Three releases coming from Movie Score Media, and all very different. Each score has its own sound, style and individuality, which in the world of contemporary movie music is a good thing, with so many scores sounding similar to one another at times and soundscape stepping in for melodies on so many occasions. Listening to these latest releases makes one realize the unfaltering dedication of labels such as MSM to bring to the soundtrack fan a diversity of musical wares. First up is the latest score from composer Tim Wyn, who may recall worked on Freaks, Total War game videos, and the televisions series Mech X4 and Supernatural. One of the composers more recent scores is The Legend of La Llorona, his music for this horror shocker is atmospheric and affecting, the composer creating a dark, sinister, and foreboding work, that is a disturbing and effective listen, that along the way also contains hints of less fearsome themes and a handful of nuances and passages that are not quite as chilling, having to them a romantic otherworldly air. Right from the opening one is aware via the apprehensive tone of the music that this movie is not for the feint hearted, the composer fashioning and establishing an uneasy and unsettling mood, via sinewy strings and echoing percussive elements that act as a background to a macabre sounding melody of sorts, the atmosphere created in the opening few minutes of the score sets the scene perfectly for much of what is to follow.
The second cue The Weeping Woman is more of a comfortable listen with soft classical guitar performing a beautiful and lilting theme that is underlined by strings and then later is joined by solo female voice adding to the proceedings a ghostly yet soothing persona to the piece. This is a small island of tranquillity within what is a sea of dark and at times urgent sounds that weave a musical web that is dramatic, chaotic and above all edgy. It’s a score that you must take a listen to, as it is innovative and inventive, the composer realising beautiful but at the same time fear-provoking moments. Check it out available on digital platforms on July 8th.
Sinjar is the next score and is the work of composer Gerard Pastor. Born in Barcelona in 1984, Gerard Pastor began his musical training at the age of 4. He studied piano at the Sabadell Conservatoire under Monica Buxo; (piano) and Miquel Pardo (composition) where he was awarded the Premio de Honor for Piano. In 2007 he obtained the higher diploma in piano from the Escola Superior de Musica de Catalunya, where he studied under Maria Jesus Crespo. Since then, he has continued his piano studies at Musikeon under Luca Chiantore and studied orchestral conducting under Jordi Mora.
In addition to his regular studies, he has also participated in various master classes in Spain under teachers including Jose; Vicente, Ignasi Terraza, Iramar Rodriguez, Kenny Werner, Chick Corea, Eric Heidsieck and Luca Chiantore. He was the winner of the 11th Fundacion Arjau Competition (Barcelona, 2006) and his compositions have been performed by major orchestras both in Spain and abroad. Sinjar is a 2022 drama that focuses upon the real-life stories of three women living under ISIS and their horrific consequences. Directed by Anna Bofarull, it is a harrowing, emotive, and compelling story. The music will be released on digital platforms via Movie Score Media on July 1st. The score is realised by mainly electronic instrumentation, but it has depth and real soul to it, the tantalising compositions are well structured and add much to the drama. Although not an expansive or over thematic work it is still an enjoyable and an affecting one.
Phoenix is the third release coming from MSM in July, and I think it is probably my favourite of the trio in this review, its an understated score, delicate and at times filled with fragility, the composer creating hints of themes, and traces of light but affecting nuances, which keep the listener interested and focused. Music is by Patrik Andren who worked on the TV mini-series Tsunami and the TV series The Bridge in 2020 and 2018 respectively. This is a beautifully written score that is mesmerising and haunting, the composer balances both light and dark colours and textures wonderfully and it has to it varying layers of music which interweave and intertwine to realise a stunning yet simple musical presence. The score also includes some really great jazz tracks, which are an unexpected and entertaining bonus. Available soon on digital platforms from the ever-industrious Movie Score Media.
