alone

When the Oscar nominations were announced a week and a half ago, there was one big surprise in the Best Original Song category: a tune called ‘Alone Yet Not Alone,’ from a film of the same name. The movie is obscure, but the song’s composer is not. Bruce Broughton, acclaimed for scores including the Oscar-nominated Silverado, wrote the music.

There was something funky in the details, however: Broughton was until recently a governor of the music branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and remains an exec committee member of the branch. He had reportedly reached out to other friends in the Academy to give the song a little love.

Surprise: that’s vaguely like the Oscar version of insider trading, and falls well outside even the acceptable limits of heavy politicking and influence-wielding that goes along with every batch of Oscar nominations. In a strange move that isn’t unprecedented, AMPAS has just stripped Broughton and the song of the nomination. A replacement nomination will not be named. Read More »

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Jennifer Connelly and Russell Crowe in Noah

Will Butler and Owen Pallett‘s lovely score for Her is going to the Oscars, but it may not ever come to our iTunes collections. During a Reddit AMA, director Spike Jonze sounded uncertain about the possibility of an official release for the soundtrack. “I loved what Arcade Fire did. I’m not sure if there’s going to be a release of it though,” he said.

Why the Arcade Fire-performed score may not be released is unclear, so it could just be that there are no plans for a formal album release yet. For now, though, we can comfort ourselves by listening to the streaming version of the soundtrack, which you’ll find after the jump.

Also after the break, read all about Kronos Quartet’s work for Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, and details on the Divergent soundtrack featuring Ellie Goulding and more.

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reznor-ross

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have provided two memorable scores for David Fincher‘s recent films: the Oscar-winning music for The Social Network, and the equally good if less-rewarded score for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. The two musicians will contribute to Fincher’s upcoming Gone Girl, too, as confirmed by Reznor today on Twitter:

That should up the anticipation for the new film a little bit. Gone Girl stars Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit, Carrie Coon, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris and Emily Ratajkowski, and is set to open on October 3, 2014. We probably won’t have to wait that long to get a good taste of the score, and it’s nice to know that fall will bring a new score from the duo.

Frozen

As I recall it, the climax of Disney’s Frozen is pretty great as it is. All the themes of the film — love, sisterhood, self-sacrifice, self-control — come to a head in one moving scene, sure to jerk tears and draw smiles in equal measure. But one fan thinks there’s a little something else Disney could’ve done to make the moment even more touching. After reviewing the video evidence, I’m inclined to agree.

One Tumblr user penned a reprise of “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?” to go with the big moment, another recorded the tune, and a third set it to video. Check it out after the jump, but be warned that major spoilers follow, and also that it may leave you bawling like a baby.

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Dave’s Top 5 Film Scores of 2013

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I think one sign of a film score’s success is how well it stands apart from its film. While the relationship should always be symbiotic, I’m always on the lookout for film scores I can add to my listening rotation. This year, there were a bunch of tracks that moved me deeply and/or received a ton of play either on my computer or through my headphones. The art of film music remains alive, well, and encouragingly diverse.

After the jump, check out my top 5 film scores of 2013, as well as a few great Honorable Mentions that barely missed the cut. Feel free to share your favorites in the comments below.
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Peter Jackson in The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug Production Diary 14

As eye-popping as the glittering gold piles, sinister dragon eyes, and deep, dark forests of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug are, they wouldn’t be quite as impressive without an appropriate soundtrack. That’s where Howard Shore comes in.

The Canadian composer has scored every installment of Peter Jackson‘s J.R.R. Tolkien franchise to date. For his trouble, Shore has won three Oscars — Best Original Score for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, plus Best Original Song for Return of the King‘s “Into the West.” Now he and his music are the focus of the final Hobbit production diary of 2013, which you can watch after the jump.

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Video: The Art Of IMAX Sound Featuring Hans Zimmer

IMAX Private Theatre

These days, IMAX doesn’t just mean a giant screen. It means giant sound too. I’ve had multiple occasions to talk to executives for the innovative company and time and time again they stress what makes IMAX special isn’t just the possibility of a larger than life screen. It’s a a sound mix that’s unique, loud and second to none.

IMAX has released a new video that explains a bit of what makes IMAX sound so special, and even got composer Hans Zimmer to talk about it. Check out the video below. Read More »

the-hobbit-desolation-of-smaug-banner

Typically it can be considered a slightly spoilerish endeavor to listen to a film’s score before the movie opens. But most of us are so familiar with what Howard Shore has done for Peter Jackson and Middle-Earth that a new batch of music is more like an extension of what has gone before than an entirely new set of cues. That said, the first Hobbit film was fairly distinct from the Lord of the Rings films, and some of the music for the second movie has it’s own character, too, even as familiar themes and concepts keep it grounded in Middle-Earth.

So while it is a couple weeks yet before the December 13 opening of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, you can spend the Thanksgiving holiday listening to 45 minutes from the score, as an embed has landed online. Read More »

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