Category Archives: Reviews

SOUNDTRACK SUPPLEMENT SIXTY NINE.

Smile though your heart is aching.

Smile is a new horror film directed and written by Parker Finn. Finn is known for directing a handful of shorts, and this is his first foray into feature film making. The movie focuses upon a psychologist Rose Cotter played by Sosie Bacon who begins to discover an evil force after experiencing a traumatic situation with one of her patients. This dark and malevolent evil force continues to follow and haunt her after the event with her patient and the only way to stop it is to somehow find out where it has come from. But as she begins to delve into the background and origins of this fearsome and dark force she starts to be confronted with events from her own past. 

Smile even though its breaking.

This is not really an original storyline and horror connoisseurs I am sure will start to draw comparisons between this and movies such as It Follows and The Ring series of movies.

Just Smile.

However, director Finn handles the movie with great professionalism and the end result is an effective and scary horror even if at times it is a little predictable. And after jumping out of one’s skin for the thirtieth time the plot does become rather less tense as one can see where the storyline is going.

The atmospheric score is by Christobal Tapia De Veer, who utilizes synthetic sounds, voices, and soundscapes to underline the shocking and terrifying scenarios that are being acted out on screen. There is really no way that this is a soundtrack you can listen to for pleasure, as its at times guttural, lamenting, and tense sounds heighten anxiety and plant the seeds of unspeakable scenarios in one’s mind. Within the movie it is effective and highly supportive adding greater atmospherics and dynamics to the already rising tensions that are present, the score is in effect feeding and fueling a sense of impending doom and creating uneasy and darkly affecting musical personas. Which aid the overall tone and mood of the movie.  It’s a great and effective horror soundtrack, but not one for a cosy recreational. Available on digital platforms.

Aliens: Fireteam Elite is a new video game available now and has a driving and relentless soundtrack penned by Austin Wintory. The music is filled with action led cues and also contains a number of dark and apprehensive compositions, what I did notice and also welcomed was that even the darker and more uneasy sounding pieces contained hints of melodies which the composer applies in various stages of the game via woodwind mainly which not only underline the action but to give the work small nuances of respite throughout. Available now on Spotify etc, worth a listen.

Remo Anzovino

Italian composer Remo Anzovino has written a charming and haunting score for the up-and-coming documentary Portrait of the Queen, which is directed by Fabrizio Ferri, who himself is one of the world’s most sought-after photographers. Based on the book Elizabeth ll: Portrait of the Queen. With contributions from Julian Calder, Jason Bell, David Montgomery, Brain Aris, John Swannell, and Chris Levine. This is a stunning historical account on the life and times of Elizabeth R and the second Elizabethan age.

The soundtrack will initially be available digitally, with vinyl and CD releases following, the movie is released in Italy in November. TALKING TO COMPOSER REMO ANZOVINO. | MOVIE MUSIC INTERNATIONAL. (MMI) . (wordpress.com)

Halloween is bearing down on us all with breakneck speed, and the final instalment of the Halloween movie franchise Halloween Ends, is set to hit cinema screens on October 14th, music is by John Carpenter (who else), Set four years after the events of Halloween Kills, Laurie (Jaime Lee Curtis) is living with her granddaughter Allyson and is finishing writing her memoir. Michael Myers hasn’t been seen since his last excursion where he was responsible for creating death and mayhem.

Laurie, after allowing the spectre of Michael to determine and drive her reality for decades, has decided to liberate herself from fear and rage and embrace life. But when a young man, Corey Cunningham, is accused of killing a boy he was babysitting, it ignites a cascade of violence and terror that will force her to finally confront the evil she can’t control, once and for all.

Two tracks from Carpenters score are already available on digital platforms, The Junk Yard and The Procession are typical of the music for the series, synth based and including remnants of that familiar and haunting theme.

Another interesting and effective horror that is perfect for Halloween is the TV miniseries The Haunting of Mission Hill House, which focuses upon a group of college students living in a house that is on top of Mission Hill in Boston, the action takes place over three episodes where we see the students begin to be haunted by their past which they have tried to forget. The surprisingly at times restrained and thematic score is by composer Jack Dalton.

I am not saying its all hearts and flowers, because this is a horror story, and the composer does from time-to-time leap into the obligatory sinewy, icy and rampant action fueled composition, but saying this there are so many beautiful poignant and melancholy moments within this soundtrack it was a real pleasure to experience it. Savour it on digital platforms.  

Released on October 21st is Black Adam yet another vehicle for Dwayne Johnson. Nearly 5,000 years after he was bestowed with the almighty powers of the Egyptian gods-and imprisoned just as quickly, Black Adam (Johnson) is freed from his earthly tomb, ready to unleash his unique form of justice on the modern world. Ho hum,,,yep another lack lustre superhero movie, and if that’s not enough well the music is by Lorne Balfe, who once again flexes his Zimmer clone muscles and creates something that is rather ordinary and uninspired. It would be nice if this composer did something vaguely original, but this is filled with Zimmer references and attempts to take its cue from the amazing sounds and styles that composer Heshim Nazih created for the Moon Knight series on Disney. The problem is that Balfe has not got the same kind of inventiveness or talent to fashion something half as good. Black Adam, not for me thanks, and the score, I think enough said.

Blonde is a new Netflix romantic, biographical drama that is a fictionalised account of the inner life of Marilyn Monroe, music is by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, the music is as far as I can make out a synth/symphonic work, the score being rather unassuming, but quietly and beautifully supportive, its good to see Cave back scoring movies, as I think he is an inventive as well as an innovative artist.

When I say its unassuming, I suppose I mean that it has the ability to enhance and underline without becoming too intrusive, which is a sign of a sensitive and talented composer or this case composer’s. Its on digital platforms, check it out.

Debuting around Halloween 2021, Flux was the first Doctor Who series in thirty-six years to tell one complete story across its entirety, rather than in self-contained episodes. Jodie Whittaker returned for her third and final season in the title role. The score for Flux will be spread across two CDs and these will be accompanied by a third bonus disc that includes music from the New Years’ Day special broadcast in 2021, Revolution of The Daleks. There are selections of the Flux score available now on Spotify etc, and the three-disc set will be released on November 11th by Silva screen.

Segun Akinola.

Segun Akinola is a composer for film and television who has strengthened many projects with his musical acumen. He is most known for his music in the latest series of Doctor Who, starring the first female Doctor, Jodie Whittaker. Segun’s work is a key immersive tool for showrunner Chris Chibnall and series directors to establish the many adventures the Doctor and her friends travel on. These include the impressive 80s influenced electronic score for The Tsuranga Conundrum to the heart-wrenching Demons of the Punjab which utilised specialist Indian musicians and orchestra, all recorded at Abbey Road Studios. He also scored the critically acclaimed Doctor Who VR experience, Doctor Who: The Runaway. Segun scored Sundance 2019 favourite The Last Tree, which was also recorded at Abbey Road Studios. This is Segun’s second feature film collaboration with director Shola Amoo after A Moving Image, and it earned him a Discovery of the Year award nomination at the World Soundtrack Awards. A BAFTA Breakthrough Brit 2017, Segun’s other work includes scoring BBC Two’s landmark four-part series Black and British: A Forgotten History.

