Star Trek – Live in Concert at The Royal Albert Hall

Star Trek at the Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall in London is one of the world’s iconic music venues and recently they have been screening films in front of an orchestra.

Last week they screened Gladiator (2000) with Lisa Gerrard providing live vocals, and in the following days they showed J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek (2009) and its sequel Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), with the 21st Century Orchestra.

As the lights dimmed Simon Pegg, who plays Scotty in the current iteration of the long running sci-fi franchise, walked on stage and the crowd went suitably wild.

It wasn’t just sci-fi geeks wearing Star Trek tops getting excited, but a more mixed crowd that saw film fans of all ages. (Although the conductor came out for the second half of the concert wearing a yellow James T. Kirk top!)

This perhaps being a reflection of how Abrams’ latest films have refreshed the long running saga for a mainstream audience whilst honouring the traditions set down by Gene Rodenberry’s TV in the 1960s and the subsequent spin-offs.

Although these kind of musical events have been done before, they seem to be part of a new kind of theatrical experience which is seeks to get people back into cinemas in different ways.

I had never experienced a ‘live-to-score’ screening before and it was quite something to behold: wonderful sound, a huge screen and an iconic venue all made for an absorbing night.

It helped that the venue was sold out (and not just by Star Trek fans) and there was a good atmosphere, but it was also interesting to observe the musicians from the 21st Century Orchestra playing their instruments in-sync with the movie.

At times, it was difficult to decide what to watch: the film unfolding on screen or the musicians playing beneath them.

Ultimately, a mixture of the two was probably what I ended up doing, but it was a tribute to the musicianship of the orchestra that it was perfectly in sync, as there was no margin for error.

There was the added treat of introduction from Simon Pegg (Scotty), Michael Giacchino (composer) and J.J. Abrams (director), the latter getting a particularly large round of applause as he had just come from the set of his latest film (which also has the word ‘Star’ in the title).

Perhaps J.J. might be back sometime for a live to screening of that, but in the meantime I’d love to see Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), whose climax famously takes place at the Albert Hall.

How cool would that be?

> Royal Albert Hall and YouTube channel
> Star Trek (2009) at Wikipedia


Inspirational Movie Music

What is the secret of inspirational movie music?

By inspirational, I mean the kind of music traditionally used to salute artists who have inspired audiences and other artists.

Watching the Oscars last night, this struck me during the In Memoriam sequence and the ‘what-do-movies-mean-to-you’ segments.

Part of the reason cinema has traditionally been a superior medium to television is the immersive experience in an auditorium.

It accentuates not only the sound design of the film but also the musical choices of the director.

Although the effect is reduced at home in front of your TV (or computer) the same principles are at work.

But how do they work?

Composer Hans Zimmer briefly touches upon the subject in this interview about his early career, when he discusses the rise of MTV, how he got his break in Hollywood [interview starts about 0:30]:

When we listen to music our brains instantly detect a mood, which makes it appear effortless or easy.

But is actually precisely the opposite, as the composer or director are always skating on very thin ice as they risk the danger of sentimental cliche at any moment.

Such a moment can ruin a sequence, which is especially apparent in a film when the final audio and visual mix blends so many key elements together.

I’ve written before about frequently used trailer cues and, though they often get overused, there is a reason they were popular in the first place.

What’s interesting is that these pieces of music don’t necessarily have to be in great movies.

Last night I saw this tweet about music that was playing during one of the Oscar montages:

Although I saw Hoffa (1992) when it came out, for some reason it rarely gets played on UK television.

I remember it as an interesting, rather than a great movie, but listening to David Newman‘s score again I realised that there was something about it that fits neatly into a tribute segment.

His brother Thomas Newman is also a noted film composer and he too had a piece of music used in a montage last night.

It was from Meet Joe Black (1998) – a passion project for director Martin Brest that is now remembered as a costly 3-hour indulgence.

But although it is by no means a masterpiece, Thomas Newman’s score is magical, hitting emotional buttons all over the place.

Likewise, I’ve heard cues from Newman’s scores for Road to Perdition (2002) and Finding Nemo (2003) crop up on television, often in factual programming that needs a bit of a musical lift, which have his signature blend of melodies and instrumentation.

Similarly Carter Burwell’s main theme for Miller’s Crossing (1990) is another piece of music that provokes an instant mood, which is probably why it was used on the trailer for The Shawshank Redemption (1994).

Although it didn’t do that film’s theatrical prospects much good – it was only later that it became a hit on VHS and TV – you can see the marketing folk at Castle Rock chose it.

Then there are pieces of film music that live in through influence.

One of the most indelible scores of the last twenty years is Hans Zimmer’s work for Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line (1998).

The track ‘Journey to the Line’ somehow manages to capture the epic dread, excitement and adrenaline rush of men about to kill each other.

But like a lot of music used in Malick movies, somehow goes beyond that to a state of ecstasy that is hard to pin down.

Not only have I heard it pop up on television occasionally, but Harry Escott’s opening musical theme to Shame (2011) appears to be heavily influenced by it. (It also features in the trailer).

Zimmer repeated the soaring strings – albeit with a heavy does of electronic elements – for his remarkable score to Inception (2010).

You can see why Nolan – a huge Malick fan – went to the same man who composed that poetic war movie.

The combination of strings, brass and slow-burn build up pays off brilliantly.

Which brings us back to last night’s Oscars ceremony as another piece of music used in the montage ‘what-makes-movies-great’ segments was Mychael Danna’s score to Moneyball (2011).

Not only was this my personal favourite of last year, I suspect that it is going to become a fixture with TV companies looking to add inspiration to their coverage of the forthcoming Olympics or various other supporting events.

Not only does it sound like a cross between Philip Glass and the aforementioned Thomas Newman, but it doesn’t fall into the trap of overkill.

As a commenter on YouTube puts it:

“the progression and growing intensity in this piece rouse feelings of tremendous achievement, glorious victory, energized accomplishment…”

Which is ironic because Moneyball reflects the bitter-sweet nature of Billy Beane‘s career – whilst his ideas conquered Major League Baseball, his team did not.

In fact, his turning down the chance to manage the Boston Red Sox in 2002 – on the brink of their fairytale redemption in the 2004 World Series – gives the film a fascinating ‘if only’ quality.

But then that is arguably a strength of the film is that it focuses on the power of ideas (specifically on-base percentage) rather than luck or phoney sports movie clichés.

The score reflects this by always holding back on a big flourish – some of the pieces are under 2 minutes – so maybe that’s partly what’s so effective about it.

