1883: SEASON 1, VOL 1 & 2/Tyler & Vivian/Milan, THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT VOL 2/Göransson & Shirley/Disney, CONSEIL DE FAMILLE & LE POINT DE MIRE/ Delerue/Music Box, PEACEMAKER/Mansell & Kiner/WaterTower, RESIDENT EVIL: WELCOME TO RACCOON CITY/Korven/Sony, SCREAM Box/Beltrami/Varese, SEVERANCE/Shapiro/Lakeshore, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE/Stetson/Milan
Plus Film & TV Music, Documentary & Vinyl Soundtracks News
Marco Beltrami was born in New York City and attended Brown University and the Yale School of Music. He studied with Luigi Nono in Italy and soon after apprenticed with none other than Jerry Goldsmith in Los Angeles. Beltrami’s professional start in film and television began with the 1994 action film DEATH MATCH, followed by television and film projects. His career took off in 1996 when Wes Craven brought him on board SCREAM. Despite not being a fan or follower of horror films, Beltrami gave SCREAM an admirable score that evoked the right moods, both of referencing ‘70s slasher films and embodying contemporary horror music configurations. With the success of SCREAM and its ilk, Beltrami found himself, like it or not, specializing in ferocious fright film scores, scoring Guillermo del Toro’s MIMIC (1997) and Robert Rodriguez’s THE FACULTY (1998) as well as reuniting with Craven for SCREAM 2 (1997), SCREAM 3 (2000), and SCREAM 4 (2011). In addition to continued work in scare and sci-fi genre scores (THE CROW: SALVATION, DRACULA 2000, RESIDENT EVIL, TERMINATOR 3, HELLBOY, I ROBOT, DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK, 2011’s THE THING, KNOWING, SNOWPIERCER, VELVET BUZZSAW, and many more), Beltrami continued to pepper his growing filmography with a notable variety of other types of films; including the Western remake 3:10 TO YUMA (2007), 2016’s BEN-HUR remake, and the 2017 bio-drama MATHILDE, to name just a few. The score for the 2008 war drama THE HURT LOCKER earned him and collaborator Buck Sanders an Oscar nomination, while his music for the 2014 Western THE HOMESMAN won best score for a drama film from the International Film Music Critics Association, and the Oscar-winning 2018 documentary FREE SOLO gave Marco and co-composer Brandon Roberts an Emmy Award for best documentary score – all amid much other acclaim. Committed to keeping up with Marco Beltrami’s continued excellence, I offer Soundtrax a new interview looking at some of Beltrami and his team’s most recent scores. - rdl
Q: Tell me about A QUIET PLACE PART II and the elements you brought into it from the first film?
Marco Beltrami: It was really a question of continuing the language that I set up in A QUIET PLACE, with the same orchestral ensemble that I used, the same use of the quarter-tone, de-tuned piano* as a thematic element for the family theme, and the same motives for the monster and for the dad theme and the girl’s theme. So it was a matter of taking those elements and expanding them a little bit. A lot of the music was pretty similar. There was a new thematic idea for Cillian Murphy’s character of Emmett, which was new to the second film.
[“The solution that we came up with was to take a piano and detune the black notes by a quarter, and then keep the theme on the white notes in almost a modal type melody that uses some of the black notes infrequently as part of the passing melody but didn’t rely completely on them as you would in a very chromatic piece. This way you would have the melody but some of the notes, without sounding too out there, just gave it a skewed feel”. – from previous A QUIET PLACE interview in my June 2018 column.
Q: I thought the climax where Evelyn and Emmett are trapped in the radio station, trying to avoid the sightless alien creature that’s in there with them, had some moments that were especially tense as they couldn’t make any sounds. Can you describe what the music did in those scenes?
Marco Beltrami: At the end, in the radio station, that was basically an extension of Evelyn’s theme to become a little more heroic. For the suspense moments there, it was really a question of using the elements that we already set up but scoring them in a different way. Except for Emmett’s theme, I don’t think there are any new elements in the score; it’s based on what we set up in the first movie.
Listen to “Family Ties” from A QUIET PLACE PART II:
Q: You’ve done a lot of scores recently in collaboration with other, relatively new composers. One of the recent ones after A QUIET PLACE was LOVE AND MONSTERS, which is an interesting kind of post-apocalypse monster story that you did with Marcus Trumpp. How did you begin working with other composers and what’s your general way of working with them – for example, Marcus on LOVE AND MONSTERS?
Marco Beltrami: The people that I work with are people that I’ve known for a while, and usually start out in some sort of capacity of support work, whether it’s orchestration or providing cues that are based on what I’m doing. Over the years there’s been a handful of people like Marcus and Brandon Roberts and Miles Hankins who I find there’s a real aesthetic connection with, and it makes it easy. For instance, when we decided to do this movie together, we went in and spotted it together with the director, and then spoke about it ourselves – what our thoughts were – and we were very much in sync with what the music needed to do. We both started writing thematic ideas and then Buck Sanders – who works with us, sometimes in a writing capacity or in a producing capacity – also began making a template of sounds that we thought we might need in the electronic portion of it. When we had themes that we both liked, we would share them and see what we felt would work where and then we’d either write separately and comment on or some we even worked on together; like one of us would have an idea to start something and someone else would continue it. So it’s pretty collaborative. I enjoy that way of working; it gives a sort of community feel to what we’re doing and sometimes can make the job more fun.
A project like LOVE AND MONSTERS is great because it allows each of our strengths to shine a little bit; Marcus really likes action/adventure movies and is really good at that idiom, so it’s really fun to hear his perspective and how he approaches it, and then with me bringing in what I do it seems to work out well.
Listen to the Prologue music from LOVE AND MONSTERS:
Q: That process gives you both an advantage in that you can catch up with things and have some help on a very busy schedule and in turn the other composers begin to get experience and credits and now they can return and do their own stuff as well.
Marco Beltrami: Yeah. There’s a certain point where these guys should be doing their own careers. I think they enjoy the process of collaboration as well, but it allows them to have some credits, also, and it seems like the right thing.
Listen to “Wisdom of the Wild” from LOVE AND MONSTERS:
Q: You worked with Brandon Roberts on CHAOS WALKING, which is an interesting science fiction adventure through the badlands of an unexplored planet. What can you tell me about your music for this film?
Marco Beltrami: A very similar process. In fact Brandon and Marcus know each other well, and we’ve collaborated on quite a few things – it’s become second nature with all these guys. On CHAOS WALKING, we both came up with thematic ideas – one of the first things we did, after talking with the director, was to find some specific sonic elements that were going to be thematic in the score, things that you can almost identify like a vibe for the bad guy, and also this idea that it has almost a little bit of a Western feel to it, in a futuristic sense. One of the first things we did was to do a session where we recorded different instruments that we had in the studios, including windwands, which are these wooden sticks that have rubber bands wound around them and when you either twirl them or shake them or do any number of actions it gives them different sonic responses. We recorded that and Buck manipulated it a little bit, and that became a sound that’s featured throughout the score as a thematic element to identify the antagonist.
Watch a short featurette on Marco and Brandon using the windwands in CHAOS WALKING:
Q: We have the three-part FEAR STREET series – for Parts 1 and 3 you worked with Anna Drubich and Marcus again, and Part 2 was Brandon. How did that collaboration come about and what were the musical needs for this project?
Marco Beltrami: I didn’t realize that SCREAM would have such a big impact so far down the road. At the beginning of the pandemic, Leigh Janiak, the director of all three, came to me and said she was making this trilogy of movies which really were a homage to Wes Craven, and that’s what inspired her. She showed me the first movie, and at first I was a little reluctant – I’d done four SCREAM movies and I wasn’t really that interested in doing another one. She was really enthusiastic about the movie and after I talked to her and seeing what she was doing, I became enthusiastic too, because it is a homage to Wes, it’s also her own thing and it goes off into its own direction, and I thought it could be fun. Again this would be a great opportunity to help out some of the people who work with me, for instance Anna, who I had worked a little bit with on a Russian movie called MATHILDE and I knew she was really capable. She didn’t have many credits, at least not here in the States; she’d done a lot of Russian movies. There was over four hours of music in the three movies, so having also Marcus who had come in when I started to do SCREAM 3, and Brandon who came in on SCREAM 4 along with Marcus, so they were really familiar with the idiom and everything we were trying to do.
Listen to “Main Titles” from FEAR STREET PART ONE:
Q: You’ve recently scored VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE, which was a new character franchise for you after you scored several Marvel super-hero films like THE WOLVERINE, LOGAN, and the 2015 FANTASTIC FOUR. What were the musical needs of this particular movie?
Marco Beltrami: That was really a fun project. I don’t watch that many super-hero movies but I did know that the studio didn’t want to use any references to the previous VENOM score. In a film like this, you can play with the size of the orchestra, you don’t have to worry about being subtle in the big moments, and you can also have fun electronically with this, which is something that I did for the Shriek and Carnage love affair. When I first signed on to it, Andy Serkis [director] characterized it to me as a love story, as strange as it is, and so that stuck with me and that was the first piece that I wrote for it.
Listen to “Shriek/Carnage Love Theme” from VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE:
It was right in the middle of COVID – the musicians recorded at Sony but I only did it remotely, which is not ideal in terms of a way to work but it came out really good and we mixed it here at my place. I’m really happy with the result; thematically it has some strong themes and it was real easy working with Sony and Andy and the producers. It was a much smoother process than many other movies I’ve done even not in COVID times.
Q: How would you describe your theme for Eddie and how did that integrate with a theme for Venom when they’re separated?
Marco Beltrami: There’s actually a piece for the soundtrack that does that in the end credits, that actually unites the two themes. The theme for Eddie is maybe a touch bluesy, and Venom is much more hard-edged and metallic. But they are related – there are chord relationships that work between the two themes, so it was fun to play with that a little bit. Throughout the movie it’s more motivic – it’s not like we really expand on the development of these themes together except for a few places, but it’s more like you hear a motive of one or the other throughout the film.
Listen to “Carnage Unleashed” from VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE:
Q: How challenging was it to score the climatic, massive battle in the cathedral at the end of the film?
Marco Beltrami: That was a huge undertaking, and the picture was evolving as we were working on it, too. In its first incarnation it was actually hard to know exactly what was happening, but I had Marcus and Miles helping with this, and again it’s nice having more than one person so that as they’re feeding you new picture and things are changing, you’re able to stay up to date. With the three of us it became a much more manageable task.
Q: You’ve recently done the NINE PERFECT STRANGER mini-series with Miles, which I haven’t seen yet but it sounds like a really interesting concept, about nine stressed-out city dwellers who visit a health-and-wellness resort that promises healing and transformation. How would you describe the music the two of you did for that?
Marco Beltrami: It’s all over the emotional map, which made it really fun. In terms of continuity we had a string quartet that we used throughout, but stylistically it’s everything from meditative retreat-type music to Nino Rota-ish tongue-in-cheek stuff, to more dramatic material. It runs the gamut of human emotion from fun and tongue-in-cheek to very serious internal struggles, psychosis, and all sorts of things. It’s really a well done show, and the music was needed to reflect the stuff and to give some dramatic continuity to the show.
Q: What was the musical palette that you wound up with on that?
Marco Beltrami: String quartet and a few other instruments. Five instruments were more sporadically used, and the rest was electronics – not trying to be orchestral but electronics in a more electronic vein.
Q: SHADOW IN MY EYE seems to be a very interesting film, I was able to review it in my last column [December 2021]. You worked with Ceiri Torjussen and Buck Sanders on this project. How did you approach this Danish war story about an RAF bombing run that accidentally mistakes a smoke-shrouded kids’ school for their targeted Gestapo headquarters building?
Marco Beltrami: It’s supposed to be from the kids’ perspective. Coming up with the theme first and foremost for the boy in the movie was our first task, and then creating themes for subsidiary characters, like a nun who needed her own theme. Approaching some of the scenes in a way that would keep you in the picture, the music couldn’t call too much attention to itself, although in some places it is featured, so there was a rare combination of subtlety but also poignancy, and I think it all worked. I’ve worked with the director, Ole Bornedal, quite a few times over the years, so we sort of understand each other. He’s very direct about what he liked and what he doesn’t.
Listen to “Henry’s Voice” from SHADOW IN MY EYE:
Q: I had the chance to listen to a few of the cues and I read a detailed synopsis of the storyline from a Danish film website, and I’ve found it quite intriguing. I thought your tonal ambiences and how it shifts from the bombing run to the perspective of the kids in the school, and how the music treated that, was really a remarkable score.
