Welcome to the first Soundtrack Supplement of 2023.
La-La Land Records, Studio-Canal and Sony Classical celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the 1992 big-screen biographical drama Chaplin with a newly remastered, presentation of the film’s original score by legendary British composer John Barry. The Yorkshire born composer’s notable and elegant orchestral score, is looked upon as one of late composer’s last great works for the cinema, it is an integral part of this creative and thoughtful chronicling of the great Charlie Chaplin which had Robert Downey, Jr starring in the title role.
Directed by Richard Attenborough, this thoughtful and romantically laced drama benefitted greatly from the score that Barry penned. His varied and enriching thematic material adding emotion and melancholy to the proceedings. The score was recorded at the famous Abbey Road studios in London with the English Chamber Orchestra, and as well as his original music the composer also cleverly included themes that were composed by Chaplin himself such as Smile, City Lights and Limelight.
Produced by Neil S. Bulk and mastered by Doug Schwartz, this limited-edition compact disc presentation is expanded with previously unreleased material, the release also includes exclusive liner notes by journalist/author and John Barry expert Jon Burlingame. The release is limited to 3000 units and features art design by Scott Saslow.
La La Land have also announced the release of an all-new restored, remixed, remastered, and expanded “Ultimate” stereo presentation of Harry Manfredini’s original score to the 1981 feature film Friday the 13th: Part 2, starring Amy Steel, and directed by Steve Miner.
Back in 2021, the original Friday score elements culminated in La-La Land’s “Ultimate” restoration of the first film’s music. Now the label follows that acclaimed release with Friday the 13th part 2; The Ultimate cut. Engineer Jerry Lambert, under supervision of the composer, has again restored and remixed the music with results nothing short of astounding. The music sounds richer, bolder, more vibrant, and as insistent as Jason himself! Included in this deluxe assembly is music Never-before-heard-or-released. Produced by Dan Goldwasser and Brian Satterwhite, mixed by Jerry Lambert, and mastered by James Nelson, this special Compact disc release features exclusive liner notes by Satterwhite who provides a detailed track-by-track breakdown along with an in-depth examination of the release’s restoration and remix process. The art direction is by Goldwasser, and the original cover art is by Scott Saslow. A must-have for all Friday fans and film score fanatics.
La-La Land Records (lalalandrecords.com)
Composer Anthony Willis is back with an atmospheric and wonderfully edgy score for the sci-fi horror M3gan, the composer has penned music that has to it two distinct styles one being the more fearsome and dark sounds and moods that we readily associate with horror and thrillers and also the more gentle and subtle thematic passages and nuances that are tinged with a childlike aura, as in the vocal cue Tell Me Your Dreams, which possess a Disney like style, sugary and sweet initially but in this case that sentiment comes across as one that is perhaps not entirely meant.
The music is affecting and haunting, even alluring at times, but every so often the score surges into a more shadowy and malevolent persona. There is within the work an apprehensive and unsettling air, which for me personally evoked emotions one experiences when listening to the likes of Herrmann, Donaggio, and Goldsmith.
One minute it is a happy go lucky work, which in the next seconds can turn into a volatile, and incessantly driving listening experience. The composer utilising voices and dark strings alongside searing stabs, rasping brass, electronic sounds, and thundering percussive elements. Recommended.
On January 27th Silva Screen Records in the UK will release an expanded edition of Federico Jusid’s score for The English, the score first appeared digitally last year in an eighteen-track edition which was made available digitally on most platforms, this expanded release includes a further Twenty seven tracks a total of forty five in all.
Jusid’s score is a combination of the styles employed in both the Hollywood and the Italian western, the composer paying homage to the likes of Jerome Moross, and Elmer Bernstein as well as more than a gentle nod to the Americana sound of Copeland in some of the pieces, he also employs a sound that is openly in the style of Ennio Morricone and other Italian composers such as Bruno Nicolai, and Stelvio Cipriani who are synonymous with the Spaghetti western genre.
The score containing grunts and shouts as well as electric guitar solos, that set the scene perfectly for the riveting but at times violent storyline. The expanded edition will only be available digitally, but the eigteen-track version of the score will be released on Compact Disc also on January 27th.
