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

Friday, July 31, 2009


The Third Man and other Classic Film Themes
Naxos Nostalgia 8.120880
22 Tracks 57:42 mins

This new release on the Naxos Nostalgia label is just that, a little under an hour of pure nostalgia for fans of European cinema of the '40s and '50s.
It claims to be original recordings, which undoubtedly these are, but they are in fact a mix of tracks used directly in the featured films and cover versions of themes recorded at around about the time of the films' release, or a liitle later. Whatever, it's certainly a delightful listen, with lots of familiar and not so familiar music on offer, starting with six tracks from Anton Karas' original score for 1949's The Third Man, including his famous Harry Lime Theme, all courtesy of the composer's instrument of choice, the zither. There follows a cue from Georges Auric's score for the same year's Passport to Pimlico, the light-hearted scherzo "The Siege of Burgandy," with Ernest Irving conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra. After this, we have a performance by Anton Walbrook, with the Vienna Bohemian Orchestra of the delightful French-language waltz theme from 1950's La Ronde.
We revert to 1949 for the next three selections, starting with Charles Wiilliams' lovely "Jealous Lover" from The Romantic Age, a theme that was later to be chosen as the title music of Billy Wilder's The Apartment. It's back to Georges Auric for the suitably Scottish flavoured "Prelude" from Whiskey Galore; and then we have the famous "The legend of the Glass Mountain" from The Glass Mountain, by Nino Rota, performed here by Mantovani and His Orchestra.
Next up is Benjamin Frankel's "Can-Can Finale" from 1952's The Importance of being Earnest; followed by a performance on guitar by Narciso Yepes of a familiar traditional tune used in the same year's Jeux Interdits.
Flo Sandons, vocal doubling for Silvana Mangano, performs the title track from 1951's Anna, with Percy Faith providing a lush treatment of the delightful "Non Dimenticar" from the same film.
I was looking forward to the "Themes" from 1953's Genevieve, performed of course on the harmonica by the film's composer Larry Adler and enjoyable though they were, there was sadly little emphasis on his charming main theme, which only makes a brief appearance at the end. His "Love Theme and Blues" gets a separate track of its own, followed by Bruce Montgomery's mysterious, but propulsive "Nova Scotia Rhapsody" from the same year's "The Kidnappers.
David Rose provides a lush arrangement of Nino Rota's famous "Gelsomina" from La Strada, with Larry Adler returning to perform Jean Wiener's bluesy "The Touch" from 1954's Touchez Pas au Grisbi, followed by a second offering from Mantovani, this the beautiful Alessandro Cicognini-Carl Sigman composed "Summertime in Venice" from 1955's Summertime.
The album closes with Georges Van Parys & Jean Renoir's delightful "Merry-Go-Round" from 1954's French Can-Can, here performed a couple of years later by Percy Faith and His Orchestra.
The accompanying booklet provides details of all the featured selections, together with a more comprehensive guide by David Ades of the Robert Farnon Society.

From Costa Communications:


Star Wars and Star Trek leads Chris Pine, Samuel L. Jackson, and William Shatner featured in film

Comic-Con Panel Was A Huge Success With Over 4,500 Sci-Fi Fans Attending

(Los Angeles, CA) - A Quantum Quest panel, featuring award-winning film composer Shawn Clement and co-director and writer/producer Dr. Harry Kloor, was a hug success at Comic-Con. The panel also included, Janina Gavankar (The L Word), actor Robert Picardo (Star Trek), actor Doug Jones (Fantastic Four), president of Ant Farm Julian Hills, moderated by publicist Maggie Begley, with a special phone call from actor Chris Pine (Star Trek). Shawn Clement scores the Large Format, 3-D, computer-generated animated film Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey, which takes viewers on an atomic solar safari through the universe. Clement, whose credits include Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu, recorded his original score for Quantum Quest with an 82 piece orchestra at Skywalker Sound, and incorporated real NASA-discovered space sounds into his dramatic score.

The voiceover cast is a who’s-who of sci-fi, including galactic superstars Chris Pine (Captain Kirk in J.J. Abrams’ box office hit Star Trek), William Shatner (Boston Legal, Star Trek) and Brent Spiner (Independence Day, Star Trek: Next Generation) from the Star Trek franchise, and Samuel L. Jackson (The Spirit, Pulp Fiction, Star Wars), Hayden Christensen (Jumper, Star Wars), James Earl Jones (Star Wars), and Mark Hamill (Star Wars) from the Star Wars films. The “Quantum Quest” cast also includes astronaut Neil Armstrong, Doug Jones (Pan’s Labyrinth, Abe Sabien – Hell Boy), and Tom Kenny (Transformers).

Presented by Digimax, Taiwan’s premier digital content provider, Quantum Quest is produced by Digimax and Jupiter 9 Productions. The animated film features full 3-D stereoscopic sequences recreating actual space imagery captured from seven ongoing NASA and NASA/ESA space missions, including Cassini-Huygens, SOHO, Mars Odyssey, Mercury Messenger, Mars Express, Venus Express, and the STEREO mission to the Sun. This film combines the excitement of a science fiction adventure with informal science education. The movie focuses on a photon named Dave, who tries to save his people, who are caught in a galactic battle between the forces of good and evil.

Endorsed by X-Prize Organization, International Space University, Challenger Center and the Young Astronaut Council, Quantum Quest will provide its free educational materials to millions of students worldwide, and a portion of the film’s profits will fund science scholarships. The Quantum Quest materials will meet National Science Content Standards and are intended to motivate and excite students around the globe about science. Since the inception of the project, the film has had regular input from the Cassini project in order to achieve the best balance between scientific accuracy and artistic license.

