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

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Bioshock 2
Music by Garry Schyman
Composer Promo
25 Tracks 46:54 mins

Garry Schyman's score for the original Bioshock game went on to win Best Original Score at that year's Spike TV Video Game Awards, and Best Original Soundtrack at the G4TV - X-Play Best of 2007 Awards.
Well, here we are in 2010, and Bioshock 2 has been released and, though not as instantly impressive and likeable as his other new score for Dante's Inferno; as revealed on this promotional disc, kindly furnished by the composer's publicists, Top Dollar PR, it is still a top-rate effort with rewards to be had if one persists with it.
A feature of Schyman's orchestral score are the excellent violin solos, performed by Martin Chalifour, that are present throughout this largely dissonant work, commencing with the mournful "Pairbond: Bioshock 2 Theme," and can subsequently be heard to best effect cutting through the dissonance, and occasionally participating in the action of "10 Years Later, "Grace Under The Ocean," "Eleanor's Darkness," "Out the Airlock," "Entrance to Eden," "Drained Memories" "Entering Persephone,""Lockdown March," and "Research; and providing at least something vaguely human to cling on to, as can be said of the child-like piano-voiced innocence of "How She Sees the World."
Some tracks have a bluesy edge to them, particularly early ones like "Cult of Lamb" and the aforementioned "Grace Under the Ocean," but more so in the later "Welcome to the Drop" and the unused "Under the Tracks," both of which feature wordless female vocal.
Whilst some action does erupt from the dissonance of some tracks mentioned above, the most consistently exciting and powerful cues are "Protecting His Charge," "The Abyss," "Send Him Howling Back To Hell," and the concluding "Destroying the Lobby," "Gil's Entertainment" and "Escape," all of which lead breathlessly to the album's final cue "Eleanor's Lullabye," where Chalifour's violin sweetly signifies that all is well.
Challenging at times but, as I said, rewarding if you stick with it. Unfortunately, as far as I know, whilst a song soundtrack is commercially available, Schyman's score is only available as a bonus CD with the collector's edition of the game.

Friday, February 26, 2010


Alice in Wonderland
Music by Danny Elfman
Walt Disney Records 628 5442 (EU)
24 Tracks 51:09 mins

Tim Burton's take on the classic Lewis Carroll fantasy Alice in Wonderland received its London premiere tonight and will be released nationwide from 5th March, in 3D where available. Can't wait to see what Burton has done with it but, in the meantime, I'll turn my attention to the soundtrack album, which is released on 8th March and of course features an orchestral/choral score by Burton's regular collaborator Danny Elfman.
The album opens with "Alice's Theme," a delightfully flighty, but also quite powerful choral theme, in typical Elfman fashion, though with lyrics, also by the composer. This theme is reprised in brief snatches a further five times throughout the album and, I imagine, acts as a kind of transitional piece between Alice's adventures in the film. Whatever, it's a great piece of music, which is sure to have you thoroughly hooked by the end of the disc.
Track 2 on the album, "Little Alice" is a suitably delicate little piece and is followed by the almost classically-styled "Proposal," which gives way to an adventurous variation on the main theme, which turns quite menacing and desperate in "Down the Hole." The following tracks flow continuously, starting with "Doors" and "Drink Me" which are quite subdued and mysterious, though the latter does end quite darkly, with "Into the Garden" continuing the air of mystery.
After the first reprise of the main theme, comes "Bandersnatched," which is largely big and menacing, with some quite exciting action writing, and a big choral ending. A mysterious wordless choral propels "Finding Absolem," which grows ever darker as it continues, with "The Cheshire Cat" represented by some sinister, slinky string writing; ending in another brief reprise of the main theme. The lengthy "Alice and Bayard's Journey" follows, and features more powerful action writing, whilst ending on a gentler note.
"The White Queen" is quite serene and almost ethereal, the peaceful feel continuing into "Only a Dream;" but the mood soon changes to mystery for "The Dungeon." A lightly propulsive variation on the main theme introduces "Alice Decides," the track quickly turning dark and menacing, before the theme restates itself in more powerful fashion. The dark forces do battle with "Alice's Theme" again in "Going To Battle" and "The Final Confrontation," with "Blood of the Jabberwocky" bringing calm after the storm, before concluding quite mystically.
The penultimate track, "Alice Returns" finds her theme gently re-introduced, before flowing sumptuously to an ethereal conclusion that leads into the final cue and a reprise of the theme in all its choral glory.
With this entertainingand well-crafted score and the composer's suitably Gothic-styled The Wolfman, Elfman has made a strong start to 2010 and shows he's still one of the leading film composers around.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I'm delighted to be able to bring you the following release from Ray Costa of Costa Communications, who provide so much information and many CDs for me to review for you:-





(Los Angeles, CA) - Manning massive fire hoses, rushing into burning buildings and serving their community: For a tight-knit group of teenage boys in a town outside of Memphis, Tennessee called Germantown, fighting fires became their unparalleled adventure in real life bravery. HOMETOWN GLORY, written, directed and produced by Hollywood entertainment manager/publicist Ray Costa is a riveting documentary film that chronicles a subject he knows well. As a teenager in the seventies, he was among the ranks of the volunteers who risked their lives to protect a town. HOMETOWN GLORY will premiere and be the opening night film at On-Location: The Memphis International Film Festival April 22nd at the Malco Ridgeway Four. Attending the event will be Ray Costa, Composer George S. Clinton and the firefighters chronicled in the film.

Cross cutting archival footage, hundreds of vintage photos, present day interviews and dramatic reenactments, narrated by Tim Russ (Star Trek Voyager, Samantha Who) an original score by award-winning composer/Tennessee native George S. Clinton (Austin Powers) recorded with an orchestra with horn solos by Grammy nominated Chris Walden and songs by Sir Paul McCartney and the Ohio Players , HOMETOWN GLORY reveals how Chief Phil McCall enlisted a dedicated force of adolescents who would fly from their classroom desks to battle blazes. McCall, a father figure to the boys, would exert his considerable authority through a brusque professionalism, punishment , and an endearing support of his teenage charges who were required to maintain high grade point averages in order to participate in the program.

By the mid 1970's , the population of Germantown had swelled to 20,000 residents and the local teens were trained firefighters. During the brutal fire fighter ’s strike in Memphis in 1978, the Germantown volunteers assisted that city, dodging gunfire to extinguish arsonist’s blazes. Additionally that same year, the crew traveled to Waverly, TN to offer aid in the catastrophic Union Tank Car explosion that took 16 lives, including the town’s fire and police chiefs.

