From the category archives:

Film music

Meeting Horner

March 15, 2010

When I first came to UCLA, many of my colleagues referred to this chap as “Jamie”–a nickname he now supposedly loathes. He did his Masters work at UCLA, was a TA, a classmate of Mark Carlson, and was on the way towards getting a PhD, but the Roger Corman films started coming fast and furious. […]

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I loved Glass’ work in Koyaanisqatsi. Music is foreground; hand in glove with the imagery. Some of his other film scores seemed, to me, heavy handed: imposing themselves on the scenes rather than providing underscore. Philip Glass’ score for THE ILLUSIONIST is his best yet. The harmonies are fresh; the melodies are new; the textures […]

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The Third Man theme

February 4, 2010

I’m sure many of you have heard this tune, not knowing what it was. I figured it out after watching THE THIRD MAN (1949) directed by Carol Reed, starring Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles. What is amusing to me is how Reed chose to use Anton Karas, the Viennese zither player, to score the entire […]

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Relaxed film composers

January 5, 2010

Over the holiday I watched two movies, twice: Avatar, and Sherlock Holmes. Like Howard Shore in the Lord of the RIngs trilogy, Mr Horner’s score for Avatar is wall-to-wall music, and, for my money, effective and not memorable. Throwing in a song over the end credits didn’t matter as most of us were racing to […]

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WeeDS music for Season 4

August 13, 2009

Despite having the same composer duo as seasons 1-3, someone’s wings got clipped in season 4. As I study the credits on IMDB.com, the music figure gone after season three seems to be the music supervisor, Gary Calamar. Was it actually Calamar’s vision that made seasons 2 and 3 so terrific? I don’t know the […]

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Infrared

July 29, 2009

I’m doing the music to a short film by Mel Shapiro called INFRARED. Mel, as you may remember, wrote the book and lyrics to HOMER IN CYBERSPACE — a musical we premiered last years. I’m playing all the parts myself using Logic 9 (just arrived yesterday). It’s the smokiest, jazziest music I’ve composed to date, […]

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Animas! much later

December 17, 2008

I stumbled across this cover for a film I that did the music for in 1989 called NIGHT LIFE. I didn’t realize that it had been released in Spanish under the name “Animas” and at another time as “Vida Noctorna.” Here is the VHS cover. Zowie!

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Remember this one? I had once thought that it was John and Yoko that were the trail blazers for Asian-Caucasian relationships, but no, South Pacific was. I looked at the population statistics for Hawaii and saw a huge spike right after this movie came out. But it wasn’t until after 1968 that interracial relationships were […]

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The most stunning film I’ve seen in a long time is Sergio Leone’s “Once Upon a Time in the West.” Ennio Morricone provides mystic cowboy music for the score with haunting, unforgettable leitmotivs. Every shot in the film is one I would be proud to blow up and hang on my wall. Every shot has […]

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I rented the 1952 Stanley Kramer film, “High Noon” and discovered an old familiar song I thought was called “Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling” which is actually called “High Noon” with lyrics by Ned Washington and music by Dmitri Tiomkin. The theme from the opening phrase is used, and perhaps overused, like a […]

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