Tag Archives: Frederik Wiedmann



Based on a true events that took place during the American Civil War, FIELD OF LOST SHOES tells the story of the Battle of New Market which took place in the May of 1864 and all of the elements and also the events that led to this battle and the story of a group of teenage military cadets that had been sheltered from the reality of war at the Virginia Military Institute who suddenly found themselves thrown headlong into the frontline of battle having to confront the horrors of an adult world when they are called upon to defend the Shenandoah Valley against the might and ruthlessness of the forces of Abraham Lincoln under the leadership of Ulysses S. Grant. The Union Forces commander in Chief acts swiftly and mercilessly against the rebel army of the Confederacy and attacks the Shenandoah Valley which is an essential area for the South’s survival. The superintendent of the Military institute takes a decision to volunteer his cadets in the hope that they will be able to make a difference in the defence of the Valley. 274 children marched north towards the battle area and emerged from the chaos and terror of conflict as men. The musical score for this motion picture is the work of highly talented and noteworthy composer Frederik Wiedmann. I have always said that this composer is one that is capable of creating music for any genre of film and with his score for FIELD OF LOST SHOES he establishes himself further as a film music Maestro that I know will be around for many years to come and will produce scores of high quality and also works that will not just serve the movies they are intended to enhance but will also give us music that is memorable, melodic and original. In my opinion Wiedmann writes like old school composers used to and he approaches his projects in a very similar fashion also, of course at times he does enlist the aid of synthetic support but his bold and strident symphonic approach works marvellously. He creates real themes and develops these as the score progresses which in my very humble opinion is what good film music is all about. The score for THE FIELD OF LOST SHOES is a heroic one that is laden with melancholy and has within it an ever present atmosphere of drama which is laced and underlined with an aura of hope that also purveys a certain air of despair at key points within the score. The composer utilises a light and delicate approach on a number of the cues his graceful writing creating fragile sounding nuances that are subtle but at the same time affecting. In a handful of the cues I was reminded of the style of a young James Horner, the music being filled with melody and passion but also containing powerful undertones that delight and tantalise.


Although the film deals with the subject matter of war and conflict the composer I think has scored the movie in such a way that he does not over use the martial music card and underlines and supports the more human and personal side of the story of course there are a certain amount of cues that contain a more action led style as in track number 22, SEND THE BOYS IN, where driving strings are embellished and punctuated by percussion and a slight use of brass, it is however the swirling strings and the booming percussive elements that push the music forward the horns giving the cue added drive and also picking out the brave and patriotic sounding theme with additional support coming from choir. This is a style and sound that is returned to in track number 23, STORMING THE HILL choir again giving support to the brass and string sections and percussion bringing those elements of the orchestra together in a commanding and exhilarating composition. The mood for track number 24, AFTERMATH is very different, it is an adagio for strings of sorts with emotive swelling strings purveying a sense of sadness and relaying feelings of loss, but the mood changes to become hopeful again as the theme develops and builds with strings almost soaring towards it conclusion, but then melting away to give the theme to a plaintive and poignant sounding piano solo. This theme is given an even greater emotive content and sound within the next cue A SOLDIERS HEART with choir adding their presence and a solo trumpet taking the theme giving it a heartbreaking ambience. The final cue on the compact disc THE FIELD OF LOST SHOES is a highly emotional sounding piece in which the composer employs solo female voice and strings that are bolstered and underlined by choir subdued percussion and brass with a rich and warm sounding performance from the string section enhanced by choir which builds into a crescendo that then gives way to a solo violin performance that is underlined by low strings that brings the cue to its end. This is a score that I recommend highly, I enjoyed it enormously and I know you will also. Released on the ever industrious LA LA LAND RECORDS.

