Articles

Our annual Emmy music chart

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018 at 8:06 am

Each year, for its summertime Music for Screens section, Variety asks me to prepare a chart listing every nominee in all six music categories including a brief description of the music itself, or something relevant to the nomination. It means a lot of TV watching in July and August! And often interviewing the composers, songwriters… Read More

Emmy nominees in the music categories

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 at 9:20 am

The Television Academy announced its nominees for the 70th annual Emmy Awards on July 12. There are now six music categories in the prime-time race. My overview of the music nominees ran that morning in Variety, highlighting the possibility that an Emmy win for songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul could make them EGOTs (having… Read More

The death of Patrick Williams

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018 at 10:20 am

The Hollywood community was stunned last week by the death of Grammy- and Emmy-winning composer Patrick Williams. Not only among the most talented composer-arrangers of his generation, “Pat” Williams was one of the nicest guys in the business, one of the all-time great big-band leaders and a strong supporter of music education — a rare… Read More

Music in “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”

Friday, July 27th, 2018 at 10:34 am

If you’ve seen the latest Tom Cruise Mission: Impossible adventure, Fallout, there are two things you can’t miss: Cruise’s amazing stunts and Lorne Balfe’s musical score. Balfe utilizes¬† Lalo Schifrin’s classic Mission themes in practically every scene. He wrote approximately four hours of music for the film and it took an entire month to record… Read More

Music in “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018 at 9:54 am

Adam Taylor has just finished scoring the second season of the acclaimed, Emmy-winning Hulu series The Handmaid’s Tale. I got to attend the final recording session for the season and was sworn to secrecy about the details of those last two episodes — but it was worth it to watch a 27-member string ensemble enhance… Read More

“The World of Hans Zimmer” tour

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018 at 9:40 am

Those of you in Europe this summer may be lucky enough to experience “The World of Hans Zimmer,” a concert of Zimmer’s classic film themes performed by a large orchestra and choir conducted by his longtime associate Gavin Greenaway. The producers commissioned me to write a lengthy essay that, over 1,700 words, examines the composer’s… Read More

Universal mines its back catalog for classics

Monday, June 25th, 2018 at 6:39 pm

One of Hollywood’s greatest studios has launched a long-range program to find, preserve and release some of its previously unreleased film scores. It’s called the “Universal Pictures Film Music Heritage Collection” and launches this week with the first-ever release of the music from Colossus: The Forbin Project. Scores by Henry Mancini, Ennio Morricone, Lalo Schifrin… Read More

Sherman Brothers Tribute at the Academy

Thursday, June 21st, 2018 at 6:22 pm

Think of these songs: “Chim Chim Cheree,” “It’s a Small World,” “Winnie the Pooh.” The likelihood is you know them, and once reminded, you can’t get them out of your head. That’s the mark of a great song and, more to the point, a great songwriter — in this case two great songwriters, Richard M…. Read More

Pinar Toprak scoring “Captain Marvel”

Thursday, June 14th, 2018 at 7:42 pm

I am proud to say that I have been writing about female film composers for decades (from Shirley Walker to Rachel Portman to Anne Dudley to Lolita Ritmanis and many others along the way). I have waited for many years for a woman to score a big-budget franchise film, and now it’s finally happened. Pinar… Read More

Giacchino scores “Incredibles,” “Jurassic”

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018 at 6:52 am

Prolific, award-winning composer Michael Giacchino went in two directions at once this spring — boisterous fun for The Incredibles 2, dark and scary for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, films that are currently dominating the American box office. I visited the recording sessions for Incredibles and then talked to the composer about writing two big scores… Read More