IFMCA Award Nominations 2019

  

INTERNATIONAL FILM MUSIC CRITICS ASSOCIATION AWARD

NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED

HILDUR GUÐNADÓTTIR RECEIVES FIVE NOMINATIONS; MULTIPLE NOMINATIONS FOR ALEXANDRE DESPLAT, BEAR McCREARY, THOMAS NEWMAN, JOHN WILLIAMS.

FEBRUARY 6, 2020. The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) announces its list of nominees for excellence in musical scoring in 2019, for the 16th annual IFMCA Awards. For the first time in IFMCA history a female composer leads the field, with Icelandic composer and cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir receiving five separate nominations for her work on the critically acclaimed comic-book drama “Joker,” and for the devastating HBO television series “Chernobyl”. These are the first nominations for Guðnadóttir, who is nominated in the categories for Film Score of the Year, Composer of the Year, Drama Score, Television Score, and Film Music Composition of the Year. IFMCA member James Southall was particularly complimentary about “Joker,” describing it as having ‘complexity in its extraordinary emotional depth,’ and calling it a ‘primal’ score which ‘made him think’.

Also nominated for both Score of the Year and Composer of the Year are veteran composers Alexandre Desplat, Thomas Newman, and John Williams. French composer Desplat’s most lauded score of 2019 is the one he wrote for director Greta Gerwig’s new adaption of the classic American novel “Little Women,” which is also nominated for Drama Score. IFMCA member Jon Broxton said that the score ‘overflows with gorgeous orchestrations, sublime instrumental combinations, and harmonies,’ and has ‘a dramatic sense of freedom and movement, effortless elegance, and lush emotional content’. Desplat’s other major scores in 2019 include the French drama “Adults in the Room,” the animated sequel “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” and director Roman Polanski’s look at the Dreyfus Affair of 1906 in “J’accuse”. Desplat previously won the IFMCA Score of the Year award in 2008 for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”.

American Thomas Newman receives his nominations mostly for his work on director Sam Mendes’s epic World War I action-drama “1917,” which is also nominated for Action/Adventure/Thriller Score and Film Music Composition of the Year. IFMCA member Daniel Schweiger called the score ‘a musical experience unlike any other’ that brings ‘the war to end all wars to daringly creative, and dramatically impactful musical life.’ Also in 2019, Newman wrote music for the Netflix drama “The Highwaymen,” which explores the Bonnie & Clyde story from a different perspective, and the biopic “Tolkien,” which is another WWI movie, albeit one that specifically looks at the wartime experiences of the author of The Lord of the Rings.

The legendary John Williams, who turns 88 next week, wrote the final installment in the Star Wars saga, “The Rise of Skywalker,” and in doing so completed a 40-year film music project spanning nine movies that may never be equaled in the history of cinema. The score, which is also nominated for Fantasy/SciFi/Horror Score and Film Music Composition of the Year, is described by IFMCA member James Southall as ‘one last brilliant piece of musical adventure to call time on his signature work … a triumphant conclusion to an extraordinary musical saga,’ who also said that ‘it’s simply impossible to overstate Williams’s contribution to the series’ success’. In a similar vein, IFMCA member Jon Broxton opined that ‘no-one has achieved the holy triumvirate of musical excellence, peer respect, and pop culture recognition the way that John Williams has,’ and described the entire Star Wars saga as ‘works of staggering genius and beauty … his Ring Cycle, the work that will define his life and his legacy, a nine-movement 25-hour masterpiece of enduring musical brilliance that has taken a full 42 years to come to fruition’. Williams has three prior IFMCA Score of the Year wins, for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in 2015, “War Horse” in 2011, and “Memoirs of a Geisha” in 2005.

The fifth nominee for Score of the Year is Englishman John Powell’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” the third and final entry in the series of well-loved animated films based on the novels by Cressida Cowell. IFMCA member Christian Clemmensen said the score was ‘a satisfying conclusion to an incredible trilogy of music’ and noted that Powell’s work, led by three exuberant main themes of friendship and flying, has ‘become recognizable to children worldwide and has developed into the most famous musical anthem’ from any DreamWorks pictures. Powell previously won the IFMCA Score of the Year awards in 2018 for “Solo” and in 2010 for the original “How to Train Your Dragon”.

The fifth nominee for Composer of the Year is American composer Bear McCreary, who wrote music for an astonishing six films and four television series in 2019. The most lauded of these are “Godzilla: King of the Monsters”, which is nominated in the Fantasy-SciFi-Horror category, and “The Professor and the Madman”, which is nominated in the Drama category. IFMCA member Florent Groult noted that McCreary ‘takes up [existing Godzilla themes] with great passion and turns them into a score that is massive and fantastic,’ while IFMCA member Randall Larson called it a ‘supremely impressive musical conception rich in agitato gestures and textured in dark, flaring colors; a magnificent work that will stay in memory for a long time’. McCreary’s other work in 2019 includes “Happy Death Day 2U,” “Rim of the World,” the reboot of “Child’s Play,” and “Eli,” as well as the TV shows “The Walking Dead,” “See,” and “Proven Innocent”. This is McCreary’s first Composer of the Year nomination and his first IFMCA nominations outside the TV and Video Game categories.

Each year the IFMCA goes out of its way to recognize emerging talent in the film music world, and this year is no exception. The nominees in the Breakthrough Composer of the Year category are a diverse group, and the IFMCA is especially excited to reveal that two of the five nominees are women. British composer Nainita Desai impressed members with her spectacular, colorful score for the nature film “Untamed Romania,” which is also nominated in the Documentary category, as well as her scores for the Syrian civil war documentary “For Sama,” among others. Meanwhile, French composer Anne-Sophie Versnaeyen wrote a beautiful score for the nature documentary “Chambord,” having spent many years working as an orchestrator and arranger in French cinema for composers such as Alexandre Desplat and Guillaume Roussel.

The final three composers nominated for Breakthrough Composer are British electronic composer Bobby Krlic, whose work on the disturbing horror film “Midsommar” earned many plaudits; French composer Mathieu Lamboley, who wrote a broad and expressive orchestral score for the animated film “Minuscule: Les Mandibules du Bout du Monde”; and German Christoph Zirngibl, whose music for the documentary feature “Finis Terrae” was rich and detailed in its musical exploration of big topics like faith and global politics.

As it has in previous years, the IFMCA takes pride in honoring composers from across the film music world; in addition to the ones already mentioned, this year’s international nominees include several from France (Bruno Coulais for “Blanche Comme Neige” in Comedy, Laurent Perez Del Mar for “Le Mystère Henri Pick” in Comedy, and Dan Levy for “I Lost My Body” in Animation), Spanish composers Arturo Cardelús (“Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles,” Animation) and Carlos Martín Jara (“Sordo: The Silent War,” Action/Adventure/Thriller), Japanese composer Naoki Sato (“Masquerade Hotel,” Action/Adventure/Thriller), and another Frenchman, this time scoring a movie from Sweden – Nathaniel Méchaly for “Eld & Lågor” aka “Swoon” in Comedy.