Marco Beltrami: Yes, it’s a very dark story. It was a really rewarding project to work on. We had some soloists come in to the studio – violin, especially, and Buck and I worked a lot with processing the sound and keeping it away from being just a traditional violin tone – giving it a different, almost saturated energy to it. We had some other traditional instruments, like organ. There are sounds that Buck created specifically for this film which I think worked really well, almost like hybrid sounds, you can’t tell if it’s a voice or what it is. There are some flute sounds – everything’s processed. We did, unfortunately, have to use some sampled sounds to substitute for some things that should have been recorded live, but that was just due to the nature of the budget of the project, which is always a shame. I don’t like to do that, but there didn’t seem to be any way around it.
Q: I was quite taken by the dramatic moments you have in the bombing and the RAF attack, those sequences have what I described as “dark shimmering electronic tonalities, a confrontational semblance of growing synth warbles, shaker percussion…” All of this really intriguing sonic texture for that.
Marco Beltrami: Yeah. Honestly for that bombing, it’s a long scene, but musically my concept for it was for the first part, until the bomb actually hits, to build it up almost like a musical air-raid siren, which I did by creating, pretty much, a long shepherd tone, which helps the action play but gives it an intensity that you feel – which is, again, something I think you would feel emotionally more than you would recognize as a musical moment.
Listen to “RAF Attack Part 2” from SHADOW IN MY EYE
The digital soundtrack to SHADOW IN MY EYE is available from MovieScoreMedia.
Q: What’s coming up next that you can talk about?
Marco Beltrami: I’m just starting working on a really interesting animated show called PANTHEON, with Brandon and Buck. It’s for Craig Silverstein, who I did the TV war drama series TURN with. It’s sort of a futuristic show that has to do with this concept of uploaded intelligence and keeping people’s brains working after the person is not there. It’s a really well done, extremely well-written show and we’re having a lot of fun. It’s a completely synthetic score.
Thanks to Marco Beltrami for taking time out to discuss the scoring of these films with me! Marco’s latest score, composed with Miles Hankin, is the suspense thriller NO EXIT. The soundtrack was just released by Disney and the film premiered February 25th on Hulu. See details in Soundtrack News below. For more information about Marco Beltrami see his official website, https://marcobeltrami.com/ as well as his informative unofficial website, http://www.marco-beltrami.com/
In other relevant Marco Beltrami news, he has launched a new digital release series called “The Early Years,” offering previously unreleased scores from his early days as a composer. The first one is from the short film, THE BICYCLIST (1995), and the second, just announced, is from the private eye television series LAND’S END (also 1995). See the streaming links for THE BICYCLIST hereand LAND’S END here.
A television and film composer, songwriter, producer and founder/CEO of True Music, a prominent music licensing company, seven-time BMI Award-winning composer Kurt Farquhar has scored more primetime television series than any other African American composer throughout his 32-year career. He currently scores CBS’ comedy series THE NEIGHBORHOOD, now in its 4th season; Disney +’s THE PROUD FAMILY: LOUDER AND PROUDER, the long anticipated revival of the groundbreaking animated series THE PROUD FAMILY which premiered on February 22nd; and Netflix’s upcoming supernatural fantasy teen drama series FIRST KILL. His credits include scoring hit series such as BLACK LIGHTNING; THE KING OF QUEENS; AMBITIONS; GIRLFRIENDS; SISTER, SISTER; MOESHA; SOUL FOOD; IN THE HOUSE; STITCHERS; NED AND STACEY; as well as genre-defining series for the BET network such as AMERICAN SOUL; GAMES PEOPLE PLAY; THE QUAD; BEING MARY JANE; REAL HUSBANDS OF HOLLYWOOD; IN CONTEMPT; and many more.
Q: What can you tell me about FIRST KILL on Netflix? This sounds like an interesting teen vampire drama series.
Kurt Farquhar: It’s just a really exciting score – a lot different than anything else that I’ve done. It’s a really interesting story based on a Young Adult book. It has a lot of excitement, a lot of energy, but it’s also got a lot of emotional touch points in the story, and that’s what’s really important from the point of view of a score – that we’re really servicing all of those points, the emotional elements as well as the darker action. Basically it is a vampire story, but it’s unlike most vampire stories; there’s a lot of really interesting lore that’s different and special to this show. I couldn’t be happier to be a part of this.
Q: What has been your instrumental palette and musical style for this series?
Kurt Farquhar: As usual with something of mine, we are really making up some very different sounds. There’s a lot of interesting vocal components that in a lot of ways won’t even be recognized as vocal, because I’m processing so heavily on the show. The word “processing” is the number one word of the moment with this score. There are very few things that I am not touching and changing into something else. I’m beating and scratching my mix board to get sounds! We’re literally walking up the street, looking for things to hit and looking for things to scrape, and coming back with the samples and creating our own sounds. We’re basing a lot of vocal sounds on two featured artists that are just amazing, an artist named Barri and an artist named D'anna Stewart, and they bring such a magic and such a uniqueness to the score that only this show has. It’s really exciting to see what it becomes every week – we’re adding all these creative elements from other people into it. I’m very excited about it.
Q: What’s been your challenge in treating a series with vampires as the protagonists?
Kurt Farquhar: It’s really unique how they are handling the vampire story and the characters themselves, and I don’t think I want to give too much away about that. Let’s suffice it to say that it’s just different from what you’re used to. You’re not going to hear a lot of orchestral strings and cellos and brass; there’s not a lot of that and if there is I’m probably processing the heck out of it! They’ve really created this unique world, so what you’re going to hear musically is us going along in kind, and creating a unique musical world that informs us in a different way than we may be used to.
Kurt Farquhar: The good thing about BLACK LIGHTNING is that it definitely had a musical lore that we were relying on heavily at that time. We really were excited about pushing the energy level and the intensity level as we went on, season to season. The third and fourth seasons were no exceptions, and we really went for it. One of the exciting things about season 4 was that they had built towards what was supposed to be a spinoff of Painkiller, which I think was probably one of the most unique scores I’ve gotten a chance to do – very electronic, filled with analog and a lot of created sounds. That was another one which the level of creative sounds and samples in the Painkiller episode was something I was very proud of.
Q: Aside from that, what’s been most interesting, musically rewarding, and challenging about scoring BLACK LIGHTNING’s four seasons?
Kurt Farquhar: It takes a lot from you, emotionally, to stay in that place and sustain that sort of vibe over a long period of time. But they had such great stories that it always really intrigued me and made me want to dig deeper and want to go where they were going with it. There were very, very special stories that they were telling.
Q: It’s been interesting to see where that character was going, not only within his own show but as part of the DC Crossovers… Did you get to be involved in any of that, musically or was your theme involved?
Kurt Farquhar: Yes, my themes were involved. The incredible composer Blake Neely was composing that and he would get the various themes that we had going on and would wind them into his musical concept as needed. I think they did a fabulous job – they got a chance to use a live orchestra on these crossovers, and he and Sherry Chung, who was with him on that, my hat’s off to them. They just do such a fabulous job with a brilliant group of composers. I have to say it was really interesting hearing something that I wrote being woven into somebody else’s score!
Q: You’re also now scoring THE PROUD FAMILY: LOUDER AND PROUDER for Disney+ – what can you tell me about your music for this revival of the groundbreaking animated series?
Kurt Farquhar: It is so much fun! We are laughing our heads off every week. It’s a very long process, as you know, doing the animation; we actually started with the re-envisioning of the theme song that I wrote 20 years ago, and that started in August of 2019! We have been working on this throughout, and one of the things that I’m very fortunate to get to do in PROUD FAMILY is we write a lot of the songs that are used in the show. So we may have written fifty or sixty songs for all the seasons. Just as everybody was shutting down for the pandemic in March of 2020, we were just going into production with all of the pre-records for the songs that were going to be involved in the show. So we had the added challenge of figuring out how we were going to work with people long distance to get these songs done, because at that period of time nobody was comfortable being in the room with anybody. This was right at the beginning of it – we had just been shut down and it was literally in that following week when we needed to do our first song! So that was a challenge. We made it happen in a different way, and things all turned out the way they needed to be.
Watch the trailer to Disney+’s THE PROUD FAMILY: FASTER & LOUDER:
With the theme song, one of the big challenges was if it was going to be re-done with Solange Knowles and Destiny’s Child [who sang the original show’s theme song] or were we going to have someone new? At the time of the original show, Solange was a new artist, Destiny’s Child had only been out for several years, and if you think about it this way, their huge hit album Bootylicious had just come out – it wasn’t yet the iconic hit that it became – when we were working on the theme song. So the thought was to find someone who spoke to today’s generation. We just announced this past Friday that we decided to go with R&B artist Joyce Wrice. She’s just an amazing up-and-coming artist that I strongly suggest people check out [http://www.joycewrice.com/]. One of the things we loved about her is that if Penny Proud was a recording artist, she’d be Joyce! From seeing Joyce’s own videos, she has such a young, lively, vivacious vibe about her that is just infectious! She brought that fun, charming approach to re-envisioning the Proud Family theme.
Q: How have you found scoring a show with animated characters, as compared to a live action series?
Kurt Farquhar: If you’re doing it right, it’s a lot of work! A lot of sifting, a lot of bobbing and weaving! Every five or ten seconds there’s something else you’re shifting, you’re hitting, or you’re moving with them. There’s a lot of desire to hit all of these different moments, and it’s very, very fast paced. What I love about THE PROUD FAMILY is it’s not just comical, there’s a lot of heartfelt storylines in there too. So you would be laughing out loud at Suga Mama one second, and then crying over something that just broke Penny’s heart. Now they’re a little bit older and all of the Proud Family kids are in high school, so now we’re dealing with the issues of children in high school and what they’re going through today, as opposed to what they were going through twenty years ago. They’ve really gone to great lengths to bring the whole show into the current day, and I think they’ve done a fabulous job. It’s a wonderful show to sit down and watch as a family. I have to say, my team – we’re all grown musicians and we’re sitting here laughing as much as any of the kids watching would laugh! It’s just hilarious, it’s exciting, it’s funny, and it’s so touching, it’s a heartfelt show as well.
“I have a thing I call dancing with dialog, and if I’m doing it right, the dialog isn’t yanking me, I’m not stepping on or stumbling all over the dialog. It’s a dance and we’re going together, and if we’re doing it right sometimes you won’t even notice that I’m there.”
Q: You’re also in the 4th Season of scoring CBS’s THE NEIGHBORHOOD. How has your music for this series developed and changed across its four year run (so far)?
Watch the Season 4 trailer to CBS-TV’s THE NEIGHBORHOOD:
Q: As comedy series how have you chosen your musical moments in the episodes – staying clear of the verbal comedy, enhancing emotive moments, and giving the show its unique musical language?
Kurt Farquhar: The most important thing to know is when not to go in! Sometimes the point is to let the joke bubble up and give it its space. I think that’s important not only with comedy, but also with drama – sometimes you don’t want to step on the moment; sometimes you want to just wait – you want to hold it, hold it, hold it… and here you bring it in. I have a thing I call dancing with dialog, and if I’m doing it right, the dialog isn’t yanking me, I’m not stepping on or stumbling all over the dialog. It’s a dance and we’re going together, and if we’re doing it right sometimes you won’t even notice that I’m there. You just feel it, and it feels right and it feels good.
Q: What’s coming up next for you, that you can talk about?
Kurt Farquhar: There are some cool things but unfortunately with all the NDAs I can’t talk about most of them! But I can talk about this documentary that I just did for the History Channel on Abraham Lincoln. It’s an amazing, stunning documentary, done by the same people who did the Ulysses S. Grant miniseries documentary about a year or two ago; same director as well, Malcolm Venville. He did a unique thing of making it feel like a movie. You start out and it feels like you’re in a typical feature film: you see the scene being acted out, and then you hear a voice-over and the voice-over turns into a person being interviewed and you realize you’re in a documentary. It has this very sophisticated back-and-forth flow between dramatic scenes and talking heads, it’s like one seamlessly melts into the other and you’re already in it before you notice that you’re there; you’re somewhere else now. So there was a challenge to keep this film-like quality and vibe to it so that it doesn’t feel like you’re being yanked back and forth, but that it feels seamless. It’s a beautiful film, just wonderfully done and I was very proud to be a part of that. I never thought I’d be sitting here saying I’m doing a film on Lincoln, but I thought wow, what a wonderful opportunity to do something like that.
