Tag Archives: William Ross


The series on Disney + Obi Wan Kenobi has now finished but there is talk of a season two, which I look forward to. The soundtrack for the series was released on digital platforms this week, and it is probably one of the best scores for a TV series that I have heard in a while, with composers such as John Willliams, William Ross and Natalie Holt involved how can it be anything but excellent. Disney Plus have aired so many great shows in the past few years, Moon Knight, The Book of Boba Fett, Just Beyond, Wanda Vision, and so many more, and what has been impressive is not just the series themselves but the quality of the musical scores, with big name composers stepping up to create so many wonderful soundtracks. Gone are the days when music for TV series were looked down upon by film music collectors, its no longer a second-class form of the art of composing for the moving image.

Obi Wan Kenobi, is a truly great series and the music by all three composers involved adds so much to the action and storyline unfolding on screen. John Williams majestic and romantically laced theme for the series evokes the sound that he created for the original Star Wars movies back in the 1970’s and 1980’s,

Natalie Holt who is I suppose a relative newcomer compared with both Williams and Ross, provides the series with a tantalizing and powerful score that underlines, punctuates and drives the storyline and enhances the many characters that we are introduced to. Her contribution to the series is wonderfully effective and it is her who also provides the lions share of the music for the production.

Her music echoes the Williams scores from back in the day plus she adds her own individual style and sound to the proceedings, purveying dark and fearsome colours but also at the same time creating emotive, haunting, and romantic moods throughout, as in Inquisitors Hunt, Young Leia, Days of Alderaan the latter cue being affecting and deeply melodious. with the composer utilising the theme in the track Nari’s Shadow.

William Ross is a seasoned composer and conductor and has contributed a handful of cues for the series, The Journey Begins, First Rescue, Some things cant be Forgotten, Saying Goodbye and End Titles among these. I was surprised at the richness and the continuity of the music in the score, three composers but the sound achieved being in tune with each one’s ideas and thematic sound.

This is a triumph of a score, a commanding and emotional soundtrack, and one that I know you will love as soon as you hear it.   

50 TO 1.



William Ross is a composer who has scored numerous movies and has always in my opinion produced scores that serve the picture well, he  also manages on each outing to give film music collectors a tuneful and pleasurable listening experience even if the music is played without the images that it was intended to originally enhance. His latest scoring assignment 50 TO 1 also falls into this category, working wonderfully within the context of the movie but also standing up on its own as music that is exciting, enjoyable and exhilarating.  Based on true events 50 to 1 tells the story of a racehorse named MINE THAT BIRD and the animals stunning and almost unbelievable comeback and win at the 2009,Kentucky derby. I say almost unbelievable because the story is simply that, it’s a heart warming tale of an animals triumph over adversity and against all the odds a story of an animal that comes through and touches everyone’s emotions, as composer Ross comments in the sleeve notes for the compact disc release, “If it’s true that we tend to root for the underdog, then the story of Mine That Bird is one for the ages”. Ross has written a score that encompasses a number of styles and these styles accompany the many differing characters or classes of characters that are in the movie, it takes the listener to the depths of despondency and underlines the feelings of disappointment felt by the horses owners when all seems lost and hopeless, then the score steps up a gear and enhances perfectly the determination of the animal and the pride and elation felt by the people who put their faith in him. As with the majority of films that are within the same collective as 50 TO 1, i.e. SEA BISCUIT, PHAR LAP and to a degree CHAMPIONS, music has a major role to play, and composer William Ross certainly delivers in all departments with this score, bright and triumphant brass flourishes are combined with strident and swelling string crescendos to highlight Mine that Bird and his unrelenting determination to come through, it is a score that will I know bring a tear to the eye of many who listen to it. It is filled with emotion, pride and has at its conclusion an almost joyous and thankful atmosphere a kind of “We Did It” feel and sound. The score opens with the track, TEN YEARS LATER, a tuneful and rambling guitar acts as a background to a harmonica solo that is laid back and slightly blues orientated, this is supported by a sprinkling of piano and further use of guitar, making this a pleasing and easy going opening to the compact disc. Track number 3, RIDING TO THE RANCH is an upbeat affair for a rock slanted guitar solo and percussion, and although short lived this is a foot tapping and entertaining piece. Track number 4, MEETING BIRD has a slightly comedic edge to it, slide guitar and fiddle combining to create a kind of ho-down atmosphere.



William Ross.


