Category Archives: up and coming releases and scoring assignments.

BLOODY FURY.

In the Far West, the fur trade is raging. Bloody Fury, one of the last red wolves, decides to avenge his exterminated family. But is revenge the best solution to find the way to redemption?

COMPOSERS PAY HOMAGE TO THE WESTERN SCORES OF OLD.

Susan DiBona is a seasoned film composer and multi-instrumentalist who began studying piano and writing music at the age of seven. After many years of performing onstage and working as a session musician, songwriter, orchestrator and arranger, she later kicked off her career as a film composer in Berlin, Germany, where she wrote and produced numerous scores for a number of popular primetime German TV series and features.  Her first classical piano and theory teacher as a child was the composer and concert pianist Leopold Godowksky III, nephew of George Gershwin, who mentored her and encouraged her to develop her composing skills.  She acted as both vocal coach and lyricist for the top 3 winners of Star Search Germany under contract with BMG/Universal Music. Susan has vocal coached and written lyrics for artists under contract with Polydor, Capitol, Sony/BMG, and Echo Verlag. 

She attended the Buddy Baker/ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop at NYU and was mentored by Mark Snow (The X-Files) and Sonny Kompanek (orchestrator for Carter Burwell).  Fluent in German, English, and Italian, she has conducted such prestigious orchestras as the Berliner Symphoniker, the Rome Film Orchestra, as well as ensembles including members of the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera, Vienna Philharmonic, Babelsberger Filmorchester and the RAI National Symphony Orchestra in Turin, Italy.

Salvatore Sangiovanni, born in Italy, is an internationally acclaimed virtuoso concert and jazz pianist whose composing skills range from classic Italian opera to American big band and beyond. He holds a post-graduate degree in classical piano performance from The Royal School of London. He studied film scoring and orchestration under Carlo Crivelli and was mentored by Maestro Ennio Morricone. Sal also studied jazz with Michel Camilo (faculty member of The Juilliard School) and be-bop legend Barry Harris. 

BLOODY FURY is a recent assignment for you both how did you become involved on the movie?

We’d heard of the project in summer 2022, and contacted the director, Jordan Inconstant, and sent him some of our music right away to introduce ourselves. Once the film was edited, around October, he got in touch and asked if we’d be available to write the score.

Watching the video of some of the sessions it’s clear that the score is influenced by both the music of Italian western and the more conventional sound of the Hollywood western, was this something that the director requested or was this a sound and style that you suggested would work for the movie?

Jordan did ask specifically for some elements of Italian Western film music, but we did want to channel some other composers as well: Aaron Copland, Elmer Bernstein, Scott Joplin – for the ragtime piano pieces which are played in the saloon scenes – and Carl William Stalling for the animation sequences (with a character voiced by Bill Nighy). Composing in these styles was not always a conscious choice; these styles came naturally and automatically to us because they fit so well with the images. We also included very American rock/blues music, something Jordan requested – and we think it works well. Our goal was to bring all these classic styles together seamlessly, make the score as modern and fresh as the movie, yet still give it our own signature sound.

Was the film temp tracked with any music at all, if so was this helpful or maybe distracting?

We received the film without temp tracks, by our own request. We did ask for some audio examples from the director at times to help us communicate (among the director and us two composers, there are three different native languages), and to narrow down the musical choices we would make as a team. In any case, a blank canvas to play with and an in-depth conversation with the director before we even start writing feels best for us. Temp tracks are limiting. In fact, if we feel free to develop our ideas at the start of the composing process – i.e., if the director trusts us enough to let us throw lots of different ideas around without having to follow temp tracks right from the beginning – the more creative resources we will have to draw from, and the better the score will be because we simply feel free to work using our instincts. 

It looks like a small group of players mainly strings, how many live players did you have in the orchestra and what electronic elements did you use for the score?

We orchestrated everything ourselves in record time as soon as we had final approval on the mock-ups. As for electronic elements, we created some synth tracks and electronic effects. We then recorded live percussion tracks, and Susan recorded some bamboo and wooden flutes as well as vocals (also in our own studio) before the orchestral session. For the orchestral sessions, we had 18 live players at the session in Rome, with trumpet/Flügelhorn, and piano (both a classical grand and an upright “busted-up” piano for the ragtime parts). We recorded everything we needed from the orchestra in a couple of hours. Afterwards, we overdubbed the electric guitars in Berlin, where we also completed the mix with Klaus Knapp at Trixx Studios. 

The film is a mix of live action and animation, how much music did you write for the project?

The soundtrack is about 30 minutes in length total. 

On the score you use an old piano, which re-kindles perfectly the sound of the saloon tracks as composed for Italian westerns by the likes of Morricone, Bacalov, Nicolai etc, was this a piano that was originally utilised on other western scores?

Funny you should mention it! Yes, that very saloon piano was actually used in the score for the classic Western Django.

When will the movie be released, and I hope the score will be released?

The theatrical premiere is on May 4th in Paris, and we’ll know more soon about the distribution. We hope to have the score out on CD in time for the premiere! We’ll keep you posted.

Many thanks to

Susan & Salvatore, for answering our questions and we look forward to the film being in cinemas and also the soundtrack release.