Several other composers are receiving their first-ever IFMCA Award nominations this year in addition to the aforementioned Cardelús, Levy, Martín, and Méchaly, including Scott Bomar (“Dolemite Is My Name,” Comedy), Gordy Haab (“Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order,” Game), Samuel Sim (“The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance,” Television), and Nathan Whitehead (“Days Gone,” Game).

The International Film Music Critics Association will announce the winners of the 16th IFMCA Awards on February 20, 2020.

 

The nominees are:

FILM SCORE OF THE YEAR

  • 1917, music by Thomas Newman
  • HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD, music by John Powell
  • JOKER, music by Hildur Guðnadóttir
  • LITTLE WOMEN, music by Alexandre Desplat
  • STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, music by John Williams

FILM COMPOSER OF THE YEAR

  • ALEXANDRE DESPLAT
  • HILDUR GUÐNADÓTTIR
  • BEAR McCREARY
  • THOMAS NEWMAN
  • JOHN WILLIAMS

BREAKTHROUGH COMPOSER OF THE YEAR

  • NAINITA DESAI
  • BOBBY KRLIC
  • MATHIEU LAMBOLEY
  • ANNE-SOPHIE VERSNAEYEN
  • CHRISTOPH ZIRNGIBL

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A DRAMA FILM

  • A HIDDEN LIFE, music by James Newton Howard
  • JOKER, music by Hildur Guðnadóttir
  • LITTLE WOMEN, music by Alexandre Desplat
  • MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN, music by Daniel Pemberton
  • THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN, music by Bear McCreary

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A COMEDY FILM

  • BLANCHE COMME NEIGE/WHITE AS SNOW, music by Bruno Coulais
  • DOLEMITE IS MY NAME, music by Scott Bomar
  • ELD & LÅGOR/SWOON, music by Nathaniel Méchaly
  • JOJO RABBIT, music by Michael Giacchino
  • LE MYSTÈRE HENRI PICK, music by Laurent Perez Del Mar

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ACTION/ADVENTURE/THRILLER FILM

  • 1917, music by Thomas Newman
  • DUMBO, music by Danny Elfman
  • THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN THE BIGFOOT, music by Joe Kraemer
  • MASQUERADE HOTEL, music by Naoki Sato
  • SORDO: THE SILENT WAR, music by Carlos Martín Jara

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A FANTASY/SCIENCE FICTION/HORROR FILM

  • AVENGERS: ENDGAME, music by Alan Silvestri
  • GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS, music by Bear McCreary
  • MIDSOMMAR, music by Bobby Krlic
  • STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, music by John Williams
  • US, music by Michael Abels

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ANIMATED FEATURE

  • BUÑUEL IN THE LABYRINTH OF THE TURTLES, music by Arturo Cardelús
  • FROZEN II, music by Christophe Beck
  • HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD, music by John Powell
  • J’AI PERDU MON CORPS/I LOST MY BODY, music by Dan Levy
  • MINISCULE: LES MANDIBULES DU BOUT DU MONDE, music by Mathieu Lamboley

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A DOCUMENTARY

  • THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM, music by Jeff Beal
  • CYBER WORK AND THE AMERICAN DREAM, music by Chad Cannon
  • FINIS TERRAE, music by Christoph Zirngibl
  • OUR PLANET, music by Steven Price
  • UNTAMED ROMANIA, music by Nainita Desai

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR TELEVISION

  • CHERNOBYL, music by Hildur Guðnadóttir
  • THE DARK CRYSTAL: AGE OF RESISTANCE, music by Daniel Pemberton and Samuel Sim
  • GOOD OMENS, music by David Arnold
  • HIS DARK MATERIALS, music by Lorne Balfe
  • THE ORVILLE, music by John Debney, Joel McNeely, and Andrew Cottee

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A VIDEO GAME OR INTERACTIVE MEDIA

  • DAYS GONE, music by Nathan Whitehead
  • ERICA, music by Austin Wintory
  • A PLAGUE TALE: INNOCENCE, music by Olivier Derivière
  • REND, music by Neal Acree
  • STAR WARS JEDI: FALLEN ORDER, music by Gordy Haab and Stephen Barton

BEST NEW ARCHIVAL RELEASE – RE-RELEASE OR RE-RECORDING

  • AIR FORCE ONE, music by Jerry Goldsmith; album produced by Cary E. Mansfield and Bryon Davis; liner notes by Daniel Schweiger; art direction by Mark Shoolery and Bill Pitzonka (Varèse Sarabande)
  • APOLLO 13, music by James Horner; album produced by Mike Matessino; liner notes by John Takis; art direction by Kay Marshall (Intrada)
  • THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, music by Franz Waxman; album produced by Mike Matessino; liner notes by Frank K. DeWald and John Waxman; art direction by Dan Goldwasser (La La Land)
  • DIAL M FOR MURDER, music by Dimitri Tiomkin; The Royal Scottish National Orchestra, conducted by William Stromberg; album produced by Douglass Fake; liner notes by Roger Feigelson and Douglass Fake; art direction by Kay Marshall (Intrada)
  • DRACULA/THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, music by James Bernard; The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Nic Raine; album produced by James Fitzpatrick; liner notes by David Huckvale; art direction by Nic Finch (Tadlow)

BEST NEW ARCHIVAL RELEASE – COMPILATION

  • ACROSS THE STARS, music by John Williams; The Recording Arts Orchestra of Los Angeles and Anne-Sophie Mutter, conducted by John Williams; album produced by Bernhard Güttler; liner notes by Jon Burlingame; art direction by Büro Dirk Rudolph (Deutsche Grammophon)
  • THE DISASTER MOVIE SOUNDTRACK COLLECTION, music by John Williams; album produced by Mike Matessino; liner notes by Jeff Bond and Jon Burlingame; art direction by Jim Titus (La La Land)
  • MARCO BELTRAMI: MUSIC FOR FILM, music by Marco Beltrami; The Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Dirk Brossé; album produced by Film Fest Gent; liner notes by Patrick Duynslaegher and Raf Butstraen; art direction by Stuart Ford (Silva Screen)
  • NEVADA SMITH: THE PARAMOUNT WESTERNS COLLECTION, music by Various Composers; album produced by John Takis and Frank K. DeWald; liner notes by John Takis and Frank K. DeWald; art direction by Dan Goldwasser (La La Land)
  • PLANET OF THE APES: THE ORIGINAL FILM SERIES SOUNDTRACK COLLECTION, music by Jerry Goldsmith, Leonard Rosenman, and Tom Scott; album produced by Mike Matessino and Neil S. Bulk; liner notes by Mike Matessino and Jeff Bond; art direction by Dan Goldwasser (La La Land)

FILM MUSIC RECORD LABEL OF THE YEAR

  • INTRADA RECORDS, Douglass Fake and Roger Feigelson
  • LA LA LAND RECORDS, MV Gerhard and Matt Verboys
  • MOVIESCORE MEDIA, Mikael Carlsson
  • MUSIC BOX RECORDS, Cyril Durand-Roger and Laurent Lafarge
  • QUARTET RECORDS, Jose M. Benitez

FILM MUSIC COMPOSITION OF THE YEAR

  • “A Hidden Life” from A HIDDEN LIFE, music by James Newton Howard
  • “Call Me Joker” from JOKER, music by Hildur Guðnadóttir
  • “Portals” from AVENGERS: ENDGAME, music by Alan Silvestri
  • “The Night Window” from 1917, music by Thomas Newman
  • “The Rise of Skywalker” from STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, music by John Williams

 

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.