Quantum Quest is directed by Dan St. Pierre and Dr. Harry Kloor, and written and conceived by Dr. Kloor. Producers are Dr. Kloor, President of Jupiter 9 Productions, Helen Pao-Yun Huang, Chairperson of Digimax, Jeff Tzong-Jer Yang, Vice President of Digimax, and Rayna Napali of Jupiter 9 Productions. Tom Teng from Digimax, Teddy Zee, Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Jon Vein are executive producers. The film will be released worldwide in large format and subsequently in conventional 3D theaters this September. The film is distributed and marketed in Asia by Digimax, and by Jupiter 9 Productions in all other territories. (

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Music by Nicholas Hooper
DECCA 271 0512 (EU)
28 Tracks 62:51 mins

Director David Yates returns for the latest in the James Bond conquering Harry Potter franchise, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, as does his composer of choice, Nicholas Hooper, whose music for their previous outing was competent, but distinctly unmemorable. So what has he produced this time, I hear you ask. Well, it's basically more of the same. I'm sure it serves the film well enough, but hasn't got the staying power of Williams' work, or of Doyle's for Goblet of Fire, for that matter.
The album presents the score pretty much in film order, the only exceptions being track 2 "In Noctem," which is the basis for much of the material representing Dumbledore in the score, yet was left out of the film, as was the sequence it accompanied, and only heard during the End Titles; and the big-band sound of "Wizard Wheezes," which is listed as "not in film."
As the films have gotten progressively darker, so the music has reflected this and, though there are of course lighter moments in the score, particularly in view of the romantic shenanigans going on, and of course the expected snatches of Williams material, much of what's on offer is of the dark, ominous and sinister variety; and the "Opening" reflects this, with some impressive choral work leading to something of a doom-laden march, which is to reappear later in the score. Choir again features in the aforementioned "In Noctem " which, without giving the game away, is melancholy for a very good reason.
My picks of what's on offer include the adventurous action writing in "Ron's Victory" and "Of Love & War;" the delicate harp-lead music of "Harry & Hermione;" the gentle Scottish lilt of "Farewell Aragog;" the guitar-lead romance of "When Ginny Kissed Harry;" the heartbreaking strings of "Dumbledore's Farewell;" the peaceful calm of "The Friends;" and the hi jinks of "The Weasley Stomp," which ends the disc in celebratory fashion.
The accompanying booklet features full musical credits and notes from both the director and his composer.
Hooper has indicated that he will not be returning for the last two films in the series, so we can only hope the powers that be invite John Williams back to provide a memorable musical conclusion, or at least someone who can do as good a job as Patrick Doyle did. Heaven forbid a Zimmer or Elfman, fine composers though they are, should come in and completely change the musical landscape.

News from Top Dollar PR:

Sumthing Else Music Works Announces Release of
Bionic Commando Original Soundtrack
Featuring Music Composed by Jamie Christopherson, Simun Viklund,
Trond-Viggo Melsen and Erik Thunberg


New York - July 28th, 2009 -Sumthing Else Music Works, Inc., through its licensing
relationship with Capcom®, proudly presents Bionic Commando Original Soundtrack
featuring the musical score from the next generation sequel to the classic 1988
Nintendo Entertainment System video game. The soundtrack album is released today
to retail through Sumthing Else Music Works ( and is available
for digital download on Sumthing Digital ( and iTunes®.

Bionic Commando® sees the return of the bionically-enhanced Nathan "Rad" Spencer,
voiced by Mike Patton, the former lead singer of Faith No More. Time has not been
kind to Spencer: 10 years after his heroic defeat of the Imperials in the original
game, he has been betrayed by the government he swore to serve, imprisoned for crimes
he didn't commit, and sentenced to death. On the very day of Spencer's execution,
terrorists detonate a massive experimental weapon in Ascension City, unleashing
an intense earthquake that has turned the city into rubble and wiped out its population.
With the terrain in ruins and the city's air defense grid now in the control of
a massive terrorist force whose goal remains unclear, the FSA have only one option
left - a behind-the-lines assault. The perfect job for a Bionic Commando.
Composer Jamie Christopherson: "I remember playing Bionic Commando back on the NES
and like everyone else I was blown away by the quality of the music. Not only were
there extremely 'hummable' epic melodies, but the use of the MIDI chip to create
a very dense and complicated orchestral arrangement was astonishing. If someone
would have told me that 20 years later I would be working on a next generation
Bionic Commando game, I would never have believed them. I was fortunate enough to
take the music (including the famous main theme) and give it a modern treatment,
complete with an anthemic 15-piece brass ensemble."

Bionic Commando transposes the swing-and-shoot gameplay of the 8-bit original to
a stunning 3D environment of towering buildings, suspended roadways and monorails,
deep canyons and sheer rock faces, where every environment is scalable using swinging,
scaling, climbing and wall-walking techniques. For more information on the game
please visit

For more information on Sumthing Else Music Works and its complete catalog of video
game soundtracks, please visit and

About Capcom

Capcom is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive
entertainment for game consoles, PCs, handheld and wireless devices. Founded in
1983, the company has created hundreds of games, including best-selling franchises
Resident Evil®, Street Fighter®, Mega Man® and Devil May Cry®. Capcom maintains
operations in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Korea, with corporate
headquarters located in Osaka, Japan. More information about Capcom can be found
on the company web site,

Bionic Commando, Capcom, Resident Evil, Mega Man and Devil May Cry are either registered
trademarks or trademarks of Capcom Co., Ltd., in the U.S. or other countries. Street
Fighter is a registered trademark of Capcom U.S.A., Inc. All other trademarks are
owned by their respective owners.

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 retail marketing and sales through physical
and digital 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: Resident Evil 5,Street Fighter IV, Halo Wars,
Halo Trilogy, Gears of War 2, Fable II, Too Human, Brothers In Arms, Crysis, Advent
Rising, Fable, Gears of War, Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2 Volume Two, Halo 3, Hitman:
Blood Money, Hitman: Contracts, Jade Empire, Kameo: Elements of Power, Mass Effect,
Red Steel, Unreal Tournament 3 and many others.

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.

All names of companies and products mentioned herein are the trademarks of their
respective owners.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Home- The Horror Story
Music by Edwin Wendler
iTunes Digital Download
24 Tracks 56:11 mins