Dubbed “Filthy Phil's Fire Fighting Fanatics” and given individual nicknames by McCall like “Basketball,” “Flipper,” “Jelly” and Costa's own moniker “Castro” (denoting his Cuban heritage), the boys represented a cross section of athletes, freaks and nerds who united under chief McCall's direction into a fire fighting force with an unerring professionalism and expertise far beyond their years.

But it wasn't all flames and fury: a captivating camaraderie lives at the heart of Hometown Glory. The film acknowledges that the Fire Station was a de facto clubhouse in a small town with few diversions, and visiting girls who were only permitted to visit the station until 9 p.m.

“Becoming a firefighter at 16 was an invaluable experience,” acknowledges Ray Costa, “and we learned lessons that I apply everyday in my life . Everyone profiled in the documentary has given back to their community and I wanted to find a way to honor the firefighters I worked with, the Chief's legacy and the City of Germantown.”

As seen in the interviews, these teenagers have been transformed into grownups whose reminiscences and revelations convey a captivating tale. “Before they were men they were already heroes,” confirms the film's narration: The courage, valor and commitment of a gusty group of Southern teens shines in Hometown Glory.

The mission of On Location: MEMPHIS is to advance, educate and inspire filmmakers, students, and professionals in the cinema arts; to connect the regional audience to the work of local and global filmmakers; and to collaborate with other organizations to strengthen the film community and the economic development of Memphis. On Location: MEMPHIS envisions Memphis as a premier destination to attract a broad spectrum of filmmakers and quality films.


The writer/director/producer Ray Costa graduated from Germantown High School, then the University of Memphis and worked in news and public affairs at WHBQ NewsTalk Radio before moving to Los Angeles. In making the documentary, Costa took advantage of his over 20 years in the entertainment industry and asked for advice from seasoned professional on his first feature. He first called Academy Award winning documentary director Jessica Yu (Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O'Brien) to ask her advice. Yu's words of wisdom assisted Costa in finding the central theme that would carry the story. Costa describes the documentary, "The documentary plays more like a feature than a traditional documentary. There is a lot of heart and emotion to the stories. It is like remember the Titans meets Backdraft or Rescue Me." Traveling back to Germantown, to shoot the film, Costa contacted Frank Bluestein, who was his drama teacher at Germantown High School. Bluestein recommended a Germantown High alumnus, Waheed AlQawasmi for the production. AlQawasmi was enlisted as co-producer and the director of photography and he hired the local crew to shoot on the newest state-of-the-art camera, the RED. Additionally, Lisa Lax Casting assisted in searching for the perfect young actors for the reenactment scenes. The film took several trips back to Tennessee for Costa to complete principal photography. The original editing was done by Waheed and final editing was completed by Jake Hamilton (Grace). The film was color-corrected at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, California with sound editing and a 5.1 mix at Jet Stream Sound in Burbank, California. Costa went to his award-winning clients and friends for their professional input on the project including Editor/Composer John Ottman (Usual Suspects, Fantastic Four), Composer Mark Adler (The Rat Pack, Food Inc.), Composer Jeff Beal (Rome, Appaloosa) and director John Swanbeck (The Big Kahuna) .

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Music by Greg Edmonson
Sumthing Else SE-2075-2 (US)
23 Tracks 63:06 mins

Just when I thought I could not possibly hear another great game score soundtrack after the bounty that has come my way in these opening months of the year, here comes another one. Well, in fact, I suppose it belongs in last year's crop really but, as I've only just received a copy from the label's publicists Top Dollar (thanks to the mail service losing one), I've only just got to hear it.
Composer Greg Edmonson of course worked on the original Uncharted: Drake's Fortune game, his music for the short-lived TV sci-fi show Firefly having brought him to the attention of the game's developers. Like, Bear McCreary, Edmonson has a leaning for unusual ethnic instrumentation and the resulting score for Drake's Fortune apparently reflected this, and was well received, though I am personally not familiar with his music for that game. I therefore do not know if many themes were carried forward for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, but I do know that he utilised the services of the same forces, the Skywalker Session Orchestra. So, basically, all I can do is comment on the music heard on this disc.
I imagine the opening cue, "Nate's Theme," is reprised from the first game, and is a suitably heroic horns-lead piece, largely for conventional orchestra, though driven by jungle drums. In fact horns are to feature strongly throughout, as the theme continually makes its presence felt.
"The City's Secret" is a suitably mysterious scene-setter, with an ethnic woodwind solo leading the way and continuing with a mix of ethnic sounds and conventional orchestra, before taking a more decidedly ethnic turn, complete with vocal, and then ending on a more weighty note.
The first big action cue follows in "Bustin' Chops," and, as one would expect, plenty more follow, like the militaristic "Helicopter and Tank;" the desperate "Warzone;" the largely propulsive "Cat and Mouse;" "Cornered;" the menacing second half of "The Gates of Shambhala;" "Brutal Combo Mambo;" the initially quite tragic, and then menacing "A Rock and a Hard Place;" and "Take That!"
In between, we have cues like "Reunion" with its warm erhu solo; the questing "Breaking and Entering;" the lovely ethnic woodwind-lead "Marco Polo;" "The Monastery," the opening of which could easily have come from "Kundun" or scores of that nature; the sympathetic acoustic guitar of "Refuge;" the tragic strings of "Train Wrecked;" "Broken Paradise," with its throat singing and eastern percussion, which continues, allied with erhu, into "Broken Paradise," before more action breaks out; the big and impressive variation on the main theme in "Among Thieves."
The penultimate track, "Tunnel Vision" is big and menacing, and leads to the album finale, "The Heist," which ticks along expectantly without really coming to anything, making for a bit of an anti-climax. But he only real mis-step on the disc is the rocky "The Road to Shambhala," which is credited to Carmen Rizzo, and, apart from its ethnic opening, seems totally out of place.
All in all, yet another classy game score, which makes me wonder whether the film score offerings of the coming months can ever hope to match up to what I've heard for games so far this year. The bar has certainly been set high by the likes of Messrs McCreary, Schyman and Edmonson.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is available on CD from your usual stockist now, or you can of course download it from


From Costa Communications:



LOS ANGELES (February 23, 2010) – Academy Award-nominated French composer Bruno Coulais has the distinction this year of scoring two Oscar nominated animated films, the Cartoon Saloon film THE SECRET OF KELLS and the Focus Features hit CORALINE. Earlier this month Coulais won the Annie Award for his CORALINE score. The mostly hand-drawn Irish indie is the surprise underdog in this year’s Oscar race. THE SECRET OF KELLS will open March 5th in New York March 19th in Boston and April 2nd in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and other markets.