Watch the trailer for The History Channel’s ABRAHAM LINCOLN Miniseries, which debuted February 20th:
Special thanks to Alix Becq and Jana Davidoff of Rhapsody PR for facilitating this interview. Read my 2018 interview with Kurt Farquhar about scoring BLACK LIGHTNING here. Watch THE PROUD FAMILY: LOUDER & PROUDER on Disney+
1883: SEASON 1, VOL. 1 & 2/Brian Tyler & Breton Vivian/Milan – digital 1883 is the prequel to Paramount Network’s hugely-popular series YELLOWSTONE. 1883 returns both composers to the Yellowstone universe, with Brian Tyler having composed the music for all four seasons of the hit show and Breton Vivian joining as co-composer on seasons 3 and 4. 1883 follows the Dutton family as they embark on a journey west through the Great Plains toward the last bastion of untamed America. It is a stark retelling of Western expansion, and an intense study of one family fleeing poverty to seek a better future in America’s promised land – Montana. Tyler’s main theme for 1883 captures the character and cadence of his acclaimed theme from YELLOWSTONE, yet carries a quietly epic sensibility appropriate to the historicity of the show and its wider breadth. “The music needed to convey struggle, heartbreak, beauty, pain, love, stoicism, sorrow, and resilience,” said Tyler in a statement for the label. “The journey of these characters is an echo of all of us and the music had to have a sense of timelessness. The score is symphonic with a layer of choir to give it an emotionally powerful feel alongside solo fiddles, hurdy gurdy, various stringed instruments from early America, and Native American percussion. The main themes feel ancient and mystical to convey the feeling of the characters continuously entering the unknown. Collaborating with Breton Vivian has been an amazing continuation from our work on YELLOWSTONE. I am so grateful for this opportunity to work with Taylor Sheridan on our third and most ambitious project yet.” The musical palette is largely on strings – contemporary and historical, bowed and picked – and instruments of the period, which provides an effective ambiance to the music which benefits its resonance across the episodes and CDs alike.
The two soundtrack albums (27 and 26 tracks, respectively) offer a pleasing variety of emotive, drifting, and eloquent scoring as well as brisk, menacing action material. Standouts in Vol. 1 include “Untamed and Beautiful,” the pensive “A Deal is Struck” and “Tainted Water,” “Riding Out” with its historical instruments and increasing tempo, the tense “Punishing Thieves” with its Native percussive rhythm, shaker, and solo fiddling, the gently contemplative “That Conversation,” the increasingly dangerous mixed sonic patterns of “Bandits,” and, mixing both elements, the dramatic “Why You Stay In The Wagon,” the resonant strings of “Morning,” and the powerful vocalise running across the main theme in the conclusive “Lost Love.” Tyler’s main theme bookends Vol. 1, opening with its full 8:06 treatment and closing with a 1:12 variant. Vol. 2 follows a similar pattern, opening with a slightly longer rendition of the main theme, at 8:56, then accommodating a variety of harmonic development and structure, from the reflective “Lightning Yellow Hair,” the impassioned “Warriors Don’t Cry,” ending with a poignant solo piano treatment of the main theme; “Short Fuse” begins as a pleasing mix of acoustic guitar and flute but midway through turns dark with rough-edged hurdy gurdy and Native American percussion, culminating in thoughtful solo cello bowing leading into a wash of pensive string lines and a return of the acoustic guitar fingering. “Mourning” is distressing and brooding for long string lines, mixing high and low registers. “Worthless Pretty Things” houses an equally despondent treatment for strings and strummed banjo, wherein it defines a more optimistic tone. “Tornado” expresses dangerous string figures over a cadence of percussion, calming midway through with a reprise of the theme from solo piano tune as heard in “Warriors Don’t Cry.” “Judge and Jury” races forward with urgent string cries, blaring brasses, and sharp, powerful drumming, cut off by a cluster of flurrying strings which then calms and plays out in sad violin measures before ending in a gathering of snarling horns and ringing light guitar notes; “No Fear” actively reinvigorates the former’s percussive, and blaring tension; “Buffalo” is an elegant, wistful motif in honor of the bison herds, while “Like a Comanche” offers a splendid arrangement of the main theme over a rolling drum beat, acoustic guitar, and sinewy string figures. “Just Come Back” is a gently poignant reverie for strings flavored by percussive elements and guitar; “Guns and Arrows” is exciting battle music driven by various interactive sections of the composers’ orchestra, and is follow by the inevitable, dour resolve of “Massacre” for cello and violins. The show’s first season concludes with a series of dramatic intonations and thematic treatments, from “The Crosses Left Behind” (low string interactions), “This Thing Called Death” (somber strings both in sinewy solo and massed cadences, bridged by moments of pounding drums), “True Pain” (layered low strings ending with high register bowing and rapid percussion attributes), “A Cold River and a Warm Fire” (choir over violin sustains, opening into full orchestral resolution) and “Journey’s End” (pensive string choir concluding with a warm flourish) with “It Was Beautiful” reprising the solo piano rendition of the main theme and rising into full orchestra for a final treatment of the main theme.
Both albums really are essentials of Tyler’s elegant melodic flavoring, and his collaboration with Vivian has provided an especially commanding musical influence which makes for a thoroughly pleasing listen on its own.
The Vol. 1 soundtrack is available here https://1883.lnk.to/vol1
The Vol. 2 soundtrack is available here https://1883.lnk.to/vol2 Have a taste of the theme from 1883 in this short music-only trailer:
THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT Volume 2 (Chapters 5-7)/Ludwig Göransson & Joseph Shirley/Disney - digital
THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT Volume 2 covers music from the final 5th through 7th chapters of the limited STAR WARS series. As with the first volume, the soundtrack features music themes by Ludwig Göransson (THE MANDALORIAN, TENET, BLACK PANTHER) and score by Joseph Shirley (BAD TRIP, THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY, FAIRFAX). Commenting on his score, Shirley said, “THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT Volume Two highlights the different worlds colliding throughout Chapters 5-7, as well as some anticipated Bonus Tracks. Musically, it follows Boba Fett, Fennec Shand, Din Djarin, Grogu, and Master Luke as they band together to save Mos Espa. Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni have written a wonderful climax to this season, that I wanted to capture musically as everyone’s themes become intertwined, broken down, and built back up. Ludwig’s themes from THE MANDALORIAN, and an occasional quote of the great John Williams; everyone has a moment in this overarching collection of score!” As Shirley alludes, John Williams’ “Yoda’s Theme” makes at least three subtle appearances on tracks 6, 8, and 10, for the scenes in which Luke Skywalker trains Grogu in the Jedi ways. Vol. 2 is also much more orchestral than the previous album; the first few episodes of the series focused on Boba Fett’s escape from the Sarlac Pit and his recovery among the Tusken Raiders, which required earthy, tribal vocal music for those scenes (Göransson’s main theme is also drawn from these elements). Episodes 5-7 essentially continue the stories of both THE MANDALORIAN and BOBA FETT episodes 1-4, with the final chapters in a much more familiar STAR WARS musical environment (not that I didn’t love the earthy vibe of the Tusken Raider episodes), and range from the soft music when Mandalorian Din Djarin bring a gift for Grogu on the forest planet where he is being trained by Luke, to the massive, thrilling battle of Boba, Shand, Djarin and their allies against Cad Bane and members of the Pyke Syndicate through the streets of Mos Espa. Shirley’s score and Göransson’s themes highlight these sequences in the series and provide engaging listening on the album. Also included in this album are three bonus tracks featuring previously unreleased music from the first four chapters: “Hit It Max,” a unique sonic bit of alien jazz source music from Garsa Fwip’s (Jennifer Beals) cantina in Mos Espa at the end of Episode 4; the heavy action of “Train Heist,” an extended continuation of the “Stop That Train” cue from Vol. 1, and the tribal suspense of “The Bonfire,” from the celebration of Boba’s being admitted into the Tusken tribe.
The soundtrack is available at these links.
(See the January 2022 column for my review of Book of Boba Fett Vol 1) Listen to the track “Maiden Voyage” from THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT
CONSEIL DE FAMILLE & LE POINT DE MIRE/Georges Delerue/Music Box – CD The French label offers the premiere CD release of two Georges Delerue scores: Costa-Gavras’ CONSEIL DE FAMILLE (Family Council, 1986) and Jean-Claude Tramont’s LE POINT DE MIRE (Focal Point, 1977). The first film is scored with an unusual mix of the composer’s majestically colorfully poignant music, with richly fragrant melodies for cello, flute, accordion, and even using a harmonica in his “Theme De Famille” as well as in the romantic “Intimite.” What’s unusual here is Delerue’s use of synthetic percussion, which gives the sound a kind of disco stylism where it’s used (erupting unexpectedly midway into “Le Pont Des Arts”) and electric guitar (played very romantically in “Theme De Sophie,” given a pop groove for modern synthesizer & drum in “Jogging,” and in a full-blown electric guitar instrumental in “La Famille En Vacancy” – and there’s an intriguing mix of “Intimite’s” harmonica theme with the disco synth drums in “À L’aéroport”). These elements at first come off as uncharacteristic but after a few listens it works pretty well within the environment the composer establishes for this film, and it shows how Delerue has been able to transfigure his accustomed style into new treatments as necessary. The score’s third element consists of a variety of potent suspenseful measures with pizzicato strings, dissonances, and the like (“Premier Chantier,” “Suspense,” and “Les bulgares se déchaînent,” which starts as a frothy festivity before being enclosed by more dark and dour tonalities; but even the brooding “Le Dernier Chantier” is given an undercurrent of disco drumming). “Le Cha-Cha-Cha Des Vacances” is a delightful dance tune for light woodwinds over hand drums and guitars, “François Et Les Tireurs” maintains an urgent pop rhythm for electric keyboards, bass, and drums; while “Monique Et Faucon” emerges into a charming waltz melody. And there’s much more to be had in this score, such as the affecting cello solo in “La Magie Du Grenier” and “La Route d’Aurillac,” the introspective guitar over string choir in “Sophie Et Françoi,” the toe-tapping clarinet and trumpet of “Le Chantier,” and the summation reprise of what’s gone before in “Générique De Fin (Theme De Famille).” Overall this is a delightful score with much to be enjoyed and discovered, from the familiar melodies and cadences we’re accustomed to from this composer, to the discovery of more uncommon characteristics that we find work uniquely well. For all it is made of, this is prime Delerue, delivered with passion and intrigue.
CONSEIL DE FAMILLE is given a full 26 tracks on the album, occupying the bulk of the compact disc. The remaining 9 tracks offer Delerue’s score for LE POINT DE MIRE, the first film of the Belgian director and screenwriter Jean-Claude Tramont, inspired by a Pierre Boulle’s novel. This political thriller follows photographer Danielle Gaur as she conducts an investigation into the alleged accident of her husband Michel, when her research gradually leads her to discover the workings of a plot to assassinate an American political official. This score is much more characteristic of Delerue’s familiar writing style, mixing rich melodies (“Theme De Danielle” and “Danielle Et Julien,” played on accordion) with increasingly tense sonorities (“La Maison De Madame Yvonne”) and taut, somber suspense cues (“Le Courrier” with its piano and accordion melodies interlaced by a menacing violin sustain). “Thème De Julien” is kind of a swaying, scuffling dance led by a transverse flute playing in low register over violin pads and ethnical percussion, while “L’appartement” is a moody, easy-listening piece for vibe, bass, and rhythmic accordion figures. “Le Viseur” opens with a revered cascade of rough, harpsichord notes, sounding like gravel spilling onto the keyboard, before morphing into a solemn rendition of Danielle’s theme.
“La Cassette” reprises the violin sustains in tremolo fashion, exuding suspense and tension, expressly characterizing the criminal pessimism of the story, and “Final” concludes the film with a subdued and almost somber reprise of the theme for Danielle. Sprinkled with dissonances, tense strings, and light electronic effects, Delerue’s score to LE POINT DE MIRE highlights the dark and somewhat engaging pessimistic tonality of the story. These expanded treatments have been fully remastered from the original recording sessions courtesy of Delerue’s archives. For CONSEIL DE FAMILLE, the composer’s back-up sessions tape was provided for this expanded edition (the only surviving source in reasonably good condition). The CD comes with a 12-page booklet with liner notes by Sylvain Pfeffer, discussing the films and the scores. The release is limited to 1000 units. The soundtrack is a thorough enjoyment, highly recommended (and quantities are becoming limited). See Music Box Records.
