Tag Archives: Netflix

Soundtrack News: Netflix’s ‘Sneakerheads’ Original Soundtrack Available Now

Today Maya Records released Sneakerheads Original Music from the Netflix Series. The music for this series was composed by Haim Mazar with contributions by Paul Ottinger (aka knownwolf). Mazar’s film score credits include the biopic thriller ‘The Iceman’ – starring Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder, Chris Evans, Ray Liota and James Franco, Adam Robitel’s critically acclaimed indie horror ‘The Taking of Deborah Logan,’ and action thriller ‘I Am Wrath’ – starring John Travolta and Christopher Meloni.

Haim Mazar used traditional film-scoring techniques along with Trap and Hip-Hop sensibilities and had the following to say about his work on Sneakerheads:

Hip-Hop influences have become increasingly popular in today’s film-music genre…this is definitely the first time I’ve ever done something like this, and hopefully not the last.

Allen Maldonado (Black-ish) stars in Sneakerheads, the new Complex Networks original production created by Jay Longino, who also serves as showrunner, and directed by famed music video director Dave Meyers:

 The series focuses on ex-sneakerhead Devin, played by Maldonado, a stay-at-home father who’s lured back into the game and is almost immediately placed $5,000 in the hole after an old friend—Bobby (played by Andrew Bachelor a.k.a. King Bach)—pulls a get-rich-quick scheme.

TRACK LISTING

01 Chip and a Chair
02 Bang This Left
03 Fire
04 Storage Wars
05 Auction
06 Jason Hoodak
07 Nori
08 The Zeroes
09 Flight Club
10 Red Octobers
11 Cubicle
12 Car Talk
13 Mark Wahlberg
14 The Convincer
15 GOAT
16 Towel Taunt
17 Tennis Camp
18 You About To See Nice
19 Black Panther
20 CSI Sandwich
21 Uncle Paulies
22 Cat Fight
23 Bad Girl
24 Tic Tac
25 Hong Kong Chase
26 Lil Rel
27 I Knew You Were Real
28 I’m Sorry
29 Fuck You Bobby BONUS TRACK
30 The Perfect Pair UNUSED BONUS TRACK
31 Bang Bang BONUS TRACK

You can purchase and download the official soundtrack for Sneakerheads now!

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Soundtrack Review: Enola Holmes (2020)

Milan Records today releases ENOLA HOLMES (MUSIC FROM THE NETFLIX FILM) with music by award-winning composer Daniel Pemberton (Birds of PreySpider-Man: Into the SpiderVerse).  Available everywhere now, the album features music from Netflix’s newest mystery film starring Millie Bobby Brown, Sam Claflin, Fiona Shaw and Louis Partridge with Henry Cavill and Helena Bonham Carter.   Based on the series of young adult novels written by Nancy Springer, Enola Holmes will premiere on Netflix Wednesday, September 23

Daniel Pemberton is a multi-Golden Globe, Emmy and BAFTA Award-nominated composer who has been regularly cited as one of the most exciting and original new voices working in modern film scoring today. Constantly working with some of the most renowned names in the industry Pemberton has already scored projects for the likes of Danny Boyle (Steve Jobs, Yesterday), Ridley Scott (All The Money In The World, The Counsellor), Aaron Sorkin (Molly’s Game, The Trial Of The Chicago 7), Darren Aronofsky (One Strange Rock), Edward Norton (Motherless Brooklyn) and Guy Ritchie (The Man From UNCLE, King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword).

Of the soundtrack, composer Daniel Pemberton has this to say:

“It’s been a real joy to write music for Enola Holmes and to go back to writing some unashamedly melodic and emotional orchestral music – coupled with a nice level of messy quirky oddness thrown in as well. From my first meeting with Harry Bradbeer the director, we talked about trying to create a score full of themes, mystery and surprise that both encapsulated her character but also took you on her journey. I hope this soundtrack allows anyone listening to it to re-live the first amazing adventures of one Enola Holmes…”

This soundtrack is, without a doubt, an incredible adventure to listen to, hardly surprising given that Daniel Pemberton is one of my favorite film composers. A lot of the music is bright and bouncy, and I’m fairly certain I’ve identified Enola’s specific theme within the score. It recurs frequently throughout, which is why I’m so certain it belongs to Enola. Also, it’s a short motif that skips and jumps around, much like the titular character who is free spirited and doesn’t act in a traditional “ladylike” manner.

I was actually surprised to hear how dark the soundtrack gets in places, there are a few places (I won’t name any track titles because I don’t want to accidentally spoil anything) where the music gets quite ominous. Though in hindsight, maybe I shouldn’t be that surprised, this IS the younger sister of Sherlock Holmes after all, no doubt trouble finds Enola all the time.