Bruno Coulais’s musical style varies significantly between different projects, but there are some constant factors visible such as his taste for opera, for human voice, for a search for original sonority, for world music and mixing different musical cultures. Kila, one of Ireland’s most popular bands, performs Coulais’s compositions for the film. Called “extraordinary” by U2’s Bono, Kila is rooted in traditional Irish music yet influenced strongly by global rhythms.

In THE SECRET OF KELLS, adventure, action and danger await 12 year old Brendan who must fight Vikings and a serpent god to find a crystal and complete the legendary Book of Kells. The book is widely regarded as Ireland’s finest national treasure and a masterwork of Western calligraphy. It contains the four Gospels of the New Testament transcribed by Celtic monks.

CORALINE, now available on DVD, follows an adventurous girl who finds another world that is a strangely idealized version of her frustrating home.

In spring 2010 two films that Coulais scored will be released. Disneynature’s OCEANS which will be released on Earth Day, April 22 offers an unprecedented look beneath the sea to explore the playful splendor and the harsh reality of the weird and wonderful creatures that live within. BABIES from Focus Features opens Mother’s Day weekend, May 7. The visually stunning new film simultaneously chronicles the lives of four of the world’s newest human inhabitants - in Mongolia, Namibia, San Francisco, and Tokyo - from first breath to first steps, on a journey at once universal and amazingly original.

Coulais’s score to LES CHORISTES earned him an Academy Award-nomination, A BAFTA Award-nomination and won a Cesar Award. Other credits include CORALINE, LUCKY LUKE, VILLA AMALIA and LE PEUPLE MIGRATEUR.



Monday, February 22, 2010


Congratulations to Michael Giacchino for his deserving triumph at last night's BAFTAs. Often, I am disappointed with the Academy's musical choices but, on this occasion, I was delighted with the outcome - even if it was disappointing that we had to wait until the end of the televised coverage to see the composer accept his Award in the brief rundown of "other Awards presented." Still, I supposed we should know better from British television, where screen scoring is generally treated as worthless, particularly end titles music, deemed only suitable for voice overs announcing forthcoming programmes that we are already aware of. When, oh, when will the art form be treated with the respect it so richly deserves!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Tooth Fairy
Music by George S. Clinton
Varese Sarabande 302 067 003 2 (US)
24 Tracks 49:03 mins

Dwayne ("The Rock") Johnson seems to be making quite a career for himself, often poking fun at his former tough guy image in lightweight comedy fare like the new fantasy-comedy Tooth Fairy.
Composer of the score is George S. Clinton, probably still best known for his work on the Austin Powers movies, but here reuniting with director Michael Lembeck, who he previously collaborated with on The Santa Clause 2 & 3.
In the film, which also stars Julie Andrews and Ashley Judd, Johnson plays an ice hockey player, given the nickname Tooth Fairy for all the opponents' teeth he has knocked out in his career; but a stint as a real tooth fairy, complete with wings, magic wand and tutu, helps him find redemption.
Of course the hilarious and fantastical situations that ensue give composer Clinton plenty of scope to provide an orchestral score that mixes action, fun, sentiment and more than a touch of magic along the way. Often the cues contain a mix of these elements and can turn on a dime from gentle whimsy to pure slapstick to tense and exciting action to heartwarming emotion. Occasionally, in the more magical and inspirational passages, Clinton brings in choir to bolster his orchestral forces. In fact, with his experience on the aforementioned Santa Clause movies, nobody is more suited for such a project, and he certainly pushes all the right buttons, providing a highly suitable, if sometimes cliched, accompaniment for such a tale.
My personal highlights of this entertaining score include the hoe-down like music in "Face Off" and the inspirational "It's Possible;" the big heroic opening statement of "My Way;" the bolero-like "Fairy Evolution;" the flowing, fast-paced "Training Montage;" "Steals the Puck," with its purposeful opening, almost spiritual middle and triumphant conclusion; and yet more soaring triumph in "My House."
The penultimate cue, "You Are The Real Tooth Fairy" is predominantly quite tender and understated, with acoustic guitar adding warmth, but has its magical moments along the way; with "Proposal" ending proceedings on a big orchestral/choral rush, with wailing electric guitar adding the final touch to this undemanding and likeable album.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Dante's Inferno
Music by Garry Schyman
Composer Promo
27 Tracks 48:38 mins

This has certainly been a bumper week for quality game scores. No sooner have I reviewed the splendid music for Dark Void and Darksiders than here I am again with another great orchestral/choral score, this time composed by Garry Schyman of BioShock (of which more later) and the Destroy All Humans games. It's certainly the biggest score of the composer's career; recorded at London's famous Abbey Road with the London Philharmonia and the 40-strong Metro Voices. In addition, both sampled, and later live percussion, were added to the mix.
Dante's Inferno, from EA Games, follows the title character in his quest to rescue his murdered wife from Lucifer's clutches, and it was Schyman's job to come up with suitable accompaniment for Hell itself, which obviously would mean the scariest sounds he could come up with.
In a splendid interview with Tim Curran of Film Score Monthly Online (f you haven't yet subscribed, you really should do so), Schyman explains that his challenge was to "make music that sounded otherworldly in ways we haven't heard before" to match the "amazing" visuals.
First of all, he had to come up with a "Hell Theme," which appears at suitable moments throughout the score, as well as a rather spiritual love theme.
Schyman praises the Metro Voices, saying "they could do anything I threw at them." Interestingly, the text they are singing is not the cliched Latin, but in fact is Enochian, which originated in 16th-century England and, whilst originally thought to have been delivered to its originators by angels, it has become much more associated with the demonic over the centuries.
The choir is present throughout, whether helping to drive the many powerful and exciting battle cues on, or providing suitable menace and yes, awe, and they certainly show their expertise in some of the more difficult phrasing. Occasionally soloists emerge from the choir, as with the soprano in "Storms of Lust," "Arphe (The Descent)," and "The Second Circle;" and the truly evil bass baritone voice, presumably representing Lucifer himself, in "Abyssus Incendia." But credit too must go to the Philharmonia for their impressive playing of this sometimes difficult, and often dissonant, thunderous music.
It's hard to pick out individual tracks in this consistently riveting score, but I did especially enjoy action cues like "Dante, Casarma Treloch," "Adgt Vpaah Zong" and "Barma Beigla Te Carma," all of which generate furious Omen-like excitement; the relentless "Tower at the River Styx" and "Phlegyas Ravages Dis;" "Jas Davos Cha Dante Va" with its almost spitting male voices; the agonised screams and pounding drums of "Whores of Babylon;" the super-charged "Cerberus;" "Minos," with its harsh male chanting, reminding somewhat of similar villainous fare in Stargate; the righteous choral force of "Babalon Ors" and "The Defeat of Lucifer;" the powerful dark march of "Greed Minions;" and the love theme, as heard in "Redemption" and "Beatrice Taken" is nice, with its angelic female voices.
On this promotional CD, kindly sent to me by the composer's publicists, Top Dollar PR, there is a very generous sampling of Schyman's score, but the good news is that you can download the official soundtrack from Amazon or iTunes, which features no less than 40 tracks. Don't delay; if you like powerful orchestral/choral scores, you can't go wrong with this one. It's hard to see this not becoming yet another one of my top scores of the year. If 2010 continues this way, it's going to be a bumper year for new screen scores.
For more information on the composer go to and look out for my review of his BioShock 2 score, coming very soon.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Drag Me To Hell
Music by Christopher Young
Silva Screen Records SILCD1311
14 Tracks 52:30 mins

