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

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


From Costa Comminications:-




LOS ANGELES (June 28, 2010) – In composer Christopher Lennertz’s house, “the claws are the law” between his cat, Loca and Dalmatian Miles Davis. That often contentious relationship between his furry charges inspired his scores to the upcoming Warner Bros. double bill of CATS & DOGS: THE REVENGE OF KITTY GALORE and COYOTE FALLS, a brand new Looney Tunes 3-D short. A soundtrack featuring “Concerto for Claws and Orchestra” by Lennertz will be released on July 27 through WaterTower Music on CD and digital download at

“Loca rules the house,” said Lennertz. “Miles just wants to play with her and she doesn’t want to be bothered.” Despite Loca’s penchant for claws first and questions never, she has yet to make an attempt at world domination. In the movie, Kitty Galore is a former agent for a cat spy organization who has gone rogue. She hatched a plan to not only bring her canine enemies to heel, but also take down her former kitty comrades and make the world her scratching post. Lennertz – who created the score for the two James Bond video games – felt the music should be in the James Bond vein.

“For KITTY GALORE I mixed up a taste of early John Barry (“James Bond Theme”) with a touch of Lalo Schifrin (“Mission: Impossible” theme) and a touch of Henry Mancini (“Peter Gunn Theme”),” explains Lennertz. “Taking the best elements of the genre and create a comedic, adventurous score serves the film well. In fact, the cats have their own theme with a lounge groove and five alto flutes that is a pretty awesome tip of the hat to Mancini.”

Warner Bros. signed Lennertz on to score a series of three 3-D Looney Tunes shorts to reintroduce the brand to a new generation of audiences. The first short, COYOTE FALLS stars Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner – another famed rivalry – will play ahead of the movie CATS & DOGS: THE REVENGE OF KITTY GALORE.

“My pets influence me a lot,” said Lennertz. “I find a lot of humor in my pets’ facial expressions and habits that I think pet owners will recognize. So it was easy for me to underscore the emotion in the films and create a sense of urgency when they were in trouble.”

Christopher Lennertz composes for film, TV and videogames. Credits include SUPERNATURAL, MARMADUKE, ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS, and TORTILLA HEAVEN.

Monday, June 28, 2010


From Top Dollar PR:-

Award-winning composer Olivier Deriviere launches new music
production company with offices in San Francisco, Boston and Paris


San Francisco, CA, June 28th, 2010 - AMEO Productions, founded by brother and sister
team award-winning composer Olivier Deriviere (Alone In The Dark, Obscure: The Aftermath),
whose innovative soundtracks have been recognized by Billboard, G4TV and The New
York Times, and project manager Marion Deriviere, is a new music composition and
production company specializing in authentic original scores for video games. To
ensure a truly immersive and enhanced gaming experience, AMEO creates dynamic,
narrative-driven music with a unique identity and emotion adapted for each project.
Headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Boston and Paris, AMEO Productions
combines the celebrated talents of classically trained multimedia composer Olivier
Deriviere working with renowned recording studios, world-class engineers and performers,
as well as employing the latest software and custom library sounds.

"AMEO was created to enhance the in-game music experience and quality," says Marion
Deriviere, Co-Founder and President of AMEO Productions. "We are dedicated to producing
unique musical identities for games using the best tools, performers, recording
and mixing studios. Working closely with game development teams to satisfy their
requirements and enhance their creativity, we offer world-class quality audio that
fits various budgets and meets demanding deadlines."

AMEO Artistic Director / Composer Olivier Deriviere has scored multiple animation,
film and video game soundtracks including the critically acclaimed interactive scores
for Alone In The Dark (Eden Games) and the Obscure video game series (Hydravision
Entertainment). An alumnus of Berklee College of Music (Jazz & Film Scoring) and
the National Conservatory in Nice (Composition & Orchestration), Olivier Deriviere
has recorded with the GRAMMY® award-winning choir The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices,
Boston Symphony Orchestra Quartet and Children Choir of the National Opera of Paris.
His scores have also been performed by the Cannes Symphony Orchestra, Monte Carlo
String Quartet, and Utrecht Metropolitan Orchestra and Choir ("Games In Concert").

AMEO President Marion Deriviere is an experienced technical engineer and project
manager who previously held positions at Texas Instruments as Application Engineer
and Customer Program Manager. Her musical background includes 8 years conservatory
training for classical piano. Marion Deriviere manages business affairs, project
management and client relationships for AMEO Productions.

For more information on AMEO Productions please visit

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

Friday, June 25, 2010


From Costa Communications:-


Premieres June 30th

World’s first live interactive video site dedicated to film music

Composer John Debney discusses Iron Man 2 and Predators

LOS ANGELES (June 24, 2010) –Film composers are increasingly receiving the spotlight. Now fans of film music have the opportunity to interact live with leading composers. Film Music Live, the first interactive video site dedicated to the sounds of film, premieres with John Debney on June 30th at 5:30 pm PDT/8:30 pm EDT at The award winning composer (The Passion of the Christ, Valentine’s Day), from his studio, will answer live questions from fans and discuss his recent projects including Iron Man 2 and Predators -- opening in theaters on July 9th. The video broadcast will stream on the Film Music Live channel from the website Justin.TV.

Despite his busy schedule, Debney keeps his fans connected via Twitter (, posting information, pictures and videos from scoring sessions. His dedication to fans made Debney the natural choice to premiere Film Music Live.

