Well here we are again another soundtrack supplement, and I hope you are all ok, we start with a score that will be issued on the Swedish soundtrack label Movie Score Media. Mosley (2019) tells the story of the titular character, and his family of four-legged Thoriphants who live a hard working life on an isolated farm owned by Simon – a sullen, and mean-spirited farmer.
One evening, after ploughing all day, Mosley’ discovers a cave with large ancient drawings on the walls – these are of Thoriphants similar to Mosley and Rue.
The central characters of the story, except they stand upright. Is this what the Thoriphant race used to be? What happened to cause them to become bent backed creatures without hands? This is a delightful and totally enveloping animated tale, which has a beautifully rich and thematic score by composer Alain Mayrand, and at last it sees an imminent release digitally by the ever industrious and popular specialist label Movie Score Media, it is a charming and emotional sounding score that is overflowing with passion and compassion, the composer utilising a symphonic approach which at times is luxurious and lavish.
The string section particularly being used to the maximum, creating sweeping, romantically laced, melancholy interludes that are affecting and haunting. It is a wonderfully expressive and entertaining work that you as a discerning film music collector should check out.
Another release from Movie score Media is She Came from the Woods which was a movie that was released in 2022, it’s a comedy/horror set in 1987, in which we see a group of counsellors accidentally unleash a decades’ old evil on the last night of summer camp. Which is easily done, I mean come on guys who hasn’t done this sort of thing and thought “oops” afterwards.
Music is by composer Timothy Williams, who has served up a mix of conventional instrumentation and electronic elements, fusing the two mediums together successfully to create a pulsating, dark, manic, totally tense and apprehensive work. I love the way in which the composer uses female solo voice, it gives the score and even more chilling and menacing atmospheric, but at the same time does have something of a calming near celestial effect and combined with the jagged and visceral sounds that adorn the soundtrack fashions moods and conjures thoughts of the sinister throughout the proceedings.
An effective horror score that is available now and one which I recommend you take a listen to, and whilst doing so why not re-visit the composer’s music for the western Diablo which is also on digital platforms.
Award-winning composer Christophe Beck brings his unique talent, versatility, and musical aesthetic to every project he scores. His ear for melody and understanding of the orchestra, along with his flexible approach and flair for analogue synthesizers, make him a valuable and in-demand collaborator.
The prolific composer scored both Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp, as well as the franchise’s upcoming film, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania. Beck also composed the score for two hit Marvel TV series, WandaVision and Hawkeye, and most recently scored DC’s Shazam! sequel, Shazam! Fury of the Gods.
Beck’s musical voice can be heard in many of the most popular films, including iconic comedies (The Hangover trilogy, Bring It On, Hot Tub Time Machine, Pitch Perfect, American Pie); poignant dramas (We Are Marshall, Cake); family adventures (Frozen, Trolls, The Muppets, The Peanuts Movie); award-winning documentaries (Watson, Waiting for Superman); romantic comedies (Crazy Stupid Love, Under the Tuscan Sun); and action thrillers (Edge of Tomorrow, American Made).
Christophe Beck began playing piano at the age of five and would ultimately study music at Yale and attend the USC film scoring program under the tutelage of legendary composer Jerry Goldsmith. He began composing in television at the personal recommendation of Disney music legend, Buddy Baker, and launched his career with the TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, for which he earned an Emmy. The composers score for Shazam! Fury of the Gods has to it a robust and suitably heroic yet tongue in cheek musical persona that is fully in keeping with the movie and its central characters.
The composer driving the action and underlining the narrative, with symphonic and synthetic elements. The score will be available soon on digital platforms from Water tower music, the main title theme is already streaming and is worth checking out.
Beck I think is one of the few Hollywood based composers these days that employs rich and lavish sounding thematic material within his soundtracks, which is always a plus as far as I am concerned. There are far too many so called scores out there now that contain very little or no thematic content, and I hope that this is a trend that will soon cease.
A composer who always delivers in the themes and emotional departments is Arturo Cardelus, his latest score for the movie Dylan and Zoey is a charming and mesmerizing work, written mainly for piano, cello and a small string ensemble which is embellished and supported in one of the cues by electronic elements, it is an affecting and totally emotional listening experience.
