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

Friday, August 28, 2009


Battlestar Galactica Season 4
Music by Bear McCreary
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1100 (US)
Disc 1 - 20 Tracks 77:28 mins
Disc 2 - 14 Tracks 59:34 mins

* Spoilers

So the re imagined Battlestar Galactica has finally come to an end, after one mini-series, four seasons, a spin-off TV movie, webisodes, and associated specials. I must admit, having watched the original Battlestar in my youth, it took me a while to adjust to this new version, and there were times when I very nearly gave up on it. Not that I was a huge fan of the original, but I still watched it faithfully, and at first the changes, not least to the principal characters, and more especially the Starbuck character, were hard to take. It didn't help when, here in the U.K., the series was only available on Freeview and then was discontinued even on that. For a time, I forgot all about it, but then I found a way to catch up, and ended up enjoying the show more and more as I followed it weekly, so that it was like losing a friend when I finally had to say goodbye.
From the start, composer Bear McCreary was involved with the show, initially assisting Richard Gibbs on the mini-series, before taking the reins when Season 1 went into production. Like the show, I didn't initially warm to his innovative scoring. It was just not what "space music" is supposed to sound like, and light years from what Stu Phillips had written for the original '70s incarnation. However, like the show, it grew on me, so that in the end it is difficult to imagine any other kind of scoring suited to the show.
Like McCreary, La-La Land Records has been with the show all the way and like the latter, which went out with a bang with a double-length episode, the label has issued a double-length soundtrack album for Season 4, the first disc featuring more than 77 minutes of highlights from the Season. Going back to that double-length final episode, I remember saying to my brother at the time that the score was so good that it deserved a soundtrack release of its own. Well, fortunately I wasn't alone in that summation, and I'm pleased to say that the second disc in this set is just that, the score for "Daybreak," for which it seems McCreary was afforded larger orchestral forces, which he certainly made the most of.
But let's start with Disc 1, the Season 4 compilation. Of course, McCreary has established an arsenal of themes and colours for recurring characters and scenarios over the course of time and, as one would expect, like old friends, these show up within his new scoring. The disc commences with Alessando Juliani (Felix Gaeta, in the show) showing he has plenty of vocal talent, as he splendidly voices "Gaeta's Lament," at first a Capella, then with beautiful orchestral accompaniment. The theme is instrumentally reprised in full ethnic fashion later in the album. The familiar Taikos make their first appearance in "The Signal," with its powerful choral chanting, and hell-for-leather ending. "Resurrection Hub" has an overall ethnic feel, which also includes some powerful drumming. This is followed by "The Cult of Baltar," which again features choir in more religious mode, as one might expect; though again powerful drumming brings the track to its conclusion. The Celtic-styled, pipes-lead theme for Adama and Apollo receives an outstanding treatment in the following "Farewell Apollo," and then it's more Taikos-lead action in "Roslin Escapes." "Among the Ruins" is a suitably desolate and disturbing piece, complete with erhu lament; the following steely determination of "Laura Runs" making for a complete contrast. Another lament mixes with rhythmic ethnicity for "Cally Descends," followed by more sadness in "Funeral Pyre," where the ethnic elements combine with a more conventional string sound. After all this tragedy, some welcome warmth can be briefly found in "Roslin and Adama Reunited."
"Elegy" introduces a new theme for solo piano, performed by the composer himself; with the weighty "The Alliance" following. There's very much a far eastern feel to "Blood on the Scales;" Adama's theme returning briefly in "Grand Old Lady," before "Kara Remembers" bursts forth somewhat triumphantly, complete with wailing electric guitars, after a tentative pianistic opening. The same theme continues in "Boomer Takes Hera," increasing in power as the drama unfolds. "Dreilide Thrace Sonata No.1" returns us to more of Kara's piano musings from the episode "Someone to Watch Over Me (McCreary incidentally had to provide on set tuition for Katee Sackhoff in this pivotal episode). The disc concludes with the increasingly inspirational "Diaspora Oratorio," yet another choral piece for which the composer furnished both words and music.
As previously stated, the music for the show's final episode, "Daybreak," features solely on Disc 2 and commences with "Caprica City, Before the Fall," and immediately the fuller orchestral sound is evident in this somewhat ethereal piece, though the familiar ethnic elements also make their presence felt. "Laura's Baptism" follows, with strings very much in evidence as the cue proceeds to its somewhat weighty close. "Adama in the Memorial Hallway" commences with another variation on the former's familiar theme, before again reaching a weighty climax for strings and Taikos.
The undoubted highlight of this concluding episode is the tremendous assault by the Galactica on the Cylon Colony and these scenes get under way with the drums-filled expectancy of "The Line," which is immediately followed by the 15-minute "Assault on the Colony" which, after a tense start, let's rip with the familiar Taikos-driven action scoring we have come to expect from the show, but there's also a mythic element, characterised especially by Raya Yarborough's vocal contributions around about the 10-minute mark. More action opens "Baltar's Sermon," which then turns fateful as Baltar makes his choice.
The mystical ethnicity associated with Kara and her destiny returns to "Kara's Coordinates," the drums racing wildly" as the fateful jump is taken, leading to more of the electric guitars from "Kara Remembers," and a final refrain based on her piano theme. "Earth" follows, with a feeling of wonder, as the exploration begins, which reminds somewhat of a similar moment from Jerry Goldsmith's Alien score. The familiar string elegy, heard so often through the show's run accompanies "Goodbye Sam."
"The Heart of the Sun" is an emotional piece, which draws upon Adama's theme, as well as the Phillips/Larson main theme from the original Battlestar series. Her mission completed, "Starbuck Disappears" to suitably mystical accompaniment. "So Much Life" offers more emotion and nostalgia as the surviving crew set off in their respective directions, each to make their own starts on their new home. More emotional writing features in "An Easterly View," which concludes Adama's journey, as he finds the place he and Laura choose to build their home, only to lose her, as she finally succumbs to her illness. The final cue offers a brief glimpse into the future with the tinkling "The Passage of Time."
Thus ends Bear McCreary's musical journey and we can all be thankful that La-La Land Records has all the time been sharing that journey, preserving one of the most innovative works for TV in many a year.
A colourful booklet accompanies the release, its centre pages sporting a fascinating collage of behind-the-scenes photos, with notes from both composer and La-La Land's Michael Gerhard, full performance credits, and tributes to McCreary from many of the show's cast and crew. It's a proper celebration of the composer's work on the show.
Go to for samples and to order your copy.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Sorry it's been a few days again, but first work, then illness, put paid to my plans. Anyway, easing back in, I first want to tell you about DECCA's forthcoming release of the OST to the reinvention of the 1980 Oscar-winning Fame, due for UK release on 25th September. Rather than asking us to accept the new cast of rising stars playing characters we may have known and loved from the original, the film concentrates on a new set of characters and their trials and tribulations at the familiarNew York City School of Performing Arts; with their instructors being played by familiar faces such as Debbie Allen (who was of course in the original), Charles S. Dutton, Kelsey Grammer, Megan Mullally and Bebe Neuwirth.
The soundtrack, produced by Lakeshore Records, and released on 21st September, is a mix of new and old songs, performed by the cast, and of course includes the popular title track and the likes of "I Put a Spell on You," "Someone To Watch Over Me" and "You Made Me Love You."