Debney’s musical ability knows no boundaries, and his music sets the tone for films in all genres, from his Academy Award® nominated score for “The Passion of the Christ” to his work on Disney’s “Hannah Montana: The Movie;” which Debney and Glen Ballard collaborated on the song “Butterfly Fly Away” performed by Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus. 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 five billion-dollars.) In 2005, Debney became the youngest recipient of ASCAP's highest honor, The Henry Mancini Award.

Film Music Live is a new channel on Justin.TV that allows viewers an opportunity to communicate live to leading film composers. Bi-weekly, FML will present composers live and anyone is welcome to join in the chat. Justin.TV was created for users to broadcast and watch live videos. The live video streams and ability to chat are open to anyone who has access to the Internet and participation does not require an account with the site.

Film Music Live is produced by Costa Communications, an award winning full service marketing, public relations and artist management firm. Clients include John Debney, John Ottman (The Usual Suspects, Valkyrie), Bruno Coulais (Coraline, Winged Migration), Aaron Zigman (The Notebook, Sex and the City 2), Alan Menken (Little Mermaid, Enchanted), Craig Armstrong (Moulin Rouge), Christopher Lennertz (Cats & Dogs 2, Alvin & The Chipmunks) and Christopher Young (Grudge, Spider Man 3), Austin Wintory (Captain Abu Read), Atticus Ross (Book of Eli) and more. Other Costa Communications productions include the documentary Hometown Glory. For more information visit .

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Sorry for the lack of activity on the blog these past few days, only a) I was short of CDs to review yet again, and b) much of my time has been taken up with the three Ws: Work, Wimbledon and the World Cup. This situation is unlikely to change for the next week or two, but I will endeavour to cover anything I receive in the meantime, albeit maybe not in such detail as usual, starting with:-

Dead Like Me
Music by Stewart Copeland
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1132 (US)
23 Tracks 71:09 mins

When the quirky TV series Pushing Daisies was cancelled, it left a lot of disappointed and disillusioned fans out there. I'm afraid it didn't quite catch on with me, so it didn't shake my universe. Prior to this, the show's producer, Bryan Fuller had created the equally short-lived, and equally quirky, Dead Like Me. I'm not at all familiar with this one as, to the best of my knowledge, it never aired on UK terrestrial TV, but it was another show with a fantastical premise, following a team of recently diseased mortals, detailed to help souls make the transition to the afterlife.
The music for the show was provided by Stewart Copeland, who had clocked up many a TV and film score by this time, following his pop career, principally as drummer for The Police. I'm not overly familiar with his work, but was expecting his score to be something along the lines of The Equalizer (electronic, percussive). Well, in fact, this is a very different animal - still percussive, of course, but a fun, bubbly and quirky little effort, utilising a small band of musicians - really just Charlie Bisharat on violins, Judd Miller on horns and woodwinds, and Copeland on "everything else."
I haven't unfortunately the time to go into a track to track analysis, but you can find this in the accompanying booklet anyway, which is the usual first class affair, with Randall D. Larson's informative notes, and plenty of full-colour character portraits.
The title theme of the show was co-composed with Emilio Kauderer, currently receiving acclaim for his Secret in their Eyes film score, so the timing of this release could not have been better. It's a breezy little Latin-infused piece, which immediately lifts the spirits before each show (not a bad idea with each episode dealing with death, after all). This theme of course opens the disc and then follow selected suites from both seasons of the show. For fans among you, the episodes covered are The Pilot, Reaping Havoc, A Cook, Rest in Peace, The Ledger, Ghost Story, The Escape Artist, Be Still My Heart, Always and Haunted.
The tracks largely flow easily into one another, keeping mainly a positive, progressive and, at times, quite whimsical vibe, utilising all manner of percussion to move them along, together with the aforementioned instruments, human voice, and even sampled bagpipes (Reaping Havoic Suite). There are of course suitable moments of poignancy and tenderness, but overall this is ultimately a pretty uplifting listening experience.
Tacked on at the end of the score is Pink Martini's dream-like rendering of the old Doris Day standard "Que Sera Sera," taken from the conclusion of the pilot episode. It's not bad, but give me Doris' version any day!
Limited to just 1000 units, you'd best get along to if you want a copy. There you can first listen to samples, if you wish.

Friday, June 18, 2010


From CineMedia Promotions:-


Presents The International Premiere of

Bear McCreary


In The Auditorium of Tenerife

The Fourth Edition of the Tenerife International Film Music Festival, FIMUCITÉ, will present the world premiere of Bear McCreary’s The Battlestar Galactica Symphony on Friday, July 9, 2010. Conducted by renowned composer Bear McCreary, The Battlestar Galactica Symphony will be performed by the Battlestar Galactica Orchestra together with the Symphonic Orchestra of Tenerife and the Tenerife Film Choir in the Tenerife Auditorium. The program will include excerpts from the entire four season run of the series.

At the age of 24, Bear McCreary was launched into pop culture with his score to the SyFy channel hit, Battlestar Galactica, which features ‘the most innovative music on TV today’ (Variety). Four seasons and seventy-five episodes later, Battlestar Galactica is universally revered, having won the prestigious Peabody Award and special recognition from the United Nations.

His Battlestar Galactica score has been described as "sharp and sensitive" (The Wall Street Journal), "a key element in establishing the show's dark, complex tone," (The Hollywood Reporter) and "rich, raw, oddly stirring... kick-ass and powerful as hell" (E! Online). It "fits the action so perfectly, it's almost devastating: a sci-fi score like no other," (NPR). Seasons One, Two, Three and Four of his best-selling Battlestar Galactica soundtrack albums have rocketed up the Top Music Sales Charts, reaching the #1 sales spot in both television and movie soundtrack lists. The most recent album, Season 4, cracked into's Top 5 Music Sales and charted in the Billboard Top 150.