In his fascinating book Music and the Mind, Anthony Storr says:

“Absence of external association makes music unique among the arts”

Whilst this is true of music generally, it does not apply to film music as it is precisely about the external association of sounds with the image we see on screen.

There are differences between music specifically scored for a film and use of pre-existing pieces (maybe the subject of another post) but it the question still remains as to why it affects our emotions in this way.

It is hard to write down or even talk about the precise effect film music has on us, so I asked Twitter users earlier what music they found ‘inspirational’ (not a perfect word, but it is indicative of a certain mood) and they suggested the following.

Kelli Marshall suggested the opening theme to Chariots of Fire (1981) – note the mix of 80s synths, classical piano and the serious amount of smoking in the video.

Another user suggested:

‘most of Sergio Leone’s films’

Can you imagine the climax from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) without Ennio Morricone’s iconic score?

[Spoiler alert, obviously]

It is worth noting that this is Quentin Tarantino’s favourite movie scene of all time, which is interesting that such a master of dialogue should fall for a wordless sequence – but then maybe that’s what he admires about it.

What would be you inspirational music of choice?

>; Film Music at Wikipedia
>; Frequently Used Trailer Cues
>; Buy Music and the Mind by Anthony Storr from Amazon UK

Awards Season music

84th Academy Awards: Original Score

This category is notable for seeing the double nomination of John Williams  – although an Academy favourite it is very unusual to have two projects compete in the same year.


John Williams has two scores in the race this year and his score for Tin Tin is was his first new film material since Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008).

You can also listen to samples of the score over at Paramount’s official awards site.

THE ARTIST (Ludovic Bource)

The film’s score was composed by Ludovic Bource and recorded by Brussels Philharmonic and conducted by Ernst Van Tiel.

Here is a 30 minute interview Bource did with David Poland:

Only one song (with lyrics) used in the soundtrack, “Pennies from Heaven”, sung by Rose “Chi-Chi” Murphy.

The Weinstein Company are streaming the score here at their official awards site.

HUGO (Howard Shore)

This is the sixth collaboration between Martin Scorsese and Howard Shore. Like the film, Shore’s score is a love letter both to French culture of the 1930s and to the pioneers of early cinema.

Shore’s music is composed for two ensembles, inside a full symphony orchestra resides a smaller ensemble, a sort of nimble French dance band that includes the ondes Martenot, musette, cimbalom, tack piano, gypsy guitar, upright bass, a 1930s trap-kit, and alto saxophone. “I wanted to match the depth of the sound to the depth of the image” says Shore.

Paramount are streaming samples of the score at their awards site and you can buy it from Amazon or iTunes.


Although probably best known for his work with Pedro Almodovar, Iglesias was recruited by Swedish director Tomas Alfredson for this John Le Carre adaptation.

Focus Features are streaming samples of the score at their official awards site.

WAR HORSE (John Williams)

The second score Williams has in the running this year, is for his other Spielberg movie, an adaptation of the Michael Morpurgo children’s book.

The Wall Street Journal have a short video feature on Williams.

Official Oscar site
Explore past winners of Best Original Score at Wikipedia

Awards Season music

84th Academy Awards: Original Song

There’s only two contenders up for original song this year, and both are from family movies.

MAN OR MUPPET from THE MUPPETS (Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie)

This song was used as the official music video for the film and was performed by Jason Segel and Walter the muppet.

The Muppets Original Soundtrack available on Walt Disney Records and more information is on their official site.

You can also download the sheet music and read an Observer profile on Jason Segel here.

REAL IN RIO from RIO (Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown / Lyric by Siedah Garrett)

In the film, this song is divided in two parts: the first is played in the opening sequence and the second is sung in the penultimate  scene of the film. (On the soundtrack, the song is complete).

Unfortunately, they don’t seem to have made the full track officially available, so I’ve included the promotional 2 minute clip that the studio released on YouTube back in the Spring.

The official website for Rio is here and you can download the score from the iTunes store here.

Official Oscar site
> Explore past winners of Best Original Song at Wikipedia

Interesting music

Buck 65 Title Card Video

The new video from Buck 65 pays homage to notable title cards from cinema history.

Created by Travis Hopkins, Superstars Don’t Love manages to cram in a lot of references into just 1 minute and 28 seconds.

Did you notice them all?

Art of the Title has a post explaining how it was put together, including some direct comparisons.

Buck 65
> Art of the Title
> Christian Annyas’ Movie Title Stills Collection

music Soundtracks

The Best Film Music of 2011

The best film music this year featured strong scores from composers like Cliff Martinez and Mychael Danna, whilst also providing us with plenty of memorable moments in the shape of individual tracks.

Soundtrack releases are often treated like the ugly duckling relation to a movie – I’m still waiting for an official soundtrack for Somewhere from last year – as it can often be just another commercial tie-in to a movie or bogged down by rights issues.

But when it is done right, there is something unique about music on film: it can sonically charge your emotions whilst sitting in the cinema or viscerally remind you of a film when you fire up the iPod.

As always there is some overlap between the use of pre-existing songs on soundtracks and scores written especially for the film, but the picks below all stood out for how they enriched their respective movies.

Given the varied nature of online music distribution these days, you’ll be able to find the albums and tracks at iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and other places online (if not just email me).

* N.B. As I haven’t yet seen The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo I’ll have to reserve judgement on that score for the time being *


Another Earth by Fall on Your Sword – Blending pulsating electronic elements with quiter atmospherics, this played a major role in reflecting the startling ideas and themes of Mike Cahill’s low budget sci-fi drama. More varied than a first listen might suggest, it is worth keeping an ear out for the mix of instrumentation.

Drive by Cliff Martinez & Various Artists – A fantastic blend of songs by artists like Desire and College, along with some pulsating, moody electronica by Cliff Martinez, helped make this one of the most distinctive soundtracks of the year. Not only was it central to the cool aesthetic of the film, given the lack of dialogue it was almost a supporting character in the movie.

Hanna by The Chemical Brothers – Joe Wright’s stylish thriller was given a pleasing jolt by the electronic beats on the soundtrack. Action sequences such as a prison escape and an extended rumble at a train station were given a real lift by the unusual instrumentation and sounds. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it become influential in movie trailers and TV spots for other movies.

Hugo by Howard Shore – The score to Scorsese’s ingenious love letter to the early days of cinema was a playful and sometimes deceptively light concoction. But it fitted the visual delights on screen perfectly, whilst also accentuating the deeply emotional closing stages. I suspect this film will be revisited in years to come (after all the industry chatter about awards and box office) and that the score will be a key part of how people connect with it.