Monday, August 24, 2009


Sorry reviews have been thin on the ground the past few days. I actually only have four releases to cover at the moment and two of them are double CD presentations, which take some to absorb. But, rest assured, the first review should appear in the next few days. In the meantime, here's the latest from Top Dollar PR:-

Dead Space and Star Trek Composer Creates Hybrid Score for
Large-Scale Sci-Fi First Person Shooter Video Game

Raleigh, NC - August 24, 2009 - BAFTA award-winning composer Jason Graves
has created an original music score for the intense first-person shooter SECTION
8 developed by TimeGate Studios. Renowned for his cinematic and prolific orchestral
music on video games such as Dead Space and the Star Trek franchise, Graves delivers
a powerful and anthemic score for SECTION 8 featuring vintage synth and guitar elements
blended with orchestra to portray the futuristic, sci-fi setting of the game. SECTION
8 is being released by SouthPeak Games for Xbox 360 and PC on September 1st, 2009.
"SECTION 8 was a great opportunity to combine my three musical passions: orchestra,
electronics/synths and guitars," said composer Jason Graves. "It was so much fun
playing guitar and tweaking my analog synths. I treated them as additional members
of the orchestra, sometimes taking the spotlight and other times adding textural

SECTION 8 gives players unprecedented strategic control over the battlefield, employing
tactical assets and on-demand vehicle deliveries to dynamically alter the flow of
combat. Set at the crossroads of a growing insurrection among its colonies, Earth
dispatches the elite 8th Armored Infantry to turn the tide. Utilizing advanced powered
armor suits, these brave volunteers are the only ones crazy enough to smash through
enemy defenses and drop directly into the battlefield from 15,000 feet, earning
them the nickname "Section 8."

"The music focuses on the two primary locations of the game," added Graves. "One
is more orchestral in nature and the other has a hybrid rock edge to it. TimeGate
gave me a lot of freedom to try different things - it was refreshing to experiment
with such a diverse sound palette."
For more information about the game please visit

About Jason Graves
Jason Graves creates award-winning music for film, television and video games. He
has scored more than 150 commercials, 90 television shows, movie trailers, and feature
films, conducting orchestras at Capitol Records, Paramount Pictures, Skywalker Sound,
Seattle and Salt Lake City. His music has been awarded three Telly's, an Addy,
nine Silver Reels, a Gold Case Award, and a Cable A.C.E. Award. Jason's music for
video games has been honored by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts
(BAFTA) and received three Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Award (AIAS)
nominations, winning "Outstanding Achievement in Audio" for DEAD SPACE. He has
received seventeen G.A.N.G. nominations and four wins, including "Audio of the Year"
for DEAD SPACE, "Best Original Theme" nominations for STAR TREK: LEGACY and
BLAZING ANGELS 2, "Music of the Year" nominations for DEAD SPACE and KING
ARTHUR and "Soundtrack of the Year" for THE HOBBIT.
For more information visit

About TimeGate Studios
TimeGate Studios is a world-class game development studio that boasts a record of
huge success since its founding in 1998. Headquartered in Sugar Land, TX, TimeGate
has released seven award-winning products; three of which are based on TimeGate-owned
intellectual properties. In addition to its Section 8 development efforts, TimeGate
is currently creating several new original properties that have yet to be announced
for next-generation platforms. For more information please visit

About SouthPeak Games
SouthPeak Interactive Corporation develops and publishes interactive entertainment
software for all current hardware platforms including: PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment
system, PSP® (PlayStation® Portable) system, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment
system, Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system from Microsoft, Wii(TM), Nintendo
DS(TM) and PC. SouthPeak's games cover all major genres including action/adventure,
role playing, racing, puzzle strategy, fighting and combat. SouthPeak's products
are sold in retail outlets in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. SouthPeak
is headquartered in Midlothian, Virginia, and has offices in Grapevine, Texas and
Leicester, England.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


From Costa Communications:-



Scores Extract

Film Opens In Select Theaters September 4

(Hollywood, CA) Award-winning composer GEORGE S. CLINTON scores writer/director Mike Judge’s (Office Space/King of the Hill) comedy EXTRACT, starring Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis and Ben Affleck. EXTRACT opens in select theatres September 4.