Under the direction of composer and conductor Bear McCreary, The Battlestar Galactica Orchestra features Raya Yarbrough (vocals), Brendan McCreary (vocals and guitars), Steve Bartek (guitars), Paul Cartwright (electric violin), Chris Bleth (ethnic woodwinds), M.B. Gordy (percussion). This unique combination of the symphonic, ethnic, rock and percussive realms will make this concert the most complete live performance of McCreary’s visionary Battlestar Galactica score ever.

FIMUCITÉ 4 occurs from July 5-10 in the Canary Islands town of Tenerife, and is sponsored by the Cabildo Insular de Tenerife, Canary Islands Government and Santa Cruz de Tenerife and La Laguna City Councils.

FIMUCITÉ 4 presents the International Premiere of Bear McCreary The Battlestar Galactica Symphony on July 9, 2010, at 9PM, at the Auditorium of Tenerife.

For information about FIMUCITÉ 4 and instructions how to purchase tickets visit

For information about Bear McCreary visit

Thursday, June 17, 2010


The Last Airbender
Music by James Newton Howard
Lakeshore Records (cat no unavailable at time of writing)
12 Tracks 66:54 mins

The Last Airbender is based on an apparently popular TV animation and will be released in cinemas on July 2nd. The film is the latest collaboration between composer James Newton Howard and writer/director M. Night Shyamalan. I have to confess that most of their previous work together has left me cold, though Howard's music has oft been critically acclaimed by my fellow journalists. I therefore approached this new work (to be released by Lakeshore Records, both on CD and digitally, on June 29th) with some trepidation. And whilst some of those writers may well prefer his more intimate works for Shyamalan, this one is writ much larger, reflecting the fantastical and spectacular action of the film, and I found myself liking it a good deal more.
The album gets under way with the 11-minute "Airbender Suite" which, after a quiet start, gradually builds to an inspirational crescendo, before proceeding purposefully, with almost spiritual string writing and heroic brass, then taking a more lyrical turn, only to be overwhelmed by more menacing elements, including a relentless dark march, for orchestra, choir and Asian-styled percussive elements, before concluding as lightly as it had begun.
Though not as lengthy as the opening cue, most of those that follow are still quite substantial, allowing the music to breathe and develop within each selection. "Earthbenders" is next up, which opens weightily, before developing into some powerful action writing, heavy on percussion, again including Asian-styled elements, then ending quietly with the same airy elements displayed in the opening cue. The huge opening of "The Avatar Has Returned" quickly gives way to more subdued, darker material, which in turn gives way to an all too brief, inspiring march for orchestra and choir, before ending quietly.
Highlights that follow include the propulsive opening of "Journey to the Northern Water Tribe;" the noble brass and strings writing of ""Hall of Avatars;" the exciting action of "The Blue Spirit," with its strident intro; the big percussive opening and close of "The Spirit World;" and the impressive call to arms opening "We Could Be Friends," and its subsequent action; more of which can be found in "We Are Now The Gods," which reaches quite inspirational heights, before subsiding.
The final track, "Flow Like Water," finds strings soaring to even more inspirational heights, before giving way to a final burst of orchestral, percussive and choral might.
OK, so maybe there's no one theme or track here that can be termed a classic, but there are certainly some entertaining moments to be found in this, the biggest and, for me, most satisfying Howard/Shyamalan collaboration to date.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Theater of Blood
Music by Michael J. Lewis
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1136 (US)
15 Tracks 53:14 mins

Previously only available as a composer promo, La-La Land Records have given a welcome commercial release (albeit limited to 1200 units) to Michael J. Lewis' score for Douglas Hickox's 1973 black comedy Theater of Blood, in which Vincent Price portrays a Shakespearean actor who, following bad reviews, sets about disposing of his critics in inventive ways that mirror those from the bard's repertoire. Price obviously had a great time in the role and is aided by his film daughter, played by Diana Rigg; whilst the critics feature a bevy of well-known British actors of the time.
Michael J. Lewis was at the height of his powers when he composed the music for Theatre of Blood. If you are fortunate to have a copy of his wonderful collection The Film Music of Michael J. Lewis, you'll know what a wonderful melodist he is and, like me, regret that he faded from the film scoring scene far too early. He did subsequently release a series of his scores on individual promo discs and you may well have a copy of Theater of Blood, but it's certainly worth investing in this commercial release, if only for the splendid booklet that always accompanies a La-La Land release. Here, Randall D. Larson guides us through the film and its music, including the invaluable cue-by-cue guide, accompanied by plenty of full colour stills from the film.
For such a dark horror comedy, Theatre of Blood sports a truly beautiful main theme, which opens the score (and this album) in fine style, and I guarantee that it won't take long for it to implant itself firmly in your memory. Even before I played this disc, I found myself whistling it - and I hadn't heard it for an age. The theme subsquently receives varying reprises in tracks 5 and 9.
By complete contrast, "Ides of March," accompanying the first murder, is the first of Lewis' cues to equal the inventiveness of the various critics' demises, starting quite spare, with quirky little percussive elements and tinkling bells, before building in fury and then dying away at the close. Equally quirky and inventive approaches are taken to the succeeding killings, some grounded in dissonance, others more melody based, and some with a good share of both.
For fans of melody in particular, I would pick out that for Rigg's character, Edwina (featured in track 6, and receving a straightforward treatment in track 13); which is a pretty gorgeous affair; a jazzy trumpet theme (opening track 7); and a playful little Renaissance styled theme (closing track 7); whilst fans of the old swashbucklers will enjoy tracks 9 and 10.
The penultimate track is a lengthy affair and starts out quite comically, before reaching dramatic heights and featuring sad reprises of the main and Edwina's Theme before its conclusion; whilst the album closes with a handsome, somewhat pop-styled, final reprise of the main theme.
If you are not familiar with this score, I recommend you seek it out before the all too few copies are gone. With so much varied, inventive, exciting and beautiful music on display, there really is something for everyone here.
Order your copy from, where you can first listen to samples if you're not familiar with the score.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