Many believed the music for Doctor Who would not be the same when composer Murray Gold departed the series, but in my opinion,Segun has created an even more grandiose and affecting sound to follow the Doctor. TALKING TO COMPOSER SEGUN AKINOLA. | MOVIE MUSIC INTERNATIONAL. (MMI) . (wordpress.com)

More from those people at Netflix now and The Empress which is a six episode series, that tells the story of two young people who meet and fall in love instantly. He is Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary, she is Elisabeth von Wittelsbach, Princess of Bavaria and the sister of the woman Franz is to marry. The great love story between Elisabeth and Franz that is the focus of the series. Elisabeth a young woman ahead of her time, rebelling against the rigid rules of the 19th century and the court. She meets Franz, a multi-layered ruler with many flaws who played a major role in shaping modern European history.

Against the backdrop of jealousy, intrigue, and power struggles behind the scenes of the Habsburg court and the emerging question of freedom of the people, the audience is taken into a glittering illusory world in which young Elizabeth must fight for her place at court as well as for the right not only to be the figurehead of an ailing empire. The music for the series is a delight, a work of numerous themes and elegant sounding compositions. Music is by Johannes Lehniger, Lisa Morgenstern, and Sebastian Damerius. Released as a digital recording only, it is a score well worth adding to your digital collection. And showing on Netflix now.

The Spirit and the Mouse is a video game that contains an enchanting musical score by Gisula real name Emily Cheng (Gisula, pronounced jih-SOO-la) she is a talented Taiwanese-American composer, multi-instrumentalist (piano, cello, guitar, bass, percussion), and music producer based in NY. Originally an award-winning classically trained pianist and former hip hop producer, her music has expanded through genres to add life and emotion to various mediums. She blends synthetic and electronic layers with conventional instrumentation, often combine unlikely combinations of instrumentations to bring to fruition affecting and haunting results.

The score for The Spirit and the Mouse I felt was an incredibly emotive work, that contained lilting themes, jaunty musical excursions, and little passages of comedic interludes which work well together, solo piano adds much to the work and brings to the surface a poignant and melancholy sound, the composer underlining these performances at times with accordion and layered strings.

Gisula

It is a charming and delightfully expressive work, and one that I am certain you will be attracted to. Available on Spotify and other platforms.   

The music that the BBC used for their coverage of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth ll, has been released on a single, Elizabeth Remembered is composed and conducted by Debbie Wiseman OBE and will be available soon to download, with proceeds from this going to charity. The composer said “It was a privilege to compose the music for the BBC TV live broadcasts covering the Queen’s funeral”.

Debbie Wiseman.

Composer Ben Lovett has scored the remake of Hellraiser, which will receive its premier on Hulu on October 7th, the soundtrack will be released on Lakeshore records. The movie is directed by David Bruckner, who Lovett has collaborated with before on The Ritual and The Night House.   

Marco Werba.

Composer Marco Werba’s epic sounding score for the Italian historical movie Goffredo, will be released digitally by Cinevox records of Rome and a compact disc will also be released by the label at a future date to be announced. Goffredo Mameli was born in Genoa Italy to a wealthy family of Sardinian origin on September 5th 1827. He was given the opportunity to attain a high level of education because of his family’s status and affluence which enabled him to develop a talent for writing which was already evident. Mameli is also known for his role as a patriot being a high-profile figure in the “Risorgimento” which was a movement established in the 19th Century in Italy. This was dedicated to the re-unification of the country, it was this social and political movement that led to the consolidation of various states of the Italian Peninsula into a single State which was completed in 1861. In November 1848, following the flight of Pope Pius IX, Mameli travelled to Rome to support the revolutionary uprisings. He was mainly involved in the organization of the revolutionary forces, but also took on a more active role. Directed by Angelo Antonucci, this is a fascinating and enthralling tale that has been created for the big screen with passion and much attention to detail. A historical epic drama of the highest quality, with a cast that is impressive. As is Marco Werba’s powerful and grand sounding music.

Another Marco Werba score that has been released is La Grande Guerra Del Salento which is another historical drama this time focusing on a sports event.  The CD is available from Soul Trade Music Publishing Group, which is the same label that will release the composer’s beautiful soundtrack to The Island of Forgiveness, which he recorded back in June of this year at The Angel studios which is now part of  Abbey Road.

Respected French composer Eric Demarsen has scored the mini-series Notre Dame the Part of the Fire, the soundtrack is coming soon (October 22nd) from Music Box records, the series which is directed by Herve Hadmar will be aired on Netflix from October 19th it focuses upon the events of that fateful night in Paris and the overall effect it had on individuals that were caught up in the tragedy or witnessed it.

Also coming from Music box is You Only Die Twice by Claude Bolling.

Min He is a Chinese LA based composer who has worked on video games, TV shows and commercials, her score for the video game In Nightmare is available via the newly established label Emperia Records on digital platforms. The game transports players into a sinister world and allows them to partake in a chilling chase.  In which they could end up being entrapped in a nightmare. The music is effective and haunting at times lulling players into a false sense of security, which could make them let their guard down.

MIN HE

Min He is the first and only composer from mainland China to be accepted to the highly selective ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop.

Her style encompasses ethnic sensibilities from her world travels, traditional orchestral music, and tasteful modular electronics to produce music that has been described as “Truly beautiful and innovative”. In Nightmare is a truly worthwhile listening experience.

Silva Screen records UK releases a compilation of the music from the Terminator movies on October 7th, don’t get too excited these are not the original soundtracks but cover versions performed by The London Music Works, all I will say regarding this is have we not seen this so many times before?  

Daniel Pemberton.

Hollywood records have released See How They Run music by Daniel Pemberton on all digital platforms. Set in the 1950s, we see an American filmmaker who is visiting London that decides he will adapt a stage play into a movie, but this soon comes to an end when the director is found murdered. Enter then the skeptical and cynical Inspector Stoppard and his fresh out of police school Constable Stalker, who then find themselves embroiled in a who-dunnit scenario that Agatha Christie would be proud of.

The composer’s music adds depth and atmosphere to the proceedings and is wonderfully appropriate capturing the essence of a London of the 1950’s.

This comedy thriller is a must see, and the score too is something that you should own, Pemberton must be congratulated for utilizing full orchestra and adding to that line up inventive rhythms and, London back street pub sound via the piano. Recommended.