For EXTRACT, Clinton recorded a quirky and playful score to compliment the comedic style of the film. He used a small ensemble including guitar, mandolin, solo cello, pedal steel, and various percussion (also including the sounds of people playing actual extract bottles). The score was augmented by a chamber size string orchestra.

EXTRACT is a comedy about a flower-extract plant owner contending with an avalanche of personal and professional problems such as his potentially unfaithful wife and employees who want to take advantage of him.

Recently, Clinton reunited with director Michael Lembeck (Santa Clause 2 & 3) for the comical-fantasy TOOTH FAIRY, starring Dwayne Johnson, Julie Andrews, Billy Crystal and Ashley Judd. TOOTH FAIRY will be in theatres February 2010. Last year, Clinton scored the comedies HAROLD AND KUMAR ESCAPE FROM GUANTANAMO and THE LOVE GURU. Clinton’s other credits range from such diverse films as the romantic Zalman King's RED SHOE DIARIES, the martial arts fantasy MORTAL KOMBAT, the suspenseful thriller THE ASTRONAUT’S WIFE and the sexy thriller WILD THINGS. Other projects include Mike Meyers' AUSTIN POWERS films, John Waters' A DIRTY SHAME and 3000 MILES TO GRACELAND.

Clinton's musical innovation and versatility has allowed him to create memorable scores for various genres. Clinton received an Emmy nomination for Best Original Score to HBO Films’ BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE. His score varied from Americana to incorporating Native American elements. He also enlisted world-renowned Native American flutist John Two-Hawks to play on the score.

In addition to his film projects, Clinton has written several concert works, three musicals, and songs recorded by such artists as Michael Jackson, Joe Cocker, Smokey Robinson and Johnny Mathis. George S. Clinton has also been honored with BMI’s highest honor bestowed on a composer, The Richard Kirk Award for Career Achievement. He joins the company of legendary recipients which include John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith and Danny Elfman. George S. Clinton believes in imparting his knowledge on a new generation of filmmakers. For the last ten years, George S. Clinton has volunteered his time and experience to filmmakers and composers at the Sundance Institute in Park City, Utah. Last month the Tennessee native composer received the “Spirit of Tennessee Award” from the Tennessee Teachers Association, for his dedication to promoting film music education,

Saturday, August 22, 2009



LOS ANGELES, August 20, 2009 - Composer Tyler Bates joins Rob Zombie once
again in the re-imagining of John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN II. Following the
success of Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN, which premiered number one at the box
office - breaking all Labor Day Weekend records, is the sequel, HALLOWEEN
II, hitting theatres nationwide on August 28, 2009 from Dimension Films.
HALLOWEEN II picks up where HALLOWEEN left off, and focuses on the struggles
of Laurie Strode (played by Scout Taylor-Compton) and killer Michael Myers
(played by Tyler Mane). The film also stars Malcolm McDowell, Sheri Moon
Zombie, Brad Dourif, and Danielle Harris.

Tyler Bates once again puts his creative stamp on this classic movie,
sharply distinguishing it from its 1978 predecessor. Bates score takes
HALLOWEEN to a new level of hellish terror, imbued with the gritty texture
of Zombie's realistic depiction of the horrors spilled onscreen by Michael

The Halloween II Score album is the inaugural release on Bates' new label
imprint, Abattoir Recordings, digitally distributed August 28, 2009 by E1
Music. A physical CD release with previously unreleased music will follow
with the DVD release of the film. E1 Music will release additional
projects from Bates' Abattoir Recordings in 2010.

Tyler Bates has created scores for films such as 300 (2007), The Watchmen
(2009), Slither (2006), See No Evil (2005), The Devil's Rejects (2005), Dawn
of the Dead (2004) and many more.

H2 Score Album Sequence
1. Halloween Theme 2009 3:03
2. I Killed A Man 1:28
3. White Horse 2:17
4. Stairs 4:03
5. Love Shack 3:09
6. I Won't Let You Down 1:36
7. Killing Field 2:35
8. I Found Boo 2:31
9. Rabbit In Red 7:28
10. Can I See The Pig? 1:21
11. Van Kill 1:15
12. Surveillance 2:29
13. I'm Angel Myers 1:43
14. Brackett Finds Annie 5:22
15. We Are Family 2:22
16. H1 Killing Spree 7:57
TOTAL 50:39

Check out all Tyler Bates news at The soundtrack will be available at and all digital outlets.

About E1 Entertainment
E1 Entertainment (AIM: ETO) is a leading independent entertainment content
owner that acquires film, television and music rights and exploits these
rights in all media in more than 190 countries.
The company currently operates in Canada, the U.S., the UK, Holland and
Belgium through its four primary businesses units: E1 Television, E1 Films,
E1 Music and E1 Distribution. These businesses collectively represent E1's
extensive expertise in film distribution, television and music
production/distribution, Kids content, Licensing and Distribution.
E1's content library includes more than 3,700 feature films, 2,700 hours of
original television programming and 15,000 music tracks.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Runaway Train
Music by Trevor Jones
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1095 (US)
18 Tracks 77:41 mins