And, true to form with Daniel Pemberton’s work, I’m delighted to report that the soundtrack for Enola Holmes is filled with all kinds of non-traditional sounds. My personal favorite has to be “Tick Tock”, so named because the music is framed around, that’s right, the ticking of clocks. I like the entire soundtrack, but this piece immediately stuck in my mind the moment it began, and I love how the composer is interweaving the tick-tock of a clock and the “clip-clop” of shoes walking across a floor with more traditional instruments (the most hair-raising strings I’ve heard in months) to create something so mind-bending I’m dying to know its full context in the film. I should note, you can hear unusual sounds in other portions of the soundtrack, but “Tick Tock” really does stick out from the rest.

I sadly won’t be able to watch Enola Holmes until this weekend, but listening to this soundtrack has me more than excited to check the movie out on Netflix.

When Enola Holmes—Sherlock’s teen sister—discovers her mother missing, she sets off to find her, becoming a super-sleuth in her own right as she outwits her famous brother and unravels a dangerous conspiracy around a mysterious young Lord.

The soundtrack for Enola Holmes is available now, and you can also (as of today) check the film itself out on Netflix.

Let me know what you think about the soundtrack for Enola Holmes in the comments below and have a great day!

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Soundtrack News: Soundtrack Album for Netflix Original Series ‘Away’ Available Now

Back Lot Music has digitally released an album from the Netflix Original Series Away (produced by Universal Television) by composer Will Bates (I OriginsAnother Earth). The sci-fi drama’s score is full of electronic atmospheric soundscapes with an intense emotional undercurrent. Bates takes listeners on a beautifully diverse sonic journey with this 22-track album.

Will Bates has scored a number of television series: Golden Globe & Emmy-nominated Netflix series Unbelievable, SyFy’s hit The Magicians, Hulu’s The PathChance and The Looming Tower, the Hilary Swank-led drama Away for Netflix, as well as NBC’s Rise. Other projects include Sweetbitter on Starz, the George R.R. Martin series Nightflyers on Netflix, and the Hulu biographical documentary Hillary. Will’s recent features include Michael Tyburski’s The Sound of Silence, the HBO documentary The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley, and the horror-thriller Depraved. Upcoming features include Michael Haussman’s Rajah set in 19th century Borneo, Mike Cahill’s Bliss and Alex Gibney’s Crazy, Not Insane.

Regarding the music for Away, Will Bates had the following to say:

“I had an amazing experience scoring Away. Having worked with the showrunners on several projects together before, including The Path and Rise, there was already a shared language and a real mutual sense of trust…Sharing that explorer’s sense of wonder and aspiration, space itself can be something of an exciting blank canvas for a composer. And the showrunners were always keen to try something a little different. I found myself experimenting with all sorts of unusual instrumentation; from dulcimers, prepared pianos and dusty old parlor organs to modular synths, timpani and manipulated live strings. Identifying the human themes whilst capturing the vast distances of space. And of course, having one of the lead actor’s play pieces I’d written for him was thrilling in its own right,”

TRACKLISTING
01 Lunar Base Alpha
02 The Atlas Crew
03 I Love You Shithead
04 Launch
05 Making My Way Back To You
06 Reaching For Mars
07 How’s The View?
08 Calligraphy
09 Cracking Up
10 Spacewalk
11 Open The Hatch
12 I Just Need My Wife
13 Going Home
14 Anything Is Possible
15 I Need You To Go
16 Etude De Main Droit
17 Ice Harvest
18 Last Words
19 Forgetting
20 Descent
21 Anyone Wanna Go Again?
22 Atlas

You can enjoy the soundtrack album for Netflix’s Away now 🙂

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Soundtrack Review: Transformers: War for Cybertron: Siege (2020)

Hasbro has digitally released Transformers: War for Cybertron – Siege Original Anime Series Soundtrack by Alexander Bornstein. The soundtrack features 17 electro-charged tracks from the hit Netflix Original Series, in partnership with Rooster Teeth. I had the opportunity to interview Alexander Bornstein about his work on this series earlier this summer and I’m thrilled that everyone will have the chance to listen to this great soundtrack apart from the series.

Bornstein had this to say about the incredible task of creating new music for the beloved franchise:

“Being brought on to compose an entirely new musical world for the ‘Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy’ on Netflix has been both a dream job and huge creative responsibility. The world of the Autobots and Decepticons has been part of my pop culture psyche for a long time, going all the way back to watching G1 reruns on the Sci-Fi Channel in the early 90s.  I’m very excited fans will now have a chance to delve deeper into the music of the trilogy’s first chapter ‘Siege’, and hear the show’s themes for characters like Elita-1, extensive use of analog synthesizers, and amazing solo players.”

