Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Mick Harvey....Motion Picture Music '94 - '05

Michael John "Mick" Harvey is an Australian musician, singer-songwriter, composer, arranger and record producer. A multi-instrumentalist, he is best known for his long-term collaborations with Nick Cave, with whom he formed the Boys Next Door, the Birthday Party and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

Mick's talents as a composer has seen him make several contributions on soundtracks for feature movies, short films and documentaries. This rare compilation is a collection of 27 racks from 6 different releases including "Chopper", "Lighting Fires", "Frank Hurley - The Man Who Made History", "Rosehill", "Rien Ne Vas Plus" and "Go For Gold".

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Heaven and Earth...Original Motion Picture by Kitaro

While regarded as one of the pioneers of the new age music genre, Kitaro is also no stranger to scoring for film and television. His music for the ‘Silk Road’ series by NHK in the early 1980's yielded four astonishing albums. A decade on, he would compose the music for Heaven and Earth (1993), the final picture of Oliver Stone’s unofficial ‘Vietnam War’ trilogy.

Kitaro won the Golden Globe for Best Original Score, which came rather unexpectedly, especially in a year that saw John Williams produced what was arguably his finest score for Schindler’s List (1993). His work for Heaven and Earth remains to be one of the most accomplished endeavours of his illustrious career.

Building from the symphonic sound of his massively-popular 1990 album Kojiki, his music here shows both dynamism and sensitivity as the melodies and arrangements echo the style of a traditional film score, yet are uniquely elevated by his penchant for using Asian instruments—our ears bear witness to the exquisite if sad sounds of the huqin (a kind of Chinese violin) in several tracks, and the powerful Taiko drums in ‘Arvn’ and ‘Village Attack/The Arrest’.

The synthesised sounds of what seem like the Japanese koto and flute are also brilliantly integrated with the orchestra, particularly in the stunning first track, ‘Heaven and Earth (Land Theme)’.


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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Trouble Every Day..Original Soundtrack...Music by Tindersticks

The soundtrack to the 2001 French movie, Trouble Every Day, does its job in setting the brooding, melancholy mood of a brooding, haunting and disturbing film.

For those who aren't familiar with the Tindersticks, imagine a synthesis of Angelo Badalamenti with John Cage, and early Leonard Cohen - performed inside a chapel. No comparisons are fair, since the sound is truly greater than the some of it's possible influences.

"Trouble Every Day" is more of a composed work than something that might have spontaneously come from a rock band. Many of the bass-lines are played (beautifully) by a double bass, and a full orchestra is used to great effect. Eastern sounding hand-percussion, acoustic guitar, and brass section all contribute to a mood that somehow feels both rich and austere.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Hottest State...Original Motion Picture by Jesse Harris and various artists

The soundtrack for the film, The Hottest State, isn't just another compilation of songs pulled out of obscurity and thrown together for a movie companion piece. If anything, this album could also be categorized as a tribute record. The album features sixteen songs, plus two score passages, all recorded exclusively for the film by some of the finest names in music today, all for the benefit of paying tribute to one of the brightest new song-writing talents in the last two decades: Jesse Harris. Grammy winning singer/songwriter Jesse Harris wrote all the music for the soundtrack and serves as the album's co-executive producer along with the film's director/screenwriter/producer, Ethan Hawke. Together, they assembled a peerless group of artists to record Harris' songs: Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, Cat Power, Bright Eyes, Feist, The Black Keys, M. Ward, Brad Mehldau, Tony Scherr and Argentinian newcomer, Rocha. 

Adapted by Ethan Hawke from his novel of the same name, The Hottest State is a bitter-sweet romance that distils the joy, pain, erotic highs, and emotional lows of first love. 


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Monday, April 11, 2016

The Dish..Music from the Motion Picture..with Score by Edmund Choi

This year 2000 Australian movie is about a remote outback antenna, populated by quirky characters, that played a key role in the first Apollo moon landing. The soundtrack is what I would term the "perfect soundtrack", in that the collection of iconic 1960's songs featured in the movie take up the first 13 tracks, and the score, composed by Edmund Choi and performed by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, takes up the next 15 tracks. An easier way to listen to a soundtrack I think, especially one as good as this.