Previous IFMCA Score of the Year Awards have been awarded to John Powell’s “Solo” in 2018, Jonny Greenwood’s “Phantom Thread” in 2017, Jóhann Jóhannsson’s “Arrival” in 2016, John Williams’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in 2015, Hans Zimmer’s “Interstellar” in 2014, Abel Korzeniowski’s “Romeo & Juliet” in 2013, Mychael Danna’s “Life of Pi” in 2012, John Williams’s “War Horse” in 2011, John Powell’s “How to Train Your Dragon” in 2010, Michael Giacchino’s “Up” in 2009, Alexandre Desplat’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” in 2008, Dario Marianelli’s “Atonement” in 2007, James Newton Howard’s “Lady in the Water” in 2006, John Williams’s “Memoirs of a Geisha” in 2005, and Michael Giacchino’s “The Incredibles” in 2004.

FILMIC Radio Show – January 2020

LeonPoster

A new decade! And the first show of 2020 which includes a catch up on late 2019 releases, celebrating a 25th film anniversary and of course some vintage movie music.

PLAYLIST

Track Title/Composer/Film

Legend a Seville Yoseba Beristain Elcano and Magallanes

Umbrellas Alex Weston The Farewell
Moment Of Difference Dan Romer Skin Dan
Scako Internzionale 7 Scako Internzionale 7 Carlo Rustichelli
Theme For The Irishman Robbie Robertson The Irishman
Recording Comedy Scott Bomar Scott Dolemite Is My Name
Sell It Scott Bomar Dolemite Is My Name
Walking To Freedom Terence Blanchard Harriet
Noon Eric Serra Leon
Mr Yoon And Park Jung Jaeil Parasite
La Fin De La Terre Laurent Perez Del Mar The Mystery of Henri Pick
La Suite Des Recherches Laurent Perez Del Mar The Mystery of Henri Pick
Melancolie Exotique Paul Misraki Obsession
Burn Opening Ceiri Torjussen Burn
Rape Ceiri Torjussen Burn
Problems With Women Theodore Shapiro Bombshell
Roger Roger Roger  Theodore Shapiro Bombshell
Adventures Of A London Gentleman Christopher Willis The Personal History of David Copperfield
Main Theme John Barry The Quiller Memorandum
The Speeder Chase John Williams Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

INTERVIEW WITH CHRISTOPHER WILLIS

soundtrack cover

What a great start to the New Year! The first soundtrack I listened to this year was Christopher Willis’ score to The Personal History of David Copperfield directed by Armando Iannuci. The score is sweeping, symphonic joy and superbly played by the award-winning Aurora Orchestra and has already received praise.

“…the forward rushing camera’s momentum underscored by Christopher Willis’s shamelessly neoclassical (and, honestly, disarmingly lovely) string-heavy score
                                                    Filmmaker Magazine

“…all of it set to whimsical, soaring score courtesy of Christopher Willis”
                                                                   Film

                    external-content.duckduckgo.com

Composer Willis was born in Australia and grew in the UK. He now resides in the US. Christopher composed the music to the Emmy Award-winning show Veep plus contributed to a number of major Hollywood movies including The Twilight Saga:Breaking Dawn Part 2, X-Men First Class and Winnie The Pooh.

I am delighted that Christopher was able to discuss the Copperfield soundtrack with me.

I very much enjoyed your score, it’s beautifully symphonic and in parts quite majestic.

Thank you very much! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

Given that the film is a ‘re-imagining ‘ of one of Dickens best-loved stories, was there an urge/thought to compose in the style of ‘modern’ music?

Yes and no. One of the very first things Armando said to me about the film was that, to the characters, the world of the story isn’t “period” or “Dickensian” but simply their own world, and that we should feel the vividness and modernity of that world. That ethos is immediately clear from the production design and the cinematography: there’s no sepia tinge, the paint and the clothes characters wear are vibrant and fresh. And musically, too, we quickly found that this feeling of vibrancy was going to be all-important. If the music leant too far towards the actual period of the story, the ear would instinctively hear it as being “old”, as being at one remove from us. On the other hand, we still felt that the music should be orchestral and somehow symphonic in tone.

 Did director Armando Iannucci have any ideas about what he wanted for the score?

 Yes: I’m very fortunate to be working with a director who’s extremely well-versed in classical music. We tend to get the ball rolling on a movie by sharing playlists and references with each other. By sharing like this, you can convey an awful lot to one another, so that when you actually start discussing things in words, you already have a frame of reference. What’s nice about using all kinds of music, and especially concert music, rather than, say, referring only to other pieces of film music, is that the references are not always straightforwardly cinematic but more like a mood board or a brainstorm. Each thing has found its way onto a playlist because it has some quality or other that one of us likes, but that doesn’t mean it could simply be dropped into the film. They’re a stylistic jumble, and it’s up to me to process it all and try to distill something out of it. I think if we built our playlists out of film music, each thing would be much more film-ready, but there’d be less room for me to create something new.

Early on, we talked a lot about British symphonists of the early-to-mid 20th century: composers like Elgar, Britten, Arnold, Rubbra. As the writing progressed, though, I found myself catching up with the present day in a way, listening to and responding to more and more recent concert music, almost like I was composing a new British symphony.

 Last Days Of Innocence is a very measured cue, poignant and with sadness to it. In fact, with all the emotions running through the film you must have felt there was enormous scope for your score? Did you find it overwhelming at all?

Early on there was a stage when I was struggling with how it was all going to fit together. I had pieces I was pleased with but I wasn’t convinced they were going to add up to a whole. Eventually, I realized that in fact, I had too many building blocks. I needed to discard a few in order for everything to fall into place.

Another thing that really helped me was figuring out that in most cases, this score didn’t benefit from becoming more and more harmonically overwrought when the emotions were very big. Instead, I found I could draw things out over long phrases, as in “Last Days of Innocence”, or actually let the music wrestle with one single dissonance for a long long time, which happens near the end of the film: there are several very minimalist cues that essentially have one harmony for minutes at a time, building emotion through tension.

 The Murdstone’s really intrigued me, obviously, there are very dark tones needed for these characters, but it also has the feel of a 1930s/40’s soundtrack composition in its structure in this and other cues – which was a nice surprise. Could I ask which composer/s you have been influenced by?

 Much of the time, the music isn’t really commenting on the characters’ eccentricities but acting as a unifier, joining experiences together. But yes, as you say, I felt with the Murdstones that this was one area in which I could go a little more melodramatic and channel older film music a little bit. Dickens draws his nastier characters with such bold strokes that I felt I had to get sucked into that sometimes. This probably grew indirectly out of my listening to the British symphonists I mentioned. Many of them were also film composers, such as Walton, for instance, or William Alwyn, so they definitely had a lot of darker emotions at their fingertips.