Regular readers of this blog will be aware that on 2nd February I had the pleasure of reviewing Edwin Wendler's score for Wrong Hollywood Number, which is available for digital download from iTunes. What you may however be unaware of is that the same composer has another, earlier, score available on iTunes, his quirky offering for the Temi Lopez's 2000 satire Home - The Horror Story, which stars Richard Beymer and Grace Zabriskie.
The score could be described as Pee Wee's Big Adventure meets The Simpsons, with Danny Elfman an obvious influence, although there are elements, more identifiable with the work of the late great Bernard Herrmann, and the composer lists another late great, Elmer Bernstein, specifically his score for Ghostbusters, as another influence.
The music is all sampled, the composer recreating the sounds of strings, woodwinds, calliope, accordion, Wurlitzer and church organs, Theremin, synthesizer and French horns; though a small male chorus is also utilised; and there is much percussion, often featuring all kinds of wacky sounds.
Wendler introduces many of his principal themes in the opening "Meet the Family;" most memorably a kind of loping waltz, and a breezy whistled theme late on. "The Ring" is initially a sneaky affair, though it develops a nice flow later on. More sneakiness can be found in "Special Recipe," with more action leading to a spooky organ dominated conclusion. The same spooky feel opens "The Accident;" with quite a demented feel dominating "Brain Matter," though loungy and ethnic elements enter later. The sinister, breathy opening of "Poor Boy!" gives way to a feeling of tragedy, which leads us to "Alien Supremacy States," which very much reminds of the Zuul music from Ghostbusters. "The Pacifier" initially has a nice flow, which is interrupted by a grand variation on the waltz theme, that is brought to a sudden close with more of the powerful theme from before. There is more of the lounge style present in "Bedroom Talk" and "Good Plans," before the latter gives way to more menace. The action cue "The Kidnapping is a pacy, enjoyable offering, again with lounge-styled elements.
"Priest in Love" pulls out all the stops to provide an uplifting, heavenly feel, complete with choir, which becomes ever more over the top as it proceeds to its conclusion. Then it's back to the dark, Gothic doings for the opening of "Ouch! and its subsequent all-conquering march . Latin dance rhythms dominate "Jesus Busted," though it concludes in menacing cacophony. "Happy Gang Bang" and "Preparations" are fast-flowing, quite zany, offerings, which give way to more menacing music, featuring some pretty weird vocalisations, and some powerful flourishes.
Much lighter fare is on offer in the uplifting "So Happy to See You;" with "Home, Scary Home" ending the score on a fast-flowing foot-tapping note. Three alternate cues are included as a bonus at the end, including a less over-the-top, sweeter take on "Priest in Love."
The score comes with a splendid digital booklet, which features an essay on both film and score by Randall D. Larson, with contributions from the composer, who also provides a detailed breakdown of the many themes featured, including musical examples.
Visit www.edwinwendler. com for more info on the composer and his work.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Empire: Total War
Music by Richard Beddow, Richard Birdsall, Walter Mair, Simon Ravn
Sumthing Else SE-2062-2 (US)
32 Tracks 56:23 mins

This, the score for the latest instalment of the award winning Total War video game series, features music by no less than four composers, orchestrated by Nic Raine, who conducts the Slovak National Symphony Orchestra. The music reflects what has to be the most ambitious game in the series, covering all the various events taking place in the 18th century, and encompassing the likes of the Industrial Revolution, the American War of Independence, the race to control Eastern trading routes, and various over worldwide conflicts of the time.
The "Empire Theme" gets the album off to a grandiose start, building from a quiet beginning to a noble conclusion. The events of the War of Independence dominate the tracks that follow and, as you can imagine, there is a good deal of exciting action music in the likes of "The First Encounter," "1775 Battle at Bunker Hill," "The Battle of Quebec" and "The War of Independence;" mixed with moments of import in such as "The Road to Independence," 1775 Bunker Hill Deployment," "The Price of Freedom," "The Death of General Braddock," "The Colonials Plan for Battle," "The Declaration," and the stirring "The American Dream."
Ethic flavouring, no doubt representing Native Americans, can be found in "The Threat of War" and "The Powhaten Attack," "Boarders Redrawn" and "Opechancanough's Revenge."
On to other matters and the tense and mysterious "Uncharted Waters" leads to more action in "The Pirates Attack."
Ethnicity of a different, Eastern flavoured, kind can be found in the following selections, with the standout tracks, for me, again being the action writing in "The Battle of Azov," "The Battle of Bakhchisaray," "The Battle of Panipat" and "Panipat - the Final Strike;" although the composers do a pretty fine job of representing the mysterious East in between.
We again take to the seas with "Sailing into the Storm," with plenty more to set the pulse racing in "The Fleet's Last Stand," culminating in the suitably triumphant "Victory;" the disc ending reflectively with the "Empire Credits."
This is another fine orchestral game score, which holds its own admirably when compared to music being written for a larger screen.
The album is available both on CD and for digital download through

News from Costa Communications:







(Los Angeles, CA) Award-winning composer CHRISTOPHER LENNERTZ scores ADAM, the romantic-dramedy, directed and written by Max Mayer (BETTER LIVING). The film is a unique love story about a young man named Adam who is affected by Asperger’s Syndrome, a high functioning form of autism. The film won the Alfred P. Sloan prize at Sundance, which is given to a feature film that focuses on science or technology as a theme. ADAM will open in select theatres on July 29. The film’s soundtrack will be released by Nettwerk Productions on July 28.

For this film, Lennertz creates a simple theme reflective of Adam’s life; as Adam’s life becomes more complex so does the music. Lennertz recorded using a band ensemble, with a Beatles influence, rather than a traditional orchestra. The ensemble consists of a guitar, upright piano, cello, bass, drums, mellotron, marimba, celeste, and a bansuri (Indian bamboo flute). A small six-piece string section is added on a few cues to enhance the romantic scenes. Lennertz uses some unusual techniques, like reversing harmonic guitar notes and lowering the pitch of the bansuri, to create some otherworldly textures (to underscore Adam’s love of astronomy). He uses affected, organic sounds, such as looped heavy breathing, scraped detuned dulcimers, bowed copper bowls, and backwards finger cymbals, to create atmospheres when Adam experiences moments of terror and panic due to his condition. Lennertz plays some guitar, all of the electronic, and odd processed instruments on the score.

Lennertz’s musical talents transcend from film to TV to videogames. His score for the CW’s SUPERNATURAL earned him an Emmy nomination, and he received the Interactive Achievement Award for his score to MEDAL OF HONOR: RISING SUN, which he used a full orchestra to record. Additional film, TV and videogame credits include: SOUL PLANE (collaborating with RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan), Fox’s ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS, TORTILLA HEAVEN (collaborating with Ozomatli), Fox’s BRIMSTONE, THE SIMPSONS GAME (nominated for Best Action Game at the 1UP Awards); and MTV’s TOUGH ENOUGH which appeared on the Billboard’s Top 100 charts for weeks. Lennertz’s powerful, full orchestral score for the Stephen Spielberg-created videogame, MEDAL OF HONOR: RISING SUN, led him to score more MEDAL OF HONOR games as well as the popular JAMES BOND videogame. Christopher Lennertz’s upcoming projects include New Song Pictures’ HOW TO SAVE A LIFE, and Warner Bros.’ CATS AND DOGS.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Sorry for the lack of reviews this week, but I have been tied up on other projects. A couple are in the pipeline so check back, but in the meantime here's some news from Top Dollar PR:-

Sumthing Else Music Works Announces Release of
Viva Piñata® Original Soundtrack
Original Music Composed by Grant Kirkhope and
Performed by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra

New York - July 22nd, 2009 -Sumthing Else Music Works, Inc., through its licensing
relationship with Microsoft Game Studios, proudly presents Viva Piñata® Original
Soundtrack featuring the original music score from the critically acclaimed Viva
Piñata video game series developed by Rare Ltd. The soundtrack album will be released
on July 28th to retail outlets through Sumthing Else Music Works,
and will be available for digital download on Sumthing Digital
and iTunes®.

