The hottest topic in Hollywood music circles for the past two weeks has been the issue of allowing music supervisors to join the TV Academy. (These are the folks who work with the producers to find the right songs to incorporate into the narrative, especially in drama series.) It probably doesn’t sound like a big deal to the average viewer, or even the average craftsperson in television, but it’s very divisive, especially within the composing community — many of whom are angry about the fact that the music-branch governors refused to submit the topic to a vote by the membership (“we were elected to lead, not poll,” they said in a widely circulated email). In a story for this week’s Variety, I report on what’s happened and explore what might happen.
I thought Patrick Doyle’s score for Disney’s new live-action Cinderella was the first great score of 2015: rich, sumptuous, filled with the grand romance befitting a fairy-tale princess and her handsome prince. I talked with the composer when he was here in L.A. for the premiere two weeks ago, as well as director Kenneth Branagh (with whom Doyle has enjoyed a nearly 30-year collaboration in both theater and film), and this week Variety published our conversation. I’ve known Doyle since the late 1990s — he is without a doubt one of the funniest men on the planet — and his recent work for Disney (including his delightful music for Pixar’s Brave) is some of his very best.
Ian Fraser was among the most beloved of music directors in Hollywood. The winner of more music Emmys than anyone in history, he was also an Oscar nominee and favorite collaborator of Julie Andrews, songwriter Leslie Bricusse, and many others. The name of Ian Fraser as music director on any project — whether film, TV, a stage show or an album — always assured a classy orchestral sound and impeccable taste. Fraser, who died in October, was remembered at a memorial service yesterday by some of his famous friends, including Andrews, Bricusse and composer John Williams. Here is a recap of the event.