Welcome to a short and sweet soundtrack supplement I hope you are all well and enjoying the film music releases old and new.
We begin with a re-issue of a soundtrack that many thought to be ground-breaking and highly innovative when it was first heard back in 1974, the soundtrack which was previously released over twenty years ago on CD, is David Shire’s captivating work for the Gene Hackman movie The Conversationwhich is to be reissued by Silva Screen Records on 17th March 2023 in a remastered form.
The release also includes new artwork and album notes from film music journalist Michael Beek. The digital version will also be made available on the same date across all major digital streaming sites. The score is varied and quirky with Shire creating music and sounds that are influenced by be-bop jazz. It is one for every discerning film music collector, and also a score that was way ahead of its time still today sounding vibrant ,atmospheric and fresh. If you have this already then you might be interested in this new edition for the alternative artwork and new notes about the movie and its score, if you have yet to experience it then this is a must have item.
A score that I have been waiting for is Winnie the Pooh, Blood and Honey, which is the work of composer Andrew Scott Bell, the film itself attracted much attention from film fans and critics alike when news about it started to filter through and the first trailers of the production were aired last summer, these even making the national news headlines in the UK.
The reactions were mixed many applauding the originality of the films storyline, but it also received as many if not more negative comments, about peoples childhood memories being shredded and tarnished, but remember this was before the film had even been premiered, so it was really like damning it before it had been given a chance. From the outset I was interested in not just the movie but its musical score, as Andrew Scott Bell in my opinion is one of the most talented film composers around today.
On listening to Winnie the Pooh Blood and Honey (available now on all digital platforms) I am even more convinced of this as the composer has once again created a score that ticks all the boxes and dots all the I,s as it were. It is a horror score yes, but it also has to it real thematic properties and lilting and affecting melodies which are wonderfully emotive. But these are essentially present in the first part of the score, with the darker and more atonal material raising its head as the score moves forward. Searing slicing and spine chilling strings are responsible for establishing a sense of the foreboding within the soundtrack, the composer also employing synth choir and urgent percussive elements that drive and punctuate throughout.
Then there is the use of the Beehiveolin, which certainly give the score the edge in the quirky or originality department. But this is not the only unusual sound that is present within the score, as the composer explained.
“I have a trumpet, a clarinet, a trombone, multiple violins, a cello, a slew of random instruments including the inside frame of an upright piano that I use to play some glissando and plucked prepared piano parts, as well as a few custom instruments made for me by experimental luthier Tyler Thackray (known on Instagram as @violintorture) including a violin that has a beehive inside of it”.
I am pleasantly surprised at the amount of lushness within the work, and also the sprinkling of the otherworldly which gleams through from time to time, the composer I feel enticing you into a false sense of security, because the music alters quickly as does the films storyline. The Omen-like chanting, to is effective bringing a virulent and fearsome sound to the party. This is a feast of urgent, dark, and harrowing sounds, that are exhilarating and entertaining.
There will be a CD release but the date for this has not yet been finalised. So, for now please head over to the likes of Spotify and take a listen, or maybe go down to the woods today your be sure of a big surprise. recommended.
The Movie Adolfo tells us what happens when aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart, a cactus, and a sad boy bump into each other at an isolated bus station? In Sofía Auza’s unconventional boy-meets-girl fairytale, Momo, dressed up as the legendary aviator, has just been released from rehab and Hugo and his cactus named Adolfo are on their way to his estranged father’s funeral. Over the course of a night, the three offbeat protagonists embark on a series of adventures with the ultimate mission to find a new home for Adolfo – and eventually to heal some wounds along the way. A life-affirming story of love, styled with fluorescent layers of dreamy colours and floaty indie-riffs that explores how sadness and happiness, doubt and belief are reverse sides of the same coin. To accompany this composers Gus Reyes and Andres Sanchez Maher have produced a delightful score, in many ways it is laid back, subtle, and chilled out, but it also has real emotion and power.
It’s a score that is not only supportive and a key integral part of the movie, but it is a collection of themes and melodies that are wonderfully easy to sit and listen to, which in film music is a rare occurrence. The composers employing solo guitar, at times light and punctuating percussive components, layered and smooth sounding synths, and atmospheric sounds, it’s a soundtrack that one could sit and listen to all day on loop and each time one returned to listen again can easily find something that you missed previously.
A real treat and one I hope you will check out, available on digital platforms via Plaza Mayor.
Composer Fabrizio Mancinelli has just completed scoring duties on the comedy adventure fantasy Il Viaggio Leggendario- aka- Legendary Adventures, which has a highly dramatic and romantically laced soundtrack, and is filled with adventurous and swashbuckling elements. No release date for the soundtrack release yet but I do not think it will long and MMI will keep you informed.
Dara Taylor has scored the animated movie Strays, which features the voice talents of Will Ferrell, Jaime Fox and Isla Fisher in a story about a stray dog who teams up with other strays to take revenge on his former owner.
