NOSTALGIA composed by Laurent Eyquem – Review

This may not be a soundtrack you play often but it deserves to be heard as a master class in moderation and because, in parts it’s beautiful.

The big things in our life usually do not surround itself in a cacophony of sound, things slow down giving us time to think. Laurent Eyquem has, I have no doubt, thought of this in his new score for Nostalgia. This is a slow, melancholy and rhythmic flow of music getting straight to the heart of emotion.

 The film is written and directed by Mark Pellingham and is a series of stories about love and loss and explores the meaning of objects, artifacts and memories which ultimately shape our lives. French composer Laurent Eyquem is the obvious choice to score this movie, known for his lyrical style, his scores reminiscent of John Barry’s music in which the sheer emotional impact of composition stops everything and you have to listen. This was evident in his score to Copperhead in 2013 which earned him the Breakthrough Film Composer of the Year by the International Film Music Critics Association.

Nostalgia is a short score. Light in it’s use of instruments, is piano lead with cello sections and in some cues it uses a lone trumpet, not on full blast but pulled back, melancholic. The only noticeable leitmotif is the rolling piano in the underscore. The Opening Theme is sublime, scattered piano notes lifted by the trumpet and completed by the cello. It’s flawless. The 11 cues are variations of the same but each one holds the attention. The Absence is particularly moving; almost ambient in the way the strings hold long notes and the piano is reduced to 5 plaintive notes. It conjures up empty space.

This may not be a soundtrack you play often but it deserves to be heard as a master class in moderation and because, in parts it’s beautiful.

Laurent  Eyquem


1.  Opening Theme
2.  A Life In Pictures
3.  The Granddaughter
4.  Lives Saved
5.  The Decision
6.  Ready To Say Goodbye
7.  An Empty Life
8.  The Letters
9.  Emptiness
10. The Absence
11.Moving On

Label: Varese Sarabande


CAPSULE REVIEWS: Early Man, The Cloverfield Paradox , Game Night & Videoman


EARLY MAN  composed by
Harry Gregson-Williams

Animation scores are always fun to listen to even if you don’t know what’s going on. It opens with the sweet and laid back Dug’s Theme. Prehistoric Prologue is mock horror of the finest order complete with ‘man choir’. There has to be a chase somewhere in most animations and here it’s Stadium Chase complete with those time gaps for the laps, which makes for the laughs. Royal Game Day is a joy and sounds like one of those Pathe News intro’s.
Mostly short cues, one of the longest being The Final Game , which of course is football. This gets the full orchestral treatment with the brassy heroic tones. Trophy Presentation repeats the soft, melodic leitmotif which runs through the score but here gives it a huge swell of emotion. A fitting end to a lovely soundtrack.


Bear McCreary

The overture slams into play, literally. A deep musical slam surrounded by busy violins, it’s an exciting opener. Converging Overload soars with wondrous I do love the way McCreary uses strings and in A message For Ava they are very moving. McCreary is always working, score after score and this one is a worthy addition to his catalogue.



GAME NIGHT composed byCliff Martinez
Cliff Martinez

Give me a synth scores anytime. Martinez’s score is great to listen to without breaks where it melds into one mighty fine electronic soundscape. Cue of notice has to be Isn’t That Your Neighbor. It’s fun score!
It’s a fun score!




VIDEOMAN composed by Wave Shaper
& Robert Parker
What an absolute blast this score is. It’s a Swedish comedy/Drama about a woman obsessed with the 80’s and a VHS collector. Takes me back to my own video collection as it captures that 80’s feeling so superbly complete with drum bracking.

PLANET EARTH – Re-Issue 2 CD Set

PLANET EARTH composed by George Fenton
Remastered Album Release date: 16th March 2018

This is a breathtakingly rich score, beautifully orchestrated with cues full of emotion and wondrous moments of sheer beauty.

Silva Screen Records Press Release:
Two welcome additions to Silva Screen’s BBC Earth catalogue, featuring soundtracks to the critically acclaimed BBC landmark natural history documentaries.
Released on 16th March, The Blue PIanet and Planet Earth are newly remastered albums, both original scores by the acclaimed composer George Fenton. For the score of The Blue Planet (2001) George Fenton won The lvor Novello, Bafta and Emmy for Best Television Score, whilst for the score of Planet Earth (2006) he won his second Emmy.