ANDREW MORGAN SMITH-SCORING THE OLD WAY.

The Old Way is a western that has just been released, the music which is exceptional, is by composer Andrew Morgan Smith, who scored movies such as Jeepers Creepers 3, You Might be the Killer, and more recently has worked on the film Presence and has just completed scoring The Old Way and Bunker, which is coming to cinemas in February. The composer spoke to MMI about The Old Way.

When you were asked to score The Old Way, did the producers have a specific sound or style in mind for the movie, or did you pitch them the idea of having a more traditional sounding score?

Initially the team was thinking about going in a more modern guitar driven direction. That’s what the movie was temped with, but it wasn’t giving the scope and feel they wanted. It ended up making the movie feel smaller in size than they needed.  Once I was officially on the film, they had started to experiment with some other older western scores in the temp.

Following that, I pitched going for a “Classic Studio Western” sound with an updated edge to it. Then it became my challenge to figure out what that actually meant.

It’s a symphonic score very much in a style that we readily associate with westerns from the 1980’s and 1990’s. I am thinking Silverado in particular. In the score you utilise banjo, guitar and fiddle (violin), to great effect who were the soloists. And what size orchestra did you have for the score?

Yes, trying to create that “Classic Studio Western” was definitely a reference to these 80s and 90s movies. I wanted to do something that still gave us that feel, but had a modern edge. After brainstorming I came up with pulling inspiration from Rocky Mountain Folk music. Since this takes place in Montana in the late 1800s, I went back and listened to period music for inspiration and thought, ‘Why not try adding in some of these instruments and idioms into the score?’.

That’s when I brought on Stephen Rees on fiddle. He’s a tremendously talented instrumentalist and long-time friend who I’ve collaborated with on numerous occasions. Stephen suggested using Seth Taylor on banjo and guitar and he was amazing!

We recorded with the Budapest Symphony Orchestra and they did a fabulous job under Francois Rousselot. The final group was about 60 player’s total.

The soundtrack is due for release on BMG is this CD or digital or hopefully both?

As of right now, I think we’re only releasing on digital, but hey maybe if there are enough letters we’ll get a small run of something.

How much music did you write for the movie and is the complete score going to be on the soundtrack release?

In total there is about 1 hour and 8 minutes of score in The Old Way. I usually try to make soundtracks more digestible than the unabridged score. The soundtrack release is going to be about 48 minutes long. Hitting all the big themes and moments with a few other things here and there.

SOUNDTRACK SUPPLEMENT SEVENTY-SIX.

Welcome to the first Soundtrack Supplement of 2023.

La-La Land Records, Studio-Canal and Sony Classical celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the 1992 big-screen biographical drama Chaplin with a newly remastered, presentation of the film’s original score by legendary British composer John Barry. The Yorkshire born composer’s notable and elegant orchestral score, is looked upon as one of late composer’s last great works for the cinema, it is an integral part of this creative and thoughtful chronicling of the great Charlie Chaplin which had Robert Downey, Jr starring in the title role.

Directed by Richard Attenborough, this thoughtful and romantically laced drama benefitted greatly from the score that Barry penned. His varied and enriching thematic material adding emotion and melancholy to the proceedings. The score was recorded at the famous Abbey Road studios in London with the English Chamber Orchestra, and as well as his original music the composer also cleverly included themes that were composed by Chaplin himself  such as Smile, City Lights and Limelight.

Produced by Neil S. Bulk and mastered by Doug Schwartz, this limited-edition compact disc presentation is expanded with previously unreleased material, the release also includes exclusive liner notes by journalist/author and John Barry expert Jon Burlingame. The release is limited to 3000 units and features art design by Scott Saslow.

La La Land have also announced the release of an all-new restored, remixed, remastered, and expanded “Ultimate” stereo presentation of Harry Manfredini’s original score to the 1981 feature film Friday the 13th: Part 2, starring Amy Steel, and directed by Steve Miner.

Back in 2021, the original Friday score elements culminated in La-La Land’s “Ultimate” restoration of the first film’s music. Now the label follows that acclaimed release with Friday the 13th part 2; The Ultimate cut. Engineer Jerry Lambert, under supervision of the composer, has again restored and remixed the music with results nothing short of astounding. The music sounds richer, bolder, more vibrant, and as insistent as Jason himself! Included in this deluxe assembly is music Never-before-heard-or-released.  Produced by Dan Goldwasser and Brian Satterwhite, mixed by Jerry Lambert, and mastered by James Nelson, this special Compact disc release features exclusive liner notes by Satterwhite who provides a detailed track-by-track breakdown along with an in-depth examination of the release’s restoration and remix process. The art direction is by Goldwasser, and the original cover art is by Scott Saslow. A must-have for all Friday fans and film score fanatics.

La-La Land Records (lalalandrecords.com)

Composer Anthony Willis is back with an atmospheric and wonderfully edgy score for the sci-fi horror M3gan,  the composer has penned music that has to it two distinct styles one being the more fearsome and dark sounds and moods that we readily associate with horror and thrillers and also the more gentle and subtle thematic passages and nuances that are tinged with a childlike aura, as in the vocal cue Tell Me Your Dreams, which possess a Disney like style, sugary and sweet initially but in this case that sentiment comes across as one that is perhaps not entirely meant.