Brian Tyler returns to the Scream franchise for Scream Vl, which is co-scored by Sven Faulconor.
Christophe Beck is performing scoring duties on two superhero movies Shazam-Fury of the Gods is in cinemas on March 17th, but you can catch Ant Man and The Wasp Quantumania now.
Becks score for the latter is already available on digital platforms and is a brilliantly entertaining musical ride, the composer fusing electronic with symphonic to great effect, the opening theme sets the scene perfectly for what is to follow and if you want to know how to write a theme for a super hero then call up Christophe Beck and ask him, this superbly intense and thematic score is filled to brimming with driving, melodic and action led compositions. Highly recommended.
Dungeons and Dragons Honour Amongst Thieves is scored by Lorne Balfe, so stand by for more mediocre Zimmer clone antics on this one he never fails to disappoint me.
Patrick Kirst has fashioned an interesting soundtrack for the Netflix series Woman of the Dead, the composer fills the score with atmospheric and moody compositions, that give support and raise the tension throughout, although this is a synth/electronic score there are a number of melodic moments which are affecting and at times evoke the style of Jerry Goldsmith. The style is varied and at times fuses upbeat backing with dramatic scoring. Well worth a listen.
I wanted to mention a BBC series that has become so popular with everyone, Call the Midwife I have followed for a while now, and look forward to seeing it on a Sunday night when it is airing, there is just something about the series, I am not sure if it’s the nostalgia factor, or what but I just love it. One of the attractions to the series is the music by composer Maurizio Malagnini, his compositions are just beautiful, they grace and ingratiate the series perfectly.
The music is subtle, delicate, and purveys a sense of fragility and innocence and because it is so richly melodic, adds depth, emotion, and gives each and every scene more heart, soul and meaning. I recommend that you watch the series and check out the music, on digital platforms. Whilst there why not treat yourself to more of this excellent composers work in the form of The Paradise, Coppelia, and Peter and Wendy.
Quartet Records presents two previously released scores by Ennio Morricone, both of which are long-out-of-print. The 1975 police thriller IL GIUSTIZIERE (aka THE HUMAN FACTOR). And the bizarre sounding score for the 1974 thriller L’ULTIMO UOMO DI SARA (aka SARAH’S LAST MAN).
Both very different contributions by the Maestro when he was at the height of his musical prowess displaying his versatility and talent. The two scores were released previously in the early to mid-2000’s in Italy and have been re-mastered for Quartet by Chris Malone, nice to see these again especially if you missed out on them first time around.
Caldera Records has released Roy Budd’s score for the motion picture Welcome to Blood City, directed by Peter Sasdy and starring Jack Palance, Keir Dullea and Samantha Eggar. The characters portrayed by the latter two wake up on a beach one day as part of a group of strangers. None of them can remember who they are or recognise where they are. Things do not become clearer to them as they run into two men who swiftly rape the woman and shoot one of the strangers. They are eventually rescued by sheriff Friendlander and escorted to a town that looks as if it had been built for a Hollywood western. But is Friendlander really their friend, and what reality do they now inhabit? Slowly, a grisly truth dawns on the new arrivals.
Welcome to Blood City is an unusual genre-mix that plays with elements of western, romance, thriller and science-fiction decades before The Matrix. However, the film failed to make any headway at the box office and was not a favourite at all with cinema audiences. Roy Budd’s score remains the best thing about the production and is probably one of the most unusual works that Budd produced for film. The score is more experimental and harsher than any of his other compositions.
Although Welcome to Blood City features jazz influences and dramatic orchestral moments, it is neither a grandiose symphonic score or a upbeat jazz composition. For this soundtrack the composer relied more upon motifs and moods instead of melodic and thematic properties. The somewhat sensual and haunting flute solo at the beginning of the work perfectly captures the deserted landscape and troubling separation of the protagonists in the storyline. Whilst the utilization of the echoplex provides a sense of the unknown and adds to the science fiction elements of the story. This is the first time that this Roy Budd score has been released, and I know it will be welcomed by so many fans of the composer.
The score was long thought to be lost before Caldera discovered it thanks to Roy’s widow Sylvia in a small storage container outside a village in North Yorkshire, England, where it had been for many years, and as a bonus they have included the few pieces Budd wrote and recorded for the short-lived though well-reviewed British TV series The Sandbaggers, a political thriller that starred Roy Marsden about undercover operations. Although it is a little different in some areas Welcome to Blood City does have to it that unmistakable Roy Budd sound, a sound that he started to perfect in films such as Soldier Blue, Catlow, and Wild Geese.
Click here for Roy Budd interview- Roy Budd | MOVIE MUSIC INTERNATIONAL. (MMI) . (wordpress.com)and here for Soldier Blue article- SOLDIER BLUE. | MOVIE MUSIC INTERNATIONAL. (MMI) . (wordpress.com)
Well, that’s it until next time, bye for now.