Sunday, January 29, 2012

2012: Top Anticipated Scores

2012 is shaping up to be a good year in scores. 
So here is The Music Behind the Screen's Top Anticipated Scores of 2012.
 
 
1. THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY (HOWARD SHORE)
Howard Shore returns to Middle Earth, reuniting with director Peter Jackson.
2. LINCOLN (JOHN WILLIAMS)
The highly anticipated Spielberg biopic has Williams returning to some of his iconic Americana.
3. THE AVENGERS (ALAN SILVESTRI)
Silvestri returns after his triumphant Captain America to add in the whole Marvel bunch.
4. BRAVE (PATRICK DOYLE)
Patrick Doyle hit a new high in 2011, and his own Scottish roots will definitely benefit for this Celtic-inspired Pixar film.
5. JOHN CARTER (MICHAEL GIACCHINO)
After hearing some clips from the Giacchino score, this should be a great one.
6. SKYFALL (THOMAS NEWMAN)
James Bond returns, without David Arnold (who composed the last 5 films), but comes with Thomas Newman.  Given Newman's typecast scores, this should be an interesting score.


OTHER SCORES I CAN’T WAIT TO HEAR IN 2012


ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER (HENRY JACKMAN)
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (JAMES HORNER)
THE BOURNE LEGACY (JAMES NEWTON HOWARD)
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (HANS ZIMMER)
FRANKENWEENIE (DANNY ELFMAN)
THE GANGSTER SQUAD (CARTER BURWELL)
THE HUNGER GAMES (JAMES NEWTON HOWARD)
JACK THE GIANT KILLER (JOHN OTTMAN)
JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND (ANDREW LOCKINGTON)
­­PROMETHEUS (MARC STREITENFELD)
RISE OF THE GUARDIANS (JOHN POWELL)
SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN (JAMES NEWTON HOWARD)
TOTAL RECALL (HARRY GREGSON-WILLIAMS)
THE WOMAN IN BLACK (MARCO BELTRAMI)
WORLD WAR Z (MARCO BELTRAMI)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Screen Credit Quiz! (B&W Edition)

Yes, we're back with some more composer screen credits from various films.  I've decided to up the ante and make a full black & white edition, just because it makes it slightly trickier than the past ones. 

I will say that they are not ALL obscure 1930s films or anything, something that most audiences have seen.  With that said, put your guesses in the comments! And have fun!
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2011 Original Score Awards Roundup

Here's the Guide to the Original Score WINNERS from various associations.  Congrats to all the winners, specifically Ludovic Bource who certainly took home the most prizes this year. 

ACADEMY AWARD
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

The Artist - Ludovic Bource
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Alberto Iglesias
Hugo - Howard Shore
The Adventures of Tintin - John Williams
War Horse - John Williams

GOLDEN GLOBE
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE 

The Artist - Ludovic Bource
W.E. - Abel Korzeniowski
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Hugo - Howard Shore
War Horse - John Williams

BRITISH ACADEMY FILM AWARDS

The Artist - Ludovic Bource
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Hugo - Howard Shore
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Alberto Iglesias
War Horse - John Williams


ANNIE AWARDS
BEST MUSIC IN A FEATURE PRODUCTION

The Adventures of Tintin - John Williams
Puss in Boots – Henry Jackman
Rio – Mikael Mutti, Siedah Garrett, Carlinhos Brown, Sergio Mendes, John Powell
Winnie The Pooh – Zooey Deschanel, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Henry Jackman, Robert Lopez

SATELLITE AWARDS (INTERNATIONAL PRESS ACADEMY)
ORIGINAL SCORE

Soul Surfer - Marco Beltrami
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 - Alexandre Desplat
Super 8 - Michael Giacchino
Water for Elephants - James Newton Howard
Drive - Cliff Martinez
War Horse - John Williams

LOS ANGELES FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION
BEST MUSIC SCORE

Hannah - The Chemical Brothers
Runner-up: Drive - Cliff Martinez

SAN DIEGO FILM CRITICS SOCIETY
BEST SCORE

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 - Alexandre Desplat
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Alexandre Desplat
The Tree of Life - Alexandre Desplat
Hugo - Howard Shore
The Artist - Ludovic Bource

HOUSTON FILM CRITICS SOCIETY
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
The Artist - Ludovic Bource
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 - Alexandre Desplat
Shame - Harry Escott
The Adventures of Tintin - John Williams
War Horse - John Williams

WASHINGTON DC AREA FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION
BEST SCORE
The Artist - Ludovic Bource
Drive - Cliff Martinez
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Hugo - Howard Shore
War Horse - John Williams

BOSTON SOCIETY OF FILM CRITICS
BEST USE OF MUSIC IN A FILM
The Artist - Ludovic Bource (tie)
Drive - Cliff Martinez The Descendents