If you haven’t gotten the chance to experience Transformers: War for Cybertron: Siege, check out the synopsis below to get an idea of what the story is about:

TRANSFORMERS: WAR FOR CYBERTRON TRILOGY – SIEGE begins in the final hours of the devastating civil war between the Autobots and Decepticons. The war that has torn apart their home planet of Cybertron is at a tipping point. Two leaders, Optimus Prime and Megatron, both want to save their world and unify their people, but only on their own terms. In an attempt to end the conflict, Megatron is forced to consider using the Allspark, the source of all life and power on Cybertron, to “reformat” the Autobots, thus “unifying” Cybertron. Outnumbered, outgunned, and under SIEGE, the battle-weary Autobots orchestrate a desperate series of counterstrikes on a mission that, if everything somehow goes right, will end with an unthinkable choice: kill their planet in order to save it.

Getting to hear the soundtrack by itself was an absolute delight. The tracks I was most interested in hearing were the first three on the list: “Autobots”, “Decepticons”, and “Cybertron.” I remembered from my conversation with Alexander Bornstein that these tracks were the starting point of the score and I was very curious to see how they played out and related to each other. Sure enough, there is a definite relation between “Autobots” and “Decepticons.” Even though they’re themes for opposite sides of the conflict, you can definitely tell they’re two halves of the same coin, which is a brilliant decision since it recasts the conflict on Cybertron in an entirely new light.

The other theme I was particularly interested in listening to was “Elita’s Theme,” since the composer related to me that it was one he really liked it. It is, indeed, a beautiful theme to listen to, and not surprisingly there’s a strong connection to the “Autobots” theme. It’s always interesting to hear how themes are connected to one another, using the same melodies but twisting them slightly to fit different characters. These similarities actually expand into most of the soundtrack, since, as the composer explained, the first three themes on the list serve as the base for pretty much every other melody in the soundtrack. It’s one thing to hear about this but it’s another to see it in action without the rest of the TV episode to distract me.

TRACK LISTING

  1. “Autobots” (3:22)
  2. “Decepticons” (3:34)
  3. “Cybertron” (2:04)
  4. “Optimus Steps In” (4:21)
  5. “The Ark” (3:15)
  6. “Optimus And Elita-1 (Elita’s Theme)” (2:14)
  7. “We Are Not Decepticons” (2:09)
  8. “Traitor” (2:37)
  9. “Metal Vortex” (2:45)
  10. “Megatron’s Speech” (3:44)
  11. “Alpha Trion Protocols” (4:11)
  12. “Sea Of Rust/Virus Attack” (4:13)
  13. “The Ark Takes Flight” (4:04)
  14. “Battle Of The Space Bridge” (3:08)
  15. “For Cybertron” (4:00)
  16. “A New Leader” (1:24)
  17. “Siege End (Autobots Theme Reprise)” (1:20)

In a year that’s been turned upside down, the soundtrack for Transformers: War for Cybertron: Siege has been a sorely needed bright spot. Fans of Transformers both old and new will love this music. I can’t reiterate enough how happy I am that the soundtrack is now available, since now everyone can take the time to listen to some gorgeous music.

Let me know what you think about the music for Transformers: War for Cybertron: Siege in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Transformers: War for Cybertron: Siege (2020)

For Cybertron! Talking with Alexander Bornstein about ‘Transformers: War for Cybertron: Siege’

TV Soundtracks

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For Cybertron! Talking with Alexander Bornstein about ‘Transformers: War for Cybertron: Siege’

Earlier this summer I was granted the opportunity to speak to Alexander Bornstein about his work on the Netflix series Transformers: War for Cybertron: Siege. A reimagining of the war between the Autobots and Decepticons, Siege takes you deeper into Cybertron than ever before, and turns everything you thought you knew about Optimus Prime and Megatron (and their conflict) upside down.

Alexander Bornstein is an award-winning composer currently based in Los Angeles. His music has been heard on television, independent films, feature films, web series, documentaries in the festival circuit, and concert halls around the U.S.  Alexander has also been at the forefront of new multimedia platforms, composing music for one of the first VR television series. His projects include (but are not limited to): The Twilight Zone, Lost in Space (the Netflix series), The Boys, Agent Carter, and of course, Transformers: War for Cybertron: Siege.

How did you get started with composing for film and television?