The music is affecting and haunting, even alluring at times, but every so often the score surges into a more shadowy and malevolent persona. There is within the work an apprehensive and unsettling air, which for me personally evoked emotions one experiences when listening to the likes of Herrmann, Donaggio, and Goldsmith.

One minute it is a happy go lucky work, which in the next seconds can turn into a volatile, and incessantly driving listening experience. The composer utilising voices and dark strings alongside searing stabs, rasping brass, electronic sounds, and thundering percussive elements. Recommended.

On January 27th Silva Screen Records in the UK will release an expanded edition of Federico Jusid’s score for The English, the score first appeared digitally last year in an eighteen-track edition which was made available digitally on most platforms, this expanded release includes a further Twenty seven tracks a total of forty five in all.

Jusid’s score is a combination of the styles employed in both the Hollywood and the Italian western, the composer paying homage to the likes of Jerome Moross, and Elmer Bernstein as well as more than a gentle nod to the Americana sound of Copeland in some of the pieces, he also employs a sound that is openly in the style of  Ennio Morricone and other Italian composers such as Bruno Nicolai, and Stelvio Cipriani who are synonymous with the Spaghetti western genre.

The score containing grunts and shouts as well as electric guitar solos, that set the scene perfectly for the riveting but at times violent storyline. The expanded edition will only be available digitally, but the eigteen-track version of the score will be released on Compact Disc also on January 27th.

The English | Federico JUSID | CD (musicbox-records.com)

Intrada have released the two disc set of the Basil Poledouris score to the sword and sorcery film Conan The Destroyer, when first issued on LP back in 1984, I for one was not that impressed especially after the epic and powerful  work the composer had penned for the original movie, however over the years it is a score that as they say has grown on me. It may not be as commanding and driving as Conan the Barbarian, but it has a certain something, and I am pleased that Intrada have released this expanded version of the soundtrack. Arnold Schwarzenegger reprises his role from the 1982 box office hit! And supporting him in this sequel are stars Mako, Grace Jones, Wilt Chamberlain, Tracey Walter, Olivia d’Abo, Sarah Douglas. Queen Taramis offers Conan a quest, but he is uninterested, she vows to resurrect Conan’s beloved Valeria who was killed in the original movie, in return for his cooperation.

He embarks on the journey, encountering virgin princess Jehnna, a search for the horn of Dagoth, fights with Bombaata, encounters his old wizard friend Akiro, befriends warrior Zula, finds the castle of Thoth-Amon, and by this stage the movie has barely reached the halfway mark.  World premiere expanded release of his score took years of complicated licensing negotiation, but patience and discussions finally bore fruit. The original 1984 MCA album offered just thirty three minutes of highlights but this new remastered release brings collectors a running time of nearly an hour, plus an additional sixteen minutes of alternate cues. The crispness and clarity of this original performance by the Union Musicisti di Roma under the baton of Poledouris has an unrivalled vibrancy. The composer providing new thematic material and also tracks that are built upon and around his music for the films predecessor, proud anthem like and relentless just what one wants from vivid action music.

The score is presented from stunning 3-channel stereo session mixes vaulted by Universal. The MCA album program is also re-released on the second disc. Attractive cover art by Stéphane Coëdel graces front of flipper-style booklet with original MCA cover art on back, richly designed package design by Kay Marshall is filled with colour stills from the film plus informative notes from John Takis. Greig McRitchie, Jack & Scott Smalley provide the orchestrations. This is a must have item, but it’s a limited edition, so hurry.

CONAN THE DESTROYER (2CD) (intrada.com)

Composer Christopher Young has produced a suitably harrowing yet emotive score for The Offering, Young utilises choir and solo voice performances to great effect within this unsettling and at times malevolent sounding work. I cant say to you this is a great listening experience, because this is a score for a horror movie in the true sense, with the music being written to support and enhance the unnerving events and scenarios on screen. Its not something that you would want to sit down and just listen to, but saying that,

I think this is probably one if not the most inventive and innovative soundtracks by Christopher Young for a horror film. And that is saying a lot considering that this is the composer that scored Hellraiser, Sinster, and the re-boot of Pet Semetery amongst others. The films storyline tells of a family who are struggling with loss that find themselves at the mercy of an ancient demon trying to destroy them from the inside.

Young’s score perfectly underlines the sense of loss and the difficulties the family are experiencing as well as enhancing the horror elements of the plot. Available now on digital platform.

Plaza Mayor Publishing have released the score for Irati which is a Spanish/French co-production that tells the story of a young girl who will guide a group of Christian and Muslim warriors on a journey in an ancient mythological world where everything that has a name exists, in an attempt to recover a lost treasure.

Music is by Aranzazu Calleja and Maite Arroitajauregi, the score is a fusion of choral work and symphonic interludes, it has an epic sound to it, and is filled with a sense of adventure and romance. The film will not be released until February 24th this year but the score is available now on digital platforms. Well worth checking out.