From Costa Communications:-




LOS ANGELES (June 11, 2010) – For the first time a film composer is honored for his music’s contribution to the environment. Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Project Foundation and the Tenerife International Film Music Festival (FIMUCITÉ) will present the Fimucité Green Award to Bruno Coulais (CORALINE, BABIES) on July 9 in honor of his work on environmentally conscious films such as OCEANS, WINGED MIGRATION and MICROCOSMOS. Additionally, the Tenerife Film Orchestra & Choir will perform a concert of Coulais’ scores during the Fimucité 4 festival in Spain’s Canary Islands.

“The award recognizes works advancing sustainability and preservation of our planet through the artistic fields of music and film,” said Joao de Lima, general director of The Climate Project Spain (TCPSpain).

“It is with honor and a heavy heart that I accept this award while the horrific oil spill tragedy (in the Gulf of Mexico) unfolds,” said Coulais. “My greatest wish is that our film, my music or even this tragedy inspires the world into action to protect our waters and its creatures. I am humbled by this acknowledgement for my contribution to the betterment of our environment.”

Coulais, one of the world’s busiest film composers, had his biggest U.S. hit with the stop-motion CORALINE, and scored two of this year’s five Oscar nominees for Animated Feature – CORALINE and THE SECRET OF KELLS. In addition to OCEANS this year, he created the music for the hit documentary BABIES which is on its way to becoming one of Top 20 grossing documentaries of all time. Other credits include the Academy Award-nominated LES CHORISTES, MICROCOSMOS and WINGED MIGRATION.

International film and music enthusiasts flock every summer to the famed festival which honors the best film composers from around the world. The July 9 program of Coulais’ music will feature his scores from OCEANS, MICROCOSMOS and HIMALAYA performed by the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra & Choir conducted by Diego Navarro. That day Coulais will also lead a panel on “Music for Nature Documentaries.” Additional artists spotlighted for the festival include Carter Burwell (FARGO, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN) and Bear McCreary (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA). Fimucité 4 is July 5-10 in the Canary Islands town of Tenerife. For more information on the Festival Internacional de Música de Cine de Tenerife, visit

"I am deeply honored to have my film music performed by the Tenerife Orchestra and Choir, under the direction of my Diego Navarro,” says Coulais. Rare are festivals which bring to light the film music and which give to the composer the chance to have concerts with a symphony Orchestra. I am thus delighted to discover the beautiful island of Tenerife in such an atmosphere."

The Climate Project Spain Foundation is a nonprofit subsidiary of The Climate Project, an international environmental organization founded by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore to raise awareness among citizens, businesses and governments around the world on the crisis global warming that threatens Earth. TCPSpain has more than 200 volunteers in Spain who have been personally trained by Mr. Gore to give an updated version of the presentation of “An Inconvenient Truth.” More information is available at


Thursday, June 10, 2010


From Costa Communications:-



LOS ANGELES – Over the past decade, “The Angel” has quietly become one of the leading ladies of film and TV composing. Critically acclaimed for pioneering an eclectic sound that is both urban and electronic, “The Angel” works with big budget, documentary and indie films including the current festival favorite, GAIA. The film was awarded Best Feature at the Berkshires Film Festival last weekend and is currently screening at Dances With Films in Los Angeles.

"In a film with so little dialogue, the soundtrack and score play an essential role in seducing the audience,” said GAIA director Jason Lehel. “‘The Angel” was able to take my somewhat crude descriptions on the way I'd like to go forward and not only interpret but breathe in a new life that gave me something beautiful, delicate and powerful all at once."

“The Angel”’s musical palate varies from traditional orchestration to ambient musical elements. The engaging sound fabricator enjoys “controlling and shaping the music” of her projects, including her new assignment as composer for the newly retooled second season of the TNT television show HawthoRNe. Her signature style blends musical genres with a healthy dose of irreverence, using both traditional and contemporary instrumentation.

Known for her urban and electronic music, her work on GAIA was a sonic departure into an acoustic soundscape. Connecting themes of grief, survival and forgiveness into a dramatic and emotional tale, GAIA follows a young woman's fight to find herself and reclaim her life back from a dark past.

“From the minute I watched it (GAIA), I could feel the pull toward organic, warm and evocative instrumentation for the overall feel,” said “The Angel” of the score. “I was able to paint in flavors and textures that I created from scratch, blending acoustic and electric guitars, obscure percussion instruments, ethnic flutes - for texture, not as leads - mandolin, autoharp and strings. I used these instruments among others, in non-traditional ways - sometimes played, then sampled and distressed - and being a bit of a renegade, decided to use electric bass as a lead instrument in some of the main themes.”