Created by leading UK-based game developer Rare Ltd., Viva Piñata invites gamers
to create an immersive world where living piñatas inhabit an ever-changing environment.
Beginning with a few basic tools, players build and take control of this colorful
environment, using their creativity and imagination to attract, protect and manage
over 60 different piñata species that can visit their world and make it their home.
Utilizing hundreds of customizable elements, players can create a unique piñata

The Viva Piñata Original Soundtrack features 25 original musical compositions by
Grant Kirkhope who also composed music for games such as Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie,
Donkey Kong 64, GoldenEye 007, Perfect Dark and Grabbed by the Ghoulies. The score
was orchestrated by Nic Raine and recorded with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Viva Piñata gameplay experience presents a social and spontaneous world in which
gamers play an absolutely crucial role. The Viva Piñata world is an evolving paradise
teeming with fantastic living piñata creatures and vibrant plant life, all determined
by the player's choices and actions. Appealing to kids, adults, casual gamers and
enthusiasts alike, this uniquely customizable and social game rewards and challenges
all players regardless of their skill level. For more information on the game please

For more information on Sumthing Else Music Works and its complete catalog of video
game soundtracks, please visit and

About Rare

Founded in 1985 and based in the United Kingdom, Rare Ltd. is one of the world's
leading video game developers and has masterminded some of the most popular video
games in history, including multimillion-dollar sellers "GoldenEye," "Perfect Dark,"
"Banjo-Kazooie" and the "Donkey Kong Country" series. From 2005 to 2006, Rare released
"Perfect Dark Zero," "Kameo: Elements of Power" and "Viva Piñata" for Xbox 360.
Rare continues to entertain the world with the releases of "Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts
& Bolts" and "Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise". For further information visit

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 retail marketing and sales through physical
and digital 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: Resident Evil 5, Street Fighter IV, Halo Wars,
Halo Trilogy, Gears of War 2, Fable II, Too Human, Brothers In Arms, Crysis, Advent
Rising, Fable, Gears of War, Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2 Volume Two, Halo 3, Hitman:
Blood Money, Hitman: Contracts, Jade Empire, Kameo: Elements of Power, Mass Effect,
Red Steel, Unreal Tournament III and many others.

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, July 19, 2009


Public Enemies
Music by Elliot Goldenthal and various artists
DECCA Records 270 9010 (EU)
16 Tracks 47:03 mins

Elliot Goldenthal fans have been waiting patiently for a new score from their hero and finally they have one and it's from the old combo of Goldenthal and director Michael Mann, who last collaborated on Heat. Their new film, Public Enemies, is yet another telling of the life and death of of gangster Jon Dillinger, this time played by Johnny Depp, and the dedicated G-man, Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale) who finally brought him to justice.
DECCA Records has released a soundtrack album, which is unfortunately going to be a disappointment to those Goldenthal fans, as only 7 of the 16 tracks thereon feature his music, the rest being given over to songs of and evoking the period, including three numbers by Billie Holiday, plus a new cover by Diana Krall of "Bye Bye Blackbird." Of course, not having seen the film myself, I am unsure as to exactly how much original music Goldenthal provided, but with only around 17 minutes of his music on the album, one cannot help feeling short-changed.
The first Goldenthal track on the album is "Drive to Bohemia," which barely gets going before it's over, but which manages to sound somewhat portentous. "Billie's Arrest" opens nicely with solo piano, before the orchestra takes over in big, dramatic and ultimately tragic fashion. Piano returns in the tentative and hardly romantic "Love in the Dunes." "Phone Call to Billie" has an airy, but melancholy feel to it; whilst "Plane to Chicago," the longest score cue so far, is another large dramatic cue, which becomes ever more emotive as it continues. "Gold Coast Restaurant" starts off low-key, but ends somewhat dramatically, and the final Goldenthal offering, "JD Dies" ends the score in somewhat dirge-like fashion, gaining import as it continues to a sudden halt, presumably as Dillinger bites the dust (what do you mean, you didn't know - haven't you seen the splendid Warren Oates version?).
It's difficult to judge the full impact of this latest offering from the little heard from Goldenthal, based on the paltry amount of his music on this CD, so I guess we'll have to reserve our judgment until we have caught up with the film. Again, this is a case of an album which probably aims to please everyone, but ends up possibly pleasing no one.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey
Music by Shawn K. Clement
Clemistry Music Promo
34 Tracks 38:28 mins

Back on 2nd July I published a press release kindly forwarded to me by Costa Communications, regarding the Large Format, 3-D, computer generation animated film Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey, which will be released worldwide in large format and then in regular 3-D theatres in September. The voice cast will be highly appealing to sci-fi fans, with both Captain Kirk's William Shatner and Chris Pine, Brent Spiner, Samuel L. Jackson, Hayden Christensen, James Earl Jones and Mark Hamill all featured, as well as first man on the Moon Neil Armstrong.
Composer of the film's music, Shawn K. Clement and co-director and writer/producer Dr. Harry Kloor will speak at Comic-Con on Thursday July 23rd in Ballroom 20 at the San Diego Convention Center. Clement has been composing, largely for episodic TV, for the best part of 20 years, working on shows such as Celebrity Fit Club, Brainiac: History Abuse and a few episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Costa Communications also kindly sent me a promotional CD of Clement's score, which was recorded with an 82 piece orchestra at Skywalker Sound, and also incorporates real NASA-discovered "space sounds." There are no titles to the 34 tracks and, as you can imagine, looking at the playing time, many of them are quite brief, but overall there's a good flow.
The score gets underway with a brief, but adventurous opening track, which is followed by a quite menacing track 2, which makes good use of the aforesaid "space sounds." These sounds when they occur remind somewhat of Jerry Goldsmith's V'ger music for Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
The remainder of the score alternates from exciting, rhythmic action to more powerful and menacing music, with moments of calm and even pride and wonder, with just the odd cartoony comical piece thrown in, and a little mysticism, Heroes style, towards the end, and the triumphant final cue. Despite a couple of moments when a little march theme, which seems more suited to something like Mel Gibson's The Patriot, crops up, it's a good old fashioned score in the finest space opera traditions, with plenty to admire and be entertained by.
Unfortunately, as I write, there is no news of a commercial release for the score, which is a pity, so you'll just have to get along to see the film in September and enjoy it as part of the whole experience.