The series on Disney + Obi Wan Kenobi has now finished but there is talk of a season two, which I look forward to. The soundtrack for the series was released on digital platforms this week, and it is probably one of the best scores for a TV series that I have heard in a while, with composers such as John Willliams, William Ross and Natalie Holt involved how can it be anything but excellent. Disney Plus have aired so many great shows in the past few years, Moon Knight, The Book of Boba Fett, Just Beyond, Wanda Vision, and so many more, and what has been impressive is not just the series themselves but the quality of the musical scores, with big name composers stepping up to create so many wonderful soundtracks. Gone are the days when music for TV series were looked down upon by film music collectors, its no longer a second-class form of the art of composing for the moving image.
Obi Wan Kenobi, is a truly great series and the music by all three composers involved adds so much to the action and storyline unfolding on screen. John Williams majestic and romantically laced theme for the series evokes the sound that he created for the original Star Wars movies back in the 1970’s and 1980’s,
Natalie Holt who is I suppose a relative newcomer compared with both Williams and Ross, provides the series with a tantalizing and powerful score that underlines, punctuates and drives the storyline and enhances the many characters that we are introduced to. Her contribution to the series is wonderfully effective and it is her who also provides the lions share of the music for the production.
Her music echoes the Williams scores from back in the day plus she adds her own individual style and sound to the proceedings, purveying dark and fearsome colours but also at the same time creating emotive, haunting, and romantic moods throughout, as in Inquisitors Hunt, Young Leia, Days of Alderaan the latter cue being affecting and deeply melodious. with the composer utilising the theme in the track Nari’s Shadow.
William Ross is a seasoned composer and conductor and has contributed a handful of cues for the series, The Journey Begins, First Rescue, Some things cant be Forgotten, Saying Goodbye and End Titles among these. I was surprised at the richness and the continuity of the music in the score, three composers but the sound achieved being in tune with each one’s ideas and thematic sound.
This is a triumph of a score, a commanding and emotional soundtrack, and one that I know you will love as soon as you hear it.
I am thrilled that at last an expanded edition of James Horner’s magnificent score for the movie Willow has at last been released, and just want to say thank you Intrada. Released in 1988 the movie was produced by George Lucas and directed by Ron Howard, it’s a rip roaring, swashbuckling fantasy adventure, that I adored when I first saw it. I am not however saying it’s the best of George Lucas or indeed Ron Howard, but it’s an entertaining romp for kids of all ages, that is exciting, action packed and also has numerous emotional interludes, filled with mystical and magical moments it was and still is a movie that many count as one of their favourites. And from a film music fans point of view it has one of the most powerful and thematic scores that was penned in the 1980’s. I think alongside Horner’s Krull it is one of my most listened to Horner soundtracks.
Released on Virgin Music on LP originally then released later onto compact disc this is a score that has for many years been crying out for a re-issue in an expanded form. For me this is probably the best of James Horner, although saying that I don’t think anyone could say that the composer ever penned a bad score. On listening to this latest incarnation of Horner’s classic soundtrack I felt quite emotional, the opening flourishes of the first cue on disc 1 EloraDanan straight away taking me back to the late 1980’s. It is a magnificent and enthralling track which has a running time of nearly ten minutes, and it is this cue in which we hear many of Horner’s luxurious and action led central themes for the score, I suppose one could say that this is similar to an Overture as it successfully sets the scene for an array of musical delights that are waiting to be discovered as we the listener progresses through the score. I was at the time of first hearing the score struck but the sheer scale of the music, with the mighty London Symphony Orchestra and choir working their magic and performing Horner’s excellent musical compositions to perfection.
I also loved the way in which the composer utilised pan pipes and other woods within the score, at times they were lilting and effecting but also had the capacity to generate shrill terrifying moments and dramatic otherworldly sounds. But I think it was the central theme that I was affected by more than any other, like with most Horner scores there seems to be a warmth and even a familiarity to this glorious theme and one that not only mesmerises but totally captivates any listener. The composer utilising strings and pan pipes to purvey a mysterious yet romantic and melancholy persona. In many ways, (and this is just a personal opinion )I felt that Horner’s music was superior to the movie itself, the score purveying an epic feel and also having to it an affecting and haunting aura. I do not think that a track-by-track analysis is really necessary for this score as the majority of film music fans will already be familiar with it, and Horner fans will certainly be.
