the likes of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. as well. In addition, I remember what a great job he did on adapting and scoring for the final parts of the Masada mini-series (the first two parts were of course scored by Jerry Goldsmith, a man Stevens had long been associated with).
It's a shame then that so little of his work is available on CD, but BSX Records have done their bit to hopefully start the ball rolling by releasing his score for the 1978 thriller One Man Jury, which stars Jack Palance, in a kind of good guy role for a change, as a tough crime fighting cop in the Dirty Harry mould.
Stevens' music was recorded in England with the National Philharmonic and the album commences with his "Main Title" which, after an opening string scherzo, moves along in flowing fashion to a pop beat. Much eeriness and suspense follows in "The Killer/The First Victim," ending in Psycho-like stabbing strings and wild piano. By complete contrast, "Wendy Walking" is breezy, but all too brief, before a quick return to the eerie and then stabbing strings again in "The Second Victim." A lament for organ follows in "Nancy's Funeral;" the mood changing again for the warm romance of "Bedroom Scene;" and yet again for the dark menace of "Ambushed." A stealthy pursuit follows in "Following the Killer/The Killer Confesses/The Cop Who Played God/Aftermath," turning dissonant and eerie again as the track moves to its violent conclusion. More eerie strings briefly open "Body Pulled from the Lake/The Next Day," giving way to a great trumpet-lead variation on the main theme, followed by a brief touch of romance in "After the Fight." More violent action follows in "Busting the Hijacking/Killing Chickie," ending in something of a dirge. The next track covers a variety of scenes and begins with more stabbing strings and also features some dynamic, brassy, beat-driven action writing for the "Big Chase, before concluding with some dark dissonance for "The Killers Killed." The eerie strings, dissonance and suspense return for much of "Then You Killed Him!/Wade Shot/Going After Wendy," but the cue does pick up somewhat, moving tensely to a pacy conclusion; the score proper concluding with the exciting action of the lengthy "Boat Shootout & Finale," with its triumphant ending, as the killer is finally dispatched by one of his would-be victims. The "End Credits" play out against a laid-back, jazzy and quite gorgeous trumpet refrain of Stevens' main theme.
Of course, in the 70s, it was still the fashion for the film's composer to provide the source music on a project, and the final five tracks on the album feature Stevens' source cues for the film.
The disc is accompanied by an excellent 8-page booklet, featuring Randall D. Larson's informative notes on the film, its music and composer, as well as an invaluable cue-by-cue guide. Limited to just 1000 units, you'd better hurry along to to secure your copy.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Body of Lies
Music by Marc Streitenfeld
Vares Sarabande VSD 6923 (EU)
22 Tracks 45:18 mins

Ridley Scott's new CIA thriller stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe. The director again turns to Marc Streitenfeld for the music, the two having previously collaborated on A Good Year and American Gangster.
As the film deals with a middle-eastern terrorist threat, as one would expect, the music reflects this, and can probably be most likened to something like Harry Gregson'Williams' Spy Game; with much ethnic colouring alongside the standard orchestra. Often ticking along rhythmically and percussively in tense and suspenseful manner, the score eventually kicks into action mode in tracks like "Rabid Dogs" and "Lost Vision;" but there are also quieter moments, like the guitar musings of "Aisha" and "Dead Sea;" the tragedy of "Burning Safehouse;" and the anguished strings of "Tortured; whilst "No Touch" moves along surprisingly lightly, compared with what goes on around it. A serviceable effort.

