Over the years, I’ve written a number of stories about women composers and why they aren’t hired more often for studio films. Despite the grim statistics, things are changing, partly because of the creation of the Alliance for Women Film Composers, but also due to the Academy’s diversity push (which led to a boost in female members of the music branch this year) and the election of Laura Karpman as the first woman governor representing music on the Academy board. I examine all of these developments in the lead story for this week’s Music for Screens issue of Variety. Related story: Friday’s landmark concert in downtown Los Angeles featuring 20 women film and TV composers. Also in the current Variety: a story about the ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop for young composers.
It’s been a pleasure to write scripts not only for myself — both for radio and live concert appearances — but for others, especially at the Hollywood Bowl in recent years, often for their “Big Picture” nights when the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra performs movie music. This year I wrote three: for an evening of music from Alfred Hitchcock films, hosted by Eva Marie Saint (who was delightful to work with); for the Motion Picture Academy’s celebration of the “Black Movie Soundtrack”; and a last-minute polish for Jack Black’s hosting of music from DreamWorks Animation. Here find reviews of the Hitchcock show; of the Black Soundtrack evening, hosted by Craig Robinson; and of the DreamWorks bash. I often write the program notes too.
It was, by all accounts, one of the most entertaining evenings in recent memory at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater (and that’s not just my opinion!). I wrote, co-produced and hosted an evening all about “The Music of Bond.” It was, of course, timed to coincide not only with the publication of my book but with the 50th anniversary of the 007 franchise and the upcoming release of Skyfall. It was great fun, chatting on-stage with lyricist Don Black, composer Bill Conti and guitarist Vic Flick (who introduced the evening by performing the “James Bond Theme” live on the original Bond guitar, the one he used in the original 1962 recording). The house was sold out, we played many classic clips, and there were laughs aplenty. Here’s a wonderful page from the Academy’s own website that features clips of all of us. It was an evening I’ll never forget.