With 33 tracks/54 minutes long, did you envisage this being a longish score?

 We had an instinct early on that the total mass of music would be about 50-60 minutes, and although it looked from time to time like it might grow or shrink based on the picture, it did actually end up at about that length. I like having this kind of scope: it allows me to think of the score as being somehow symphonic – it’s not a symphony, of course, but symphonic perhaps like a tone poem, with recapitulations and memories and a kind of developmental energy running through it.

 The character cue Uriah Heep also has dark notes signifying his sycophantic character but there is also a sorrowful violin running through it that surprised me, I felt it worked quite well but wondered what it signified?

I think of the violin perhaps as being “wheedling” like Uriah: sort of sickly sweet like his hollow compliments. Also, I think Ben Whishaw does a wonderful job of conveying the fact that Uriah is in many ways a tragic figure: a lifetime of humiliation and want have played a big part in making him the way he is. So there was always something mournful about the ideas I had for Uriah.

 A stand out track for me is Adventures of a London Gentleman, which bustles along but retains Copperfield’s striving through its violin playing. Would you say this bustle/sweeping refrain is the score’s leitmotif as it pops up several times and what was the motivation for this?

Thanks very much! I love that you used the word “striving”. The first texture I worked on for the film was the pulsating texture in “My Own Story”, the very first cue, which “London Gentleman” is based on, and in some ways, I would say I was trying to capture something I got from the novel (which I read for the first time just before I started working on the movie) even before I saw the film. The book is so fresh and so modern, sometimes startlingly so; and one of the key feelings I get from the book is the sense that simply existing, simply being alive, is this thrilling, almost exultant thing. And at the same time, David is in this search, this very open-ended quest, to find his place in the world. So yes, I did feel that it would make sense for us to return several times to that texture throughout the film.

Love the music hall feel of Mock Turtle. Did you have fun putting this cue together?

Thanks! It was nice to be able to use a different kind of musical voice for that cue, but still to nod at some of the motifs and shapes from elsewhere in the score. Something very fortuitous happened with the recording of this cue actually. I was supposed to record it myself at Air Lyndhurst in London after the orchestral sessions were over – it would have been the very last thing. (It’s a piano solo.) But the scoring process had been absolutely exhausting. I was finishing the last few fixes right up to the last minute, and in fact, I wrote the end credits cue in the middle of the night before the final day of recording. I’d slept only a few hours in the three days I’d been in London. And I hadn’t practiced “Mock Turtle”. I had made it through all the orchestral sessions but when everyone left I was just totally zonked. The recording engineer (Jake Jackson, who did a wonderful job) was feeding me chocolate bars and cups of tea, trying to get my energy up for just long enough, but I just couldn’t do it. So we called it a day and went off to the pub. That meant I just had to record it back in LA later. But what’s fortuitous is that the piano sounds quite different from the piano in the rest of the score as a result, and I rather like the effect: as you say, it sounds a little music-hall, a little bit like a movie pianist.

Thank you very much, Christopher.

Interview with composer Paul Mills

PaulMillsphoto

Multi-award winning composer and producer Paul Mills has been creating music for over three decades. Among his 15 feature film scores are the critically acclaimed Woodlawn and the #1-rated inspirational film, War Room, for which he won an ASCAP Screen Music Award in 2016.

Born in the panhandle of West Texas, Mills was drawn to the piano early on and worked his way up the ascending scales to graduate Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music in Theory and Composition from the University of Houston. In the early days of his career, Paul spent a portion of his time in the studios of Music Row, producing and recording artists like The Imperials, Wayne Watson, Phillips, Craig & Dean, Twila Paris, and Newsong. Over those industrious ten-plus years, Paul’s production efforts helped to craft a staggering 40 #1 singles. He produced and co-created the highly successful album/concert series, “The Young Messiah,” an annual Christmas tour boasting a variety of talented artists.

The accumulation of such a wide range of accomplishments earned this busy musician his first-ever GMA nomination for Producer of the Year early in his career. Since that accolade, others have been added to the list including American Songwriter Magazine’s ‘Christian Producer of the Year,’ Best Score at the Gideon Film Festival, and multiple Platinum and Gold-selling albums and compilations.

Through his work as a producer, Paul was led to filmmakers The Erwin Brothers where he produced music for the Roadside Attractions hit music biopic I Can Only Imagine starring Dennis Quad. Some of Paul’s other film credits include Against the Sun starring Garret Dillahunt, Tom Felton, and Jake Abel, Kill the Man starring Luke Wilson and Joshua Malina, the critically-acclaimed Still Breathing starring Brendan Fraser and Joanna Going, among others. Paul’s latest score for the feature film Overcomer will be released in August 2019. The soundtrack is available on CD through major retailers.

Overcomer

INTERVIEW:

This [Overcomer Main Theme] is a great opening piece and it totally grabbed my attention with its beautiful surge of strings, it really captures the sporting ‘reach’ – the power and the force of mental and physical strength needed in sport. How did you find the ‘hook’ for this score?

Thanks so much for your kind words, I’m glad that the opening did its job and grabbed your attention! Director Alex Kendrick and producer Stephen Kendrick always want strong “hummable” themes. Alex used words similar to yours in wanting the music for the opening to immediately grab the audience’s attention and let them know that an important story was unfolding. I chose the horn section to carry this first iteration of my “Overcomer” theme because they carry gravitas and nobility to the sound. It’s almost gladiatorial in feel and scope, especially as the audience is carried along by the music into the gymnasium where the crowd is cheering and the athletes are competing. The theme itself climbs and then falls, then starts higher and climbs and falls again. In only a few notes I wanted to represent the continuous effort of a great athlete as they make headway, and then lose a little, but then they come back harder only to keep coming back. This mirrors the journey that the two main characters embark on as they try to find their true identities.

I was delighted to hear the 6 note leitmotif reappear complete with sweet violin in the track We Take Everything. This was stripped back and held more gravitas – it’s sad and thoughtful. How do you get the balance musically between the physical and emotional sides of the story?

I must thank you again! It’s gratifying as a composer that you noticed this. To me, the “Overcomer” theme being stated here in a more vulnerable and emotional way helped us see these athletes as still noble and a bit heroic, even in defeat. I think you noticed yourself how I get the balance musically between the strong physicality and the human emotion of the characters. It’s in the orchestration. The first two cues, “Opening” and the basketball game “Full Court Press” use horns and low brass as well as big percussion and very active pulsing strings to show power. While the locker room scene “We Take Everything” strips all that back to no percussion and just warm heartfelt string swells with a single lonely horn at the end of the piece.

The tangible gentleness of Hannah’s Theme with piano and violin – the lead instruments throughout the score, what made you choose these?

I am blessed to have an incredible principal violinist, David Davidson, and I am always composing with him in mind. A dark, soft and gentle piano with his violin stating a theme or partial theme over the top always pulls my (and I hope the audience’s) heartstrings, but without getting maudlin or sappy. Again, I wanted a theme for Hannah that would show her loneliness and struggle in the beginning, a very intimate orchestral treatment. But, after she wins the final race, her theme becomes very boisterous and victorious in the medal ceremony.