Jane Eyre by Dario Marianelli – British costume dramas can often be stodgy way of squandering public money as BBC Films pander to middlebrow taste buds. But this exquisitely realised adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s novel was well served by an atmospheric score which mined the psychological depths of the book and gave it an extra emotional kick.

Moneyball by Mychael Danna – Perhaps the most memorable score of the year was this electrifying companion to Bennett Miller’s marvellous adaptation of Michael Lewis’ book. The subtle use of strings and piano cleverly contain the emotion throughout and the individual pieces ‘The Streak’ and ‘Turn Around’ accompany one the best film sequences I’ve seen in years.

Shame by Various Artists & Harry Escott – An eclectic selection of music added to Steve McQueen’s outstanding drama. Not only did we have Carey Mulligan singing “New York, New York” and Glenn Gould playing Bach, but there were also great uses of tracks from Blondie and Chic. Also listen out for music from a key scene that sounds just like Hans Zimmer’s Journey to the Line from The Thin Red Line (1999).

Super 8 by Michael Giacchino – J.J. Abrams’ homage to early Spielberg movies was boosted by this lush reworking of John Williams. Like the film, it was a fascinating example of an artist finding his own voice through the work of another. Reminiscent of Giacchino’s pioneering work in television with Lost (2004-2010) and his recent scores for Pixar, it provided a big emotional component to the film.

The Descendants by Various Artists – The first mainstream American movie scored exclusively with Hawaiian music was an unexpected treat. Its distinctive use of guitars and instruments native to the Aloha State and helped provide some unexpectedly touching moments. Like Payne’s film it avoided bluster and cliché, complementing the bittersweet nature of the film.

The Ides of March by Alexandre Desplat – This moody score provided a suitable backdrop for George Clooney’s political drama. Although the sound design and use of ‘musical silence’ is striking in places, the heavy use of strings suits the film like a glove. Clooney seemed to be channelling his favourite films of the 1960s and 1970s (especially Alan Pakula and Sidney Lumet) and whilst it wasn’t on par with Michael Small’s classic minimalism, it was in its own way a powerfully understated score.

The Skin I Live In by Alberto Iglesias – Another memorable score from Iglesias was for his regular collaborator Pedro Almodovar. It was something of a departure for the director, as he descended into Cronenberg territory and the music reflected this, creating a marvellous atmosphere of unease. There was also a dash of Bernard Herrman (although not as much as 2004’s Bad Education) which added to the mix.

The Tree of Life by Alexandre Desplat/Various Artists – The story of music and this film is an interesting one as Alexandre Desplat wrote a score which director Terrence Malick mostly replaced with classical selections instead. Pieces by Ottorino Respighi, Bedrich Smetana and John Tavener were just some of the composers whose music helped make the film utterly transcendent.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by Alberto Iglesias – It was a surprise to see Pedro Almodóvar’s regular composer score this rich and haunting John Le Carre adaptation. But along with the brilliantly executed technical aspects of the film, the subtle use of strings played a big part in recreating the pervasive Cold War atmosphere. A version of Le Mer as the film reaches its climax stands out as perhaps the best ever use of Julio Iglesias in a movie.

Win Win by Lyle Workman and The National – Perhaps the single best use of a song this year was including The National’s Think You Can Win over the closing credits of Tom McCarthy’s quietly brilliant film. But the score also provided a rich musical accompaniment with acoustic guitars creating a tangible mood that suited the bittersweet nature of the comedy-drama.


  • Fall On Your Sword – The First Time I Saw Jupiter (from Another Earth)
  • Desire – Under Your Spell (from Drive)
  • Dario Marianelli – Wandering Jane (from Jane Eyre)
  • Mychael Danna – The Streak (from Moneyball)
  • Glenn Gould – Goldberg Variations BWV 988: Aria (from Shame)
  • The Chemical Brothers – Escape 700 (from Hanna)
  • Julio Iglesias – Le Mer (from Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy)
  • Deep in an Ancient Hawaiian Forest (from The Descendants)
  • ELO – Don’t Bring Me Down (from ‘Super 8’)
  • Zbigniew Preisner – Lacrimosa (from The Tree of Life)
  • The National – Think You Can Wait (from Win Win)

What film music did you really respond to this year?

> Best DVD & Blu-rays of 2011
> Best Film Music of 2010

music Soundtracks

Dragon Tattoo Soundtrack Sampler

Trent Reznor recently released details and samples from his upcoming score to David Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

On his official website, he wrote:

For the last fourteen months Atticus and I have been hard at work on David Fincher’s “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”. We laughed, we cried, we lost our minds and in the process made some of the most beautiful and disturbing music of our careers. The result is a sprawling three-hour opus that I am happy to announce is available for pre-order right now for as low as $11.99. The full release will be available in one week – December 9th.

You have two options right now:

VIsit iTunes here where you can immediately download Karen O’s and our version of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” when you pre-order the soundtrack for $11.99.

You can also check it on soundcloud and also see how popular it is by checking the number of plays. click here for more info if you want to know how to get more soundcloud plays for your music.

You will also be able to exclusively watch the legendary 8-minute trailer you may have heard about (no purchase necessary obviously). We scored this trailer separately from the film, BTW.


Visit our store here. We’re offering a variety of purchasing options including multiple format high-quality digital files, CDs and a really nice limited edition deluxe package containing vinyl and a flash drive.

In addition, RIGHT NOW you can download a six-track, 35 minute sampler with no purchase necessary.

You can also listen to selected tracks here:

Dragon Tattoo Sampler by ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

The full track listing is:

1. Immigrant Song
2. She Reminds Me Of You
3. People Lie All The Time
4. Pinned and Mounted
5. Perihelion
6. What If We Could?
7. With the Flies
8. Hidden In Snow
9. A Thousand Details
10. One Particular Moment
11. I Can’t Take It Anymore
12. How Brittle The Bones
13. Please Take Your Hand Away
14. Cut Into Pieces
15. The Splinter
16. An Itch
17. Hypomania
18. Under the Midnight Sun
19. Aphelion
20. You’re Here
21. The Same As the Others
22. A Pause for Reflection
23. While Waiting
24. The Seconds Drag
25. Later Into the Night
26. Parallel Timeline (Alternate Outcome)
27. Another Way of Caring
28. A Viable Construct
29. Revealed In the Thaw
30. Millenia
31. We Could Wait Forever
32. Oraculum
33. Great Bird of Prey
34. The Heretics
35. A Pair of Doves
36. Infiltrator
37. The Sound Of Forgetting
38. Of Secrets
39. Is Your Love Strong Enough?