It’s actually a roundabout story. I’d been listening to film scores since first or second grade, it was really a genre of music I gravitated to. I grew up listening to Basil Poledouris, Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams and Hans Zimmer, a lot of composers that everyone’s familiar with. I then started as a filmmaker when I went to college. I wanted to be a writer/director, so I was writing feature scripts, I was directing short films, but I was always doing music on my own time. I didn’t really start to study music extensively until I was about 20 years old in my second year of college. I’d always had this passion for film music, but I didn’t really know how to write music even though I really wanted to do that. And so in college I started experimenting on my own. Then I met the right collective of professors who told me “Well if you really want to do this, this is what you need to do.” It was kind of, before I knew what was happening, I was declaring a music major and writing music, then studying with a composer. When I graduated from undergrad I decided I wanted to go to grad school and one of the programs I got into was for film scoring. I took that as a sign from the universe that I should give this a shot professionally.

How familiar were you with the Transformers series before you started working on War for Cybertron?

I was fairly familiar [with Transformers]. I was a big fan of the original cartoon when I was a kid, because the SyFy channel would air the G1 cartoons on its morning animation block. That’s how I became familiar with Optimus Prime, Megatron, Autobots, and all that. That gave me a fleeting familiarity with Transformers growing up because of my love for G1. I watched a little bit of Beast Wars, I kept up with the series over the years and got re-introduced when the first movie came out. It was really cool to see Peter Cullen come back as Optimus Prime. So there’s always been this familiarity with the franchise as I grew up.

On a related note, did the music from past Transformers series influence your work on this score at all? Any musical Easter Eggs that longtime fans might notice?

That was a discussion I had pretty extensively with F.J. DeSanto, the showrunner, when we started. The risky thing about this series is that it is a step in a new direction for what many have seen in a Transformers show before. There’s obviously a lot of callbacks, since the show was written by fans, it is definitely a faithful update. But, to your question, we never really wanted to go too far into referencing stuff from the Robert Walsh and Johnny Douglas scores or the Vince DiCola score from The Transformers: The Movie. I can’t speak for what might happen in the future, but I think for this first chapter of the trilogy we tried to focus on creating a new sound and not necessarily incorporate stuff from previous iterations of the franchise. We talked about it when I started and decided to step away from trying that out, but you never know what could happen in future chapters.

How did you approach scoring War for Cybertron? What was your starting point with putting the music together?

The first thing I wanted to do was create three main themes for the series. Those three main themes would basically be the building blocks of all the music for the show. Once I was officially onboard, I started working on a theme for the Autobots, the Decepticons, and then for Cybertron itself. From those themes, I had discussions with F.J. [DeSanto] about what kind of instrumentation was wanted, what kind of sounds should be tried. Once I did that I went off on my own for a few months. They were just getting started on the animation when I started, so there wasn’t really anything for me to work on, so I had all this time to bat ideas around. Once I had those three themes, I presented them, we signed off on them, and then from those themes I felt pretty comfortable diving into the actual series and working on the score.

The approach I tried to take is, rather than getting too motivic, because of the amount of characters on the show, I tried to keep the music more economic and lean, for example by developing the Autobots theme based on various characters and situations. So, there’s a heroic variation of the Autobot’s theme for Optimus Prime, and likewise similar variations for the Decepticon’s theme. The theme is arranged or developed in different ways specific for a character. One thing I’ve learned during projects is that it’s difficult to get themes established, especially now with content and stories moving so rapidly with so much to go through. I wanted to rely on less [music] so I could keep repeating it to get it established more efficiently. From those three themes there are some sub-motifs here and there. For example, the All-Spark has a sub-motif that gets developed in different ways. Elita-1 has a theme of her own that starts with the same chords as the Autobot theme but then goes in a different direction. The Decepticon theme its actually part of the Autobot theme, just with different chords. Basically, there’s a “B” section to the Autobot’s theme that is uplifting and hopeful and that is the basis of what became the Decepticon theme with a more minor key in the harmony. Ultimately, this [similarity] is because at one time they were all Cybertronians.

What kind of instruments did you use for the score? Considering that it’s Transformers, I’d imagine there was a lot of electronic music? Or maybe not?

There’s definitely a heavy electronic component, that was something we decided upon early on. There is a big orchestral component as well, for the emotional as well as the action-heavy moments. Inspiration was taken from synth waves and that genre of writing, but I also looked at Vangelis and Jóhann Jóhannsson for some of the other, more static textures. It was an interesting challenge to take something like Transformers, which up until now has been fairly ‘heavy’ and taking it in a slightly different direction with more static and organic textures. There’s still some very reliable old-school synth arpeggios, the analog sounds, but you’re also getting some of these organic, processed textures as well, so it’s not a complete retread of what people have heard already.

Have you finished the scoring process for Siege? How long did scoring take? 