The original album of Trevor Jones' score for 1985's Runaway Train, a prison break thriller starring Jon Voigt, Eric Roberts and Rebecca De Mornay, based on a screenplay by Akira Kurosawa, no less, has long been a much sought after item for soundtrack collectors. La-La Land Records has now done a huge favour for those who have been unable to secure a copy by reissuing the album. Mind you, I should imagine those who probably had to pay an exorbitant price in order to own the original are probably feeling a little sick now because, not only is the album now readily available, albeit in a limited edition of 3000 units, but its is in superior sound and this release not only features the original album tracks, but also presents the original score tracks from the film, and even a couple of bonus source tracks, as well of course as being accompanied by a colourful booklet featuring Brian Satterwhite's detailed notes on both film and score, including a cue-by-cue description of all the music presented.
As for the music itself, well, the '70s saw the rebirth of the symphonic score, a trend that continued into the following decade, and saw many fine scores produced. However, there was another movement to introduce electronics more and more into film music. Some of course, like the great Jerry Goldsmith dabbled in both, mixing synths with orchestra to often produce interesting and satisfying results (of course there were exceptions, even for him); whilst others, the likes of Harold Faltemeyer and Giorgio Moroder, chose to go down a largely electronic path.
Trevor Jones' music for Runaway Train, although a small band of musicians were also utilised, falls more into the latter category and, for me, is one of his least enjoyable efforts as a result. Not that I blame him, as in 1985 he was a relatively new name in film scoring, though he had enjoyed some acclaim for the likes of Excalibur and The Dark Crystal; and Runaway Train being a Cannon production, there was probably pressure to produce something good, but cheap. What results, though undoubtedly suitably rhythmic and propulsive in the main, I just find largely irritating and very dated indeed; and, I would imagine, under different circumstances Jones would not have chosen to go down that path. Thankfully, the composer was to go on to bigger and better things, but if you are a Jones completist, you should certainly pick up a copy if only for La-La Land's usual high production values. I just wish the music was worth all the effort.
Thankfully, the score is fairly brief, whichever programme you choose to select; and in fact extra music was actually composed just to fill out the original album.
Go to for further details, samples, and to order your copy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Mutant Chronicles
Music by Richard Wells
Silva Screen Records SILCD1287 (UK)
19 Tracks 55:40 mins

This new release from Silva Screen presents yet another new name to me, that of Richard Wells, who previously scored such films as Razor Blade Smile and Ong-bak, as well as the BBC comedy series Being Human - all unfamiliar to me, I'm afraid.
Mutant Chronicles is the second feature for Simon Hunter and stars Ron Perlman and John Malkovich. It tells of the final futile mission of the last humans on Earth against the Mutant army.
Composer Wells has written an orchestral/choral score for the film, which commences with an heroic, horns-lead theme for "Take Off, enhanced by choir, getting things off to an impressive start. Choir again features in elegiac vein for "The Night Before," which foreshadows the "Mutant Attack," with its savage opening dissonance leading to pacy action, before ending on a tragic note with what sounds like boy soprano voicing a brief wordless lament. "Give me Twenty Men" starts out heroically, only to be met with a wall of dissonance, going down nobly in the end.
A brief moment of respite can be found in the delicate piano and strings of "Mitch and Adelaide" though even this has an underlying feeling of doom. "The City Burns" is suitably powerful, as one would expect, with horns and choir, giving way to more dissonance. The pounding action of "The Killing Fields" gives way to an impressive and fateful choral, and is followed by the brief nobility of "McGuire."
"The Lost City" is a nervy affair, with the following "How Much Do You Weigh?" having something of a Spanish feel to it, complete with acoustic guitar. It's then back to the action for "Bonecrusher," with the choir again presumably heralding another heroic death. The main theme returns for "Steiner Rescued," though the track ends in desolation, complete with wind effect.
"Monastery," though choir of course features, has something of an ethnic feel to it, and gives way to the largely suspenseful "Lift Shaft," though a burst of furious action ends the cue. "Tunnel of Bones" adds further desolation, before "Leap of Faith" offers up some hope, only for soprano and acoustic guitar to end the score in a brief elegy for those lost. The "End Credits" reprises the main thematic elements of the score in a lengthy suite.
I always welcome the chance to sample the work of a composer hitherto unknown to me, and my first impressions of Richard Wells are very favourable, and he's certainly a name I shall look out for in the future.
For further info, samples and to order your copy, go to www.silvascreen Wells/324864/Mutant-Chronicles.aspx.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold
Music by Michael Linn
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1099 (US)
12 Tracks 33:03 mins

The late Michael Linn only composed the music for under a dozen films before his untimely death in 1995 and it's a wonder he did any more after his experiences on 1986's Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold, an unsuccessful sequel to the enjoyable romp of the previous year, King Solomon's Mines, for which the great Jerry Goldsmith had supplied a score that was dominated by an extremely over-the-top, but nonetheless catchy march theme. It's somewhat cloudy as to whether Goldsmith was originally asked to write the music for the sequel, but in the event the powers that be decided to recycle his music instead, asking Michael Linn to provide any original music deemed necessary to supplement it. Linn wrote just over 3o minutes of music, all of which is presented on this limited edition release of just 1200 units, but he never completed the job and what he did write and record (with a smaller orchestra than Goldsmith had been afforded) was eventually tracked in, along with Goldsmith's music and cues from a couple of earlier Cannon productions, after Linn handed the reins to music editor Virginia Ellsworth, who did a creditable job under difficult circumstances. You really need to read Randall D. Larson's accompanying booklet notes to get the full picture of this whole sorry affair.
Of course this CD is not at all representative of the score as it is heard in the picture, but instead preserves Linn's contribution, more or less as originally intended, with some shorter cues combined to make for a more pleasurable listening experience.
The score is very grounded in the '80s, complete with the odd drum loop and often sounds like any number of TV show scores of the time, no doubt reflecting the limited resources Linn had at his command. The composer makes some use of Goldsmith's theme in his score, first using it in the opening cue "Train Delivery/Don't Fool With Quatermain," where it is presented straight and in romantic fashion in tandem with Linn's own original string theme. What follows is a mix of thrills, spills and intrigue, with suitable jungle colouring here and there; the jaunty "Jessie Fingered" even adding a little light-heartedness to the mix.
Linn's attractive string theme returns for its lengthiest presentation in the final cue "Dumont's Gold City," combining, as before, with Goldsmith's theme to close the album.
At the end of the day, Linn did a pretty fair job of what little of the score he was actually able to contribute. It's hardly cinematic, but compares well to the best TV scoring of the time.
Go to for samples and to order your copy.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Hollywood Records will release the OST from Adventureland for digital download only from 7th September, four days before the film receives its UK release. Adventureland stars Jesse Eisenberg and hot property Kristen Stewart (Twilight).
The soundtrack album is purely a song compilation, with numbers by Lou Reed, David Bowie, The Cure, INXS, Crowded House and a bunch of other artists whose names are totally unfamiliar to me.
It is perhaps surprising that the album is only available for download, but there it is, if you want a copy you'll have to visit iTunes from 7th September.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Music by Christopher Lennertz & various artists
Nettwerk 0 6700 30865 2 3 (US)
12 Tracks 47:21 mins