Produced by the BBC and narrated by David Attenborough, The Blue Planet series was watched by more than 12 million people when it aired on BBC1 in September 2001. lt has since become a global phenomenon, showing in more than 50 countries. Similar success was repeated by PIanet Earth.  The 11-part High Definition documentary series was, by June 2007, seen in 130 countries.

I distinctly remember watching Planet Earth and thinking it way beyond the scratchy school’s video’s I watched at school. It was like nothing else I had seen and being already tuned into film and tv music I remember the music being superb. Listening to it now, it still is. Presented in 11 categories it is a musical symphony to the world.

The Journey of the Sun dictates Fenton’s reachable, classical style. Gentle violins and a solo horn feel as if they are floating in orbit. Elephants in the Okavango captures both the majesty and playfulness of these magnificent mammals. Diving Into leads with a female voice which gives a feel of the centuries of history, a fitting cue for the 2nd category of caves whilst Diving Into Darkness is beautifully ambient. In the Freshwater section there a pulse almost akin to underwater breathing.

Onto ‘Mountains’ and the cue for the old world Gelades monkeys depicts the ferocity of these baboons with tones of wariness shown in the strings. The Karakorum depicts the plains and rich history of Mongolia. We travel into the Desert Winds. The Locusts is a track full of wondrous strings, this is a magnificent cue painting a vast scope with a gentle force. In the Land of Shallow Seas and the antics of Surfing Dolphins – both are busy and joyful cues of brass and strings. Dangerous Landing makes good use of the kettle drum followed by the mellow Mother and Calf-The Great Journey, geared towards the emotions with the grandeur of the string section, which is simply beautiful. A cue dedicated to fungus – The Cordecyps has an eeriness played out with clarinet and chimes which suits these somewhat strange and other worldly organisms. The Redwoods is a fitting majestic piece symbolised by trumpet and strings. This is followed by a comic , track called Fledglings with a slight hint of a tango at the start and pizzicato strings.

Ice World next with trumpet opening The Humpbacks Bubblenet and another dance comes to mind as the orchestra momentarily waltzes. A clumsy jaunt is played out on the strings in Everything Leaves but The Emperors, bass and percussion takes over giving an excellent backing for waddling penguins.

Planet Earth aired on UK tv in 2006 so the poignancy of The Disappearing Sea Ice is fairly low key, with plaintive voice and cornet. 12 years on if re-composed I am sure this would have been an even more low-key cue. It ends with The Choice Is Ours, a moving track about our future and the responsibility we have towards our planet. The underlying cello’s echo the dangers and the sad strings are telling.

This is a breathtakingly rich score, beautifully orchestrated with cues full of emotion and wondrous moments of sheer beauty. This re-issue sounds very fresh and I was totally engulfed in it. The CD booklet also has a stunning set of photo’s from the series.

Composed and duction by George Fenton
Performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra

Disc 1:
1. From Pole To Pole: Prelude  1:57
2. From Pole To Pole: The Journey Of The Sun  3:28
3. From Pole To Pole: Hunting Dogs  3:26
4. From Pole To Pole: Elephants in the Okavango  3:07
5. Caves: Diving into the Darkness  3:01
6. Caves: Stalactite Gallery  2:26
7. Caves: Bat Hunt  2:59
8. Caves: Discovering Deer Cave  3:49
9. Freshwater: Angel Falls  2:21
10. Freshwater: River Predation  4:09
11. Freshwater: Iguacu  2:06
12. Freshwater: The Snow Geese  2:01
13. Mountains: The Geladas  2:39
14. Mountains: The Snow Leopard  4:00
15. Mountains: The Karakoram  1:54
16. Mountains: The Earth’s Highest Challenge  5:31
17. Deserts: Desert Winds – The Locusts  4:58
18. Deserts: Fly Catchers  1:42
19. Deserts: Namibia – The Lions and the Oryx  5:10
Disc Time: 60:44