La-La Land Records (LLLCD 1323)



Composer Frederik Wiedmann is I believe one of the most versatile and talented music smiths working in film today, he is able to turn his hand and alter his music style to most genres and on each outing produces something that is not only wonderful with the images on screen but also gives us music that we can enjoy away from the images. SON OF BATMAN is an animated feature from DC UNIVERSE. Released on La La Land records who seem to have established themselves as the label for these types of scores, the score is a driving and exciting one which is filled with moments of high drama and passages and sections that verge on the operatic. A dark score that posses riveting and foreboding themes and sub themes with rich symphonic performances being embellished and supported by a sprinkling of electronics, Wiedmann getting the balance just right between symphonic and synthetic and creating a soundtrack that is filled with a brooding and apprehensive atmosphere. Urgent brasses and swirling strings underline the action scenes and the composer also treats us to some low key moments within the scores running time that are melodic and subdued, it is without a doubt a soundtrack that once heard will be returned to many times. Do not hesitate to add this one to your collection.

Frederik Wiedmann

weidmanIn recent years many of the veteran film music composers such as Jerry Goldsmith, Alex North, Henry Mancini and their like have passed away, many collectors and film music enthusiasts have felt that their passing has left a void within the film music fraternity that will never be filled. However with young talented composers such as Frederik Wiedmann coming into play, we still have hope of returning to film scores that have substance, atmosphere and presence.

John Mansell: Your latest score to be released onto CD is THE HILLS RUN RED, how did you become involved on this project?
Frederik Wiedmann: A few people from the crew of RETURN TO HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL (Dark Castle Ent.) worked on THE HILLS RUN RED – so they called me to meet with director Dave Parker. I showed Dave some of my music and we discussed what would be most effective in his film. Shortly afterwards I started scoring it – which took about 3 months.

John Mansell: You utilised the Czech film music orchestra on the score for THE HILLS RUN RED, was this something that you wanted to do, or was it for budget reasons etc?
Frederik Wiedmann: It was budgetary reasons that I had to record in Eastern Europe. I have worked with the Czech Philharmonics many times before, always had a great experience with them. The orchestra performs at a very high musical level, and I am always happy with the result. Their in-house engineer, Milan Jilek, is a pro, and knows how to achieve the sound I am going for. Plus having great orchestrations to begin with (created by Hyesu Yang), helps get the best results in Prague.

John Mansell: When you start work on a project, how early in the proceedings do you like to become involved. Is it helpful for you to see a script, or do you prefer to get onboard at the rough cut stage of the process?
Frederik Wiedmann: Usually I get really involved with writing music at the “rough cut” stage. Although it happened on a few occasions that I was given a script way in advance, which helps me to prepare for the project, meaning I have a lot of time to create new sounds that will be unique to the film. In some cases there are certain on-camera music situations that need to be dealt with way before they even start shooting, in which case I am actually writing before the shoot.

John Mansell: What composers would you say have influenced you in your style and approach to scoring movies?
Frederik Wiedmann: I would say that my biggest influence has been composer John Frizzell. I used to be his tech assistant a few years ago and worked on over 20 pictures for him. I’ve learned a lot about the process of scoring feature films, as well as the technical side of music production, which has become a great asset of mine.
There are many other composers that I admire for their music, probably too many to list here in this interview.

John Mansell: You were responsible for additional music on WHITEOUT, was this because the producer/director felt more music was required after the main score had been recorded?
Frederik Wiedmann: No. The reason for the “additional” music credit was merely the amount of music we had to produce, record, mix etc in a short period of time. I was really brought in to help out where I could. It was a rather complex score, with lots of percussion and synth elements that needed a lot of attention.

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 The Hills Run Red Scoring Session, Prague 2009 – Jan Chalupecky conducting the Czech Film Orchestra.

John Mansell: When did you first think about writing music for film?
Frederik Wiedmann: I believe the score that made me aware of this profession was John Barry’s DANCES WITH WOLVES. I went to see the film back in Germany when I was 12 years old, and fell in love with the music. It was also the first soundtrack I ever owned. However, at that time I didn’t really know much about scoring films, so I really started to consider it as a career when I met composer Nik Reich in Germany. He showed me how he worked and it completely blew my mind, and it was very clear to me that it was what I wanted to do.

John Mansell: Where and when were you born ?
Frederik Wiedmann: I was born in 1981 in Stuttgart, Germany.