There is a four track EP available on digital platforms, which I recommend that you check out. And whilst experiencing new music from the composer why not re-visit his earlier works such as his excellent score for Bunuel and the poignant and affecting music for Altamira:The Origin of Art.
The image of Pirates that many of us have is often connected with stories, characters and images created by Hollywood, but are these images true to reality? Thanks to new underwater and on-land excavations in Mauritius and Madagascar, as well as archival and museum research in France, Spain, England and Canada, a group of international archaeologists and historians have been able to paint a new portrait of the world of piracy in the Indian Ocean.
Their findings are the subject of the film The True Story of Pirates. The score for this ninety-minute TV Movie is by Yannis Dumoutiers and conveys mystery and adventure within its musical perimeters, it is not the usual rip-roaring swash and buckle musical persona that we would normally expect, but more of a low key and calming support to some amazing images and interesting information which is relayed in the movie.
The score is available now on digital platforms.
Animation I think is a genre of movie that allows the composer to become larger than life and also lets them overscore at times where as in a live action film they obviously have to stay mostly in the background, animation however because it is itself OTT and exaggerated and able to create situations that would not normally happen in real life as it were. Basically, animation caricatures storylines and characters, allowing outlandish and fantastical scenarios to take place, and thus the composer must match this style and underline and support wherever they can.
A recent animated movie is Mummies and the score is by one of my own personal favourites Spanish composer Fernando Velazquez, there is just something about this composers music that just immediately resonates with me, and I love what he does, creating robust and melodic works for film and TV, his music is always vibrant and has to it a real classy style and sound.
The score for Mummies is no exception, the composer providing the project with pulsating and rich sounding compositions, that drive and underline the action on screen, but also give it support that not only ingratiates but empowers the images and the story. The music is very much old style Hollywood with themes for characters and locations, but at the same time has to it a contemporary feel and vibe.
There are a number of vocals on the soundtrack, but the original score is kept separate from this on the release, the songs coming first with the music following on. Another triumph for this talented composer. Available on digital platforms now.
Composer Seth Metoyer has produced an edgy and at times harrowing soundtrack for the movie Blood Harvest, this is a score that is electronic through and through, and relies upon strange sounding passages and icy and chilling forays which are realised by synths and samples, there are I have to be honest no melodies or even glimpses of themes within the work, but it is still interesting, the sound achieved is at times quite guttural, uneasy and unnerving. A great horror score, but maybe one that is best listened to in the daytime.
It seems that recently there is a deluge of film scores that are synth based and are created via electronics and samples, which is fine if the music or the sounds are doing their job in the film or TV series. I suppose it is also about budget or maybe the lack of it if a score is produced using synthetics, but I was told many years ago by a composer it was just as expensive to fashion an electronic score as it was to produce a fully symphonic one. So, maybe the symphonic score will be heading back this way in greater numbers soon, who knows. All I know is out of twenty soundtracks this past week, fifteen were electronic. But its horses for courses isn’t it.
BEAT records in Italy are re-issuing The Mercenary or A Professional gun, which is a classic spaghetti western score from Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai, probably one of the best non-Leone westerns the movie belonging to the Zapata western sub-genre of the Italian western. Directed by Sergio Corbucci, it stars Franco Nero Tony Musante, Giovanna Ralli, and Jack Palance. One of the handful of politically slanted westerns within the genre it is a polished and entertaining piece of cinema, the score being rousing and up-beat with a flawless performance from whistler Alessandro Alessandroni, and exhilarating choral performances from his Il Cantori Moderni who are both uncredited on the soundtrack release which is criminal. No extra cues are available, this edition being the same track line up as the original LP records, and all of the subsequent re-issues on CD and digital platforms.
BEAT will also release REQUIESCANT and O’CANGACEIRO on one CD, with tracks included from the score to I TRE SPIETATI these are three westerns by Maestro Riz Ortolani, the latter has never been released before, with the former two already being released. Ortolani was the odd man out I felt when it came to Spaghetti western scores, he often opted to go for a more romantic or melodic approach as opposed to the raw and savage sound as achieved by other composer within the genre.
