July 8, 2020
More than 170 musical artists from six continents around the world joined together to create a music video of the Oscar nominated original song “I’m Standing With You” written by iconic songwriter Diane Warren, which supports of the United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization (WHO). The arrangement of the song is by Emmy nominated TV/Film/Concert composer Sharon Farber who along with the video’s award-winning director Gev Miron, worked together in collaboration to produce the meaningful video. Read the interview at Soundtrax:
Soundtrax: Special Edition: Sharon Farber and the Making of the I’M STANDING WITH YOU Project
July 7, 2020
Musique Fantastique Notes on Ennio Morricone Books
Reviews by Randall D. Larson
May 20, 2020
White Bear PR Videos: Pinar Toprak & STARGIRL, WonderCon@Home SciFi Movie Music Panel
In the latest Composer Talk from White Bear PR, publicist Chandler Poling chats with composer Pinar Toprak about scoring the recently debuted STARGIRL… also Chandler leads an online panel discussion with Toprak, Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein, and Kevin Kiner, discussing “The Music of Captain Marvel, Stranger Things, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars” as part of WonderCon@Home 2020.
Read the details and link to the videos here.
May 10, 2020
New SOUNDTRAX column posted:
New Soundtrax column features extensive interview with Kevin Kiner on scoring STAR WARS THE CLONE WARS – Final Season, and with Ceiri Torjussen on composing for Shape Shifting Aliens (CRAWLERS), Cute Cats (CAT PEOPLE documentary), Raging Bigfoot (PRIMAL RAGE), and BIG ASS SPIDERS!
Soundtrack reviews, news, and more: http://www.buysoundtrax.com/larsons_soundtrax-5-1-20.html
May 8, 2020
The Dark Horror Scores of Reber Clark
Jon Mansell interviews composer Reber Clark about his horror scores and, in particular, his work for the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society’s (HPLHS) Dark Adventure Radio Theatre series and the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast.
February 8, 2020
New Soundtrax column features extensive interview with Andrew Lockington on DAYBREAK, RAMPAGE, SAN ANDREAS, SANCTUARY, PRIMEVAL NEW WORLD, PERCY JACKSON, INCARNATE, THE SPACE BETWEEN US, JOURNEY 2, and more. Soundtrack reviews, news, and more: buysoundtrax.com/larsons_soundtrax-2-8-20.html
December 13, 2019
John Williams on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Score
These comments from composer John Williams were posted on YouTube earlier today:
December 3, 2019
First Teaser Trailer for Marvel’s BLACK WINDOW movie released.
A composer has not yet been announced; the film is slated for a March 2020 release.
December 3, 2019
New Soundtrax Column features interviews and reviews on a number of genre film scores & composers
November 14, 2019
Variety: Ludwig Göransson on Scoring THE MANDALORIAN
In an article posted to Variety yesterday, film music journalist Jon Burlingame interviews composer Ludwig Göransson about his score for the new STAR WARS spin-off series, THE MANDALORIAN.
Read the details here.
October 29, 2019
Composer Charles Bernstein Discusses Creating the Score for A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET in New Video
In this video, courtesy of Warner Bros and WaterTower Music, Gibson Guitar sits down with A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET composer Charles Bernstein to discuss the writing, recording and production of some of the most iconic and terrifying compositions in film
See details here.
October 18, 2019
David Russo Interviewed: Scoring PENNYWORTH – and GOTHAM’s Finale – in latest Soundtrax post
Read the column, which also includes soundtrack, vinyl, game music news, and book review, here.
October 3, 2019
Composer Hildur Guðnadóttir Finds The Humanity In ‘Joker’
Among several interviews Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir has done leading up to the release of director Todd Phillips’ JOKER tomorrow, a conversation she had with film music journalist Tim Grieving on npr.org has focused intently how she captured and channeled the Joker character musically in her score.
Read the details, and link to the interview, here.