Christopher Lennertz is currently one of my favourite game music composers, having written fine scores for a couple of James Bond games, Gun, Godfather II, The Simpsons and some of the Medal of Honor series. But his talents don't stop there, as his music for the popular TV series Supernatural has earned him an Emmy nomination and he's also been very active on the big screen, with enjoyable offerings for the likes of The Comebacks, Alvin & the Chipmunks and Meet the Spartans. His latest cinematic offering is for the romantic dramedy Adam, written and directed by Max Mayer, which stars Hugh Dancy as the title character, who is afflicted by Asperger's Syndrome, a high functioning form of autism, and his relationship with a young woman, played by Rose Byrne.
Rather than utilising orchestra, Lennertz instead has scored the picture for a small ensemble of guitar, upright piano, cello, bass, drums, mellotron, marimba, celeste, and a bansuri (Indian bamboo flute. For the more romantic scenes, a small six-piece string section has been added; and to represent Adam's love of astronomy, the composer uses some experimental techniques to create a somewhat otherworldly feel, and unusual and unsettling organic sounds for Adam's terrifying episodes caused by his condition.
There's obviously good deal more score in the film than is included on the soundtrack album, where only 5 cues, totalling just under 25 minutes, are given over to Lennertz's music, the other 7 being songs by a variety of artists, whose names mean absolutely nothing to me. Some of them are quite easy on the ear, but none of them remarkable. As for the score tracks, they are described as "Score Medleys" and seem to concentrate on the more melodic, romantic side of the score, with little or none of the experimental music described above featuring. They commence with "Prologue Main Theme," at the heart of which is a simple, straightforward little melody, carried by guitar and piano. The "Planetarium Suite" opens optimistically on piano, before settling into a romantic guitar-lead mood, which carries one warmly to the end of the cue. "Courtroom Suite" continues in the same easy, guitar-lead mood, with cello and piano notably contributing to the mix. "Adam's Journey" is initially quite hesitant, but soon gains purpose and flows optimistically to its conclusion. The final cue, "Reflection," touches on much of what's gone before, including of course the main theme to provide a satisfying ending.
Whilst it obviously would have been favourite to have a complete representation of Lennertz's score for the film, for myself, coming from a predisposition toward melody, the material chosen for this album I find eminently suitable to my tastes and, if you too like gentle, melodic music, you can't go far wrong here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


From Top Dollar PR:



Live World Premiere of the Sweeping Symphonic Themes from the Award-Winning Video
Game Series Composed by Inon Zur

Los Angeles - August 11th, 2009 - Inon Zur's majestic and emotionally charged orchestral
music from Ubisoft's Prince of Persia® video games will be performed in front of
a live audience for the first time as part of the "A Night in Fantasia 2009" spectacular.
Recognized around the globe as the most popular brand of video game and anime symphony
concerts, "A Night in Fantasia 2009" will be held at the Sydney Entertainment Centre,
Australia, on Saturday, September 26, 2009. Tickets are now available via Ticketmaster

Award-winning composer Inon Zur (
created a compelling and epic original score for the latest Prince of Persia® video
game, including the sweeping themes which feature a cinematic orchestral style blended
with eastern ethnic instrumentation.

Zur will be a special guest conducting the full symphony orchestra, accompanied
by visuals from the games on the big screen, as well as speaking to the audience
about his music for Prince of Persia® and signing autographs during a meet-and-greet.

The concert will be recorded and released on CD in the weeks following "A Night
in Fantasia 2009." A special CD with a 'behind the scenes' DVD will be released
in limited editions. Packages are available for pre-order via the Eminence website,

"Fans will be blown away by the musical extravaganza of 'A Night in Fantasia 2009',"
said Hiroaki Yura, Founder and Director of Eminence Artists. "We're taking 'A Night
in Fantasia' to a whole new level with this concert - we're going to raise the roof!"

About Prince of Persia®
Set in a land rooted in ancient Persian mythology, the warrior Prince finds himself
caught in an epic battle between the primal forces of light and darkness that pits
the God of Light, Ormazd, against his brother, Ahriman, the destructive God of Darkness.
After witnessing the destruction of the legendary Tree of Life - an act which unleashes
Ahriman's corrupted darkness onto the land - the Prince and his deadly companion,
Elika, embark on a journey to heal the world from the evil Corruption and defeat
Ahriman once and for all.
For more information about Prince of Persia®, please visit

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 is present in 28 countries and has sales in
more than 55 countries around the globe. It is committed to delivering high-quality,
cutting-edge video game titles to consumers. For the 2008-09 fiscal year Ubisoft
generated sales of ?1.058 billion. 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

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I Sell The Dead
Music by Jeff Grace
MovieScore Media MMS-09016
18 Tracks 44:26 mins