I will not say that these are good scores because in my opinion they are rather dull efforts from a genre that gifted us so many wonderful soundtracks, and pay more of a homage to the Hollywood western score than being innovative and in keeping with the likes of Morricone and Cipriani, but it is always good to see any Italian western scores being issued for the first time, hopefully there might be more in the way of premiere releases from the quirky but popular collection of movies.
Continuing with BEAT records and to a re-issue of a Morricone score, “Le foto proibite di una Signora per bene” (aka “The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion”) released in 1971, a period which many agree was a golden time for the Maestro. The movie starred Dagmar Lassander, Nieves Navarro, Simón Andreu, Pier Paolo Capponi, Osvaldo Genazzani and Salvador Huguet, and was directed by Luciano Ercoli. It is a score that has been released before a few times, this edition boasts a running time of nearly an hour, so if it’s something you have not already got in your collection, it is worth ordering this.
Staying with Italian film scores, Chris’s Soundtrack Corner have been industrious recently with the release of four soundtracks. El ultimo Viaje by Stelvio Cipriani,Piedone a Hong Kong (2 CD set) by Guido and Maurizio De Angelis, Dopo Di Che, Uccide il Maschio e Lo Divora by Piero Piccioni, and finally Le Ultime Ore di Una Vergine by composer Daniele Patucchi.
All are worth adding to your collection as it displays the variety of music that was written for Italian cinema and the versatility of the composers that are represented here.
Armando Trovajoli and Renato Serio’s soundtrack for Amori Miei (1978) is now out on all streaming platforms, finally available in its entirety and fully remastered from the CAM Sugar archive’s original master tapes.
Relaxed moods, sliding and soft disco strings and sensual synths define the soundscape of this late 1970s gem by Maestros Trovajoli and Serio, featuring the vocal group Crossbow, which was written for the Steno comedy about a hilarious three-way affair starring Monica Vitti, Johnny Dorelli, Enrico Maria Salerno and Edwige Fenech.
In collaboration with Universal Production Music France, EMI Music Publishing France and PM SA, Music Box Records will release a stunning 3-CD set featuring six soundtracks composed between 1981 and 1992: Asphalte (Asphalt) composed by Laurent Petitgirard, Balles perdues (Stray Bullets) composed by Michel Portal, Papa est parti, maman aussi (Dad Is Gone, Mom Also) and Mademoiselle Fifi ou Histoire de rire (Miss Fifi) both composed by Jean-Marie Sénia, Les Fauves (Wild Animals) (composed by Philippe Servain) and Bleu Comme l’enfer (Blue Hell) (composed by Pierre Porte). This sixth volume of the Rare Soundtracks boxset puts the spotlight on a wide variety of styles.
The first disc features two remastered LP reissues dedicated to two ambitious, one-of-a-kind auteur films, the very pastoral score of Asphalte and the jazz influenced score of Balles Perdues. The second disc is dedicated to Jean-Marie Sénia, a prolific composer for cinema and television in the 1980s and 1990s, featuring the premiere release of two scores, the romantic score of Papa Est Parti, Maman Aussi and the historical score for Mademoiselle Fifi. The third disc features two remastered LP reissues, focusing on a couple of electropop scores from two violent and stylized detective films of the ’80s, the sensitive and energetic score of Les Fauves and the atmospheric music for the thriller Bleu Comme l’Enfer. This remastered 3-CD box set includes a 16-page booklet with liner notes by Nicolas Magenham, discussing the films and the scores. Certainly, worth investing in a copy of this one.
For the 1998 Miramax horror film The Faculty, composer Marco Beltrami pulled out all the stops to deliver a scary, exciting, and sometimes reflective score. The score features orchestral colours and textures and boasts a macabre sounding waltz like theme. The remainder of the score has to it many elements and styles, featuring strange whisperings and explosive action cues that are filled with driving and relentless elements, as well as some moments of beauty. Alluring Bernard Herrmann-like suspense cues manifest as the score progresses, as well as a melancholy, and thoughtful theme for the downtrodden main character. At the core of this masterful work is a defiant students-strike-back theme, first ushered into the proceedings in somewhat romantic fashion, then later fully unfolded in a more expanded form.