It seems these days that every other film is a horror/thriller film and that every one of them gets a soundtrack release. Many of them are virtually unlistenable, but now and again a good one comes along, usually because its the result of an experienced hand, and there's none more experienced among contemporary film composers than Christopher Young who, whilst scoring almost every kind of picture these days, is a self-confessed horror fan and therefore returns to the genre on frequent occasions.
Of course it helps if the film is half decent as well and, when Sam Raimi is at the helm, you know you're in safe hands.
The album gets underway with the powerful title track, a devilish Gypsy violin playing over orchestra and choir, as it flows to a big climax. The Gypsy violin is to feature throughout the score and continues into the following "Mexican Devil Disaster," though an distant and fragile soprano voice hangs over much of the track, before the orchestra erupts into violence. "Tales of a Haunted Banker" provides a little light relief, with its pretty, pianistic melody. It doesn't last long though and the frightening "Lamia" follows. A cold, ominous opening with savage bursts of choir, gives way to a wild, almost carnival-like theme, as it marches relentlessly towards a big, almost awe-filled choral conclusion. "Black Rainbows" opens eerily, but again erupts, albeit briefly, before continuing darkly with choral mumblings, which build in intensity to another huge climax. More eeriness follows in "Ode to Ganush," before another moment of relief with "Familiar Familiars" and its nostalgic piano theme.
The lengthy "Loose Teeth" starts mysteriously, the tension mounting before all hell is let loose in a frighteningly dissonant combination of orchestra and choir, which dies away to an ominous conclusion. The haunting soprano returns for the mysterious of "Ordeal By Corpse," which is followed by more eeriness in "Bealing bells With Trumpet," the tension again building to an intense climax.
"Brick Dogs Ala Carte" sees a brief reprise of the pretty piano theme, followed by the strangely titled "Muttled Buttled Brain Stew"(reminding one of the kind of screwball titles Young often used to come up with for his cues) which, after some more devilish violin work, marches toward another violent climax. The penultimate track, "Auto Da-Fe" sees a return to the main theme in all its relentless glory, enhanced in fine style by Gothic organ, before erupting in some pretty savage dissonance, only to end peacefully.
Young concludes the album in fine style, with his "Concerto To Hell," featuring an almost spiritual choral and then yes, the return of that devilish Gypsy violin, bookended by his splendid main theme, with the violin, of course, having the final say.
Fans of Christopher Young and particularly his Hellraiser scores are going to lap this one up. It's certainly the best horror score I've heard for a while and well worth checking out.
Released on Monday, you can rder your copy from

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Cris Velasco and Mike Reagan, two of the top videogame composers, whose names both graced the Award-winning God of War soundtrack, have united to score the new THQ action adventure title Darksiders, in which players take the role of War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, in an landscape set 100 years after the biblical apocalypse.
The composers' publicists Top Dollar PR kindly sent me a promo CD featuring some 27 minutes of their 60-minute score, which was recorded with full choir at Skywalker Sound, and features much percussion.
The "Main Theme" opens with a haunting boy soprano vocal over menacing drum bursts before erupting into a powerful choral and percussive march. Rhythmic percussion continues to drive subsequent tracks in a relentless forward motion, permeated by boy soprano or choir and ethnic instruments. It's all very primal and tribal in nature, even the savage brass of "Spirit Stalker."
The final cue, "Last Judgement" has a real biblical feel to it, with the soprano voice returning to lead the choir to a powerful conclusion.
A great listen if you are a fan of this kind of forceful, percussive, choral and largely primitive-styled film or game score, and yet another excellent example of how game scores are often more interesting and enjoyable than what's on offer at the movies these days.
It is a great shame that there is no news at present of a commercial release of the score, the so you'll just have to experience this splendid music in the game (released in the US and UK last month), which is of course where it is primarily intended to be heard.
For more information on the game visit, and to learn more about the composers visit &

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


From Costa Communications:-



Singer/songwriter Dan Manjovi’s “Somethin’s Comin’ My Way” is featured on the soundtrack and in the Oscar-nominated Lionsgate film Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire. Manjovi wrote “Somethin’s Comin’ My Way” at the request of the film’s director, Lee Daniels, whose previous films include Monster’s Ball (producer), Shadowboxer and The Woodsman.

After the director spoke Manjovi about the film and his ideas for how music would be used, Daniels’ directive to the songwriter was to “create a song of hope.”

“After reading the screenplay, I thought about how Precious Jones admires these strong iconic African-American women such as Harriet Tubman, and the first line – ‘on my mind Tina Turner’ came into my head,” explains Manjovi. “After that, I knew I had the song.”

“Somethin’s Comin’ My Way” was included in its demo form for the film’s premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. After Precious took the festival’s Grand Jury Prize and was optioned by Lionsgate with Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry as co-executive producers, “Somethin’s Comin My Way” was re-recorded for both the film and the soundtrack. The current version was also arranged and produced by Manjovi, and the featured vocal performance is by Grace Hightower, who is the only artist to appear on the soundtrack and in the film.

