• Composer Series,  Interviews,  Movies/Entertainment,  Podcast Interview

    Interview…Jason Graves on Scoring TV and Video Games Galore

    In the world of music composition – whether it’s film, video games, TV or all three – there are plenty of people working very hard. They may not be household names like Williams or Elfman, but it doesn’t mean they are any less talented. And to stay in the game, nearly everyone penning music is downright prolific. One of these unsung musicians is two-time BAFTA award winner Jason Graves. You may not recognize him at first, but we’re pretty sure you’ll know everything he’s ever touched: Magnum P.I., Hawaii Five-O, Tomb Raider, Far Cry, Friday the 13th, and that’s just the short list.  Graves started playing music early on, and…

  • Composer Series,  Features,  Interviews,  Mondo,  Movies/Entertainment,  Podcast Interview

    Interview…Le Matos on Outrun, RKSS, and Mondo/Death Waltz Vinyl Releases

    Last month, we had the great pleasure to speak with a team of composers we’ve admired for some time. Hailing from Montreal, Le Matos has found their way into the hearts of ‘80s fans around the globe with their energetic sound – one that is as catchy as it is perfect for the films to which the music is attached. From their debut album Join Us to the scores to Turbo Kid and Summer of 84, they continue to improve and expand their audio palette. If that wasn’t awesome enough, they’ve won tons of acclaim and scores of fans with their theme remixes from genre classics like Akira, Blade Runner…

  • Composer Series,  Features,  Interviews,  Mondo,  Movies/Entertainment,  Podcast Interview

    Interview…Nathan Johnson on the Lush Orchestral Score to ‘Knives Out’

    One of our favorite composers, and one we’ve been fortunate enough to speak with several times over the years, is Nathan Johnson. With each film score, he’s continually gained an audience with a signature and stylistic approach to his work. That’s partly because he and his cousin are a package deal. Nathan and long time collaborator, Rian Johnson, go way back…even before Brick. The two grew up on the East Coast bringing their stories to life any way they could, hoping to one day break into the biz. Well, they did, and in a very big way. Thanks to titles like Looper, The Last Jedi, and now Knives Out, the…

  • Composer Series,  Interviews,  Movies/Entertainment

    Interview…Giancarlo Vulcano on the Surrealism of USA’s ‘Briarpatch’

    Composer Giancarlo Vulcano has years of experience in television writing music for long running series. The trick, so he tells us, is to have a system to getting his cues put together. As Michael Giacchino told us long ago, TV is a non-stop grind.  Writing music for film can be a thankless job. Moreover, what Vulcano shared with us is that the perception of being a composer doesn’t exactly line up with the reality. It’s still difficult using music to convey emotion that the audience should feel while looking at moving images, but the most comforting aspect of our exchange was that the creative process can yield many answers to…

  • Composer Series,  Interviews,  Movies/Entertainment

    Interview…David Wingo Discusses Patriotism in ‘The Report’ and Sound Design in HBO’s ‘Barry’

    The last time we spoke with David Wingo, he was wrapping up work on Loving, the latest in a series of continuous collaborations with friend and director Jeff Nichols. Their relationship has resulted in some standout music in films like Take Shelter and Midnight Special. Since then, Wingo has taken a crack at TV shows. Musicians don’t like being pigeon-holed, and lucky for Wingo that Kidding and Barry couldn’t be any further removed from each other. Last month, Scott Z. Burns‘ film, The Report, hit theaters (and is now on Amazon Prime). It’s a riveting thriller (based on actual events) that follows idealistic Senate staffer Daniel J. Jones who, tasked…

  • Composer Series,  Interviews,  Movies/Entertainment

    Interview…Composer Rendra Zawawi on the Emotion and Empowerment of ‘M for Malaysia’

    Rendra Zawawi is an award-winning composer, songwriter and music producer. He composed the song “Arena Cahaya” for the 2016 Malaysian sports football film, Ola Bola, which won Best Film Song at the 2017 Malaysian Film Festival and a Golden Horse Award for Best OriginalTheme Song at the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival. Rendra’s credits include working with Emmy-winning composer Mac Quayle on shows including Mr. Robot, FEUD: Bette and Joan, 9-1-1, FOX’s Scream Queens and Netflix’s The Politician. Rendra also contributed additional music to American Horror Story and American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace. He most recently scored the drama documentary M for Malaysia, which was selected as…

