flame in the wind

In recent years the Caldera records label has become a name that is associated with quality film music and also worthwhile releases of film scores onto CD. One of their latest releases contains two scores from movies that I would say are not necessarily well known, but nevertheless we all know that even if a movie is not known it can and nearly always does contain a score that is surprisingly innovative and entertaining. The release contains two scores from the 1970’s by composer Dwight Gustafson, FLAME IN THE WIND (1971) and SHEFFEY (1977). Both scores although penned by same composer follow different stylistic paths. The first FLAME IN THE WIND I think is the more epic sounding, in fact at times I was reminded of the style and sound of the Italian made Peplum movies, the composer utilising brass, percussion and strings to great effect, it is I suppose epic sounding because of the time period in which it is set, which is during the Spanish inquisition. It has to it a proud musical persona, the composer fashioning wonderfully thematic pieces that are filled with fanfares and sweeping thematic properties. The score consists of three central themes on which Gustafson builds his score, each of the themes re-cur throughout the film and are presented in varying arrangements. For me the sound achieved evoked memories of the music of Angelo Francesco Lavagnino and his fellow Italian Maestro, Giuseppe Mule, who scored a handful of movies during the 1940’s plus wrote extensively for the concert hall. It is a score that purveys a tense and tormented atmosphere, which is well suited to the movie, as its plot focuses upon a young man who is torn between following the Bible and conforming to the religious tradition that is being enforced by the inquisition. Performed by the Bob Jones University orchestra which was made up mainly of students, it is a work that is interesting and entertaining.

flame wind


Both FLAME IN THE WIND and SHEFFEY were produced by Unusual Film which were associated with the Bob Jones University, both scores were released on LP records again on a label associated with the University. SHEFFEY was a more ambitious movie and called for a larger or grander sounding musical score, the composer again employing brass and strings as the core instrumentation. The score on this movie was more melodious in my opinion, the composer interweaving various folk tunes into the fabric of the score to give the movie a more authentic feel. The composer created expansive sounding themes based upon these traditional pieces and elevated them to suit the mood of the movie. It contained an intimacy and fragility that also purveyed a sense of melancholy. Robert Sheffey was Methodist evangelist, born in 1820, He dedicated his life to the less fortunate and the needy. He would preach the word of God whilst travelling through Virginia and Tennessee. The film called for a score that was melodic and affecting which the composer succeeded in providing fashioning a rich and at times lush sounding work that is more akin to the sound and style of Hollywood films scores by the likes of Newman and Steiner.


Born in 1930, and by the time he was 24 (1954), Gustafson was the acting Dean of the Bob Jones University School of Fine Arts. Where he taught, composed music and conducted the orchestra. He remained in the post until 1997, when he retired. He passed away on 28th January 2014. This is an essential purchase for any lover of quality film music, an unusual but welcomed release, it is the 35th soundtrack CD to be issued by the Caldera label. Well worth adding to your collection.



Dr Who series 12, has caused something of a stir and also a division amongst Who fans, first of all theres the issue aongst some of them that the Doctor is now female and has lasted longer than any of them thought or said She would on social medias everywhere. Then there was the other issue of the composer change, with Murray Gold departing the series after creating so much great music, enter then, Segun Akinola who everyone well most of them said WHO? (sorry could not resist that). I think that this fresh and innovative composer has surprised everyone and also has certainly silenced the doubters. His music for the new Doctor has in my opinion been highly original and also has managed to maintain the high quality that was established by Murray Gold and even given the series more of a musical identity, I am not talking of the iconic theme, which was penned many years ago by Ron Grainer, but the scores, in fact all I can say after listening to the music from series 12 is when can this guy be brought on board for a James Bond movie, his music has that bombastic and relenting action persona and sound that one does associate with agent 007, Listen to DOCTOR, THE DOCTOR (from episode Spyfall) and you will understand what I mean. Even if it is tongue in cheek, its still really effective. Its vibrant upbeat and above all richly thematic and rhythmic. Add to these attributes some wonderfully lyrical and haunting pieces and what we have here is a collection of quality themes and also quantity and consistency as in every track is excellent and above all entertaining.


The composer not only infuses melody and urgency into his work throughout, but also has managed to build a reputation for his use of inventive orchestration and in turn has established a sound that is all of his own. GOING UNDERCOVER is a slow builder but eventually we are treated to a no holds barred and un-relenting piece that includes up-beat percussion and blaring Barry-esque brass which is all held together via driving strings that although are action led remain thematic. It’s a score or a representation of music from series 12, which I know you are going to adore, its one of those albums that you will listen to and then think, “Hang on a minute, I think I will listen to that again”. So, a work that will be returned to and savoured and appreciated over and over. The composer’s music for The Cybermen is also something that is melodic but also has to it an underlying atmosphere that is menacing and at times virulent. Percussion and strings combine to fashion a sound that is tense but also attractive, the cue entitled CYBERMASTERS has a duration of just over five minutes, and within it has so many colours, textures and emotions, one moment the listener is experiencing a taught and anxious mood which then alters to a celestial and serene sound, bringing calm and tranquillity via the utilisation of an adagio of sorts performed by strings.


This however is short lived, the tempo soon picking up and increasing, returning to a more apprehensive and action orientated style. This is a two CD set so there is so much music here to enjoy, including new epic sounding themes for THE MASTER and THE CYBERMEN and just when you think it can’t get any better, you are proved wrong. The music for series 12, is diverse and thrilling, the composer creating a varying and mesmerising set of scores for the new batch of adventures. Even his arrangement of the main theme is inventive and interesting and has to it a darker more sinister persona. My advice order this from Silva Screen records now, highly recommended.