In other places, for instance, when Thomas is talking from his hospital bed telling his story, the dark, simple piano mixed with ambient synth pads work well under those dialogue-heavy scenes.

The First Race with its drums is aspirational as is You’ve Got This, the latter having a momentum, there is a feeling of no turning back. How do you build these layers?

I will watch action scenes without any music several times to get a feel for the visual rhythmic activity and natural breaks in momentum. In “The First Race” there is a natural decrease in activity from the start of the race 37 seconds in as everyone is finding their stride. You hear this in the music. So, the opening has many layers of percussion, strings, and brass, but at that break, it backs off to lighter strings and less percussion.

 Sometimes I will score action scenes like this by building a drum and percussion track first. So, the opening of “The First Race” has massive drums at the start, but then they back off in the middle, then come back at the end. As you noticed in “You’ve Got This,” there is more sixteenth note activity both in the strings and in the constant tick tack tick tack in one of the percussion instruments to add almost an underlying anxiety and movement. The low perc builds 1:34 into the track and there’s a key change there as well that builds momentum going into the end of the piece. Also, “You’ve Got This” is layered a bit differently in that 52 seconds in it has a very high string melody with less going on in the middle register of the orchestra, a relaxation to a degree after the big opening. The horn section and this high melody have a sort of duet together later on, and the further the piece progresses, the thicker the layering gets, adding low brass and percussion to fill out the spectrum.

You are no newcomer to music for sports films with Woodlawn and Run the Race. Was it your work on these soundtracks which influenced the film company to approach you to score this film?

This is my second film to score for the Kendrick Brothers, the first being 2015’s “War Room.” I was hoping to work with them again as “War Room” was a great experience. So, it really made my day when Stephen called me to join the team again.

 “Run The Race” probably did not influence them since it is a very sparse indie-oriented film score with lots of acoustic guitars, solo violin, calliope, banjo, and even washboards and bicycle bells! BUT interestingly, the Kendricks actually temped “Overcomer” with a lot of my music from “Woodlawn,” so I knew they liked that music and were looking for a more epic treatment for much of the “Overcomer” score. In a way, Hannah’s story is a little like a superhero origin story because she is discovering her identity with the help of her coach, John, and the school principal.  

One of the pivotal tracks is The Last Race, which brings all the soundtracks elements together. At 11minutes 28 seconds was this a difficult cue to put together?

It took a while to get going on it for sure! After Alex, Stephen and I had our music spotting session we decided that this was the most important cue, so I went back to my studio and started on it first. It was a real struggle for a couple of weeks, but then I realized that I did not have any thematic material to develop there yet. I then told Alex that I needed to go back to the very beginning and find the themes for the movie. So the “Opening” was actually the first cue I composed and got approved by the filmmakers. I then went to the scene where we first see Hannah in her room and worked on her theme until it was approved. Next, I composed the scene where John and Amy have an argument and a subsequent reconciliation (“You’re Not Helping Me” and “I’m Right Here For You”). Some of this material is used and developed in the scenes with Thomas. So really, “The Last Race” was almost the last cue I composed, but by that time I had such a wealth of thematic material to draw on, I knew what I wanted to do and what the musical journey needed to be. The first version was about 80% there, and with Alex’s very clear and specific direction in the music, we got it reeled in with just a few revisions.

Do you have any other score assignments coming up which you can share with me?

Yes! I am currently finishing producing and mixing the songs as well as mixing the score for the new Erwin Brothers’ music biopic “I Still Believe.” I am also composing the score for the new Chonda Pierce comedy “Laugh. Love. Karaoke.” It’s my first comedy to score and I’m looking forward to it. It’s already been a laugh-fest hanging out with director Chris Dowling and Chonda. She kept us in stitches during her song vocal sessions!

Ley, thank you so much for this enjoyable interview! Your questions were very stimulating, and it was great to get to talk with you about the scoring process for “Overcomer.”

My pleasure!

Website: https://www.paulmillsmusic.com/

IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0590141/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jpaulmills

 

October 2019 Filmic Radio Show

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TRACKLIST – Track/Composer/Film

Birth Of Chucky Bear McCreary Childs Play
Andy At Bat Bear McCreary Childs Play
Your All Bum & Parsley Frank Ilfman Rory’s Way
The Dancy Of Fey Geoff Zanelli Maleificent Mistress Of Evil
That Old Black Magic Johnny Mercer/Harold Arlen/Andre Previn Seconds
Ready Or Not Overture Brian Tyler Ready Or Not
Opening Main Theme Paul Mills Overcomer
You’ve Got This Paul Mills Overcomer
Cry Little Sister Gerard McMann Lost Boys
Defeated Clown Hildur Guðnadóttir Joker
Freedom John Debney Brian Banks
Spider Baby Part 12 Ronald Stein Spider Baby
Skyhooker Ben Salisbury/Geoff Barrow Luce
The Man That Got Away Harold Arlen/Ira Gershwin/Renee Zellwigger Judy
Hall Of Mirrors Bejamin Wallfisch It Chapter 2
Part 1 Hans Zimmer Pacific Heights

MOVIE-GOER Pop Cinema and the Classics – 3 CD Boxed Set

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“Unless you want a pop score, I don’t see any reason not to avail yourself of the great orchestral music of the past and present.”  Stanley Kubrick

And avail himself is exactly what Kubrick did, he was one of the first directors to give assorted classical tracks prominence in films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange. And if you can’t think of any other films who successfully chose classic and popular music to richly enhance their soundtrack music then don’t worry, independent label Cherry Red Records have neatly packed 52 tracks on a stirring 3 CD Box Set.

Kubrick used nothing but classical music in some of his films whereas other tracks in movies are randomly played to enhance scenes, such as Harry Palmer in The Ipcress File who chooses Mozart to cook by. Similarly in The Godfather’s famous baptism scene [interspersed with violent scenes of assassinations] was all played out to Bach’s incredible organ piece Passacaglia in C Minor.

But this collection is not just about the use of classical pieces used in the movies, it also includes popular songs and instrumentals of the day.

One of the biggest pulls of this superb selection is that it covers all types of films from the ’60s up to 2014. It also tells you the films Director, Screenplay Writer, Art Director and the main stars of each movie together with full information on the classic /pop track played in the films. And, as with their 3 CD Deluxe Box Set of Get Carter Get Review – the quality is superb.

Whilst not a soundtrack in its own right, this 3 CD treat is an informative and wonderful collection in its own right. Plus, next time I am watching a movie and a classical piece is played, I have a reference point! It’s an interesting take on non original soundtrack music used in movies.

Particularly of interest and surprise to me were:-
One of my favourite sci-fi thrillers is Seconds. The original 1966 score was by Jerry Goldsmith. But also used in the movie [and to be honest I can’t remember this as it was many years ago that I watched it], was a terrific jazz version of That Old Black Magic played by Andrew Previn. What a treat to stumble upon this track on Volume 1.

Singer Kenneth McKellar also makes an appearance on the same disc singing The Song Of Clyde – this was played in Billy Liar (1963), who would have known this? And who would have thought that within the psychedelic silliness of Head [1968] which starred the Monkees, we would hear The Artist’s Life Waltz by Johann Strauss?