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Thursday, March 31, 2016 from the original by Maurice Jarre

The soundtrack to the Peter Weir movie, Fearless, has every piece of music on it that made the movie so good. Even better, these are the full versions, not the edited versions used in the film. The music fits perfectly and is a credit to the composer and editors. The way they kept only the music and no dialogue during the unbelievable plane sequences at the end made more of an impact than if we had heard the actual sounds in the plane. Most notable is the 3rd Symphony, which just makes your heart cry.

It's also a very relaxing soundtrack to listen to on its own with Maurice Jarre at his very absolute best. So, if you liked the movie, and thought the music helped the atmosphere, then this is worth adding to your collection.

1. Max - Maurice Jarre
2. Mai Nozipo - Dumisani Maraire/Kronos Quartet
3. Polymorphia - National Philharmonic Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin
4. Sin Ella - The Gypsy Kings
5. Fearless - Maurice Jarre
6. Symphony No.3: 1. Lento-Sostenuto Tranquillo Ma Cantabile - Dawn          Upshaw/London Sonfonietta/David Zinman

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Crooked: The Movie...Original Score and Soundtrack..Music by Various Artists...2002

Three years in the making, this 2 hour feature film is about pursuing one's dreams despite harrowing odds as it follows Sensational, a talented unknown artist who tries to break into the cutthroat and corrupt music industry. Mostly biographical and based on real events, Crooked is the rawest, edgiest music film to emerge in years capturing the heart and soul of a culture as it chronicles the struggles of an artist whose creativity knows no bounds. Features cameos by Anti Pop Consortium, Prince Be of PM Dawn, legendary graffiti artist Futura 2000, and luminaries from the Wordsound guerilla army. Written, produced and directed by Skiz Fernando.

The soundtrack is a mix of Alternative, Indie, Hip-Hop, Electronica, Rap and Dub and has now become a rare and collectible item in itself. 

In 2002, music journalist S.H. Fernando Jr. (AKA "Skiz"), frustrated with the corporate hijacking of the music scene, founded WordSound Recordings, a self-described "guerilla think-tank" dedicated to continuous creation and experimentation. The label aimed at providing an arena for artists operating outside the mainstream as well as a true alternative to the formulaic and hype-driven status-quo, which at the time was being marketed as "alternative" rock, "underground" hip-hop, and "electronica." Forty full-length albums and numerous singles later, WordSound and its subsidiary, vinyl-only imprint Black Hoodz, have carved out an international reputation as one of the preeminent laboratories of musical innovation. With releases spanning such genres as dub, hip-hop, electronic, world, and just plain weird, the label has managed to elevate the game with its no-comprise D.I.Y. attitude, bucket loads of originality, and a serious commitment to upliftment through sound.

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Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Touch of Spice (Politiki Kouzina)..original by Evanthia Reboutsika

Soundtrack to the 2003 Greek/Turkish movie, "A Touch of Spice", a story about a young Greek boy (Fanis) growing up in Istanbul, whose grandfather, a culinary philosopher and mentor,teaches him that both food and life require a little salt to give them flavor; they both require... A Touch of Spice. Fanis grows up to become an excellent cook and uses his cooking skills to spice up the lives of those around him. 35 years later he leaves Athens and travels back to his birthplace of Istanbul to reunite with his grandfather and his first love; he travels back only to realize that he forgot to put a little bit of spice in his own life. 

The soundtrack by Greek composer Evanthia Reboutsika is as beautiful as the movie, with a very special mix of Greek and Middle Eastern elements reminiscent of the past. The highlights are the 2 vocal tracks "Allspice" and "Fire In the Harbour' with some of the most haunting and exquisite singing you may hear on a soundtrack. If your tastes are into "World" music, then this now rare release will certainly satisfy your needs.