PEACEMAKER/Clint Mansell & Kevin Kiner/Troll Court/
WaterTower Music - digital James Gunn’s PEACEMAKER (also known as DC’s PEACEMAKER) is a 2022 American action-adventure comedy superhero web television series, a spin-off from 2021’s THE SUICIDE SQUAD, based on characters from DC Comics. John Cena reprises his role from THE SUICIDE SQUAD and stars in the new series; his character is known for his slogan, “I made a vow to have peace, no matter how many people I have to kill to get it!” Also starring are Steve Agee, Danielle Brooks, Robert Patrick, Jennifer Holland, Freddie Stroma, Chukwudi Iwuji, Lochlyn Munro, Annie Chang, and Christopher Heyerdahl. The series is hysterically over the top, as anyone who has seen Gunn’s THE SUICIDE SQUAD will understand. Composers Mansell and Kiner, continuing their partnership from DC’s TITANS and DOOM PATROL super-hero series, embrace the duality between orchestral scoring and glam metal that the show’s enthusiastic audacity offers them. “PEACEMAKER taught us that there’s no wrong time to rock,” said the composers. “Tapping into the heart of 80’s hair metal made it so that the score is simultaneously earnest and ridiculous, stylized and unhinged, uncool and yet transcendently cool. It’s also unabashedly melodic with an enthusiasm and sincerity we too were infected with when we immersed ourselves in the mix tapes James Gunn sent us.” The PEACEMAKER soundtrack features eighteen tracks from the show. Building around a base mixing large orchestral gestures and beloved, decade’s old electric guitar rock, the composers have way too much fun mixing these elements together to provide the perfect sonic edge for Gunn’s jingoistic superhero and his band of wildmen and women (and a pet eagle).
“I guess the challenging part was getting the hybrid part of the score right,” Kiner told me in an interview last month. “The orchestra does have an element and there are action scenes and there are superhero scenes, and scenes of peril and all these things. The orchestra definitely needed to be an element of the score, and melding that with the kind of hair metal sensibility, being able to bring the metal guitars in and out and the big drums in and out with the big arena rock thing in and out of the score in a semi-seamless way. That was a very big challenge.”
That mix of blazing rock and energetic symphonic components works wonderfully for this – “Cops on the Move” is a great example of the orchestration between the different sonic sensibilities, as is the definitive track, “Peacemaker Rock Theme Jam,” a wonderous merging of orchestra, drums, electric guitars, and full choir built around the series’ main theme. [review continues below]
Listen to the track “Peacemaker Rock Theme Jam” from PEACEMAKER:
And yet there are some remarkably poignant moments, such as the tender vocalise that wafts out of the wild sonic middle of “Auggie,” the edgy electronica mysterioso vibe in “Berenstain Bears,” there’s a nice choir interlude in the middle of the otherwise energetic “Peacemaker Confronts His Demon,” and the first part of “Sonic Boom Helmet” starts off slowly, until the Peacemaker theme launches in for a bit and, after a short pause, the helmet demonstrates its rocketlike power through a variety of percussive and brassy drives. An especially touching melody wafts through “Holy Cow,” until the composers rev up their rising, brassy main theme over drums; allowing a poignant resolution to settle before a climactic finish. “I’m Made for This Sh*t” continues a mix of energy and heroic sonorities, ending in a fine valiant resolve. And, of course, there’s “Eagly,” the theme for the CGI bald eagle who serves as Peacemaker’s pet companion and winged aerial reconnaissance unit. The soundtrack ends with two songs: “Pumped Up Kicks (feat. Ralph Saenz)” by John Murphy (THE SUICIDE SQUAD, KICK ASS), which also appeared on the show, and the tender “Home Sweet Home (Piano Version),” a rendition of the 80’s classic performed in the film on piano by John Cena (the popular opening song, “Do Ya Wanna Taste It?” performed by Wig Wam, to which the cast is introduced performing a wonderful dead-pan dance routine, is not included on the soundtrack but can be found on the band’s 2010 album, “Non Stop Rock’n Roll”).
Definitely recommended if not for its very audaciousness as a superhero concept, for its simple verve and beautifully crafted mix of shred and symph, hostility and heart, which is so well integrated into its musical design as it is in the episodes themselves. The digital album can be streamed or purchased from these links. For more information, see my interview with Kevin Kiner on scoring PEACEMAKER with Clint Mansell,
at musiquefantastique. Listen to the track “Eagly” from the PEACEMAKER soundtrack:
RESIDENT EVIL: WELCOME TO RACCOON CITY/Mark Korven/Sony - digital This 2021 action horror film, written and directed by Johannes Roberts, is adapted from the stories of the first and second games by Capcom, it serves as sort of a reboot of the RESIDENT EVIL film series and is the seventh live-action film overall, although it more directly follows the storyline of the video game. Set in 1998, once the booming home of pharmaceutical giant Umbrella Corporation, Raccoon City is now a dying Midwestern town. The company’s exodus left the city a wasteland…with great evil brewing below the surface. When that evil is unleashed, a group of survivors must work together to uncover the truth behind Umbrella and make it through the night.
The film stars Kaya Scodelario (as adult Claire), Hannah John-Kamen, Robbie Amell, Tom Hopper, Avan Jogia, Donal Logue, and Neal McDonough. It follows a group of former employees trying to survive during a zombie outbreak in the ruins of the city. Widely known for scoring horror films (THE WITCH, THE LIGHTHOUSE, THEM), Composer Mark Korven provides a thoroughly engaging downtempo and haunting score, featuring ambient synths that parallel the film’s eerie sound design. Especially of note in this score is Korven’s use of his special instrument, the Apprehension Engine, to create the “debilitating cacophony” that makes his horror scores so unique and sonically penetrating.
(Tired of using the same digital samples, Korven teamed up with guitar maker Tony Duggan-Smith to craft an original instrument that would better aid in manufacturing fear, and thus produce the original effects needed for evoking breathtaking moments of suspension. The answer was The Apprehension Engine, a mechanism built with several bowed metal rulers, spring reverbs, a few long metal rods, and other attachments that allow for spooky interludes and effects. “A normal instrument, you are playing it and expecting it to have a sound that is pleasing,” described Korven in a YouTube video from Great Big Story, “but with an instrument like this, the goal is to produce sounds, that in this case, are disturbing.” The Apprehension Engine expresses the emotions that cannot be expressed in other ways, triggering fear with intense sonic methods.- via thiscolossal.com)
Korven’s sound design is both attractive and unsettling, frequently accommodating a howling or siren-like wail to create a very dominant sense of danger and fear, blasts of low tonalities, eerie choral sonorities, and his use here of the Apprehension Engine seems even more formidable than in previous scores of his. In contrast to its potent resonances, Korven provides a child’s lullaby, associated with the youthful personage of Claire Redfield, who lives with her older brother Chris at the Raccoon City Orphanage, subjected to the experiments of Dr. William Birkin, an employee for the Umbrella Corporation, who oversees the orphanage and takes children for his own experimental research. The lullaby turns darker by degrees as Birkin selects Claire for an experiment, but she manages to escape; the lullaby will recur throughout the score as adult Claire finds herself endangered by the zombified infected, often set against the howling Apprehension Engine manifestations. When adult Claire returns to Raccoon City, the story takes shape and Korven’s Engine makes its sinister magic along with other elements of spooky agitato in the musical design. It’s not overused but fits into the score’s wide-ranging arsenal of reverberant spookery, all of which contribute effectively to give the film a potent sense of unease and vulnerability as the story plays out. “Breach – Orphanage” is an especially unnerving track, building its strident discord through pained choirs, rough intrusive wails of sound, repeated violin strokes growing louder and then fading away, pounding drums musical chords shredded and torn apart, blocks of sound scattering through the musical environment, and more, assembling a manic semblance of palpable fear. It’s a resounding treatment which I found very effective in giving the viewer an ongoing sense of trepidation and vulnerability without relying on the kind of scary auditory tropes that have been overused in many horror films. The movie’s climax occurs on “The Train,” where Claire and the other few survivors manage, just barely, to escape from the Orphanage to freedom (perhaps); midway through, mixing an apparent hint of survival through sour notation from the soundscape while additional aural threats seem to appear from all sides, breaking for a reprise of the lullaby theme, this time from an adult singer rather than a child, until the singing is drowned out by a final, haunting collage of grating chords and other phobic sound structures that maintain their encroaching jeopardy right through to the last fading tone. Quite an excellent and effective horror score that maintains its power and enticement as a listening experience. Preferably with the lights out.
The soundtrack is available from these links.
Dare to listen to the track “RPD” (Racoon [city] Police Dept):
SCREAM 6 CD Box Set/Marco Beltrami/Varèse Sarabande – CD & digital
Varèse Sarabande revisits Marco Beltrami’s masterful scores from the SCREAM franchise’s first four films with Scream-tacular 6-CD and digital editions that offer each of the four SCREAM films’ scores in their entirety, plus more than four hours of unreleased music, demos, and alternate takes. This presentation is the ultimate in Beltrami’s musical journey through the SCREAM films, including the original album programs for each film, with bonus tracks and extras from all four gathered onto the 6th disc. A thorough booklet insert is included with authoritative notes about each of the four movies by Jim Lochner, who writes that “for this CD box set, Beltrami worked with Buck Sanders, Scott Williams, and Chas Ferry to provide the ultimate aural experience for each of the four scores. The scores for SCREAM and SCREAM 2 are re-releases of the previously released Deluxe Edition CDs. The complete score for SCREAM 3 is presented on Discs 3 and 4. Disc 5 holds the expanded score for SCREAM 4. Disc 6 takes you behind the scenes of all four Marco Beltrami SCREAM scores with bonus material that includes previously unreleased cues…” with a variety of extra bonus treasures, including alternate takes and synth demos that Beltrami had begun creating while working on the first (and subsequent) SCREAM movies, giving listeners an intriguing look into how these scores developed… from whisper to SCREAM, so to speak. The SCREAM 2 disc includes three tracks from STAB, the fictitious film-within-a-film which opens the second SCREAM movie and is purported to be based on events from the first SCREAM film. The tracks are composed by Kevin Manthei (credited as the fictitious “Dante Paltrow” in the STAB credits). Clearly this set is nirvana for the SCREAM soundtrack fan, and will afford hours of SCREAM listening pleasure to be had. See all the Varèse Sarabande SCREAM options here. The CD box set is, suitably, dedicated to Wes Craven.
(A 4-LP variation on the CD set, pressed on blood-red vinyl with black smoke swirls, will be coming to retail stores June 10th, dedicating a full album to each film and including two hours of unreleased material. The vinyl collection is housed in a unique jacket, which folds out into a 3’ x 2’ Ghostface mask. See VareseSarabande.com.
SEVERANCE/Theodore Shapiro/Lakeshore Records – digital Endeavor Content, via Lakeshore Records, has released the digital soundtrack to SEVERANCE, the Apple TV+ series featuring music by Theodore Shapiro (YELLOWJACKETS, THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE, A SIMPLE FAVOR). The series, directed by Ben Stiller and created by Dan Erickson, stars Adam Scott and Patricia Arquette, streams on Apple TV+. Mark (Adam Scott) leads a team at Lumon Industries, whose employees have undergone a severance procedure, which surgically divides their memories between their work and personal lives. This daring experiment in “work-life balance” is called into question as Mark finds himself at the center of an unraveling mystery that will force him to confront the true nature of his work… and of himself. Says Shapiro: “Although SEVERANCE can be classified as science-fiction, at its heart it’s a mystery. The music of the score, built around four repeating chords, is a gigantic question mark. As the mystery unfolds, so do variations on our theme.” Shapiro creates a daunting soundscape featuring lucid piano notes, electronics, and orchestra to augment the film’s array of whimsical moments (the tranquil exotica lounge track, “Labor Of Love”) as well as the darker, sinister side of Lumon Industries (“Main Title” theme, the jagged escape music of “Note to Self,” the worrying and drum-laden “Expiration Date,” and much else). With the entire first season soundtrack now available, but only the first three episodes offered so far, I hesitate to describe more, but I can definitely assert that both the series and Shapiro’s ominous musical score are highly recommended viewing/listening.
The series is now showing on Apple TV+, with new episodes landing Fridays through April 8th.