The English | Federico JUSID | CD (musicbox-records.com)
Intrada have released the two disc set of the Basil Poledouris score to the sword and sorcery film Conan The Destroyer, when first issued on LP back in 1984, I for one was not that impressed especially after the epic and powerful work the composer had penned for the original movie, however over the years it is a score that as they say has grown on me. It may not be as commanding and driving as Conan the Barbarian, but it has a certain something, and I am pleased that Intrada have released this expanded version of the soundtrack. Arnold Schwarzenegger reprises his role from the 1982 box office hit! And supporting him in this sequel are stars Mako, Grace Jones, Wilt Chamberlain, Tracey Walter, Olivia d’Abo, Sarah Douglas. Queen Taramis offers Conan a quest, but he is uninterested, she vows to resurrect Conan’s beloved Valeria who was killed in the original movie, in return for his cooperation.
He embarks on the journey, encountering virgin princess Jehnna, a search for the horn of Dagoth, fights with Bombaata, encounters his old wizard friend Akiro, befriends warrior Zula, finds the castle of Thoth-Amon, and by this stage the movie has barely reached the halfway mark. World premiere expanded release of his score took years of complicated licensing negotiation, but patience and discussions finally bore fruit. The original 1984 MCA album offered just thirty three minutes of highlights but this new remastered release brings collectors a running time of nearly an hour, plus an additional sixteen minutes of alternate cues. The crispness and clarity of this original performance by the Union Musicisti di Roma under the baton of Poledouris has an unrivalled vibrancy. The composer providing new thematic material and also tracks that are built upon and around his music for the films predecessor, proud anthem like and relentless just what one wants from vivid action music.
The score is presented from stunning 3-channel stereo session mixes vaulted by Universal. The MCA album program is also re-released on the second disc. Attractive cover art by Stéphane Coëdel graces front of flipper-style booklet with original MCA cover art on back, richly designed package design by Kay Marshall is filled with colour stills from the film plus informative notes from John Takis. Greig McRitchie, Jack & Scott Smalley provide the orchestrations. This is a must have item, but it’s a limited edition, so hurry.
CONAN THE DESTROYER (2CD) (intrada.com)
Composer Christopher Young has produced a suitably harrowing yet emotive score for The Offering, Young utilises choir and solo voice performances to great effect within this unsettling and at times malevolent sounding work. I cant say to you this is a great listening experience, because this is a score for a horror movie in the true sense, with the music being written to support and enhance the unnerving events and scenarios on screen. Its not something that you would want to sit down and just listen to, but saying that,
I think this is probably one if not the most inventive and innovative soundtracks by Christopher Young for a horror film. And that is saying a lot considering that this is the composer that scored Hellraiser, Sinster, and the re-boot of Pet Semetery amongst others. The films storyline tells of a family who are struggling with loss that find themselves at the mercy of an ancient demon trying to destroy them from the inside.
Young’s score perfectly underlines the sense of loss and the difficulties the family are experiencing as well as enhancing the horror elements of the plot. Available now on digital platform.
Plaza Mayor Publishing have released the score for Irati which is a Spanish/French co-production that tells the story of a young girl who will guide a group of Christian and Muslim warriors on a journey in an ancient mythological world where everything that has a name exists, in an attempt to recover a lost treasure.
Music is by Aranzazu Calleja and Maite Arroitajauregi, the score is a fusion of choral work and symphonic interludes, it has an epic sound to it, and is filled with a sense of adventure and romance. The film will not be released until February 24th this year but the score is available now on digital platforms. Well worth checking out.
Macedonian musician Kiril Dzajkoski is probably better known as a name in the world of electronic music including dance and sometimes rap, but his score for The Great Water I think is something of a revelation, the composer employing female solo voice at times to convey a sense of hope, the score employs rhythmic percussive elements which are intertwined with ethnic sounding instrumentation, strings and woods to fashion affecting and enriching musical moments. The composer at times employing wordless female voice in a similar way to that of the late Ennio Morricone, adding depth and giving greater poignancy to many of the scenes in the movie.
The cue Drought Break being particularly effective in the film, the music being performed over images with little or no dialogue the result being mesmerising and inspiring. The film was released back in 2004, but the score has only just been added to digital platforms, whilst checking this out also take a listen to the composers score for the 2001 movie Dust. You won’t be disappointed.
