Hello again and welcome back to the podcast! In this somewhat "super-sized" installment of my multi-part trek through the music of Science Fiction cinema, I attempt to close out the decade of the 1980's. The previous installment in this series focused on titles from the years 1980-82. Here, I cover the remaining years of the decade with examples of the competing and sometimes collaborative film music trends - pop & electronic and orchestral. 

 

The 80’s were a peak time of musical surprises, somewhat akin to the 1960’s when we heard a mix of traditional orchestral scores, jazz, pop & rock-based colors as well as avant garde music derived from concert techniques. Following its revival, the large scale orchestral approach continued reigning over much of cinematic Science Fiction, now bolstered by electronic and choral elements. Parallel to this were the experiments in synth and pop styles, connecting the genre to present day (for the time) musical trends. To help identify these unique sonic qualities, I'll sample music from TERMINATOR (Brad Fiedel), 2010 (David Shire), ENEMY MINE (Maurice Jarre), KRULL (James Horner), SPACEHUNTER: ADVENTURES IN THE FORBIDDEN ZONE (Elmer Bernstein) and THE ABYSS (Alan Silvestri), amid more!

 

*Correction - During this episode, I mistakenly attributed the theme song for the TV series "Cheers" to composer Craig Safan. In fact, while Safan provided the series bumpers and underscore cues, the theme was composed by Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo.

 

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Welcome to the next new episode! I am pleased to be joined once more by soundtrack album producer and editor, Neil S. Bulk. As heard in previous years, which long-time listeners may recall, I’ve invited Neil back to reflect on his notable projects from the prior year, in this case 2021, for the various soundtrack record labels such as La La Land Records and Varese Sarabande. Topics range from work continuing during lockdown, rescores, film score presentations vs original albums and guessing as to what was happening in 1989 with recorded cues now missing. Titles discussed in this episode include:

THE NEXT KARATE KID (Bill Conti/William Ross)

STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN, GLORY, FIELD OF DREAMS (James Horner)

STRIPES (Elmer Bernstein)

CABOBLANCO, THE STRIPPER, S*P*Y*S, TORA! TORA! TORA!, ACE ELI AND RODGER OF THE SKIES (Jerry Goldsmith)

THE TIME TUNNEL (1960's TV series) (John Williams, various)

THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK (Alfred Newman)

LOVE ACTUALLY (Craig Armstrong)

DANTE'S PEAK (James Newton Howard/John Frizzel)

 

Stay safe out there, take care of yourself and each other! 

 

Albums discussed now available at:

https://lalalandrecords.com/

https://www.varesesarabande.com/

 

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Welcome to 2022, everyone! In this first episode of the year, my multi-part journey into the music of Science Fiction cinema and its evolving soundscape through the decades continues. We’re now crossing over into the 1980’s, following on from the seismic shift in film scoring which occurred with the unexpected arrival of STAR WARS in 1977 and its John Williams-penned symphonic score, hearkening back to the sounds of the classical Hollywood era. 

 

This symphonic shadow loomed large over Sci-Fi movies of the 80's, as heard here in music composed by James Horner (BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS, STAR TREK II), John Scott (THE FINAL COUNTDOWN) and Elmer Bernstein (SATURN 3, HEAVY METAL).  However, the incorporation of synthesizers into soundtracks increased, both combined with large orchestras and also in solo efforts, such as John Carpenter's ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (1981) and the inimitable Vangelis score for BLADE RUNNER (1982).

 

Stay safe out there, take care of yourself and each other! 

 

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Greetings everyone! In this new episode of the podcast, my sonic journey through the music for Science Fiction cinema through the decades continues, by closing out the 1970's. This will focus on titles from the 1977-1979 years, and more specifically STAR WARS and the ripples created by that seismic shift of its musical score composed by John Williams. The electronic and avant garde sounds of the genre heard during the early Seventies found themselves supplanted by the return of those of the Golden Age of Hollywood, being the more traditionally symphonic soundscapes.  

 

John Williams features prominently as expected, by way of not only STAR WARS but both CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND and SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE, along with titles by Jerry Goldsmith (DAMNATION ALLEY, ALIEN, STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE), John Barry (STARCRASH, THE BLACK HOLE), Laurence Rosenthal (THE ISLAND OF DR MOREAU, METEOR), Brian May (MAD MAX) and others...

 

Stay safe out there, take care of yourself and each other! 

 

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Hi again everybody! In this episode of the podcast, my multi-part deep dive into the malleable soundscape of Science Fiction cinema continues, with the focus today being the 1970’s. Well, to be more specific, this episode focuses on the first half of the 1970's.
 
 
It was a period when the sweeping symphonic sound of the Golden Age had briefly faded, mostly supplanted by either pop inflected scores and songs, tracked in classical works or experimental, often electronic tones. Sci-fi film scores (and composers) represented here include COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT (Michel Colombier), THE OMEGA MAN (Ron Grainer), SILENT RUNNING (Peter Schickele), SOYLENT GREEN (Fred Myrow), LOGAN'S RUN (Jerry Goldsmith) and a suite of music from the four PLANET OF THE APES sequels.
 