Listen to the Main Title from SEVERANCE, Season 1:
TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE/Colin Stetson/Milan - digital Not that any further sequels, spin-offs, or adaptations of Tobe Hooper’s 1974 horror classic THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE were ever needed – and those that ventured into Chainsaw territory over the years were certainly a mixed and not always welcome lot, but with a filmmaking team that includes Fede Alvarez (EVIL DEAD, DON’T BREATHE) and Kim Henkel, co-writer of the 1974 film, the new TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE is a pretty good variation/continuation of the original film set in the modern day. Directed by David Blue Garcia, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE centers on Melody (Sarah Yarkin), her teenage sister Lila (Elsie Fisher), and their friends Dante (Jacob Latimore) and Ruth (Nell Hudson) who head to the remote and mostly abandoned town of Harlow, Texas to start an idealistic new business venture. But their dream soon turns into a waking nightmare when they accidentally disrupt the home of Leatherface, the deranged serial killer whose blood-soaked legacy continues to haunt the area’s residents — including Sally Hardesty (Olwen Fouéré), the sole survivor of his infamous 1973 massacre, who’s hell-bent on seeking revenge. Composer Stetson, known for scoring JT Mollner’s OUTLAWS AND ANGELS (2016), Ari Aster’s HEREDITARY (2018), and Richard Stanley’s COLOR OUT OF SPACE (2019), has given the score an effective layering of multiple sounds and instruments to create a hauntingly brutal, industrial soundscape that serves the film well. Of the score, Stetson says, “It has been an honor and just way too much fun getting to musically world-build in the TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE universe. As with the subject matter and our iconic villain – all sputtering engines, metal scraping metal, faces on faces – the music is the sound of an old and decrepit abattoir, stirring to life and rattling off the dust after a great many years idle; made with Contrabass Saxophones, Tibetan bowls, and a hearty dose of wild turkey hunting calls; all twisted, stretched, and wearing masks of their own.”
Like the film itself, Stetson’s score will not be for every taste; it’s a hard-edged, music- and sound-designed industrial horror soundtrack, but it definitely works for the movie. The story is fresh and modern enough, with sufficient tastes of the original film to satisfy one’s reverence for Chainsaw ‘74. It’s a well-designed horror thriller, although I think it may have one jump scare too many, but it’s a satisfying film and honestly scary. The sonic roar of the chainsaw is present in plenty of the cues as a sound device – Stetson’s shark theme, as it were – and it works well as an element of fear in the music when Leatherface himself isn’t standing right there. We also have the effectiveness of animalistic howls, roars, and moans within Stetson’s musical designs, created using those instruments and sound-making devices mentioned above, all fitting both the wild, pastoral, and somehow haunted landscape of the story and the inhumane, bestial nature of the man with the flesh-mask and revving chainsaw. The 23-track album may not frequently grace your tracklist unless you’re heavily into industrial doomcore, but every so often it may refresh one’s memory of the film and its fulfilling elements of nostalgia and modern horror alike. “Every Last One” is a pretty grisly track, a lasting, gale-force shriek of rage and sonic tribulation that drives to a sudden finish, its last echoes lost to the night (from the scene where Leatherface takes his roaring chainsaw onto the bus where the investors are having their party). As a horror score to treat the modern revival of the ultimate horror story, this is a masterful score, hitting all the right dark, scratchy, groaning, wailing musical notes to keep the viewer/listener constantly on edge.
The album is now available at these links. Read Daniel Schweiger’s in-depth interview with Colin Stetson about scoring TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and other films, at TheFilmMusicInstitute.
The soundtrack will also be made available in vinyl format via Waxwork Records – see Vinyl Soundtracks below.
Listen to the final track, “Homecoming” from TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE:
About the Backlash Against Music (and Seven Other Oscar Categories) To Be Awarded Off Air
The backlash against the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ boneheaded decision to relegate the score Oscar — along with seven other categories — to an off-air segment prior to the three-hour telecast. This pronouncement was made – apparently due to the show being under pressure to bolster ratings from ABC, the network home of the ceremony (last year’s ceremony was the least-watched in the history of the awards), as Clayton Davis wrote in a response published in Variety. Davis quoted Academy President David Rubin, who stated that “After carefully listening to feedback and suggestions from our film community, our network partner, and all those who love the Oscars, it was evident we needed to make some decisions about the broadcast that are in the best interest of the future of our show and our organization… The new plan will allow more time for comedy, film clips and musical numbers,” Rubin explained. Not to mention needless Twitter sequences on the telecast, unveiling fans’ “favorite movies” and favorite “movie moments” – Users can vote up to 20 times per day! “Twitter users will get to vote on their favorite films that were released in 2021 — regardless of if the film was nominated for an Oscar — using the hashtag #OscarsFanFavorite,” wrote J. Clara Chan in the Hollywood Reporter. “The film that receives the most fan votes by March 3 will be recognized during the awards broadcast on March 27.”
The decision to sideline the eight categories during the live broadcast has roused the ire of many of the Academy’s membership and followers. “We are deeply disappointed by the Academy’s decision,” reads a statement from American Cinema Editors’ board of directors,” posted as a subhead in the Hollywood Reporter’s article on the decision. “It’s complete fiasco,” said one affected Academy member of the decision. “It’s another example of the Academy bowing to the network. There are a lot of very unhappy people.” Added another: “I am offended and insulted by the Academy’s decision to relegate eight categories to an inferior position at the awards this year. … It’s absurd and the leadership should be ashamed.” AMPAS intends that awards for those eight categories will be given out an hour ahead of time, edited down, and then cut into the live telecast. Those categories are: documentary (short subject), film editing, makeup and hairstyling, music (original score), production design, short film (animated), short film (live action) and sound. While the Academy claims that everyone will still have their “Oscar moment” and that all nominees will still have their names read in their categories and all winners will have their acceptance speeches televised, having to do so off-screen was considered disrespectful.
“This is not what the Academy Awards are about,” writes leading film music journalist Jon Burlingame in a scorching argument against the AMPAS’ badly-baked decision. “It is a slap in the face to the hundreds of composers, arrangers, orchestrators, musicians, engineers and other professionals whose work provides the emotional foundation for so much of today’s cinematic storytelling,” Burlingame writes, concluding with: “The Oscars have always been about acknowledging every key craft in moviemaking, not just acting, directing and writing. That the Academy has decided that music isn’t worth presenting on the telecast tells us much about their priorities. Maybe they should rethink that.” Read Jon’s entire opinion article in Variety and see what you think.
The 94th Annual Academy Awards airs March 27 on ABC. Most people I’ve talked to won’t bother watching.
Congratulations to Spain-based composer Zeltia Montes for her deserved Spanish Academy Goya award for the original score of EL BUEN PATRÓN (The Good Boss), directed by Fernando León de Aranoa. The film follows the owner of an industrial scales manufacturing business, awaiting a visit by a committee that could give his company an award for excellence, as he tries to resolve any problems from his workers in enough time. Montes’ previous awards and nominations include a Goya nomination for Best Original Song in 2016 and a two-time Jerry Goldsmith Award winner for Best Composer of the Year in 2008 and 2011. Her music has also been recognized by the International Film Music Critics Association with a nomination for Breakout Composer of the Year 2012, by the Catalan Academy with a Gaudi Award nomination in 2014, by the Galician Academy with a Mestre Mateo Award in 2014 and 2 other nominations in 2008 and 2011, and by the Hollywood Music in Media Awards with 3 nominations in 2009 and in 2011. The EL BUEN PATRÓN soundtrack will be available digitally from Quartet Records.
Sherri Chung has been elected governor of the music branch of the Television Academy, where she’ll serve alongside Jeff Russo, replacing Rickey Minor. Chung is the first female governor for the music branch. While she continues to work as a composer on KUNG FU and co-composer on BATWOMAN and RIVERDALE, she currently works on the upcoming HBO Max series GREMLINS: SECRETS OF THE MOGWAI. On the film side, Chung recently scored THE LOST HUSBAND, for which she was nominated for a Society of Composers and Lyricists award, and has two upcoming features, THE LONG NIGHT and SAVAGE DESTINY. – via Variety Jan. 31st
The Jury of the 2022 HARPA Nordic Film Composers Award has selected Finish composer Sanna Salmenkallio with this years award for her score for AALTO, directed by Virpi Suutari. The film explores the work and life of the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. In the process, other architects, art critics, and his children comment on the international successes of the man who defined modern architecture. “Each of the five Nordic scores submitted for this year’s HARPA Nordic Film Composers Award are top shelf material,” stated the jury. “They all witness a great sensibility towards the stories and pictures they are accompanying – and they are doing it in such clever ways.”? Salmenkallio is one of the most experienced film composers in Finland, having composed the score for more than 30 films, mostly artistically ambitious documentary features. Salmenkallio has created her own style by mixing classical background to different contemporary and experimental elements. She has won four Jussi Awards for the best film score in Finland. Photo Credit: Thomas Kolbein Bjørk Olsen, Berlinkontoret.
Jon Burlingame has reported in Variety that John Williams has written a new main character theme for the forthcoming Disney+ series, OBI-WAN KENOBI. “It is a coup for both Lucasfilm and Disney, considering the five-time Oscar winner rarely composes for television,” wrote Burlingame. His last theme for a weekly dramatic series was AMAZING STORIES in 1985, although he has written two for PBS series (MASTERPIECE THEATRE in 2000, Great PERFORMANCES in 2009), and his news and Olympics themes, written decades ago, continue to air on NBC.” OBI-WAN KENOBI is scheduled to premiere on May 25, 2022, and will consist of six episodes.
It has not yet been established who will score the new show’s individual episodes.
Marco Beltrami and Miles Hankins have scored the chilling suspense thriller, NO EXIT. In this film Darby, a young woman enroute to a family emergency, is stranded by a blizzard and forced to find shelter at a highway rest area with a group of strangers. When she stumbles across an abducted girl in a van in the parking lot, it sets her on a terrifying life-or-death struggle to discover who among them is the kidnapper. Directed by Damien Power (KILLING GROUND), the film stars Havana Rose Liu (MAYDAY) in her feature film leading role debut, Danny Ramirez (THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER, TOP GUN: MAVERICK), David Rysdahl (NINE DAYS), Mila Harris (YOUNG DYLAN) and Dennis Haysbert (BREAKTHROUGH). Having collaborated on scoring 2021’s NINE PERFECT STRANGERS [see interview above] Marco and Miles have created for NO EXIT a spine-tingling and chill-inducing musical backdrop featuring some unconventional methods, noting about the recording: “We focused on the solo instruments of the live orchestra, often played using raw, aggressive and unconventional techniques to underpin the stark isolation of the individual characters and the uncertainty of their situation.”
Mark Isham has scored THE CLEANING LADY, airing on Fox at 9pm EST, starring Elodie Young from the Netflix smash hit DAREDEVIL as well DESIGNATED SURVIVOR’s Adan Canto and NASHVILLE’s Oliver Hudson. The music includes original songs by Ruby Ibarra and Nick Isham. Mark Isham has also rejoined director Mark Williams for his film BLACKLIGHT, starring action legend Liam Neeson.
Set a week before STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE, the prequal film ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY follows the group of rebels who band together to steal plans of the Death Star, the ultimate weapon of the Galactic Empire (which is destroyed at the end of A NEW HOPE; ROGUE ONE shows how that happened). The film also details the Rebel Alliance’s first effective victory against the Empire, first referenced in A NEW HOPE’s opening crawl. In celebration of the 5th anniversary of ROGUE ONE, Walt Disney Records has released a digital expanded edition of Michael Giacchino’s score, which includes over one hour of previously unreleased music from the film and recording sessions. Recorded at Sony Scoring Stage, the score features a 110-piece orchestra and 80-person choir conducted by Tim Simonec. The soundtrack includes several of John Williams’ STAR WARS themes that are used in Giacchino’s score. See “Vinyl Soundtrack News” below for details on Mondo’s 4XLP edition of the expanded ROGUE ONE score.
In related ROGUE ONE news, we have word of the upcoming STAR WARS television series ANDOR, created by Tony Gilroy for Disney+. The new series follows the adventures of rebel spy Cassian Andor during the formative years of the Rebellion and prior to the events of ROGUE ONE. Diego Luna will reprise the role of Andor. Stellan Skarsgård, Adria Arjona, Fiona Shaw, Denise Gough, Kyle Soller, and Genevieve O'Reilly (reprising her role of Mon Mothma from ROGUE ONE and other previous STAR WARS media) co-star in the series; Forest Whitaker is reported to be reprising his role as Saw Gerrera from ROGUE ONE. Nicholas Brittel (CRUELLA, DON’T LOOK UP, THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, MOONLIGHT) has been announced as the series’ composer. ANDOR will be his first score in the STAR WARS Universe. The rousing spy thriller will explore tales filled with espionage and daring missions to restore hope to a galaxy in the grip of a ruthless Empire. ANDOR is scheduled to be released in mid-to-late 2022, and will consist of 12 episodes. A second season is in development.