Macedonian musician Kiril Dzajkoski is probably better known as a name in the world of electronic music including dance and sometimes rap, but his score for The Great Water I think is something of a revelation, the composer employing female solo voice at times to convey a sense of hope, the score employs rhythmic percussive elements which are intertwined with ethnic sounding instrumentation, strings and woods to fashion affecting and enriching musical moments. The composer at times employing wordless female voice in a similar way to that of the late Ennio Morricone, adding depth and giving greater poignancy to many of the scenes in the movie.

The cue Drought Break being particularly effective in the film, the music being performed over images with little or no dialogue the result being mesmerising and inspiring.  The film was released back in 2004, but the score has only just been added to digital platforms, whilst checking this out also take a listen to the composers score for the 2001 movie Dust. You won’t be disappointed.

Quartet Records, Geffen Records and Paramount Pictures present the premiere release of the complete score for Douglas Day Stewart’s 1984 sexual, romantic drama-thriller Thief of Hearts, starring Steven Bauer, Barbara Williams, and John Getz. The film follows a woman trapped in a boring marriage who begins an affair with a handsome man who seems able to read her mind. She doesn’t know that he has broken into her house and read her diaries, in which she has recorded her deepest thoughts and fantasies.

Composer Harold Faltermeyer provided an intense, romantic and suspenseful electronic score, which is not only varied but rhythmic. The composer also wrote and produced several pop songs for the film, and arranged the original song “Thief of Hearts,” composed by Giorgio Moroder and performed by Melissa Manchester, became a huge hit when it was released as a single.  

The soundtrack album was originally released by MCA on LP and CD and has been reissued several times over the years, although in its original forty-minute edition it included just five songs and an equal amount of score cues which were specifically arranged for the album. This limited two-CD edition boasts the complete score composed and recorded by Faltermeyer for the film, and also the remastered MCA album, unused cues, demos, and alternate versions of both score and songs. A treat for all fans of 80s synth sounds. Available now from Quartet direct or from other soundtrack specialists such as Music Box.

Space Adventure Cobra is the animated series produced by the prestigious studio TMS Entertainment and was broadcast from 1982. The series was a huge success and remains to this day one of the most appreciated examples of Japanese animation. To celebrate the fortieth  anniversary of Space Adventure Cobra, Wayo records have released a  Digipak with two discs, it includes the complete soundtrack, all songs (long versions and karaoke) as well as several covers and rare unused tracks composed at the time. The release also has a twelve-page booklet, illustrated with some colourful and eye-catching artwork. The music for the series was the work of composer Kentarô Haneda and Yûji Ôno, the music and songs greatly enhanced the series and added to its popularity. It contains noteworthy up tempo cues as well as jazz pieces and unforgettable songs. There is also a three-disc vinyl set. Worth having if this is your kind of soundtrack.

Chris’s soundtrack corner have released the CD to Peccato Senza Malizia (aka Sins Without Intentions, 1975) which is a romantic drama by a similarly enigmatic albeit one-time filmmaker, Theo Campanelli. The film tells the story of Stefania, an 18-year old girl leaving her orphanage in Ascoli Piceno who moves in with her stepfather, a humble and simplistic fisherman. Seeing the girl as a wife and a lover rather than a daughter, the unnamed stepfather ignites an abusive relationship until Stefania escapes into a series of equally unhealthy situations. Music is by Italian Maestro Stelvio Cipriani, and belongs to the same genre of romantic dramas Cipriani was known for, where art plays an important part in the unfolding relationships. While the protagonist of Anonimo Veneziano is a musician who uses his craft to seduce his former wife again.

In Peccato Senza Malizia the composerattempts to achieve the same by drawing parallels between music and painting, where the composer’s music underlines the emotional changes just as well as the artwork that is presented on screen. His score is made up of two central themes, the first part of which is built around the main title theme. Cipriani uses an array of orchestral wizardry to showcase the emotive persona of the main heroine. But when Stefania meets her inspiring music teacher, Maurizio, a trumpet is used to suggest his masculinity, as the couple’s relationship blossoms the composer introduces his haunting love theme. This thematic entity takes its inspiration from Stefania’s innocence and is successful in showcasing the power of their romance. It is the first time that the score has been released and is a worthy addition to any soundtrack collection.

Peccato Senza Malizia | Stelvio CIPRIANI | CD (musicbox-records.com)

Another Cipriani score to get a release digitally is Mafia, una legge Che Non Perdona (1980), aka-The Iron Hand of the Mafia, which is released from the CAM archive via sugar music and distributed by Decca. This is a score that has not weathered the years well and is filled with disco and rock and roll orientated cues, or as I used to call them fillers, this is somewhat typical of Italian movies from the 1980,s composers scoring them with easy listening type cues rather than actually scoring them dramatically, the composers looking for a hit tune maybe?  No CD release of this one, which is not a bad thing as it’s a score that is rather uninspiring, which I am loathed to say as Cipriani was such a talented composer. In this case he just fills, with synth led compositions that are ….well rather limp. There are so many of these scores around, they look good but are not for me. Why not find something worthwhile like The Valachi Papers by Ortolani?  One saving grace is that the Cipriani is on on digital platforms so check it out before buying.