Quartet Records, Geffen Records and Paramount Pictures present the premiere release of the complete score for Douglas Day Stewart’s 1984 sexual, romantic drama-thriller Thief of Hearts, starring Steven Bauer, Barbara Williams, and John Getz. The film follows a woman trapped in a boring marriage who begins an affair with a handsome man who seems able to read her mind. She doesn’t know that he has broken into her house and read her diaries, in which she has recorded her deepest thoughts and fantasies.
Composer Harold Faltermeyer provided an intense, romantic and suspenseful electronic score, which is not only varied but rhythmic. The composer also wrote and produced several pop songs for the film, and arranged the original song “Thief of Hearts,” composed by Giorgio Moroder and performed by Melissa Manchester, became a huge hit when it was released as a single.
The soundtrack album was originally released by MCA on LP and CD and has been reissued several times over the years, although in its original forty-minute edition it included just five songs and an equal amount of score cues which were specifically arranged for the album. This limited two-CD edition boasts the complete score composed and recorded by Faltermeyer for the film, and also the remastered MCA album, unused cues, demos, and alternate versions of both score and songs. A treat for all fans of 80s synth sounds. Available now from Quartet direct or from other soundtrack specialists such as Music Box.
Space Adventure Cobra is the animated series produced by the prestigious studio TMS Entertainment and was broadcast from 1982. The series was a huge success and remains to this day one of the most appreciated examples of Japanese animation. To celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Space Adventure Cobra, Wayo records have released a Digipak with two discs, it includes the complete soundtrack, all songs (long versions and karaoke) as well as several covers and rare unused tracks composed at the time. The release also has a twelve-page booklet, illustrated with some colourful and eye-catching artwork. The music for the series was the work of composer Kentarô Haneda and Yûji Ôno, the music and songs greatly enhanced the series and added to its popularity. It contains noteworthy up tempo cues as well as jazz pieces and unforgettable songs. There is also a three-disc vinyl set. Worth having if this is your kind of soundtrack.
Chris’s soundtrack corner have released the CD to Peccato Senza Malizia (aka Sins Without Intentions, 1975) which is a romantic drama by a similarly enigmatic albeit one-time filmmaker, Theo Campanelli. The film tells the story of Stefania, an 18-year old girl leaving her orphanage in Ascoli Piceno who moves in with her stepfather, a humble and simplistic fisherman. Seeing the girl as a wife and a lover rather than a daughter, the unnamed stepfather ignites an abusive relationship until Stefania escapes into a series of equally unhealthy situations. Music is by Italian Maestro Stelvio Cipriani, and belongs to the same genre of romantic dramas Cipriani was known for, where art plays an important part in the unfolding relationships. While the protagonist of Anonimo Veneziano is a musician who uses his craft to seduce his former wife again.
In Peccato Senza Malizia the composerattempts to achieve the same by drawing parallels between music and painting, where the composer’s music underlines the emotional changes just as well as the artwork that is presented on screen. His score is made up of two central themes, the first part of which is built around the main title theme. Cipriani uses an array of orchestral wizardry to showcase the emotive persona of the main heroine. But when Stefania meets her inspiring music teacher, Maurizio, a trumpet is used to suggest his masculinity, as the couple’s relationship blossoms the composer introduces his haunting love theme. This thematic entity takes its inspiration from Stefania’s innocence and is successful in showcasing the power of their romance. It is the first time that the score has been released and is a worthy addition to any soundtrack collection.
Peccato Senza Malizia | Stelvio CIPRIANI | CD (musicbox-records.com)
Another Cipriani score to get a release digitally is Mafia, una legge Che Non Perdona (1980), aka-The Iron Hand of the Mafia, which is released from the CAM archive via sugar music and distributed by Decca. This is a score that has not weathered the years well and is filled with disco and rock and roll orientated cues, or as I used to call them fillers, this is somewhat typical of Italian movies from the 1980,s composers scoring them with easy listening type cues rather than actually scoring them dramatically, the composers looking for a hit tune maybe? No CD release of this one, which is not a bad thing as it’s a score that is rather uninspiring, which I am loathed to say as Cipriani was such a talented composer. In this case he just fills, with synth led compositions that are ….well rather limp. There are so many of these scores around, they look good but are not for me. Why not find something worthwhile like The Valachi Papers by Ortolani? One saving grace is that the Cipriani is on on digital platforms so check it out before buying.