Featured alongside powerhouse artists such as Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah and Labelle, the track packs an emotional wallop in this story of triumph over adversity. The soundtrack has been released by Matriarch/Geffen Records in association with Lee Daniels Entertainment, Smokewood Entertainment, Lionsgate, Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry. The soundtrack is executive produced by Lee Daniels and Mary J. Blige and is currently available in stores and on iTunes.

The New York native is a favorite on the New York club scene. In addition to two independent CD releases, Manjovi recently completed the romantic musical comedy I Am, I Will, I Do for which he wrote the book, music and lyrics. The video for his song, “Things’ll Get Better” was voted Video of the Year for the 2009 Voters Choice Awards on QNation FM and the song is featured on United For The Ride, Volume 1 CD.

David Byrne of The Windy City Times cheers, “Manjovi has a knack for penning pop pleasures, coming across as a hybrid of Elton John, Dave Matthews and Kenny Loggins.” Joe Siegel from Edge publications states that Manjovi’s music is “designed to soothe the spirit and make you think more closely about the world we live in. Manjovi has scored a major success on both counts.”

Manjovi’s formal education includes Music Composition at The Julliard School and Music Performance at N.Y.U.

As a musician, Dan Manjovi performs annually at New York’s Piano in the Park Concert Series in Bryant Park and at leading venues such as the Bitter End, the Canal Room and the Sidewalk Café. In 2006 his band appeared at the Tribeca Film Festival/ASCAP Music Lounge with John Mayer, Nellie McKay and Elvis Costello.


From Top Dollar PR:-

Sweeping Orchestral Soundtrack Immerses Players in the Next Installment of the Best-Selling
Submarine Computer Game Series

BAFTA award-winning composer Jason Graves has
created a rousing thematic score for the next iteration of the highly acclaimed
submarine simulation series, Silent Hunter® 5: Battle of the Atlantic. A classically
trained composer renowned for his adventurous symphonic music in video games, Graves
elevates the dramatic story of a World War II German submarine captain with an emotionally
charged orchestral score, expertly crafting graceful chord progressions and Wagnerian
majestic chorus. Developed by Ubisoft Romania, Silent Hunter 5: Battle of the Atlantic
will be released exclusively for the PC in March 2010. The original soundtrack will
be available with the Collector's Edition of the game and for digital download on

"Working with Jason to compose music for Silent Hunter 5: Battle of the Atlantic
was a real pleasure," said Mihai Gheorghiu, Audio Director at Ubisoft Romania.
"Continuing the franchise's tradition for high-quality orchestral scores, he delivered
an intense soundtrack that captures the essence of the gameplay and enhances the
overall experience for the player."

"Collaborating with Ubisoft Romania was a wonderful experience and it was a privilege
to be asked to score the next installment in the franchise," commented Jason Graves.
"I always try to find a unique approach to every score I compose. I thought the
German perspective of the story would permit more musical liberty than my previous
World War II scores. I drew on classical composers such as Mozart and Wagner to
instill a dramatic, operatic sensibility to the score and I utilized choir to the
same purpose, especially in the main themes."

Silent Hunter 5: Battle of the Atlantic ventures into uncharted territory and takes
players behind the periscope of a German U-boat to take on the Allied Forces in
famous battles across the vast Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. For the first
time in the history of the series, players can live the life of a submarine captain
from a first-person view and lead and interact with crew in the dynamic campaign.
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. Recent projects include DEAD SPACE: EXTRACTION and
COMMAND & CONQUER 4: TIBERIAN TWILIGHT. For more information visit

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Monday, February 15, 2010


Edge of Darkness
Music by Howard Shore
Silva Screen Records SILCD1314
16 Tracks 41:51 mins

Recently released is Martin Campbell's reimaging of his own 1985 BAFTA Award-winning BBC series Edge of Darkness. The Hollywood version sees Mel Gibson return to the screen after a long absence in this tale of a father seeking to find the truth behind his daughter's killing.
The music is provided by Howard Shore and is his fifth score to be released on the Silva Screen label.
Of course David Cronenberg fans may disagree, but Shore is rather like the successful novelist struggling to come up with a second book after the huge success of his Lord of the Rings Trilogy scores. I doubt he will ever match what he did for those movies, though he has come close at times, particularly with his score for the videogame Soul of the Ultimate Nation. In the meantime, he remains a more than capable composer for more grounded fare like this dark thriller, and he hasn't forgotten what he learnt on LOTR, as hints of that style pervade most things he has done since.
The album commences with Shore's "Main Titles" music which, after a low-key opening, suddenly erupts in violence. "Mourning" follows on in bittersweet reflection, with harp arpeggios leading the way. "Beach" continues to pour on the emotion, before turning dark and ominous at its conclusion. "Knife" opens powerfully, before continuing disturbingly toward a savage ending.
Plenty of dark and mysterious rumblings follow, always tinged with sadness as Gibson struggles to get to the heart of the conspiracy, but tracks like "Pursuit" and "Killing," find release in some savage, dissonant and at times exciting action scoring, the brassy opening of the latter being particularly affecting.
Little relief can be found from the darkness, but "Hit & Run" offers a brief poignant piano solo, before more savagery erupts; and the piano returns for the opening of "Emma," for "Reunited," and leading us into the concluding "You're My Girl," where strings eventually join to take us to a redemptive close.
Edge of Darkness can be obtained both on CD and as a digital download from

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Dark Void
Music by Bear McCreary
Sumthing Else SE-2077-2 (US)
27 Tracks 79:43 mins