Last year Music Box Records released on CD and digital platforms the original soundtrack for the adventure comedy Jack Mimoun Et Les Secrets de Val Verde (Jack Mimoun and the Secrets of Val Verde, 2022)  which was composed by Mathieu Lamboley (Lupin, Minuscule 2 – Mandibles from Far Away) performed by the Orchestre National d’Île-de-France.

This is sumptuous and richly theme laden score in the style of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Two years after surviving alone on the hostile island of Val Verde, Jack Mimoun has become an adventure star. The mysterious Aurélie Diaz brings Jack unwittingly back to Val Verde to help in the search of the legendary sword of the pirate La Buse. His manager and an capricious mercenary embark on an treasure hunt through the jungle of the island of thousand dangers.

Sounds good to me, and the music certainly does, it’s a large-scale score fully symphonic (with a few electronic elements), contains amazingly rousing themes and adventurous and robust passages that entertain and delight. I missed this one, well worth a listen.

Also from last year is the delightful and charming music for the TV series Marie Antoinette, which is now showing on the BBC and on I Player.

Music is by Guillaume Roussel who has written a beguiling and captivating score for the eight-episode series, the score is available on the likes of Spotify and I employ you to go and listen and also catch the series if you can.

Regarding TV series lets go back just a few decades to the late 1950’s, 1958 to be precise and to 77 Sunset Strip, remember it? I do but it was a series that ran from 1958 through to 1964, so not sure when I first saw it, I recall for some reason it being on at around the same time as TV shows such as Peyton Place and Checkmate. 77 Sunset Strip, was essential viewing when I was a kid, and even now I recall the catchy theme which was basically the title of the show being sung over and over Punctuated by snapping fingers (shades of the Adams Family). I had a look at the credits for the music for the show and what an impressive line up of composers were involved William Lava, Jerry Fielding, Van Cleave, all contributed scores, as did a handful of others.

However, I could not find what was an original soundtrack recording I did find though a recording that I enjoyed by the Warren Barker Orchestra, which is on Spotify.

It contains a lot of jazz orientated cues, some leaning towards big band material at times, but more akin to the style of composers such as Neal Hefti, Lalo Schifrin, and Jerry Goldsmith, the album entitled just 77 Sunset Strip runs for around forty minutes and it’s a really entertaining listen and took me back to some less complicated days.

The compilation is a collection of original music from the series which is broken up here and there by orchestral arrangements of popular songs such as Lover Come Back To Me, and I Get a Kick out of You.  Check it out.

Another TV series which is more current and one that seems to be gaining even more popularity is the whodunnit Agatha Christie-esque Father Brown, which is based upon the short stories of author G K Chesterton. The series which is now in its tenth season began in 2013 and stars the excellent actor Mark Williams in the title role of the well-meaning sometimes meddling Catholic priest with a flair for detective work.  The BBC are screening season ten now in weekly instalments on Friday afternoons, and these are also available on the BBC I Player. It’s a simple yet addictive series which does not rely on FX or massive sets to deliver the goods. It’s just a straightforward (if murder mystery and detective work is ever straightforward) series, filmed in delightful English rural locations that whisks its audience off for around an hour or so into another world, to a time when maybe things were simpler.

The music plays an important role in the escapades of the Father and is composed by Debbie Wiseman OBE, as always the music that she has written is superb and supports the action on screen wonderfully, it punctuates and underlines each scenario whether it be a murder scene a comedic interlude or indeed a chase sequence. It has to it many styles and is I think one of the most varied TV scores around now. But still no soundtrack release, yes there is a four-minute suite of music on the Live at the Barbican album (2017) which is available digitally, and a 3three minute selection on you tube, but I was hoping by now that there would be something in the way of a compilation of sorts containing selections from the series.

The same can be said for another series that was screened by the Beeb in the early afternoon slot WPC 56, which was a great series and again scored by Wiseman but no soundtrack release.

Maybe the music for law enforcers Father Brown and WPC 56 might see the light of day on one CD in the future who knows?

Composer Will Bates has created an inventive score for Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches, with the cue The Witching Hour being available now on most digital platforms. It’s a beguiling but unsettling piece, for orchestra and choir that also includes a scattering of electronic effects.

Dog Gone is a Netflix movie which is based on the true story of a father and son who repair their fractured relationship during a forced hike of the Appalachian trail to find their beloved lost dog.

The attractive music is by Emily Bear, who provides the movie with a wonderfully rich and wholesome sounding score, in many ways I was reminded of the style of both James Horner and Bruce Broughton, which surely cannot be a bad thing. The soundtrack is out now on digital platforms.

David Fleming (South of Heaven) has scored three episodes of the up-and-coming nine episode HBO series The Last of Us, which will begin to air the third week in January. Gustavo Santaolalla has also worked on the series.  

Beautiful and haunting with touches of pure emotion and a wonderful sensitivity, is how I would describe Yoko Kanno’s music for The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House.

This is a score that one listens to and before you know it its time to return to the start again to sample over the lilting themes, comedic interludes and marvellously affecting and subtle compositions that frequent this work, which is one I recommend that you take a listen to, it is fifty-six minutes of delightfully delicate and fragile sounding themes. Available now on the likes of Spotify.

Who’s scoring what?

