Rob Simonsen.

Adam Reed is aged 12 and is still grieving the sudden death of his father a year earlier. One night he walks into hist to discover a wounded pilot hiding there. This mysterious pilot turns out to be the older version of himself from the future, where he is told time travel is in its infancy. He has risked everything to come back in time on a secret mission. Together they must embark on an adventure into the past to find their father, set things right, and save the world. Working together, both young and grown Adam come to terms with the loss of their father and have a chance to heal the wounds that have shaped them. Adding to the challenge of the mission, the two Adam’s soon discover they really don’t like each other very much, and if they’re going to save the world, they’re first going to have to figure out how to get along.

This is the plot of the new Netflix film The Adam Project, that is receiving a lot of attention now. The movie has an atmospheric and haunting score that is the work of composer Rob Simonsen. The music perfectly enhances the mystery and the drama of the storyline, with the composer fashioning a tense yet melodic and melancholy sounding work that creates a deeper level of atmospherics and creates an array of moods.

The score is awash with subtle but affecting thematic material, the composer supports and bolsters the already interesting storyline with numerous musical colours and textures that range from dark and sinister to inspiring and emotive. It’s a score that oozes sensitivity and purveys a sense of urgency as well as having to it a subtle but darkly brooding aura as it accompanies and punctuates the proceedings on screen. Well worth a listen and is available now on various digital platforms.

Also available on the likes of Spotify and Apple Music via the unstoppable Movie Score Media is the score for Sideshow, which has a score by Award-winning composer Michael Csányi-Wills who has written works ranging from chamber music to choral and orchestral works to feature length film scores, and has been composer in residence with the Welsh Sinfonia since September 2013. Recent works have been widely performed throughout the UK and commissions have taken him around Europe, Australia, and the USA. His previous collaboration with the Welsh Sinfonia was a setting of Lewis Carroll’s “Phantasmagoria” for Narrator and orchestra, which received its premiere in January 2016. Michael’s most recent commission though is a Violin concerto entitled “Revisions of the Earth” for violinist Tatiana Berman and was performed by her, with the Constella Arts Festival Orchestra in Cincinnati and conducted by Jose Luis Gomez in April 2016. Michael’s Orchestral Songs recorded for Toccata Classics and performed by Ilona Domnich, Nicky Spence, Jacques Imbrailo and The Londamis Ensemble conducted by Mark Eager were released in December 2015 to critical acclaim, and was Recording of the Month at Music Web International.

Michael Csányi-Wills

Michael has also written scores for a range of films including documentaries such as “The King of Nerac“, “Maestro“, a feature documentary feature about conductor Paavo Järvi, and feature dramas such “The Trouble with Dot and Harry“, “Be My Baby” and documentary “Chasing Flavour” written and directed by Sundance Film Festival prize-winner Gary Walkow. He also won the Award for Best Score at the Movie Maverick Awards for his score to the short film “A Love story in Milk”, and was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in January 2012 and was appointed Head of Composition at the World Heart Beat Music Academy, London in January 2013. His score for Sideshow is in my opinion an effective and interesting one, the composer utilising to great effect cymbalom to create an atmosphere that is filled with mystery and apprehension. He combines this with accordion which adds a more comedic and jauntier element to the music. The composer also adding clarinet and solo violin at certain points which again gives it a Eastern European or Yiddish sound.  The score perfectly underlines the plot in which we see two inept criminals break into the home of a washed-up psychic (Les Dennis) in search of hidden loot, but they get a lot more than they bargained for.

The composer gets the balance just right between comedy and drama with this I think accomplished score, which is a work that entertains so much. At times I was reminded of Hans Zimmer’s Sherlock Holmes scores, but there is a more inventive and ingenious originality present here, certainly a score worth investigating, recommended.

Max Richter

Also out is the score from My Brilliant Friend Season three which is scored by Max Richter, and has a heartfelt and gloriously haunting soundtrack, the core theme being repeated throughout in various arrangements and guises, but each time manifesting itself as a fresh and eloquent piece. Strings and piano both taking on the theme and making it their own. It is a superbly rewarding score, filled with emotive and poignant moments, and is a soundtrack I recommend you listen to, available on digital platforms. Season three now showing on a TV near you.

Chris Roe.

It’s been two weeks now since the ITV series Trigger Point finished its first run, and after watching the series I must admit getting withdrawal symptoms and counting the days weeks and months till season two explodes onto out television screens.  But never fear the score by Chris Roe is always on hand to stir up those feelings of stress and apprehension inside of you. Released on Silva Screen UK this is a fraught and tense work, innkeeping with the series and its ever-dramatic storyline.

The music I thought brought much to the emerging storyline of the series, the composer creating a soundscape of dark and menacing sounds that built a effervescent and brooding nervous tension. Maybe its not a soundtrack to listen to away from the images, but it is still an inventive and interesting one, available now digitally.  

Mark Isham’s score for the TV series The Cleaning LadySeason one is also available on digital platforms now, and is one that is worth a listen, as is Trevor Morris’s music from the TV series Vikings Valhalla and Blake Neely’s The Flash Armegeddon, and Batwoman-Season two, plus there is Bear McCreary’s brilliant music for Outlander season six. All of which are more than accomplished works for the small screen. That’s all for now. See you next time.