“The Angel” is a Brooklyn native and Los Angeles transplant (by way of London). She has charted unparalleled ground in a male dominated industry, combining her skills as a record producer and composer. She has produced and/or mixed for artists such as The Pharcyde, The Brand New Heavies, and Spearhead. Following a stint in London, “The Angel” entered film scoring when she met the producers of "Gridlock'd" (Tim Roth/Tupac). The jazzy, contemporary flavor of her remix of Donald Byrd's "Kofi," (Blue Note) caught the attention of director, Vondie Curtis-Hall. Since then, “The Angel”’s film and television projects include the provocative hit UK feature “KiDULTHOOD,” (Noel Clarke), “Boiler Room” (Giovanni Ribisi, Ben Affleck, Vin Diesel), “The Heart of The Game,” “Standoff (Ron Livingston, Rosemarie DeWitt) and the Lifetime original movie, “Racing For Time” (Charles Dutton).

Recently “The Angel” worked closely with Glen Mazzara (The Shield, Crash), the new showrunner for TNT’s “HawthoRNe” to compliment the new direction the series will take in its second season beginning June 22nd. “I was hired to bring my cutting edge sensibilities into the mix, while taking a more sophisticated approach with the music as a whole, blending acoustic instrumentation with electronic and urban flavors, keeping it contemporary with a sprinkle of classical feel here and there,” said “The Angel”. “I was able to get a very good bead on Glen's vision for the entire season because he invited me to tone meetings, six weeks before I was officially needed in post production.”

“I tend to work completely from a place of instinct and feel rather than mathematics and musical theory. With GAIA there were long stretches with no dialogue (that I had to score) and found myself doing interesting things with the dynamics of the music, since, in essence, it was often playing the part of a leading character, revealing parts of the story as well as carrying the emotion. It was delicate, finesse work, the kind that I happily lost myself in.”

“The Angel” continues to demonstrate that she is a prolific composer and producer. She established a music production company (Devilishly Good Productions), record label (Supa Crucial Recordings) and publishing company (Supa Crucial Music), as she continues to produce records that span the electronic genre: downtempo, hip hop, drum 'n bass and dubstep. Her original music has been featured in TV shows including “24”, “True Blood” and “The Wire.”

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Black Death
Music by Christian Henson
MovieScore Media MMS-100011
21 Tracks 50:33 mins

Composer Christian Henson's third collaboration with director Christopher Smith is for the dark historical movie Black Death which, as the title suggests, is set at the time of the first outbreak of the bubonic plague in England, and stars Sean Bean.
I have to say from the outset that this is not an easy score to warm to, but then one perhaps shouldn't expect winning melodies for such a dark scenario. Henson mixes modern elements and techniques with conventional orchestra, employing a guitar quartet, and also using instruments in an unusual way, like singing through a tuba.
Running through the score is Henson's questing main theme, initially heard in the album's opening track "Pestilence," accompanied by religious chanting. "Lovers" follows, offering some delicate string playing, though there's still an underlying hint of that same questing theme. Indeed, much of what follows has a feeling of forward motion, sometimes partly propelled by choir, and religious chanting is regularly heard, as well as eerie dissonances, and moments of sheer hopelessness; sometimes with quite agonised string playing. Contrasting the darker passages are lighter moments, like towards the end of "Mercy," with the delicate string playing returning, and more expressive passages like the opening of "Banquet."
Highlights, for me, are "Brotherhood," which is quite an affecting track, building as it does to a passionate choral crescendo, whilst maintaining that questing feel, courtesy of the guitar quartet. Some quite raw percussion adds power to the quartet in "Company;" whilst "Dalywag," the lengthy "Ulrich" and "Osmund" all offer intense and impassioned conclusions.
Finally, the spiritual "Flight" and "Epilogue" offer rare moments of choral beauty.
Not an easy score to listen to, as I said, but one that rewards with repeated playing and, undoubtedly one of the more original efforts I have recently heard.
Go to for samples, a trailer for the film, and ordering details for CD or digital download.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


Will hopefully have a review for your tomorrow, but the truth is that I am again running out of things to cover. I've only got two discs on my desk and am not really expecting anything in the near future. Anyway, here's some news for now:-

From Costa Communications:-




LOS ANGELES – Academy Award® nominated composer JOHN DEBNEY sets a spine tingling score to PREDATORS, reuniting with the film’s producer Robert Rodriguez for the fifth time. Previous collaborations include SIN CITY, SPY KIDS 1 & 2 and THE ADVENTURES OF SHARK-BOY AND LAVA-GIRL. Debney’s IRON MAN 2 score is currently being heard in theaters. The composer reconnected with IRON MAN 2 director Jon Favreau for the third time. Debney went from scoring IRON MAN 2 to PREDATORS sparing no time, proving that he too is an action hero. Despite his busy schedule, Debney kept his fans connected via Twitter (, posting information, pictures and videos from his scoring sessions. PREDATORS opens in theatres on July 9; Debney’s original score will be available through La La Land Records on July 20.

Debney was honored to be part of the “Predators” franchise, “When I first learned that Robert Rodriguez and Fox studios were planning a re-boot of one of my favorite films of all time, ‘Predator,’ I was thrilled. Having worked with Robert on four films previously, I knew that if anyone could do justice to a remake such as this, it would be Robert. Learning that Nimrod Antal was going to be the director, I was doubly thrilled and knew I had to be a part of this one,” said Debney. For PREDATORS, Debney recorded many custom sounds and instruments, including Tibetan long horns to create squeals and screams. He manipulated metal scrapes and ethnic percussion to highlight the advanced yet brutal primitive quality of the Predators and their world. PREDATORS stars Adrien Brody as Royce, a mercenary who reluctantly leads a group of elite warriors who come to realize they’ve been brought together on an alien planet.