I must admit that it took me a while to warm to Bear McCreary's music for the reimagined Battlestar Galactica, as it did the show, but as the show progressed over its four seasons, both it and Bear's music grew in stature and also in my affections, so that by its conclusion, I was quite hooked on both.
Bear's often exotic and ethnic styled music certainly stood out from the largely electronic accompaniments to most contemporary TV shows and he soon became very much in demand, both for episodic TV and for the occasional movie outing as well. He continues to be busy in TV providing often subtle accompaniment for the Battlestar prequel Caprica, and ripping it up for the action-packed Human Target (which I'm really looking forward to seeing and hearing on UK terrestrial TV someone pick it up, please!).
One medium he hadn't tackled thus far was videogames, although he has been a gamer from a young age, citing the 8-bit sounds of Capcom's Mega Man II as a surprising influence. Now Capcom has come calling with its new sci-fi action adventure game, Dark Void.
McCreary knew what he wanted to hear from the music: "a swashbuckling orchestral score in keeping with the grand story of the game." He wanted the music "to constantly adapt, as if it were being written specifically for the gamer, with virtually no repetition whatsoever."
To realise this, McCreary recorded his score at the renowned Warner Bros. Eastwood Scoring Stage, bringing together many of the talented musicians who have worked on his previous scores, supplemented by a large orchestra, and also featuring Elmer Bernstein and Maurice Jarre's favourite, Ondes Martenot performer, and composer in her own right, Cynthia Millar.
So how would I describe the music to Dark Void? Put it this way, if you are a fan of Bear's music for Battlestar Galactica, you are going to love this, because, to my ear, it's a first cousin at the very least. Right from the very first track, the heroic "Theme from Dark Void," you'll be hooked, as his familiar battery of percussion propels many a rhythmic and exciting action cue. It's powerful, high adrenalin stuff and hugely enjoyable. In between, there are gentler moments, with the versatile main theme cropping up throughout, doubling as a bittersweet love theme and often appearing wistfully on flute or strings. Throughout, McCreary interweaves his familiar ethnic exotica, and the musicianship of his crew is up to its usual high standards, with some great solos, and the sound of the Ondes Martenot providing that serene outer-space quality, exhbited in scores like Heavy Metal, and bringing forth in me a real feeling of nostalgia. Really, every track has something to offer and the 79 minutes+ pass like half that time.
It all adds up to one of the best game soundtracks you're ever likely to hear. In fact, it's hard to believe, even in these early days of 2010, that it won't feature in my top ten albums of the year.
What's more, I'm sure, as he did with the Battlestar scores, McCreary could fashion a great concert out of this music.
The accompanying album notes from the composer (from which the above extract is taken) are supplemented by plenty of colour stills from the recording sessions.
Oh, and by the way, McCreary also provided the 8-bit music for the prequel game Dark Void Zero (the main theme of which is included here as a bonus track), something that I'm sure pleased him no end.
Surely it is only a matter of time before the big budget movies come calling for Bear McCreary. His distinctive sound would certainly come as a breath of fresh air amongst the smog of formulaic music that inhabits many of today's blockbusters. Anyone so in tune and genuinely caring with their fans as he is (check out his "Battlestar Blog" at - you won't be disappointed) deserves every success.
Order your copy of the Dark Void album on CD from your regular retail outlet, or download from

Friday, February 12, 2010


It's taken over three years, but finally the enjoyable little album from that enjoyable little film Little Miss Sunshine has been given a UK release. On 22nd February, Silva Screen will release it (Catalogue No. SILCD1312) on CD, or as a digital download from their site at
I had the pleasure of reviewing the Little Miss Sunshine album back in 2006, when I was sent a copy by composer Mychael Danna's publicists, Costa Communications., and you can read that review at
In addition to Danna's score, there are also numbers by indie-rock band DeVotchka, and Rick James' Superfreak is also featured.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


The Film Music of Bernard Herrmann
Rumon Gamba & the BBC Philharmonic
Chandos Movies CHAN 10577
11 Tracks 77:31 mins

The latest in the excellent Chandos Movies series takes us to Hollywood and music from a couple of early scores by the late, great Bernard Herrmann, who was undeniably one of the greatest film composers of his and any other time.
Both 1945's Hangover Square and 1941's Citizen Kane have been well represented on LP and CD and chances are that Herrmann fans will certainly have most or all of the music from the latter included on this disc. The former however has mostly been represented by performances of the "Concerto Macabre" which sprang from the film, although Tsunami did release some 33 minutes of the original soundtrack some years back.
Of course the '40s saw the concerto derived from a film attain huge popularity, with the likes of The Warsaw Concerto, but Herrmann's concerto is very different from its more melodic counterparts, being a much darker affair. This of course it needed to be, both for the film's subject matter, and for the fact that the Concerto is itself performed on screen by the film's star Laird Cregar, as a by now completely insane concert pianist, with the concert hall burning down around him. The Concerto is derived from themes and motifs introduced in the score, a skill sadly all but lost these days, where so many contemporary composers probably lack the training to construct something like this.
Tracks 1-3 feature 17 minutes of the film's underscore, which perhaps isn't remembered as one of Herrmann's classics (but doesn't fall far short), though echoes of the composer's "Scene d'Amour" from Vertigo can be heard in his love music, which at times reaches similar dizzying proportions. The Concerto itself is given a separate track of its own (track 4) and features soloist Martin Roscoe.
There's not a lot really left to say about Citizen Kane, as it is of course one of the greatest films of all time (technically at least) and similar praise can be heaped upon what was Herrmann's first Hollywood film. This generous 49-minute suite takes up the final six tracks on the album and includes all the principal elements of the score, including of course "Salammbo's Aria," written to accompany the scene where Kane and his second wife, Susan Alexander, are both embarrassed and humiliated by her inadequacy when trying to perform said Aria. I've yet to find a re-recording that features the performance as originally intended, and of course Oria Boylan does a more than capable job here.
It only remains for me to say that, if you haven't already got one of the many recordings of Bernard Herrmann's Oscar-nominated score for Citizen Kane, this is well worth adding to your collection (with the bonus of the Hangover Square music). One thing is for sure, you're always promised most excellent performances by conductor Gamba and the BBC Philharmonic.
The accompanying booklet, in three languages, features Gunther Kogebehn's notes on the films, their music and composer, as well as bios of conductor Gamba, the Orchestra and featured soloists, and includes stills and artwork, plus behind the scenes shots.
Go to to order your copy on CD or as an MP3 download


From Costa Communications:-



Reunites with Director Michael Lembeck to Score Tooth Fairy

(Hollywood, CA) Award-winning composer GEORGE S. CLINTON has 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. For his score to TOOTH FAIRY, Clinton has created magical arrangements, full of action, emotion, fun, fantasy and a touch of fairy dust. TOOTH FAIRY is currently in theatres.

He recently scored HOMETOWN GLORY, a documentary about teen firefighters in the 1970s. Last year, Clinton scored Mike Judge’s (Office Space/King of the Hill) comedy EXTRACT, starring Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis and Ben Affleck, incorporating sounds from extract bottles into the score. Clinton has also 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.