It is I think sufficient to say that this is classic movie music and an iconic work by the late James Horner. It is a grandiose and all-consuming work written in the same year as Red Heat, Vibes, Cocoon The Return and The Land Before Time, and it as do these other scores show the versatility and wonderful talent of the composer who is so sorely missed in film scoring today. The grandiose and powerful sound and style of Willow also reflects many of Horner’s other cinematic works as heard in Krull, Star Trek ll The Wrath of Khan, Aliens, etc and was a pre-cursor to the delights and commanding energy that he purveyedin laterscores such as Glory, The Rocketeer, The Pagemaster, Braveheart and Apollo 13 to name but a handful, the list is literally endless. Intrada have done a marvellous job on this expanded 2 disc set release, which is not surprising as their standards are very high and encompass both quantity and quality.
Extra cues (the original CD release contained 8 tracks, this double CD release boasts 18) and eye-catching artwork are accompanied by informative notes, and wonderfully clear and pristine sound, it is soundtrack connoisseur’s heaven and hopefully the Horner re-issue program will not stop here. Highly recommended.
An evil Queen Bavmorda portrayed by British actress Jean Marsh uses black magic to conquer and dominate the land and holds in her power its people who become like slaves to her evil commands. She dreads the birth of a child with an unusual birthmark a prophesies foretell that the child will bring about her downfall. Bavmorda imprisons all the pregnant women in the land and the child of the prophecy is born. But before Bavmorda has a chance to kill the baby a midwife makes her escape with her. She sends the baby downstream on a raft in very much the way Moses was placed in the river because Bavmorda’s henchmen are nearly upon them.
The child washes up near a village inhabited by a race of dwarf-like people called Nelwyns. Willow Ufgood played by Warrick Davies, is a farmer and amateur magician finds the baby and is subsequently chosen by the town council to return the child to the world of the “large people,” or Daikini as they are known to the Nelwyns. Against their better judgment,
Willow and his friend Meegosh entrust the baby to the first Daikini they meet, a renegade warrior named Madmartigan played by Val Kilmer. On their way home, Willow and Meegosh are attacked by a clan of Brownies who even smaller than the Nelwyns, who have stolen the baby from Madmartigan.
The Brownie fairy queen of the forest, Cherlindrea, tells Willow that he has been chosen to protect the baby, whose name is Elora Danan. Cherlindrea gives Willow a magic wand and directs him to ask the sorceress Fin Raziel (Patricia Hayes) for assistance.
Cherlindrea sends along two brownies as guides, Willow’s party on their journey again encounters Madmartigan, who helps them to escape the clutches of Sorsha portrayed by Joanne Whalley who is Bavmorda’s daughter. Willow and the rest of the group finally meet Fin Raziel, only to find that the sorceress has been turned into a rodent by Bavmorda. Sorsha captures Willow and his party and they start a long trek to Nockmaar castle, Bavmorda’s stronghold. Willow attempts to use magic to return Fin Raziel to her human form but fails. Meanwhile,
Madmartigan and the Brownies manage to escape, while Madmartigan, under the influence of the Brownies’ love potion, becomes temporarily infatuated with Sorsha. Willow and the group escape from Sorsha’s control and make a hasty retreat with stolen horses. The group eventually finds the castle of Tir Asleen, where Cherlindrea told them they would find protection from Bavmorda, but the castle is under Bavmorda’s spell; all its inhabitants are frozen in ice. Madmartigan, refusing to give up hope, prepares for Sorsha’s attack while Willow once again fails to transform Raziel into human form.