Debney received an Oscar® nomination for THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, 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. Recently, Daily Variety devoted an 11 page tribute to Debney as the “Billion-Dollar Composer,” for his tremendous box office success (films he has scored have grossed over five billion-dollars.) 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, 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. In May 2011, Debney’s PASSION ORATORIO will be performed in St. Peter’s Square. 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, the comedies ELF and LIAR LIAR, and the dramatic film THE STONING OF SORAYA M. with vocals by Sussan Deyhim.

Sunday, June 06, 2010


Music by the John Barry Seven & VA,
Silva Screen Records SILCD 1307 (UK)
39 Tracks 75:06 mins

I was a year old when this UK pop music series aired, so you will forgive me if I don't remember it, but it was very influential in that it launched a number of artists who would go on to be big sellers in the years to come, people like Adam Faith, Dusty Springfield and Vince Hill.
The show's musical director, John Barry, had yet to make the transition to film at that time, but already he was showing promising signs of things to come, coming up with dynamic numbers, often quite jazzy, with his John Barry Seven lineup, as well as showing his arranging skills, eventually coming up with the distinctive sound that accompanied Adam Faith on his biggest hits. This album presents Barry's very first collaboration, before that sound was established, with Faith on "Ah, Poor Little Baby!, as well as a number of tracks released on CD for the first time.
The instrumentals include "Bees Knees," "Catwalk," "Little John," "Beatnik," "Rockin' Sandy," "Rebel Rouser," "Compulsuion," "Mad Mab," and "Little Dipper," plus of course the show's theme tune, "Drumbeat" and, whilst there are few songs here that I can recall going on to make it big, save for "It Doesn't Matter Anymore," they are an interesting mixture, very much of their time, whether they be ballads or out and out rockers. Familiar covers of standards include "Get Happy," "C'Mon Everybody," and "I'm in the Mood for Love."
Some listeners might find the sound of screaming female fans a little intrusive, but these are live recordings after all. Pure nostalgia!
Accompanying the disc is an informative 20-page booklet, with notes on the history of the show by Barry experts Geoff Leonard and Pete Walker. Released on the 28th of this month, go to, where you can listen to samples, order the CD, or download the album if you prefer.


From Top Dollar PR:-



Award-winning composer and sound designer Michael
McCann aka Behavior (ReGenesis, Splinter Cell: Double Agent), best known for his
ambient cinematic scores and organic soundscapes, is creating the original musical
score for DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION(TM) currently in development at Eidos-Montréal.
The music captures the unique visual style of DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION and thematically supports the blend of action, role-playing and adventure genres featured in the
game. To immerse players in the dark and beautifully visualized world of DEUS EX:
HUMAN REVOLUTION, the score fuses elements of cybernoir, futuristic renaissance
and electrosymphonic ambience.

"We are thrilled to have Michael McCann creating the original music score for DEUS
EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION," said Steve Szczepkowski, audio director for DEUS EX at Eidos-Montréal. "His cinematic musical expression and immersive scoring sensibility brings emotional
depth to the unique experience of DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION. I'm a big fan of Mike's
music and working with him has been a complete pleasure."

A critically acclaimed music composer and sound designer for film, television and
interactive media, Michael McCann's credits include the title music for the sci-tech
drama series ReGenesis, sound design and music editing for the cult film It's All
Gone Pete Tong and the original score for Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent
which garnered him a Best Original Score Award from and nomination from
the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences for Outstanding Achievement in Original
Music Composition.

In DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION you play Adam Jensen, a security specialist, handpicked
to oversee the defense of one of America's most experimental biotechnology firms.
But when a black ops team breaks in and kills the scientists you were hired to protect,
everything you thought you knew about your job changes. At a time when scientific
advancements are routinely turning athletes, soldiers and spies into super-enhanced
beings, someone is working very hard to ensure mankind's evolution follows a particular
path. You need to discover why - because the decisions you take and the choices
you make will be the only things that can determine mankind's future. For more information

The names of products mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Saturday, June 05, 2010


One Night in Turin
Music by Stuart Hancock
MovieScore Media MMD 0009
7 Tracks 19:27 mins

The documentary One Night in Turin was apparently shown in UK cinemas for one night only on June 1st, though I have to admit that, living in the UK as I do, I saw absolutely no publicity for it whatsoever. Anyway, the documentary relates the England team's progress to the semi-finals of the football World Cup in Italia 1990, and this digital EP of Stuart Hancock's music for the film was released to coincide with the screenings.
The theme song for that year's World Cup was Pavarotti's classic performance of Puccini's Nessun Dorma from Turandot, and the documentary's soundtrack would be incomplete without the popular aria. The EP opens and ends with the piece, performed here by tenor Sean Ruane. In between, we have Hancock's orchestral score, performed by the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra. As one would expect, the emphasis is on action and the brief "Planet Football" certainly moves along at a fair lick, filling one with a sense of eager anticipation. The equally brief "Trusted Lieutenants" follows, bringing to mind Elmer Bernstein's iconic march from The Great Escape, which has of course become something of an anthem for the England football team.
By complete contrast, "The Minister for Sport" is a loungy, lighthearted piece, reminiscent of Danny Elfman.
It's down to business with parts 1, 2 & 3 of the fateful match "England vs West Germany" which, for reviewing purposes, I'll treat as one piece. After a grand, fanfarish opening, the action builds from subdued, quite nervous beginnings to full-on drama and heroics, before ending in the tragedy of defeat for the England team.
This brief, but enjoyable score from Stuart Hancock is available at a budget price from, where you can listen to samples, watch a trailer for the film, and find full downloading details.