Age of Empires is a game soundtrack that is overflowing with dramatic and thunderous themes, the twelve-track digital release runs for over an hour and is a stirring and driving work, the music is by various composers and artists, among these are Tilman Sillescu, Alexander Roder, and Hanning Nugel. It’s certainly worth an hour of anyone’s time.  

Composer Sam Mizell has four scores released this year thus far….they are Alien Sniperess, Shark Huntress, Blue Lightning, My Perfect Wedding, and a western entitled Badland Doves. I did see all four on various digital platforms but in the past two days they seemed to have been removed? All three have cues and sections that are well worth a listen, I think these won’t be to everyone’s liking, but check them out you never know?

Bring it on Cheer or Die is a TV movie that mixes horror with comedy it concentrates on a cheerleader squad who decide to practice their routines in an abandoned school on Halloween, as you probably guessed this does not go well, and the movie follows the girls as they are picked off one by one in varying gruesome ways by an unknown killer. It’s a mix of Halloween, and Scream with nods to the original Buffy movie in the wardrobe department.  Music is provided by composer Patric Caird, who scored Sexy Evil Genius and Evangeline in 2013 and 2014 respectively (these are available on Spotify etc).

The score for this latest horror is a mixture of styles, sounds, colours, and textures, which the composer effectively uses to underline, punctuate, and support the mayhem and murder on screen, Available on digital platforms. A perfect film and soundtrack for the up-and-coming Halloween celebrations.

As is Cosmic Dawn which is a sci-thriller. After witnessing the abduction of her mother as a child,Aurora joins a UFO cult who call themselves The Cosmic Dawn. Aurora experiences many revelations at the cult’s compound, but the leader is not who she seems. The score is by Alan Howarth, who has produced a pulsating and tense sounding electronic work, the soundtrack is available on digital outlets.

As is the score to another sci-fi drama Breaking Infinity, which tells the story of Liam a scientific researcher who has been unstuck in time, as his jumps through various timelines get more extreme, he is guided to the future by a mysterious old man where he witnesses the end of the world, which it transpires he may have caused. Music is by Christoph Allerstorfer, who’s atmospheric score for The Jack in the Box caused more than a ripple of interest a few years back. With the score to the sequel The Jack in the Box-Awakening also becoming much talked about. Both horror scores were initially released on compact disc by Howlin Wolf Records and later made available on digital platforms. The composers score for Breaking Infinity is a fusion of sounds which he takes from the symphonic and electronic palettes. The music is gripping and filled with apprehension having to it an unsettling persona.

Allerstorfer also adds to this a sprinkling of high-octane action cues which are purveyed via booming percussion, driving strings and fierce sounding brass. However also present are some less harrowing and frantic pieces that have to them a haunting and lilting musical identity. It’s an action score firstly, but it also possesses a rich and furtive thematic quality. Recommended.

ShockWave 2044, is the meeting of an electronic music album and an original soundtrack for an imaginary film, a fantastic B movie from the 80s, a genre that I like.  Shockwave 2044 is also the meeting of musical styles that are dear to me: the retro electronics of the 80s (the soundtracks of John Carpenter, those of Harold Faltermeyer, Brad Fiedel, Giorgio Moroder, the music of Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, Jean-Michel Jarre), contemporary sound design and film music (Hans Zimmer…), and orchestral film music (Michael Giacchino, Elliot Goldenthal). These musical styles inspired the sound palette that I used: the vintage sonorities of analogue synths from the 80s, those, modern and evolutionary, specific to contemporary sound design and orchestral samples strings, brass, and voices”. Says composer Maximilien Mathevon about his soon to be released album Shockwave 2044, and I have to agree this is a step back into the near disco electronica that was so in vogue in those days, this is an entertaining piece of escapism, and also a collection of music and sounds that I know I will be returning to many times.

It evokes the vibrant and pulsating scores from films such as Midnight Express, Beverly Hills Cop, Tron, and soundtracks such as The Running Man, Terminator, Halloween and even to a degree Jerry Goldsmith’s Runaway score. Well worth delving into. An accomplished and inventive work, so keep an eye out for this one. TALKING TO COMPOSER, MAXIMILIEN MATHEVON. | MOVIE MUSIC INTERNATIONAL. (MMI) . (wordpress.com)

SHOCKWAVE 2044.

The world is a mysterious place and when seen through the eyes of an animal, is probably even more frightening and strange. EO, a grey donkey with big sad eyes, meets good and bad people on his life’s path, experiences joy and pain, endures the wheel of fortune randomly turn his luck into disaster and his despair into unexpected bliss. But not even for a moment does he lose his innocence.

This is the subject matter of EO a 2022 drama directed by Polish filmmaker Jerzy Skolimowski. The score for me is like a breath of fresh musical air, with the composer Pawel Mykietyn breaking new and innovative ground with this an emotional, poignant, and inspiring soundtrack. Pawel Mykietyn was born on May 20, 1971 in Olawa, Dolnoslaskie, Poland. He is a composer, known for his work on Essential Killing (2010), 11 Minutes, (2015) and 33 Scenes from Life, (2008). This is a beautifully crafted score, that encompasses and includes so many innovative and expressive musical interludes and passages, the composer utilizing both conventional and more contemporary electronic instrumentation, which support and accompany each other throughout, there was at times a striking similarity to the style of Zbigniew Preisner, especially in the string performances and the way in which the strings were used and placed.

The cue Final is an amazingly affecting piece of music, that tugs at the heartstrings and can I found be a tearjerker, which does give a gentle nod to the melodic style of Ennio Morricone, but also has to it an empowering and commanding Aura about it. The cue The End is a poignant and affecting piece, performed on piano with subtle use of strings, its simplicity being it’s attraction and impact. You must listen to this, available now on digital outlets.  

Dragons Domain have released the John Scott score for the 1974 horror Symptoms, which tells the story of Anne, a young writer who is invited by her friend, Helen to visit her in a large English country mansion. But the estate – and the increasingly unhinged Anne – turn out not to be what they seem. The stay is complicated by the recent disappearance of a mutual friend, Cora, Helen’s jealousy over Anne’s attraction to her ex-boyfriend and the gruff nature of the estate’s handyman.

The somewhat tense and uneasy persona of the storyline is complemented perfectly by John Scott’s soundtrack, the music being performed by just ten musicians because the composer was restricted in his efforts by a very low budget. His music for the movie is tense and uneasy sounding, the composer employing flute, clarinet, piano, a string quartet, harp, and effective soprano voice.

It is a perfect example of what a master can do with a limited budget, the music created being inventive, malevolent and nerve jangling but fully supportive of the storyline unfolding. A welcome release of a score by one of the world’s best and yet most underrated composers of film music. Liner notes by the ever-industrious Randall D. Larson, with contributions from the composer.