 

Stay safe out there, stay cool, take care of yourself and each other! 

 

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Welcome back to the podcast! In this episode I continue on to the next chapter of a multi-part deep dive, into the evolving music of Science Fiction cinema through the decades, with my focus today being the 1960’s. Thus far, we’ve journeyed through the 1950’s scores which were brimming with electric violins, theremins, Novachords, jarring stinger chords and harsh onslaughts of brass and percussion.

 

Now, as we advance into the 1960's, we'll hear sumptuous symphonic scores for THE TIME MACHINE (1960) and MASTER OF THE WORLD (1961), pop and jazz influences in PANIC IN YEAR ZERO! (1962) and BARBARELLA (1968) and avant garde concert techniques expressed in the music for FANTASTIC VOYAGE (1966) and PLANET OF THE APES (1968). Composers featured here include Bernard Herrmann, Jerry Goldsmith, Les Baxter, Russell Garcia, Akira Ifukube - plus vocal crooning by Frankie Avalon! I also include samples of Alex North's original, unused score for the Stanley Kubrick directed, game-changing 1968 classic 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY.

 

Stay safe out there, take care of yourself and each other! 

 

Small correction: I mistakenly attribute the score for 1954's 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA to Paul Sawtell and Bert Shefter, but it was composed by Paul J. Smith. Thanks to my attentive listeners!

 

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Beginning with this episode (the 40th!) of the podcast, I plan to present a multi-part analysis into a specific cinematic genre, that being the music of science fiction through the years. The 1950's is often considered the initial Golden Age of Science Fiction, when the genre showcased its own distinctiveness onscreen and gained notoriety in part due to films such as THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951), CONQUEST OF SPACE (1955) and INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956). Music from this decade's theatrical entries is where my listening journey starts, including selections composed by Bernard Herrmann, Leith Stevens, Herman Stein and Nathan Van Cleave.

 

Of course, this isn’t meant to be an exhaustive or definitive overview in any sense of the word, consisting instead of my own observations of how music for science fiction movies, those involving outer space, invading aliens and time travel, developed its own personality and evolved over time. With luck, my reach won't exceed my grasp and I will endeavor to produce an episode for each decade at least up until the 1990's. As a teaser, I've created a special suite of musical selections from various Sci-Fi film scores from the 50's to the 90's. 

 

Stay safe out there, take care of yourself and each other! 

 

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Email the show at ascoretosettlepodcast@gmail.com 

 

Hello again, everyone! On this episode of the podcast, I am joined by the brilliantly skilled composer Benji Merrison. Benji is based in London and has provided music across a wide spectrum of media, from TV to film, documentaries and art installations. His background includes both formal music schooling as well as music production and engineering. Some of Benji Merrison's previous projects include TV series for BBC 1 such as FORCES OF NATURE, DYNASTIES and GREEN PLANET. Today, I have welcomed him to my podcast to talk about his latest feature film score, for the action thriller SAS: RED NOTICE, directed by Magnus Martens. The soundtrack for SAS: RED NOTICE is available from Lakeshore Records.

 

Stay safe out there, wear a mask and take care of yourself and each other! 

 

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Welcome back to the podcast! Marvelously proficient composer, arranger and songwriter Matthew Head joins me on this episode to discuss his background and diverse career. Matthew's soundtracks have garnered Grammy, Emmy, Peabody and NAACP awards and nominations, all while working from his home in Marietta, Georgia. His notable projects include TV series such as GREENLEAF (on OWN), Boomerang (on BET), THE FAMILY and P-VALLEY. Here I talk with Matthew about composing and arranging score and songs for the new Lifetime feature, ROBIN ROBERTS PRESENTS: MAHALIA, which details the life of gospel music legend Mahalia Jackson, starring Danielle Brooks and directed by Kenny Leon.

 

The soundtrack for ROBIN ROBERTS PRESENTS: MAHALIA, produced by Matthew Head, including both score and songs with performances by Danielle Brooks, is available from ABKCO Music & Records.

 

Stay safe out there, wear a mask and take care of yourself and each other! 

 

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Hello all! In this new episode of the podcast, I am joined by the wonderfully innovative composer Grant Fonda. Grant has contributed music to various multi-media projects, including notable documentaries such as THE DATING PROJECT and the award-winning DOWN THE FENCE, and is graciously taking time to talk about his score for the new documentary feature film entitled THE HOUSE THAT ROB BUILT, which premiered in February 2021. THE HOUSE THAT ROB BUILT was directed by Jonathan Cipiti and Megan Harrington and focuses on the formation of women’s collegiate basketball in the state of Montana, specifically the Lady Griz basketball team as coached by Rob Selvig. Grant Fonda’s music is now available to purchase through the major streaming music services.

 

Stay safe out there, wear a mask and take care of yourself and each other! 

 

Connect with the podcast on Facebook and Twitter:

 

Email the show at ascoretosettlepodcast@gmail.com 

 

 

 

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