Archive for February, 2017


THE SPACE BETWEEN US.

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THE SPACE BETWEEN US, is a science fiction romance. The central character Gardener Elliot (Asa Butterfield) is the first human to be born on Mars, in his teens he begins an online friendship with a young girl on Earth, Tulsa, (Britt Robertson) who lives in Colorado. Gardener takes his first trip to Earth where he wants to experience all the sights sounds and smells he has up until then only read about. But the 16-year-old runs into problems when scientists discover that his organs are unable to withstand the earth’s atmosphere. He goes on the run with Tulsa, and must race the clock to discover how he came to be and if he belongs anywhere on earth or Mars. Directed by Peter Chelson, this is a weepy but a somewhat predictable tale, but I am sure it will be a popular picture. The original musical score is by composer Andrew Lockington and contains songs by Ingrid Michaelson, Borns, Banners, James Bay and The Crystal Fighters. I must say I normally don’t like the mix of songs and score but in this case Lockington’s music is complimented and embellished by these vocal performances which are quite gentle, simple, and easy going. SMALLEST LIGHT and STAY RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE being most prominent and affecting both being performed by Ingrid Michaelson. The original music is in a word a delight to listen to. The composer fusing both symphonic and synthetic elements to create a delicate and at times highly emotive work, that at times can be filled with a sound and aura that relays wonderment or fragility, it is alluring and somewhat beguiling, the music drawing one in and surrounding you with a calming and tranquil atmosphere. Andrew Lockington has worked on many motion pictures as well as scoring TV shows and he is for me a composer of note, his score for SKINWALKERS for example is one of the most atmospheric horror scores of recent years, with his eerie and disturbing score for INCARNATE in 2016 adding weight to his already impressive CV. THE SPACE BETWEEN US is a subdued score for the most part of its duration, with occasional mini eruptions of action music or darker passages being introduced as it progresses. This style of scoring works wonderfully, the composer building his themes slowly but surely and adding nuances and hints of themes throughout which holds the attention of the listener. In many ways, the style that the composer has employed is comparable to that of Thomas Newman in places, it is a delicate and poignant score for the most part, and although this is a grower as in it grows on the listener over time, I did find myself returning to a few of the cues straight after they had finished. Another score worth checking out.

TRACK LISTING.

Smallest Light (Ingrid Michaelson)
3:37
2.
At Home (Crystal Fighters)
5:06
3.
10,000 Emerald Pools (BØRNS)
2:55
4.
Shine a Light (Banners)
4:39
5.
Stay Right Where You Are (Ingrid Michaelson)
4:41
6.
Need the Sun to Break (James Bay)
3:46
7.
I Want to Go to Mars
6:03
8.
Meet Gardner
2:15
9.
Oh Caro Sollievo (Maeve Palmer)
2:05
10.
First Skype
3:12
11.
The Rover
3:16
12.
Coming to See You
3:29
13.
No One Has to Know
5:04
14.
Biplane
3:51
15.
Fall to Earth
2:50
16.
Confetti to Vegas
4:39
17.
Ocean
5:24
18.
Race to Save Gardner
4:19
19.
Hand on Knee

THE GREAT WALL.

 

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THE GREAT WALL is set a thousand years ago, or so we are led to believe, and the events that unfold are obviously true, ummm, well let’s forget about the movie and skip to the score, or at least let’s just say the movie has done reasonably well at the box office and its essentially a great piece of adventure and escapism produced by American and Chinese filmmakers and starring Matt Damon. The music was originally destined to be provided by the great James Horner, but because of the sad events which are all aware of this was not possible. Music is by flavour of the month composer, Ramin Djawadi, of course he has made a name for himself scoring that popular TV series GAME OF THRONES plus a few other movies along the way, that include PACIFIC RIM, CLASH OF THE TITANS, DRACULA UNTOLD and FRIGHT NIGHT to name a handful. THE GREAT WALL is to be fair a good action score, in fact it is pretty much wall to wall action as far as the score goes. Its brassy, percussive and contains the odd little respite or interlude where we are treated to little glimpses of melodies which are of a more forgiving and lilting nature. The score opens with NAMELESS ORDER, which is introduced by choir which is childlike in its performance and overall sound, this quiet and quite calming opening soon builds into something that is more powerful and action orientated, percussive elements underline driving strings, whilst the choral performance continues but becomes louder and more pronounced, strings add their weight to the proceedings giving the piece a more urgent persona that becomes rich and almost luxurious. Orchestra takes on the theme created by the choir and this is expanded upon and developed, finally as the cue reaches its end the choir returns and once again becomes the mainstay of the piece. The next cue is the PROLOGUE which is the scores secondary theme, this is action through and through, the composer creating a driving and unrelenting composition, which relies once again on percussion, strings and horns to purvey a sense of urgency and power. Track three WHAT A WALL melds into track two or so it seems when listening to the score, again action led with brass and strings being given a thundering and highly rhythmic support by the percussion. The themes that the composer has fashioned for this movie are hard hitting but at the same time are relatively simply and straight forward, in many ways this is a return to the style of film scoring that we know and love from the 70’s through to the late 80’s where soundtracks still contained themes that one could hear developing and growing throughout the score. The film is essentially a bit of fun, but it’s a bit of high octane sometimes violent imagery, which does not take a lot of concentration to view. The score too is pretty down to earth and it does what it is supposed to, it underlines the action, enhances the lighter moments and overall works as a film score and also as music to listen to without any of the images. Well worth checking out.