One of MovieScore Media's favourites, Jeff Grace, has a new score out on the label for the horror comedy I Sell The Dead, which numbers Dominic Monagahan and Ron Perlman amongst its cast.
Previous scores (The Last Winter, The Roost and Joshua) were for string quartet, but here Grace utilizes larger orchestral forces, though strings are still very much to the fore, in a work somewhat inspired by the late, great Bernard Herrmann.
The disc gets under way with the "Opening Titles," a darkly comic march, which increases in power as the track continues. There's murky goings on to be found in "A Very Peculiar Priest," which is followed by the somewhat Herrmannesque "Langols Island." "Wake Snatching," as the title suggests, has an Irish feel to it, with some busy fiddle work driving the action. "A What Witch?" has a brassy, comical feel, embellished by woodwinds, Jews Harp, whistler and some quirky percussive elements. It's back to the more murky elements for the mysterious "The Resurrection Apprentice." Driving Psychoesque strings open "Cornelius Murphy," which, after an almost spiritual interlude, proceeds mysteriously to its conclusion.
Briefly comical, "Guts for Garters" descends into cacophony, to be followed by the flowing "A Hard Slog," with its simulated siren calls. "Dr. Vernon Quint at Your Service" is quite sinister, with its solo fiddle line, and is followed by more dark doings in "The House of Murphy," which builds to a powerful conclusion; whilst "The Dead Undead!" offers dissonant string work and menacing bursts of action. The dissonance continues into "A Foot?" which is a mix of action and suspense.
Mysterious and sinister Herrmannesque string work dominates "From a Long Line of Ghouls;" whilst the action of "Valentine Kelly" brings another late, great, Jerry Goldsmith, more to mind.
It's back to the quirkiness from "A What Which?" for "Grimes and Blake" and the closing "A Cemetary Stroll, only briefly interrupted, as frantic string writing brings "Other Arrangements" to an exciting close.
All in all, an interesting and likeable little score in quite an old-fashioned vein, which should appeal especially to the more veteran aficionados among you.
Go to for further information, samples and details of how to order your copy on CD or download.





This limited collectors edition 2 CD set also features 30 minutes of previously unreleased music,
50 minutes of bonus material including IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD (Gold),
SHIP OF FOOLS (Gold), JUDITH (Kaplan), QB VII (GoldsmiSCHINDLER’S LIST (Williams), CAST A GIANT SHADOW (Bernstein) plus “This Land is Mine” Choral Version of Exodus Theme and Exodus: Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra.

Performed by the acclaimed City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus.

Disc 1 Features 2 Videos from the Recording Sessions.


This release comes from the same label as the award winning THE GUNS OF NAVARONE, TRUE GRIT, THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES and EL CID.

Available now to order on mail order from WWW.TADLOWMUSIC.COM

Monday, August 10, 2009


Torchwood: Children of Earth
Music by Ben Foster
Silva Screen SILCD1290 (UK)
40 Tracks 77:41 mins

Having graduated from BBCs 3 & 2 to BBC 1, sci-fi show Torchwood came to what looks like its final curtain with a five part adventure shown over five consecutive nights just a few weeks ago. I am sure if you are a sci-fi fan and specifically a follower of the show, you would have done your very best to catch it. I certainly found it very entertaining, if a little overlong, though I was saddened by its format and conclusion, having looked forward to a proper series 3 of the show. I just hope the powers that be decide to bring Captain Jack back from his exraterrestrial travels, even if he has to find a new team.
Ben Foster, having started out assisting Murray Gold on the re- imagined Doctor Who series, has been responsible for writing the bulk of the music to the more adult-orientated Torchwood, and you should certainly check out the previous Silva release of music for series 1 & 2, a thoroughly entertaining listen. With Torchwood: Children of Earth, Foster was given sole responsibility for the score and certainly didn't disappoint, coming up with much exciting new material, as well as revisiting themes established in earlier shows.
The music is predominantly orchestral, enhanced by electronics, with the orchestral parts again performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, with additional contributions from a London-based studio orchestra. Featured vocalists are Annalise Whittlesea (a veteran of the Doctor Who/Torchwood universe) and Lewis Cullen.
The CD is arranged in suites from each day of the min-series, which provides for the proper flow of the score as it unfolds. There is much to admire, the new material including the pivotal three-note theme for the villains of the piece, the aliens 4-5-6; a punchy, brass-lead theme representing the government's machinations; a suitably pacy and heroic theme for Torchwood in action; a suitably innocent piano-lead theme for the children caught up in the aliens' diabolical plot;" and the melancholy theme for "The Children of Earth," which features the aforementioned chorister Lewis Cullen from St. Paul's Cathedral.
Added to this new material are the Captain Jack theme and requiem, established in season 1; the Gwen and Rhys love theme; and a much-developed Ianto theme, with prominent use of guitar.
It's hard to pick highlights, as there is so much good music on display here, but the first introduction to "Diplomatic Cars" is effective; "Countdown to Destruction" builds emotionally to its explosive conclusion; "Torchwood Hunted," "Tractor Attack," and "The World Looks to the Skies" are suitably action-packed; "Judgement Day," featuring the aforementioned Annalise Whittlesea," is suitably heroic, as Jack and Ianto rush to confront the 4-5-6; Ms Whittlesea's moving voicing of the "Requiem for the Fallen;" also featuring in the even more emotional "The Ballad of Ianto Jones," as his theme is given its fullest development to mark his heroic passing; the aforementioned "The Children of Earth;" the tense "Fighting Back," which flows nicely into the pacy "Run for your Lives;" the hugely emotional "Sacrifice & Salvation" and "Redemption;" and the finale, "I Can Run Forever," which brings together the Captain Jack themes and also touches on those of his fallen team members, as he bids farewell to Gwen and Rhys before taking his leave.
As a special treat for fans of the show, the "Here Comes Torchwood" and "Next Time on Torchwood" themes are included as a couple of bonus tracks at the end of the disc.
Silva's very generous presentation of the score includes a 12-page booklet, featuring an interview with and commentary by the composer. Go to for samples and to order your copy of this excellent album.