American Gangsters
Silva Screen SILCD1271 (UK)
17 Tracks 56:21 mins

Just released is this compilation of music from gangster-orientated films, commencing with Earl Scruggs' classic "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" from Bonnie and Clyde and bringing things right up to date with Marc Streitenfield's "Caskets" from American Gangster." In between we have classics like "The Godfather Waltz," "Speak Softly Love" and "The Immigrant/Love Theme" all from the Godfather trilogy of course; Ennio Morricone's classic music from The Untouchables and Once Upon a Time in America; Carter Burwell's "End Titles" from Millers Crossing; Giorgio Moroder's "Tony's Theme" from Scarface; two offerings from Howard Shore, his "Brooklyn Heights" piece, used in Gangs of New York, and his guitar theme for "The Departed;" Mikis Theodorakis' theme from Serpico; "Hans Zimmer's "You're So Cool" from True Romance; and Thomas Newman's theme from Road To Perdition. Featured also are Leoncavallo's "Pagliacci - Vesti La Giubba," voiced by Tito Beltran, and featured in The Untouchables; plus the "Prelude From Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni, used in The Godfather Part III.
All together just under an hour of fine music, capably performed, mainly by the label's usual orchestra of choice, the City of Prague Philharmonic, with credits also for the London and Michigan Music Works on the non-orchestral tracks. Go to

Saturday, October 18, 2008


La Lunga Notte Dei Disertori
Music by Stelvio Cipriani
GDM Hillside Series GDM 4118
22 Tracks

I usually only review western releases in this series, but am glad Hillside's Lionel Woodman convinced me to take a listen to Stelvio Cipriani's score for this 1970 World War II desert warfare picture, as there's much to enjoy here, starting out with the opening variation on the main theme "Marsa Matruh," a dramatic, almost operatic piece, featuring the Nora Orland choir, which is much more than just the march the title would suggest. "The gentle romance of "Tema Arabo: Dialogo" follows; then more romance of the sweeping kind, complete with choir, in "Deserto." The "Tema Arabo" theme is given an upbeat, full-blooded rendition in "Tema Arabo: Cavalcata," which so easily could have come from a western, with its galloping rhythm. "Ricordi Di Una - Vedette" is a jazzy night club-styled source piece, and is followed by yet another version of "Tema Arabo" in "Tema Arabo: Passeggiata," which starts out sweetly on strings, woodwind and flute, but ends more like the previous uptemp variation. The main theme returns in a sturdy arrangement for "Marsa Matruh: Oasi." "Eccidio" is a suspense track with martial undertones, ending in a bold variation on the main theme. After something of an ominous opening, "Incontro Con Marlene" develops into more orchestral romance, with choir entering at its conclusion. Another variation on the main theme follows in "Marsia Matruh: Il Colonnello;" with "Deserto Infuocato" providing something of an ambiguous ending to the score.
Following the first 11 stereo tracks, which were previously issued on a C.A.M. promo LP, there are a further 11 previously unreleased mono tracks, providing interesting and often quite different alternate approaches to each cue.
As with all releases in this series, a colourful booklet accompanies the disc, featuring cast and credits for the film, plus stills and original artwork. Visit


GRAND PRIX by Maurice Jarre


CHIPS VOL. 2: SEASON THREE (1979-80) by Alan Silvestri

For more detailed information, click on this URL:


On 17th November Silva Screen Records will be releasing Murray Gold's
soundtrack to Doctor Who Series 4

Murray Gold's powerful score for Doctor Who is widely regarded as a
major element in the revival of the classic cult series. The music from
the previous three series has proved to be a bestseller and has appeared
on the UK Albums chart. This much anticipated collection will include
Song Of Freedom, the stirring choral piece that celebrated the defeat of
the Daleks in the final episode of the series and proved to be a major
hit at the recent Doctor Who Prom.

From his ground-breaking, BAFTA-nominated score to Vanity Fair, to the
RTS Award-winning soundtrack to Queer as Folk and Torchwood, Murray Gold
is one of the most accomplished composers working in television today.


1) Doctor Who Season Four Opening Credits (0:46)
2) A Noble Girl About Town (2:14)
3) Life Among the Distant Stars (2:30)
4) Corridors and Fire Escapes (1:12)
5) The Sybilline Sisterhood (1:53)
6) Songs of Captivity and Freedom (4:03)
7) UNIT Rocks (1:11)
8) The Doctor's Daughter (1:38)
9) The Source (3:21)
10) The Unicorn and the Wasp (3:11)
11) The Doctor's Theme Season Four (2:47)
12) Voyage of the Damned Suite (10:21)
13) The Girl With No Name (2:45)
14) The Song of Song (2:14)
15) All in the Mind (1:18)
16) Silence In The Library (2:57)
17) The Greatest Story Never Told (6:17)
18) Midnight (3:07)
19) Turn Left (2:20)
20) A Dazzling End (2:22)
21) The Rueful Fate of Donna Noble (2:44)
22) Davros (2:07)
23) The Dark and Endless Dalek Night (3:44)
24) A Pressing Need to Save the World (4:55)
25) Hanging On The Tablaphone (1:07)
26) Song of Freedom (2:51)
27) Doctor Who Season Four Closing Credits (1:07)