September 16, 2019
Watch JURASSIC WORLD: BATTLE AT BIG ROCK Here – Features Engaging Score by Amie Doherty
Set one year after the events of JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM, BATTLE AT BIG ROCK is the first live-action short film in the JURASSIC WORLD franchise. Irish composer Amie Doherty composed the music for BATTLE AT BIG ROCK, which features references to the franchise’s themes by John Williams and Michael Giacchino.
Read the details and watch the short film here.
August 23, 2019
Brian Tyler’s READY OR NOT Scoring Session video posted
Composer Brian Tyler has posted to Facebook and YouTube his scoring session video for his main theme to the new mystery-thriller READY OR NOT. (See our news report on this score, here)
Watch the video on youtube here). Thanks to Bryan Tyler and Adam Krysiński.
August 17, 2019
Alan Silvestri Interview on scoring THE AVENGERS (+ INFINITY WAR & ENDGAME) featured in new Soundtrax column
In celebration of AVENGERS ENDGAME coming out on blu-ray this week, my August Soundtrax column, just posted, features my in-depth interviews with composer Alan Silvestri about scoring AVENGERS, INFINITY WAR, and ENDGAME. Plus relevant-genre soundtrack reviews of GHOST HOUSE, PLANET OF THE APES, POLTERHEIST, REND (game score), THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO Series 2, and Gerry Anderson’s UFO.
Read the column here
July 26, 2019
Christopher Lennertz and THE BOYS
Interview with composer Christopher Lennertz on scoring Amazon Prime’s new bad-boy superhero series THE BOYS – not to mention discussing his music for the latest SHAFT interation.
See Soundtrax here.
July 5, 2019
Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein interview on STRANGER THINGS S3 at MixMag
In an interview with Cameron Holbrook posted at the MixMag website, STRANGER THINGS series composers Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein, who explain how this season’s score is different than the previous two, what was the selection process behind which cues belonged on the STRANGER THINGS 3 album, and more.
Read the details here.
June 7, 2019
Siddhartha Khosla (MARVEL’s RUNAWAYS) interviewed in new Soundtrax
My latest Soundtrax column has posted, featuring an interview with Siddhartha Khosla – soundtrack reviews of the ANTHEM videogame, BRIGHTBURN, DJINN, GAME OF THRONES S8, GODZILLA KING OF THE MONSTERS, GODZILLA: THE PLANET EATER, PROM NIGHT (1980), THE SENTINEL, ZOMBIELARS, and much more.
June 4, 2019
Hildur Guðnadóttir Crafts CHERNOBYL Horror Score with Sounds from a Real Nuclear Plant
Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir (SICARIO 2: DAY OF THE SOLDATO, MARY MAGDALENE, JOURNEY’S END, THE JOKER [forthcoming]) composed a chilling score or HBO’s haunting mini-series CHERNOBYL, which depicts the Societ nuclear disaster of April 1986 and the unprecedented cleanup efforts that followed, revealing how and why it happened, and telling the stories of those people, who help and died in tackling the disaster, and the Russian cover up. In coming up with her musical approach, Hildur and her music team recorded sounds at the Ignalina power plant in Lithuana, and those sounds, digitally sampled and treated tonally as her musical palette, became the sonic basis for her resultant score.
Read the story and link to the interview excerpt here.
May 8, 2019
How Winifred Phillips’ theme from the Spore Hero ended up in the AVENGERS ENDGAME trailer
Composer Winifred Phillips is featured in an article she wrote for Gamasutra which focuses on the evolution of a single melodic theme – first composed for EA’s Spore Hero video game – eventually appeared in a trailer for AVENGERS: ENDGAME.
Read more information here.
May 4, 2019
A GALAXY OF ADVENTURES for composer Ryan Shore in the STAR WARS Universe
In honor of STAR WARS Day, Forbes has posted an online interview with composer Ryan Shore, who is currently scoring STAR WARS GALAXY OF ADVENTURES, a new series of 2D animated Disney shorts set in the Star Wars world, which follows on Shore’s music for the web series FORCES OF DESTINY series (2017-2018).
Read the full details and watch the series trailer here.
