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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

CD REVIEW - PAJAMA GLADIATOR and other Award-Winning Shorts

Pajama Gladiator and other Award-Winning Shorts
Music by Alan Williams
Silverscreen Music SMCD 026 (US)
6 Tracks 41:16 mins

Latest release from Alan Williams' Silverscreen Music features suites from six short films Alan has worked on, commencing with his score for this year's Student Academy Award winner Pajama Gladiator, which runs for just over 5 minutes and includes some exciting, drum-driven action music, and an heroic, synths-lead theme, which gets a couple of good workouts. All good stuff!
Student Emmy Award winner The Lion and the Mouse follows, and opens with forceful tribal percussion and voices, giving way to an easy-going, flute and xylophone (or similar)-lead theme; and then free-flowing action music, ending in soaring triumph; the easy-going theme returning to see out the track.
2004's The Adventures of Space Baby and Mental Man is the longest piece on the album at getting on for 9 minutes, and commences in sunny, keyboard and woodwinds-lead fashion; giving way to a more wondrous feel, with subtle sampled voices, and a solo soprano to end the suite. Overall, the composer has created a lovely mix of warm, pastoral and awe-filled music, quite different from the two scores that precede it.
By complete contrast, the Loch commences with some thunderous action music, with one soaring moment of heroism, taking a tragic turn, before building triumphantly to a powerful conclusion.
Next up we have The Juror, which is easily the least interesting music on the disc, starting on a mournful note and continuing in mainly gloomy fashion throughout.
Back to the entertainment, and another recent score, The Teller's Tale, which again largely features exciting and heroic action writing, with soaring voices and more of that furious drumming featured earlier on the disc.
If one can overlook the largely synthetic nature of the music, which the composer does his best to disguise, this is a wonderfully entertaining disc, particularly if you like plenty of exciting action writing; though The Adventures of Space Baby and Mental Man serves as a beautiful oasis in between. First and foremost, the music of Alan Williams is, as always, strong on melody and so, for me, he can do little wrong.
Check out the samples at, and follow the links there to order your copy.


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