Read more about the movie here at IMDB

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Sophie's Choice...1982 Film ..Original Soundtrack...Music Composed and Conducted by Marvin Hamlisch

Soundtrack to director Alan J. Pakula's 1982 drama that Meryl Streep won the Oscar for best actress. Kevin Kline co-stars along with Peter MacNicol. 15 tracks, all composed and conducted by Oscar and Pulitzer Prize-winner Marvin Hamlisch.

Listen as this soundtrack brings you up and down through a romantic journey through the heart. Sophie's Choice was an excellent heart wrenching true to life movie, and this soundtrack is an emotional portrayal, at the heart of the movie.

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Sunday, December 20, 2015

127 from the motion picture..featuring original music by A.R.Rahman

Original soundtrack to the 2010 film from director Danny Boyle includes a collaboration with composer A.R. Rahman and Dido as well as other instrumental score themes by Rahman, plus classics by Esther Phillips, Plastic Bertrand, and Bill Withers, plus new music from Sigur Rós and Free Blood. The featured new song "If I Rise," is the first collaboration between internationally renowned Grammy, Golden Globe and Oscar winner A.R. Rahman and Dido, the mega platinum two time Grammy Award nominated and 4 time BRIT Award winning British singer and songwriter. The atmospheric and transcendent music score of Academy Award winning composer A.R. Rahman is at the heart and soul of the inspiring new 127 Hours, the true story of Aron Ralston, a trapped mountain climber and his ordeal in the Utah wilderness.

• 1. Never Hear Surf Music Again - performed by Free Blood (5:51)
• 2. The Canyon (3:01)
• 3. Liberation Begins (2:14)
• 4. Touch of the Sun (4:38)
• 5. Lovely Day - performed by Bill Withers (4:16)
• 6. Nocturne No. 2 in E flat, Op. 9 No. 2 - written by Frederic Chopin (4:00)
• 7. Ca Plane Pour Moi - performed by Plastic Bertrand (2:59)
• 8. Liberation in a Dream (4:05)
• 9. If You Love Me (Really Love Me) - performed by Esther Phillips (3:26)
• 10. Acid Darbari (4:20)
• 11. R.I.P. (5:10)
• 12. Liberation (3:11)
• 13. Festival - performed by Sigur Ros (9:24)
• 14. If I Rise - performed by Dido Armstrong and A.R. Rahman (4:37)

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Les Miserables..1998 Film Version Original by Basil Poledouris

Basil Poledouris' musical rendition for Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables" is, quite simply, epic. From the prison quarries to Paris, from the struggle between mercy and justice (Val Jean and Javert), to tenderness and battle (Cosette and the ABC Club), Poledouris has captured it all. The main theme evokes images not only the policeman on the hunt, but the students on the barricade - in one spectacular brass arrangement. A particular favourite is the beginning of track three, where the simplicity of Val Jean and Cosette's relationship (in a delicate flute) is suddenly contrasted with the bustle of the Parisian streets (in bubbling woodwinds and strings).

Poledouris has outdone himself with this composition. His music evokes the crystal style of Ennio Morricone and the cinematic majesty of John Williams. It reflects a conversion from light to dark and completes the painting that is the film. In his composition we hear the brooding of Javert's soul, the love and compassion of Valjean. True to the literary work, both the score and the film focus their attention on the conflict between the redeemed Valjean and the obsessed Javert. The score is insightful on a personal level, allowing the listener the realization that darkness exists in all of us, but that darkness is merely the absense of light, the light of human compassion and love. Superb on a technical level, creatively beautiful, this score makes a fine addition to any personal music library, classical or otherwise.

1. Suite 1, Valjean's Journey: Theme From Les Miserables/The Bishop/Javert/The Quarry
2. Suite 2, Vigau: Javert Suspects/Caring For Fantine/Valjean's Confession/The Death Of Fantine...
3. Suite 3, Paris: Valjean & Cosette/The Wall/Outside/Marius & Cosette/Valjean Remembers
4. Suite 4, The Barricades: Funeral Attack/Valjean Saves Marius/Farewell/Javert's Suicide

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Fahrenheit 9/11 Original by Jeff Gibbs and Various Artists

Michael Moore's indictment of the Bush administration's post-9/11 fear-mongering and rush to war in Iraq was the most unlikely blockbuster of its crucial election year, a human-scaled, deeply patriotic American reflection that became the most successful documentary in history within days of its release. Its soundtrack is arguably the most understated, if shrewdly effective, component of Moore's potent agitprop. 