Sony also recently released this 8-minute trailer, which is quite an interesting thing to do before a major release like this:

The film opens in the UK on Boxing Day.

Official site
> Trent Reznor

Interesting music

John Williams 1990 Concert

In 1990 Steven Spielberg hosted a TV special dedicated to the music of John Williams.

For a special edition of a WGBH programme called Evening at the Pops, Williams conducted the Boston Pops Orchestra as they played some of his most famous themes.

Spielberg introduces each segment and those played are selections from Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Sugarland Express, 1941 and E.T. The Extraterrestrial.

Although there were more scores to come (Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List) it is a nice tribute to one of cinema’s most enduring creative partnerships.

> John Williams at Wikipedia
> Steven Spielberg at MUBi and TSFDT

Interesting music

How Led Zeppelin influenced John Carpenter

John Carpenter recently revealed the major influence on his memorable score for Assault on Precinct 13.

In a recent interview with Simon Reynolds for Vision Sound Music, he talks about his early musical influences and how Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song and Lalo Schifrin‘s Dirty Harry theme influenced the score for his 1976 film.

Immigrant Song was the opening track on Led Zeppelin III, which was released in 1970 so it is entirely feasible that Lalo Schifrin was listening to it when Dirty Harry was in production during 1971 before being released in December of that year.

Notice how the theme which accompanies any scene involving the villian Scorpio (Andy Robinson) features a similar riff to Jimmy Page’s guitar, which influenced Carpenter’s main theme for Assault on Precinct 13.

It just goes to show how everything is a remix.

> John Carpenter at Wikipedia
> Watch the full Vision Sound Music interview with Carpenter
> Buy Assault on Precinct 13Led Zeppelin III and Dirty Harry from Amazon UK
> Lalo Schifrin’s official site

music Viral Video

The Great Dictator meets Inception

Hans Zimmer’s Inception score makes for a stirring backdrop to Charlie Chaplin‘s climactic speech from The Great Dictator (1940).

Chaplin’s first talking picture was ahead of its time: a stirring condemnation of Hitler and facism, it was initially banned by the UK government due to the appeasement policy with Nazi Germany, although later became a hit, partly due to its wartime propaganda value.

There were many odd parallels between Chaplin and Hitler: both were born in April 1889, Chaplin’s Tramp character and Hitler had a similar moustache and both struggled in poverty before reaching global fame.

Chaplin’s son later described how his father was haunted by the similarities:

“Their destinies were poles apart. One was to make millions weep, while the other was to set the whole world laughing. Dad could never think of Hitler without a shudder, half of horror, half of fascination.”

The film was bold in its ridicule of Nazism and its depiction of an anti-Semitic authoritarian regime.

Watch this appreciation by The New Yorker’s Richard Brody from earlier this year:

In addition to writing, directing and producing, Chaplin played the titular dictator ‘Adenoid Hynkel’ (a thinly-veiled substitute for Adolf Hitler) and a look-alike Jewish barber persecuted by the regime.

At the climax of the film, the two have swapped positions and Chaplin directly addresses the audience in a speech which denounces facism, greed and intolerance in favour of liberty and human brotherhood.

A YouTube user DerPestmann had the idea of combining it with Hans Zimmer‘s epic track Time from the Inception score.

See what you think:

> Find out more about The Great Dictator at the IMDb, Wikipedia and Criterion
> Buy The Great Dictator on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon
> Buy the Inception score from Amazon UK or iTunes


The Way by Zack Hemsey

The music of Zack Hemsey has found its way into some high profile trailers over the last year and his latest album is called The Way.

Perhaps most famous for his track Mind Heist, which was used in the third and final trailer for Inception (2010), other pieces have featured in trailers for Robin Hood (2010) and The Town (2010).

In fact the trailer for the Ben Affleck crime drama was given a considerable lift by the track Redemption, which features on The Way.

If you liked Mind Heist, then you’ll probably did the rest of the tracks, which feature plenty of epic sounding compositions that make great use of strings and beats.

You can listen to all the the tracks below and buy them from his official website here.

Zack Hemsey’s official site (the album section is here)
Hemsey’s offficial YouTube channel & Blog
Profile of Zack Hemsey
> Listen to several different versions of Mind Heist (the track from the Inception trailer)

music News

Bernard Herrmann at 100

One of the greatest film composers of all time would have been 100 today.

Bernard Herrmann is best known for his long term collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock, but his career was a remarkable one that saw him score for directors such as Orson Welles, Fred Zinneman, Nicholas Ray, François Truffaut, Brian De Palma and Martin Scorsese.

After working in radio with Welles at the Mercury Theater company, he joined the precocious director for his debut feature film Citizen Kane (1941).

Groundbreaking in so many ways, Herrmann’s distinctive score marked him out as a composer to watch and he won an Oscar for his second film, William Dieterle’s The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941).

He also composed the memorable score for the sci-fi classic The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) using a theremin to great effect.

His work with Hitchcock began with The The Trouble with Harry (1955) and was followed up when the director remade his own movie The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) – Herrmann even makes a cameo appearence as the conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra during the sequence at the Royal Albert Hall.

Arguably the most famous director and composer team ever, Herrmann’s scores for Vertigo (1958), North By Northwest (1959) and Psycho (1960) are gold-plated classics and on The Birds (1963) he created an innovative sound design instead of a traditional soundtrack.

The 1960s also saw some fine work with Cape Fear (1962), Jason and the Argonauts (1963) and Fahrenheit 451 (1966).

His later years saw him move to London, but in the final year of his life he worked with Hitchcock devotee Brian De Palma on Obsession (1976) and Martin Scorsese on Taxi Driver (1976).

The latter film provided a fitting epitaph with its brilliant use of percusion, strings and saxophone. Scorsese dedicated the finished picture to him.

Since his death, his reputation has continued to grow with directors like Quentin Tarantino (theme from ‘Twisted Nerve’) and even pop stars like Lady Gaga (main theme from ‘Vertigo’) using his music.