Composer Alan Williams is starting work on Ronin 3:Battle for Sangin which is  a three part documentary series about the United States Marine Unit in Afghanistan in 2010. The Presidents own Marine chamber orchestra premiered the composers concert suite Ronin 3: A Heroes Tribute in Washington DC in August of last year.  The concert suite features themes for the 3-part documentary series and will be used as part of the score for the documentary. The composer commented “There is nothing like having Marines perform the world premiere of music for a film about Marines”!

Maestro Dalibor Grubacevic (The Conversation) said,

“I’m currently working on a feature Croatian film called Hotel Pula. It is a drama set in the period of the 90s of the last century, and also two festival documentaries produced by Croatian national Television. The larger international project is still in the casting stage, so if everything goes well, filming is expected to begin in the fall. The only thing I can say is that it’s a movie set in WWII and it’s a war thriller.

Also, this March I expect the release of my music from the documentary film Rivers of Croatia which had its premiere on Arte television and on several other European television channels”.

Talented composer Herdis Stefansdottir has just finished work on Knock at the Cabin, a mystery horror directed by M. Night Shyamalan which will premiere on February 3rd.

The films tagline is Save your family or Save Humanity. Make the choice. And its tense storyline focuses upon a vacationing family who are taken hostage by armed strangers who demand that the family make a choice to avert the apocalypse.

Composer Andrew Scott Bell, has completed his score for the new horror movie Winnie the Pooh-Blood and Honey. The composer is now preparing music to be released on a compact disc, at this time no details of label are available but we will keep you informed over the coming weeks. However we do know that there will be a music streaming release and also a deluxe CD release. You may recall that there was a fair amount of Buzz over the movie back in the summer of last year when the first trailers were released. The composers score for the movie makes effective use of unusual instrumentation, as you will hear in the two tracks that are now available on you tube, listen out for the sound of the Beehiveolin.

Composer Philippe Jakko is currently scoring a USA/UK thriller starring Luke Evans named 5lbs of pressure directed by Phil Alocco, the score will be recorded in London and then edited in New York. The movie was filmed partly in NYC and Manchester in the UK.

After this the composer will move onto a French thriller series Les Espions de La Terreur which is directed by Rodolphe Tissot and will be filmed in France and Morocco.

Andrew Morgan Smith has scored the Nicolas Cage western The Old Way which is released now, and has also been working on the WWll horror film Bunker which will be in theatres on February 24th.

The composer is also currently working as a co-writer on Disney’s animated series The Owl House

Composer Gaute Storaas says that he is entering a busy year. I will be working on Jul med Astrid Lindgren (Lindgren Christmas hour) which is a series of new animation shorts from the Astrid Lindgren universe, with Qvisten Animation for Svt (state Swedish television).  And a feature film “Den første julen i Skomakergata” for Director Mikal Hovland, I seem to be stuck in christmas for a while, and there is also a TV miniseries, Harald og Sonja or in English The Commoner. Which is about the troubles the current Norwegian king had to go through to be able to marry a woman of the people”. 

Maximilien Mathevon told MMI . “I’m starting in the next weeks to work on a new documentary by Alban Vian, who directed Rollon, again it is a very interesting subject matter. Plaza Mayor is releasing next month my latest concept album: a very personal one, orchestral, well, using orchestral samples, dealing with the relationship with the loved one, it is entitled Near You. It’s like a kind of hymn to love, a very positive album in some not so positive times. It was a joy to compose”!  After hearing the album, I must say that it is certainly a beautiful work and look forward to the official release in February. (look out for the review coming soon).

Italian composer Kristian Sensini (All against All, Karma -Atonement, Hyde’s Secret Nightmare) has released an album of a rejected score entitled A Blurred Glass, the composer tells us it is a mix between a classical string quartet and electronic synths, mostly from the late seventies’ early eighties. And is available now digitally and on compact disc.

All the revenue from the sales of the Digital download and the CD will be donated to Emergency, a NGO who undertake several missions all over the world, one is to help Ukranian refugees. For more info on the project go to https://www. kristiansensini.com/ blurredglass/  This is a thoughtful and sensitive work, and one which will be helping with the current situation in Ukraine and in other locations throughout the world.  

Cyrille Marchesseau has been working on numerous projects including VR movies, dramas and an immersive theatrical project From Saint-Saens to rave party!

Massimo Sammi, tells us he has just finished working on the score for a memory loss drama Slant Streets which is about a Native American in Montana who loses his wife and memory in a car crash.  The composer said “I’m assembling a video for the title track featuring a Native American flute soloist and me on guitar and meanwhile I’m preparing the soundtrack album which will take around a month – I have to co-ordinate with the movie producers about it but we should be able to get it done. I’ll release the video 100% and the soundtrack I would say 80% I have to juggle things around but I’m optimistic”.

Brian Tyler returns to the supreme slasher Scream franchise in 2023, for Scream 6 and composer Stephen McKeon (The Pilgrimage, The Cellar) has written the score for Evil Dead Rise, which is a soon to be released American supernatural horror film written and directed by Lee Cronin. The film is the fifth instalment in the Evil Dead film series.