REL. DATE: 17th November

Issued under license from BBC Worldwide Audio and Music

Friday, October 17, 2008


Miracle at St. Anna
Music by Terence Blanchard
Hollywood Records (US)
24 Tracks 75:55 mins

You may recall that last month I had the pleasure of bringing to your attention a score sampler, received from the composer's publicists, Costa Communications, of Terence Blanchard's latest collaboration with director Spike Lee, Miracle at St. Anna (see my blog of 22nd September).
Well, I have now received, from the same source, an advance of the actual commercial CD, released by Hollywood Records (thes score is apparently also available for download).
The sampler featured the "guts" of the score, some 35 minutes over 11 tracks, but the finished CD adds another 13 tracks and clocks in at a very generous 75 minutes-plus.
What I originally had to say about the score still very much applies, but it's obviously good to have all this extra music, which of course largely expands upon the main thematic material presented in the initial sampler.
Of the tracks not previously covered, I would pick out "White Commander," with its strong martial drumming, and the much longer "Third Reich," which, though similar at times, is largely a pretty fatalistic and anguished affair. By contrast, "Great Butterfly Part 1" presents a tranquil interlude for accordion and guitar, with the much later "Great Butterfly Part 2" expanding on the theme in tragic fashion. The heroic "Paisans Theme Part 1" again features the martial drumming; with "Main Theme at Herbs" featuring slightly surprising slide guitar musings alongside the theme, before ending with warm strings. "Paisans Theme Part 2" offers the theme from "Great Butterfly Part 1" against a powerful, somewhat tragic backdrop; whilst "War Is Hell - Mourn The Dead" finds the main theme emerging proudly from a mournful opening, but ending more intimately with piano. "End Credits" brings the album to a satisfying close, with its poignant and powerful variations on the main theme.
Undoubtedly this is a fine score which I imagine, depending of course on the film's reception, is likely to feature come Oscars time.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


The Messengers
Music by Joseph LoDuca
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1068 (US)
20 Tracks 47:16 mins

Jo9seph LoDuca is of course a veteran scorerof films with a supernatural theme, having cut his teeth on the Evil Dead movies. His association with Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert of course began on those films and continued with last year's The Messengers, directed by the Pang brothers, which is essentially a ghost story, with a few demons thrown in, and stars Kristen Stewart, Dylan McDermott, Penelope Ann Miller and John Corbett.
LoDuca's score for the film is largely orchestral and begins with a haunting (if you pardon the pun) theme for solo child's voice, violin and piano. The theme is to return again over the "End Titles" to wrap things up nicely after all the horrors that it bookends. And there are plenty of those, with much suspenseful, eerie, dissonant, menacing and downright frightening writing throughout. Delicate and sometimes quite poignant piano playing features in the quieter moments, like "Girl in the Cellar," "Mistakes" and the opening of "First Night;" with just the odd glimmer of light peeping through in tracks like "Buying the Farm," "He Likes You" and the eager close of the aforementioned "First Night," with its country fiddle and guitars. It's a more than competent score that fans of the genre will no doubt be eager to add it to their collection.
The accompanying booklet features extensive liner notes by Daniel Schweiger, with comments by the composer; plus a note from Sam Raimi, all accompanied by colour stills from the film. The release is limited to 1500 units, so get along to to secure your copy now.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Viking: Battle For Asgard
Music by Richard Beddow, Walter Mair, Simon Ravn
Sumthing Else SE-2046-2 (US)
29 Tracks 52:10 mins