Last year Music Box Records released on CD and digital platforms the original soundtrack for the adventure comedy Jack Mimoun Et Les Secrets de Val Verde (Jack Mimoun and the Secrets of Val Verde, 2022) which was composed by Mathieu Lamboley (Lupin, Minuscule 2 – Mandibles from Far Away) performed by the Orchestre National d’Île-de-France.
This is sumptuous and richly theme laden score in the style of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Two years after surviving alone on the hostile island of Val Verde, Jack Mimoun has become an adventure star. The mysterious Aurélie Diaz brings Jack unwittingly back to Val Verde to help in the search of the legendary sword of the pirate La Buse. His manager and an capricious mercenary embark on an treasure hunt through the jungle of the island of thousand dangers.
Sounds good to me, and the music certainly does, it’s a large-scale score fully symphonic (with a few electronic elements), contains amazingly rousing themes and adventurous and robust passages that entertain and delight. I missed this one, well worth a listen.
Also from last year is the delightful and charming music for the TV series Marie Antoinette, which is now showing on the BBC and on I Player.
Music is by Guillaume Roussel who has written a beguiling and captivating score for the eight-episode series, the score is available on the likes of Spotify and I employ you to go and listen and also catch the series if you can.
Regarding TV series lets go back just a few decades to the late 1950’s, 1958 to be precise and to 77 Sunset Strip, remember it? I do but it was a series that ran from 1958 through to 1964, so not sure when I first saw it, I recall for some reason it being on at around the same time as TV shows such as Peyton Place and Checkmate. 77 Sunset Strip, was essential viewing when I was a kid, and even now I recall the catchy theme which was basically the title of the show being sung over and over Punctuated by snapping fingers (shades of the Adams Family). I had a look at the credits for the music for the show and what an impressive line up of composers were involved William Lava, Jerry Fielding, Van Cleave, all contributed scores, as did a handful of others.
However, I could not find what was an original soundtrack recording I did find though a recording that I enjoyed by the Warren Barker Orchestra, which is on Spotify.
It contains a lot of jazz orientated cues, some leaning towards big band material at times, but more akin to the style of composers such as Neal Hefti, Lalo Schifrin, and Jerry Goldsmith, the album entitled just 77 Sunset Strip runs for around forty minutes and it’s a really entertaining listen and took me back to some less complicated days.
The compilation is a collection of original music from the series which is broken up here and there by orchestral arrangements of popular songs such as Lover Come Back To Me, and I Get a Kick out of You. Check it out.
Another TV series which is more current and one that seems to be gaining even more popularity is the whodunnit Agatha Christie-esque Father Brown, which is based upon the short stories of author G K Chesterton. The series which is now in its tenth season began in 2013 and stars the excellent actor Mark Williams in the title role of the well-meaning sometimes meddling Catholic priest with a flair for detective work. The BBC are screening season ten now in weekly instalments on Friday afternoons, and these are also available on the BBC I Player. It’s a simple yet addictive series which does not rely on FX or massive sets to deliver the goods. It’s just a straightforward (if murder mystery and detective work is ever straightforward) series, filmed in delightful English rural locations that whisks its audience off for around an hour or so into another world, to a time when maybe things were simpler.
The music plays an important role in the escapades of the Father and is composed by Debbie Wiseman OBE, as always the music that she has written is superb and supports the action on screen wonderfully, it punctuates and underlines each scenario whether it be a murder scene a comedic interlude or indeed a chase sequence. It has to it many styles and is I think one of the most varied TV scores around now. But still no soundtrack release, yes there is a four-minute suite of music on the Live at the Barbican album (2017) which is available digitally, and a 3three minute selection on you tube, but I was hoping by now that there would be something in the way of a compilation of sorts containing selections from the series.
The same can be said for another series that was screened by the Beeb in the early afternoon slot WPC 56, which was a great series and again scored by Wiseman but no soundtrack release.