Back in 1988, KIOS-FM broadcast a 2 hour radio documentary on Herrmann’s life and career by Bruce Crawford and Bob Coate, and you can listen to it in three parts here:

You can also watch part of a documentary on him here:

NPR also broadcast an interview with Professor Jack Sullivan about his book Hitchcock’s Music back in 2007:

And finally, this photo is a classic:

> The Bernard Herrmann Society
> Find out more about Bernard Herrmann at Wikipedia
> Herrmann Marathon Blog which looks at each score one-by-one


New Versions of Mind Heist

Zack Hemsey has released some new versions of Mind Heist, the track that became famous after being used in the final Inception trailer.

The track first came to prominence with the third and final trailer for Chris Nolan’s blockbuster and it really seemed to connect with audiences making it one of the most notable (and spoofed) trailers of the year.

At first some people assumed that Mind Heist was the work of Hans Zimmer, who wrote the film’s memorable score, and Hemsey was quick to point out via his blog that he was actually a different person.

For a time the track wasn’t officially available to buy online but Hemsey recently uploaded the Mind Heist EP to his official YouTube channel, which contains 5 versions of the track.

Notice how the image of train gets gradually closer if you listen to all of them (viewers of the film will get the reference).

There is the original:

Then there is The Birth of an Idea, which expands the original in epic ways by adding more electronica and strings:

No Turning Back is a similar length to the original but uses slightly different musical elements and accentuates the beats:

The Promise of Tomorrow plunges into the and focuses on the nice, rousing vibe:

Evolution is perhaps the one that fans of the film will dig the most. Expanding the original track to 6 minutes, it really builds towards a massive sounding climax:

Hemsey’s music has also been used in trailers for The Town (2010) and Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood (2010) and he was profiled by Soundworks last month.

> Buy the full Mind Heist EP at Zack Hemsey’s official site
> The third and final Inception trailer


Daft Punk Tron Tribute

Arnaud Faure has created this neat visual tribute to Daft Punk‘s Tron Legacy score.

Although last year’s Tron sequel may not have fully worked as a film, the score was extraordinary: a pulsing, epic feast of electronica blended with some monumental orchestral strings.

This animation to Derezzed neatly captures the spirit of the Tron series and the score:

> More on the Daft Punk score to Tron Legacy
> Find out more about Daft Punk at Wikipedia
> Arnaud Faure at Vimeo

music News

The National compose ‘Think You Can Wait’ for Win Win

US band The National have written a song especially for Tom McCarthy’s new film Win Win.

Already a critical favourite in the US after premiering at Sundance in January, the film stars Paul Giamatti, in what is arguably his best part since Sideways (2004), as a New Jersey attorney who moonlights as a highschool wrestling coach.

It also stars Amy Ryan, Bobby Cannavale, Jeffrey Tambor, Burt Young, Melanie Lynskey and Alex Shaffer.

The National’s lead singer Matt Berninger wrote the song ‘Think You Can Wait’ after watching the film and the end result fits perfectly.

You can listen to the track here:

The National – Think You Can Wait by Hypetrak

Or watch the video below:

Win Win is currently in limted release in the US and opens in the UK on Friday 27th May

> Official site for Win Win
> Reviews for Win Win at Metacritic
> The National

Behind The Scenes Interesting music

Zack Hemsey Profile

The Soundworks Collection have done a profile of composer Zack Hemsey.

Most people will have heard his track Mind Heist, which was used in the third and final trailer for Inception (2010).

You might also recognise his music from the trailers for Robin Hood (2010) and The Town (2010).

A New Jersey native, he currently resides in Lake Carmel where he has a home studio.

He describes how he got into music; his influences; and composing, recording and mixing on Logic Pro.

An independent artist, his discography and credits include the following:

Studio albums


Studio albums (under Nine Leaves)

  • Nine Leaves (2006)
  • Peace In Death (2008)

Film trailers

  • “Redemption” from The Town (2010)
  • “Mind Heist”, “Simple Idea” and “True Potential” from Inception (2010)
  • “Character” from Robin Hood (2010)
  • “Changeling” from Trust (2011)


  • “Sanguine Love” and “Second Chances” from CSI: NY (2009-2010)
  • “Cinderella” from The Cleaner (2009)
  • “Cougar Island” from Hunter Hunted (2007)


  • “Moonlight” Chrysler 300
  • “Time Lapse” Taylormade
  • “Count The Ways” Firestone
  • “Sword” Smirnoff
  • “Sweater” Eucerin
  • “Queen Latifah” Jenny Craig
  • “Dizzy” US Cellular
  • “Touche” / “Blink” Kit Kat
  • “Inspired Design” Callaway
  • “Water Balloon” / “Vacation” Enablex
  • “Last Cigarette” Quitters
  • “Resolution” Special K
  • “Train” iShares
  • “Fire Nation Unleashed” Avatar
  • “Parking” GM

> Zack Hemsey’s official site (the album section is here)
> Hemsey’s offficial YouTube channel & Blog
> Soundworks Collection

Behind The Scenes music Trailers

Frequently Used Trailer Cues

Various pieces of film music often end up in trailers for other movies but some appear more frequently than others.

When you watch a trailer for an upcoming film, the music featured is not necessarily what you hear in the final cut.

Often this is because the film and score haven’t been finished, but there are some musical cues that keep re-appearing.

The movie music website have compiled a long list of frequently used cues from trailers and here are the top five:

1. Redrum from Immediate Music (Used 28 times): Immediate Music are a LA-based music company that specialise in music for trailers and for some reason their track ‘Redrum’ has really caught on. The pounding rhythm conveys a sense of emergency, the dynamic pause at 0.22 is useful for cutting to a dramatic shot and the choral singing creates an atmosphere of heightened tension.

It has been used 28 times in trailers for Dante’s Peak (1997), The Day After Tomorrow (2004), The Last Castle (2001), The Mummy Returns (2001) and The Ring (2002).

2. Fire in a Brooklyn Theatre from Come See The Paradise (1990) by Randy Edelman (Used 27 times): Not many people remember Alan Parker’s drama about the treatment of Japanese people in America following the attack on Pearl Harbor, but one track from Randy Edelman’s score has been used in plenty of trailers as an action cue.

Again, urgency is the key here with the insistent rhythm and pounding keyboards creating the impression that what you are watching is dramatic and important. Ironically, this is musically out of step with the rest of film but studio marketing departments seem to love it, especially for weighty dramas with high stakes, which means it has appeared in trailers for The Chamber (1996), Clear and Present Danger (1994), A Few Good Men (1992), Rob Roy (1995) and Thirteen Days (2000).

