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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CD Reviews: 3:10 TO YUMA and THE GUNMAN soundtracks

3:10 TO YUMA soundtrack | ©2015 La La Land Records

With the NRA-approved likes of TERMINATOR 3, LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD and MESRINE: PUBLIC ENEMY #1, Marco Beltrami has shown his certain set of skills when it comes to using firearms, at least musically when it comes to a soft-spoken composer whose scores often make particularly loud bangs – no more so then with a fully loaded re-issue of his ode to spaghetti westerns, or his recent score that effectively turns the similarly circumspect Sean Penn into a weapon-blazing action hero. When hearing how Beltrami created a unique, and gnarly sound for James Mangold’s mighty good 2007 reboot of […]Read On »

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CD Review: 1864 and ALLIES soundtracks

ALLIES soundtrack | ©2015 Movie Score Media

Movie Score Media’s quality releases continue to be not only a major source for discovering new composers whose attendant projects barely hit U.S. shores, but also a great way to hear relatively obscure foreign soundtracks done by sometimes eminent American musicians – in both notable cases here performed in the key of war. Early on in Marco Beltrami’s career, the composer wrote one of his most interesting psycho-killer scores for a deranged female cellist, albeit in the guise of a period costume drama for Norwegian director Ole Bornedal’s 2002 thriller I AM DINA. Now Beltrami reteams with him for a […]Read On »

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The Year in Review: The Best Scores of 2014

Marco Beltrami and the SNOWPIERCER soundtrack | ©2014 Varese Sarabande Records

THE BEST SCORES OF 2014 AUTOMATA (Zacarias M. de la Riva / Movie Score Media) Scores like A.I. and I, ROBOT have portrayed automatons as having infinitely more soul than their human creators, a purity of electronic spirit that makes them closer to God than any flesh and blood creation. No score has religiously captured that spiritual ghost in the machine with the beautiful, beatific quality of Zacarias M. de la Riva, whose transcendent use of the chorus, and the anguished, spare strings of homo sapien despair merge for a moving requiem to the human race, while signaling the birth […]Read On »

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Interview: SNOWPIERCER composer MARCO BELTRAMI is on the right sound-track

SNOWPIERCER | ©2014 The Weinstein Company

Among the genre-centric composers who’ve carried on the torch from Jerry Goldsmith, few stand out for blazingly inventive sci-fi and horror scores like the maestro’s USC protégé Marco Beltrami. Just as his mentor used his memorable thematic talents for orchestrally, and electronically conveying psychopaths, aliens and futuristic adventure, Beltrami has jumped on a similarly imaginative and prolific bandwagon. Since the psychopathic score for the smash 1996 hit SCREAM stabbed Beltrami into the Hollywood map, the composer has used every trick from chilling melodies to thunderous percussion and angelic choruses to embody the fantastical and fearful, music capable of rapturously symphonic […]Read On »

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CD Review: THE WOLVERINE soundtrack

THE WOLVERINE soundtrack | ©2013 Sony Music

For a composer with muttonchops when it comes to horror scoring, Marco Beltrami has shown his talent for playing supernatural superheroes with the likes of The Crow and Hellboy. Taking multiple stabs at his second Marvel character after his berserker score for BLADE II, Beltrami actually ends up giving powerful restraint to his take on Weapon X for THE WOLVERINE. Dealing with a mutant whose powers of self-healing and longevity were God-given before his protruding finger-razors were souped-up with adamantium, Beltrami is more musically interested in playing a bub battling with his own inner demons, a man who’d far rather […]Read On »

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CD review: WORLD WAR Z soundtrack

WORLD WAR Z soundtrack | ©2013 Warner Bros. Records

Sure Marco Beltrami scored the first movie in zombie history that elicited a tear-jerking lump in one’s throat instead of ripping it out. But just because Beltrami did such a great job on the simillarly terrific WARM BODIES, don’t think the guy behind SCREAM, HELLBOY and THE THING has gone all soft and emo on us as WORLD WAR Z shows with music-gnashing global destruction. Imagine ten thousand Ghost Faces piling on top of each other to make mincemeat out of humanity, and you’ll hear the relentless, rhythmic rage that’s made Beltrami the go-to guy for horror scoring. There’s tons […]Read On »

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Interview: WARM BODIES and A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD composers Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders write music to die for

A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD soundtrack | ©2013 Sony Music

If Marco Beltrami’s ever-growing resume of work makes him one of the hardest working composers in score business, then consider Buck Sanders as the session man who’s made the prolific number of IMDB entries possible (they currently have their work on display in the recent releases A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD and WARM BODIES). After assisting Beltrami since the beginning of his career in roles ranging from synthesist to sound design, score producer and additional music writer for such stylistically diverse titles as THE MINUS MAN, I ROBOT and SOUL SURFER, Buck Sanders finally got to step into the […]Read On »

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Exclusive Photos from the WARM BODIES Los Angeles Premiere

Nicholas Hoult at the Los Angeles Premiere of WARM BODIES | ©2013 Sue Schneider

Summit Entertainment held the Los Angeles Premiere of WARM BODIES recently at the ArcLight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. WARM BODIES is a comedy besides a love story. After a zombie epidemic, R (Nicholas Hoult) encounters Julie (Teresa Palmer), and rescues her from a zombie attack. This forms a special relationship between the two of them resulting that R is becoming more human and this sets off a romantic and often comical chain of events that begins to affect the other zombies. WARM BODIES is based on the novel by Isaac Marion. Walking the carpet, besides Zombies, were the stars of […]Read On »

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CD Revew: The Best Score Runner-Ups and Composers to Watch for 2012

CHICO & RITA soundtrack | ©2012 Red General Catalogue

The Best Score Runner-Ups and Composer to Watch for 2012 ARBITRAGE (Cliff Martinez / Milan) As the composer who virtually created the ethereal indie sound with SEX LIES AND VIDEOTAPE, Cliff Martinez has always played psychological tension in offbeat, ethereally percussive ways. Here’s it’s a moody spider’s web of drones and percussion that’s closing in on a magnate’s gigantic F-up, rhythmic tension that’s all about the inner turmoil that clings to the antihero as he uses all of his charms to clean things up. Speaking with his soft, haunted confidence, Martinez’s Eno-ish washes of melodic textures always have a cold […]Read On »

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