News from CineMedia:


Arild W. Tvergrov Wins Contest and Designs Battlestar Galactica Orchestra Website

(July 16, 2009- Los Angeles, CA) – Norwegian web designer Arild W. Tvergrov was named the winner of the “Design the BSG Orchestra Website” contest by composer and orchestra founder Bear McCreary. The 23 year-old developer’s winning design can be viewed at

Arild W. Tvergrov is a web designer and developer at the Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo in Norway. His current web projects include Final Fantasy Norge (, the largest Scandinavian Final Fantasy fansite, The Norwegian Latin America Research Network (, Network for Asian Studies (, and of course The Battlestar Galactica Orchestra Website.

As part of the prize he has won, Tvergrov will be flown to San Diego for the July 23rd performance of The Music of Battlestar Galactica at the House of Blues as part of Comic Con. He will be given all access to the band’s sound check, and will be given Bear’s personal baton from that evening, a poster, and the Battlestar Galactica: Season 4 soundtrack all autographed by Bear and/or the members of the Battlestar Galactica Orchestra.

Battlestar Galactica composer and Battlestar Galactica Orchestra founder Bear McCreary was recently called one of the top 10 composers “that make space adventures epic” by 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 announced the design contest on his blog on June 21, 2009. “I was thrilled with the quality of the submissions to our contest,” McCreary said. Because of that he decided to give a special limited edition signed CD to all of the contest entrants.

“Arild's design is unique and captures the spirit of the BSG Orchestra,” explained McCreary. “Were it not for this web design contest, I would never have had the chance to witness the dedication and enthusiasm he brings to his projects. I greatly look forward to meeting him backstage in San Diego."

Tvergrov is doubly excited to have won the contest – not only is he an up and coming web designer, he is a true fan of McCreary’s! “This is surreal,” said Tvergrov. “I am soon off to San Diego to meet my favorite composer and most certainly one of the greatest musical geniuses alive — Bear McCreary … I hope the design is to his liking and that it at least remotely measures up to the ingenious work of Bear and his band.”

To see the winning entry visit the Battlestar Galactica Orchestra’s new website at

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Gettysburg: The Speech That Saved America
Music by Alan Williams
Silverscreen Music SMCD 025 (US)
22 Tracks 41:26 mins

Alan Williams' latest release on his Silverscreen label features his score for the recent Discovery Channel presentation, Gettysburg: The Speech That Saved America, which explores Abraham Lincoln's historic speech in 1863 at the dedication of the national cemetery at Gettysburg following what remains the nation's bloodiest battle. In the documentary, Lincoln is brought to life by an actor but with a computer generated face, a process known as photo-real CGI.
Alan Williams' score is of course appropriately patriotic, commencing with the splendid trumpet-lead "Main Title" theme, which is by turns spirited and plaintive. The brief but desperate conflict of "Gettysburg" follows and then an air of quiet beauty takes over with the woodwinds-lead "Waiting for Word." The theme continues just as lovely into "Night Speech," but gives way to the grim tragedy of "Gardner Photos." Joe Stone continues his fine work on woodwinds with the mournful "Sorrows of War" and "Burying the Dead." "Lee's Rebels" presents a proud but homely theme for woodwinds and Nick Nolan's guitar; the latter featuring again in the quietly respectful "Bloody War." Yet another moment of beauty comes with the flute-lead "Lydia Smith," which is followed by an uptempo reprise of the main theme. "Arrival in Gettysburg" is heralded by Jon Lewis' trumpet and then the composer himself reprises the main theme on piano.
More sensitive woodwinds-lead music introduces "Relocating Bodies," with trumpet putting the finishes touches on the cue. "Finishing the Address" continues the sensitive mood, giving way to the patriotic "We Hold These Truths." The woodwinds theme leads the way in "Thoughtful Men," piano taking over as the track proceeds, with a synths reprise of the main theme to close.
"Is the Country ready?" starts off solemnly but trumpet soon enters, effectively taking on the woodwinds theme to close. The lovely, flute-lead "Edward Everett Address" follows and precedes the penultimate and lengthiest track on the disc, "Gettysburg Address" which satisfyingly brings together the main thematic material of the score and leads to a rousing, then thoughtful, conclusion in "Lincoln's Legacy."
Alan Williams has produced consistently fine work over the years and his great gift for melody is very evident in what is another highly recommended effort.
Go to for samples and availability; and why not check out his other releases while you're there.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


The Devil's Tomb
Music by Bill Brown
MovieScore Media MMS09017
20 Tracks 55:59 mins

Bill Brown is best known for the numerous game scores he has written over recent years, and he has also taken considerable steps into TV, becoming the regular composer for CSI:NY. Obviously the next step is into film and here he goes with his music for the supernatural action thriller The Devil's Tomb, already available on DVD in the US, which stars Cuba Gooding Jr, Ray Winstone and Ron Perlman and is directed by none other than Jason Connery.
Much of Brown's work to date has been created synthetically, and this score is no exception, but there are also orchestral elements, recorded in Prague, and choir thrown into the mix.
The disc gets underway with a good old fashioned "Overture," which opens with menacing action writing before turning mysterious. Indeed, much of the score is by necessity mysterious and suspenseful, but "Sandstorm" does have it's rocking moments, with all guitars blazing and a percussive action ending. Choir makes its first appearance, giving weight to the conclusion of "The Message" and takes a much more menacing and savage role in the action of "The Elevator," going on to enhance a number of subsequent shock moments in the subsequent score; whilst more action writing can be found at the conclusions of "Look Out!" "Hallucinations" and "Return of the Father;" as well as throughout "Rumblings" and the penultimate cue "Escape." The final cue, "Resolution" offers a brief moment of spirituality after all the mayhem that has gone before.
Available both on CD and to download, go to for ordering details, samples and a trailer.