Saturday, August 08, 2009


Sorry for the absence of reviews this week, but CDs have been thin on the ground lately. A few are now trickling in though, so normal service should soon be resumed. In the meantime, here's some news:-

From Costa Communications:




(Earth - Los Angeles, CA) Film Composer Clinton Shorter scores District 9 produced by Peter Jackson and directed by Neill Blomkamp. The film, based on Blomkamp’s short film, Alive in Joburg, centers on the fallout caused by a group of alien refugees stranded on Earth (in Johannesburg) and forced into a segregation camp (the title comes from District 6, a former inner-city residential area in Cape Town infamous for the forced removal of 60,000 residents in the 70s by the Apartheid regime). The film blends documentary style with traditional shooting techniques. Shorter, recently named by Hollywood Reporter “Next Generation of Film Composers to Watch,” has worked with the director on several projects, “I had worked with Neill [Blomkamp] over the years on his commercials and short films. When he called in late 2008 and asked me if I'd score his first feature I was all over it.”

For “District 9,” Shorter collaborated closely with Blomkamp, “I spent the first several weeks experimenting with every African instrument I could think of. Neill was really pushing me to give the score an African sound; it was quite a task to maintain an African feel but give the film the darkness and edge it required. We incorporated African male vocals with some percussion from the region combined with other elements. With “District 9,” I knew from the beginning that I was going to go with more of a hybrid score of live and synthesized instruments. Without giving too much away there's a "mutation" of sorts in the film and I wanted to have that mirrored in the music” Shorter also scored the short film which was the impedus of the feature but, as the composer said, “For the short, we hired a singer and used various orchestral libraries. The sound for the feature is quite different.”

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Cheshire Adventures
Music by Edwin Wendler
iTunes Digital Dowload
33 Tracks 70:00 mins

I very recently had the pleasure of reviewing Edwin Wendler's score for Home - A Horror Story, available on iTunes. His latest offering can also be found there, Cheshire Adventures, which features his music for three in a series of five short films made by the non-profit organisation Cheshire, whose Film Camp each year brings together some 40 participants, both able and disabled, to create a film, often with the participation of known movie and TV faces, the project culminating in a Hollywood-style premiere at a major LA venue.
The films and scores featured here include the pirate musical The Return of the Muskrats, the superhero adventure Sky Squad Eagle Eight, and the time travel story Selling The Future: The Adventure of Lenny Maloney.
Up first are the 16 tracks from The Return of the Muskrats, some of which include outtakes and alternate versions, and which feature the songs "Captain Ron and Daggerface" and "It's Good to be a Pirate Mate," with lyrics by Will Halby, both performed by the Cheshire Ensemble. The score tracks are synthetically realised by Wendler, with the addition of some vocals, and commence with the initially big and adventurous, then more softly sentimental "Out to Sea!" "Map & Mayhem" gets off to a mysterious start and features a darkly comic march, before turning into a percussive action cue. There is one other brief song in the score, "Ronnie's Lament," written and voiced by Rob Simonsen, and this follows. "Call to Arms" starts off quite magically, before the expected heroics kick in. This is followed by the largely tender "Muskrat Judy," though the previously mentioned march adds menace to its conclusion.
The first of Halby's songs, "Captain Ron and Daggerface" is a fine pirate song, performed with gusto, and is followed by "Doubt and Decision" which, after a melancholy passage, becomes determined and heroic; the heroics continuing in the action-packed "The Plank & Rescue," where they do battle with the march of the villains from before. The grim duelling music of "Sword Fight!" follows, with evil appearing to triumph, but no, all is well in the end, judging by the sunny conclusion. The spirited "It's Good To Be a Pirate Mate follows, concluding the score proper, with the Ensemble again in fine voice.
The first bonus track, "Wrap Party, " provides an easy listening mood; the lightness continuing into "Soap Much Drama," before giving way to slightly darker, percussive fare. The mystical "Words of Wisdom" follows and then the suitably expectant "Plan of Attack. The last two tracks include an alternate version of "Sword Fight!" and the trailer music for the film, concluding the selections in adventurous fashion.
The nine cues from Sky Squad Eagle Eight, which numbers Shannon Elizabeth among its cast, follow; the opening cue, "Billy's Quest" offering a mix of wonder and pathos. "Dad's Secret" is largely low-key, but ends with a brief heroic flourish. There's a feeling of the mysterious East in "Hilda's Prophecy," complete with the cliched wailing female, before the music takes flight in "Eagle Wings," though the heroics give way briefly to more suspenseful material. The martial drum-propelled "Joining the Squad" follows; with more of a pop beat opening "Save the World." However, the celebratory feel soon gives way to some kick-ass conflict. There's something of a spacy feel to "The Discovery," which gives way to the easy "Everyday Heroes," with its strummed guitar accompaniment. The suitably heroic title track concludes the score in fine style.
The final offering, Selling The Future: The Adventure of Lenny Maloney, in which Tori Spelling appears, commences with the brief, but adventurous "Starting Time" and is followed by the bouncy, bass driven comic antics of "Hard Times." "Time for a Visit" is quite funky and beat-driven, whilst, "Stuck in Time" offers a mix of cacophony, comedy, suspense, action, and ethereal textures. "Time Travel" is another mixed bag, with all kinds of styles on show, from weird and jungle-styled percussion, to ethereal vocalisations, to bursts of action, and easy listening guitar. "Times Have Changed" continues in the same vein, with hints of John Williams' Hook, mixing with more beat-driven material. Guitar returns at the start of "Fixing Time," but quickly gives way to more synthetic textures, before a feeling of calm and then excitement brings the track to a close; with "Good Times" bringing the score to a warm and satisfactory, Hook inspired conclusion.
A digital booklet accompanies this release, which includes track listings, credits and lyrics for the songs of The Return of the Muskrats.
This venture is very much worthy of your support, with all of the album's profits going toward funding the next film camp. For further info on the Cheshire Film Camp, go to