It stars Lily Sullivan, Alyssa Sutherland, Morgan Davies, Gabrielle Echols, and Nell Fisher and is directed by Lee Cronin. The story follows two estranged sisters trying to survive and save their family from demonic creatures.

John Koutselinis (Hostile Territory, Accident Man) is scoring a movie entitled Sunrise

The superhero movie is back with a bang in 2023 and looks as if it will continue further into 2024 as The Marvels will be at a cinema near you to kick off proceedings. Music smith Laura Karpman returns to scoring duties for this much anticipated sequel to Captain Marvel.

Transformers Rise of the Beasts is now completed, and composer Jongnic Bontemps (Berserk, United Skates) has written the score, the composer says.“Film music has to tell a story without words. Its job is to add depth and dimension to the images and words presented on screen. That’s what attracted me to the medium; the opportunity to express emotion with music alone”.

Composer Reber Clark said “I have just completed a movie for Joshua Kennedy entitled, Innsmouth School for Girls and am working on the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society’s “Purgatory Chasm”.

Maestro Marco Werba told MMI, “I am working on the music for the Indonesian/British thriller “Dig Me No Grave” directed by Ranjeet Marwa, the title song is performed by Italian singer Lanfranco Carnacina and was recorded in London in June last year it will be will be mixed in Rome on January 24th. I am also working on the music of the Spanish psychological drama/thriller “Hybris” by David Rubira, the title song for this project will be performed by Welsh soprano Ellen Williams and recorded in Rome in March 2023. The guitar solos of both film scores will be performed by Riccardo Rocchi”.

A number of composers who we all know are also creating new sounds and scores, but due to NDA’s with the film studios and filmmakers they are unable to discuss them, but these will be revealed when they are able to do so. 2023 is shaping up nicely to be a year of brilliant film music, and there are some wonderful soundtrack releases coming, which are from movies old and new. And that as they say is that….until next time.

JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT THAT YOU WERE SAFE FROM THE FESTIVE SEASON.

At last a remastered and expanded CD soundtrack release of acclaimed composer James Horner’s score to the Christmas period movie Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) which featured the amazing talents of Jim Carrey and was directed by Ron Howard. Composer James Horner’s orchestral score has been on the wish lists of many since the soundtrack was originally released to much disappointment amongst Horner devotees. The film which was based on the ever-popular classic short story and TV special, successfully managed to capture all of the elements portrayed in the timeless tale and subsequent TV production. Horner more than supported and enhanced the live action movie with his atmospheric and haunting musical score.  

The composer perfectly purveying the many changing moods of the central character as well as creating mischievous and melancholy interludes throughout. The score is a varied collection of emotive and impish sounds that thrill, beguile and enthrall. This La La Land release is remastered and expanded containing previously unreleased music and represents one of Horner’s most cherished and popular works for film. Produced by Neil S. Bulk and Mike Matessino, who also Mastered the recording from studio vault elements, this 3000 unit limited-edition CD release also features in-depth liner notes by acclaimed film music writer Jeff Bond and the classic art design by Jim Titus. Available now (November 1st.) from La La Land records. Click here for details.  www.lalalandrecords.com

The label will also release, “The Quinn Martin Collection Vol 4, 12 O Clock High
(2-CD SET)”
Music by Dominic Frontiere
Limited Edition of 2000 Units

SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW.

Soundtrack releases and up and coming releases of film music.

Kronos records have announced CD releases of three recordings that were previously only available on digital platforms, which for me is wonderful news as the more soundtracks that are released onto compact disc or even vinyl is only a good thing. For a few years now there have been several soundtracks that received digital releases only, which for collectors such as me who prefer to see physical recordings in their collection can be quite frustrating. But thanks to a handful of labels (to few now sadly) we are still seeing the CD release holding its head above water as it were, and with the resurgence of the popularity of the LP record things are on the up for old fogies like me.

So, when a label such as Kronos announces its new releases on CD and all have previously been available on digital platforms it does give hope to collectors of the physical format. And its encouraging too that the latest three releases from Kronos are all wonderful and atmospheric in their own unique way, which tells us that the art of film music too is alive and well. The three scores in question are Claret by ÓSCAR M LEANIZBARRUTIA, The Gravediggers Wife by ANDRE MATTHIAS and Suono Velati which is a compilation of music from documentaries as scored by MATTEO CREMOLINI. Each release is innovative and brilliantly thematic, with the individual composer flexing their creative muscles fashioning unique and affecting compositions. The Gravediggers Wife is I would say an interesting score because it is so subtle but still effective, the orchestration and instrumentation creating a sound and a style that is haunting. With some alluring guitar performances from Riccardo Rocchi.

Claret too is a wonderfully rich and spiritual sounding work which earned the composer much applause and recognition this year from the likes of IFMCA, and MMI. And Suono Velati the compilation of documentary music is just stunning.

All three are ready for pre order now from Kronos and should be released officially by September 2022. Reber Clark is a composer who I feel is somewhat overlooked, he has written so many great scores for both film, and radio, His House of the Gorgon particularly standing out as a homage to the music of both Hammer and AIP productions from yesteryear. His latest score is now available on Bandcamp and it is again a worthy addition to his ever growing canon.