Disc 2:
1. Great Plains: Plains High and Low  2:41
2. Great Plains: The Wolf and The Caribou  3:47
3. Great Plains: Tibet (Reprise) – Close  3:46
4. Shallow Seas: Surfing Dolphins  2:41
5. Shallow Seas: Dangerous Landing  3:20
6. Shallow Seas: Mother and Calf – The Great Journey  5:19
7. Jungles: The Canopy – Flying Lemur  2:45
8. Jungles: Frog Ballet – Jungle Falls  2:37
9. Jungles: The Cordyceps  2:55
10. Jungles: Hunting Chimps  4:10
11. Seasonal Forests: The Redwoods  4:39
12. Seasonal Forests: Fledglings  3:43
13. Seasonal Forests: Seasonal Change  5:40
14. Ice Worlds: Discovering Antarctica  2:42
15. Ice Worlds: The Humpbacks’ Bubblenet  2:59
16. Ice Worlds: Everything Leaves but the Emperors  2:27
17. Ice Worlds: The Disappearing Sea Ice  3:45
18. Ice Worlds: Lost in the Storm  1:16
19. Ocean Deep: A School of Five Hundred  3:39
20. Ocean Deep: Giant Mantas  2:50
21. Ocean Deep: Life Near the Surface  2:06
22. Ocean Deep: The Choice is Ours  3:13
Disc Time: 73:00
Total Album Time: 133:4




FEBRUARY 22, 2018 — The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) announces its list of winners for excellence in musical scoring in 2017, in the 2017 IFMCA Awards.

The award for Score of the Year goes to British composer Jonny Greenwood for his score for critically acclaimed period drama “Phantom Thread,” directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, and starring Daniel Day-Lewis. In describing the score, IFMCA member Jon Broxton wrote that it was a “quite masterful score from Greenwood, one which gets deeply under the skin of the damaged, potentially dangerous, but nevertheless mutually fulfilling relationship at the center of the story. The abstract, impressionistic, modernistic textures perfectly capture the torment that both characters at times feel, as well as their willful and often unpleasant personalities. Then, when he opens up his orchestra and performs the Phantom Thread theme with glorious melodrama, or when he writes elegant romantic music for what should be the dreadful finale, the whole thing simply soars”. The score was also named Best Original Score for Drama Film; these are the first IFMCA Award wins of Greenwood’s career, him having previously been nominated for Breakthrough Film Composer of the Year in 2007 and Best Original Score for an Action/Adventure/Thriller Film for “Inherent Vice” in 2014.

Composer Alexandre Desplat is named Composer of the Year, him having written at least four outstanding works spanning multiple genres in the past year. His work in 2017 included director Guillermo del Toro’s critically acclaimed monster movie romance “The Shape of Water,” director Luc Besson’s epic space fantasy “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” director George Clooney’s satirical racial drama ‘”Suburbicon,” and the French-language comedy-drama “D”Après Une Histoire Vraie,” directed by Roman Polanski. IFMCA member James Southall said that The Shape of Water was “yet another from the top drawer of Desplat,” and went on to describe him as “one of the most consistently impressive film composers of the last couple of decades,” who has “managed to be so successful without having to water down his highly-distinctive musical voice at all”. IFMCA member Christian Clemmensen called Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets a “sonic marvel of extremely intelligent rendering” and an “unparalleled execution of orchestral textures” featuring “composition of demanding complexity.” Desplat received IFMCA Score of the Year honors in 2008 for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”. This marks the third time Desplat has been named Composer of the Year, following his previous wins in 2017 and 2014.

Composer Michael Giacchino wins two awards – Film Music Composition of the Year and Best Original Score for a Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror Film – both for his work on the third film in the blockbuster Planet of the Apes trilogy, “War for the Planet of the Apes”. IFMCA member James Southall said that War for the Planet of the Apes was “not just the best film music [Giacchino has] ever written” but that “the manner of the score, the construction of the dramatic narrative, [and] the very deliberate emotional prods … make it stand out as a special achievement”.