May 4, 2019
New Fabio Frizzi interview posted
Film music journalist John Mansell has posted a new interview with composer Fabio Frizzi, best known for his many Italian horror movie scores, especially his numerous collaborations with famed Italian director Lucio Fulci. Among Frizzi’s scores are SETTE NOTE IN NERO (The Psychic), ZOMBI 2, THE BEYOND, CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD, MANHATTAN BABY, SCORPION WITH TWO TAILS, Lamberto Bava’s DEVIL FISH (aka MONSTER SHARK), HOUSE OF FORBIDDEN SECRETS, and the most recent iteration of the Puppet Master series, PUPPET MASTER: THE LITTLEST REICH. In addition, early in his career Frizzi collaborated with Franco Bixio and Vince Tempera on several Italian Western film scores, including Fulci’s I QUATTRO DELL’APOCALISSE (The Four of the Apocalypse), and CARAMBOLA for Ferdinando Baldi.
“The feeling of nostalgia, of a sweet melancholy is contained, I believe, from each of us,” Frizzi describes. referring to his approach to scoring films. “And sometimes it merges with love, or passion, or anger or fear. It is something in which I believe deeply and this an element that can be found in everything I write. The theme of the Puppet Master [film], for example, is a tribute I wanted to pay to the wonderful theme of Richard Band… I think this theme contains the elements I was talking about, it’s sweet, but also disturbing.”
Read the complete interview here.
May 1, 2019
ANTHEM Video Game Composer Sarah Schachner Talks Composing for Video Games and Performing Live at The Game Awards
As an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and modular synth artist/programmer, critically-acclaimed composer Sarah Schachner who many know from her CALL OF DUTY and ASSASSIN’S CREED game scores spoke to Twinfinite about her ANTHEM video game score (out now on Lakeshore Records and EA Games), one of the most exciting game music releases of the year.
Read the full story, and watch Sarah’s live performance, here.
April 24, 2019
Video: Making of the SHAZAM Score with Benjamin Wallfisch
WaterTower Music has posted the video “SHAZAM! – Making The Score – Benjamin Wallfisch” onto its YouTube page. The composer discusses the score and its components over video of the recording session. A thoroughly wonderful orchestral work!
Watch the video on YouTube here.
Video: Making of THOR: THE DARK WORLD Score (composed by Brian Tyler)
Brian Tyler’s office has posted a behind-the-scenes video of the making of the music for THOR: THE DARK WORLD (2013), including clips of the score being recorded at Abbey Road Studios with the London Philharmonic and the Philharmonia of London. [For further details on Tyler’s THOR: THE DARK WORLD score, see my 2013 interview with him in Soundtrax.]
Watch the 4:43 min. video on YouTube here.
April 23, 2019
Red Carpet Interview with Alan Silvestri on Scoring AVENGERS: ENDGAME
Marvel.com has posted a 2:24 interview with composer Alan Silvestri on the red carpet from last night’s AVENGERS: ENDGAME premiere in Hollywood.
Watch the video at marvel.com
April 22, 2019
Video: Alan Howarth on Scoring ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK with John Carpenter
In 1981, John Carpenter and Alan Howarth worked on their first film score together; Escape from New York. This was the genesis of a fruitful decade of collaboration. The film has gone on to become a cult-classic, but the score has taken on a life of its own and had great influence upon many musicians.Composer and music producer Alan Ball, whose YouTube documentaries and videos examine and breakdown scores like this one, has posted a detailed breakdown of the ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK score, featuring an insightful interview with Howarth about creating the classic score. “Hear from the horses mouth how the score came about, what gear was used and watch analysis and recreation of several cues using vintage gear,” Ball writes in his introduction.
Watch the video on YouTube here.
March 2, 3019
Interviews with Joseph Bishara, Richard H. Band, and Sharon Farber highlight latest Soundtrax column
Read the new column here.
February 7, 2019
Major Update to Lehman’s Star Wars Musical Theme Catalog
Music Theorist, Assistant Professor of Music, Tufts University, and John Williams Scholar Frank Lehman announces a huge new update to his Star Wars Musical Theme Catalog now up! Major updates include vastly improved layout, new sections on source music & concert arrangements, and music notation for incidental motifs.