  • Composer Series,  Interviews,  Movies/Entertainment

    Exclusive: Interview…Mac Quayle Brings Guitars and Gun Fighter Gusto to Netflix’s ‘The Politician’

    Composer Mac Quayle is a musician we’ve followed for years. And if you’ve kept up with his output, he’s quite hard to keep track of. One thing is for sure: Mac is very busy and very much in demand. He’s recently worked on four seasons of American Horror Story, as well as Mr. Robot, Feud: Bette and Joan, Pose and now he’s venturing into Netflix territory. The common thread between him and his prolific output is the equally prolific Ryan Murphy. One thing Mac prides himself on is the distinctive palette he creates and brings to each project. In the case of a show like AHS, that palette changes from…

  • Composer Series,  Interviews,  Movies/Entertainment

    Exclusive: Interview…Composer David Newman to Conduct 20th Anniversary Concert for ‘Galaxy Quest’

    Next month, the San Diego Symphony will put on a live–to-picture performance of Galaxy Quest, the classic sci-fi comedy from 1999 starring Tim Allen, Alan Rickman, Sigourney Weaver, Sam Rockwell and Tony Shaloub. What’s that you ask? Why would a symphony play the music to a comedy? Well, two reasons: One, it’s really great music to a really fun film. Two, it’s really great music written by David Newman. These days, orchestras know they have to inclusive – they can’t be exclusive – and there’s no benefit to being closed-minded. Orchestras used to just play the same canonical works, but now they have really embraced the popularity and the artistry…

  • Composer Series,  Interviews,  Movies/Entertainment

    Interview…Composer Miles Hankins on the Musical Backdrop to ‘Long Shot’

    Award-winning composer Miles Hankins boasts a diverse body of work spanning the entertainment industry. He most recently co-composed Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron’s romantic comedy, Long Shot with Marco Beltrami. Additionally, Miles received a Sports Emmy nomination for Outstanding Music Direction on the HBO documentary series Being Serena and was recently honored at the awards ceremony in New York. As an exceptionally creative independent composer, Miles has collaborated with Beltrami on several critically-acclaimed scores including A Quiet Place, which received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Score, Marvel’s Fantastic Four, Sony’s The Shallows, and Columbia Pictures’ The Night Before. In addition to film, Miles scored CBS’s primetime series, 3…

  • Composer Series,  Interviews,  Movies/Entertainment

    Interview…Composers Ryan Taubert and Benjamin Botkin Channel John Williams for ‘Blockbuster’ Podcast

    From Epicleff Media, Blockbuster Podcast tells the true story of how Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and John Williams re-invented escapism at the cinema and forever changed the experience of going to the movies. It was an adventurous and nebulous time in the ‘70s when these visionary directors took their first step into a larger world. And their movies weren’t half bad either. What helps make this podcast so vibrant and immersive is the original score composed and produced by Ryan Taubert (above L) and Benjamin Botkin (above R). Having to write music for this series was already a challenge, but having to do it in a way that embodied the spirit of John…

  • Composer Series,  Features,  Interviews,  Movies/Entertainment

    The Matrix Revisited: Composer Don Davis Reveals Secrets from His Score to Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of ‘The Matrix’

    Editor’s Note: This post contains the introduction to an article I wrote specifically for The Hollywood Reporter. It was a great honor to work on a post about a film, and film score so dear to my heart. In this retrospective, composer Don Davis plugs back in to recall the lengths he took to satisfy the Wachowskis’ exacting vision. Click here to read the full article. Twenty years ago, The Matrix blew audiences away with its ground-breaking, generation-defining style. That was in tandem with substantive themes that were esoteric yet accessible. For every Hong Kong-styled wire fight, there was an equally engaging reference to Plato.  One integral component to the success of…

  • Composer Series,  Interviews,  Movies/Entertainment

    Interview…Joe Kraemer on the Score to ‘The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot’

    Over the last 23 years, composer Joe Kraemer has seen his fair share of stories. His resume is full of everything from short films to Hallmark Channel flicks to the biggest Summer blockbusters. But his latest might be the most complex project to date. The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot really is a unique film. In a way, it’s literally the title and, yet nothing like; it sounds like a Troma film, or a Roger Corman movie, when it has more in common with what you’d get from Frank Darabont, or Robert Zemeckis, without it feeling like a throwback. We’re fans of the music Kraemer wrote for…