Composer Benjamin Wallfisch also wins two awards – Best Original Score for an Action/Adventure/Thriller Film and Best Original Score for a Documentary – for two very different works. Director Gore Verbinski’s “A Cure for Wellness” is a Gothic thriller which draws on European classical traditions to generate its creepy atmosphere, while “Mully” is an inspirational documentary about the life of Charles Mully, a Kenyan business tycoon who gave away his fortune to start the Mully Children’s Family, the largest children’s rescue, rehabilitation and development organization in Africa. Wallfisch’s score blends rich, beautiful orchestral themes with influences from traditional East African music. IFMCA member Ley Bricknell described “A Cure for Wellness” as “totally compelling” with “an overwhelming sense of fear and madness”.

Cypriot composer George Kallis is named Breakthrough Composer of the Year for his stellar work writing three enormously impressive scores in 2017: the children’s fantasy “Albion: The Enchanted Stallion,” the historical drama “The Black Prince,” and the Russian fantasy epic “Posledni Bogatyr/The Last Warrior,” all of which impressed members of the IFMCA with their scope and creativity. The various other genre awards are won by Christopher Willis his Russian-inspired music for the satirical comedy “The Death of Stalin”; and Theodore Shapiro for his anarchic but wonderfully sincere score for the animated super hero parody “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Adventure”.

In the non-film categories, composers Bruce Broughton, John Debney, Joel McNeely, and Andrew Cottee jointly win the award for Best Original Score for a Television Series for their magnificent work on the Fox sci-fi series “The Orville,” while Spanish composer David García Díaz wins the award for Best Original Score for a Video Game or Interactive Media for his moving score for the adventure–puzzle video game “Rime,” in which players are compelled to solve environmental puzzles across five large levels that represent the five stages of grief.

Burbank, California-based La-La Land Records is named Film Music Record Label of the Year in recognition of their ongoing excellence in restoring and releasing the most beloved film scores of the past. British label Tadlow Records and producer James Fitzpatrick are honored with the award for Best New Release, Re-Release or Re-Recording of an Existing Score for their lavish new recording of Miklós Rózsa’s classic 1959 score “Ben-Hur,” which IFMCA member Craig Lysy described as “the most thematically complex and melodically rich film score ever penned by the hand of man” … “a superb recording and the crowning glory of the Golden Age”. Finally, Oakland, California-based Intrada Records and producer Douglass Fake wins the award for Best Film Music Compilation Album for their superb release “Captains Courageous: The Franz Waxman Collection”, a compilation of outstanding themes by the great German composer of the 1940s and 50s.




  • PHANTOM THREAD, music by Jonny Greenwood






  • “End Credits” from WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, music by Michael Giacchino


  • PHANTOM THREAD, music by Jonny Greenwood


  • THE DEATH OF STALIN, music by Christopher Willis


  • A CURE FOR WELLNESS, music by Benjamin Wallfisch


  • WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, music by Michael Giacchino




  • MULLY, music by Benjamin Wallfisch


  • THE ORVILLE, music by Bruce Broughton, John Debney, Joel McNeely, and Andrew Cottee


  • RIME, music by David García Díaz


  • BEN-HUR, music by Miklós Rózsa; The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus conducted by Nic Raine; album produced by James Fitzpatrick; liner notes by Frank K. De Wald; album art direction by James Fitzpatrick, Gareth Bevan, and Nic Finch (Tadlow)


  • CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS: THE FRANZ WAXMAN COLLECTION, music by Franz Waxman; album produced by Douglass Fake; liner notes by Frank K. De Wald; album art direction by Kay Marshall and Joe Sikoryak (Intrada)


  • LA-LA LAND RECORDS, MV Gerhard and Matt Verboys


The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) is an association of online, print and radio journalists who specialize in writing and broadcasting about original film, television and game music.

Since its inception the IFMCA has grown to comprise over 65 members from countries such as Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

THE MERCY composed by Johann Johannsson


It seems fitting that I should review The Mercy today, not just because it is released this weekend in the UK but because on Friday we heard the shattering news that Johann died just 2 days ago, February 9th. Shattering not only because he was 48 years old but that the Icelandic composer, in what was a short timespan, had become revered for his deeply moving compositions. He very quickly hit my list of ‘favourites’. With the news resounding in our heads I will leave it to knowledgeable folk to discuss his unique talent as today, I just want to listen.