CHICAGO FILM CRITICS AWARDS
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
The Artist - Ludovic Bource
Drive - Cliff Martinez
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
Hanna - The Chemical Brothers
Hugo - Howard Shore

LONDON CRITICS CIRCLE FILM AWARDS
TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT (FOR ORIGINAL SCORE)

Drive - Cliff Martinez
The Skin I Live In - Alberto Iglesias

CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS
BEST SCORE
The Artist - Ludovic Bource
Drive - Cliff Martinez
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Hugo - Howard Shore
War Horse - John Williams

Friday, January 6, 2012

Lalo Schifrin: The Rhythm

Like so many other composers, Lalo Schifrin's career in films has had quite a range.  A staple of the jazz world, Lalo transitioned to film composing, television music, conducting around the world and composing innovative concert works. 

Lalo (Boris Claudio Schifrin) was born in Buenos Aires in 1932.  His father, Luis, was a founder of the Buenos Aires Philharmonic and was a violinist in many orchestras.  It is no surprise he began piano at age 6.  Studying music and law in college, he went to the Paris Conservatoire in 1952.  Back in Argentina, Schifrin formed his own jazz ensemble and met jazz performer Dizzy Gillespie in 1956.  He joined Gillespie in New York and became his musical director and arranger until 1962.  With the group he composed the suites Gillespiana and The New Continent.

In 1963, Schifrin moved to Hollywood and began under contract at MGM.  His first picture for them was Rhino! (1964).  He composed scores for other films like Joy House (1964), and Once a Thief (1965).  Schifrin arranged The Cat from Joy House for Jimmy Smith - that recording winning the 1964 Grammy for Original Jazz Composition.  Throughout this same time, he began work in television.  Notable scores include The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (with main theme by Jerry Goldsmith), the jazz waltz theme to Mannix, and of course the familiar Mission: Impossible.     

During the late 60s, Schifrin continued composing for many feature films, utilizing strong jazz rhythms.  He tended to score a lot of crime films, and thrillers.  In this era we got films like The Cincinnati Kid (1965), Murderer's Row (1966), Cool Hand Luke (1967), the Steve McQueen classic Bullitt (1968) and The Fox (1968).  Both Cool Hand Luke and The Fox were nominated for Best Original Score at the Academy Awards.   

The 1970s featured more hits and examples of his rhythmic gifts and orchestral complexity.  He worked on Kelly's Heroes (1970), George Lucas' feature debut THX-1138 (1970), the classic action film Dirty Harry (1971), Enter the Dragon (1973), the Dirty Harry follow-up, Magnum Force (1973), The Four Musketeers (1975).  In one of the most dramatic scoring situtations, his score to The Exorcist was rejected, which Schifrin called "one of the most unpleasant experiences of my life".  His score to Voyage of the Damned (1977) was nominated for both the Golden Globe and Academy Award.  Other films include Return to Witch Mountain (1978), the bomb The Concorde...Airport '79.  No stranger to nominations, his score to 1979's The Amityville Horror was nominated for both the Golden Globe and Oscar.

His scores for films continued to grow throughout the 1980s and 1990s.  He continued with the Dirty Harry series with Sudden Impact (1983) and The Dead Pool (1988).  He was nominated at the Oscars for Best Original Song for The Competition (1980) and Best Original Song Score for The Sting II (1982).  With 1997's Money Talks, he began a collaboration with director Brett Ratner.  They both hit a new audience with the fun Rush Hour (1998).  They worked together also on Rush Hour 2 (2001) and After the Sunset (2004).  Schifrin even had a cameo as a conductor in Ratner's 2002 film Red Dragon.  (Score by Danny Elfman).  They reunited for Rush Hour 3 (2007), which coincided with Schifrin's 75th birthday.     

Throughout the years, it was not always film that occupied Schifrin's time.  On his Aleph Records label, he has recorded jazz and other varieties of music, including the interesting Jazz Meets the Symphony recordings.  He has conducted around the world, with the world-class symphony orchestras, and been arranger on several recordings for top singers like Placido Domingo. 

Many of his non-film works are jazz inspired, but his orchestral commissions are just as interesting.  They often have an interesting twist, as seen by their titles.  They include:
Variations for Percussion, Strings (1963)
Cantata for the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1967)
Pulsations for Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Band and Electronic Instruments (1970)
The Trial of Louis XVI - an opera (1989)
Symphony No. 1 (Queen Lili’Uoakalani) (1993)
Fantasy for Screenplay and Orchestra (2003)
Crosscurrents (2010)


The list goes on, with numerous concertos and orchestral works.  He continues to travel around the world, premiering new works and conducting the great orchestras.

His jazz rhythm's certainly influenced his ability to write such memorable and effective action music.  He is a treasure to the music world, even his film work alone would be an achievement. 
There certainly is more to Lalo Schifrin than the theme to Mission: Impossible.