With over four hundred music credits that range from English Grime rap hits to classical, Simon Franglen has worked with an array of artists including Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Celine Dion, Luciano Pavarotti, Toni Braxton, The Corrs, and Madonna. After several years as a top line session musician and record producer in Los Angeles, Franglen started in films working for John Barry, initially on the soundtrack to Dances with Wolves, then on Chaplin and many other projects after that. He created the gritty electronica for Howard Shore’s score to David Fincher’s Se7en and David Cronenberg’s Crash, produced the vocals for Moulin Rouge, programmed for the Bodyguard soundtrack. He was well-known for his long-time collaboration with James Horner as arranger and score producer on films such as ‘Avatar and The Magnificent Seven and many others. After James Horner’s tragic death in 2016, Simon completed the score to the re-boot of The Magnificent Seven, for which he received an ASCAP award. He finished the composition and delivered the music to Lightstorm/Disney’s ‘Pandora, World of Avatar’ – the ground-breaking theme park area in Florida. He received a Grammy Award for Record of the Year as producer for My Heart Will Go On from James Cameron’s Titanic, and received Golden Globe, Grammy Award and World Soundtrack Award nominations for co-writing and producing the theme song I See You from Cameron’s Avatar.

Simon Franglen.

Can I begin by asking how you became involved on Notre Dame Brule?

Jean-Jacques Annaud is a very dear friend of mine. He called me in late 2020 to tell me about the project, and with JJ, then answer is always yes. 

How many times did you see the film before starting to formulate ideas about the music and where it would be best placed?

Covid 19 delayed my opportunity to see the film during production, JJ invited me to the shooting within Notre-Dame, but the quarantine restrictions at the time stopped me from going. Later in the summer of 2021, JJ invited me to Burgundy, where he was cutting the movie. This also allowed me to visit Sens Cathedral where they had done some of the shooting, and record the wonderful 500 year old bells there.  We spent a couple of weeks there, watching the film together, discussing how the music should emotionally respond as events unfurled.

Your actors and your story drive the sound of the score, and in this case my leading lady was a thousand-year-old icon. Choir, orchestra, church bells, a solo soprano were all colours for the cathedral. Our heroes were the firefighters, young men and women who risked their lives by climbing through the fire to stop the total collapse of the entire building – that required a more brass lead sound to allow it to speak through the sound of the fire and collapsing timbers. 

Did the director have any specific ideas regarding the style of music or indeed a sound that he was looking for?

Obviously JJ drove the score, that is true of all directors, but then he gave me a very specific brief:  “Go write what you feel”.  There was little or no temp music in his cut, JJ says that he doesn’t like box composers in with other films’ music. He had very specific notes about every scene, about how the music should feel, what points to hit, which undercurrent to feed into, but then he left me to it. I would write cues, send JJ demos and he would then give me feedback. I went back to France a couple of more times to sit with him and importantly, to meet the sound effects team so that I could get a sense of where the music would sit in the Atmos dub. Roaring fire is as bad for music as my other favourite counterparts, helicopters and machine guns, so you have to write to make the music work for the film, not the soundtrack album; this means that sometimes clarity of line is of more importance within the cinema than thematic extensions or additional orchestration. 

What size orchestra and choir did you utilize for the score and where did you record it?

Covid was, as with most projects over the past couple of years, the driving factor in what we could do and how and where we could record. I prefer to record the whole orchestra at once if I can, so we recorded the entire orchestra over a couple of days at the Hall at Air Studios. Restrictions meant that the maximum I could record was 70 players at one time. 

I used the wonderful Tenebrae Choir for all the choral work, and Grace Davidson as the principal soloist whose voice you hear across many of the cues. We recorded them at Abbey Road Studio 1. Simon Rhodes was, of course, the recording engineer and mixer for this. 

I am pleased that a soundtrack album will be released, and it is already available on digital streaming platforms, did you have any input into the release, as in selecting what tracks or pieces would be included on the release, and will the release include the complete score?

Sony Milan contacted me to ask if I and Pathé Films would be interested. Milan had released the ‘Curse of Turandot’ soundtrack, which had gone very well, and they have done a wonderful job in putting together the new soundtrack. I am very pleased there is a physical release as well.  I wrote about 85 minutes of score for the film, so some cues have not made their way onto the soundtrack, but I am very pleased with the outcome. We made a choice to keep the score in film order, I think it allows the listener to take the journey with the music. I also made a choice to record a true end title, rather than editing together some elements from cues within the film as often happens these days.  I wanted to reflect Jean-Jacques amazing film as the titles rolled. 

Director Jean-Jacques Annaud on set.

How much time did you have to write the score

I think I wrote it in about 9 weeks. 

Did you conduct the score, or do you prefer to supervise the recording and have a conductor?

I conducted some of the score, specifically the main themes and major plot points, who wouldn’t want to do that, but most of the score was conducted by my lead orchestrator, Steven Baker. Jean-Jacques liked to sit with me in the control room and discuss the cues as they went down in case any elements needed tweaking. We didn’t have a lot of time, and therefore this allowed me to work faster.  

Many thanks to the composer for his time.