3. Tightwire from Immediate Music (Used 26 times): The trailer music specialists are at it again with this fast, orchestral cue which screams urgency and a sense that something big is about to happen (i.e. a bomb about to go off), creating the illusion that you’re seeing something important and dramatic.

This is probably the reason why it has been used in trailers for The Avengers (1998), Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), Leprechaun 2 (1994), The Man in the Iron Mask (1998) and What Lies Beneath (2000).

4. Naked Prey by Immediate Music (Used 25 times): Another track from Immediate Music, this cue automatically signifies urgent action with its quick beats and pounding rhythm.

Film trailers it has been used in include: Along Came a Spider (2001), The Beach (2000), The Constant Gardener (2005), The Mummy (1999) and Waterworld (1995).

5. Bishop’s Countdown from Aliens (1986) by James Horner (Used 24 times): James Horner’s score to James Cameron’s sequel to Alien (1979) was composed under extreme time constraints and pressure. But it features perhaps the most memorable trailer cue ever, taken from the climax to the film as Ripley fights the Alien queen.

The sounds of pounding metal, interweaving strings and perfectly judged brass all build to a monumental crescendo. It works so brilliantly that it appears in plenty of trailers including Alien 3 (1992), Broken Arrow (1996), Dante’s Peak (1997), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) and Minority Report (2002).

UPDATE 07/04/2011: After Roger Ebert tweeted about this post (thanks Roger!) there was a lot of traffic and some excellent suggestions in the comments below.

Some are more modern examples of music that has been re-purposed for use in trailers.

Michael Williams suggests Steve Jablonsky‘s theme My Name is Lincoln from Michael Bay’s The Island (2005), which most people probably remember for its use in the trailer for Avatar (2009):

What’s interesting about this one is that it is used for the first minute of the trailer and was probably chosen for the spacey, sci-fi vibe.

Another suggestion from Fax Paladin was the track “St Crispin’s Day” from Patrick Doyle’s score to Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V (1989). Click forward to 2.37 to hear the specific cue, which is used when Henry give the Band of Brothers speech.

I’m not exactly sure what it has been used for, but it sounds familiar and the rousing strings around 4.22 certainly have that uplifting quality you often see in a good trailer.

Rug Daniels suggested Carter Burwell‘s theme to Miller’s Crossing (1990), which not only appeared in the trailer for that film but also cropped up in the trailer for The Shawshank Redemption (1994).

Although the film wasn’t a box office hit for The Coen Brothers, the moving strings and charming melodies make it perfect for creating a mood in a trailer.

Cat Vincent suggests Lux Aterna from Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem For A Dream (2000), which was famously remixed for the trailer to The Two Towers (2002).

Aronofsky told me in 2008 that Mansell was initially unhappy about this use of his music, but it caught on and quickly became a staple of various trailers and ads including The Da Vinci Code (2006), Sunshine (2007), and even Sky Sports News (it was also the theme for Soccer Saturday from 2007-2009)

Kevin Bingham suggests a track from John Murphy’s score to Danny Boyle’s Sunshine (2007), which combines an absolutely epic mix of strings, electronic beats and piano.

For some reason this was re-used (or slightly remixed) by Murphy himself in Matthew Vaughn’s Kick-Ass (2010) – in a fairly tense sequence – and also cropped up in the trailer for The Adjustment Bureau (2011). It also seems to appear regularly in various TV shows. By the way, click here for a monster remix of this track.

Chris Knight suggests the track “Archer Solomon Hike” from James Newton Howard’s score to Blood Diamond (2006):

I can’t quite put my finger on what trailers have used it but the moody strings certainly fit that quiet/reflective moments in a trailer.

Dave suggests Basil Pouledoris’ main theme for Conan the Barbarian (1982). Listen to the opening part:

The rhythm and melody sound very familiar and create a vibe of impending doom in a foreign land. It also sounds like Jerry Goldsmith’s main theme for Total Recall (1990), another film which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Be sure to check out the full list of the most used trailer cues at if they aren’t included above.

> Trailer Music
> More on trailers at Wikipedia

Amusing music

Rebecca Black Swan

Stephen Dunn and Meghan Greeley of Your Friend In A Box did this video mashup of Black Swan and Rebecca Black‘s Friday video.

It runs out of steam towards the end but the first couple of minutes are very funny.

* Warning: If you haven’t seen Black Swan then there are a couple of spoilers *

> Black Swan LFF review
> More on Rebecca Black and Friday

music Soundtracks

Jon Hopkins Tracks on Soundcloud

British musician and composer Jon Hopkins has made four tracks available via Soundcloud.

If you saw the low budget sci-fi Monsters last year then you would have heard his evocative ambient score and he has also worked with Brian Eno in addition to producing his own acclaimed albums.

He has posted four tracks on Soundcloud, a music site popular with many professional musicians, including a remix of David Lynch’s recent single I Know.

You can listen to them below:

Jon Hopkins – Monsters Theme by Jon Hopkins

David Lynch – I Know (Jon Hopkins Remix) by Jon Hopkins

Jon Hopkins – The Wider Sun & Vessel by Jon Hopkins

Wild Beasts – Two Dancers (Jon Hopkins Remix) by Jon Hopkins

> Jon Hopkins
> More on Jon Hopkins at Wikipedia
> Buy the Monsters Soundtrack via iTunes or Amazon UK

music Trailers

Trailer: Scenes from the Suburbs

Spike Jonze has directed a short film called Scenes from the Suburbs which is a companion piece for Arcade Fire‘s album The Suburbs.

The first trailer has now landed in the week that it screens at SXSW:

Featuring a cast of unknowns, it is set in a future America where war is raging and the suburbs are segregated from the rest of the nation.

> Arcade Fire
> Spike Jonze at Wikipedia

music News Soundtracks

Tindersticks Claire Denis Film Scores 1996-2009

Tindersticks have announced the release of their collection of film scores for director Claire Denis.

Titled Claire Denis Film Scores 1995–2010, the boxed set includes the six soundtracks the band have done for the French filmmaker over the last fifteen years.

Ranging from Nenette et Boni (1996) to the recently acclaimed White Material (2009), it also includes 35 Shots of Rum (2008), Trouble Every Day (2001) and two solo soundtracks: Stuart Staples’ score for The Intruder (2004) and Dickon Hinchliffe’s score for the sensual Vendredi Soir (2002).

To accompany the release, the band will be performing a series of concerts in cinematic seetings, bringing together the music with the evocative images that inspired it.

After performing at the San Francisco Film Festival in May 2011, the project has gathered interest and momentum and further performances are being scheduled across Europe in 2011.