Our favorite Ennio Morricone-influenced Southern California digital music score composer Chuck Cirino has a new score out – and it’s got “Spaghetti Western” written all over it. Directed and co-produced by Errol Sack from a screenplay co-written with coproducers Clint Lilley and Steven Shaffer, NO NAME AND DYNAMITE DAVENPORT (the latter surname was recently added to the release title) stars Rich Ting, Chris Northup, Natalie Burn, Vernon Wells, Bonnie Morgan, Don Collier, Kacie Borrowman – and Chuck’s son Eli, who plays John Wilkes Booth. In the film, the line between the good guys and the bad guys blurs as ruthless bounty hunters No Name (Chris Northup) and Dynamite Davenport (Rich Ting) shoot their way through the Wild West, collecting rewards and making more enemies than friends. With the outlaw John Wilkes Booth on the run and gold hidden in the hills, justice must be served. The movie is now showing on Amazon Prime pay-per-view. Dragon’s Domain records will be releasing Chuck’s soundtrack on CD in the near future.
Thomas Newman has scored DOG, a buddy comedy that follows the misadventures of two former Army Rangers paired against their will on the road trip of a lifetime. Army Ranger Briggs (Channing Tatum) and Lulu (a Belgian Malinois dog) buckle into a 1984 Ford Bronco and race down the Pacific Coast in hopes of making it to a fellow soldier’s funeral on time. Along the way, they’ll drive each other completely crazy, break a small handful of laws, narrowly evade death, and learn to let down their guards in order to have a fighting chance of finding happiness.
Italian giallo maestro Dario Argento has returned to the director’s chair for the first time in more than a decade. His new film, DARK GLASSES (Occhiali Neri), returns the director to his roots, being described as a classic thriller, or giallo, as the violent crime genre is known in Italy. Argento, now 81, is acclaimed for such classic Italian giallos as THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE, DEEP RED, SUSPIRIA, TENEBRE, PHENOMENA, INFERNO, and OPERA. His previous film as director was 2012’s DRACULA 3D, which was poorly received; DARK GLASSES looks to return Argento to his classic filmmaking form. The movie is about a serial killer who strangles prostitutes with cello strings and is pursuing a luxury escort named Diana (Ilenia Pastorelli). But there is a twist: Diana is blinded by a car crash with the killer and gets help from an orphaned Chinese boy (Xinyu Zhang) and a social worker played by Dario’s daughter, Asia Argento. Asia also serves as the film’s associate producer, reported Nick Vivarelli in Variety, adding that “She was also instrumental… , along with [fellow director Gaspar] Noe, in getting French techno composer Arnaud Rebotini [CURIOSA (2019), BPM (Beats Per Minute; 2017), BLAIR WITCH (2016; writer/performer of “Pagan Dance Move”), EASTERN BOYS (2013)] to score the film after Daft Punk allegedly dropped out because they broke up.” DARK GLASSES premiered February 11 at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Music Box Records has released the premiere CD release of two Gabriel Yared scores: ZONE ROUGE (ZONE RED, 1986) and LA JAVA DES OMBRES (SHADOW DANCE, 1983). For both films, the synthetic and often surprising sonorities invented by Yared and his close collaborator Georges Rodi give an unexpected feel to the whole – one that could be described as metallic or chilling, groovy or dreamlike. The marriage of different musical colors between the synths and acoustic instruments expresses the beautiful weirdness of these two unconventional scores. Supervised by Yared, this present edition has been fully remastered from complete scoring session elements. The package includes a 8-page booklet featuring exclusive liner notes by writer Nicolas Magenham, discussing the films and the scores. This is a limited edition of 350 units.
For details see MusicBoxRecords.
Film composer Ilan Eshkeri (LAYER CAKE, STARDUST, GHOST OF TSUSHIMA, SEAN THE SHEEP MOVIE) has announced the forthcoming release on May 13, 2022 of his latest studio album Space Station Earth on Sony Masterworks. For this album, Eshkeri has created an immersive multi-media concert in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA), which from Spring 2022 will tour the UK (opening at the Royal Albert Hall on May 15) and Europe. Space Station Earth is a music-led, multimedia experience that allows the audience to see through the eyes of astronauts and to contemplate our planet, the stars, and the exploration of the universe. Eshkeri explains: “My music has taken me to many unexpected and extraordinary places, but when Astronaut Tim Peake got in touch to say he was a fan of my work, a door was opened to one of the most amazing and inspiring journeys of my life, the result of which is Space Station Earth. I never imagined I’d have the privilege of collaborating with astronauts to try to impart the experience of space travel through music, of looking out into the darkness of space and back upon this beautiful and fragile planet and telling that story.” The album’s first single (released on Feb. 4) is “Aurora,” on which Eshkeri comments: “Seeing the aurora borealis is an epic experience and I wanted to express the scale and majesty of it in music. I have synesthesia, which means I associate specific colors with specific notes and sounds – so standing under the aurora, I knew immediately what the music had to be. The astronauts have also shot mind-blowing footage of the aurora borealis, which we use in the concert, so until space tourism becomes an everyday occurrence, Space Station Earth is the closest you’ll get.”
Listen to “Aurora” from Space Station Earth at these links.
London-based blues pianist Marc Harris is releasing his epic debut symphony, Shifting Sands, performed by the Northern Film Orchestra, on 25 March 2022. Inspired by Marc’s life-long love of travel and exploration – and film music – the symphony has a filmic feel which evokes our planet’s most dramatic and spectacular landscapes: from the wild steppes of Asia, to the rainforests of Central and South America, to the shifting sands of Arabia and the endless plains of the Serengeti. The destruction of Marc’s previously thriving travel business provided him with the time and space to explore writing classical music for the first time. Shifting Sands draws on a wide range of classical stimuli as well as popular influences such as Pink Floyd (The Wall), King Crimson (Moonchild), John Williams (STAR WARS) and other film music such as MIDNIGHT EXPRESS, GLADIATOR, and LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. The album is available from Amazon and other digital music sources.
Listen to a sampling of Shifting Sands:
French composer Bruno Coulais has scored the new French crime drama-thriller film MAIGRET. The film stars Gerard Depardieu as the legendary Jules Maigret, France’s literary detective answer to England’s Sherlock Holmes and Belgium’s Hercule Poirot. The digital soundtrack is available on Amazon, while a CD version will reportedly be released by Quartet Records.
VIKINGS: VALHALLA is an upcoming historical drama television series created and written by Jeb Stuart, and a sequel to History's VIKINGS. This series starts a century after the original series and will tell the tales of some of the best-known Norsemen in history. Filmed in County Wicklow, Ireland, the series has been scored by Trevor Morris, known for his scoring of VIKINGS which ran from 2013 to 2020. This series is a sequel to the previous one, and has premiered on Netflix on February 25, 2022
Daniel Pemberton has composed a deliciously mind-bending and suspenseful score for Apple TV+’s new comedic murder mystery THE AFTERPARTY. When a high school reunion’s afterparty ends in a death, everyone is a suspect. A detective grills the former classmates one by one, uncovering potential motives as each tells their version of the story – culminating in the shocking truth. The 8-episode series features a great cast, an engaging premise which carries through a variety of directorial styles. The soundtrack is available from these links.
Listen to the End Credits from THE AFTER PARTY:
A VIOLENT MAN is Austin Wintory’s latest soundtrack, now available on his bandcamp page. Director Ross McCall’s film is a powerful, unapologetic film, completed in 2020 and now finding release in England this February. “Ross encouraged me to push myself sonically,” said Wintory. “The score is expansive and intimate at the same time, not unlike the film's single-location setting. Every project feels like an experiment, but this one especially so.” I hope it works for you; it was an honor to be part of. See details, listen, or purchase from bandcamp.
Brian Tyler is scoring Disney’s upcoming live-action/animated adventure comedy film CHIP ‘N DALE RESCUE RANGERS. A comeback 30 years in the making, this hybrid live-action/CG animated action-comedy catches up with the former Disney Afternoon television stars in modern-day Los Angeles. The new film premieres May 20, 2022, exclusively on Disney+. It stars John Mulaney as Chip, Andy Samberg as Dale and KiKi Layne. Also joining the cast are Will Arnett, Eric Bana, Flula Borg, Dennis Haysbert, Keegan-Michael Key, Tress MacNeille, Tim Robinson, Seth Rogen, J.K. Simmons, and Chris Parnell. In the new film, Chip and Dale are living amongst cartoons and humans in modern-day Los Angeles, but their lives are quite different now. It has been decades since their successful television series was canceled, and Chip has succumbed to a life of suburban domesticity as an insurance salesman. Dale, meanwhile, has had CGI surgery and works the nostalgia convention circuit, desperate to relive his glory days. When a former cast mate mysteriously disappears, Chip and Dale must repair their broken friendship and take on their Rescue Rangers detective personas once again to save their friend’s life. “It has been a joy composing the score for this incredibly wonderful and hilarious animated film,” Brian Tyler wrote in a Facebook post.’
Jerry Goldsmith’s iconic original score to Paramount Pictures’ 1979 feature film STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE boldly returns with a limited edition 2-CD reissue from La-La Land Records and Paramount Music, and is meant to tie in with the forthcoming STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE: THE DIRECTOR’S EDITION, premiering this year on the Paramount Plus streaming service. La-La Land’s new CD presents the full film score on Disc 1, continuing through the start of Disc 2; after which the program begins with the long version of the “Overture,” reflective of “The Director’s Edition,” with the short version heard in 1979 now kicking off a section of “Alternates” on Disc 2, which feature early versions of major score cues that were later reworked. Closing out the presentation is the enduring 1979 soundtrack album program, now re-created from the remixed first generation master material for consistent and superior sound quality throughout the set. For more details see La-La Land.
The label has also released the fourteenth title within the acclaimed Universal Pictures Film Music Classics Collection: VIDEODROME Limited Edition, a limited edition CD release of Howard Shore’s original motion picture score to David Cronenberg’s 1983 sci-fi thriller VIDEODROME, featuring a remastered and restored presentation of the film’s notable score. Shore’s riveting work for VIDEODROME is a thrilling and experimental blend of synth and strings that expertly explores and weaves the film’s complex tapestry of psychological drama, eroticism, science fiction and politics together in haunting and seductive fashion. This limited CD release of 2000 units presents the restored film score and features exclusive, in-depth liner notes by writer Jeff Bond, (featuring comments from the composer), and art direction by Dan Goldwasser. See La-La Land. Additionally, a Vinyl LP version has been released from Mondo (see Vinyl Soundtracks, below) and a Digital Download is forthcoming from Back Lot Music.
Walt Disney Records has also released CIAO ALBERTO Original Soundtrack, available today. Score is composed and produced by Dan Romer (LUCA, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD). The all-new Disney+ Original Short features characters from this summer’s animated breakout film LUCA. Disney and Pixar's CIAO ALBERTO is now streaming exclusively on Disney+ (where Disney+ is available). About Ciao Alberto: With his best friend Luca away at school, Alberto is enjoying his new life in Portorosso working alongside Massimo – the imposing, tattooed, one-armed fisherman of few words – who’s quite possibly the coolest human in the entire world as far as Alberto is concerned. He wants more than anything to impress his mentor, but it’s easier said than done. CIAO ALBERTO is directed by McKenna Harris and produced by Matt DeMartini.
Natalie Holt (LOKI, KNIGHTFALL, FEVER DREAM) will score the upcoming thriller COCAINE BEAR. The film is directed by Elizabeth Banks (PITCH PERFECT 2, CHARLIE’S ANGELS) and stars Keri Russell, O’Shea Jackson, and Ray Liotta. The film is based on the real story of a 175-pound American black bear that died after ingesting a duffel bag full of cocaine in December 1985. The cocaine was dropped out from an airplane piloted by a former narcotics officer and convicted drugs smuggler, because his plane was carrying too heavy a load. The bear was found in northern Georgia alongside 40 opened plastic containers of cocaine. The film is scheduled to be theatrically released later this year by Universal Pictures.
Oscar® winner Jordan Peele disrupted and redefined modern horror with GET OUT (2017) and then US (2019). Now, he reimagines the summer movie with a new pop nightmare: the expansive horror epic, NOPE.
The film reunites Peele with his composer of his previous two films, Michael Abels. Abels has also recently scored David Yarovesky’s NIGHTBOOKS for Netflix, Abi Damaris Corbin’s 892 for Bleecker Street, and Kirby Dick & Amy Ziering’s ALLEN V. FARROW for HBO. NOPE is scheduled to be released by Universal Pictures on July 22, 2022.