Sorsha and her army arrive, but so does the Army of Galladoorn, led by Madmartigan’s old friend Airk Thaughbaer. During the ensuing battle, Sorsha falls in love with Madmartigan and changes sides. Nockmaar’s General Kael played by Pat Roach captures Elora and takes her to Nockmaar. Willow, Madmartigan, Sorsha, the Brownies, the sorceress Fin Raziel (now in the shape of a goat), and what is left of Airk’s army set up camp, preparing to storm Nockmaar castle to rescue Elora. Willow finally returns Raziel to her true form, and the sorceress puts a spell on the camp to protect them from Bavmorda’s magic.
The battle at Nockmaar begins the next day. Willow manages to save Elora at the last moment from Bavmorda’s murderous ritual, and Bavmorda is destroyed, in part by her own magic. He leaves the baby in the caring arms of Madmartigan and Sorsha. Willow returns happily to his village and his family with a gift from Raziel: a book of magic to study. It is an action-packed adventure with many twists, turns, chases, and fights. And is a movie that you should see, also watch out for Willow the series coming to Disney + soon.
As a follow up to the article about the spaghetti western soundtracks on compact disc, I thought it might be an idea to give collectors an insight into the vocalists who performed so many of the title songs for those Italian produced movies. Often the song from a Italian western would be released onto a 45rpm single record with a picture cover either showing a scene or poster from the movie in question or a picture of the vocalist wearing cowboy outfit. I suppose this in the early days was also a way of promoting the movie and its soundtrack, some of the songs from the movies even entering the hit parade as it was then called. The singles were mainly released in Italy, France, and Germany as in the beginning there was it seemed limited interest in the songs from the movies outside of those countries. Artists such as Maurizio Graf, Peter Tevis, Christy, Peter Boom and others often achieving fairly high chart positions with the performances and in Italy particularly appearing on TV.
Many collectors in the UK never latched onto the Italian western theme song until RCA released Il Western by Ennio Morricone, which included songs from movies such as Gunfight at Red Sands, Bullets Don’t Argue, A Pistol for Ringo, Return of Ringo etc.
After this release many Italian western fans began to take more notice of songs from the movies, and were drawn to composers such as De Angelis, De Masi, Lavagnino, Ferrio, Nicolai etc, all of whom at some point included a vocal performance on their soundtracks. One of the most popular and enduring is surprisingly not by Morricone, but by Francesco De Masi.
His soundtrack for Quella Sporca Storia Nel West (The Dirtiest Story of The West-aka-Johnny Hamlet) opened with the pop slanted song Find a Man, which was co-written by Alessandro Alessandroni who also provided the infectious guitar riff that opened the song.
Quella Sporca Storia Nel West. (excerpt).
Find a man who never killed
not even for the love of gold
Find a man who never lied
and offer him your soul.
Find a man who never stole
from any man a woman’s love
Find a man who never lied
and never let him go
The vocals were courtesy of Maurizio Graf who was supported by members of Il Cantori Moderni and an upbeat orchestral backing, that sounded more like American Surf music and UK pop a’lla the Tornadoes rather than music for a western.
The twangy guitar solo that was woven throughout the vocal was an instant hit and the soundtrack also included an instrumental version of the tune. Graf’s performance was a strong one and surprisingly it was also easy to understand every word, which was not always the case with vocals from Italian soundtracks. Many suffering because of the individual vocalist’s pronunciation of the English lyrics, of course they did at times also record the song in Italian, which for me personally always sounded far more powerful and expressive which was certainly the case with the title song for the Sergio Corbucci movie Django (1966) as scored by Luis Enriquez Bacalov, which seemed to become instantly more commanding and had a better flow to it. This genre classic vocal was performed in Italian by the singer/actor Roberto Fia, with an alternate English version being sung by Rocky Roberts.
Roberts was an American vocalist and went onto work with composer Bacalov on a handful of other songs which included Can Be Done from the western Si Pio Fare…Amigo. The English version of Django was given a new lease of life more recently in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained.
Django, have you always been alone?
Django, have you never loved again?