Dragons Domain have also released a two CD set entitled Craig Safan: Horror Macabre Volume One. Which features two of the composers works for the horror genre, Darkroom and The Demons Daughter are both first time to CD, with notes by author and composer Brian Satterwhite that include comments from the composer. Darkroom, was a weekly television series on ABC hosted by James Coburn in which two horrific tales unfolded back-to-back within its hour-long time slot. It was made in the same fashion as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and The Twilight Zone.  The Demons Daughter was the composers first foray into scoring a movie, it was an unreleased short which was directed by a student named John McTiernan (wonder what happened to him?) This and Symptoms are ltd edition releases of just 500. INTERVIEW WITH COMPOSER, CRAIG SAFAN. | MOVIE MUSIC INTERNATIONAL. (MMI) . (wordpress.com)

Coming soon from Movie Score Media are two scores that I must recommend to you, the first is Sissy, which is a horror and has a wonderful score by composer Kenneth Lampl, this is a horror score connoisseurs dream come true, so many themes, so many uneasy layers and chilling moments, and so many jumps, jolts, and sinister interludes its almost too much to take in.

THE OPENING FROM SISSY.

There is even a reference to Morricone’s Exorcist 2, The Heretic. It is literally bursting with so much good music it’s unbelievable that all of it comes from one movie. Cecilia (aka Sissy) is a successful social media influencer living the dream, until she runs into her ex-childhood best friend and is invited away on her bachelorette weekend. Suddenly Sissy finds herself stuck in a remote cabin with her school bully…and a taste for revenge. Lampl’s score is tense, brooding and luxuriously thematic, evoking the works of Pino Donaggio, John Barry, and Chris Young with a Herrmann-esque power underlining and binding it all together. The music is certainly impressive, and this is a score that you must own.

Sissey’s Waltz.

I did find myself remembering some older Italian scores whilst listening to Sissy, the use of harpsichord, and the inclusion of gentle chimes and pizzicato style employed at times is typically Italian in its style and sound, evoking maybe the horror movie scores for Mario Bava and even the quirky but romantic musical style we associate with Maestro Nino Rota. The thematic content does not halt there, as the composer treats us to an exotica and lounge type style that could be the work of Piccioni, Cipriani, Micalizzi or Nicolai. Which breezes into the equation when one is least expecting it. I adore this score because there is just so much musical excellence to feast upon. Please take a listen when it is released.

The second offering which is coming soon from MSM is November music by French composer Guillaume Roussel, who has created a tense and edgy score for this crime thriller directed by Cedric Jimenez. If you have not heard the composers name before, do not worry as you will be hearing and seeing it a lot more in the coming months and into 2023, as he has been busy scoring all eight episodes of the TV series Marie Antoinette, and is working on several new projects including The Three Musketeers: D’Artagnan, and The Three Musketeers: Milady. His soundtrack for November is a dark and brooding affair, mainly realized via synthetics, but also containing quite rich and theme led sections, it’s a score that is certainly innovative, with the composer fashioning apprehensive and taught pieces to accompany the action. Guillaume Roussel was born on March 18, 1980. He is known for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017), 3 Days to Kill (2014) and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), and provided a lush yet delicate score for Disney’s Black Beauty in 2020. His most recent score for the thriller Kompromat is also now available on Spotify and Apple music.

 

Bruno Nicolai.

Italian label Digit Movies have released an expanded edition of the Bruno Nicolai score for Jess Franco’s Il Conte Dracula, which starred Christopher Lee in the role of the infamous Vampire Count. Lee was said to have liked this version of the Bram Stoker tale better than any other he had been involved with, because the director kept strictly to the book often stopping filming to check sections of Stokers novel. Franco had wanted Vincent Price to play Van Helsing but Price was under exclusive contract to American International and they would not allow it, so Franco opted for Herbert Lom who turned out to be perfect. The film also featured, Klaus Kinski, Maria Rohm, Soledad Miranda, Paul Muller, and Fred Williams.

Nicolai’s score is based around a single theme, which becomes haunting and chilling in its various guises. The original Edi Pan Lp record was issued in 1982, some twelve years after the movie was released, and a compact disc followed in 1994 which contained the same track listing of twenty cues. Digit movies have discovered a further ten tracks and have released them as bonus material. The new CD has a total of thirty cues and a running time of one hour and four minutes.  Bruno Nicolai. | MOVIE MUSIC INTERNATIONAL. (MMI) . (wordpress.com)

Coming in November this year are a handful of Italian releases from the CAM-Sugar catalogue which will be released on vinyl and CD some have been issued before but not in this format. “PIOMBO – Italian Crime Soundtracks from the Years of Lead (1973-1981)”, this new compilation from CAM Sugar, is a great collection of hard-hitting music from the world of Italian cinema. Sprinting Alfa Giuliettas, blazing P38s, balaclava-clad flare trouser-wearing terrorists, heists, and kidnaps, with cops harder than bullets and some as corrupt as the criminals they are tracking down. PIOMBO spotlights the infectious and inventive music from these capers and dramas, which are represented by music from the 1960’s through to the early part of the 1980’s.

This impressive compilation boasts music by Stelvio Cipriani, Guido & Maurizio De Angelis, Riz Ortolani, Luis Bacalov, Manuel De Sica, Bruno Nicolai, Filippo Trecca, Roberto Pregadio, Franco Campanino, Paolo Vasile and many more. It takes us on a musical journey that re-introduces us older colectors to the funky and groove laden vibes, vibrant and infectious disco beats and powerful thematic music of the symphonic type from that exciting era in Italian cinema history. And is also a perfect collection of themes and sounds to acquaint new collectors to this music. The collection has a total of twenty-six tracks with nine of these being previously unreleased. This stunning release is also available in a Collector’s Edition 2LP featuring alternate artwork, and an exclusive 45rpm vinyl containing two previously unreleased tracks and the original PIOMBO poster designed by Eric Adrian Lee. Its set for release on November 18th, but is available for pre-order now.

Also coming from CAM-Sugar, Quando l’amore è Sensualità” (1973), music by Ennio Morricone. This is the full score, for the first time ever on a two LP set.  Which includes two sides completely previously unreleased material. This is arguably one of the Maestro’s most obscure, psychedelic, and dark-tinged soundtracks. That has up until now never been fully released, it is an innovative and highly complex work in places featuring tonal experiments, timbre intuitions, enigmatic synths, obsessively haunting lullabies, and incessant drumbeats, all of which show the unrivalled genius of the Maestro.  The music masterfully mirrors the bloody and lustful bourgeois hypocrisy portrayed in the cult film, thanks to a striking contrast between haunting primitive sounds and uplifting, crystalline and ethereal elements.