Monday, July 13, 2009


The Stoning of Soraya M.
Music by John Debney
Varese Sarabande 302 064 201 2 (US)
18 Tracks 47:58 mins

John Debney's score for this adapation of Freidoune Sahebjam's best seller is one of the first to be made available by Varese Sarabande both as a limited edition CD and as a download through iTunes. The film tells the tragic true story of an Iranian woman, whose arranged marriage leads to a tragedy.
Debney of course wrote the acclaimed score for Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ and this film reunites him with the film's producer Stephen McEveety, as well as actor James Caviezel. The film has already taken the audience award at the Toronto International Film Festival and premiered in the Dtates at the LA Film Festival. It's important subject matter has lead to the generation of an e-petition that is intended to persuade the United Nations to compel countries like Iran to abolish the terrible penalty of stoning.
Naturally, with another project set in the Middle East, composer Debney has come up with a similarly ethnic-styled score as he did for The Passion, featuring an 80-piece orchestra, supplemented by the likes of Persian violin and cello, Oud and ethnic woodwinds; and featuring Tehran-born vocalist Sussan Deyhim
After a mournful start, the "Main Title" gains much weight as it moves along percussively, lead by ethnic woodwind. "She Lies by the River" opens mysteriously with a sound which conjours up the shifting sands, before concluding with a fragment of the opening theme. Contrasting what has gone before is the pastoral, flute-lead "The Meadow." But this brief moment of beauty soon gives way to the violin-lead lament of "They Looked Away as I Died," the mournful mood continuing in "Death of Hashem's Wife" and "Digging Graves," the latter accompanied by the wailing lament of Ms Deyhim, who provides a much warmer vocal in "Your Mother's Ring," and continues in the lightly propulsive "Waiting." The ominous "The Beating" follows and then Ms Hashem provides another lament for the opening of "The Verdict," before the track builds percussively, only to end on a more low-key vocal. "I'll Tell the World" is similar to the middle section of the proceeding track, but ending this time on a woodwind lament. "Saying Goodbye" is another mournful affair, but one which reaches quite a passionate conclusion. Ms Deyhim's mournful vocal dominates the brief "Dead Woman Walking," which leads into the near 13-minute title track, which is initially suitably ominous, but gives way to emotion-filled woodwind and string solos, before a plaintive, then passionate reprise of the theme from "The Meadow" leads to another woodwind lament. Heartbreaking stuff!
The penultimate track, "The Gentleness of Passing" makes for a nice aftermath, flowing nicely on harp, with passionate strings; with the final cue "The Escape" initially something of a departure from all that has gone before, save for Ms Deyhim's vocal, with its action-packed opening; though it does end peacefully and somewhat triumphantly on strings and flute.
This latest ethnic effort from Debney bears favourable comparison with The Passion and, like that score, is another fine work, again showing that the composer is just as capable, if not more so, of scoring serious dramatic fare as he is the numerous comedies he has been associated with.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Imago Mortis
Music by Zacarias M. de la Riva
MoviesScore Media MMS09013
30 Tracks 50:11 mins

MovieScore Media continues its support of the current Spanish film scoring scene with this release of Zacarias M. de la Riva's symphonic score for the Italian/Spanish horror film Imago Mortis, which stars Geraldine Chaplin. The film has already opened in Italy and is expected to to premiere in Spain and other territories later in the years.
The music is performed by the Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Dejan Paulov and is a mix of dark and light, with truly menacing moments competing with some quite beautiful passages for strings and choir.
The score opens quite tensely with "Following Instructions," but quickly opens out with strings and choir and, after a brief moment of sadness, turns quite delicate with flute and piano, before ending warmly with woodwinds and strings. The following "Astolfi Stands Up" could not be more different, with frantic action giving way to much menace, before choir injects a brief and somewhat religious feel at the conclusion. "School" lightens the mood, a pleasant, choir-enhanced piece of travel music, but darkness returns, along with some awe in "The Thanatoscope."
As previously stated, there is much variety in the tracks that follow, with some really lovely moments lulling us into a false sense of security, before the carpet is pulled menacingly out from under. Choir is virtually ever present, and effectively enhances the orchestra throughout.
I haven't heard anything previously by this composer, but this is certainly an impressive effort and, somewhat unusual for a contemporary horror score, many of which I find virtually unlistenable away from the film they serve. Having said that, genre fans will find plenty of frightening moments to enjoy amongst the strong melodic writing that abounds.
Available both on CD and for download, go to for more details, samples and even a trailer.

Friday, July 10, 2009

CD REVIEW - SkyRiders + News from CineMedia

Music by lalo Schifrin
Aleph Records 043 (US)
8 Tracks 48:51 mins

I don't know how this score for the 1976 thriller came to be chosen as Aleph's latest release, but I'm mighty glad it was, as that's another Lalo Schifrin score I can cross off my list of "most wanted."
The film, set in Greece and directed by Douglas Hickox, stars James Coburn, Susannah York, Robert Culp and Charles Aznavour, and concerns the kidnapping of the wife and kids of an American industrialist and the woman's ex-husband's daring scheme to hang glide into the mountain stronghold of the kidnappers to rescue them.
The score was a kind of "last hurrah" for the type of music Schifrin was producing up until this point, his jazz/funk style metamorphosing into a more symphonic form for many subsequent projects. We therefore find in his music for the film something of a mix of both.
The music is represented on this disc by just eight tracks, but almost all of them are quite lengthy, leaving plenty of room for development, and gets underway with "Flying Circus," which features a charming and typically circusy waltz, followed by a sprightly march. "Climbers" opens lightly on pizzicato strings, but soon becomes suspenseful, with just a touch of bouzouki to give it local flavouring. The Greek flavour continues strongly in the initially joyous and soaring "The Riders," but the suspense soon sets in again, with tremulous bouzoukis leading the way. The suspense continues in "Gliding," but gives way to some tense action scoring. "The Terrorists" follows and finds the composer continuing to pile on the tension and threat in this lengthy mix of action and suspense, " with "The Kite" following on very much in the same vein, but becoming seriously desperate, with swirling strings suggestive of a glider in trouble, leading to a hushed and then threatening conclusion.
It's action all the way in the opening of"Copters and Gliders," as matters race tensely along to an express-like rhythm, before a moment of quiet reflection leads into a final burst of action, ending in flute-lead calm, before a lively folk dance conclusion, which continues into the "End Credits," where it mixes with the joyous strings of "Climbers."
The album will be released on July 28th and can be pre-ordered from the label's website at
Now if only Mr. Schifrin will consider releasing his music to "The Master Gunfighter" from the same year, as well as the likes of the Clint Eastwood western "Joe Kidd," and the little known martial arts thriller "Golden Needles, I will be very happy.