Maybe the music for law enforcers Father Brown and WPC 56 might see the light of day on one CD in the future who knows?
Composer Will Bates has created an inventive score for Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches, with the cue The Witching Hour being available now on most digital platforms. It’s a beguiling but unsettling piece, for orchestra and choir that also includes a scattering of electronic effects.
Dog Gone is a Netflix movie which is based on the true story of a father and son who repair their fractured relationship during a forced hike of the Appalachian trail to find their beloved lost dog.
The attractive music is by Emily Bear, who provides the movie with a wonderfully rich and wholesome sounding score, in many ways I was reminded of the style of both James Horner and Bruce Broughton, which surely cannot be a bad thing. The soundtrack is out now on digital platforms.
David Fleming (South of Heaven) has scored three episodes of the up-and-coming nine episode HBO series The Last of Us, which will begin to air the third week in January. Gustavo Santaolalla has also worked on the series.
Beautiful and haunting with touches of pure emotion and a wonderful sensitivity, is how I would describe Yoko Kanno’s music for The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House.
This is a score that one listens to and before you know it its time to return to the start again to sample over the lilting themes, comedic interludes and marvellously affecting and subtle compositions that frequent this work, which is one I recommend that you take a listen to, it is fifty-six minutes of delightfully delicate and fragile sounding themes. Available now on the likes of Spotify.
Who’s scoring what?
Composer Alan Williams is starting work on Ronin 3:Battle for Sangin which is a three part documentary series about the United States Marine Unit in Afghanistan in 2010. The Presidents own Marine chamber orchestra premiered the composers concert suite Ronin 3: A Heroes Tribute in Washington DC in August of last year. The concert suite features themes for the 3-part documentary series and will be used as part of the score for the documentary. The composer commented “There is nothing like having Marines perform the world premiere of music for a film about Marines”!
Maestro Dalibor Grubacevic (The Conversation) said,
“I’m currently working on a feature Croatian film called Hotel Pula. It is a drama set in the period of the 90s of the last century, and also two festival documentaries produced by Croatian national Television. The larger international project is still in the casting stage, so if everything goes well, filming is expected to begin in the fall. The only thing I can say is that it’s a movie set in WWII and it’s a war thriller.
Also, this March I expect the release of my music from the documentary film Rivers of Croatia which had its premiere on Arte television and on several other European television channels”.
Talented composer Herdis Stefansdottir has just finished work on Knock at the Cabin, a mystery horror directed by M. Night Shyamalan which will premiere on February 3rd.
The films tagline is Save your family or Save Humanity. Make the choice. And its tense storyline focuses upon a vacationing family who are taken hostage by armed strangers who demand that the family make a choice to avert the apocalypse.
Composer Andrew Scott Bell, has completed his score for the new horror movie Winnie the Pooh-Blood and Honey. The composer is now preparing music to be released on a compact disc, at this time no details of label are available but we will keep you informed over the coming weeks. However we do know that there will be a music streaming release and also a deluxe CD release. You may recall that there was a fair amount of Buzz over the movie back in the summer of last year when the first trailers were released. The composers score for the movie makes effective use of unusual instrumentation, as you will hear in the two tracks that are now available on you tube, listen out for the sound of the Beehiveolin.
Composer Philippe Jakko is currently scoring a USA/UK thriller starring Luke Evans named 5lbs of pressure directed by Phil Alocco, the score will be recorded in London and then edited in New York. The movie was filmed partly in NYC and Manchester in the UK.
After this the composer will move onto a French thriller series Les Espions de La Terreur which is directed by Rodolphe Tissot and will be filmed in France and Morocco.
Andrew Morgan Smith has scored the Nicolas Cage western The Old Way which is released now, and has also been working on the WWll horror film Bunker which will be in theatres on February 24th.
The composer is also currently working as a co-writer on Disney’s animated series The Owl House.
Composer Gaute Storaas says that he is entering a busy year. “I will be working on Jul med Astrid Lindgren (Lindgren Christmas hour) which is a series of new animation shorts from the Astrid Lindgren universe, with Qvisten Animation for Svt (state Swedish television). And a feature film “Den første julen i Skomakergata” for Director Mikal Hovland, I seem to be stuck in christmas for a while, and there is also a TV miniseries, Harald og Sonja or in English The Commoner. Which is about the troubles the current Norwegian king had to go through to be able to marry a woman of the people”.