An easy-going but gritty anthem growls on electric guitar, then is given a more subdued outing on acoustic guitar, over a slow-jam rock groove which pulses throughout the score. Beltrami only had a few moments in between all of the mayhem to break out this theme, which reprises with heroic relief in the climactic action sequence, so he extended and developed it as a stunning concert piece for the end credits. For this limited-edition release from Intrada records, Buck Sanders and Scott Williams have compiled a program from the original session masters recorded at Skywalker Ranch, the sound is crisp and of a high quality. The 2-CD set features the 88-minute score plus a handful of extra cues, this is Beltrami and his best. Available now from Intrada, highly recommended.
Creed lll hits the screens in the UK and the Rocky spin off series just seems to improve on each outing, musical duties for this instalment are undertaken by composer Joseph Shirley, who has done an admirable job of punctuating, and underlining the storyline and its action sequences with a score that is proud, emotive, anthem like and stirring, the music works in a very similar way as the Bill Conti scores did back in the day for the Rocky movies.
Enhancing and supporting but also becoming an integral and significant component within the unfolding storyline. The music becomes the power behind the punches, the pain of the landed hits and the shock of the knockdowns, it’s up there in the ring every step of the way driving and relentless, but it also has to it a more intimate and emotional side. An impressive work and one that I would recommend. Available on digital platforms.
A score that has been available on digital platforms from February 10th is a forty-four-track edition of Jerry Goldsmith’s score for the black comedy/horror The Burbs,(1989) which is released via Back Lot music. It’s an entertaining romp of a movie and score with Goldsmith creating apprehensive and dark colours that are also filled with an air of comedy for the Joe Dante picture which starred Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern and Carrie Fisher. In which overstressed suburbanite Ray Peterson (Hanks) and his neighbours convinced that the new family on the block are part of a murderous Satanic cult.
Normally Ray is a man of peace in a savage land: Suburbia but when secretive new neighbours move in next door, Ray and his friends let their paranoia get the best of them, with Rays annoying friend Art (Rick Ducommun) fanning the flames of suspicion as they start to suspect the newcomers of evil doings and commence an investigation, which as hilarious and also slightly horrific permutations.
Ray thought he would spend his vacation drinking beer and watching the ballgame, but things don’t go quite to plan. Goldsmith has a field day scoring the picture, even sending himself up by using a theme that is based on his music for Patton for the Bruce Dern character, plus utilising organ to great effect to create a satanic feel. The final eleven cues are either film versions of tracks or alternative takes, well worth having,
If, you have not already added this to your collection check this out ASAP. It’s also worth searching through the Goldsmith selection on digital platforms as there is the brilliant score by the composer for the 1998 movie Small Soldiers which is an expanded de-luxe edition. Plus, The Chairman, aka The Most Dangerous Man in the World (1969) which has much improved sound, previous releases being distorted, plus so many more.
Thomas Newman has scored the Disney Pixar movie Elemental, the animated tale should be in cinemas in the summer of this year. The John Wick franchise continues in part four of the series, with Tyler Bates and Joel J. Richard on scoring duties.
Netflix continue to astound everyone with another batch of movies one of these being Luther-The Fallen Sun, which has a surprisingly effective score by Lorne Balfe. The movie airs this coming Friday in the UK March 10th, with Idris Elba back as John Luther, a character he put his own unmistakable stamp upon when he first played him in the BBC series back in 2010 for five seasons.
Now back for another outing in the form of a feature film, he’ll be stopping at nothing to get to the bottom of a slew of murders that are being carried out in London.
Frank Ilfman’s energetic and entertaining score for The Matchmaking, is released digitally with a CD coming soon.
Kevin Riepl’s powerful, thematic, and vibrant music for the animated movie Legion of Super-Heroes, is now available on digital platforms, as is the melodic and emotive music of composer Nitin Sawhaney for the Shekhar Kapur romantic comedy What’s Love Got to do with It, the soundtrack contains some truly affecting melodies, and is in a word stunning. The music just oozes emotion and is overflowing with lilting and attractive themes.
The story focuses upon an award-winning filmmaker who is living in London as she documents her best friend’s journey into an assisted marriage in line with his family’s Pakistani heritage. Whilst in the process of doing this, she challenges her own attitude towards relationships. The film is a delight and has an impressive cast with Emma Thompson, Lilly James and Shazad Latif. Please check out the score, you will not be disappointed. And that’s is it for this time, thanks for reading.