I began in August of 2019 and then I finished writing it in January of 2020. I was given a lot of time, which is somewhat atypical for a television production, and definitely on animation. It was a really good opportunity to make sure we were always putting our best foot forward. This has also been the case for “Earthrise” (Part 2 of the War for Cybertron series). I can take a step back and be like “Is this really the best version of this cue, do i need to fix anything?” as opposed to just grinding it out as quickly as possible.

Do you have a favorite part of the soundtrack? Any favorite themes?

I was really happy with how the theme for Elita-1 turned out. She’s kind of a breakout character on the show for me and I wanted to make sure that she had a theme that could

really stand on its own. It gets some really good opportunities in the series to develop. It shows up for the first time in episode 2, and then it gets a lot of chances to develop. I was really happy with how it turned out. It was one of those instances where you write and hope that you don’t get any notes on it because you don’t want to change anything about it. Thankfully, it came through and they didn’t have any notes on it. So I was really pleased to come up with this theme for a character that I really liked and seeing it stick in the series has been really great.

I want to say thank you to Alexander Bornstein for taking the time to talk with me about his work on Transformers: War for Cybertron: Siege. You can currently view the series on Netflix. There is currently no release date for Transformers: War for Cybertorn: Earthrise, though I was given to understand that the scoring for Earthrise is ongoing at the time the interview took place.

See also:

My Thoughts on: Transformers: War for Cybertron: Siege (2020)

Composer Interviews

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My Thoughts on: Transformers: War for Cybertron: Siege (2020)

*very minor spoilers for Transformers: War for Cybertron: Siege below

When I was offered the chance to view a screener of Transformers: War for Cybertron: Siege on Netflix, I immediately leapt at the chance. Few know this about me, but I was actually a pretty big Transformers fan when I was a kid (watched all the G1 cartoons growing up), enough of one that I sat through the first few Transformer movies when I was older. Thus, when I learned of a Transformers prequel series that was set entirely on Cybertron, I just had to check it out.

Divided into six episodes, War for Cybertron: Siege details the closing days of the war between the Autobots and Decepticons that traditionally ends with the Autobots crash landing on Earth in the Ark. That being said…if you go into Siege expecting a familiar story then I’ve got news for you: this is not quite the story you thought you knew. Sure, all of the recognizable figures are there: Optimus Prime, Megatron, Bumblebee, Starscream and yet…they’re not quite the same.

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It’s hard to explain, but it’s done so well that I need to try. As an example, Megatron is, as expected, the tyrannical ruler of the Decepticons and he practically rules what’s left of Cybertron. And yet, despite his tyranny, Megatron’s motives for starting the fight were pure: he wanted to liberate himself and his brethren from pre-programmed oppression. On the flip side, Optimus Prime is recast in a way that makes him seem like Megatron’s mirror image. Both are driven towards an identical goal, to the extent that the code phrase for ultimate victory “Till all are one” is used on both sides (but obviously with VERY different implications). The Autobots, for their part, are described as having lived “above it all” before the war started, something that really makes you reconsider what you think you know about the Autobot/Decepticon war.

Please don’t think that these differences take away from enjoying the story of War for Cybertron: Siege, because they don’t. In fact, the episodes flow together very seamlessly and I found myself surprised several times that I’d reached the end credits already. What I enjoyed the most about this story is how it takes the story elements that longtime fans know (the Autobots fleeing Cybertron on the Ark) and explaining in detail how they got to that point. Newcomers to the Transformers story should have no trouble following along, as plenty of backstory is dropped throughout to give context to certain developments.

Transformers-War-for-Cybertron-Plot-Cast-Trailer-Netflix-Release-Date

There are a number of Easter Eggs harkening back to Transformers over the years. The classic “transforming” sound appears throughout, the Ark is practically identical to its G1 appearance (and includes Teletraan 1), and there are even references to Alpha Trion, another character from the G1 series, just to name a few examples. Even with the differences, War for Cybertron: Siege definitely feels like part of the Transformers universe. And the best part of all of this? It’s set entirely on Cybertron!

Cybertron is a place I felt we didn’t get to see enough of in earlier incarnations of the Transformers story, so I was very excited to see the planet partially explored in this series. Having gone through a planetary war, much of the architecture is in ruins, but there’s just enough left to give you an idea of what Cybertron was like in all its glory.

I was also pleased to see Elita-1 given such a prominent role in the story. I don’t remember that much of Elita-1 in the original G1 cartoon, but I do know I absolutely love her design in this series. Considering most of the Transformers characters are male, it’s nice to see a female character be relatively prominent.

As an introduction to the origin of Transformers, War for Cybertron: Siege gets the story off to a rousing start, but it ends in a way I didn’t expect. There’s a surprise waiting for anyone who thinks they knows how Siege ends, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s good to leave the audience guessing as to what will happen next, and that’s what this ending certainly does.