Composer Jeff Gibbs' brooding synth washes give the score an appropriate center of gravitas, lending an even more ironic tone to the almost obscenely bright pop and rock chestnuts (The Go Go's "Vacation," Joey Scarbury's "Theme From Greatest American Hero," REM's "Shiny Happy People," Elmer Bernstein's timeless theme from The Magnificent Seven) Moore uses to skewer his targets. Perhaps most notable is the chilling use of Arvo Part's Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten to underscore the film's stark, restrained evocation of the horrors of 9/11. Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World" closes matters out with a blast of bracing, if ever cynical, hope. --Jerry McCulley (Amazon)

1. The Un-President -- Jeff Gibbs
2. Vacation -- The Go-Gos
3. Bush Waits...And Waits- -- Jeff Gibbs
4. Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, for String Orchestra and Bell -- Paavo Jarvi/Estonian National Symphony Orchestra
5. We Gotta Get Out of this Place -- Eric Burdon
6. Weapons of Deceit -- Jeff Gibbs
7. Deserter -- Jeff Gibbs
8. Cocaine -- J.J. Cale
9. Shiny Happy People -- R.E.M.
10. Magnificent Sevent Theme -- Elmer Bernstein
11. Afghan Victory Dance -- Jeff Gibbs
12. Fire Water Burn -- Bloodhound Gang
13. Theme from "Greatest American Hero" -- Joey Scarbury
14. Aqualung -- Jetthro Tull
15. All They Ask -- Jeff Gibbs
16. Rockin' In the Free World -- Neil Young


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Kristin Royal Soundtrack Remixes in Cinematic Style

Kristin Royal is a composer/musician whose unique talent is taking top 40 songs and remixing them in her own special style by using elements and themes from soundtracks in what she calls "cinematic remixes".  She lists her hometown as "America".

Using Lindsey Sterling and Piano Guys as inspiration, Kristin has created several mixes "with an adventurous soundtrack spin, bridging the gap between today's hits and yesterday's orchestra." Each is done in a different soundtrack style (typical western, jazzy Gershwin, etc.) She has also remixed with an artist in Utah, Robyn Cage, keeping her vocals while composing a middle-eastern "Hidalgo" style soundtrack to accompany. This is included on Robyn's new album "Born in the Desert" (CD released Oct. 2nd, 2015).

As an avid soundtrack collector and aficionado, I was very impressed listening to these remixes as they convey a sense of space and time, and conjure up images of beautiful places and people I have met to create a "widescreen" vision in my head. Each subsequent listen then adds to this by forming a new "scene" as if a continuation of a story. Composers like Lisa Gerrard, James Horner and Ennio Morricone come to mind when hearing these. Not being all that familiar with top 40 songs myself, these mixes sound refreshing and work as individual pieces in their own right.

Below are YouTube videos of 4 of Kristin's creations and her notes on the thought process and inspiration behind each one.

Burning Now: I recently fell in love with Robyn Cage's powerful song, "Burning Now." Her music video was especially great and the beautiful scenes of the Utah desert inspired my exotic desert style remix of her song. I contacted her to see if she'd be interested in letting me remix her song. When I took it in the James Newton Howard "Hidalgo" desert direction, she loved it (probably because it starts off with a Duduk) and told me her upcoming album was actually called "Born in the Desert." 

Rather Be: This was the first cinematic remix I wrote. I wanted to capture the excitement of love that "Rather Be" expresses with the full spectrum of the orchestra, using the contrast of a love peaceful and simple, to love's fullest complex passionate splendor. I did not have a specific composer that I drew inspiration from, but I drew upon the expressive music from spectacle events such as the Olympics, Theme Parks, and Cirque du Soleil shows. Like these events, love can be spectacular!