The score features “Vie-Ni”, one of the most popular tracks from the “Morricone Segreto” collection, next to compositions featuring the whimsical and ethereal vocals by Edda Dell’Orso and furious psych-prog numbers. The music is also being released at the same time onto compact disc for the first time. It is classic Morricone. Released on November 10th, again available for pre-order. The label will also release on October 21st, 2022, La Dolce Vita by Nino Rota which will be the third release in their Heritage Collection.

For the first time ever on two LP vinyl, including 14 tracks never released before and an exclusive insert with a reproduction of the original music sheet by Nino Rota. The complete 25-track score by Nino Rota for the 1960 masterpiece that defined the career of Federico Fellini, starring Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg also includes “La Dolce Vita” (Original Vocal Version) sung by Katyna Ranieri. This will also be available in CD format.

Tyler Perry returns with another Netflix project, but the latest from the filmmaker and actor is nothing like we’ve ever seen from him before. A Jazzman’s Blues is said to be his official sortie into a new, more brooding chapter of his career as a director, the movie successfully exploring a shady time in recent American history through a romantic and tragic tale of a young Black couple growing up in the southern states. The movie has many flaws but we’re finally getting a different side of this movie mogul, and maybe just maybe this could be his much-anticipated step in the right direction, time will tell I suppose?

Aaron Zigman,

Music for the movie is by Aarron Zigman, the composer delivering a touching and emotively charges soundtrack. The music is a delight to hear and it’s a welcome return for the composer to be scoring something that will hopefully get much coverage. Zigman is a talented music-smith and has written so many scores that have sadly been forgotten such as The Bridge to Terabithia, Flicka, and The Notebook among these. The composer in my opinion remains a shining light within the film music community and as a relatively new composer in 2007 wrote scores that were mature and exciting in their persona and sound. Zigman began his career as a film music composer back in 2002 when he wrote the score for John Q, which he followed with the music for the video short Fighting for Care and the documentary Behind the scenes of John Q.  But before this in 2000, Zigman arranged a classical 35-minute symphonic tone poem entitled “Rabin,” which was composed in memory of Yitzhak Rabin, the late prime minister of the State of Israel and was performed by the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony. He is a composer that could and still can adapt his style to suit every scenario, fashioning and creating upbeat themes and expansive melodic works. His sound if there is a such a thing as the “Zigman” sound has to it a style that at times has certain similarities and affiliations with that of seasoned composers such as Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, James Horner and to a certain degree Dave Grusin.

I don’t mean that as in he was copying them thematically or in any way mimicking the composers works directly, but more in its stature and overall sound, and in the way that the music is placed within the movies he has scored. His work for cinema being varied, inventive, and above all entertaining. Aaron Zigman was born on January 6th, 1963, in San Diego California, and studied music with his cousin MGM composer George Bassman. After a brief apprenticeship, Zigman broke out as a studio musician, working with producers Don Was, Gary Katz, Steely Dan, and Stewart Levine. From this experience, he began making a name for himself as a producer/writer, and soon after wrote his first big hit, with the song “Crush on You,” which was recorded by The Jets and topped the pop charts in the USA.  

He also worked with legendary record producer Clive Davis and has produced and arranged music himself for artists such as Aretha Franklin and Natalie Cole. He has also written, arranged, and produced songs for many of the top vocalists, producers, and artists in the music industry, including John Legend, Quincy Jones, Trevor Horn, Seal, Ray Charles, Alison Sudol, Bryan Adams, Phil Collins, Dionne Warwick, Boz Scaggs, Tina Turner, Seal, Carly Simon, The Pointer Sisters, Huey Lewis, Jennifer Holliday, Patti LaBelle, Chicago, and Christina Aguilera. A Jazzman’s Blues is available on digital platforms.

“The Conversation” music by composer Dalibor Grubacevic has been nominated in the category Best original score at the International Sound & Film Music Festival. The soundtrack is available now on digital platforms via Plaza Mayor and on CD from the same label. Click here for interview with the composer A CONVERSATION ON THE CONVERSATION SCORE. TALKING TO COMPOSER DALIBOR GRUBACEVIC. | MOVIE MUSIC INTERNATIONAL. (MMI) . (wordpress.com)

Klaatu Records are releasing the score for the cult-classic horror film sequel, Hello Mary Lou:Prom Night ll  by composer Paul Zaza. This 1987 horror directed by Bruce Pittman focuses upon the tortured spirit of prom queen Mary Lou Maloney which has returned to seek revenge some thirty years after her accidental death at the prom in 1957. Most of Zaza’s original score for the film was heavily edited and dissected in the final film. For this release, the composer has personally selected and edited the tracks to create a more listenable experience. The recording boasts twelve cues and a running time of nearly forty minutes. Click here for details of how to purchase Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night 2 – Klaatu Records

The story of Survivors revolves around the Arianna, a sailing boat carrying twelve passengers which sets off on an ocean crossing. After a few days of navigation, and on account of a violent storm, the boat disappears off the radar. One year later, just off the Venezuelan coast, the wreckage of the boat is discovered with only seven people still alive on board. What happened to the others? Each episode charts the complex events following the return of these survivors, alternated with the terrible period they spent adrift at sea, to gradually uncover the secrets of their journey.

Music for the RAI series is the work of composer Stefano Lentini, who recently scored Studio Battaglia also for TV. The music for Survivors is wistful and gently sweeping, the composer creating beautiful and fragile sounding tone poems for the series. Available now on digital outlets, recommended. Well I think that’s all folks….see you soon. Get ready for trick or treating….

HOCUS POCUS 2.

Twenty-nine years ago, Disney released a movie that I think even surprised them because it became so successful and popular so quickly. Hocus Pocus, has over the years attained a kind of cult following, and I have to say I am one of those followers, with the movie being essential viewing at Halloween, for myself and my children, well that family tradition has now been passed onto to them and their children, and Hocus Pocus is probably a film that we all just love unconditionally. It seemed as soon as the end credits began to roll in 1993, audiences all over the world were crying out for a sequel and let’s face it , it deserved to have one.

Alas after hearing so many times that a sequel was in the works, I as did many gave up on Disney.  But they say that all good things come to those who wait, and now streaming on Disney + is Hocus Pocus 2, I thought it strange that it should be released a full month before Halloween, but Disney know what they’re doing right? After watching the movie, I did feel that it was a little less affecting as the original, and there were certain scenes and lines I also felt were a little hammy. But its Hocus Pocus guys, its fine. The Sanderson sisters are back, and its about time.

