Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know many composers whose film and television work I have admired. I always loved the music that J.A.C. Redford wrote for St. Elsewhere, a show I never missed in the 1980s (and which I firmly believe is the greatest medical show in the history of television). Redford, who has in recent years orchestrated many scores for James Horner and Thomas Newman, is himself a distinguished composer of many choral and symphonic works. I was delighted that he asked me to write the notes for his latest collection of orchestral pieces.
I am very proud to have written this story. When composer James Horner was, tragically, killed in a plane crash last year, few knew that he had already written the main themes for his next assignment, the all-star remake of The Magnificent Seven — even though shooting hadn’t even begun. His longtime collaborator Simon Franglen (whose work with Horner went all the way back to their Oscar- and Grammy-winning Titanic) decided, with the approval of director Antoine Fuqua, to complete the score using those themes as a starting point. He reassembled the Horner team — including orchestrator J.A.C. Redford, mixer Simon Rhodes and their music editors — and made it happen. For this story in Variety, I interviewed Franglen, Fuqua and Redford (with L.A. recording session photos by Dan Goldwasser).
The Los Angeles Master Chorale’s evening of film music was the trigger for this Los Angeles Times piece about the use of choral sounds in Hollywood movie scores. I loved talking with veteran choral conductor Paul Salamunovich, composer-arranger J.A.C. Redford, film historian Rudy Behlmer, and — specifically about their own choral scores — Jerry Goldsmith and Basil Poledouris.