John Mansell: Were any of your family musical in any way?
Frederik Wiedmann: Well, my sister, Katrin Wiedmann is a professional singer-songwriter in Germany. If we got any influence from the previous generation in my family, it should be my parents. My father is an orthopaedic surgeon and my mother is a teacher at the Gymnasium. However my parents love classical music and listen to it all the time. My dad even plays classical piano as his hobby. Besides that, I think I grew up listening to a lot of Brahms and Mozart.

John Mansell: What musical education did you receive?
Frederik Wiedmann: I played the violin from age 6 to 14, then switched to Jazz Guitar. My guitar teacher Hans Hazoth taught me not only about playing guitar, but also showed me the depth of music theory, which opened my eyes (and ears) in a completely new way. That’s when I started to compose a lot, while still in high school. After graduation I moved to Boston, Mass., and attended Berkley College of Music, where I graduated as a film scoring major in ‘05.

John Mansell: When working on a score, how do you work out your musical ideas, do you use a synth/computer? Or do you stay with the more conventional piano and manuscript process?
Frederik Wiedmann: I write, produce and mix in Logic 9 Studio. There are very few occasions where I work out a theme on a piano or manuscript paper. It happens mostly in my computer. Everything has to be mocked up eventually these days, and I get more inspired if I have all the instruments at my finger tips, as opposed to just a piano.

John Mansell: How many times do you like to watch a film, before getting any ideas about where music is best placed, and what type of music you will compose?
Frederik Wiedmann: I’d say on average I watch the film once by myself, take notes on things that I feel while watching it for the first time. Then I like to watch it with the director, or producer (whoever will be directing me), and hear their thoughts. Then I watch it again on my own, with both ideas written out, and I can usually start the scoring process from there.

John Mansell: What do you think about the temp track process, by this I mean do you find a temp track helpful, or maybe off putting?
Frederik Wiedmann: More often than not, I find it helpful. In most cases I am not given a lot of time to complete my scores, and usually my movies require a lot of music (70 – 80 minutes). It is good to have a starting point, that everyone (producers, directors etc.) agrees with. In rare cases, you can end up shooting in the dark too many times to find the right “tone” for a film, which takes away a lot of time of the actual scoring process.

John Mansell: What are you working on at the moment?
Frederik Wiedmann: I am working on Robert Lee King’s (PSYCHO BEACH PARTY) latest comedy, called 818. We are still in the final stages of the scoring process, but a large chunk of it has already been recorded, featuring vocalists and primarily guitars.
Another film that we j.ust completed is called CYRUS, starring Halloween’s Danielle Harris, Lance Henriksen and Brian Krause. This one is a dark thriller, about a serial killer/cannibal somewhere in the mid-west. This score features western/country instruments like Dobros, Fiddle, and Acoustic Guitars.

John Mansell: When a score of yours is released onto compact disc, do you have any input into what tracks are to go onto the disc?
Frederik Wiedmann: In most cases I make the selection and the edits for a soundtrack. On THE HILLS RUN RED I chose the tracks together with director Dave Parker. He was very involved in the score creation and like me; he wanted the soundtrack to be as interesting as it can possibly be. You can thank him for the great titles of the soundtrack.

John Mansell: What do think of the state of film music at this moment in time?
Frederik Wiedmann: These days I feel that more and more people realize the importance of film music. There’s also a rising number of universities offering film scoring courses, in the past few years there have been many new film music festivals in many different countries, as well as film music concerts. I am really glad to see all this happening. I feel grateful to be a part of this industry.
weidman 3John Mansell: What do you think is the purpose of music in film?
Frederik Wiedmann: I believe the music in a film has to help tell the story. The musical underscore should never feel self-important, and should only express what’s necessary to emphasize the emotions of the story.

John Mansell: Do you conduct at all?
Frederik Wiedmann: I have conducted in the past, I do however prefer to sit in the booth and produce the score from there. Then I can really focus on everything that is important to me. While conducting I am mostly too focused on things that won’t help me create the best score possible.

John Mansell: What do you do musically away from film?
Frederik Wiedmann: There are many other media, besides film, that require music, and I was lucky enough to be a part of that industry as well, such as website sound design, commercials etc.

Many thanks to the composer, for his time and also his patience