Watch the teaser trailer:
Camille Dalmais, known as Camille, released her first album in 2002, Le sac des filles. In 2005, she was awarded two Victoires de la Musique as well as the Constantin Prize for her second album Le Fil. In 2007, Disney entrusted her to perform the end credits song, “Le Festin,” of RATATOUILLE, for which she was nominated for the World Soundtrack Awards. After composed and performing the music for Henrik Ibsen’s stage play La dame de la mer, she then collaborated on several feature films such as NEUF MOIS FERME by Albert Dupontel (2013) and FEVER by Raphaël Néal (2014) for which she composed the entire soundtrack. In 2015, Hans Zimmer called on her for the songs of the animated film THE LITTLE PRINCE. That same year, she composed the original soundtrack for J'IRAIOÙ TU IRAS by Géraldine Nakache. Eager to compose more film music, she is now scoring Jacques Audiard’s film EMILIA PÉREZ, a musical project among Mexican drug traffickers, for which she will create the score, in collaboration with Clément Ducol.
Waxwork Records presents an expanded and remastered 45th Anniversary soundtrack CD for Pino Donaggio’s classic score for Brian DePalma’s CARRIE (1976). As one of Donaggio’s first genre scores (his sixth, after DON’T LOOK NOW, HAUNTS, and a few Italian crime thrillers or giallos), CARRIE put both Donaggio and director Brian De Palma on the horror film map. The music is both poignant and horrific as the composer skillfully captures the pressure of forced innocence, the humor of teen drama, and the trauma of coming of age as a girl in 1970’s America. See WaxworkCD. Waxwork also offers a double vinyl edition of the expanded score (see Vinyl, below).
Lakeshore Records has released the LEVERAGE: REDEMPTION original series soundtrack, featuring music by two-time Emmy-winning composer Joseph LoDuca (EVIL DEAD TRILOGY, XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS, CHUCKY). The IMDb TV original series is streaming now on Amazon Prime, and is a revival of the TNT 2008-2012 action crime drama television. In this new iteration, The Hitter, the Hacker, the Grifter, and the Thief are back, this time with help from a new tech genius and corporate fixer, to take on a new kind of villain. When someone needs help, they provide...Leverage. The digital album is available at these links.
Listen to the track “Continental Heist” from LEVERAGE: REDEMPTION:
The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack for the new animated film FIREHEART with music by Chris Egan is now available via of Milan Records. This 31-track album is available now on all major streaming platforms and the film is now streaming on Hulu. “Fireheart gave me the perfect opportunity to compose a score featuring both traditional orchestral music and big band jazz,” said the composer. “The score was performed by 92 of London’s finest musicians, recorded over 5 days at Abbey Road Studios with the orchestra in studio one and the big band in studio two.” FIREHEART stars sixteen-year-old Georgia Nolan, who dreams of being the world’s first-ever female firefighter. When a mysterious arsonist starts burning down Broadway, New York’s firemen begin vanishing. Georgia’s father, Shawn, is called out of retirement by the Mayor of New York to lead the investigation into the disappearances. Desperate to help her father and save her city, Georgia disguises herself as a young man called “Joe” and joins a small group of misfit firefighters trying to stop the arsonist. Egan is a London based composer & conductor for film & television. Recent work includes Apple TV’s ground-breaking nature series TINY WORLD – co-composed with long-time collaborator and friend, Benjamin Wallfisch, and both series of THE SPANISH PRINCESS for Starz.
Maisie Music Publishing has released the soundtrack album for the Netflix “interactive trivia” cartoon series CAT BURGLAR. The album features the original music from the show composed by Christopher Willis (THE DEATH OF STALIN, THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD, SCHMIGADOON!). In the Tex Avery-inspired cartoon, viewers must help Rowdy Cat get one over on Peanut the Security Pup and break into a museum to steal some prized paintings. The short series was created by Charlie Brooker (BLACK MIRROR) and features the voices of Alan Lee, James Adomian and Trevor Devall. The series premiered on Netflix on February 22. – via filmmusicreporter
Watch the trailer:
BORN TO SPY is a Children’s action-adventure TV mini-series that is produced in Australia by Aquarius films for the ABC. The series follows two siblings who decide that they want more excitement in their lives but get more than they anticipated when they discover that their parents who they thought were ordinary and boring are international spies, who have mysteriously disappeared. The music for the series is the work of Diego Baldenweg, with Nora Baldenweg & Lionel Baldenweg, a composing trio of siblings who have in recent years wowed fans and critics alike with their own creative and alluring style of film and TV music. The score is due for a digital release on February 25th. – via MovieMusicInternational
Mirrortone has released the original motion picture soundtrack for Netflix’s newly released Thai-American romantic comedy sci-fi film AI LOVE YOU, scored by Roman Molino Dunn a.k.a. Electropoint (SNAKEHEAD, HURACÁN, RED ROCKET). The 35-track album is packed with retro-futuristic textures, driving 80s drums and arpeggios, and heartfelt hybrid string melodies. The film is a modern love story set in the near future, where an AI building is powered by human feelings. Due to a software glitch, it falls in love with a real girl, escapes the building into the body of a real man, and tries to win her affections. Composer Dunn says, “The biggest musical goal was to portray love and humanity using largely a synth palette. I was looking for organic sounds in synthesizers, essentially digging as deep as I could within electronics to find the human emotion. In assembling the sonic landscape of the film, we zeroed in on the lush synthwave sounds of the 80s to hark back to the nostalgic feeling of first love portrayed in the rom-coms of that era. I absolutely love mixing orchestral composition and electronic music production to reflect the subtleties of the human condition in the modern world – and it was a joy to do that for such a warm and fun film.” Stream or purchase the soundtrack from these links.
KeepMoving Records presents limited edition CD release of the animated movie THE MAGIC TOWER. WIZARD OF BALANCE by Dmitry Rybnikov. Inspired by the real life historical building of the Sukharev Tower, THE MAGIC TOWER tells the story of a young magician’s apprentice who must wander into the Magical Worlds to retrieve special artifacts in order to restore his master’s magical power before his nemesis can strike. Rybnikov’s fanciful score is a fantasy tour de force. See details and sample tracks here. The label also presents a limited edition CD release of the 2020 film COMET HALLEY, composed by Ivan Uryupin. The film follows an eccentric astrophysicist who, after meeting a mysterious girl named Halley and her unusual family, is faced with a decision that could change all their lives. Uryupin’s score is built upon the traditions of 1980s comedies of the USSR and France, and American music of the 1950s. The elegant and catchy themes underscore each of the four women, a calm saxophone theme of the jazz genre runs through the film as the leitmotif of the New Year’s mood whereas the finale balances out the comedic elements with a hint of lyrical dramedy. The third new release of this label is THE CLAUS FAMILY 2 by Anne-Kathrin Dern, who also scored the previous film in this series. The first movie introduced audiences to Jules (Mo Bakker) and her grandfather Noël (Jan Decleir) who turns out to be the real Santa Claus – and the two had to team up to save Christmas despite the girl’s aversion to the holiday. In the sequel, Jules has already reembraced her love of Christmas, but a letter she receives poses an intriguing question that once again leads to conflicts with her grandfather. Dern’s score very much tries to capture that struggle of a family trying to recapture the magic of Christmas and alternates between isolating melancholy, exhilarating adventure, hopeful warmth, and Christmas joy. While old themes are returning from the previous score, the new theme written for the tenor recorder and performed by the composer herself underscores the melancholy of the new character, Marie. To complement the physical release, a digital release is available from MovieScore Media (for the first CLAUS FAMILY soundtrack, see MovieScoreMediaClaus). All three of this releases feature liner notes by Gergely Hubai, who discuss the films and the scores with comments from the composers. For more details see KeepMoving
Lakeshore Records has released the original series soundtrack to THE SINNER (Seasons 2-4), featuring the music by Ronit Kirchman. Each season of THE SINNER is a musical ecosystem of its own which represents the depth and range of Ronit’s palette. Kirchman’s The Sinner: Season 1 soundtrack is also available on Lakeshore Records; the full series is streaming on Netflix. “I’m so thrilled to have the opportunity to release an album of my music for Seasons 2 through 4 of The Sinner,” Kirchman said. “The show has been an incredible landscape to work within as a composer. It’s saturated with deep subconscious hues and a wide dynamic range of emotional tones for the music to express. One of the unique aspects of this show is that it’s an anthology with continuity. Each season has invited its own specific language and instrumental palette, which also fits into a larger picture of the series arc. As a result, I can look and listen back on the whole series as an integrated musical journey.” In the season 2-4 album, the composer presents key themes and cues from the past three seasons, in addition to suites which create mini-arcs of their own.
Listen to Ronit Kirchman’s “The Docks Suite” from THE SINNER (Seasons 2-4) Soundtrack Album:
Dalibor Grubacevic is a Croatian composer, musician, and record producer known for his works in the field of film music. His most recent score, THE MATCH, directed by Dominik and Jakow Sedlar, is inspired by true events from the spring of 1944 when the Nazis organized a football match between a team of camp inmates and an elite Nazi team on Adolf Hitler’s birthday – a match the prisoners were most determined to win, no matter what happens. With this score, Grubacevic won the award for Outstanding Musical Achievement at the Global Music Awards. The Plaza Mayor Company has released a soundtrack digitally and on CD from Amazon and other music sources (listen on Spotify).
Wild prairies, a sensational plot, and a star-studded cast: WILCZE ECHA (1968; Wolves Echoes) is a film which enjoyed great success on Polish screens in the 1960s– about a lonely Border Guard officer, along a girl and a former villain, who faces a local corrupt Militia commandant and his people in wild Bieszczady Mountains in the Polish East. The film features an extremely interesting soundtrack by Wojciech Kilar (BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA) - a proof that in the 1960s the composer was able to do good in every genre. Even in Westerns. WILCZE ECHA, hailed as a Polish western, becoming for the director, Aleksander Scibor-Rylski, as well as the composer an excellent opportunity to play with forms. The film’s soundtrack has been released on CD by GAD Records of Poland, with a digital album available on Amazon; both contain 17 tracks from WILCZE ECHA as well as 10 tracks from the same director’s PÓZNE POPOLUDNIE a drama film from 1965. The latter displays an entirely different Kilar – very entertaining, light, making a bow to the American school of film music. This is yet another proof of the composer’s versatility and his extraordinary sense of melody. Recordings from both films have been released on the album for the first time, remastered from original tapes stored at the archives of the CeTA Audiovisual Technology Center in Wroclaw.
The Plaza Mayor Company has announced the release of the digital soundtrack to MEMOIRS OF VICTORIA, a film which traces the life of Anita Mui, Hong Kong’s late Cantopop star. The 25-track album features the score by Elliot Leung (OPERATION RED SEA, INSANITY, WATER GATE BRIDGE, WARRIORS OF FUTURE), and is available via Amazon.
Chloé Thévenin is a multidisciplinary artist from the electronic scene who started working for films in 2015. ARTHUR RAMBO is Laurent Cantet’s eighth feature film (he won the Palme d’Or in 2008 for THE CLASS [Entre les murs in its original French]). This film marks the first collaboration between Chloé Thévenin and Laurent Cantet. “Incorporating cellos into exclusively electronic music can be risky: it can quickly tip the balance of the ensemble,” said the composer. “We had to make the instrument blend into the continuity of the electronic structure, into its evolution, its dramaturgy. For ARTHUR RAMBO, I alternated between hot and the cold, the saturated sounds and the softer sonorities. I was certainly looking to create something intense, but also restrained.” Work on the music began very early on with some ideas in motion before filming had even started. Chloé has composed a series of pieces that accompany Karim's inner emotions; the score never leaves the character. On the contrary, it sticks with him, translating the feeling of rupture through its texture and color. “The constraint here was to reveal facets of a character, but without penetrating through to the indiscernible part, without bringing it to light,” said Thévenin. A 10 track digital soundtrack has been released by Lumière Noire under exclusive license to Sony Music Entertainment, and is now available at these links.