Track number 5, A MUST SEE HORSE, is a slightly apprehensive sounding cue, strings being the backbone of the composition that give it a homely and warm feel. In track number 6, THE BREEDERS CUP, Ross introduces a more fully symphonic mood and enlists the strings once again to open the cue, these stridently carry the piece forward but soon melt away to segue into a more low key less driving composition that is guarded and subdued. Track 8, is another mischievous piece BIRD PLAYS, opens with wailing but harmonious harmonica and introduces a square dance composition that has infectious and entertaining properties. If I had to draw comparisons between this soundtrack and others, I would say that 50 TO 1 has the grittiness and intimacy of ALL THE PRETTY HORSES, the mesmerizing values of THE NATURAL, the drive and get up and go of HOOSIERS and the melodic heart of  LEGENDS OF THE FALL. Tracks 17 and 18 for me are the highlights of the score and bring it to its triumphant and highly emotional conclusion, PRELUDE TO THE RACE and  THE RACE AND EPILOGUE seem to melt into one and give us a near 11 minute piece that is filled with driving strings ominous sounding brass and thundering percussion, the final cue gradually building as it underlines Mine that Bird at first struggling in the derby, but slowly but surely becoming stronger and eventually heading to the front of the field, the composers music accompanying the horse as he powers on to win the race and assuring a place in history. I cannot recommend this soundtrack highly enough, a beautiful score once again from Mr Ross. Released on momentum as a promo, this is the labels first release and I hope it will not be their last, well packaged in a digi- pack, with interesting sleeve notes courtesy of Tim Greiving and contributions from director producer Jim Wilson and composer William Ross.





Steel_magnolias_(2012)If like me you have been collecting soundtracks for a few years now (50 years), then when you here the title STEEL MAGNOLIAS you straight away think of composer Georges Delerue who penned a gracious and highly melodic score for the original movie. This latest version of the story is a made for TV movie which will air on the Lifetime channel on November 4th in the U.K. It is a contemporary reworking of the now classic tearjerker, directed by Kenny Leon and stars among others, Queen Latifah, Alfre Woodard and Phylicia Rashad, it tells the story of six outstanding and remarkable American Southern States women who support each other and are there for each other through what ever life throws at them, this truly moving romantic drama also stars Jill Scott, Condola Rashad and Adepero Oduyem. The music for this movie is the work of composer William Ross, now here is a composer who has worked steadily over the years and during this time has produced some wonderful scores for both cinema and television. STEEL MAGNOLIAS is certainly no exception to this rule, it is a highly emotive work that has many delicate and pleasing nuances that seem to start out as small but attractive pieces and then flourish and grow into even more beautiful and melodious themes that captivate as well as entertain the listener. The composer puts to effective use solo piano and supports this with strings that are lush, romantic, melancholy and comedic (when pizzicato is used) in their sound and style, he also makes effective use of little woodwind touches that further enhance and embellish the proceedings, and also includes woodwind as main instrumentation on a few of the cues. It is difficult to put Delerue’s score out of ones head, but I assure you if you can you are in for a wonderful listening treat. The compact disc opens with THE MAIN TITLE, this begins with solo piano that is underlined by plucked bass’s which punctuate and add depth to the theme that is being introduced by the piano, piano fades away as do the plucked bass‘s and are replaced by low strings that them selves act as a background to at first a fairly low key motif performed by woodwind, this acts as an introduction to the piano which re-emerges into the composition. Little woodwind flourishes are added as the track progress’s and although fairly brief it engages the listener and creates an atmosphere that is calming and faintly intriguing. Jumping forward in the track listings to cue number 5, SHELBY AND M’LYNN’S FAREWELL, strings introduce the cue slowly, as piano begins to pick out the 4 note central melody which is also slow but touching and poignant, strings then work their way back into the cue and lift the piece slightly in tempo and also make it much lighter and happier sounding. This is rather short lived as an air of sadness seems to return with piano once again taking centre stage supported by subdued strings.
In many ways I was reminded of Ennio Morricone’s central theme from LOVE AFFAIR with this cue and in fact there are a number of moments within the score when one could be forgiven for think that we were listening to Morricone. Ross uses the strings and also the woodwind in a similar fashion and whilst these are acting as a background the piano is performing a simple theme that just tugs at the heart strings and steals the show as it were. The core theme for the soundtrack can be heard throughout the work and it weaves its way in and out of various tracks creating this calming but at the same time pleasing and highly emotive atmosphere. Most of the tracks on the release are fairly short although there are a couple Track 15, SHELBY’S COLLAPSE which runs for over 8 mins, and is a musical exercise in how to create pure emotion, strings again along with piano and woodwind create a touching and affecting piece. Also there is, NEVER BE SORRY which is the final track on the disc which runs for just over 4 mins and is a fitting finale to the soundtrack, the composer giving more work to the woodwind within this cue. I suppose it is unfair to compare this score with the Delerue work but lets just say, this soundtrack by William Ross certainly holds its own and also has within it some beautiful themes and elegant tone poems that will I know melt a few hearts and bring a tear to a few eyes also.

The Mighty Macs

The Mighty Macs
The Mighty Macs

Movies about sport have often inspired composers to create great musical moments. The majority of these have not only enhanced the films they were written for but in have sometimes had a life of their own away from any images on screen. In most cases the scores within this category, whether based on fictional or true events, are upbeat, anthem-like and full of energy and vitality. But many have yielded a wealth of more intimate and emotional thematic material. One only has to listen to past triumphs where the subject matter of sport in a film has been given a crescendo-filled score, as in Goldsmith’s high octane but at the same time poignant and hopeful sounding HOOSIERS (aka BEST SHOT) and Randy Newman’s highly acclaimed, stunning soundtrack for THE NATURAL and Bill Conti’s uplifting and infectious music for the ROCKY films, which have become film music classics. Continue reading The Mighty Macs