The film TOOTH FAIRY centers on Derek Thompson (Johnson), a minor-league hockey player whose nickname is the Tooth Fairy because of his ability to knock out opposing players' teeth. When he discourages a youngster's hope, Derek is ordered to one week's hard labor as a real tooth fairy, complete with wings, magic wand and frilly tutu. Along the way, he rediscovers his forgotten dreams.

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, he has volunteered his time and experience to filmmakers and composers at the Sundance Institute in Park City, Utah.




BUYSOUNDTRAX Records will be releasing RETURN TO EDEN, featuring music composed and conducted by Brian May (MAD MAX, THE ROAD WARRIOR, FREDDY’S DEAD: THE FINAL NIGHTMARE) for the popular soap opera produced for Australian television during the mid-1980s, produced by Hal McElroy, directed by Kevin Dobson and Rod Hardy, written by Michael Laurence, starring Rebecca Gilling, James Smillie, Peta Toppano, James Reyne and Bill Kerr.
RETURN TO EDEN tells the story of Stephanie Harper, a young heiress who appears to have it all - beauty, riches and true love with her new husband, Greg. Or so she thinks. Behind her back, her best friend, Jilly is having an affair with Greg. While they are on their honeymoon, Greg pushes Stephanie into a river and watches as she is attacked by a crocodile and presumably killed. She miraculously survives and is saved by a stranger, the reclusive Dave Welles. Dave nurses her back to health but her face and body are too horribly scarred from the crocodile attack. Feeling sympathy for her, Dave gives her his cache of jewels taken from the local mines, so that Stephanie can use them to try and move on with her life. Stephanie sells the jewels and uses them to get to an island clinic where she can receive treatment for her face and body. In the clinic, she meets Dan Marshall, a brilliant plastic surgeon who uses his skills to transform her into a beautiful woman. Stephanie returns to Sydney and changes her name, becoming a supermodel and successful fashionista, which allows her to begin planning her revenge against Greg and Jilly.
RETURN TO EDEN began as a three part mini-series shown on Australia's Network Ten in 1983 and was meant to compete with other successful primetime soap operas of the day imported from America such as DYNASTY and DALLAS and was equally unapologetic in its extremes to entertain the audience. The mini-series was so successful on Australian television that a regular weekly series was developed and began airing in 1986. The events of the regular series took place seven years later, with Stephanie now married to Dan and living in the family home with her children. This album contains music composed and conducted by Brian May for both series.
Born in Adelaide in 1934, Brian May (no relation to Brian Harold May of Queen) was one of the first composers to achieve international acclaim as an Australian composer and was best known as the composer of MAD MAX and THE ROAD WARRIOR (MAD MAX II). May received his musical training as a pianist, violinist and conductor at the Adelaide Elder Conservatorium. He joined the Australia Broadcasting Company in 1957, where he formed the ABC Adelaide Big Band, an ensemble that performed all manner of light music for broadcast, and May became a leading figure in Australian light music as a result. He moved to Melbourne in 1970 to arrange and conduct the ABC’s Melbourne Show band. Moving into film music in a period of time when Australia’s film industry was just beginning to take its place among international film circles, May composed such notable film scores as RACE FOR THE YANKEE ZEPHYR, ROAD GAMES, CLOAK AND DAGGER, DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR, MISSING IN ACTION 2, SKY PIRATES, STEEL DAWN, DR. GIGGLES, FREDDY’S DEAD: THE FINAL NIGHT MARE and BLINDSIDE. He won the Australian Film Institute Award for best original score with MAD MAX; many other awards followed, including the Golden Award from the Australian Performing Rights Association. He continued to score films until 1993, composing music for more than 30 films and many hours of television, most of which he orchestrated himself. Sadly, the composer passed away in 1997 at the age of 63.
BUYSOUNDTRAX Records presents RETURN TO EDEN, featuring music composed and conducted by Brian May, performed by the Melbourne Studio Symphony Orchestra.
RETURN TO EDEN (suggested retail price $15.95) from BUYSOUNDTRAX Records will begin shipping on Feb 22, 2010 and can be ordered at


1. Main Titles / Return To Eden
2. The Return To Eden
3. Fire & Fight
4. Problem for Dan and Steff
5. Lord Of All
6. Big Business
7. Jill’s Crack-Up
8. Tara’s Love Theme
9. Harper’s Mansion
10. A Man Not A Boy
11. Confrontation
12. Croc Attack
13. Steff Meets Jake
14. Corporate Espionage
15. Greg Returns
16. Scheming Jilly
17. Angelo’s Theme
18. Night Interludes
19. Closing Titles

BUYSOUNDTRAX Records presents the original soundtrack to the 2009 thriller GRACE, featuring music composed and orchestrated by Austin Wintory for the 2009 horror film written and directed by Paul Solet and starring Jordan Ladd, Stephen Park, Gabrielle Rose and Serge Houde.
GRACE tells the story of Madeline Matheson, a young mother who loses her unborn child during her eighth month of pregnancy. Madeline insists on carrying the baby to full term and, following the delivery, the child miraculously returns to life with an appetite for human blood. With nowhere to turn, Madeline must make a mother's ultimate decision: What will she sacrifice to keep her child alive?
GRACE originally began life as a short film in 2006 and was very well received critically, encouraging the director to turn it into a feature. To prepare for GRACE, composer Austin Wintory wrote a twenty minute “pre-score” for director Paul Solet, with the intention of having music available to play back for the cast and crew as the film was being made. When it came time to think about music for the film, the composer began to assemble a palette of sampled recordings that included horse flies, baby toys, actual babies, vocalizations performed by actress Jordan Ladd and other natural sounds recorded on the shooting location of the film. The next step would be to combine his palette with more traditional stringed instruments and a massive clarinet ensemble, along with the amazing vocal talents of Lisbeth Scott. The final result is a unique film score that will continue to reward listeners with repeated listens.
Austin Wintory began studying piano in Denver, Colorado at age 10 and began composing almost immediately. By the time he graduated from high school, Austin had conducted his own works in nearly a dozen different orchestra concerts, written music for a start-up computer game, performed a commissioned piece for a Youth Summit convention's opening ceremony and composed and conducted an hour-long orchestral score for a former teacher’s wedding ceremony and reception. He was also a commissioned composer for a Colorado Symphony chamber ensemble, the “Up Close and Musical.”
His first film score, composed for the silent short, NUTS&BOLTS, directed by Newell Todd, won the Golden Silent Series score competition and received a double performance live at NYC's Lincoln Center, synched to the film. Austin received separate awards for two brass quintet works, a woodwind quintet and string quartet, as well as an orchestral work. He later received the Alan Menken Award, a distinction given annually by the legendary Disney composer.
Austin has remained busy composing a slew of scores for nearly ninety productions, ranging from short and feature films, to computer games, TV shows and commercials, corporate videos, podcasts, video art installations and even books on tape.
He has also had success as a concert composer. His concert works have been performed through various Manhattan venues, and across the pond in Europe. His commissions include works for the Black Sea Philharmonic in Constanta, Romania, two orchestral works for the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra in Port Charlotte, Florida, a chamber work for the Colorado Music Teacher's Association and an orchestra piece for the Colorado Youth Symphony and, for the Thorton Symphony Orchestra at the University of Southern California, "Space, Time and Plexiglass", in honor of the works of filmmaker Joss Whedon.
BUYSOUNDTRAX Records presents GRACE, featuring music composed and orchestrated by Austin Wintory. GRACE contains the original score for the film, followed by selections from the “pre-score”.
GRACE is presented as a limited edition of 1000 units.
GRACE (suggested retail price $15.95) from BUYSOUNDTRAX Records will begin shipping on Feb 22, 2010 and can be ordered at