Friday, June 04, 2010


Music by Rolfe Kent & VA
Lionsgate Music
16 Tracks (8 Score - totalling 15:05 mins)

Released in US theatres today is the new action rom-com Killers, directed by Robert Luketic of Legally Blonde fame, and starring Ashton Kutcher and KatherineHeigl.
The soundtrack album is available for digital download from Lionsgate Music, with the emphasis being on songs by the likes of Macy Gray, Salvador Santana, Nikki & Rich, Faces, Bitter: Sweet, Rox and so on; nearly all of which I have never even heard of. There is however a selection of tracks from Rolfe Kent's score, so it's not a total washout, but we have to wait until track 9 for the first of the 8 cues, "Scuba Sneak and Shopping," a catchy little piece of Latin flavoured spy music. "I'm Gonna Kill Him" follows in fine Flamenco style, and then the cat and mouse action of "Even the UPS Guy," which ends on a moment of calm after a big crescendo.
"Arriving in Nice" is another catchy little mover, which recalls the spy theme from before, with things slowing down for the easy-going romance of "Falling in Bed." "Elevator Attraction" gets us back into light-hearted sneakiness mode, before blossoming sunnily on strings to close. The brief but gay "New Home Office" follows, with the lengthiest track saved for last in, the form of "Killers Suite," which gives us a substantial reprise of the main theme, before the love theme kicks in; with the Flamenco bringing proceedings to a foot-stamping close.
It's another effortlessly catchy little score from Rolfe Kent, who is by now a master of such things, and it's just a pity that so little of his score has made the album (assuming that is, that there is much more of it in the film).
Go to, where you can preview tracks from the album and find details of where you can download your copy from.

Thursday, June 03, 2010


From CineMedia:-


Composer James Newton Howard Teams With M. Night Shyamalan For Their 7th Film

(June 2, 2010- Los Angeles, CA) – Lakeshore Records will release The Last Airbender -- Original Soundtrack, available on June 29, 2010. James Newton Howard (The Dark Knight, The Sixth Sense), who has written the music for all of M. Night Shyamalan’s films since 1999’s The Sixth Sense, composed the original score.

James Newton Howard is one of the most versatile and respected composers currently working in films. To date, Howard has received eight Oscar® nominations, including six for Best Original Score for his work on Defiance, Michael Clayton, The Village, The Fugitive, The Prince of Tides, and My Best Friend’s Wedding. He was also nominated for Best Original Song for the films Junior and One Fine Day.

Howard’s success reflects the experiences of a rich musical past. Inspired by his grandmother, a classical violinist who played in the Pittsburgh Symphony in the ’30s and ’40s, he began his studies on the piano at age four. After studying at the Music Academy of the West, in Santa Barbara, and at the USC Thornton School of Music, as a piano major, he completed his formal education with orchestration study under legendary arranger Marty Paich.

Though his training was classical, he maintained an interest in rock and pop music, and it was his early work in the pop arena that allowed him to hone his talents as a musician, arranger, songwriter and producer. He racked up a string of collaborations in the studio with some of pop’s biggest names, including Barbra Streisand; Earth, Wind & Fire; Bob Seger; Rod Stewart; Toto; Glenn Frey; Diana Ross; Carly Simon; Olivia Newton-John; Randy Newman; Rickie Lee Jones; Cher; and Chaka Khan. In 1975, he joined pop superstar Elton John’s band on the road and in the studio.

When he was offered his first film in 1985, he never looked back.

Howard, who has been honored with ASCAP’s prestigious Henry Mancini Award for Lifetime Achievement, now has more than 100 films to his credit. Among them are all of M. Night Shyamalan’s films (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs, The Village, Lady in the Water and The Happening), five films for director Lawrence Kasdan (Grand Canyon, Wyatt Earp, French Kiss, Mumford and Dreamcatcher), four Julia Roberts comedies (Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride, My Best Friend’s Wedding and America’s Sweethearts) and three animated films for Walt Disney Studios (Dinosaur, Treasure Planet and Atlantis: The Lost Empire).

Air, Water, Earth, Fire. Four nations tied by destiny when the Fire Nation launches a brutal war against the others. A century has passed with no hope in sight to change the path of this destruction. Caught between combat and courage, Aang (Noah Ringer) discovers he is the lone Avatar with the power to manipulate all four elements. Aang teams with Katara (Nicola Peltz) a Waterbender, and her brother, Sokka (Jackson Rathbone), to restore balance to their war-torn world.

Based on the hugely successful Nickelodeon animated TV series, the live-action feature film The Last Airbender is the opening chapter in Aang’s struggle to survive.

Paramount Pictures presents an M. Night Shyamalan film, The Last Airbender, in theaters on July 2, 2010. The Last Airbender Original Soundtrack on Lakeshore Records will be released in stores and digitally on June 29, 2010.