Returning to reprise their original roles are Bette Midler as Winifred Sanderson, Sarah Jessica Parker as Sarah Sanderson, Kathy Najimy as Mary Sanderson and Doug Jones as William Billy Butcherson who was Winfred’s sweetheart and apparently cheated on her with her sister Sarah. Sadly, as you’ll find out when you see the movie, these are the only original characters that have survived, there is no Thackery Binx, no Dani, who was played by Thora Birch, Omri Katz who played Max or Vinessa Shaw who portrayed Allison are nowhere to be seen, but there is a black cat in the cast called cobweb.

There is however a fresh cast of faces and characters, that ably carry on the legacy and the atmosphere that has been established by the original film. I did feel at times that the set piece songs were not necessary, especially when we see the Sanderson sisters resurrected in the forbidden wood, which kind of cheapens the whole coming back to life thing and the witches returning to impose their evil on Salem, turning it into a cabaret. They also perform One Way or Another, (I hate that song) but that is kind of a clever inclusion to the film’s storyline. Ok, Hocus Pocus (1993) purists, will probably be thinking what’s happened here, but like I always say its horses for courses, and it is an effective updating of the Hocus Pocus franchise.

Three hundred years pass in the movie, with the story opening in the town of Salem in 1653, which I thought worth doing as it tells us more of how the Sanderson sisters became witches, giving us more of a background to their relationship and how it was that Winnie became the prominent one in the trio of spell makers.

Hocus Pocus 2, has to it all the comedic and dramatic content that the original had, plus it has a degree more sensitivity, showing an emotional side to certain characters, let’s just say that you will believe a witch has a heart, even feel sorry for her and that a spell book can shed a tear.

It also effectively opens a new Hocus Pocus chapter as it introduces us to another trio of young witches, and that I hope will be another story that Disney might explore in the future (hopefully before 2051). Could this be the end of the Sanderson sisters? What do you think? Trick or Treat?

JOHN DEBNEY.

The musical score is by the Hocus Pocus composer John Debney, who has rekindled many of his original thematic material to enhance and support the three witches’ new adventure, he also works into the fabric of the new score the haunting theme as composed by James Horner, Come Little Children, as performed by Sarah Jessica Parker back in 1993 as her character Sarah Sanderson calls to the children of Salem.

John Debney has fashioned a wonderfully mischievous, sweeping, and raucous sounding work for the sequel. The now familiar central theme becoming the foundation and the mainstay of the work, the string section working overtime driving the work at pace, whilst the composer adds percussive elements, rasping and powerful brass flourishes and stabs, and heart felt woods.

There is darkness and light purveyed by the music, drama, tension and a jaunty and comedic air. The composer coloring and adding depth, atmosphere, and emotion to the proceedings. The soundtrack album we are told will be getting a compact disc release, but it is already available on the likes of Spotify, a twenty-eight-track recording, which consists of eighteen score cues, and nine songs, some of which are originals such as The Witches are Back performed by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy. But it is without a doubt John Debney’s music that shines within this movie and makes for great listening away from it. The film and the soundtrack are highly recommended.

VESPER.

After the collapse of Earth’s ecosystem, Vesper, a 13-year-old girl struggling to survive with her paralyzed father, meets a woman with a secret who will force her to use her wits, strengths, and bio-hacking abilities to fight for the possibility of having a future.

The score for this futuristic sci-fi drama, is the work of composer Dan Levy who has created a haunting and at times complex work, which effectively enhances the storyline and punctuates its numerous twists and turns.

Being a story set in the future of the planet one would think that the composer might have realized a score that was total soundscape and had an atonal sound, but instead we are treated to strong and melodious thematic qualities that are fused with electronic sounds and synthetic backgrounds, all of which complement and combine seamlessly to create a soundtrack that is alluring and rewarding. The richness of the core themes is stunning and filled with a wonderment and an aura and style that compels one to listen and go deeper into the music. Both the movie and the score are I think very special, it is a breathtakingly beautiful movie both visually and aurally.

The performances from all the cast are flawless and totally believable, it is a sci-fi movie the likes of which we rarely encounter, it has to it emotion, and as well as being meaningful it also has an important message to us all about the future of Earth. Inventive and innovative this is a move you must see, an also a score that you should add to your collection asap.

The star of the show is Raffiella Chapman who plays the titular character Vesper a thirteen-year-old girl, who gives one of the best performances I have seen in a while. Eddie Marsden should be commended for his performance as Vespers rather sinister uncle and Richard Brake is marvellous as the young girls Father. If you prefer a thinking mans sci fi instead of the normal mundane Hollywood blast em kind of thing then Vesper is the film for you, and the soundtrack too will be something that you will return to many times after your initial listen. Available now on digital platforms.

THE PROUD AND THE DAMNED.

This soundtrack is not yet available, this is an exclusive review of the forthcoming release on Kronos Records as part of the labels famous Gold Collection.

Coming soon from Kronos records is a soundtrack that is a little obscure, although being not that well know for me makes it even more attractive, and to be honest it’s a wonderful sound that has been realised by composers Gene Kauer and Douglas M Lackey for the 1972 western The Proud and the Damned.  On listening to the score I was impressed at the variety and also the overall sound of the work, at times I was reminded of the work of Jerry Fielding (The Wild Bunch) and also there are moments within the score that evoke composers such as Charles Gross (Valdez is Coming) and to a degree Manos Hajidakis when he scored the Terence Stamp western Blue and Frank De Vol and his work on Alzana’s Raid.  

The composers have fashioned a pleasing score that has to it two distinct styles one being a South American or Mexican/Latin persona, the other having to it a more Americanised and dramatic flavour. This is a movie that did not get that much publicity when it was first released back in the early 1970’s in fact I think I am right when I say I do not think it has been shown on TV or if it has this must have been a few years back now. The composing duo scored a long string of films together, which included Agent for H.A.R.M. (1966) Brother of the Wind (1973) Across The Great Divide and Adventure Family (1977). I love the way that the music supports the action within the movie and adds delicate undercurrents to the proceedings. The score is filled with passion and a sense of adventure, it literally overflows with beautiful melodies and Mariachi/flamenco/Latin styled cues that make for a worthwhile listening experience.

Main Title.

Guitar provides the foundation for most of the cues, the composers utilizing the instrument to the maximum to convey a sense of melancholy and drama. The music is beautifully interwoven into the storyline and underlines the growing friendships that are beginning to flourish between the villagers and the band of Confederate soldiers that have crossed over the border from Texas into South America in 1870 to escape the aftermath of the civil war, only to become embroiled in another conflict in Columbia  Chuck Connors heads the cast, with support from Aron Kincaid, José Greco, Henry Capps, Smokey Roberds, Peter Ford, Andres Marquis, and Cesar Romero!

