Scorekeeper's Smolderin' Potpourri Of Cool Film Music News And Bits And Things!!
Published at: Oct. 9, 2006, 10:28 p.m. CST by merrick
Greetings! ScoreKeeper here proliferating gobs of random film music snippets and tidbits. Over the past handful of weeks, I’ve been collecting information, reviews, and nuggets of news gathered from a variety of sources that don’t necessarily merit a full article but still deserve a share of the film music spotlight. Everything from mini-reviews to upcoming CD releases, film music events and even upcoming composer assignments has been assembled in a modest collage befitting both the casual and rabid fan of film music.
WHAT’S GOING ON?
HOT DATES YOU DON’T WANT TO STAND-UP
The 2006 Hollywood Reporter/Billboard Film & TV Music Conference (www.billboardevents.com) will take place in Los Angeles on November 14th-15th, 2006. Music industry veterans Melissa Etheridge and Terence Blanchard headline an array of film and TV music professionals speaking on a variety of panel discussions ranging from creating music for commercials and games, the director/composer relationship, networking, and the anatomy of a film. Sponsors of this year’s conference are ASCAP, APM, Berklee College of Music, BMI and SESAC.
For information on registration and group discounts, contact Erin Parker at (646) 654-4643. For sponsorship information, contact Karl Vontz at (415) 738-0745. For hotel information, contact The Beverly Hilton Hotel at (310) 274-7777.
The 2007 Park City Film Music Festival (www.parkcityfilmmusicfestival.com) is currently accepting submissions from filmmakers and film composers. Already in its fourth year, this annual festival is held in Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah, January 23rd-28th, 2007. This is the first film festival in the world to primarily recognize the contribution of composers and their music to film. Awards are given in the categories of Best Use of Music in a Full-Length Feature Film, Best Use of Music in a Documentary Film, and Best Use of Music in a Short Film.
WHAT’S COMING OUT?
NOTABLE CD RELEASE DATES
NACHO LIBRE by Danny Elfman (10.17.06) Lakeshore Records
THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (SPECIAL EDITION) by Danny Elfman (10.24.06) Disney Records
IDLEWILD by John Debney (10.31.06) Varése Sarabande
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS: THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS by Howard Shore (11.07.06) Reprise
THE GRUDGE 2 by Christopher Young (11.07.06) Varése Sarabande
CASINO ROYALE by David Arnold (and various artists) (11.14.06) Sony Records
THE FOUNTAIN by Clint Mansell (11.21.06) Nonesuch Records
CHARLOTTE’S WEB by Danny Elfman (12.05.06) Sony Classics
THE DEPARTED by Howard Shore (12.05.06) New Line Records (Available on iTunes 10.10.06)
LITTLE CHILDREN by Thomas Newman (Coming Soon) New Line Records
WHAT’S ON MY IPOD?
MINI-REVIEWS TO USE OR LOSE
THE ANT BULLY (2006) by John Debney - Even though I left the theater with the suspicion this film was about communists, that didn’t stand in the way of me adoring Debney’s contribution. He remains one of the most dedicated bastions of melody-centric scoring which THE ANT BULLY solidly confirms . His main theme hooked me so fervently I purchased the soundtrack a mere days later. I downloaded mine from iTunes although a CD is available through Varése Sarabande.
SYMPATHY FOR LADY VENGEANCE (2005) by Yeong-wook Jo, et. al - My affinity for Asian filmmaking and scoring continues to blossom with this strong effort from long-time Chan-wook Park collaborator Yeong-wook Jo. Not all the music in this film is original. A few of the signature selections were arranged from music by Vivaldi and Paganini and one of the main themes is even adapted from a traditional folk tune, however all are woven seamlessly into the same rich sonic tapestry. The use of harpsichord, pizzicato solo strings, and solo violin make this a stark, yet effectively evocative score.
AMAZING STORIES: ANTHOLOGY TWO (1985-87) by John Williams, et. al - What more can be said about one of the last hallowed representatives of multi-composer television scoring? Intrada has released this second two-disc anthology to follow the first two-disc set released earlier this year. Fans can continue the jubilee because a third two-disc set is on its way this winter. This set features mini-masterpieces by Jerry Goldsmith, Georges Delerue, Bruce Broughton, Craig Safan, and Thomas Newman to name a few.
BAMBI II (2006) by Bruce Broughton - Although I loathe Disney for sequelizing every title in their catalogue, I have to admit that the score for BAMBI II may be a rare gem plucked from the muck. Broughton has always produced quality work and it’s nice to hear that trend continue. There are only five cuts from the score on the CD so I took advantage of iTunes and just purchased the five Broughton cues leaving the remaining pop tunes behind.
SERENADA SCHIZOPHRANA (2006) by Danny Elfman - This non-film music work was composed by a film composer which ended up becoming a work in a film. Elfman’s first foray into composing concert pieces proved an interesting endeavor. Compositionally it’s a little phrenetic but I guess that was the intention. Unlike the concert works of other film composers such as John Williams or possibly Jerry Goldsmith, Elfman’s piece is still largely reminiscent of his film music. It is different for him but it doesn’t require a perspicacious ear to determine its author. What’s ironic is that this non-film music work ended up serving as score for the IMAX™ film DEEP SEA 3D (2006).