Sunday, August 02, 2009


This month Chandos will reissue the following Prokofiev albums at mid-price for all you fans of the famous Russian composer:-

Sergey Prokofiev (1891-1953)
Ivan the Terrible
Ivan the Terrible: Concert Scenario
Linda Finnie (contralto); Nikita Storojev (bass)
Philharmonia Chorus
Philharmonia Orchestra, Neeme Järvi
CHAN 10536 X
Neeme Jarvi conducts Christopher Palmer’s version, preserving the film music to Ivan the
Terrible. This re-issue offers this much praised recording at Classics price for the first time.
‘Christopher Palmer strikes again! It is undoubtedly one of the great film scores, and Jarvi more
than does it justice with the help of impassioned singing and playing from all concerned.’ CD

Sergey Prokofiev (1891-1953)
Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the
October Revolution, Op 74.
Excerpts from: The Tale of the Stone Flower, Op 11
Gennady Rozhdestvensky (narrator)
Philharmonia Chorus
Philharmonia Orchestra, Neeme Järvi
CHAN 10537 X
This was the first complete recording of Prokofiev’s Cantata for the 20th anniversary of the
October Revolution, now released on Chandos Classics.
‘Even Prokofiev rarely wrote so wild and totally original a piece as this cantata. The key
movement, centrally placed and the longest, uses such exotic percussion as rattles and sirens, with
shouting from the chorus, in a graphic description of the revolution in St Petersburg. Järvi, here
with his fellow-conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky as narrator, has made a first complete
recording with the Philharmonia Chorus and Orchestra. As a valuable fill-up comes a suite of
excerpts from the folk-tale ballet of 1948, The Stone Flower’, Penguin Guide

Sergey Prokofiev (1891-1953)
War and Peace
War and Peace: Symphonic Suite ( arr. Palmer)
Summer Night: Suite from ‘The Duenna’, Op 123
Russian Overture, Op 72
Philharmonia Orchestra, Neeme Järvi.
CHAN 10538 X
This performance was named ‘Recording of the Month’ in Gramophone on its original release.
This only available recording of the War and Peace Symphonic Suite is coupled with the popular
Russian Overture and Summer Night Suite and released on our Classics label.
‘Jarvi and the Philharmonia Orchestra are thoroughly at home in these scores, and the Chandos
recording is characteristically spectacular. This is well worth exploring.’ 3 Stars, Penguin Guide

Sergey Prokofiev (1891-1953)
Romeo and Juliet: Suites 1, 2 and 3
Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Neeme Järvi
CHAN 10539 X
This recording presents the three Suites from Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet.
‘No one is more warmly dramatic in Prokofiev than Jarvi, making his issues consistently
recommendable…’ The Guardian

Sergey Prokofiev (1891-1953)
Violin Concertos
(i) Violin Concerto No 1 in D major, Op 19
(i) Violin Concerto No 2 in G minor, Op 63
(ii) Violin Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 80
Lydia Mordkovitch (violin) with
(i) Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Neeme Järvi
or (ii) Gerhard Oppitz (piano) .
CHAN 10540 X
This re-issue brings together the Violin Concertos of Prokofiev, along with the Violin Sonata
No.1, performed by Lydia Mordkovitch, with Neeme Järvi and the RSNO in the Concertos, and
Gerhard Oppitz in the Sonata.
‘Jarvi is an outstanding collaborator. His feeling for this composer’s music is well established,
and he brings out details that other conductors are content to overlook. Ms Mordkovitch has a
powerful musical voice and a committed approach. I have returned to this recording with
increasing fascination and would recommend it highly.’ American Record Guide

Sergey Prokofiev (1891-1953)
Eugene Onegin (In English)
Andrew Rutt, Dominic Mafham,
Helena McCarthy, Julian Walker,
Niamh Cusack, Samuel West, Terrence Hardiman,
Timothy West, Sinfonia 21, Sir Edward Downes
CHAN 10541(2) X
With an eminent cast of actors including Niamh Cusack, Samuel West and Timothy West (who
directed the production) this was the first complete recording of Eugene Onegin. This continues
to be one of the only available recordings, and now the most competitively priced.
‘The whole presentation gives enormous pleasure… this set belongs in every Prokofiev admirer’s
collection.’ Hi-Fi News, ‘Record of the Month’

Saturday, August 01, 2009


As you know, I'm a film score kind of guy, but I can appreciate good music in all its many forms and, though I confess to not having sat through many musical films in my time, I have nonetheless seen many bits and pieces of them over the years. A few years back an enterprising fellow by the name of John Wilson began championing the music of old Hollywood, both from dramatic and musical productions, and I had the pleasure of attending one of his concerts which featured a cross-section from both.

At last television has seen fit to reward Mr. Wilson's efforts by programming a concert of music from the M-G-M musicals as part of the BBC Proms this year. I hope some of you will have caught the concert live on BBC 2 this evening, but those of you who didn't I would urge to seek it out on the BBC i Player. It was a truly magical concert, Wilson leading his most excellent orchestra and chorus, together with a small band of featured vocalists, drawn from various fields, in a spellbinding hour of musical genius. Bravo all concerned!