1. Conception (2:09)
2. The Hospital (2:35)
3. Accident (1:27)
4. The Birth (4:22)
5. Pachelbaby (2:18)
6. Bath Time (1:32)
7. Breast Feeding (2:26)
8. Milk Substitute (1:59)
9. Alone (2:38)
10. Dr. Sohn (1:10)
11. Desperation (3:07)
12. Vivian (5:50)
13. Tea (1:39)
14. Love Undying (4:24)
15. End Titles (4:53)
16. Naturebirth (0:44)
17. Behind a Glass Wall (1:47)
18. The Birth: Part 1 (2:11)
19. The Birth, Part 2 (1:16)
20. The Birth, Part 3 (1:47)
21. Madeline Cries (1:27)
22. Madeline Nurses (2:07)
23. Madeline Alone (1:47)
24. Rock Bottom (1:37)
25. Sohn’s Fate (1:08)
26. Bleeding (1:21)
27. Pachelbaby (1:44)
28. Family (1:10)
Total Time 63:46

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


Two items from Costa Communications:-



The French composer writes music for two of the Oscar nominated Animation films: Coraline and The Secret of Kells

Los Angeles, CA – Award-winning French composer BRUNO COULAIS’ imaginative score to director Henry Selick’s CORALINE continues to garner critical acclaim. On Saturday he won for best score, beating Oscar nominated and Golden Globe winning score Up. Coulais’ score takes the audience on a whimsical, beautiful yet eerie journey through CORALINE, a bizarre and darkly fantastic stop-motion film. For CORALINE, Coulais combines unusual rhythmic patterns, elegant string arrangements, piano, a children’s choir singing random French words and eclectic sounds. The composer has the disctinction of scoring two Oscar nominated Animated films this year, "Coraline" and "The Secret of Kells." The mostly hand-drawn Irish indie, "The Secret of Kells" is a fable about a boy's search for rare berries needed to make the ink to complete the legendary Book of Kells.

European maestro Bruno Coulais has received three César Awards (France’s equivalent of the Oscar®), including for LES CHORISTES, which earned Coulais an Academy Award® nomination. Coulais has scored many television series and received an Emmy® nomination for his work on the mini-series SOMETIMES IN APRIL.

Coulais began his musical education on the violin and piano, aiming to become a composer of contemporary classical music; eventually Coulais gravitated towards film music. The largest turning point in Coulais career came when he worked with directors Claude Nuridsany and Marie Pérennou on the documentary MICROCOSMOS; this film was very successful and made Coulais one of the most sought after composers in French film music.

Coulais' musical style varies between different projects but there are some constant visible factors, including his taste for opera and for human voice (in particular that of children). Bruno Coulais’ recent projects include the French comedy LUCKY LUKE, Disney Nature’s OCEANS and the French drama VILLA AMALIA.

This one is a revised version of my posting of 4th February:-






(Hollywood, CA) Award-winning composer JOHN DEBNEY reunites with director Garry Marshall for the sixth time to score the romantic-comedy VALENTINE’S DAY, starring Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Biel, Patrick Dempsey, Taylor Swift, Jamie Foxx, Taylor Lautner, Anne Hathaway, George Lopez and many more. “Valentine’s Day” opens in theaters on Feb. 12. Along with writing an original score for the film, Debney also re-unites with lyricist Glen Ballard to create the song “Every Time You Smile” performed by Carina Round. Currently Debney is receiving critical acclaim for his score to the dramatic film “The Stoning of Soraya M.” and is scoring the highly anticipated Marvel comic book sequel “Iron Man 2.” In June, Debney will travel to the Vatican for a performance of “The Passion Oratorio” in St. Peter’s Square.

Debney’s musical ability knows no boundaries, and his music sets the tone for films in all genres, from his Academy Award® nominated score to “The Passion of the Christ” to his work on Disney’s “Hannah Montana: The Movie;” for which Debney and Glen Ballard collaborated on the song “Butterfly Fly Away” performed by Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus. (Lyrics by Ballard, conducted and arranged by Debney.) Recently Daily Variety devoted an 11 page tribute to John Debney as the “Billion-Dollar Composer,” because of his tremendous box office success (films he has scored have grossed nearly four billion-dollars.)

In addition to his Oscar® nomination, last year Debney received multiple Career Achievement Awards from the Burbank International Film Festival, the Hollywood Music in Media Awards and the Temecula Valley International Film Festival. Debney has received several Emmys®, a Dove® award for “The Passion of the Christ” and a CUE® award for the “The Passion of the Christ” and “The Princess Diaries.” Debney received a BAFTA® nomination for his score to the videogame “Lair” and was the youngest recipient of the ASCAP Henry Mancini Award for Career Achievement, and has conducted concerts of his music with orchestras throughout the United States and Europe. Some of Debney’s film credits include “Idlewild,” a Prohibition-era musical starring the duo Outkast and featuring famed trumpeter Arturo Sandoval; the animated films “Barnyard” and “Chicken Little;” the comic-book inspired “Sin City” and the comedies “Elf” and “Liar, Liar.”

The all star romantic-comedy “Valentine’s Day” centers around intertwining couples and singles in Los Angeles that break-up and make-up based on the pressures and expectations of Valentine's Day.