Love will live on, oh oh oh…
Life must go on, oh oh oh…
For you cannot spend your life regretting
Django, you must face another day.
But back to Maurizio Graf, who also worked with Morricone, on the songs for the Giuliano Gemma westerns A Pistol for Ringo and The Return of Ringo. His unique vocal performances on both added much to the overall sound of Morricone’s score and via the vocals also made Morricone’s music even more popular. The first which was entitled Angel Face was a lyrical and melodic affair, even if the lyrics themselves did contain mention of rivers of blood etc, Morricone added his own distinctive sound with soaring strings, choir and guitar which were supported by a familiar Italian pop vibe.
Angel Face from A Pistol for Ringo. (excerpt)
Countries, that know only the springtime And your green fields, with your scentin’ of hay Know Ringo, with his angel face And a woman, who was waitin’ for his return Cross the canyons he laughed Down the valley the death And he left behind a river of blood.
Whereas The Return of Ringo was a little more edgy and had to it a dramatic near operatic style within the arrangement.
The Return of Ringo. (First verse)
I kiss at last the beloved ground of my land. That I left one day with my hard heart full of pain. I have looked in the faces of my old friends. But nobody looked at me as my old friends. And now what happens you must, you must tell me.
Before scoring the two Ringo movies Morricone worked on two other westerns, Gunfight at Red Sands (1963) and Bullets Don’t Argue, (1964) both soundtracks contained songs, Gunfight at Red Sands had the title song AGringo Like Me and Bullets don’t Argue contained the haunting ballad Lonesome Billy, both songs were performed by Peter Tevis.
Tevis was the vocalist on the song Pastures of Plenty (RCA PM45-3115). which was written by Woodie Guthrie and arranged by Morricone, an instrumental reworking of this eventually ended up as the theme for the first in the Sergio Leone Dollar Trilogy of movies A Fistful OF Dollars (1964). Peter Tevis was born 1937, in California, USA, he was an American folk singer but is best remembered for his work on the soundtracks of composer Ennio Morricone. Tevis met Morricone while living in Italy during the 1960s and suggested that they should work together.
A Gringo Like Me. from Gunfight at Red Sands. (excerpt).
Keep your hand on your gun.
Don’t you trust anyone.
There’s just one kind of man that you can trust,
that’s a dead man, or A Gringo Like Me.
Be the first one to fire.
Every man is a liar.
There’s just one kind of man who tells the truth,
that’s a dead man, or A Gringo Like Me.
Don’t be a fool for a smile or a kiss,
or your bullet might miss.
Keep your eye on your goal.
Lonesome Billy from Bullets don’t argue.
To get even with the men
Who did him wrong.
That was Billy
Who was quick to think
A gun could make him strong
No one tougher or more daring
Only he and his gun sharing
The great fight to live
And his great love to fight
A rough man who played with danger
To whom trouble was no stranger
Until one day he lay dying
He’d filled his date with destiny.
During the 1970s Tevis produced audio recordings designed to train different families of songbirds to talk. In his last years he suffered from Parkinson’s disease and had almost lost his voice. He died in September 2006 in Washington.
Tevis is also known for his performance of the song A Man Must Fight, from 7 Dollari Sul Rosso-(Seven Dollars on the Red), which had a score written by Francesco De Masi and was written in the style of many of the songs from American westerns.
Maybe one of the most well-known songs from an Italian western is They Call Me Trinity, the film was scored by Franco Micalizzi and Roberto Pregadio, and the title song was performed by Annibale Giannarelli, under the name of Annibale. The singer was born in Sassalbo, Massa Carrara, Tuscany, Italy on the 9th of May 1948. His career began during the early 1960’s as both a singer and a instrumentalist. He has performed throughout Italy and Australia often at major venues and also has made numerous television appearances. His vocal talents are outstanding and he performs a wide range of songs from traditional Italian and pop through to jazz and classic hits. He performed the song for Franco Micalizzi on the first in the series of the Trinity movies and performed on Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack for Paola and Francesca. The iconic vocal on the comedy western They Call me Trinity was an international hit and is still performed by Franco Micalizzi’s big bubbling band in an instrumental arrangement when they are on tour. The song’s lyrics were by Lally Stott and was basically a send up of the American songs for western movies containing the lyrics.