I highly recommend Transformers: War for Cybertron: Siege, which premieres on Netflix on July 30th, 2020.

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TV Reviews

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Soundtrack Review: White Lines (2020)

I got the opportunity to check out the recently released soundtrack for the Netflix Original Series White Lines, with music composed by Tom Holkenborg (aka Junkie XL). The series follows Zoe Walker (Laura Haddock), a young woman who travels to Ibiza after the body of her brother turns up…20 years after he vanished. The 10-episode premiered on Netflix on May 15, 2020.

Tom’s film scoring credits have grossed over $2 billion at the box office and include Mad Max: Fury RoadDeadpoolBlack MassAlita Battle AngelDivergentBrimstoneThe Dark TowerTomb RaiderTerminator: Dark Fate and most recently the record setting Sonic the Hedgehog. He has worked with directors including Peter Jackson, Robert Rodriguez, James Cameron, George Miller, Christopher Nolan, Zack Snyder and Tim Miller among many others.

Tom is able to draw on his extensive knowledge of classical forms and structures while keeping one finger planted firmly on the pulse of popular music. When this eclectic background is paired with his skill as a multi-instrumentalist (he plays keyboards, guitar, drums, violin, and bass and describes himself as a ‘full contact composer’) and a mastery of studio technology, a portrait emerges of an artist for whom anything is possible.

Of the soundtrack, Tom Holkenborg says:

“It was a delight to dive back into my electronic roots and revisit some amazing Ibiza memories when creating the score for White Lines. Though much of the music I made is not club focused, as they licensed a lot of original tracks from the late ‘90s and early 2000s, I think my work was able to capture some of the magic that makes club culture and the island so special. It was a really fun personal project to work on and I hope people love the series.”

There is, for sure, a sense of the club life to be found in Holkenborg’s music for White Lines. The electronic synthesizer at times creates a vague sense of dancing music. Not surprisingly, “In the Club” was one such track that reminded me of dancing and being in the club environment. Other times, to be honest, the synthesizer felt like a throwback to the 80s, at least that’s what it reminded me of. I was fascinated by how Holkenborg wove the music together, one moment it sounds like something from 30-40 years ago, in the next instant it’s a regular piece of music that twists and turns as it moves along.

Actually it surprised me just how slow and thoughtful the music for White Lines could be. Given the setting is in Ibiza, a place known for its party atmosphere, a lot of the music sounded like the complete opposite of that kind of environment. Perhaps that’s because the series is looking past the glitzy club-atmosphere to the reality that can exist in a place like Ibiza. That would certainly explain the semi-serious nature of most of the soundtrack. One of my favorite pieces in this vein is “Missing You”, it combines the piano with the synthesizer and the melody just aches with raw emotion at times.

Listening to the music for White Lines reminded me, yet again, that one should never pre-judge a soundtrack by the premise of the show or movie that it’s attached to. White Lines might not be everyone’s cup of tea for a story, but there’s no denying that some beautiful music has been created for this show. Hopefully my brief thoughts will persuade you to check the soundtrack out sometime in the future.

WHITE LINES (MUSIC FROM THE NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES)
TRACKLISTING –
1. Zoe’s Arrival
2. Times Gone By
3. Darker Night
4. Missing You
5. On The Road
6. Ibiza Bar
7. I’m Happy for You
8. Live Life
9. Manchester Life
10. In The Club
11. Boxer
12. It Was Ours
13. Infinity
14. The Past
15. Repercussions
16. Romance
17. Retrace The Path
18. My Goddess
19. New Day
20. Discoveries
21. Accident
22. Closure
23. Diving for Prizes
24. Family Troubles
25. Memories
26. Zoe

Let me know what you think about White Lines (and its soundtrack) in the comments below and have a great day!

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TV Soundtracks

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Soundtrack News: ‘White Lines’ Soundtrack from Tom Holkenborg Available May 15th

Milan Records has announced that the official soundtrack for White Lines, the Netflix original series, will be released on May 15, 2020. The album features music written by Tom Holkenborg (aka Junkie XL). White Lines follows a young woman navigating the island of Ibiza in the wake of her brother’s mysterious death.

Tom Holkenborg, aka Junkie XL, is a Grammy® nominated multi-platinum producer, musician, composer and educator whose versatility puts him on the cutting edge of contemporary music, as well at the vanguard of exciting new film composers. Tom’s film scoring credits have grossed over $2 billion at the box office and include Mad Max: Fury Road, Deadpool, Black Mass, Alita Battle Angel, Divergent, Brimstone, The Dark Tower, Tomb Raider, Terminator: Dark Fate and most recently the record setting Sonic the Hedgehog. He has worked with directors including Peter Jackson, Robert Rodriguez, James Cameron, George Miller, Christopher Nolan, Zack Snyder and Tim Miller among many others.