The first of these to be announced is at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on 26th April (19:30) in conjunction with the British Film Institute, with a special screening of Nenette et Boni at the BFI Southbank on the 27th April (18:30, NFT1), followed by an onstage Q&A with Claire Denis and lead singer Stuart Staples, discussing their work together and artistic affinity.

* UPDATE 29/03/11: You can now listen to some of the tracks on Soundcloud.

TINDERSTICKS – Claire Denis Film Scores BOX SET PREVIEW by Constellation Records

Staples has said in a statement:

“Sometime in Paris ‘95, I thought it was La Cigalle, she says it was the Bataclan, I’m not sure. That is where we met anyway, one of those places, after a concert. She was writing the screenplay for Nenette et Boni and something in our song ‘My Sister’ had clicked with her, she asked us if we would like to make the music for the film. We had film scoring pretensions, soundtrack music had always been a thing of David’s from when we met way back (though we could barely play, we had dreams).

It seemed the right next move for us, it fitted with the energy and flow of our band. We had this thing about Miles Davis’ Lift to the Scaffold. Passing through Paris he stopped off at the studio with his band and recorded the score right there and then, in a day, watching the film for the first time and reacting musically. Seemed like a good place to start. I suppose the essence was there, that’s how we began, and after a few fumbling months we delivered the music for Nenette et Boni, nervously. That’s how it all started, maybe we just got on, had some kind of understanding; we have never really talked about it. I was told she said in an interview that we understand her films before she does; maybe that’s true in some way, but I think she was just being gracious.

Approaching each film has always asked us to step into an unknown, stretch ourselves and do things we did not think we were able. At the end we always feel changed in some way. This has fed into all our other music and is a contributing factor to why we’re still struggling to catch our ideas after all these years, still frustrated and fascinated in equal measure. Other people have asked us to score their films, but we always reached a point where we realised that the freedom and conversation Claire affords (and expects from) us is not there, and then it becomes something different, making music for a purpose (money?) – something we’re well aware we have never been very good at.”

The soundtracks will be available for the first time together on CD, vinyl and download on Constellation Records and are released worldwide on April 26th 2011.

> Tindersticks
> More details on the London gigs in April
> Claire Denis at Wikipedia

music News

John Barry (1933-2011)

Composer John Barry has died in New York of a heart attack aged 77.

One of the best-known composers of soundtrack music since the 1960s, he worked on several James Bond films, Born Free (1966), The Lion in Winter (1968), Midnight Cowboy (1969), Out of Africa (1985) and Dances With Wolves (1990).

The winner of five Academy Awards, he also received a BAFTA fellowship award in 2005.

For the Bond franchise, it was his arrangement of Monty Norman’s iconic theme that led to him working on the scores for 11 films in the series, including Goldfinger (1964) and You Only Live Twice (1968).

Part of his signature style was the use of strings, orchestral swells and distinctive melodies.

He also wrote for television and among his most notable work in the medium included themes for Juke Box Jury and The Persuaders.

Barry, who lived in Long Island, is survived by his wife Laurie and four children and five grandchildren.

> John Barry at Wikipedia
> More links on John Barry at MUBi
> BBC News audio slideshow of John Barry’s music
> 1995 BBC programme on the Bond themes

Lists music Soundtracks

The Best Film Music of 2010

My favourite film music of the year included albums by Trent Reznor, Hans Zimmer and Daft Punk, whilst tracks by various artists including Zack Hemsey and Grizzly Bear also stood out.


Tron Legacy (EMI): The sequel to Tron was a mixed bag (great visuals, mediocre script) but the score by Daft Punk was unbeliveably epic, fusing their trademark electronica with an orchestra. [Amazon / YouTube]

Inception (Reprise): Hans Zimmer’s score for Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi blockbuster mixed electronic elements, strings and the guitar of Johnny Marr to brilliant effect. [Amazon / YouTube]

The Social Network (Pid): Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross gave David Fincher’s film about the origins of Facebook a dazzling electronic flavour, at turns pulsating and atmospheric. [Official site / Amazon / YouTube]

The Kids Are Alright (Lakeshore Records): A traditional, but shrewdly assembled collection of traditional and modern songs (featuring the likes of MGMT and David Bowie) which fitted the themes of Lisa Colodenko’s film perfectly. [Amazon / YouTube / The Playlist]

Greenberg (Parlophone): A solid collection of songs from James Murphy alongside tracks by The Steve Miller Band, Duran Duran, Nite Jewel and Galaxie 500. [Amazon / YouTube]

127 Hours (Polydor): Danny Boyle films usually have a memorable soundtrack and this is no exception, featuring music from A.R. Rahman and tracks by various artists including Free Blood, Bill Withers and Sigur Ros. [Amazon / YouTube]

Black Swan (Sony): For Darren Aronofsky’s reworking of Swan Lake, Clint Mansell reworked elements of Tchaikovsky’s original music to spectacular effect. [Amazon / YouTube]

N.B. The soundtracks for Somewhere and Blue Valentine would have easily made the list if they were available to purchase in the UK.


The following tracks are not all directly from soundtracks, but may also have featured on trailers and TV spots for various films.

You can download most of these tracks as a Spotify playlist here or just click on the relevant links to listen to them.

If you have any pieces of film related music you want to share, leave a comment below.

> The Best Films of 2010
> The Best DVD & Blu-ray releases of 2010

Interesting music

The Death of John Lennon

Thirty years on from John Lennon’s death, a lot of reports from December 8th 1980 can be viewed online.

Here are a few of interest.

ABC News with Ted Koppell and Geraldo Rivera:

BBC News report which features an interview with George Martin:

ITN also had an obiturary package which also featured George Martin:

Paul McCartney’s reaction in London after he spent the day in the studio:

Ronald Regan’s reaction (little did he know that someone would try and shoot him in March 1981).

Various New York radio reports from the night he died:

Here is the last ever interview he did with Andy Peebles for BBC Radio 1, just two days before he died (in 15 parts):

> Find out more about the Death of John Lennon at Wikipedia
> John Lennon’s last print interview with Rolling Stone plus video and photos

Behind The Scenes Interesting music

Tron Legacy Soundtrack Preview on KCRW

KCRW recently presented a preview of the Tron: Legacy soundtrack which included a lengthy chat between director Joseph Kosinski and Jason Bentley.

Daft Punk’s score for the upcoming film is one of the most anticpated of the year and Bentley was instrumental in getting the French duo on board.