The Sumthing Else label continues to champion contemporay music for video games, this time releasing the score from a composing team new to me for Sega's Viking: Battle For Asgard.
Composers Beddow, Mair and Ravin's music is largely interpreted by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, under the baton of conductor and orchestrator Nic Raine, but samples are utilised as well, though you'd hardly know it. Some of the tracks are co-composed, while others were assigned to one or other of the composers, and the album's insert gives individual credits for each track.
There is plenty of rousing music on offer here, with powerful orchestral/choral action writing for the likes of "Prologue;" "The Battle For Darkwater;" "The Ambush in Sutherine;" "The Battle For Holdenfort;" "The Battle For Caldberg;" "The Extradition of Hel;" "The Ambush in Wassailton;" The Battle For Thornvik;" "Hel's Fortress Battle;"and "Skarin and Hel's Final Battle."
Balancing out all the fury in the score are more noble and elegiac tracks like "The Soul of Midgard;" and "The Fall of Drakan;" as well as plenty of dark, suspenseful and threatening fare like "Bruthwaite & Slaterdale Mines Parts I & II;" "The Monastery At Kirkja Parts I & II; "Enemy Territory Parts I & II," with its early percussive menace; "Flatturgrunnur Caverns Parts I & II;" "Njordfell Mines;" "Nordor-Holm Caves;" and "The Fire Caves;"
"The Town of Holdenfort" and "The Town of Thornvik" provide brief interludes of sunlight amongst all the darkness and conflict.
The initially solemn, but ultimately hopeful "A New Beginning" leads into the final track on the album, "Choir of Valkyries," with its soaring choral ending bringing the score to a satisfying close.
Once more I find myself saying that really some of the music being composed for games these days is often the equal or better of much that is being written for film. If you like epic orchestral/choral scores, in the same vein as Conan The Barbarian and the LOTR Trilogy, pick up a copy of this disc - you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


From Costa Communications



Reteams with Director Bryan Singer for


“Superman Returns” composer/editor John Ottman reteams with director Bryan Singer on his World War II film “Valkyrie.” Ottman again does double duty as both editor and composer for MGM’s “Valkyrie,” starring Tom Cruise as a German officer (in theatres December 26). Ottman will again join forces with Singer to score the upcoming film “Superman: Man of Steel;” Ottman has written the scores for and edited nearly all of “Superman” director Bryan Singer’s films including "The Usual Suspects" and "Apt Pupil."

The score to “Valkyrie” marks a high point in Ottman's unique career. Ottman's score is highly effective and avoids the cliches associated with a WWII story. This was done by blending carefully designed electronic sounds with the orchestra. When he couldn't find the right textures, Ottman manipulated his own voice to create them. Like his heralded score to “The Usual Suspects,” Ottman's music is the very pulse of “Valkyrie,” creating unrelenting tension and suspense, yet somehow artfully not getting in the way. The score subliminally leads to a highly emotional ending, culminating in an incredibly moving climax, leaving test audiences in tears. At times atmospherically restrained, and at others rousing, the score to “Valkyrie” is not one that can be categorized. Once again, Ottman provides an intelligent and refreshing voice, continuing to raise the bar in the art of scoring films.

“Valkyrie” is a true story that takes place during the height of WWII. A group of high-ranking German officers hatch a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, and seize power of the military command in order to end the war. The operation was code named "Valkyrie", for the emergency plan that was meant to be used in case of a revolt against the Nazi government.

Having also scored “X-Men 2” and “Fantastic Four,” Ottman is quickly becoming a musical voice for superheroes. For the Man of Steel, he wrote nearly two hours of score music for the adventure epic. As a tribute to fellow composer John Williams, Ottman incorporated about fifteen minutes of his original 1978 score into the film.

His editing on "The Usual Suspects" won him the British Academy Award and a nomination from the A.C.E. (American Cinema Editors). His score for that film also won the Saturn Award. Ottman and Singer first began collaborating together at USC Film School on “Public Access,” which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival.