TALKING TO COMPOSER JAMES GRIFFITHS.

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Where and when were you born. Were any of your family musical in any way?

I was born in Swindon, UK, 17th January 1984, I moved to Norfolk when I was 3 and stayed there until I moved to London. I would say that my father was musical, and passionate about music, he certainly loved to listen to music. He later decided to pick the guitar up after I did, and for a few years he just enjoyed the casual hobby and playing AC/DC riffs.

Movie score Media released THE DRIFT last year, how did you become involved with this project, how much music did you compose for the movie and did you have a hand in the selection of the music tracks for the MSM release?

I spoke with Mikael Carlsson of Movie Score Media for a while on what the best way was to release this album. Amazingly with a Soundtrack Geek award win for Best Surprise, also nominated with Hans Zimmer and Max Richter for Best Sci-fi and an additional nomination for Best Feature Film Score for Music and Sound Awards, I was taken back so much that I had to release it with a great and strong label, which MSM is. Interestingly we released the second movie Darkwave: Edge of The Storm on the same record. It’s the second part in a series of movies from the makers of THE DRIFT. It’s a short score so it made an interesting double score album. We worked together on creating the track order and it turned out great. All in all THE DRIFT full score is about 84 minutes.

 

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You were for many years Principal Saxophonist and al Guitarist for THE BAND OF THE COLDSTREAM GUARDS, and you performed with artists such as Catherine Jenkins, Jools Holland and Sir Rod Stewart, when did you decide to make the transition from performing musician to composer?

I worked in that performance aspect for about 13 years. I learnt a great deal working with so many amazing musicians and diverse ensembles, touring the world and making great Number 1 records. We performed a huge amount of repertoire daily, which included film music, not just classical, modern wind band or marches. I always loved the diversity and I was very lucky. It helped me understand what instruments were doing within the ensemble, which part they were playing, and section they were complimenting. I used to listen to and ask my colleagues what can they do, and can they do this? In turn I got to know more about the instruments. This helped greatly with my writing and whilst I was writing music for MTV, I thought I would take the leap of faith and go from performing to full time composer.

 

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Had you always been attracted to the idea of writing music for film? When you were working on THE DRIFT were you given any specific instructions by the director, Darren Scales as to the style or the sound of the musical score he wanted?

I love film music, I always have from a young age, E.T. being my favourite score of all time as it’s a wonderful bridge between score and classical music, it gets me every time watching it on screen. I think writing scores came more natural to me after performing them for so long and when I studied my Masters in Music Performance and Psychology, I learnt more about how music reacts with the individual. I try to focus more to combine this into my writing, and to really channel the emotive response that the picture is explaining. Darren is very specific with his temp placements, it can be a great help but also a big ask when such famous scores that he is in love with are the direction to go in. When the director has often sat on the temp for probably about a year, getting away from it is tough, but ultimately once the score has its voice the temp can be used for a quick reference of emotion or pace and that’s it.

 

 

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You also conduct, did you conduct THE DRIFT and do you like to conduct all your music for film and TV, or are there times when it is just not possible for you to do this?

I love conducting, I always have, even back in my former career, rehearsing ensembles and playing under great conductors including the LSO and RPO. It’s something that I always enjoyed learning as everyone has his or her own style. If I get the opportunity to wag the stick I leap at the chance, but then also in the session I am keen to sit in the booth and hear the recorded aspect so it’s a balance. Trusting the team in the studio is the big thing, so if you have a great team then it’s more of an enjoyable process to conduct the ensemble and leave the rest to do what they do best. I didn’t conduct THE DRIFT as it was a clever tech process we will no doubt chat about.

Orchestration is an important part of the composing process, do you orchestrate all your music, or are there at times (when deadlines are looming etc.) when you use an orchestrator?

Orchestration is a big job, especially if it’s a large ensemble. If I have the time I definitely like to do it, but if deadlines are tough like now, I call in the team to help and work on it. Currently I am sharing the orchestration with my great assistant and composer in Vienna, Christoph Allerstorfer to get the job done. It’s like a well – tuned machine, when the cue’s written and signed off then off it goes!