Read the full details here
January 19, 2018
Will Bates Discusses NIGHTFLYERS Syfy Series Score in Lakeshore Online Podcast
The good folks over at Birth.Movies.Death have the exclusive premiere on the first Lakeshore Podcast of the year, featuring Will Bates, series composer of George R.R. Martin’s NIGHTFLYERS series on Syfy. Hosted by Aaron Vehling of the Vehlinggo music site, we get the lowdown on how Will Bates (THE LOOMING TOWER, THE MAGICIANS, etc; and one half of the production company Fall On Your Sword, of ANOTHER EARTH, AMONG RAVENS) came to scoring this futuristic psychological thriller and the unusual instrumentation used.
NIGHTFLYERS takes place in 2093, where a team of scientists, on man’s most advanced space ship ever, embark on a mission to find other life forms. See the full story and access the Lakeshore Podcast now at Birth.Movies.Death.
Bates’ soundtrack album to NIGHTFLYERS is available now: [Download/Listen]
January 10, 2019
New Brian Tyler Interview on ESCAPE ROOM, and others, featured in Special Soundtrax Column posted today
December 10, 2018
My (tardy) November Soundtrax column features interviews with Winifred Phillips on scoring the science fiction/action VR game, SCRAPER: First Strike, and with David Buckley on his unique but sadly underrated score for the 2018 remake of PAPILLON. Plus a number of genre-associated album reviews & news:
November 14, 2018
Wendy Carlos, Synth Pioneer, Turns 79 Today (vintage interview link)
The Bob Moog Foundation on Facebook posted this earlier today:
Vermont Review :” If you are the “Henry Ford” of the synthesizer, who is the Mario Andretti?”
Bob Moog: “Wendy Carlos, without a doubt.”
Happy 79th birthday to Wendy Carlos, who drove synthesis to new heights and new realms through sheer talent, brilliance, and tenacity. What a force.
In honor of her 79th: my 1983 interview with Wendy Carlos, about scoring Disney’s TRON, has been archived here:
November 4, 2018
October Soundtrax column features interviews with Mark Isham (ONCE UPON A TIME finale, CLOAK & DAGGER), Jesper Kyd (TUMBBAD), and a number of genre-associated album reviews & news:
October 24, 2018
Scoring The 13th Doctor: Segun Akinola Interview – Regeneration
The world’s longest running science fiction program, DOCTOR WHO, has undergone its biggest refresh ever, with Jodie Whittaker in the role of The Doctor. The new series has been scored by BAFTA Breakthrough Brit 2017 Segun Akinola, who took on the daunting task of defining a new, but familiar, sonic universe…
Read an in-depth interview with the new composer at musictech.net here.
Listen to Segun’s impressive new DOCTOR WHO title theme arrangement:
October 3, 2018
September Soundtrax column features interviews with Sean Murray (DEEP BLUE SEA 2) and Rael Jones (HARLOTS), and a number of genre-associated album reviews & news:
August 27, 2018
August 2018 Soundtrax column has posted:
Feature Interview: The Ghost Stories of Frank Ilfman
Soundtrack Reviews: AMORE E LIBERTA, MASANIELLO (Werba/Rosetta), ANCIENT ALIENS (McCarthy, et al/La-La Land), THE BANNER SAGA 3 (Wintory/T-65b Records), CARNIVAL OF SORROWS (Hess/Promo), THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX (McCreary/Sparks & Shadows), CRAZY RICH ASIANS (Tyler/WaterTower), CRAZY RICH ASIANS songtrack (Various/WaterTower), DESTINATION WEDDING (Ross/Lakeshore), DRÔLES DE PETITES BÊTES (Coulais/Quartet), GODZILLA: CITY ON THE EDGE OF BATTLE (Hattori/Toho), MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 1988 Series (Schifrin & Jones/La-La Land), THE NINTH PASSENGER (Glasgow/Fourteen Kings), Q – THE WINGED SERPENT (Ragland/Kronos), SHOCK AND AWE (J Beal/Varèse Sarabande), LA SORCIÈRE/THE BLONDE WITCH (Glanzberg/Disques Cinemusique), TIMELESS (Duncan/Varèse Sarabande).
