Music

Michael Wandmacher scores Selene’s fight in the UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS – Interview

UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS soundtrack | ©2017 Lakeshore Records

Masked maniacs, ferocious fish, unhinged vigilantes and a wheelman from hell. Reading a list of Michael Wandmacher’s prolific credits feels like a particularly crazed membership drive for The Suicide Squad, a rogue’s gallery that he’s taken out for a spin with a distinctively energetic ability for pounding action where a metal attitude often hits the pedal. Starting his career in the rhythmic company of Jackie Chan with the English version scores for ARMOR OF GOD, TWIN DRAGONS and ONCE A COP. Wandmacher has brought his passion to CRY_ WOLF, THE KILLING FLOOR, MY BLOODY VALENTINE, PIRANHA 3-D, THE LAST EXORCISM:PART II  and PUNISHER: WAR […]Read On »

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Composer Fernando Velazquez hears fear and emotion when A MONSTER CALLS – Interview

A MONSTER CALLS soundtrack | ©2016 Back Lot Music and Quartet Records

  Death and transfiguration are two themes that have often accompa-nied the scores of Fernando Velazquez. Powerfully embodying a new generation of orchestrally rich Spanish composers to steadily take root in Hollywood, Velazquez rose from numerous shorts in his na-tive country to impress Hollywood with his lush, alternately creeping and raging sense of old school melody for DEVIL, MAMA singing with a romantic sense of aristocratic doom for CRIMSON PEAK and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES. A particularly resonant ferryman for Velazquez when coming to grips with the inevitable, as well as the potential radiant light afterwards, is filmmaker J.A. Bayona. […]Read On »

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THE BEST SCORES OF 2016 – Part Two – The Runners Up and Composers to Watch

SWISS ARMY MAN soundtrack | ©2016 Lakeshore Records

The Runners-Up and Composers to Watch of 2016 The Runners-Up CAPTAIN FANTASTIC  (Alex Somers / Lakeshore) More proof that those in touch with Iceland’s musical spirit animal are blessed with an ability to capture profound emotion through unusual means, American-born Alex Somers’ work with the band Sigur Ros (and its essential continuation with its bandmate as Jonsi and Alex) now yields a score of singular spirituality as Somers tracks a family of ultra liberals who’ve have truly gone off society’s reservation. His soundtrack’s beautifully ethereal melodies are a unique mix of alt. rock sampling, angelic choruses, Native American winds, accordion […]Read On »

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THE BEST SCORES OF 2016 – Part One

ARRIVAL soundtrack | ©2016 Deutsche Grammophon

THE BEST SCORES OF 2016 ARRIVAL  (Johann Johannsson / Deutsche Grammophon) An Icelander whose intensely psychological, yet still melodically accessible modernist scores like PRISONERS and SICARIO speak in alien languages of subsonic strings and nerve-chilling brass at last gets his actual close encounter as he translates the Rorschach Test language of obelisk / monolith dwelling inter-dimensional deities here. Johannsson brilliantly captures both a sense of wonder and fear with beholding the mind-boggling, verbally-scrambled unknown as whale cry motifs join with alternately moaning and chattering voices, backed by a strong orchestral sound that serves as a powerful universal musical translator in a way that’s […]Read On »

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Interview: Composer Lesley Barber visits MANCHESTER BY THE SEA

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA soundtrack| ©2016 Milan Records

Flowing with melodic grace from classical to electronic music, Canadian-born composer Lesley Barber is often an inward traveler when it comes to her character portraits. Amongst her numerous, and eclectically-styled scores, Barber has played the music of a woman trying to break out of WHEN NIGHT FALLS, found the inner courage within the Hebraic rhythms of a Hasidic wife discovering that she has A PRICE ABOVE RUBIES, or discovering the intoxicating darkness within a potential girls school while suspensefully reading THE MOTH DIARIES. Given Lesley Barber’s unique way of playing relationships, perhaps her most rewarding, if too long apart collaboration is with writer-director Kenneth […]Read On »

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MOONLIGHT: Composer Nicholas Britell gets classically serious in the down low hood – Interview

In a tough urban environment, being loud and proud is something reserved for the macho occupations of drug dealing and gangsterism, certainly not in the far more vulnerable act of proclaiming oneself as gay. It’s a contrast that marks both filmmaker Barry Jenkins’ artistically subtle approach to MOONLIGHT, and his composer Nicholas Britell’s classically ethereal score. As divided into three “chapters,” Jenkins paints the quiet coming of age of Chiron, the seemingly meek son of a crack addicted mother who falls under the foster fatherhood of the sympathetic dealer Juan (Mahershala Ali, currently impressing as the far more villainous crime kingpin […]Read On »

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THE ACCOUNTANT: Composer Mark Isham plays a unique set of action skills – Interview

THE ACCOUNTANT composer Mark Isham | ©2016 Mark Isham

  One might expect composer Mark Isham to have had a tender musical upbringing that resulted in a soft-spoken composer who carried a powerfully blown trumpet. No doubt he was given some very different life choices than Chris – a highly functioning autistic youth with a natural gift for math and an equally big bullying target on his back, one that makes his military dad train Chris and brother in the killer skills that mature a budding genius into “The Accountant’s” cross between Rain Man and The Punisher. Certainly one of the crazier Hollywood films to give socially challenged characters […]Read On »

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SULLY: Musicians Christian Jacob and Tierney Sutton bring soulful jazz to new Clint Eastwood film

SULLY soundtrack | ©2016 Varese Sarabande Records

Catastrophe and American heroism have long been passengers together in Hollywood, as square-jawed, macho men save the chosen few with the aid of scores as fiery as their commanding voices. But sometimes real life miraculously allows everyone involved in a disaster to not only survive, but to become a movie whose savior is as resonantly soft-spoken as his score. Such is the astonishing case to be seen, and heard in filmmaker Clint Eastwood’s gripping, and moving dramatization of “The Miracle on the Hudson,” when white-haired pilot Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger somehow managed to land U.S. Airway Flight 1549 in New York […]Read On »

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Alex Somers scores a mystical trip with CAPTAIN FANTASTIC – Interview

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC soundtrack | ©2016 Lakeshore Records

If an alt. rock band has captured a spirit of ethereal, Earth mother transcendence, then the gentle, drifting melodies and angelic voice of Iceland’s Sigur Ros could be considered the equivalent of one-ness with the woods. Two vital parts of a sound that’s drawn a cult-like following around the world are Alex Somers and Jón “Jónsi” Þór Birgisson, otherwise known as the band Jónsi and Alex. Having met when both were students at Berklee’s College of Music, the home of so many composers to be, Somers would travel to lifemate Birgisson’s frost-covered home, creating art and albums that were as […]Read On »

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SAUSAGE PARTY composer Christopher Lennertz creates beautiful music for filthy edibles – Interview

SAUSAGE PARTY soundtrack | ©2014 Madison Gate Records

In person or conducting, Christopher Lennertz has a boyishly enthusiastic personality that could easily make you imagine he was a member of The Goonies just a few decades before. So it’s no surprise that he’s becoming a go-to composer for funny animal kids’ movies are increasingly playing a part on a diverse resume with the likes of ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS, HOP, MARMADUKE and CATS & DOGS: THE REVENGE OF KITTY GALORE.  It’s a merry melody orchestral style that sings with colorful brightness and adventure. Yet in R-rating land, Lennertz is having just as much fun getting down and dirty for […]Read On »

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