In the new film CATCH THE FAIR ONE, Native American boxer Kaylee embarks on the fight of her life when she goes undercover in a sex trafficking operation to seek answers and revenge against the men responsible for the disappearance of her sister. The film soundtrack has been released by Lakeshore Records, featuring the score by Nathan Halpern, an Emmy-nominated composer, named a “Composer to Watch” by Classic FM and Indiewire. Halpern’s score for acclaimed psychological thriller SWALLOW (IFC Films) was named “a highlight of the film” (Indiewire) and received a Hollywood Music in Media nomination for “Best Original Score (Horror).” For CATCH THE FAIR ONE, “director Josef Kubota Wladyka wanted a bold score that would honor Kaylee’s (Kalie Reis) emotional journey into this dark underworld,” noted Halpern. “The opening theme plays Kaylee’s heroic intentions in a melody for French horn and Wagner tube over dark strings and synths. Solo viola, frame drum, and heartbeat-like pulses play her forward momentum, set against deep imposing strings and ghostly electronics that grow increasingly distorted as her journey grows darker. The human-rights crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women – and the wrenching disappearance of her sister Weeta – is set to a recurring, elegiac theme for strings and electronics." The album is available at these links: https://lnk.to/CTFO
Silvio Buchmeier is a Swiss composer based in Los Angeles and Zurich. His latest work is for the short film DRUCKABFALL (Pressure Drop), a gritty German-language thriller involving the erratic Robert Haller, a celebrated although very controversial author, who walks out of a TV talk show and retreats to his holiday cottage in the Swiss mountain area. Shot in the Swiss alps, the film blurs the line between reality and fiction as Haller seems on the verge of losing his mind. Buchmeier’s soundtrack has been released on iTunes and Amazon and for streaming on other platforms. “The music provides a unique take on the thriller genre influenced by Angelo Badalamenti, Jonny Greenwood, and infused with gritty original saxophone textures,” Buchmeier told Soundtrax. “The string orchestra was recorded live in Prague. Link to two short videos, one showing the orchestral performance of the Czech National Symphony Orchestra on one of the tracks, and a very intriguing behind-the-scenes creation-of-the-score video here.
Milan Records has released the STRAWBERRY MANSION original motion picture soundtrack by composer and musician Dan Deacon. The surrealist comedy film takes place in a future where the government records dreams and taxes them, and in which a dream auditor gets caught up in the dreams of an aging eccentric. Working closely with co-directors Albert Birney and Kentucker Audley from the film’s inception, Deacon began composing themes after reading an early version of the script, adapting and building out the soundscape alongside filmmakers as the project progressed. The result is a score that carries viewers through the film’s dreamlike pacing; bright synths heighten moments of absurdity and adventure with wondrous exuberance, while delicate strings and ambient textures underscore the more sobering themes at the heart of the narrative.
The soundtrack is available at these links. Watch the official music video for album opener “Strawberry Mansion Theme,” featuring Deacon performing amongst the film’s scenery and characters, here.
THE WOMAN IN THE HOUSE ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE GIRL IN THE WINDOW, starring Kristen Bell and Tom Riley, is now streaming on Netflix. The eight-episode series is about a heartbroken woman (Bell), watching the world go by from her living room window, who sets her sights on a handsome new neighbor until she witnesses a gruesome murder. Nami Melumad (AN AMERICAN PICKLE, ABSENTIA, the STAR TREK: SHORT TREKS short “Q&A,” the virtual reality video game MEDAL OF HONOR: ABOVE AND BEYOND, STAR TREK: PRODIGY, and the upcoming STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS). “It was such a blast to score it,” said Nami in a twitter post. “Big thanks to the wonderful musicians and music team who helped bring this score to life! Ro Rowan Andrew Synowiec Shinnosuke Miyazawa, Moises Ignacio Garcia, Jeff Gartenbaum, @natebeard and Gabe Hilfer!”
MovieScore Media has announced its February digital soundtrack releases: Henrik Skram’s original score from the 2022 drama film ROSE. Directed by Niels Arden Oplev and starring Sofie Gråbøl, Søren Mallin and Peter Gantzler. The film, released by Nordisk Film (Denmark), is about two sisters who experience how their relationship is challenged on an anticipated coach trip to Paris. Also announced is George Fenton’s score for THE DUKE, 2020 dramedy directed by Roger Michell and starring Jim Broadbent, Helen Mirren, and Matthew Goode, produced and released by Pathe UK, released by Sony Pictures Classics (USA) and Pathé (France). The film is based on the true story of Kempton Bunton, a 60 year old taxi driver, who in 1961 managed to steal Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London. Quartet Records is releasing a CD edition of the soundtrack.
WaterTower Music has released the digital soundtrack for the CW drama BATWOMAN, featuring selections of the original music from the show’s second season composed by Blake Neely and Sherri Chung. The album is now available on Amazon and other digital music sources. The label has previously released a soundtrack featuring the composers’ score from Season 1 last year. Michael Giacchino’s score for Matt Reeves’ THE BATMAN has also been released today by WaterTower; in addition to the digital soundtrack, a CD version will be available to order as well. The film will be released in theaters nationwide on March 4 by Warner Bros. – via filmmusicreporter.com
Lakeshore Records announces the release today of the THREE MONTHS Original Motion Picture Soundtrack featuring music by Roger Neill (MOZART IN THE JUNGLE). The score features glimmering keyboards and electronics mixed with whimsical handclaps that evoke a youthful innocence. The coming-of-age drama written and directed by Jared Frieder and starring Troye Sivan and Ellen Burstyn, is streaming now exclusively on Paramount+.
Hummie Mann scored THE AUTOMAT last year, which is now (Feb 21) getting a selected city release this week. The film is a quaint and nostalgic documentary centering on the “automat” vending machines popularized in the 20th century that offered fresh cooked meals in a commissary-style eatery. The docu features Mel Brooks (who sings the title song), Carl Reiner, Elliott Gould. Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Colin Powell is getting a selected city release this week. Be sure to watch the trailer below, which includes a delightful song written by Mel Brooks that Hummie arranged and produced (that’s him conducting):
Music Box Records presents on CD the original motion picture soundtrack of the documentary LE CHÊNE ET SES HABITANTS (Heart of Oak, 2022) composed, orchestrated, and conducted by Cyrille Aufort (SPLICE, A PERFECT MAN, ICE AND THE SKY). Once upon a time, there was the story of a 210-year-old oak tree and its kingdom. The film gathers an extraordinary cast: squirrels, insects, birds, ants, field mice… A vibrant, humming and marvelous world whose entire destiny revolves around this oak. For this ode to life and biodiversity, Aufort composed a very delicate score, based on a lyrical melody for choir and orchestra. The composer mixed some electronic textures in his orchestral palette in order to represent the sensory and poetic world of the animals that inhabit the oak tree. This film released to French theaters on February 23, 2022.
KeepMoving Records presents limited edition CD release of QINGHAI: OUR NATIONAL PARK by Chad Cannon. The film is a gorgeous and heartfelt documentary series shot during 2020, establishing the country’s latest national park. Located high on the Tibetan plateau in the northwest of the People’s Republic of China, Qinghai is one of the world’s greatest natural sanctuaries as the region contains the headwaters of China’s three great rivers: the Yangtze, Huang He, and Mekong. The thematically rich score is recorded with two different ensembles: the large strings and brass in Prague, the sound of which typifies the grandeur of the landscape, and a small chamber group in Los Angeles, which gives color and a sense of closeness to the characters in the film, be they insects, humans, animals, birds, or flowers. The liner notes feature extensive commentary from the composer. For tracklist, sample tracks, and to order the CD, see keepmoving; to complement the physical release, a digital release will be forthcoming from MovieScore Media.
Walter Mair has scored the Amazon Prime film ROONEY, a captivating feature length documentary with unprecedented access to the life and career of a global sports-star and England’s greatest ever striker. Directed by BAFTA winning Matt Smith, the docu follows Rooney from his professional debut at the age of 16 to becoming Manchester United and England’s all-time top scorer. “The music needed to span a wide range of emotions,” Mair said in a social media post. “I had great fun working with re-amping guitars, put them through a ton of effect units, record various drums and percussion instruments and spice it all up with strings and synth textures.” Mair reports a soundtrack album will soon be available.
Varèse Sarabande Records will be releasing five amazing soundtrack LPs on Record Store Day 2022: Angelo Badalamenti’s BLUE VELVET will be released as a 2-LP Deluxe Edition, Brian Tyler’s THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT as a double LP with collector’s edition etching, John Williams’ THE COWBOYS Deluxe Edition on 2-disc gold vinyl, Marco Beltrami’s MIMIC on green vinyl in an original triptych jacket and the 1966 indie success BIG NIGHT – a hit with viewers with its large serving of 1950s classics from Rosemary Clooney, Keely Smith, and Louis Prima. This record has never before been released on LP and is pressed on crystal clear vinyl exclusively for RSD 2022. These Varèse Sarabande Records titles will be available on April 23, 2022, at thousands of independent record stores. For a list of participating stores and more information about these special LPs, visit RecordStoreDay.com.
Disney announces the 2-LP vinyl Original Motion Picture Soundtrack from Steven Spielberg’s 2021 WEST SIDE STORY is now available here. 2-LP set, black vinyl (2-LP set Walmart Exclusive, blue vinyl; 2-LP set Target Exclusive, red vinyl + poster).
It’s no secret that the folks at Mondo love working with composer Michael Giacchino. This week, they are thrilled to be releasing a 4XLP expanded edition soundtrack for ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY with our friends at Walt Disney Records. If you’re into vinyl, or not into digital or streaming, you might consider bypassing the Disney albums for this ROGUE soundtrack on vinyl. A firm fan-favorite bridging the gap between old and new STAR WARS, the score is phenomenal, featuring nods to John Williams’ classic scores, while firmly being its own thing. A muscular, epic score loaded with emotion and pathos, Mondo presents not only the entire score but an entire hour of previously unheard material, all housed inside a stunning package from artist John Powell. The 4XLP ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY expansion album is available for pre-order at MondoShop.com.
From Death Waltz Records comes a new release of the original HALLOWEEN music composed and performed by John Carpenter in 1978. This vinyl album presents the original Halloween film score as it was mixed within the film. The audio is taken from the “music stem” derived from the 35mm mono tracks that comprised the dialogue, sound effects, and music of the original film which when combined, comprise the complete soundtrack of the classic film. The first LP album of HALLOWEEN, released in 1982, was a remix of the original 16 master by Alan Howarth, with instructions from Carpenter to re-mix the tracks to represent the best sound of the music, and not necessarily be committed to match the music as mixed for the film. In this release, Howarth has carefully transferred the film music stem and assembled the music in chronological order as presented in the movie, so the listener can visualize the film in their mind’s eye while taking a musical journey of the most famous horror score ever.
Available from RoughTrade.
Waxwork Records announces the vinyl edition of TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (2022), music from the original Netflix motion picture soundtrack by Colin Stetson. The 23-track collection finds Stetson expertly layering a multitude of sounds and instruments to create a hauntingly brutal, industrial soundscape. Waxwork’s presentation includes the complete soundtrack by the composer, pressed on 180 Gram “Sunflower and Blood” colored vinyl and packaged in a heavyweight gatefold jacket with matte satin coating, enhanced by original & official teaser key art. This item is a pre-order, expected to ship June 24th, 2022. Order from Waxwork.
Also from Waxwork is an expanded and re-mastered 45th anniversary deluxe double LP album of Pino Donaggio’s landmark score for Brian DePalma’s CARRIE. This release marks the very first time that the complete film music has been released on vinyl. Donaggio (THE HOWLING, TOURIST TRAP, DRESSED TO KILL) skillfully captures the pressure of forced innocence, the humor of teen drama, and the trauma of coming of age as a girl in 1970’s America. Waxwork’s expanded film music re-master is pressed to 180 gram “Prom Fire” colored vinyl, with new artwork by Phantom City Creative, and old-style tip-on gatefold jackets with matte satin coating. See Waxwork. The label also offers a CD edition of the expanded score (see Soundtrack News, above).
Mondo, Backlot Music and Howe Records joined together to present a soundtrack nearly 40 years in the making: the complete restored score album to David Cronenberg’s 1983 masterpiece VIDEODROME. Restored from the original session masters, and supervised by the composer Howard Shore himself, this is the first time the original score has ever been released in its original form (on Vinyl through Mondo, on CD through our friends at La La Land, and digitally through Back Lot Music). Produced by Howard Shore and Alan Frey. Featuring original artwork by Rich Kelly, and liner notes by Annette DiGiovanni and pressed on 180 Gram color vinyl (also available on 180 Gram black vinyl). Note: the vinyl album is sold out at Mondo so look for it on secondary markets.
Randall D. Larson was for many years senior editor for Soundtrack Magazine, publisher of CinemaScore: The Film Music Journal, and a film music columnist for Cinefantastique magazine. A specialist on horror film music, he is the author of Musique Fantastique: A Survey of Film Music in the Fantastic Cinema and Music from the House of Hammer. He currently writes articles on film music and sf/horror cinema, and has written liner notes for nearly 300 soundtrack CDs. Special thanks to Benjamin Michael Joffe for copyediting assistance.