Plus: Book, Soundtrack, Vinyl, & Game Music News
August 10, 2018
Daniel Schweiger has posted a very detailed interview with composer Fabio Frizzi about scoring PUPPET MASTER: THE LITTLEST REICH for Film Music Magazine. Explore the composer’s style and development of this new score here.
August 10, 2018
The Story Behind STARLOG Records (from the author’s archives)
By Randall D. Larson
Published in CinemaScore #2 (newsletter format), March/April 1979 issue
Starlog Records was sparked by a suggestion from composer and orchestrator Albert Glasser, who thought it might be a good idea if Starlog magazine people initiated a recording of Ferde Grofé’s “lost” score for ROCKETSHIP X-M (1950), which Glasser himself had orchestrated and had a personal desire to see recorded. Glasser knew where the original tapes of that score were kept, and also knew who should be contacted in order to obtain them. His suggestion and assistance ultimately resulted in the release of Starlog’s first recording, in 1977. The soundtrack album (SR-1000), reproduced from the original studio tapes, was at first available only through mail from Starlog [magazine], but retail distribution was eventually arranged.
Read the full story here
July 23, 2018
July 2018 Soundtrax column has posted:
- Pinar Toprak’s Musical Voyage to KRYPTON
DESERT MIGRATION (Gil Talmi), DOGGED (James Griffiths), DOWNRANGE (Aldo Shllaku), GENIUS: PICASSO (Lorne Balfe), GODLESS (Carlos Rafael Rivera), KARMA (Kristian Sensini), LACRIMOSA (Elia Cmiral), RAUL – DIRITTO DI UCCIDRE (Andrea Morricone), SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADO/ (Hildur Guðnadóttir)
Book, Soundtrack, Vinyl, & Game Music News
June 12, 2018
June 2018 Soundtrax column has posted:
May 27, 2018
A Tribute to Joel Goldsmith (1957-2012)
May 10, 2018
Yoko Kanno: The Greatest Composer You’ve Never Heard Of
An excellent article by John Bull from medium.com
In the world of anime, there are a few individuals whose name alone is enough to guarantee that a series will be worth watching. Composer and arranger Yoko Kanno is a member of that small, select group. In a career that has so far spanned almost thirty years, she has written, performed and arranged some of the most iconic and memorable soundtracks the world of anime has ever seen.
Read the story at medium.com
A Conversation With Bear McCreary, the Composer King of Comic-Con
The man behind the music in ‘God of War,’ ‘The Walking Dead,’ ‘Outlander,’ ‘Battlestar Galactica,’ and myriad other sci-fi, fantasy, and horror creations on his composing idols, his aversion to being typecast, becoming the sound of sci-fi, and more – by Ben Lindbergh.
Read the story over at theringer.com
April 2018 Soundtrax column has posted:
My March 2018 Soundtrax column has posted:
Read the column at buysoundtrax here
My June 2017 Soundtrax column has posted:
- Lorne Balfe – Scoring LEGO BATMAN MOVIE
- Martco Beltrami – Scoring GODS OF EGYPT
- Tyler Bates – Scoring THE BELKO EXPERIMENT, ATOMIC BLONDE
- ALIEN: COVENANT (Kurzel/Milan), EAST OF EDEN/BEASTMASTER/WIZARDS & WARRIORS etc. [Gerhardt LSO] (Holdridge/BSX), GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 (Bates/Marvel), JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK (Kral/La-La Land), LEGEND OF THE LICH LORD (Valenti/Howlin’ Wolf), LIVIDE (Gesqua/Kronos), PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES (Zanelli/Disney), THRILLER TV (Goldsmith/Tadlow & Silva Screen), WONDER WOMAN (TV – Fox, Kane, etc./La-La Land), WONDER WOMAN/Gregson-Williams/WaterTower + more
Book, Soundtrack, Vinyl & Game Music News
Click here to read the column at buysoundtrax.com
My April 2017 Soundtrax column has just posted:
- Trevor Morris – Scoring EMERALD CITY
- Chris Bacon – Five Seasons in the BATES MOTEL
- The Animated Musical World of HEITOR PEREIRA
- CLINICAL (Hultquist), COLOSSAL (McCreary), FRANKENSTEIN (Cauthery), The GAME OF THRONES Symphony (Silva Screen), THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE (Jackman & Lewis). MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA (Sharone), POWER RANGERS (Tyler), THE THIEF OF BAGDAD (Rózsa/Tadlow) + more.