Lo Chiamavano Trinita (first verse).
He’s the guy who’s the talk of the town With the restless gun Don’t you bother to fool him around Keeps the varmints on the run, boy Keeps the varmints on the run
You may think he’s a sleepy-type guy Always takes his time Soon I know you’ll be changing your mind When you’ve seen him use a gun, boy When you’ve seen him use a gun.
Another much loved song from the Italian western genre is The Man From Nowhere, which was penned by Francesco De Masi, and Alessandro Alessandroni for the movie Arizona Colt (1966). The singer on this occasion was Raoul who worked with De Masi on other western songs and collaborated with Alessandroni and his Il Cantori Moderni. Born Ettore Raoul Lovecchio the Italian singer and actor was often called on for solo-singing on soundtracks in the late 1960s. After which he left the genre to become an actor during the 70s. He was also known for being the owner of a boutique for Oriental fashion in Rome.
He was also known as Raul or Raoul Lo Vecchio. He also sang on other westerns that included. Death Rides a Horse, A Taste of Death, 15 Scaffolds for a Murderer, 7 Winchester per Un Massacro, Quanto Costa Morire, I 4 Inesorabili, Ammazzali Tutti E Trorna Solo, Testa a Croce, Vado L’Amazzo E Torno, and many others. His distinct voice giving the songs an earthy and dramatic feel.
The Man from Nowhere from Arizona Colt. (First verse)
He came out of nowhere with no one beside him, he rode out of the sunrise all alone, a man out of nowhere with no one to love him his one faithful companion was his gun, no one could say just where he came from, no one could say where he was going. Was he a man without a heart, a man with a heart made of stone.
Don Powell was a vocalist who regularly appeared on Italian western soundtracks, working with the likes of Marcello Giombini on Tre Pistole Contro Cesare-(Death Walks in Laredo) the title song Laredo was a fast paced affair, with Powell exaggerating the Laredo, to Lareeedo. He also worked with composer Carlo Savina on Pocchi Dollari Per Django(A Few Dollars for Django) 1966 and on Ehi Amigo..sei Morto in 1971. Nevada with Gianni Ferrio also in 1971. The singer collaborated with Angelo Francesco Lavagnino for the title song A Gambling Man on 5000 Dollari sul Asso-(5000 Dollars on the Ace) 1964, And with Spanish composer Anton Garcia Abril on the classic Texas Addio in 1966. Powell’s voice was at times compared with that of Frank Sinatra, at times having to it a smooth and mellow tone, which can be heard particularly in his vocal for Nevada entitled They call it Gold.
As a boy All the thoughts, that filled my mind Were as a boy Then, one day Something in my childish mind Will be a strain
But as a man Love and hate They somehow mean the same All could blame To a child which was born into a world of pain.
Fred Bongusto is a name we have seen much of when it comes to Italian film and TV music, he is not only a composer but also a singer and has performed a handful of songs for Italian westerns, Uccidi O Mouori-(Kill or be Killed) being one of them, the song I Must Go is an excellent western song and evokes memories of the song in High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me) the score is by composer Carlo Rustichelli who’s instrumental version of the song is pure spaghetti western, with soaring trumpet solo, electric guitar, and includes Rustichelli’s melodic and classical sounding strings that are enhanced by percussion and organ.
We return to the power of Morricone for the next two songs, both of which were performed byChristy who is an Italian singer (also known as Cristy). Her real name is Maria Cristina Brancucci. She is famous for the powerful title songs to The Big Gundown and Tepepa. RunMan Run and AlMessico Che Vorrei respectively.