From Cinemedia:




La-La Land Records to Release Battlestar Galactica: Season 4 Soundtrack July 28

Burbank, CA - June 30, 2009– Universal Cable Productions presents Bear McCreary and the music from Battlestar Galactica for three nights at the House of Blues in San Diego from July 23-25th – during Comic Con! The concerts will be hosted by Admiral William 'Husker' Adama himself, Edward James Olmos (on Thursday and Friday) and Grace “Boomer” Park (on Friday and Saturday). The concerts will celebrate the July 28 release of a special 2-CD set, Battlestar Galactica: Season 4. La-La Land Records is releasing the Battlestar Galactica: Season 4 soundtrack through a license agreement with NBC Universal Television, DVD, Music and Consumer Products Group.

Battlestar Galactica: Season 4 will be available in stores nationwide and online on and The two-CD soundtrack will feature music from seasons 4.0 and 4.5 and the music from “Daybreak,” the stunning series finale. Also available from La-La Land Records are McCreary’s soundtracks for Battlestar Galactica Seasons 1, 2, and 3, Caprica and Eureka.

UCP Presents Bear McCreary: The Music of Battlestar Galactica will feature special guest hosts and surprise celebrity appearances. Special Battlestar Galactica merchandise will also be available for sale at the concerts. La-La Land Records will be selling copies of the soundtrack for Caprica, and all of the Battlestar Galactica soundtracks, including advance copies of Season 4.

In addition to general admission tickets, a limited number of VIP tickets are available for all three nights. VIP Tickets include special entry and access to the hosted VIP-only balcony seating, bar and Delta Lounge, a meet-and-greet and autograph signing with McCreary and the BSG band, and a VIP gift bag which includes the Caprica Soundtrack CD.

"Bear McCreary’s music was an integral part of the re-invention of Battlestar Galactica. Its complexity, depth, and breadth helped elevate the series beyond a simple ‘Space Opera.’ We couldn’t be more excited to see Bear’s music embraced by fans and music aficionados as something to be celebrated on its own," said Mark Stern, EVP, Original Programming, SCI FI Channel and Co-Head, Original Content, Universal Cable Productions.

The emcee the first two nights, Edward James Olmos agrees. “The day has finally come when I will be able to experience live the sights and sounds of Bear and his friends. Wow.... what a privilege!"

“This great series has come to an end, but I'm thrilled that my original score can live on in soundtrack albums and on the concert stage,” said McCreary. “I can think of no audience who will appreciate the shows more than the fans at Comic Con, and I am grateful to UCP for this opportunity to bring the music of Battlestar Galactica directly to them.”

Season 4 composer McCreary was recently called one of the top 10 composers “that make space adventures epic” by 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’s feature film credits include Wrong Turn 2 and the Rest Stop films. He also scores the series Eureka and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and will be scoring the upcoming SCI FI series, and Battlestar Galactica prequel, Caprica and the Capcom video game Dark Void. McCreary was among a handful of select protégés of late film music legend Elmer Bernstein and is a classically trained composer with degrees in Composition and Recording Arts from the prestigious USC Thornton School of Music.





All shows are 21 and older, doors open at 7PM

Thursday, July 23 (hosted by Edward James Olmos):

Friday, July 24 (hosted by Edward James Olmos and Grace Park):

Saturday, July 25 (hosted by Grace Park):

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


28 Weeks Later
Music by John Murphy
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1097 (US)
23 Tracks 74:25 mins

John Murphy's score to the sequel to Danny Boyle's nightmarish 2002 movie 28 Days Later was previously available as an iTunes download, but here, in this expanded edition CD release of just 1500 units, La-La Land Records has expanded the music content by more than 10 minutes and also includes, as a bonus track, a 13-minute interview with the composer, conducted by Daniel Schweiger, who also contributed the very detailed booklet notes accompanying the disc. The two combined just about make up the definitive word on the score for the film.
And what of the score itself, well, I confess I have not seen 28 Weeks Later, but did see its prequel, the largely experimental and atonal nature of the music of which was effective in the context of the film, but left no lasting impression on me, I have to say. Needless to say, I did not acquire the soundtrack in this case.
Murphy's score for 28 Weeks Later similarly offers little to me as heard away from the film, although it may well be effective on screen, though I don't hold out any great hopes. Again it is often atonal in nature, and perhaps even more experimental, relying mostly on a small core of musicians, but adding choir samples, a string section and featuring the unusual sound of the Zither-like Hakbrett, which had its heyday in the '60s, as employed by the likes of John Barry and Roy Budd, as well as the Mellotron, used by the Beatles on songs like "Strawberry Fields. Much of the resulting music was then processed to give it a "raw, unpolished sound."
Murphy reprises his key melodies from the first film, his "Virus Theme" and the "28 Theme," which is undoubtedly the most memorable piece of music from 28 Days, a steady, guitar-lead builder. The album's final cue, "Hymn to England" offers an optimistic conclusion at least.
If you're not a fan of the film, and are therefore unfamiliar with Murphy's music, go to to check out some samples. Maybe this score will be more to your liking and move you to order your copy. I can certainly recommend the booklet, which is quite excellent and I love the idea of including an audio interview with the composer. If only more scores could be so lovingly presented.