CARNIVÁLE (2003-05) by Jeff Beal - After becoming besotted with Jeff’s music for the HBO series ROME, I decided to further enrich my Beal collection by acquiring his music for the HBO series CARNIVÁLE, which I have yet to see an episode. The music is as every bit as impressive as his ROME scores are; lively, well-produced, and unpredictable with a slight ethnic edge to keep its angle sharp. So how’s the show?
GHOSTBUSTERS (1984) by Elmer Bernstein - If you don’t have this one yet you may have missed the boat. Varése Sarabande released this limited disc as part of their Soundtrack Club series back in March. The three-thousand copies they printed went fast and are now sold out. Copies are fetching steep prices on eBay these days but GHOSTBUSTERS is one of those scores that certainly merits the cash. I’ve wanted this score for decades. Now every single cue Bernstein wrote for the film, whether it was used or not, resides merrily on a disc on my shelf between THE GHOST AND THE DARKNESS (1996) and THE GHOSTS OF MISSISSIPPI (1996).
THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE BEGINNING (2006) by Steve Jablonsky - Remember in my Fantastic Fest recap I was raving about Lalo Schifrin’s score for ABOMINABLE and how refreshing it was to hear melody, harmony, and rhythm in a horror score? I pontificated about how annoyed I had been with noise and the ubiquitous bang. Well, this is one of the frequent scores I was referring to. It’s not horrible if you’re partial to long murmuring drones cadenced with ear-splitting whumps. I do, however, find myself revisiting this one memorable moment in the score where the low strings churn and belch their way through this grungy ostinato as Sheriff Hoyt begins his lubricious and wanton acts of criminality. But alas such a moment is fleeting.
THE BLACK CAULDRON (1985) by Elmer Bernstein - Another gem by the late great Mr. Bernstein. It’s been long out of print but newly made available on iTunes. A must download!
THE ILLUSIONIST (2006) by Philip Glass - Do you normally like Philip Glass? Then pick this one up. If not, it’s best to just leave it be. It’s not likely to convert any stout non-believers but for those enamored with Glass’ mesmerizing textures, you may find this string and woodwind laden score an above average addition to this famous minimalist composer’s filmography.
WHO’S THAT SCORE?
UPCOMING COMPOSER ASSIGNMENTS
Here’s a brief run down through the rank and file of Hollywood composers and their upcoming projects.
Mel Gibson himself said during Fantastic Fest that James Horner would be composing a non-Western, non-orchestral score utilizing indigenous instruments for APOCOLYPTO (2006). Tyler Bates mans his troops to record his score for 300 (2007) while convincing the world we need another HALLOWEEN (2007). ROCKY BALBOA (2006) is gonna fly now with veteran Rocky music-maker Bill Conti at the podium. Better wrap up that speech in twenty seconds or less!
Danny Elfman still has CHARLOTTE’S WEB (2006) coming out this Christmas with MEET THE ROBINSONS (2007) and THE INCREDIBLE HULK (2008) to follow shortly thereafter. Another composer with three pictures coming out soon is Christopher Young who has THE GRUDGE 2 (2006), GHOST RIDER (2007), and SPIDER-MAN 3 (2007) hitting theaters in the next year.
Film Music Radio(http://filmmusicworld.com/radio/index.php) is reporting that Joseph LoDuca is taking over scoring duties for THE MESSENGERS (2007). Christopher Young who was originally attached is no longer with the picture. LoDuca faithfuls Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert are producing while Hong Kong’s Pang Brothers direct.
While on the topic of replacement, Alan Silvestri has replaced John Ottman on the new Ben Stiller pic NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM (2006) while Ottman replaces Danny Elfman on THE VISITING (2007). After that, Ottman finally attacks a sequel with FANTASTIC FOUR AND THE SILVER SURFER (2007) which eventually will lead him to LOGAN’S RUN (2007).
John Powell dances with HAPPY FEET (2006) and runs towards THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM (2007) while Rachel Portman gets famous with INFAMOUS (2006). Marco Beltrami will score his way into oblivion with upcoming films including TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (2007), DIE HARD: RESET (2007), KNOWING (2008), THE INVISIBLE (2007)...Whew, I need to rest and catch my breath...CAPTIVITY (2006), HELLBOY 2: THE GOLDEN ARMY (2008), etc.
John Debney revisits God with EVAN ALMIGHTY (2007) just in time to get down and dirty in SIN CITY 2 and 3 (2007, 2008) while pounding heavy metal in IRON MAN (2008). With J.J. Abrams helming STAR TREK XI (2008), that can only mean his shadow, Michael Giacchino, will be there to score it. Everybody knows by now that Steve Jablonsky is scoring TRANSFORMERS (2007) and THE HITCHER (2007) but did you also know he’ll do FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 1 MILLION? Wait, make that FRIDAY THE 13TH PART XI (2007).
What would TOY STORY 3 (2008) be without Randy Newman? Good thing we won’t have to find out. What about the rest of the Newman clan? Well David is scoring Danny DeVito’s I MARRIED A WITCH (2007) while Thomas is finishing up LITTLE CHILDREN (2006), before starting on Steven Soderbergh’s THE GOOD GERMAN (2006).
That’s about it for this round. It’s far from being comprehensive and of course the film music world changes quick as a hiccup. Hopefully it’s a viable kick-start to whet your appetite for what’s to come. I’ve got more articles, reviews and of course some great composer interviews coming in the approaching weeks.