You are at times involved with fellow composer Frank Ilfman, what are you responsible for when collaborating with him?

I was working for and with Frank for about 2 years as his assistant. I had many great experiences learning his style and how he manages his movies. He is such a wonderful composer and mentor. I would work on anything he needed, from cue sheet and Pro Tools prep, to streamers and additional music or source. I’ve just finished working for him as my schedule is quite busy and we actually just scored a feature together called 68 Kill. It’s a great movie that we decided to give a double team approach to.

 

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You went to Abu Dhabi in 2015 to conduct music from THE DRIFT what was this for? DARKWAVE EDGE OF THE STORM is also included on the release by Movie Score Media, this is a short film which runs for approx. 20 mins, how does working on a short or a television series differ from working on a full-length movie?

The NSO Symphony orchestra invited me to provide them with a suite of THE DRIFT. It was a great honour to have it performed by such a wonderful symphony orchestra and bring new film music to the country. It was even better to go back the following year with a new suite, involving Darkwave EOTS and an additional 30-piece Chorus. It sounded amazing and we have a wonderful relationship I’m sure will continue.

It is great working on shorts and I feel sometimes you have a bit more weight to really throw the themes hard into the movie as the movie is often edited in a fast pace fashion. Working on a feature however is a completely different beast. Not only the amount of music but making sure that the handful of themes are continued throughout, reintroducing the points of story and emotion. I love it; I am very much a composer that wants my music heard and not just provide an underscore. It’s down to me to make it work well in that case.

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When scoring, a project do you have a set routine or a fixed way in which you approach it, do you begin with the main title and work through to the end credits or do you create a central theme and then develop the remainder of the score around this or from it, or is every project different?

Dependant on time I obviously watch the movie through once after reading the script. I like to come on board early if possible so I can really get to know the directors vision of score and start to play with ideas for themes and characters. I do like to start from the beginning in general. I just think it helps develop the story telling in my writing and I can see everything grow throughout.

When playing around with my theme ideas in the sketch stage I have them ready for when I get to the scenes in question. Our Shining Sword for instance, they haven’t finished filming yet but I have been receiving rushes and edits to start mapping ideas out throughout the production phase.

 

 

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THE DRIFT a very grand and powerful sounding score, which for me evoked memories of Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams, what size orchestra did you use for this assignment and where did you record it?

That’s really kind and generous of you to compare me to these legends, thank you! THE DRIFT was a really interesting project as the whole ethos of the movie was; could the production team create a Hollywood size movie including all VFX and music on a shoestring micro budget. I loved the opportunity to see what I could do, and it paid off. No live musicians and just clever technology gave it the 100-piece orchestra size. Of course, I would have loved the live orchestra but it wasn’t possible under the project. I think it worked out great though under the circumstances. Everything was programmed and mixed here at Riff Studios.

Staying with recording studios and facilities, do you have a preference for any studio when it comes to recording your film scores?

I’m lucky enough to have recorded and played myself in the best studios in the world including Abbey Road, Air Studios and The Synchron Stage, Vienna. If anything, I love Air Lyndhurst in the UK. It has such a massive sound and great team working there with rich History. Abbey Road obviously has its charm and history, which I do enjoy but I think Air has a bigger fuller sound for my taste.

The Synchron Stage in Vienna, which is newly opened is wonderful, and a really big sound. I’m looking forward to recording there in the near future. The team are fabulous and technology is second to none.

 

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What composers, artists etc. would you say have influenced your style of composition or in the way that you approach the scoring of a movie?

I am a massive love of composers who have their own unique voice and style. Elliot Goldenthal, Mr Williams, John Powell, Frank of course an Johann Johansson are definitely composers who I love and respect their voice and work. Anyone who is brave enough to do something different gets my vote!

How do you work out your musical ideas, piano, or computerised method? What are your earliest memories of any kind of music?

I do work from a computer setup with the usual big libraries etc. but I do tend to use the piano to write the melodies. I just think it flows better and then I will translate that into the voice I need. Any kind of music.. gosh. Film score: E.T, Classical: Wagner’s Elsa’s procession to The Cathedral and no doubt Metallica Black album.

What are you working on now? What in your opinion is the purpose of music in film?

I have just wrapped up “68 Kill” a comedy thriller feature with Director Trent Haaga, Snowfort Pictures and I co-wrote this with Frank. It has its world premiere at the midnight screeners in March at SXSW. Currently I’m just in thick of scoring Director Richard Rowntree’s Folk Horror feature “Dogged” which will be released in the spring, It will be wrapped up in a few weeks then I will move onto the next one! Music in film is incredibly important, it’s all about emphasis of the story telling, contributing to the movie environment, emotion or character description. Watching a movie without any music is a strange experience, but also as a film score it has to work with everything else, the dialogue and Sound FX, so there also has to be a partnership between all the elements and allow for space. As a composer you have to not be afraid of silence within the score. If it’s just non-stop full on music, often it doesn’t work so well.