Of the soundtrack, Tom Holkenborg says:

“It was a delight to dive back into my electronic roots and revisit some amazing Ibiza memories when creating the score for White Lines. Though much of the music I made is not club focused, as they licensed a lot of original tracks from the late ‘90s and early 2000s, I think my work was able to capture some of the magic that makes club culture and the island so special. It was a really fun personal project to work on and I hope people love the series.”

The synopsis for White Lines is below:

When the body of a legendary Manchester DJ is discovered twenty years after his mysterious disappearance from Ibiza, his sister returns to the beautiful Spanish island to find out what happened. Her investigation will lead her through a thrilling world of dance music, super yachts, lies and cover-ups, forcing her to confront the darker sides of her own character in a place where people live life on the edge.

WHITE LINES (MUSIC FROM THE NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES)

TRACKLISTING –

  1. Zoe’s Arrival
  2. Times Gone By
  3. Darker Night
  4. Missing You
  5. On The Road
  6. Ibiza Bar
  7. I’m Happy for You
  8. Live Life
  9. Manchester Life
  10. In The Club
  11. Boxer
  12. It Was Ours
  13. Infinity
  14. The Past
  15. Repercussions
  16. Romance
  17. Retrace The Path
  18. My Goddess
  19. New Day
  20. Discoveries
  21. Accident
  22. Closure
  23. Diving for Prizes
  24. Family Troubles
  25. Memories
  26. Zoe

The soundtrack for White Lines will be available the same day the series premieres, on May 15, 2020.

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Soundtrack Review: The Two Popes (2019)

Late last year, Milan Records released the soundtrack for the Netflix original film The Two Popes. Accompanying brilliant direction by Fernando Meirelles and indomitable performances by both Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce is an entirely charming, playful, and yet robust score devised by multifaceted artist and composer Bryce Dessner whose music soulfully uncovers the individual voices for both Pope Benedict and Cardinal Bergoglio (the future Pope Francis) while still revealing each Pope’s humane vulnerabilities and finding common consonance between them in an oftentimes lonesome Vatican locale.

 

With an expansive body of work that extends beyond the hugely-successful band, Dessner brings his experience as both a GRAMMY Award-winning classical composer and Golden Globe-nominated film composer to the The Two Popes. Regarding his work on The Two Popes, Dessner had this to say:

“It was an absolute joy to work with such an incredible cast and team on The Two Popes. In particular I have always been a huge fan of director Fernando Mereilles and it was an honor to finally work directly on a film with him. His work is deeply musical and it was a wonderful journey to find the sound world for The Two Popes, which began with the intimate and incredible performances of Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce. This was the first film I’ve worked on a score where I got to visit the set as they were shooting in Rome for a few days and began composing in the room with the actors and crew.  The score has moments of more abstract minimal and layered orchestral music which I wrote for Benedict’s scenes, and then music inspired by Argentina folk music (in particular Mercedes Sosa and Dino Saluzzi) for which I spent a lot of time composing for the classical guitar again.”

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Dessner collaborates with some of today’s most creative and respected artists, including Philip Glass, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Paul Simon, Sufjan Stevens, Johnny Greenwood, Bon Iver, Kelley O’Connor, Nico Muhly and Steve Reich, who named Dessner “a major voice of his generation.” His orchestrations can be heard on the new albums of Paul Simon and Bon Iver. Further film score credits include The Kitchen for Warner Bros. (2019) as well as The Two Popes by Oscar-nominated director Fernando Meirelles (2019).

I found the soundtrack for The Two Popes to be deeply relaxing. Dessner seemed intent on creating music that seemed to complement the mood you’d find in the Church and in two such high-ranking officials as Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Bergoglio. I have to confess that I was briefly confused by the tracks with classical guitar reminding me of Spain before I remembered that Bergoglio comes from Argentina (a Spanish-speaking country), in which case that style of music makes perfect sense.

Compared to other soundtracks I’ve listened to, the music for The Two Popes is pretty minimalistic, but that makes sense since the emphasis is supposed to be on the dialogue between Benedict XVI and Bergoglio. Too much music would be a distraction, and Dessner seems to have taken great care to not overdo his musical contributions to the film.

If you’re looking for a relaxing soundtrack to listen to, Bryce Dessner’s score for The Two Popes is a good choice. The soundtrack is available now from Milan Records.