Fun and worth exploring!

TRACK INFORMATION

DISC ONE
BREATHLESS (A BOUT DE SOUFFLE) (1960)
1. CLARINET CONCERTO K 622 – RONDO ALLEGRO – W.A. MozarT
BILLY LIAR (1963)
2. SONG OF THE CLYDE – Kenneth McKellar
3. CONCERTO SYMPHONIQUE NO. 4, OP. 102 – Henry Litolff
A HARD DAY’S NIGHT (1964)
4. A NATION ONCE AGAIN – John McCormack
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW (1964)
5. VIOLIN SONATA NO. 1 IN G MINOR, BWV 1001: I. PRÄLUDIUM – Bach
BLACK GOD, WHITE DEVIL (DEUS E O DIABO NA TERRA DO SOL) (1964)
6. BACHIANAS BRASILEIRAS NO. 5: ÁRIA (CANTILENA) (Bidu Sayao: soprano) – Heitor Villa-Lobos
THE IPCRESS FILE (1965)
7. SERENADE NO. 13 FOR STRINGS IN G MAJOR, K. 525 “EINE KLEINE NACHTMUSIK”: II. ROMANCE – Mozart
THE DEBUSSY FILM (1965)
8. DANSE PROFANE – Claude Debussy
HELP! (1965)
9. LOHENGRIN (PRELUDE TO ACT III) – Richard Wagner
10. 1812 OVERTURE, OP. 49 (EXCERPT) – Tchaikovsky
11. SYMPHONY 9 (ODE TO JOY) (EXCERPT) – Beethoven
12. BARBER OF SEVILLE – OVERTURE (EXCERPT) – Rossini –
PERSONA (1966)
13. ADAGIO FROM CONCERTO NO. 2 IN E MAJOR FOR VIOLIN, STRINGS AND CONTINUO, BWV 1042 – Bach
SECONDS (1966)
14. THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC – Andre Previn
WRONG BOX (1966)
15. MINUET IN G – Beethoven
GEORGY GIRL (1966)
16. VIBRATION – Tom Dissevelt & Kid Baltan
WEEKEND (1967)
17. ALLEGRO FROM PIANO SONATA NO.18 IN D MAJOR, K576 ‘HUNT’ – Mozart

DISC TWO
PRIVILEGE (1967)
1. MESSIAH – Handel
INTERLUDE (1968)
2. RACHMANINOFF SYMPHONY NO. 2 – 3RD MOVEMENT (EXCERPT) – Rachmaninoff
TOBY DAMMIT (1968)
3. RUBY – Ray Charles
THE IMMORTAL STORY (1968)
4. GNOSSIENNES NO 3 LENT – Erik Satie
5. TROIS MORCEAUX EN FORME DE POIRE NO. 6 – Erik Satie
6. GYMNOPEDIES NO 2 LENT & TRISTE – Erik Satie
DELIUS – A SONG OF SUMMER (1968)
7. A SONG OF SUMMER – Delius
ROSEMARY’S BABY (1968)
8. FÜR ELISE – Beethoven
HEAD (1968)
9. KUNSTLERLEBEN (ARTIST’S LIFE), OP.316 – Johann Strauss II
THE ITALIAN JOB (1969)
10. THE BRITISH GRENADIERS – Wally Stott
MIDNIGHT COWBOY (1969)
11. THE LAST ROUND-UP – Norman Luboff Choir
TRISTANA (1970)
12. ÉTUDE NO 12 IN C MINOR, OP 10 ‘REVOLUTIONARY’ – Chopin
FIVE EASY PIECES (1970)
13. CHROMATIC FANTASY & FUGUE – Bach
14. CHROMATIC FANTASY & FUGUE – Bach
STRAW DOGS (1971)
15. CARO NOME FROM RIGOLETTO – Verdi
SOLARIS (1971)
16. PRELUDE BWV639 ‘ICH RUF’ ZU DIR, HERR JESU CHRIST’ – Bach
17. WELL TEMPERED CLAVIER – BOOK II : PRELUDE & FUGUE NO. 12 IN F MINOR – Bach

DISC THREE
A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971)
1. SYMPHONY NO. 9 – SECOND MOVEMENT – Ludwig Van Beethoven
HAROLD & MAUDE (1971)
2. PIANO CONCERTO NO. 1 (EXCERPT) – Tchaikovsky
THE GODFATHER (1972)
3. PASSACAGLIA IN C MINOR, BMV 582 – Bach
PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION (Modest Mussorgsky) (1970-1973)
4. PROMENADE – Mussorgsky
5. GNOMUS- Mussorgsky
6. THE HUT ON FOWL’S LEGS (THE HUT OF BABA YAGA) – Mussorgsky
YES – YES SONGS (1973)
7. THE FIREBIRD – COLLAPSE OF KASHCHEI’S PALACE AND DISSOLUTION OF ALL ENCHANTMENTS / REANIMATION OF THE PETRIFIED PRISONERS / GENERAL REJOICING – Igor Stravinsky
THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH (1975)
8. PLANETS : MARS – Holst
LISZTOMANIA (1975)
9. HARMONIE POÈTIQUES ET RELIGIEUSES: NO. 7, FUNÉRAILLES – Liszt
ANNIE HALL (1977)
10. SYMPHONY NO. 41 IN C MAJOR, K551 ‘JUPITER’ – MOLTO ALLEGRO – Mozart
PINK FLOYD : THE WALL (1982)
11. THE LITTLE BOY THAT SANTA CLAUS FORGOT – Vera Lynn
ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS (1986)
12. THE SLEEPY LAGOON – Eric Coates
WITHNAIL & I (1987)
13. PIANO SONATA NO. 21 IN B FLAT MAJOR, D960 – THIRD MOVEMENT – Schubert
TOPSY TURVY (1999)
14. THREE LITTLE MAIDS FROM SCHOOL ARE WE (FROM THE MIKADO) – Gilbert & Sullivan
PETER WARLOCK – SOME LITTLE JOY (2005)
15. SWEET AND TWENTY – Peter Warlock
16. REST SWEET NYMPHS – Peter Warlock
17. SLEEP – Peter Warlock
LAMBERT & STAMP (2014)
18. DANCE FOR THE FOLLOWERS OF LEO (FROM HOROSCOPE BALLET SUITE) – Constant Lambert

Filmic Radio Show September 2019

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This month’s show includes classic jazz scores from Paul Misraki & Kenny Grahamn plus new & vintage soundtracks and  celebrates an 80th MGM Anniversary.