A lot of secrecy has surrounded the project but Bentley and Kosinski discuss various elements of the soundtrack in this 55-minute program.

Hollywood Records have also streamed 20 minutes of the soundtrack on MySpace:

Tron: Legacy is out at cinemas on December 17th

> Transcript of the show at KCRW
> Buy the Tron Legacy soundtrack or download the MP3 version from Amazon UK
> More details on the soundtrack
> This is the studio in London where Daft Punk recorded the soundtrack

DVD & Blu-ray Interviews music Podcast

Interview: Garth Jennings and Nick Goldsmith on The Hammer and Tongs Collection

The directing and producing duo Hammer and Tongs (aka Garth Jennings and Nick Goldsmith) have a new DVD out which features their various music videos for artists such as Blur, R.E.M., Pulp and Vampire Weekend.

The collection also features various audio commentaries from band members featured in the collection, including Jarvis Cocker, Graham Coxon, Norman Cook and Ezra Koenig.

Garth and Nick first started making videos in the early 1990s for dance act SL2 and gradually began to make promos for acts including Pulp, Eels, Fatboy Slim, Supergrass, Blur, R.E.M., Beck and Vampire Weekend.

There are also various short films on the DVD that showcase their work from 1998 until 2009, including behind-the-scenes footage from the various videos and their two feature films so far, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005) and Son of Rambow (2008).

The tracklisting for the DVD is as follows:

  1. Blur: “Coffee & TV”
  2. Vampire Weekend: “A Punk”
  3. Vampire Weekend: “Cousins”
  4. Radiohead: “Nude”
  5. R.E.M.: “Imitation of Life”
  6. Pulp: “Help the Aged”
  7. Pulp: “A Little Soul”
  8. Supergrass: “Low C”
  9. Supergrass: “Pumping on Your Stereo”
  10. Bentley Rhythm Ace: “Bentley’s Gonna Sort You Out”
  11. Bentley Rhythm Ace: “Theme From Gutbuster”
  12. Badly Drawn Boy: “Disillusioned”
  13. Badly Drawn Boy: “Spitting in the Wind”
  14. Beck: “Lost Cause”
  15. The Wannadies: “Little by Little”
  16. The Wannadies: “Big Fan”
  17. The Wannadies: “Hit”
  18. Moloko: “Flipside”
  19. Fatboy Slim: “Right Here Right Now”
  20. Eels: “Cancer for the Cure”
  21. Eels: “Last Stop This Town”

I spoke with Garth and Nick recently at their offices in North London and you can listen to the interview here:

You can also subscribe to the interview podcast via iTunes by clicking here or by downloading the MP3.

The Hammer and Tongs Collection is out on Monday 22nd November from Optimum Home Entertainment

Buy the Hammer and Tongs Collection on DVD from Amazon UK
Tongsville – The official site for Hammer and Tongs

Behind The Scenes music

The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town

Last week Bruce Springsteen was in London to introduce a new documentary about the making of his 1978 album Darkness on the Edge of Town.

As he took the stage at the NFT many fans had their cameras out to capture the moment:

The Promise: The Making of ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town’ is a 90-minute film directed by Thom Zimny, and features never before seen footage shot between 1976-1978, capturing rehearsals and recording sessions.

Bruce Springsteen – “The Promise: The Making of ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town'” Sneak Peek from Columbia Records on Vimeo.

This is footage from the film of Springsteen and his band recording the track The Promise:

It premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September and is part of the upcoming box set, ‘The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story’, which features 21 previously unreleased songs from the ‘Darkness’ recording sessions.

> Buy The Promise box set on DVD or Blu-ray from Amazon UK
> Official site
> Find out more about Darkness on the Edge of Town at Wikipedia

Interesting music

The Backwards Score of Benjamin Button

After watching David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for the first time, there was something about Alexandre Desplat’s score that stayed with me.

I wasn’t sure exactly what this was until reading that the score contains musical palindromes: many of the themes can be played backwards, which mirrors the central story of a man ageing in reverse.

The composer explains more in this interview with NPR:

> The Curious Case of Benjamin Button at the IMDb
> Find out more about Alexandre Desplat at Wikipedia
> Buy Alexandre Desplat’s score from Amazon UK
> Photos of the scoring session from August 2008

Amusing music

Ukelele Shaft

This performance of the Theme from Shaft by the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain is really rather good.


The original Oscar winning theme from the 1971 film was by Isaac Hayes.

music Viral Video

PS22 Chorus sing Eye of the Tiger

The PS22 Chorus have been getting a lot of views on YouTube and this is them singing Eye of the Tiger from Rocky III.

> PS22 Chorus
> Eye of the Tiger at Wikipedia
> Rocky III at IMDb

Interesting music Random

John Carpenter vs Harold Faltermeyer

Notice the similarities between John Carpenter’s score for Escape From New York (1981) and Harold Faltermeyer’s music in Beverly Hills Cop II.

Listen to Carpenter’s track when the Duke arrives at the library:

It was also used in the trailer:

Now listen to Faltermeyer’s track for the opening bank robbery in Beverly Hills Cop II (1987):

Very similar don’t you think?

Cinema Interviews music Podcast

Interview: Robyn Hitchcock on Rachel Getting Married

Robyn Hitchcock in Rachel Getting Married

Rachel Getting Married is a drama about a young woman named Kym (Anne Hathaway) who returns home from rehab for her sister Rachel’s (Rosemarie DeWitt) wedding.

It was written by Jenny Lumet and directed by Jonathan Demme in a naturalistic, documentary style.

Robyn Hitchcock is one of England’s most enduring contemporary singer/songwriters who also appears in the film as part of the wedding band. 

He has collaborated with Demme before on the 1998 concert film Storefront Hitchcock and released many acclaimed albums throughout a distinguished career. 

I spoke with him recently in London about Rachel Getting Married:


You can download this interview as a podcast via iTunes by clicking here

Rachel Getting Married is out now at selected UK cinemas

Download this interview as an MP3 file
Rachel Getting Married at the IMDb
> Official site for Robyn Hitchcock 

[Image:  Sony Pictures Classics  © 2008]

Cinema music

Slumdog Millionaire – Paper Planes DFA Remix

The video for Paper Planes DFA Remix, performed by MIA, which features in the new film Slumdog Millionaire.

> Find out more about MIA at Wikipedia
> The Pathe and Fox Searchlight YouTube channels
> Listen to Danny Boyle discuss Slumdog Millionaire