THE TWO POPES (MUSIC FROM THE NETFLIX FILM)
TRACKLISTING
Walls
Cuando Tenga la Tierra – Mercedes Sosa
Dialogues
Vote Counting
Ratzinger Election
Garden Dialogues
Was It Something I Said
Shifting Gardens
Cathedral
Bergoglio’s Awakening
Siete de Abril
Dirty War
Taken Away and Tortured
They Took Esther
Another Bergoglio
Walls 2
Pope Francis
Sombras de Buenos Aires
Minguito – Dino Saluzzi
Sastanàqqàm – Tinariwen
Besame Mucho – Ray Conniff & His Orchestra

Let me know what you think about The Two Popes and its soundtrack in the comments below and have a great day!

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Film Soundtracks A-W

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Soundtrack Review: Anne With an “E” (2017-2019)

Original Music from the CBC and Netflix series Anne with an “E” is now available on CD exclusively from Varèse Sarabande Records. The soundtrack to Northwood Entertainment’s series can be ordered on VareseSarabande.com and other retailers. The album includes the theme song “Ahead by a Century” by The Tragically Hip and score from the composing duo of Amin Bhatia and Ari Posner.

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The series, a reimagining of the classic book Anne of Green Gables, is a coming-of-age story about a young orphan who is seeking love, acceptance and her place in the world. Amybeth McNulty stars as Anne, who has endured an abusive childhood in orphanages and the homes of strangers. Set in the late 1890s, Anne is mistakenly sent to live with aging siblings, Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert (played by Geraldine James and R.H. Thomson), who reside on Prince Edward Island. Anne, who proves to be uniquely spirited, imaginative and smart, transforms the lives of Marilla, Matthew and everyone else in their small town. While Anne with an “E” honors the foundation of L. M. Montgomery’s novel, the series explores contemporary issues of identity, racism, feminism, friendship, bullying, gender parity, and empowerment through the lens of its fierce, starry-eyed, irrepressible protagonist.

Regarding the soundtrack for Anne with an “E” the composers had the following to say:

Doing a soundtrack felt natural because much like an orchestra, the series Anne with an “E” contains a great many components that are all moving in the same direction to tell beautiful and inspiring stories contained within. There were certain instruments and styles of music that we decided on quite early in the process. The Celtic flavor was a natural choice from the very beginning, and this informed the instrumentation that usually includes fiddle, tin whistle, accordion and mandolin. However, we were encouraged to experiment and expand those parameters wherever it felt right for the story, so that brought in other woodwinds and strings, ambient and percussive textures, solo cello and of course piano.

A period piece though it may be, the stories in Anne with an “E” are universal and timeless. Every detail, including the costumes and sets, the writing, the acting and even the live instruments in our score are incredibly accurate to the time. Yet a contemporary light shines on the issues that these characters would have faced back then, issues that are old as time and still as true and meaningful today. In that sense, much like the Tragically Hip’s main title song “Ahead by a Century”, we have always felt that the whole concept behind the show was exactly that

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With nearly 50 scores to his credit, Emmy nominated composer Amin Bhatia has written music for film, TV and album projects for over 30 years. Versatile in both orchestral and electronic music, Amin’s television projects in addition to the CBC/Netflix/Northwood series Anne with an “E”, include internationally acclaimed series Flashpoint and X Company, the docudrama series Blood and Fury: America’s Civil War, as well as guest compositions on The Handmaid’s Tale. Ari Posner is a fixture in Canadian film and television, in addition to scoring Netflix/CBC/Northwood’s Anne with an “E”, Posner’s series scoring credits include X Company, Blood and Fury: America’s Civil War, and the critically acclaimed TV series Flashpoint, as well as the feature films All the Wrong Reasons, Borealis, and the romantic comedy My Awkward Sexual Adventure. The music composer’s repertoire spans from long-format work to ads to animated series, and everything in between.

TRACK LISTING
1.    Ahead by a Century Performed by The Tragically Hip
2.    Good Morning Anne
3.    Picking Up A Girl
4.    The White Way of Delight
5.    Tree Perspective
6.    A Big Day Ahead
7.    The Power of A Child
8.    Matthew And Anne
9.    Meet Miss Stacey
10.  A Nature Symphony
11.  Passage of Time
12.  Forgiveness
13.  Never Going Back
14.  My Daughter Anne
15.  You Can Ride to Back
16.  Forbidden to Fraternize
17.  Marilla Waits
18.  Unrequited Love
19.  The Growing Storm
20.  It’s All Broken
21.  Fire in The Town
22.  Dr. Gilbert Blythe
23.  Kindred Spirits
24.  My Friend Cole
25.  Mission of Magnitude
26.  Dearest Diana
27.  Simplest of Gifts
28.  We’re Rich Aren’t We
29.  No Regrets
30.  Make Your Own Decision
31.  Goodnight Anne

Let me know what you think about the soundtrack for Anne With an “E” in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Film Soundtracks A-W

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