PLAYLIST – Track/Composer-Artist/Film

Rim Of the World Bear McCreary Rim Of The World
Driving Home With Stolen Treasures Emile Mosseri Last Black Man in San Fransisco
The House That Harga Built Bobby Krilic Midsommer
Cat Lessons Alexandre Desplat The Secret Life Of Pets 2
A Royal Command John Lunn Downton Abbey
Good Morning Baltimore Nikkie Blonski/Mark Shaiman Hairspray
Miloo’s Trom Phillip Knoll Traumfabrik
Get Carter Deadly Avenger Remix Roy Budd Get Carter
Hallucinations AlternativeVocal Mix Roy Budd/Jack Fishman Get Carter
Operation Pull Toy Randy Newman Toy Story 4
Jazz Rapide Paul Misraki Le Duoulos
Gunnar Arrives At the Bank Steve London Stockholm
Mattson Trick Lars Steve London Stockholm
Gloria Bell Matthew Herbery Gloria Bell
Overture Paul Misraki Le Rendez-Vous
Lowry’s Theme Craig Armstrong Mrs Lowry & Son
The Lowry Museum Craig Armstrong Mrs Lowry & Son
Soho At Dawn Kenny Graham The Small World Of sammy Lee
Dash To Bellman’s Kenny Graham The Small World Of sammy Lee
If I were King Of The Forest Bert Lahr/Harold Arlen/E.Y Harburg The Wizard Of Oz

 

GET CARTER -Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Deluxe 3 CD Edition. Music by Roy Budd

What a thing of beauty! Yes, I am talking about a soundtrack, one that figures heavily in my Best Of All Time list. This particular beauty is Get Carter – Music By Roy Budd Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Deluxe 3 CD Edition which includes Essays, film & poster images and recording information. Talk about a kid in a sweet shop, where do I start? Cherry Red Records, a British independent record label founded in 1978, released this gem in July of this year. Get Carter, taken from the novel Jack’s Return Home by Ted Lewis, was released in 1971 starring Michael Caine as Jack Carter, a suave and brutal London gangster who returns to his home town in the North to avenge the death of his brother. Director Mike Hodges’ use of the bleak Northern landscape, unrelenting violence and gritty dialogue changed future gangster films forever help along by a powerful performance by Michael Caine and a soundtrack of unbelievable coolness by the late Roy Budd.

CD1 ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK
The Get Carter Theme was released as a 7” on composer Budd’s own Pye record label. The original soundtrack LP was only released in Japan on the Odeon label but as the film gained momentum the soundtrack was released in 1998 on the Cinephile label.
I remember this being one of the first soundtracks I listened to which included part of the movie’s dialogue, something which is now hardly done. This alone blew me away let alone the actual music. It made for a totally immersive experience. Track 1, Get Carter Intro, gets you straight into the grimy, unforgiving mood of the story with the now-famous refrain of a set of short notes of steel like sound played on harpsichord and piano that haunt the score. This repeats in track 2 – Carter Takes The Train Main Title which this time begins with a slick bass line enhanced by Budd’s genius jazz organ playing. In the background, a sound effect of a train pulling into the station is mimic by a pounding tabla. Is there an opening track anywhere near this much perfection? This is followed by the first of a number of songs which feature on the soundtrack that are so of their time that they enhance rather than distract from the album as a whole. Looking For Someone was composed by Budd as are all the other songs some of which also have the credit of Budd with Jack Fishman.

What I really like about the track listings to each of the CD’s songs is that it tells you where in the film it was playing, which is such a fabulous idea I feel like getting up a petition to make this legal! For example – Looking For Someone – ‘This track is the song on the jukebox as Jack Carter first walks into the pub near the train station.’ After more dialogue comes further keyboard playing, this time in a slow, relaxed song where the word ‘groovy’ would fit nicely, the title being Something On My Mind. Track 9, to me, is the standout song, entitled Gettin’ Nowhere In A Hurry both in its composition lyrics. The description for this is ‘this track is the second to play on the jukebox in the pub…’ As you can now imagine the next track, Girl In The Car, accompanies one of Carter’s bed partners Glenda as she drives. Towards the end it goes gloriously ‘off-piste’ jazz wise. Hearing these cues you can understand why many of these pieces were well sampled for TV adverts etc.
The refrain returns in Manhunt but this time a little muffled and muted, this is listed as a ‘Cross Cut’ and depicts the scenes of Jack chasing his brothers killer and a woman’s body being dredged up from a lake. You are startled out of the refrain by deep and random piano notes with frantic tablas,of which is highly atmospheric. In a complete change of gear, we have an almost classical piano piece playing as Carter kills his brother’s murderer. The song Hallucinations, complete with dreamy voices and echoes, follows this. It ends with Goodbye Carter a reprise of the Intro and Main Title track. Disc 1 is a replication of the original Japanese release I can’t praise the quality enough, it sounds sharp and new.

CD2 ORIGINAL BONUS MATERIAL
This is the CD I was most excited about, additional tracks not included in the original album including unreleased alternative mixes of the Main Theme. Get Carter Alternative Mix 1 makes you appreciate the basic elements of this iconic theme as it’s stripped of the train effects which focuses you on the bass, tabla etc. There is however a very short and sweet piano flourish dropped in after the first leitmotif. This is followed by Plaything, an alternative vocal version mix of Hallucinations which is slower and more trippy than the original, this is a little gem followed by gem number 2 – an instrumental version of Gettin’ Nowhere In A Hurry. It’s when you listen to the instrumental mix of Hallucinations that you get a sense of the genius of Budd. His dissemblance of time structures lends a more hazy feel making the whole very pleasing. Definitely another stand out track.

This CD ends with 5 more mixes of the main theme -yes 5! We begin with the 7” single version, which again does not include the films train sounds. Dope On A Rope US Mix is bass lead with a much-restrained use of the theme. It takes you to a very different realm where this would not be out of place on the nightclub floor. Just love it! Same could be said of the following De Few 2 Smoking Barrels Remix where the theme hangs in the background under an even deeper bass. It moves far away from the Get Carter theme structure, which is still there but somewhat encased. The Deadly Avenger Mix imports fragments of Hallucinations mixed with the Main Theme but wrapped in drum and bass. The Breakneck Dirtbox Remix is the least imaginative but still a welcome mix with the theme played under a four-note bass and dialogue. Obviously, you benefit more from CD 2 if you know the original score really well but they are still very listenable tracks with some of the changes being oh so subtle.

CD3 A BIT OF BUDD (Highlights from Roy Budd scores.
This is perhaps the most generous disc in this collection as Budd, who died at 46 from a brain haemorrhage, scored over 30 soundtracks most of which are still difficult to get hold of. Disc 3 treats us to tracks taken from his scores.

Mr Funker from FOXBAT 1977
The plotline for this movie is “In Hong Kong, a Chinese cook swallows a microfilm by accident and becomes a target”, obviously an action film of its day and not destined for the awards season. Budd captures the ‘funk’ with a cue mixed with driving drums and bass and a wah-wah guitar rift which was a must in this decade. Saying that this cue could easily slip into a current action movie.

Way Out from THE STONE KILLER 1973
A better known Budd score from a Michael Winner/Charles Bronson action-thriller. With its rousing string start it would be easy to imagine this as an opening to a large scale epic but it quickly goes into Budd mode with those trademark bongos. It’s high 70’s action music.

No Doubt from THE MARSEILLE CONTRACT 1974
A Michael Caine crime-thriller, this is a slowed down, ‘slinky’ cue so cool it makes me want to immediately listen to the rest of the score.