 

 

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How many times do you like to watch a movie before you begin to get ideas about what type of music the film needs and where music should be placed to best serve the picture, do you prefer to see a movie in its rough-cut stage or do you sometimes like to see a script?

If I have the time to watch more than once then great, often the case it’s just once, but I will have spotting sessions with the production team to go over everything before I start work officially so it still becomes a good base to get to know what’s going on.

I do like to see rough edits and working reels but I try not to do too much sketching over the working edits, as often things change adding more work to cues that now may not work at all. Also, the style and the sound of the score may need to be completely different from the original idea so it’s best to just keep informed of changes and talk to everyone involved. Of course, you also need to know what the budget can afford regarding musicians as this will play a big factor of who you write for and what sound the movie needs.

Do you perform on any of your film scores?

I love having the NSO in Abu Dhabi perform my scores and I hope there will be many more opportunities abroad and at home to bring my scores to the live audience. I always want to write scores that can be performed live, either as a small ensemble or full symphony.

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COMING TO THE PRESTIGIOUS BRIGHTON DOME ON SATURDAY APRIL 22ND 2017 at 19.30.

LEGENDS AND HEROES, MORE MUSIC FROM THE MOVIES.

THE BOURNEMOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA.
CONDUCTOR. Pete Harrison.

Conductor Pete Harrison.

Conductor Pete Harrison.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Experience the thrill of a live symphony orchestra performing some of the most memorable film and television themes ever written. A gargantuan feast of Hollywood glitz and glamour features music old and new written by multi-award winning composers from the golden age of cinema to the present: Elmer Bernstein, Hans Zimmer, Basil Poledouris, Maurice Jarre, Miklos Rozsa, James Horner, Erich Korngold, Alexandre Desplat, Tan Dun and, of course, the godfather of the film score, John Williams.
Classic film scores represented include El Cid, The Magnificent Seven, Doctor Zhivago, Robin Hood and Ben Hur as well as more modern greats The Imitation Game, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Conan the Barbarian and Kung Fu Panda and already classic scores by composer John Williams, Harry Potter, Lincoln, Hook and Raiders of the Lost Ark. This will be a night to remember.

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Pieces to be performed include.

 

Miklos Rozsa.  El Cid

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Elmer Bernstein The Magnificent Seven

 

 

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John Williams Harry Potter Suite
John Williams Raiders of the Lost Ark
John Williams Hook
John Williams Lincoln

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Tan Dun Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

 

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Maurice Jarre .  Doctor Zhivago.

 

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James Horner. Troy.

 

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Randy Edelmann. Dragonheart

 

 

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Basil Poledouris. Conan the Barbarian.

 

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John Powell. How to Train Your Dragon

 

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And many more…

Tickets available now.
http://brightondome.org/event/10708/bournemouth_symphony_orchestra/

THE BOURNEMOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA.

THE BOURNEMOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA.

 

 

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LAST SEPTEMBER WAS THE FIRST GATHERING OF FANS OF MUSIC FROM THE MOVIES.

 

 

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This was the brainchild of Mr Tim Smith. Tim along with the help of film music connoisseur, producer, and all round nice guy Mr James Fitzpatrick of TADLOW MUSIC, put their heads together and came up with a fantastic day at ANGEL studios in London, where collectors got to meet and speak to composers, TREVOR JONES, DANIEL PEMBERTON, DEBBIE WISEMAN, CHRISTOPHER GUNNING and MARK THOMAS. The day was a wonderful success and left everyone wanting more, well your requests have been answered, THE SECOND GATHERING OF FANS OF MUSIC FROM THE MOVIES is scheduled to take place on September 9th, 2017 at The ANGEL STUDIOS in London. Details are as follows. Please support this great gathering, you will thoroughly enjoy the day and the experience.

 

 

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THE GUESTS SO FAR..

 

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THERE ARE SOME GREAT THINGS TO BE WON ON THE DAY.

 

THESE INCLUDE SOUNDTRACK COMPACT DISCS, PLUS THIS AMAZING DAY IN PRAGUE.

 

 

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AND THERE IS ALSO THE NOW MUCH SOUGHT AFTER FANS OF FILM MUSIC MUGS.

 

 

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THIS WILL BE ANOTHER FANTASTIC DAY, SO REMEMBER.

 

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http://info-aec.wixsite.com/fans-music-movies/book-tickets

SEE YOU THERE  , OH AND BECAUSE THE FIRST GATHERING WAS SUCH A SUCCESS.

 

 

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FOR INFO SEE THE WEBSITE.

http://info-aec.wixsite.com/fans-music-movies.

 

 

MORE GUEST COMPOSERS TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON.

 

 

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