Since then, Ottman has composed the music for such diverse films the recent “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” the thrillers “Hide and Seek,” “Cellular,” and “Gothika,” and the dark comedy "The Cable Guy" with Ben Stiller. Although most recognized for film work, Ottman’s score to Barry Sonnenfeld’s "Fantasy Island" garnered an Emmy Award nomination.


BUYSOUNDTRAX Records will be releasing CHOPPING MALL / DEATHSTALKER II . This collection features music from two films scored by Chuck Cirino for director Jim Wynorski.

Released in 1986, CHOPPING MALL, also known as KILLBOTS, was directed by Jim Wynorski, from a script by the director and Steve Mitchell, starring Kelli Maroney, Tony O’Dell, Russell Todd, Karrie Emerson, Barbara Crampton, Nick Segal, John Terlesky and Suzee Slater, featuring cameos by Paul Bartel, Mary Woronov, Dick Miller and Gerrit Graham. Trapped in Park Plaza Mall after hours, a group of teenagers must defend themselves from a trio of malfunctioning security robots. The film features an early electronic score by composer Chuck Cirino.

Released the following year, in 1987, DEATHSTALKER II was also directed by Jim Wynorski, from a script by the director and writers Neil Ruttenberg and R.J. Robertson, starring John Terlesky as the Prince Of Thieves, the beautiful Monique Gabrielle in a dual role, the lovely Toni Naples as Sultanna and John Lazar as the evil Jarek, in a film both the director and Deathstalker himself will happily admit can best be described as a classic sword-and-sorcery tale, starring Bugs Bunny as the hero. For DEATHSTALKER II, Chuck Cirino returned for another collaboration with Jim Wynorski, composing a library of music that could easily be adapted to the film, centered around an incredibly catchy tune for the hero that, even two decades later, still holds up.

Chuck Cirino did not start his career as a composer, but rather as a programmer in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania for a Public Access cable TV station, where he learned how to create TV shows by himself, without a crew. In his spare time, he experimented with the station’s video equipment and created a series of genre productions that allowed him the opportunity to learn how to incorporate special effects into his work. After relocating to California, Cirino transitioned into directing high-end special effects television commercials. His first work as composer was for the 1980 cult film GYPSY ANGELS, which starred Vanna White and Richard Roundtree. Since then he has scored films for Roger Corman, directed music videos for bands like Earth, Wind & Fire and The Dickies’ KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE, and has recorded over 40 music soundtracks for feature films like SORCERESS, RETURN OF THE SWAMP THING, HARD TO DIE, TRANSYLVANIA TWIST, and many others.

Cirino has worked as a producer, director, filmmaker, videographer, animator, special effects technician, editor, and composer. He executive produces and directs WEIRD TV, a television series featuring weird Americans, bizarre news, unbelievable events and outlandish skits. Chuck’s credits also include executive producer and director of the Sci Fi Channel projects, WORLDWIDE WEIRD and WARPED IN SPACE, and BABERELLAS; an independent Sci Fi feature distributed by Xenon Pictures.

CHOPPING MALL / DEATHSTALKER II (suggested retail price $15.95) from BUYSOUNDTRAX Records will begin shipping on October 27th and can be ordered at It is a limited edition, with only 1000 copies being pressed.

As a special offer, the first 100 people to order the package from the record label’s website will have their copy autographed by the composer and director Jim Wynorski at no additional charge.

CHOPPING MALL / DEATHSTALKER II will begin shipping on October 27th, and can be ordered at The suggested retail price is $15.95.

1. She'll Have Her Revenge And... 2:14
2. Ghost Town 3:23
3. Horse Chase 0:30
4. Main Title (Alternate) 2:48
5. Love Theme I 1:07
6. Prince Of Thieves (Dialogue) 0:40
7. Evil 1:26
8. Love Theme II 1:39
9. Silent Running 0:35
10. Drums 1:31
11. By Popular Demand (Dialogue) 0:13
12. End Title 2:51

13. Main Title 2:49
14. Come Out And Play 1:28
15. Do They Kill Cockaroaches... (Dialogue) 0:10
16. Shopping Death 4:25
17. Showdown 2:19
18. Burning Terror 3:29
19. Running Rampant 3:18
20. Fergie's Dead! 2:42
21. Zombiebot 1:03
22. The One In The Middle (Dialogue) 0:08
23. Scary 1:05
24. Crawling Around 2:59
25. Love Theme 1:11
26. End Title 2:24
27. Have A Nice Day! (Dialogue) 0:08

CHOPPING MALL / DEATHSTALKER II is available for pre-orders at and will be available on Oct 27,2008.