Mystery Highway may only be a score of just three short cues, but the music is in my opinion superbly written and creates a mood that becomes uneasy and highly atmospheric, it is quite low key and subtle, but builds to a menacing and apprehensive peak. Again, I must remark that the music evokes the style of Jerry Goldsmith in places, its effectively bringing to fruition an unnerving and uncertain mood but also contains thematic qualities that are pleasing and rewarding. It’s a smouldering and slow burning work but hits all the right spots. Another great work from a composer who so deserves to be given a big box office production.

Other releases that are soon to be unleashed on the unsuspecting film music collecting community include Force to Fear by Matt Cannon, who has written an excellent synth based score that oozes an atmosphere of 1980’s retro, and is probably one of the best non symphonic scores to get a release this year thus far, this and Andrew Scott Bell’s amazing score for Psycho Storm Chaser are both available on Howlin’ Wolf records for order, the latter score is superbly rich and contains so many wonderfully affecting and gloriously thematic pieces throughout. Whilst you are ordering these two worthy soundtracks check out the abundance of excellence from the horror genre that are available at HWR. And bookmark their website as there are some very fine soundtracks in the works.

More Italian and American soundtracks receive a release and reissue from labels such as BEAT and Quartet. The scores for La Casa StregataMia Moglie e Una Strega are both available on one CD on BEAT,  music by Detto Mariano and a 50th Anniversary LP is now on sale from the label of the soundtrack for the Italian western They Still Call me Trinity, music by De Angelis.

THEY STILL CALL ME TRINITY.
Trinity Stand Tall vocal.

As is an LP release of Piero Piccioni soundtrack from Io e Caterina and the Maestro’s Inghilterra Nuda, is now available from Quartet records on both LP and CD.

The Spanish soundtrack label have also released Ernest Gold’s score for Sam Peckinpah’s gritty WWll drama Cross of Iron which is a welcomed re-issue.

Also released from Quartet is a pair of soundtracks on one disc from composer Alberto Baldan Bembo, L’Amica di mia Madre and Ecco Lingua d’ Argento is available now as is another Bembo score in which he collaborates with his sibling and fellow composer Dario, on Velluto Nero. Quartet have also released on LP record.

Scorpio and Bring me the Head of Alfredo Garcia in celebration of what would have been Jerry Fielding’s 100th Birthday. Also on LP from Quartet is Woody Allen’s Bananas, which has a score by Marvin Hamlish.

Going back to the BEAT label and mention should be made of Acqua e Sepone which is a delightful score by composer Fabio Liberatori and is available on CD, with ltd LP pressings also coming soon.

Cinevox is one of the oldest soundtrack labels in Italy alongside the likes of CAM, they have this month re-issued Ennio Morricone’s western score for Occhio Alla Penna, which is a parody of everything that Morricone created for the Italian western genre. We hear segments of his dollar films, slices of Death Rides a Horse and elements of his They Call me Nobody and The Genius, its an entertaining score with this release boasting 14 bonus tracks.


At the time of the film’s release (1981), Cinevox Records released a 33 rpm disc (MDF 33/145) containing 15 selections. The first CD reissue was only released in Germany in 1990 (Alhambra A 8916), but the sound of that edition left much to be desired as the 33 rpm master had deteriorated. It was not until 2007 when the specialist label Digitmovies printed an expanded CD (CDDM071) using the 1981 Session master tapes considered lost forever. The stereo elements were in perfect condition. For this new CD edition, Cinevox Record label, we were able to find a first-generation master assembled for the 33 rpm by Ennio Morricone himself. At the end of the album program alternate versions of the main themes are included. For the new edition of this score Cinevox discovered two totally unreleased tracks, which is a bonus for fans of Maestro Ennio Morricone and actor Bud Spencer.  

Chris’ Soundtrack Corner is a label that has released a whole bunch of wonderful Italian scores and sells other Italian and International soundtrack releases on their web site. They have recently released the CD soundtrack to José María Forqué’s La Donna Della Calda Terra. This,1978 film was produced off of the back of the popularity of erotic cinema which was prominent in the 1970s, which was led by those Sylvia Kristel Emanuele movies. And La Donna Della Calda is amongst the many imitators of the Emanuelle series. The sensual and sensitive sounding score is the work of the much-underrated Italian Maestro Carlo Savina. In which the composer utilises a very different approach from what we were accustomed to from him. This is a first time release for the score and available now.

KEOMA inst.

Chris’ Soundtrack Corner have also re-released on a gatefold presentation LP Keoma by De Angelis, they are saying it’s the first official release of the score, but this is not so, Hexachord released Keoma on CD and LP,  back in 1993/94, which was an official release, and this is a reissue of Chris’ Soundtrack corners 2020 LP issue, which was itself a re-issue of the Hexachord release, so nothing new here apart from the art work.

in front of my desperation vocal.

Dragons Domain will release The Ratings Game, featuring music composed by David Spear from the 1984 romantic comedy directed by Danny DeVito,

Written by Jim Mulholland and Michael Barrie, and starring Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Gerrit Graham, Barry Corbin, Basil Hoffman, Kevin McCarthy, Michael Richards, Ron Rifkin, Joe Santos and Vincent Schiavelli.

That’s it for now.