Directed by Ferde Grofé Jr who was also responsible for the story The five ex-Confederate mercenaries and American Civil War veterans Sgt. Will Hansen (Connors) Ike (Kincaid), Hank (Cap’s), Jeb (Roberds)), and Billy (Ford)) no sooner ride into Columbia and are ambushed by Columbian government troops who force them to meet General Martinez, the evil, cold-hearted dictator of their country. Martinez sends them to San Carlos, a town where rebel forces are preparing to start a civil war against Martinez’s army. The Texans are instructed to live among the rebels, and report back to Martinez what they discover. Martinez warns them that they’ll be severely punished if they fail him.

The next day, while on their way to San Carlos, the gang run into a family who are on their way to the same town. They offer to escort them to the town and Will takes an interest in the daughter, Mila. They all ride into San Carlos, meet the governor, and rent a cabin. Will and Mila sneak out to spend the night together. Mila’s father becomes angry when he finds out and beats Mila and cuts off her ear. Will in a fit of rage then shoots Mila’s father.

Will and his men are detained over the killing and find themselves unable to report back to Martinez. Will and Mila are banished from the town the townspeople are angry over Will killing Mila’s father. Will and Mila are then taken captive by Martinez, who hangs Will for disobeying his orders. Mila rides back to town to get Will’s friends, who give him a funeral, and vow to avenge his murder. They join the rebels in a battle with Martinez’s army and drive them back. They later ambush Martinez and the rest of his surviving soldiers in a canyon, joined by the rebel army’s captain. During the fight they manage to kill Martinez, but all are gunned down by his soldiers except for Billy, who was thrown from his horse in the mele and knocked unconscious. The film ends with Billy riding off into the sunset.

The soundtrack has never been released before and Kronos records are proud to be able to bring you the premiere release of this exciting score, it will be a limited edition of just 300 copies, so get your pre-orders in ASAP. Highly recommended.  

HANG.

http://kronosrecords.com/KG43.html

A FEW SOUNDTRACKS MORE.

From PEARL.

More scores for your collection released recently and a few you might have missed, (well one at least) again there is a nice mix of symphonic and electronic, with a liberal sprinkling of horror coming out on top. The Tyler Bates and Timothy Williams score for Pearl has been released in full now on digital platforms, and Andrew Scott Bell’s terrific score for Psycho Storm Chaser too is available to stream on the likes of Spotify, with the CD available now from Howlin Wolf Records which contains some nice extras that are not on the digital release.

A soundtrack release has been announced for Hocus Pocus 2, which should be available in November, music is by John Debney who penned the score for the original movie back in 1993. Hocus Pocus 2, premieres on Disney + on September 30th.  

Another old horror favourite is also getting a re-boot, as Rob Zombie’s The Munsters will be in cinemas this month just in time for Halloween, when I say a horror it’s not really, it is a bit of fun and from what I have seen could be a popular movie. Music is by Zeuss or Christopher Howard. Who is a producer, guitarist, songwriter, and composer. The soundtrack for The Munsters is available now on digital platforms and comes as a two disc set the first disc being dominated by songs, which are all included in the film even a particularly novel version of I Got You Babe, performed by Lillie and Herman.

The second disc is mainly music from the score but also has snippets of dialogue included, these are very short lived and much like those old Horror music LP records that were released by the likes of the Dick Jacobs orchestra back in the day break up the music tracks nicely.

I found the music for this fun farce enjoyable, with so many references to standard horror film music, take a listen to Dr Wolfgang and the creation of Herman and you will get what I mean. It’s an inventive and clever musical journey which the composer must be congratulated upon as he manages to balance the dramatic and the comedic wonderfully.

Even including the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor at one point and does his own take on that quirky and infectious Munsters theme written by Jack Marshall that many of us (of a certain age) grew up listening to.

The composer also utilizes an arrangement of Also Sprach Zarathustra which was used in 2001 A Space Odyssey, in the track entitled Child of Electricity. Zeuss or Christopher Howard I think pays homage to almost every horror film score that has been written within his soundtrack and some, but he also infuses layers and degrees of originality which range from the tongue in cheek horror sound to the comedic and then to the dramatic and chilling. Although I was not that keen on disc 1, disc 2 certainly made up for it, take a listen recommended. In case you are wondering this is a PG unlike many of Rob Zombie’s other movies which were certainly not child friendly.

Arhynn Descy has produced an affecting soundtrack for the movie Blank which is available via Plaza Mayor on digital platforms. She is a French/South African composer and pianist who divides her time between London and LA. She has written music for feature films, shorts, documentaries, the stage as well as for orchestra and a variety of solo instruments. Blending orchestral and electronic elements, she enjoys bringing different genres and styles together, creating a sound world which is unique to each project. The movie focuses upon a desperate writer who signs up for a fully A.I. operated retreat to cure her writer’s block, but when an unforeseen software glitch occurs, she gets trapped inside her unit with an unstable android and no communication with the outside world. It’s a low budget movie but is an interesting if not rather slow-paced watch.

The music for the sci-fi/drama is a combination of conventional instrumentation and synthetic elements that colour and bring effective atmospheres to the storyline. The composer merges and mixes seamlessly the symphonic and the electronic mediums creating dark and shadowy moments as well as interludes and passages that are melodious and uplifting. The score which runs for just over fifty minutes contains a tense apprehensive air for most of its duration which at key points intensifies, becoming harrowing, and menacing, there are however lilting and haunting sections that do rise to the surface occasionally as in the short-lived cue Running, and A Routine Develops, it is an accomplished and inventive work, which augments and enhances the images and unfolding storyline superbly. Check it out.

Movie Score Media again treat us to a trio of new releases, all from differing genres and all are soundtracks that I am sure you will enjoy. The Automat by Hummie Mann (A much underrated composer) is released as part of the labels Reality Bytes series, the film which is a documentary focuses on the vending machine which was popularized in the 20th century that offered fresh cooked meals in a commissary-style eatery mostly in the United States. It includes contributions from Mel Brooks, Ron Barrett, Elliot Gould and others and is subtly and sensitively scored by composer Mann.

The score contains beautifully thematic compositions which are entertaining as well as supportive, having to them a charming and at times delicate side.

42 Segundos, is biographical drama, in which the Spanish National water-polo team hires that toughest world trainer looking to win the gold medal in the Olympic Games of Barcelona 92. The score is by Oscar Araujo, and is a combination of styles and sounds, the more upbeat sections being thrilling and hard hitting, as with most movies that have sport as their subject the music is at times inspiring and anthem like, check out the cue Match End to see what I mean.

The composer penned the score for the animated movie El Cid in 2003 and was also responsible for the epic sounding scores for the Castlevania video games. His music is always haunting and thematic, and 42 Segundos is no exception.