Away from the Spaghetti Western genre she provided the vocals for the Morricone/Nicolai scored Operation Kid Brother and has also recorded Deep, deep Down, which is the title song from Mario Bava’s Diabolik also written by Morricone.
Run Man Run -from- The Big Gundown.
Somewhere there is a land where men do not kill each
Other. Somewhere there is a land where men call a man a brother.
Somewhere you will find a place where men live without
Fear. Somewhere, if you keep on running, someday you’ll be
Free. Never, no never no they’ll never lock you in.
No never, no never, no never let them win.
Go ahead young man, face towards the sun,
Run man, run while you can,
Run man, run man, run.
Running like a hare, like deer, like rabbit,
Danger in the air, coming near, you can feel it,
And you’re panting like hare, like deer like a rabbit,
Running from the snare until fear is a habit.
Hurry on and on and on.
Hurry on and on, hurry on and on
Run and run until you know you’re free,
Run to the end of the world ’til you find a place
Where they never never never
No never no they’ll never lock you in.
Never, no never, no never let them win.
Go ahead young man, face towards the sun,
Run man, run while you can,
Run man, run man, run.
There are obviously many other vocalists who have performed on Italian western soundtracks, The Wilder Brothers for example on The Man With the Golden Pistol for Lavagnino, Gene Roman, on The ContinuingStory of Trinity for Guido and Maurizio De Angelis,
Ann Collin on Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears for Daniele Patucchi, and her brilliant vocalising on That Man from Fasthand for Gianni Ferrio, also let’s not forget Nevil Cameron on Ferrio’s Sentenza Di Morte and the moody but excellent rendition of The Last Game. And Let it Rain Let it Pour vocals this time by Stefano Grossman from the movie Amico Stammi Lontano Almeno Un Palmo and Jula De Palmaon Ferrio’s superb score for Find a Place to Die which included two songs, one being Find a Place to Die and Era Una Cowboy.
Plus, there is Peter Boom on Corri Uomo Corri by Bruno Nicolai and Marcello Giombini’s The Return of Sabata. John Balfour on The Son of Django for Umiliani.Saverio Moriones on John Il Bastardo for Fidenco and for Fidenco again Gianni Davoli with Forgive but NotForget from One more for Hell.
And then Fidenco himself on songs such as The Lanky Gunman, from The Taste of Killing, and Texican from Ringothe Texican. Gino from The Hills Run Red for Morricone, with the song Home to My Love, the list is it seems endless. Because of this I know I will have missed names and titles but let’s hope this article might inspire others to discover the vocal side of the Spaghetti Western score.
Walt Disney Records has released the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack from Rise, which features a multi textured and emotionally stirring score composed by Re Olunuga. The movie RISEis based on the compelling and uplifting real-life story about the remarkable family that gave the world the first trio of brothers to become NBA champions in the history of the league. Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Laker’s Kostas Antetokounmpo, along with their younger brother Alex. The film premieres on Disney + on June 24th,
Ré Olunuga is a Nigerian composer who experiments with orchestral and synthetic sounds to create multi layered and enticing musical pieces. His unique approach to orchestration and in the way he tackles scoring movies and TV projects is refreshing to say the least. The composer has in a very short space of time established himself as a composer that is inventive and highly original. The composer not only writes for cinema and TV but has also collaborated with several artists to release various commercial recordings. His music for film not only supports and underlines the emotions and actions on screen, but acts as an extension to the storyline, creating an ambience and atmosphere that at times can be looked upon as being an unseen actor within the various scenes he has scored.
The soundtrack for Rise is a rich and colourful one, that contains beautifully crafted melodies and at times complex and dramatic interludes. His music within the movie is I suppose the punctuation to the events unfolding on screen and adds a deeper and more emotional ambience to the proceedings. It is a score that contains so many emotional levels and is also a rewarding listen away from the movie it was written for.
The music having to it a traditional symphonic sound which is fused with a handful of more non-conventional musical sounds and styles. It is a wonderfully melodic work that you should check out, available on digital platforms now. The composer also worked on the BBC movie Girl this year, and the intimate score will hopefully be available to hear soon.