“On the question of whether music in a film should be noticeable, Johannsson said in 2015, “It depends on the approach and it depends on the film. There are some films where a more kind of invisible sound works better. And then there are some films where you need a more aggressive approach.” He added, “It is amazing how music can actually improve a performance.”  The Hollywood Reporter


It may seem strange that Johansson has scored a film such as this. On the one hand a crowd pleaser starring a firm favourite in Colin Firth and on the other a true story of a man who faced solitude and lost his way. Solitude being a state which was strongly featured in many ways in the Icelandic composers work. His music could make time stand still, could focus the mind and make you reach inside to your own deepest thoughts and fears.

The Mercy is the true story of amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst who took part in the Golden Globe Race in 1968 striving to become the first person to single handedly circumnavigate the globe without stopping. This was an epic and dangerous quest which forced Crowhurst to confront to his own madness and create an enduring mystery that will never be solved.

Flares is the beautifully short and magical opening, perhaps reflecting the childlike wonder of the sea which lured Crowhurst to take the quest. It’s referenced agin with  more scope in The Good Ship Teignmouth Electron, the vessel in which the inexperienced Crowhurst will invest his life. Whilst A Sparrow Alighted Upon Our Shoulder shares hope and excitement.
Good Morning, Midnight starts with a 4 note string refrain over an electronic sound which bought to my mind the vast reach of space. A solo piano picks up the 4 notes and creates a loneliness. A Sea Without Shores is a short soundscape of fear.

The cue Innocence is the first of 3 cues taken from Johannsson’s score to the 2012 documentary Free Your Mind in which one of the world’s leading neuroscientists, professor Richard Davidson was encouraged by the Dalai Lama to apply the disciplined methods he used to to study depression and anxiety. This posed the question asked by Davidson if you could change the working of the brain through mental practices. This I feel, was an inspired thing to do as the films basis is a man confronting his own solitude of mind and the anxieties this would bring.

The Doldrums with piano and strings could have been a torrent of fear but it quietly depicts the unfolding of an unhinged mind. The same could be said of the 2nd track from Free The Mind – Meditation. The plucked strings and piano are trying to keep everything level whilst the woodwind darts in an out, out of control.

The score is somewhat educational as I had to look up the name of the next track – The Horse Latitudes and I quote ‘The horse latitudes are subtropical regions known for calm winds and little precipitation. “And it’s a pretty apt track name.  It’s a soundscape of linear lines with building layers – out of little, Johannsson can convey a lot especially with a violin interjecting a futility.
The Mercy is beautifully uplifting as is The Radiant City played by the British string quartet The Direc Quartet. The addition of a voice on a radio obviously broadcasting  a longitude and latitude reading which receives no response, makes it very poignant.

Rather than a soundscape this score could be seen as a mind scape, it is a musical map of the mind. Expectedly bleak and despairing whilst also uplifting. A childlike innocence can also be heard and the magic of the possibilities this lone, inexperienced sailor could have conquered. This is not a score that you may often revisit but you must experience it’s beauty, breadth and the sheer individuality that is Johann Johansson.


1. Flares
2. Boating For Beginners
3. The Good Ship Teignmouth Electron
4. A Sparrow Alighted Upon Our Shoulder
5. Terra Firma
6. Into The Wide And Deep Unknown
7. Good Morning, Midnight
8. A Sea Without Shores
9. Karen býr til engil
10. Innocence
11. The Doldrums
12. Meditation
13. The Horse Latitudes
14. Radio
15. The Furious Sea Of Fogs And Squalls
16. Three Thousand Five Hundred And Ninety One Benches
17. The Captain’s Log
18. The Mercy
19. She Loves To Ride The Port Ferry When It Rains
20. The Radiant City
21. A Pile Of Dust
22. At 19°41’10.40 North 79°52’37.83 West, Lies The Shadow

Label Deutsche Grammaphon




“Whilst listed as a Crime thriller this could be a fully fledged and accomplished horror soundtrack”

The Snake like violins and noir feel of the title track drew me in pretty quickly but then Wiedmann rarely disappoints. This continues through track 2 with The First Victim, an added ghostly swirl telling you that all is not well which given the film’s title you don’t expect that it ever will. This is a gruesome story of a serial killer who’s playing the children’s Hangman game with real people! Only Blood Left Behind is constructed over a chilling, sonic like vibration. Suicide Attack at only 1 minute long is voice led by soloist Ayana Haviv and leaves you wanting it to be longer.