My review of The Last Airbender album will follow soon - Ed.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


Music by Christopher Tyler Nickel
Composer Release CTNCD-002
10 Tracks 54:35 mins

It was nice to hear from composer Christopher Tyler Nickel again, with the news that his second album, Rain, is now available from his website at I had the pleasure of reviewing his previous release, Horizons, back in 2007 (check it out at
Rain features soloists Canadian/Irish soprano Catherine Redding and Beth Orson on English Horn, with Christopher describing the album as being "quite different from Horizons as it is much darker, and incorporates not only the two soloists, but also large orchestra and chorus as well. Although grounded in an orchestral sound, I've also fused elements of pop, rock and minimalism into the album's musical tapestry."
For Horizons, Christopher utilised the services of the City of Prague Philharmonic, and for Rain he calls upon their string section, whilst also utilising The Northwest Sinfonia.
"Overture" gets us underway, with a brief but purposeful choral/orchestral presentation of the album's main theme. The title track follows and, though utilising the same theme, with lyrics also by the composer, soloist Catherine Redding is accompanied by a much more modern rock/pop arrangement. Ms Redding continues in "Lacrimosa," her voice soaring over the choir in a lengthy variant of the theme from before, which builds to a powerful climax. The even longer "Rangimaire ("Tranquility") follows, opening with strings, before Beth Orson enters on English Horn to play a yes, tranquil melody, that is later developed for full orchestra, but which still proves not far removed from the main theme, as it duly surfaces here and there before the 10 minute piece is through.
Ms Redding returns with another couple of songs, both quite beautiful, "Evening Rains" and "Love's Moment," again with lyrics by the composer; then it's Ms Orson's turn again, with another 10-minute track, "Whispers of Eternity," which has a more ambient, synths-based feel to it, including what sounds more like sampled choir, as it moves to a soaring conclusion. Another lovely song from Ms Redding, "Lost in Twilight" follows; who then continues, wordlessly, in the penultimate track, "Rain Part II" which, like part I, has a more contemporary feel to the arrangement, with percussion more prominent and, after quite a lengthy intro, finally we hear the main theme surface again. Sounds of a rainstorm introduce and conclude the album's final track, "Epilogue," in which Ms Redding gives us a final wordless rendition of the main theme, accompanied by piano.
Whilst indeed quite different from Horizons, I enjoyed Rain just as much, if not more so, and have no hesitation in recommending this lovely album to you.
Christopher Tyler Nickel is clearly a talented orchestrator, contributing to the very successful Video Games Live concert tours, TV shows like The Collector, Class of the Titans, and Jibber Jabber, documentaries like Journey to 10,000 BC, Mars Rising, and The Real Lost World, movies like Alien Agent, and to Tim Janis' production of Mother Russia, which premiered at New York's famous Carnegie Hall. But, on the evidence of Horizons and Rain, he is also clearly a talented composer and let's hope more commercial composing opportunities come his way soon. In the meantime, he is working on recording his flute concerto Reflections of Time, with Sarah Jackson - piccolo of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Order your copy of Rain from Christopher's website (the address again is, where you can first check out some samples. And, if you haven't already done so, you can still pick up a copy of Horizons while you're at it.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Flicka 2
Music by Mark Thomas
MovieScore Media MMS 10008
23 Tracks 35:29 mins

This kind of sequel to 2006's Flicka features different characters and actors, though I suppose the horse remains the same. Principal actress is Tammin Sursok, who UK TV viewers may remember from the Aussie soap Home & Away (what is it with these Home & Away cast members - they're popping up all over Hollywood these days - one is even down to play The Mighty Thor!).
Aaron Zigman wrote an enjoyable, Americana-styled score for the first film, but this time out Welsh composer Mark Thomas take the reins (pun intended), and delivers music in much the same vein. MovieScore Media have of course worked with Thomas before, releasing three of his previous scores. He has also collaborated three times with the film's director Michael Damian, in case you wondered what a Welshman was doing scoring a kind of modern western.
It's quite a brief score at little over 35 minutes and, as you can probably tell by the number of cues on the disc, many of them are quite brief, but it plays through nicely all the same. Thomas conducts the City of Prague Philharmonic, who are now firmly a part of the film scoring scene, having of course previously been known for their re-recordings with the likes of Silva Screen and Tadlow, with which they still of course collaborate.
The album of course starts off with the "Opening Titles" which promises, but fails to really deliver, after a high, wide and handsome start. "Time to Go" is a brief and sad affair, but "Saddle Up" follows in more optimistic fashion, with "Flicka Appears" bursting forth impressively, before taking a more subdued turn. The dramatic and menacing "Snake Bite" follows, and then acoustic guitar introduces the tender "Carrie Nurses Flicka." It's back to the high, wide and handsome again for the suitably adventurous "Stampede," and then the tender acoustic guitar returns for "Flicka Recovers," building to a celebratory conclusion.
The flowing "Chores" has a good, old-time country feel, with fiddle and guitars; with "Ranch at Night" slowing things right down with a good old-fashioned nocturne. "Bonfire" has the feel of a country slow dance; whilst "The Diary" is another subdued and tender piece. The main theme, again introduced by acoustic guitar, dominates the sad "They Take Flicka," with "Carrie Reads to Flicka" continuing the mood.
"The Search" opens expectantly, before a hopeful burst of the main theme on strings leads to a rather grim conclusion. "See You In Court" offers more sad acoustic guitar and strings, before the latter blossom forth to close. After all this gloom, it's a relief when the adventurous "The Show" kicks in, but the mood soon changes to one of danger, the menace becoming ever greater in "Slaughterhouse." Peace is restored in "Use Some Help," with more tender guitar-lead main theme, which subsequently bursts forth gloriously in "Back to the Wild," before ending in tender mode yet again; with the final cue, "Flicka Returns" ending things on a suitably happy and peaceful note.
Go to for samples and details as to how to obtain your copy of this charming score, with a winning main theme, on CD or as a digital download. There's also a trailer to be viewed, should you fancy seeing the film.