GENRE FILM MUSIC NEWS
April 27, 2017
Adam Taylor’s score for new HULU series THE HANDMAID’S TALE to be released digitally by Lakeshore May 5
Lakeshore Records will release the soundtrack to THE HANDMAID’S TALE, an original HULU series digitally on May 5, 2017. The album features the series’ original score by composer Adam Taylor (AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, MEADOWLAND).
“In creating the score for THE HANDMAID’S TALE, I recalled a conversation with series creator Bruce Miller where he describes a world which is dark, but hopeful,” said Taylor. “That description shaped how I approached the creation of a theme that would emotionally connect the audience to the various systems at play in the series.”
Adapted from the classic novel by Margaret Atwood (previously filmed in 1990), THE HANDMAID’S TALE is the story of life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly the United States. Facing environmental disasters and a plunging birthrate, Gilead is ruled by a twisted fundamentalist regime that treats women as property of the state. As one of the few remaining fertile women, Offred (Elisabeth Moss) is a Handmaid in the Commander’s household, one of the caste of women forced into sexual servitude as a last desperate attempt to repopulate a devastated world. In this terrifying society where one wrong word could end her life Offred navigates between Commanders, their cruel Wives, domestic Marthas and her fellow Handmaids – where anyone could be a spy for Gilead – with one goal: to survive and find the daughter that was taken from her.
Watch the series’ trailer here
“The systems are the antagonist of the series, a relentless and indifferent force that is slowly disfiguring society and the inhabitants of Gilead,” Taylor explained. “I thought about it like waves of sound, waves that slowly grew in volume and dissonance until it overcame the senses. This led to what we landed on as the opening theme, and also how we approached the dynamics and shaping of the orchestral elements of the score.”
Taylor continued, “We knew from the start that we wanted to use classical instruments, as well as synths and atonal elements. One idea for the score was to reiterate sounds and instruments through processes that would create a loss in fidelity, like a poor quality photocopy… much like how life in Gilead was a distorted replica of normal life.” He experimented with an old tape echo to achieve this sound. “I went as far as tracking an instrument, then changing the speed of the tape to ‘fake’ melodic changes. It took some time to get right, but was worth it in the end – and ended up being crucial to making, what was essentially a two-note theme, sound emotive and interesting.”
Taylor is a film score composer based in Long Beach, California known for his subdued, emotional, and minimalistic scores. Taylor began his career scoring documentary and short films when Editor Stephen Mirrione enlisted his talents for John Wells’ August: Osage County. Since then, Taylor has become a prominent and sought after composer in the indie film space, most recently scoring BEFORE I FALL from director Ry Russo-Young. For more information see the composer’s web site here
March 13, 2017
James Newton Howard to Score new TOMB RAIDER film
Multiple Oscar-nominee James Newton Howard has been signed to compose the score for MGM’s new TOMB RAIDER film. Howard is best known most recently for his scores to FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM, MALEFICENT, THE HUNGER GAMES franchise, and co-composer of BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT.
The film, scheduled for release in March 2018, is directed by Roar Uthaug, known for the 2015 Norwegian disaster film THE WAVE, and stars Alicia Vikander (JASON BOURNE, EX MACHINA) as Lara Croft, and Daniel Wu (GEOSTORM, WARCRAFT) as Lu Ren.]
– via tombraidercollection
IFMCA Award Winners 2016 Recognize Many SF/Fantasy Genre Scores
The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) has announced its list of winners for excellence in musical scoring in 2016, in the 2016 IFMCA Awards: James Newton Howard’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” wins for best sci -fi/fantasy/horror score; Jóhann Jóhannsson’s acclaimed score for the sci-fi hit THE ARRIVAL (a score disqualified for an Oscar) won Score of the Year; and Michael Giacchino won composer of the year, in recognition of four sci-fi/fantasy scores – DR. STRANGE, STAR TREK BEYOND, ZOOTOPIA, ROGUE ONE. Christopher Young’s Asian fantasy score for THE MONKEY KING 2 won for best Action/Adventure/Thriller, and GAME OF THRONES won for best television score; while La-La Land Records won for best archival collection for John Williams’ Jurassic Park Collection.
For details, and full list of all winners, see:
For full list of 2016 nominees, see:
SOUND OF FEAR to Examine Horror Film Music Via Podcast – Crowdfunding Sought for Ongoing Series
Everybody loves scary movies, and one of the most important elements of a good horror movie is the music. But where does the music come from and why is it so effective? Charlie Brigden, film music journalist writer and a former editor on Films on Wax and allows us to dive into the sonic scary with THE SOUND OF FEAR, a series of podcasts that looks at the scores behind the scares, from Alien to Zombie Flesh Eaters.
“I was inspired by seeing a documentary series on BBC about film music and it made me think that horror music (and films) always get a short shrift despite sound being so important – traditionally few respect the genre,” Brigden told us. “Music and sound is so crucial to horror being effective and suggestive, so I wanted to highlight that as well as give some time to some really wonderful music.”
The first episode is already completed and is available to view as a proof of concept on Brigden’s Patreon site that hosts his crowdfundung campaign. Brigden hopes the campaign will bring in some additional funding here and there “to be able to turn this into an ongoing series.”
Currently, the initial run of THE SOUND OF FEAR is set into six episodes, which will look across some broader areas of the horror genre including the Universal monsters, slasher films, science fiction in horror, and more. “If this series is successfully completed then we can look to concentrate on some of the music we’ve had to skip over, including specific episodes on composers and franchises, as well as producing some bonus material such as interviews with composers and directors.
“So what we’re asking is for money to go towards the running costs of the podcasts.”
For more information, to watch Episode 1, or to support THE SOUND OF FEAR, see: www.patreon.com/soundfearpod
Basil Kirchin: The forgotten genius of UK music
BBC.com has posted a very interesting profile of UK composer Basil Kirchin, best known in film music circles for scoring THE SHUTTERED ROOM (1967),* THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES (1971),** and THE FREAKMAKER (1974; aka US: THE MUTATIONS)*** but was far more prolific in recording experimental and ambient music. Read the profile at bbc.com
* Kirchin’s SHUTTERED ROOM score remained an obscure non-release until 2012 when England’s Trunk Records released a prestige vinyl edition of Kirchin’s score in an expensive limited edition of only 29 copies.
** At the time of its release in 1971, a vinyl LP was released by American International Records, that contained songs from the film plus 5 minutes of music in three tracks from Kirchin’s score. In 2003 Perseverance Records, in association with the composer, released the first score album of the PHIBES music (now sold out).
***Kirchin’s avant garde music for THE FREAKMAKER was preserved on an extremely rare 19-track digital album from Master Cylindar Records (no date), described as a mixture of “straightforward film score music, messed-the-hell-up film score music, and electronically treated/created proto-dark ambient pieces.”