Whilst listed as a Crime thriller this could be a fully fledged and accomplished horror soundtrack as you would expect from the composer of The Hills Run Red and Hellraiser: Revelation to name but two.

It’s the ‘quiet’ tracks enhanced with selected noises which scare the most such as the aptly named Slaughter House with strings sounding like a hord of flies. Together with the depiction of several murders, this score has continuous drive, time is running out and most noticeable in the cue The Replica. The character cue Archer, played by Al Pacino, is haunting. The much decorated cop is forced out of retirement for this case. it’s a heavy track full of remorse symbolised by a fleeting cello and the return of Haviv’s superb vocals.

Reviews of the film are not glowing and I rather fear that Wiedmann’s score will be overlooked which would be a shame. 

Frederik Wiedmann


  1.  The Hangman
  2. The First Victim
  3. Only Blood Left Behind
  4. Joey
  5. Suicide Attempt
  6. Underneath The Cross
  7. An Old Case
  8. 11PM Murder
  9. Slaughter House
  10. The Letter B
  11. The Replica
  12. No Rest
  13. Inches Away
  14. Seven More People
  15. My Own Reasons
  16. The Girl In The Alley
  17. Th Apartment
  18. One Scar Is Enough
  19. Failed You
  20. Archer
  21. The Letter

LABEL: Varese Sarabande


“All three films have been scored by John Paesano and whilst there is no significant theme to the scores, Paesano has consistently created a thrilling mood of doom, hope and of course action.”

I fell into watching the first [2014] Maze Runner film [meaning there wasn’t anything much else to watch] and was pleasantly pleased. Based on the book by James Dashner, it’s set in a dystopian world where every 30 days a boy, who’s memories have been wiped, would be deposited in The Glade which is surrounded by a huge Maze. The oddness of it all is intriguing and the end result do not disappoint.
The second movie [Maze Runner: Scorch Trials 2015] had an entirely different setting as a small pose of boys were able to get through the maze. This sequel also kept my interest. So I am looking forward to the third and final Maze Runner saga.

All three films have been scored by John Paesano and whilst there is no significant theme to the scores, Paesano has consistently created a thrilling mood of doom, hope and of course action. Death Cure gets going with the creepy, and disturbing Overrun Checkpoint. With what sounds like struck, warped metal and a Jerry Goldsmith feel to it’s percussion –  it conveys real fear without using a full orchestra.

The Last City could be a softer opening to Alien, with a 5 note piece which is neither scary or threatening but just hanging there waiting for something to happen. It’s ghost like until the strings come in when it fleshes out such a short [2mins 37secs] but effective cue. Teresa’s Plea with piano is also another strong, emotive cue.

Love the distorted electric guitar [well that’s what it sounds like to me] jangling in the background of Closing In, like frayed nerves. Long Way From The Glade is worth a listen for the terrific synth glissando alone. Whilst there are the obligatory action cues these also take a breath to highlight the dramatic element with pauses of sadness and confusion.

If you didn’t take time this could just be tagged as another action/drama soundtrack which gets a second rate listen where you would miss the deeper tones of survival and hope, the rousing choral I’m Sorry, and the poignancy of Goodbye.


    1. Rescue

    2. We Started This Together

    3. Overrun Checkpoint

    4. The Last City

    5. Teresa’s Plea

    6. Closing In

    7. An Old Friend

    8. Lawrence

    9. The Virus

    10. Long Way From The Glade

    11. Whatever The Cost

    12. Visions of Thomas

    13. Chat With Teresa

    14. Let’s Go

    15. Good Luck Greenie

    16. The Lion’s Den

    17. What Bus?

    18. Lawrence’s Final Act

    19. Please Tommy, Please

    20. Crank Lab

    21. I’m Sorry

    22.    Goodbye