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

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):


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