Korngold: Violin Concerto/Schauspiel Overture/Much Ado About Nothing
Music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Naxos 8.570791 (EU)
9 Tracks 53:40 mins

There is no shortage in the number of recordings available of Erich Wolfgang Korngold's Violin Concerto in D major, some of which have even been issued on this label. Curious perhaps, when the classical music Establishment and followers have so often looked down on composers who have chosen to write for film; especially as the work in question is drawn from the great Austrian composer's screen works, albeit largely lesser acclaimed ones than his biggies like The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Sea Hawk, King's Row et al.
Fact is though, it's a thoroughly entertaining work in three movements. The opening "Moderato Nobile" features melodies from 1937's Another Dawn and 1939's Juarez; whilst "Romance: Andante" features a theme from 1936's Anthony Adverse. The third movement, "Finale: Allegro Assai Vivace" is particularly appealing and takes some playing, presenting as it does, a lively theme from 1937's The Prince and the Pauper, a score that has recently enjoyed a sparkling new and complete recording on the Tribute Film Classics label.
Featured soloist on this recording of the Concerto is St Petersburg-born Philippe Quint, with Carlos Miguel Prieto conducting the Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria, who also perform the other pieces on the disc: Overture to a Drama, Op.4, written by the teenaged Korngold in 1911; and 1918's Much Ado About Nothing, an early dramatic outing for the composer, written for a production of the Shakespeare play, first performed at Vienna's Schonbrunn Castle two years later.
Accompanying the disc are Richard Whitehouse's notes on both the composer and the works presented, as well as short bios of the soloist, conductor and orchestra.

News from Costa Communications:


First Time All of the Living U.S. Presidents Will Participate in a Ceremony at a Sporting Event

U.S. Presidents to Salute 30 People Being Celebrated for Their Outstanding

Community Service & Advocating for All Americans to Volunteer

Film & TV composer Brian Langsbard (Batman - The animated series, City Confidential, Snapped) scores the music for the historic video featuring the five living presidents. United States President Barack Obama along with former U.S. Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter will appear in an unprecedented video address as part of a special ceremony prior to the 80th Major League Baseball All-Star Game on FOX, Tuesday, July 14 at 5pm PST / 8 p.m. EST. The video will mark the first time all of the living U.S. Presidents will participate in a ceremony at a sporting event. Following the video, President Obama will throw out the ceremonial first pitch which will also be choregraphed to live music by Langsbard. This marks his third live to event performance in a row for Major League Baseball.

The Presidential video address, which will run approximately seven minutes, will be part of a pre-game celebration honoring the 30 “All-Stars Among Us,” men and women who are being recognized by Major League Baseball and PEOPLE magazine for their selfless acts of giving and service to their communities. According the Langsbard, “The presidential music theme is inter-woven throughout the video.” The epic score consist of solo trumpet along with 80 instruments and choir. “As a budding film composer, I always wanted to hear my music played on the big speakers at a movie theater but I never imagined I would have my music blasted through the sound-system of major stadiums.”

The 30 honorees, one representing each MLB Club, were selected by fans online at as part of a joint initiative between Major League Baseball and PEOPLE magazine, with nearly three quarters of a million votes cast.

“The importance of community service is personified by the 30 ‘All-Stars Among Us’ and reinforced by the willingness of the five living Presidents to come together in support of this important theme during the Midsummer Classic,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “In addition to celebrating baseball’s best on the field, Major League Baseball wants to shine a light on stars in the community whose work improves the lives of those who are less fortunate.”

The “All-Stars Among Us” program is central to the 2009 MLB All-Star Game and its surrounding events which are dedicated to the recognition of the important role of community service and to charitable initiatives. The charity and community service initiatives, which are themed “Going Beyond,” will be the most extensive in Major League Baseball All-Star history. Major League Baseball will raise and donate millions of dollars for numerous organizations.

In addition to talking about the importance of giving back to the community, each President will highlight the accomplishments of one of the “All-Stars Among Us,” who will be saluted on the field by the Major League Baseball All-Stars and the fans at Busch Stadium.

President Obama highlights Richard Nares (San Diego, CA – Padres) whose Emilio Nares Foundation, which he began after his young son died of cancer, includes a program called Ride With Emilio that transports sick children who lack access to transportation to their cancer treatments and medical appointments.

Former President George W. Bush comments on Rob Dixon (Brockton, MA – Red Sox), who founded Project RISE, a non-profit organization that transforms at-risk youth into serious students.

Former President Bill Clinton highlights Christine Shively (Newport Beach, CA – Angels), who crochets and knits cancer caps and sends them to 140 cancer centers in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico through her organization, “Knots of Love.”

Former President George H.W. Bush honors Gary Lynn (Houston, TX – Astros), a 17-year old with cerebral palsy who started his own foundation and has raised more $12,000 for cerebral palsy research.

Former President Jimmy Carter talks about Ryan Housley (Tyrone, GA – Braves), who started HeroBox, a nonprofit that supplies specialized packages for soldiers based on their individual needs.

Major League Baseball is supporting President Obama’s call for community service through “United We Serve,” a program which encourages Americans to engage in sustained and meaningful community service. President Obama is encouraging all Americans to visit to find service opportunities in their area.

The 80th Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, with pre-game ceremonies beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and televised in more than 200 countries and territories by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while will provide extensive online coverage.

The 30 “All-Stars Among Us” will also participate in the MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show presented by Chevy airing nationally on MLB Network on Tuesday, July 14 at 4 p.m. ET. They will join the 66 Major League Baseball All-Stars, AL and NL All-Star team managers, and Cardinals Hall of Famers who are scheduled to appear including Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Stan Musial, Red Schoendienst, Ozzie Smith and Bruce Sutter.

The 30 “All-Stars Among Us” (please visit for full list) are individuals who dedicate their time and energy to helping others and improving the lives of those around them.

About the 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 80th Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, July 14th in St. Louis and will feature the best of the American League taking on the top players of the National League. Major League Baseball has responded to United States of America President Barack Obama’s call for community service through “United We Serve,” a program which encourages Americans to engage in sustained and meaningful community service. Building up to the excitement of the All-Star Game, Major League Baseball will conduct a wide variety of special events and charitable activities for fans both inside and outside of Busch Stadium. At the ballpark, the events will include Taco Bell All-Star Sunday on Sunday, July 12th featuring the XM All-Star Futures Game and the Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, and Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on Monday, July 13th featuring the State Farm Home Run Derby. Outside of the ballpark, fans will have an opportunity to experience All-Star Summer through a variety of special events including Major League Baseball All-Star FanFest, the five-day interactive fan festival; the MLB All-Star Charity Concert presented by Pepsi benefiting Stand Up To Cancer, a free concert for fans under The Gateway Arch featuring Sheryl Crow; the All-Star Charity 5K & Fun Run presented by Sports Authority and Nike, a charity run on a baseball-themed route to benefit three cancer organizations; and the All-Star Game Red Carpet Show presented by Chevy, a free parade of All-Stars leading into Busch Stadium. The Midsummer Classic will be televised nationally on FOX Sports and will be shown around the world by Major League Baseball International. For more information about 2009 All-Star Summer, visit