Diamond Fortress from DIAMONDS 1975
A heist film starring Robert Shaw – this is a masterful piece which lulls you in with it’s slow, minimal intro then moves to jazz sax & drum. It’s surrounded by a 7 note strand which builds … then it’s gone! Yet again you are left wanting more.

In The Shadows from THE STONE KILLER
Well just kick off your shoes, pour that cocktail and just give in to this soft jazz piano piece and melt!

Jazz It Up from THE MARSEILLE CONTRACT
A driving jazz piece with a kinda Matrix refrain – sadly too short to really get into.

Free Tarrant from THE BLACK WINDMILL 1973
Another Michael Caine action thriller, which stands out due to the superb tablas playing taking the lead towards the end. This score is again one of Budd’s better-known works.

Cassette Jazz from THE BLACK WINDMILL
Furious and fast piano jazz the speed of which will blow your mind!

For All My Days from KIDNAPPED 1971
This is an altogether different setting for both Budd and yet again Michael Caine. Set in 18th Century Scotland during the Jacobite rebellion. This is a mellow, plaintive Budd with harp, soft brass and strings. It’s quite beautiful.

No Coperation from THE BLACK WINDMILL
Dark and very edgy and I just love the leading jazz bass.

Teacher and Pupil from PAPER TIGER1 975
This adventure/drama has the intriguing casting of David Niven, Toshiro Mifune and Hardy Kruger! It has Budd’s typical percussion, bass and guitar treatment, more of a backing track than thematic.

Main Theme from FEAR IS THE KEY 1972
This is how I discovered Budd’s music. The main score is nothing short of majestic. Taken from the Alistair MacLean novel it’s a tense thriller, which also boasts the film debut of Ben Kingsley. A dramatic kettledrum introduces the proceedings followed by a series of orchestral punctuation. It glides into the most beautiful string-led melody. Strange you might think for a thriller but it so works. Perfection!

Love At First Sight from THE SEA WOLVES 1980
This is a sweet and touching re-arrangement of The Warsaw Concerto.

How Can We Run Away from SOMETHING TO HIDE 1972
This is a crime/thriller starring Peter Finch. With something of a short theatrical start, this is a piano and string-led melodic piece with a romantic feel.

Cresta’s Song from SOLDIER BLUE 1970
This movie caused much controversy on its release as it depicted the slaughter of Cheyenne Indians by the US Calvary. Not only did it cause historical controversy, but it’s level of violence was also criticized. It seems strange that this was Budd’s debut score This track does have an element of the west in his jaunty piano playing.

THEME FROM AUNT HARRIET
Unfortunately, I cannot find any information on this piece of music however it’s a lovely piano piece, quite laid back and jazzy and played in Budd’s impressive style.

THE CAREY TREATMENT 1972
A James Coburn thriller in which a doctor turns detective. A steely three-note leitmotif opens this score which sounds slightly more of TV theme than a thriller movie but good all the same.

VERSAILLES EXIT & WHO NEEDS LOVE ANAYWAY
These are previously unissued Budd tracks.

Budd

                                                                    Roy Budd

This set is a soundtrack collectors dream, well packaged and with not only essay’s on the soundtrack but also on writer Ted Lewis, how Budd got to compose the score, the session musicians and more. All accompanied by photos. posters and film stills. This obviously has been a labour of love as the detail is superb especially the original recording track listings with their basic short numeric system. Budd’s music, especially his scores, play well even if you have not seen the film plus they are infused with 1970’s musical influences.

One of the highlights of this year .
Special Thanks to Matt Ingham & Charlie Brigden

 

GLORIA BELL Soundtrack Review

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When is a soundtrack not a soundtrack? This is the age old question asked by many who enjoy film music. I was a resounding ‘no’ when it came to Hans Zimmer’s score to Dunkirk whilst others fiercely supported it. Regarding the structure of  soundscapes we have all had to go on a learning curve. I ask the question as I absolutely love the soundtrack to Gloria Bell by Matthew Herbert but I can’t quite put my finger on why. It’s a sum of its parts,  the whole

creating an ethereal feeling of happiness. I could say it’s  music to a really enjoyable dream! Gloria Bell is played by Juliane  Moore who is in her 50’s, divorced and working. She has 2 grown up children and works in an insurance office but at night she loves to dance and it’s while dancing that she meets Arnold who is recently divorced. Not exactly a plot which drags you in.

The score is my British electronic music composer and DJ Matthew Herbert who also did the score for Disobedience which was released earlier this year and which I also really liked. There is no discernible theme but the opening track called Gloria Bell sets the tone with with an electronic flurry which is somehow childlike and very likeable whilst high note strings flutter in the background. Short but captivating. Strings return in Bell Theme a beautiful but all too short cue. Reunion has a distance about it musically whilst The Joint pushes the theme used in in the opening track, this time on saxophone with a cool electronic beat underneath.

The Whale has all the dream like allure as previous tracks but three quarters of the way in a night club bass is added, a strange juxtaposition but it so works, again short and leaving you wanting more. Get Ready brings us full circle with a richer version of the opening track and it all comes to a close with Waterfall where the main refrain is gently played on piano.

Its’s quirky and it’s a delight and at only 24 minutes and 13 seconds long it’s worth ekeing it out, I can guarantee  it will relax you.

Milan Music Label

Tracklisting

1 Gloria Bell 1:20
2 Zombies 1:11
3 Bell Theme 1:17
4 Reunion 1:27
5 Behind The Door 0:46
6 Gone 1:16
7 The Gnome 0:18
8 The Joint 1:22
9 Airport 1:12
10 Afloat 2:45
11 Up The Stairs 1:36
12 The Whale 1:43
13 By The Pool 2:43
14 Home 2:29
15 Get Ready 1:11
16 Waterfall 1:

 

 

 

Filmic Radio Show August 2019

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Filmic August 2019. Featuring scores by Nino Rota, Akira Ifukube, John Powell, George Fenton, John Powell and more. New releases and Vintage soundtrack music. Plus some classic Godzilla tracks!

PLAYLIST

Track Title                                 Composer                      Film

Fight Club Ramin Jawadi The Queens Corgi
Malawi Antonio Pinto The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind
Smedley Alberto Ingelasias Yuli
Yuli Alberto Inglelasias Yuli
Via Veneto Nino Rota Plein Soleil
Nice Eyepatch H.Scott Selenas A Very private War
Godzilla Approaches Akira Ifukube Godzilla
Main Title Akira Ifukube Godzilla
Godzilla Main Title Bear McCreary Godzilla King of the Monsters
Bossa Nova Marina Pier Piccioni The Moment of Truth
Midnight Cowboy John Barry Midnight Cowboy
Big Spender Cy Coleman Sweet Charity
Prologus Diego Baldenwag Zwingli
Whirlpool Of Love John Powell X-Men The Last Stand
Red Joan-Prelude George Fenton Red Joan
My Little Comrade George Fenton Red Joan
Main Title – Adonis Mikis Theodorakis Z
South American Getaway Burt Bacharach Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
John Ronald Thomas Newman Tolkein
The TBCS Thomas Newman Tolkein
Tears In the Rain Vangelis Blade Runner