Soundtrack & Game Music News
Click here to read the column at buysoundtrax.com
Speaking with the Players:
My interview with virtuoso erhu player Karen Han, noted for playing on numerous film soundtracks including PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END and many others, has been archived on Karen’s web site here. It originally appeared on the musicfromthemovies web site, which is sadly now defunct.
My interview with soprano Karen Hogle Brown, who’s sung solo and with chorus on numerous film scores including AVATAR, is included in my July, 2015 Soundtrax column, available here. Both interviews provide insight into the unique perspective of the instrumentalist and vocalist performing on modern film scores.
Video: The Making of the SHARKNADO 4 Score
Composers Chris Ridenhour and Chris Cano. specialists in bringing The Asylum’s wild and whacky sci-fi films to a polished, cinematic musical energy, have posted a short video on YouTube about how the latest of the SHARKNADO scores was made. This one features a super-hero theme matched with epic, apocalyptic orchestral crescendos using a powerful mix of digital and live symphonic orchestras. Watch the video here .
RDL’s “The Score” columns from Cinefantastique, interviews from CinemaScore & Soundtrack Magazine Archived
Prior to writing Musique Fantastique and Music from the House of Hammer, my primary film music writing endeavors were soundtrack reviews for Soundtrack Magazine (previously called Soundtrack Collector’s Newsletter when I started), then I began doing interviews with composers for CinemaScore: The Film Music Journal which I acquired from its former publisher in 1981 and edited/published until 1987, and later a number of other magazines. With the exception of the occasional issue turning up on amazon or eBay, these magazines are pretty much long out of existence, but increasing portions of their content (and not just my own contributions, thankfully!) in online archives. The CinemaScore and Soundtrack Magazine Archives web site, published in The Netherlands at www.runmovies.eu/, continues to preserve many of the articles, reviews, and interviews from these vintage film music periodicals (both of which predated the modern print and online magazines and, for a decade or two were the only magazines devoted to this topic until the advent of Film Score Monthly in the US and Music from the Movies in the UK. There’s also a very nice tribute to what CinemaScore magazine meant to some in its day, from Roger Feigelson, which I am very grateful for – link to it here). In addition to archiving content from Soundtrack and CinemaScore, publisher Jeannot Boever is also posting new interviews and reviews as well as archiving out-of-copyright content from the original film music magazine, titled simply Film Music, from the 1950s, featuring articles written by prominent composers on their recent scores. (Incidentally, Boever also manages a Hugo Friedhofer website, preserving old and new articles, reviews, and interviews).
In other pre-Musique Fantastique archive news, Along with the occasional soundtrack review, I wrote most of Cinefantastique magazine’s film music/composer interview oriented “The Score” columns from 1982 to 1999, and then in the magazine’s online incarnation from 2009 to 2011. The latter are archived at Cinefantastiqueonline at this link, and include interviews of such variety as John Debney (IRON MAN 2, PREDATORS), Brian Tyler (THE FINAL DESTINATION), Robert Carli (George A. Romero’s SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD), Tom Hiel (SHARKTOPUS), Tyler Bates (HALLOWEEN II), Rafael May (Australia’s crocodile terror thriller BLACK WATER),l and Brian Ralston & Kays Al-Atrakchi (SyFy’s BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES). – rdl 06/27/16