Maximilien Mathevon told MMI . “I’m starting in the next weeks to work on a new documentary by Alban Vian, who directed Rollon, again it is a very interesting subject matter. Plaza Mayor is releasing next month my latest concept album: a very personal one, orchestral, well, using orchestral samples, dealing with the relationship with the loved one, it is entitled Near You. It’s like a kind of hymn to love, a very positive album in some not so positive times. It was a joy to compose”! After hearing the album, I must say that it is certainly a beautiful work and look forward to the official release in February. (look out for the review coming soon).
Italian composer Kristian Sensini (All against All, Karma -Atonement, Hyde’s Secret Nightmare) has released an album of a rejected score entitled A Blurred Glass, the composer tells us it is a mix between a classical string quartet and electronic synths, mostly from the late seventies’ early eighties. And is available now digitally and on compact disc.
All the revenue from the sales of the Digital download and the CD will be donated to Emergency, a NGO who undertake several missions all over the world, one is to help Ukranian refugees. For more info on the project go to https://www. kristiansensini.com/ blurredglass/ This is a thoughtful and sensitive work, and one which will be helping with the current situation in Ukraine and in other locations throughout the world.
Cyrille Marchesseau has been working on numerous projects including VR movies, dramas and an immersive theatrical project From Saint-Saens to rave party!
Massimo Sammi, tells us he has just finished working on the score for a memory loss drama Slant Streets which is about a Native American in Montana who loses his wife and memory in a car crash. The composer said “I’m assembling a video for the title track featuring a Native American flute soloist and me on guitar and meanwhile I’m preparing the soundtrack album which will take around a month – I have to co-ordinate with the movie producers about it but we should be able to get it done. I’ll release the video 100% and the soundtrack I would say 80% I have to juggle things around but I’m optimistic”.
Brian Tyler returns to the supreme slasher Scream franchise in 2023, for Scream 6 and composer Stephen McKeon (The Pilgrimage, The Cellar) has written the score for Evil Dead Rise, which is a soon to be released American supernatural horror film written and directed by Lee Cronin. The film is the fifth instalment in the Evil Dead film series.
It stars Lily Sullivan, Alyssa Sutherland, Morgan Davies, Gabrielle Echols, and Nell Fisher and is directed by Lee Cronin. The story follows two estranged sisters trying to survive and save their family from demonic creatures.
John Koutselinis (Hostile Territory, Accident Man) is scoring a movie entitled Sunrise.
The superhero movie is back with a bang in 2023 and looks as if it will continue further into 2024 as The Marvels will be at a cinema near you to kick off proceedings. Music smith Laura Karpman returns to scoring duties for this much anticipated sequel to Captain Marvel.
Transformers Rise of the Beasts is now completed, and composer Jongnic Bontemps (Berserk, United Skates) has written the score, the composer says.“Film music has to tell a story without words. Its job is to add depth and dimension to the images and words presented on screen. That’s what attracted me to the medium; the opportunity to express emotion with music alone”.
Composer Reber Clark said “I have just completed a movie for Joshua Kennedy entitled, Innsmouth School for Girls and am working on the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society’s “Purgatory Chasm”.
Maestro Marco Werba told MMI, “I am working on the music for the Indonesian/British thriller “Dig Me No Grave” directed by Ranjeet Marwa, the title song is performed by Italian singer Lanfranco Carnacina and was recorded in London in June last year it will be will be mixed in Rome on January 24th. I am also working on the music of the Spanish psychological drama/thriller “Hybris” by David Rubira, the title song for this project will be performed by Welsh soprano Ellen Williams and recorded in Rome in March 2023. The guitar solos of both film scores will be performed by Riccardo Rocchi”.
A number of composers who we all know are also creating new sounds and scores, but due to NDA’s with the film studios and filmmakers they are unable to discuss them, but these will be revealed when they are able to do so. 2023 is shaping up nicely to be a year of brilliant film music, and there are some wonderful soundtrack releases coming, which are from movies old and new. And that as they say is that….until next time.