AHI Records, to be distributed by BUYSOUNDTRAX Records, will be releasing a special Collector’s Edition of PRINCE OF DARKNESS. The soundtrack features music composed & performed by John Carpenter (HALLOWEEN, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK) and Alan Howarth (THE LOST EMPIRE, HEADLESS) for the 1987 cult horror film written and directed by John Carpenter, starring Donald Pleasance, Jameson Parker, Lisa Blount, Victor Wong, Dennis Dun, Peter Jason and Alice Cooper.

PRINCE OF DARKNESS tells the story of a group of researchers who find a mysterious cylinder in an abandoned church in Los Angeles. Inside the cylinder is a mysterious green liquid. As the research team tries to unravel the mystery of the cylinder, strange events begin to occur around them. Their sleep is interrupted by strange dreams. Outside of the church, a crowd of homeless people begins to gather. And one by one, the team members begin to disappear… Released in 1987, PRINCE OF DARKNESS was largely misunderstood by both critics and audiences. But as time has passed, the film has developed quite a following with fans of the director and author H.P. Lovecraft, in part due to its emphasis on atmosphere and building tension as well as the film’s grounding in a reality of hard science, sprinkled with religious overtones.

Alan Howarth, in addition to being a composer, is an accomplished sound designer and editor, having worked on films such as STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, POLTERGEIST, TOTAL RECALL, ARMY OF DARKNESS, BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA, STARGATE and many others. He has been a frequent music collaborator with John Carpenter on his films beginning with ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK in 1980 and including HALLOWEEN II, CHRISTINE, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA and THEY LIVE and Alan has scored many films on his own, including THE LOST EMPIRE, RETRIBUTION, HALLOWEEN 4 & 5, THE DENTIST and, most recently, HEADLESS and BOO!, for the SCI-FI Channel.

PRINCE OF DARKNESS was released on compact disc at the time of the film’s release and contained around forty four minutes of music. The soundtrack has been out of print in the United States for many years now and has only been available as a scarce European import. AHI Records, to be distributed by BUYSOUNDTRAX Records, presents a new Collector’s Edition release of PRINCE OF DARKNESS on TWO compact discs, including the complete score, as recorded for the film as well as the contents of the original album release, newly remastered, over TWO hours and twenty minutes of music.

This is a limited edition release of 1500 Units

The first 100 copies will be autographed by composer Alan Howarth.

PRINCE OF DARKNESS will begin shipping on October 27th, and can be ordered at The suggested retail price is $29.95.

01. Dream Theme 0:57
02. Opening Credits 9:15
03. The Underground Church 4:01
04. Love at a Distance 2:11
05. Will No One Tell Us 1:39
06. The Team Assembles 9:11
07. Translation 2:19
08. Cross Bar 0:57
09. Susan's Intuition /We Were Salesman 2:31
10. Psychokinesis 0:43
11. Darkness Falls 8:22
12. Bug Man 0:36
13. A Message From
The Future 8:09
14. Hell Breaks Loose 9:57

1. A Warning 0:42
2. Mirror Image / Only Thing 8:13
3. The Devil Awakens 9:50

4. The Underground Church -Alternate Version 3:53

1. Opening Titles 4:11
2. Team Assembly 4:29
3. Darkness Begins 2:52
4. A Message From
The Future 5:21
5. Hell Breaks Loose 4:22
6. Mirror Image 6:44
7. The Devil Awakens 8:51
8. Through The Mirror 5:31

PRINCE OF DARKNESS is available for pre-orders at and will be available on Oct 27,2008.