The third release from MSM is Zeppos Het Mercatorspoor which has music by composer Steve Willaert, this is an exciting and fast paced score for most of its running time with a gentle nod to maybe the 007 movies or even Mission Impossible, it’s that kind of vibe, but also contains a handful of lighter and more melodically based pieces that seem to come from nowhere but are always affecting and welcomed.

Check all three of these new MSM releases on digital platforms, they are all available now.

A composer who has been busy recently is James Cox, he has scored three movies that have been released this year, Pterodactyl, Looks Can Kill, and Six Years Gone, all are available on the likes of Spotify, Amazon and Apple and all three are worth listening to, the composer is classically trained as a pianist and clarinetist and a graduate of the University of Chichester, in Sussex England.

James draws on his background, mixing small ensembles/piano-based palette with an array of electronic and instrumental textures, always working tirelessly to build a distinctive sound for each project. Which he achieves in all the three scores I have mentioned. Pterodactyl in particular is filled with typically action led cues and shady sounding sinister moments which one would expect from a horror soundtrack.

I think my favourite out of the three is Six Years Gone which has to it a more of a melancholy sound and style, but all three you should check out.

Ravens Hollow is new to Shudder and is exclusively streaming there, the basic outline is West Point cadet Edgar Allan Poe and four other cadets on a training exercise in upstate New York are drawn by a gruesome discovery into a forgotten community. With the Name Edgar Allan Poe involved one just knows this is going to be a superior and consuming story, and the producers etc on this have done it justice. It’s totally original and intriguing plot is probably something that you may have witnessed before, but what is attractive about this movie are the various aspects of its plot that are fresh and pristine making it stand out somewhat from other movies or TV shows that have gone down a similar route.  It’s a tale that smolders rather than dives straight into the shock and horror, it is a gradual and progressive ascent into something that will certainly send shudders through you and make you gasp and even scream out.  

The attention to detail in the settings and the camera work and the overall appearance (including FX) of the movie is tremendous, although at times the acting is a little shaky.  The musical score did much to enhance the proceedings at times creating greater tension and adding atmospherics to the plot as it unfolded. Music is by Robert Ellis Geiger, who has fashioned a harrowing but also a subtly sinister sounding work, he also utilises phrases from Lavenders Blue ( “Lavender’s Blue” which is sometimes called “Lavender Blue”  an English folk song and nursery rhyme dating to the 17th century). Which opens the recording and has the effect of lulling one into a false sense of security, but the pleasant lilting melody is short lived as the composer introduces a more chilling and sinister sound into the equation a sound and style that then dominates the remainder of the score.

Volume one of the soundtrack is available on digital platforms, it’s an eerie and effectively malevolent sound that the composer has realised, and a score that I think works so well within the context of the film, but as a listening experience away from the images and scenarios maybe not, but this is film music and I have said so many times before the music is to serve the film not to please someone sitting at home listening on a Sunday afternoon.  Good score and an interesting movie.  

New to Netflix is the miniseries Dahmer Monster:The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, which is a ten part series, It tells the story of what was one of America’s most notorious serial killers, largely told from the point of view of Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims, and dives deeply into the police incompetence and apathy that allowed the Wisconsin native to go on a what seemed to be unstoppable killing spree. The series dramatizes at least 10 inOne of America’s most notorious serial killers, largely told from the point of view of Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims, and dives deeply into the police incompetence and apathy that allowed the Wisconsin native to go on a multiyear killing spree. The series dramatizes at least 10 instances where Dahmer was almost apprehended but ultimately allowed to walk free. The series also touches on Dahmer the man, who looks like an ordinary guy in the street, clean cut, and on the outside respectful and unassuming, who was on many occasions given a free pass by the authorities including many judges who were lenient when he had been charged with petty crimes. The atmospheric music for the series is the work of Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, Cave of course is known for his work away from scoring movies but has worked on his fair share of film scores, the music for Dahmer is haunting and at times tormenting, The composers utilising a more electronic and synthetic approach, to underline and support the storyline as it develops. Available on digital platforms.  

Fates of the innocent and guilty collide on the night of America’s deadliest rock concert. It could fairly be said that music and rock culture drew one hundred innocent people to their deaths in the Station Night Club Fire. The Guest List is a documentary that explores how that same music and culture became sources of healing and comfort, at least for some, in the years that followed the tragedy. The original score is by composer David James Nielsen, who has fashioned a score that is emotive, stirring, and supportive but never gets in the way or swamps the core purpose of the documentary. His score enhances and gives depth to some of the accounts but allows the story to breathe and be heard. It’s a sensitive piece of scoring that does occasionally burst into a more up tempo and action led (if that’s the correct wording) compositions. It is a soundtrack that is well worth your time and is available on digital platforms.

Composer Nanita Desai has crafted a highly tense score for the BBC one series Crossfire which is although is not about a true-life event does have similarities with several tragic terrorist attacks that have taken place throughout the world. The composer, s music perfectly underlines and compliments the harrowing events of a shooting at an out of the way tourist resort. And focuses upon the guests of the hotel as they attempt to survive the dangerous and violent situation before help arrives. The series is currently airing with all episodes available on the BBC I Player. The soundtrack will be available digitally via Silva Screen Records very soon.

Going back a few years to 20018 for the next score and to a movie that maybe not many people saw, Remi Nobodys Boy, which tells the story of the adventures of young Rémi, an orphan raised by the gentle Madam Barberin. At the age of 10 years, he is snatched from his adoptive mother and entrusted to Vitalis, a mysterious travelling musician. At his side, Rémi begins to learn the harsh life of an acrobat and sings to earn his keep.

Accompanied by the faithful dog Capi and the small monkey Joli-Coeur, his long trip through France involves for meetings, friendships, and collaborations, and leads him to the secret of his origins. The delightful and charming music is the work of composer Romaric Laurence, who created a score that is filled with fragility, emotion and drama, the magical sounding work contains sweeping and driving compositions as well as delicate and marvelously haunting and melodic passages which at times feature the vocals of Thibault Salles.

This is one you should own, if you missed it there is even more reason to acquaint yourself with this poignant and affecting work, available on digital platforms.

From an early age, Romaric Laurence was determined to become a composer of image. Being self-taught on the piano, he preferred to have a solid background in musical computing, which led him to return to the SAE Institute in Paris to train in sound professions. At the age of 20 shortly after the end of the course, he signed with Universal Music as a composer and arranger. The various Universal Music labels asked him to work on several albums by various artists, these included Faudel, Téri Moïse, Stomy Bugsy, and Christophe Willem, to name but a handful. Because of his work on these projects the dream of scoring movies took a back seat but he decided to use all his relationships in the music industry to take his chances in music for cinema and TV. It was by working closely with the synchronization department of Universal Music that he wrote his first scores. To date, he has worked on nearly twenty feature films. Well that’s it for now, see you all next time…