From the category archives:

Film music

Yes, at the beginning of this clip is a very cute Clint Eastwood riding off into the sunset, But Wait!! We get to hear the famous Dimitri Tiomkin cowboy classic “Rawhide.” I don’t know who the singer is, but what a voice! I’ve sung it my whole life. Some mornings I get up and just […]


– A new responsibility has now been put on my plate as a teacher of composition. Now that UCLA has an MA in Visual Media and I am part of the faculty, we train young film composers. We expect them to know as much of the same things we expect of our traditional composers. Part […]


People ask me who my favorite film composer is. These days I say Dario Marianelli and Alexandre Desplat, but if I had to take this question seriously, I’d have to say that John Williams is right there at the top. Too many people try to accuse him of just spitting out Star Wars music over […]


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After two years of disappointing “winners,” the Academy awarded a well deserved Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score to the Italian composer, Dario Marianelli for his score to ATONEMENT. Not since Alexandre Desplat have I heard such a terrific new voice in film music. Watch the film and listen carefully to […]

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Why I love “Sweeney Todd”

December 26, 2007

I watched the new Tim Burton realization of Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” the other day. I found it absolutely thrilling. But I realized that what I mean by “it” is probably different than what others may mean. We went with Ronnie who looked at it as a musical trying to be a movie, as manifested […]


The Mind Benders (1962)

December 18, 2007

I just watched “The Mind Benders” a fascinating film directed by Basil Dearden and starring Dirk Bogarde about the alleged dangers of sensory depravation, a topic that predates “Altered States” by ten years. The score was by French composer Georges Auric (1899 – 1983). The score seems over-composed, like he’s working too hard. It takes […]


Bourland: Possum Death Spree 3

November 18, 2007

The moment you’ve all been waiting for: POSSUM DEATH SPREE 3! With music by Roger Bourland and directed by Mike Horowitz and Gareth Smith. I went to a screening this week of all three, and got to meet the cast and crew. The film worked well in large format, and I was happy to see […]


Across the Universe (movie)

November 6, 2007

The LA Times had an interesting article about the Beatles place in the memories of teenage girls! ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, the terrific new film by Julie Taymor, was a great success in my book. I love the film, and especially the psychedelia, but I was mostly surprised at how much I loved the Beatles arrangements. […]


Here is a video made by Graham Streeter of the recording session of POEM for piano and orchestra that was used in his film called CAGES (2006). Here, the UCLA Philharmonia is conducted by Jon Robertson, then Chair and conductor, and Walter Ponce plays the piano solo.