Shake It Off: Originally known for her country, I thought it would be fun to turn Taylor Swift's recent pop hit "Shake It Off" back in the opposite direction and make it extremely country. So I made it the Wild West! After drawing on the inspiration of James Horner's "An American Tail: Fievel Goes West," I tried to include some typical soundtrack elements that show up in westerns such as: cowboys, outlaws, the calvary, railroad expansion, handcarts, big wagons, wild horses, native americans, the fiddle, pioneers, big wide landscapes (like the iconic Utah/New Mexico desert lands,)etc. I hope you have fun picking out everything!
*There is also a special audio Easter Egg hidden in the song. (This sound is a staple used in westerns films and video games of all kinds, so I had to use it.) 

Uptown Funk: At first I was nervous to take on "Uptown Funk" because it's such a lively, funky song, and I am a classically trained French Horn player. (Not saying we can't get funky every now and then, it's just not our natural state.) Mixing my classical tastes with Bruno Mars was challenging, but exciting! I drew upon Michael Giacchino and his great use of brass and jazz in "The Incredibles." 

Find out more on Kristin Royal:

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Travelling Birds...original by Bruno Coulais...rare release

This now rare soundtrack from the acclaimed 2001 documentary by Jacques Perrin "Travelling Birds" (also known as "Winged Migration" or "Le Peuple Migrateur") is a treat for soundtrack enthusiasts or music aficionados in general.

French composer Bruno Coulais has created beautiful, soul-stirring music that not only perfectly accompanies the images on the screen but stands alone as a musical creation that improves on repeated listens . Some of the tracks make you feel like you're one of the birds flying across the world and taking flight with them as they make their journey. Also includes tracks by Nick Cave, Robert Wyatt, A Filetta and Gabriel Yacoub.

1. To Be By Your Side - Nick Cave
2. Masters Of The Field - Robert Wyatt
3. Northern Bound
4. The Crossing
5. The Highest Gander - Robert Wyatt
6. Beating Drums
7. The Return Of The Cranes
8. The Blue Thread
9. The Red Forest - Robert Wyatt
10. Like A Breath Of Air - A Filetta
11. The Takeoff
12. Amidst The Factory Smoke
13. The Glider
14. After The Hunt
15. The Paper Parrot
16. The Swans Flight
17. Feathers And Stripes
18. The Wounded Dove - Gabriel Yacoub
19. Off Camera

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Friday, September 18, 2015

Eddie and The Cruisers...original by John Cafferty and The Beaver Brown Band

Eddie and the Cruisers was a movie about the disappearance of a (fictional) leader of a rock band, with an awesome soundtrack to boot. The soundtrack has now become a must have for any avid music collector and proves that 80's music was not all commercialized-synthesized shlock. Retro in sound to the 50's and 60's, with a contemporary edge, it has stood the test of time exceptionally well !

Many have compared the Eddie and The Cruisers/John Cafferty soundtrack to Springsteen's and the E Band's work (hopefully as a compliment and not as a rip off).Let's just say the Boss is the Boss and John Cafferty is John Cafferty. John Cafferty and his band were/are anything but a rip off. He has this very distinct knack for writing original and performing his material with plenty of hooks and upbeat melodies. His vocals are also easily recognized.They seem to have the tough rebellious rockin' edge to them when called for and yet that controllable warm vocal range that allows him to do a great ballad like Tender Years!. The Beaver Brown Band can do no wrong---the sheer artistry and musical synergy between JC & BBB is a great musical force unto itself.

1. On The Dark Side
2. Tender Years
3. Runaround Sue
4. Down On My Knees
5. Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes
6. Wild Summer Nights
7. Boardwalk Angel
8. Betty Lou's Got A New Pair Of Shoes
9. Those Oldies But Goodies (Remind Me Of You)

10. Season In Hell (Fire Suite)

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Visit my other music blogs here:
Soundtrack Heaven
The Aussie Music Blog
The Vintage Music Blog
The Jazz Music Blog
This Jukebox Rocks
The Blues and Roots Music Blog
Martin's Music Machine
Twitter @islandmanrocks