Staying with Disney + and to a score that I enjoyed so much Ms Marvel, which is the work of composer Laura Karpman, in which she fuses the more traditional sounds of Hollywood superheroes as we know them with a Bollywood or Bhangra sound. The composer combining rich thematic material with fast relentless action cues with Indian beats and rhythms. An odd combination you may think but it works and works incredibly well too. It’s a score I think you will all love and return to many times after your initial listen. There is just so much crammed into this score its hard to take it all in on the first few listens, and this is just Vol 1, above all it is entertaining and not only performs well within the series and seems to develop and grow even more as the series progresses.
The three-note motif that acts like a fanfare throughout becoming familiar and anthem like and a trio of notes that accompany and herald the appearance of Ms Marvel. This is a compulsive and entertaining listen as just music and is just as affecting away from the images it was composed to enhance and support. Well worth checking out. The series began its six-episode run on June 8th, on Disney +. The series central character Kamala Khan is a superhero fan with a runaway imagination, particularly when it comes to the likes of Captain Marvel. Kamala feels that she doesn’t fit in at school and sometimes even feels out of place at home, that is until she gets superpowers like all the heroes she has looked up to.
Starz, new series Becoming Elizabeth, begins when King Henry VIII has died leaving England to pass into the hands of his son, Edward (Oliver Zetterstrom). As Edward learns how to rule a country, he is torn by his older sister Mary’s (Romola Garai) desire to keep her Catholic faith. Trapped in the middle is the teenage Elizabeth (Alicia von Rittberg), sister to them both and, as history tells us, the future Queen of England. Its an interesting take on the way in which Elizabeth grew from a young girl into a powerful and feared Monarch.
The music is a little different from what one might expect for a period drama, and at times has to it a contemporary and upbeat style, the score is the work of composer Tim Phillips, who has also recently written the music for another TV series entitled Shining Vale which is just as inventive and innovative as Becoming Elizabeth, the score for Becoming Elizabeth is one that keeps one interested, I found myself thinking what is the composer going to serve up in the next cue, it is a score that is filled with interesting surprises stylistically, and also one that I think film music fans will be tantalised by. Check out both Becoming Elizabeth and Shining Vale on digital platforms.
To the big screen now and to Mark Korven’s highly atmospheric and slightly disturbing score for The Black Phone. Korven of course has a great track record when it comes to music for sinister and chilling movies, just take a listen to his excellent soundtrack for The Witch and you will understand what I mean. The Black Phone is in my opinion on a par with The Witch, in fact its even more jumpy and unsettling with various uneasy sounds and unnerving passages of music and sounds that combine to create an atmosphere that is highly charged and totally affecting.
I won’t say to you this is a great listen away from the movie because its music for a horror movie which does what it is supposed to and makes that movie even more edgy and effective. So, no it’s not a great listen but it’s a great score and when you do listen to it away from the images it still remains disturbing. Available on digital platforms.
Eleusis, is a short horror movie from 2021, which was directed by Andzej Gavriss, it contains an impressive score witch is the work of composer Phar (Raphaël Dargent). The soundtrack utilises effective use of voices as in collectively or as solo performances, the Soprana performance by Baraka May is particularly compelling and haunting throughout with the composer adding depth and support to these via strings and bringing into the equation various percussive elements and sounds that successfully fashion an otherworldly aura.
The films storyline focuses upon a musician who is experiencing a deep state of a creative and is signed to a rehab program at the highly protected, isolated sanatorium that promises a lifetime warranty for endless inspiration.
A bourgeois setting with welcoming stuff slowly creeps into a violent cult that tortures artists in the name of inspiration. With the musician’s greatest hit becoming his darkest nightmare. The score works on so many levels and has to it at times a spiritual and celestial persona, available on digital platforms from Movie Score Media. Also now available on digital platforms are the composers scores for Team Maryland, and Winter of 79. Recommended.
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