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 Posted:   Aug 20, 2013 - 10:36 PM   
 By:   Krakower Group   (Member)



Featuring Original Music By Shigeru Umebayashi and Nathaniel Mechaly

(August 19, 2013– Los Angeles, CA) – Lakeshore Records will release THE GRANDMASTER– Original Motion Picture Soundtrack digitally on August 20th and on CD September 24, 2013. The album features original music by Shigeru Umebayashi (HOUSE OF THE FLYING DAGGERS, A SINGLE MAN, CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER) and Nathaniel Mechaly (TAKEN, COLOMBIANA).

"Many people view Kung Fu films, released in the US or in China, as simple dishes like 'chop suey' - but to me, the Grandmaster is so much more - it is a grand feast of Chinese martial arts - not only in terms of the story but also of sound and music,” said director Wong Kar Wai. “On this specific project I worked with my regular collaborator, composer, and friend Shigeru Umebayashi who has worked with me since IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE as well as a new collaborator Nathaniel Mechaly.”

“For this score I did start out using many different instruments, in particular many Asian percussion instruments such as Taiko drums,” said Mechaly. “Interestingly, the instrument Shigeru and I ended up using by far the most was the cello which is my main instrument that I've played all my life. I don't think I've ever played and recorded as much cello in recent years as I did on this film!”

Nathaniel Mechaly studied the cello, chamber music and electro acoustic composing in the Paris, Marseille, and Boulogne National Academies of Music. Nathaniel Mechaly signed his first cinematic score in 2004 with Raphaël Nadjari’s film AVANIM, and later TEHILIM. His credits include REVOLVER (Guy Ritchie), THE SECRET (Vincent Pérez), TAKEN (Pierre Morel), and COLOMBIANA (Olivier Mégaton). In 2012, he completed the score for TAKEN II (Olivier Mégaton) and the music for THE TRANSPORTER series, directed by Brad Turner.

Shigeru Umebayashi has over 40 Japanese and Chinese films to his credit, including several films for The Grandmaster director Wong Kar Wai (IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE, 2046, MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS), plus HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS, A SINGLE MAN, FEARLESS, and CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER. He was the leader of the Japanese new wave group EX and jumped to film composing in 1984 after producing a song for Japanese actor Yusaku Matsuda for Ridley Scott’s BLACK RAIN.

“Working with a very tight schedule they [Umebayashi and Mechaly] toiled day and night to create this beautiful music that has inspired me and audiences around the world,” described Wong Kar Wai. “Their ingenuity helped define and create three different chapters in our Chinese history within the film and on the soundtrack: 1936 in the South of China, the 1940s in the North, and the 1950s in Hong Kong. Each period was distinct in terms of the score, and not only did we utilize original music to hit on the historical context in the film but we used authentic music from those periods as a reference.”
THE GRANDMASTER is the highly-anticipated new film by acclaimed director Wong Kar Wai. Six years in the planning and three years in the making, THE GRANDMASTER is an epic action feature inspired by the life and times of the legendary kungfu master, Ip Man. The story spans the tumultuous Republican era that followed the fall of China’s last dynasty, a time of chaos, division and war that was also the golden age of Chinese martial arts. Filmed in a range of stunning locations that include the snow-swept landscapes of Northeast China and the subtropical South, THE GRANDMASTER features virtuoso performances by some of the greatest stars of contemporary cinema.

With THE GRANDMASTER, Wong Kar Wai has made a kungfu film like no other. Years of research before production and a virtual battalion of martial arts trainers on set ensured that THE GRANDMASTER portrays both the Chinese martial arts and the world of the martial artists with unprecedented authenticity, with fight scenes choreographed by renowned action choreographer Yuen Wo Ping (THE MATRIX, KILL BILL, CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.) The trio of international superstars at the film’s heart – Tony Leung, Ziyi Zhang and Chang Chen – all underwent several years of rigorous and extremely challenging kungfu training for their roles.

“To help define the North from the South,” explained Wong Kar Wai, "we used some of my favorite Beijing operas as well as Cantonese. The Beijing Opera, Si Lang Tan Mu, which we used in the film, is actually one of my favorites.”

He continued:
“What is so special about Si Lang Tan Mu is that it is about a young general from the Legendry Yang Family, who was the only survivor of a war, captured by the enemy and kept to marry the princess of the foreign land that held him captive. Like Ip Man, he becomes a tiger without a mountain or a bird without the sky.

“For the track 'Action 150 which occurs during the battle of Ip Man (Tony Leung) and Gong Er (Zhang Ziyi), we didn't want to make it a standard Chinese action score we wanted to make it more like a dance between two people and we utilized the skills and talent of our sound mixer and acclaimed DJ from Thailand, Traithep Wongpaiboon.

“Finally, as an homage to two great legends Sergio Leone and in honor of the great music of Ennio Morricone we used two tracks towards the end of the film - including La Donna Romantica and the amazing score from Once Upon a Time in America, the Deborah theme because we see this film as so much more than just a story of martial arts it truly is 'Once Upon a Time in Kung Fu.'”

“Wong Kar Wai has a very rich musical culture and an enormous knowledge of cinematic music, so he was always giving me many references to listen to from Ennio Morricone all the way to classical music and opera,” described Mechaly. “I think the most interesting comment that Kar Wai gave me was a little slip of paper with the words ‘Nath, be the last man standing’ written on it, which is a quote from the film. Just like in the film, where the characters are putting themselves on the line every day, he really wanted everyone working on the film (music included) to challenge ourselves constantly to bring out our best.”

Track Listing
01. Main Theme I - Opening - Shigeru Umebayashi & Nathaniel Mechaly
02. Main Theme II - Dreaming of the 64 Hands - Shigeru Umebayashi
03. Love Theme I - Shigeru Umebayashi
04. Love Theme II - Shigeru Umebayashi
05. Beijing Opera - Si Lang Tan Mu - Traditional
06. The Gold Pavilion - Shigeru Umebayashi
07. Manchuria Express - Shigeru Umebayashi & Nathaniel Mechaly
08. Action 150 - Vichaya Vatanasapt, Traithep Wongpaiboon & Nathaniel Mechaly
09. Sorekara Epilogue I – Kokuhaku - Shigeru Umebayashi
10. Moyou (from the film "Sorekara") - Shigeru Umebayashi
11. Opium - Shigeru Umebayashi & Nathaniel Mechaly
12. Casta Diva (from the opera “Norma”) - Vinenzo Bellini
13. Main Theme IV - The Sacrifice - Shigeru Umebayashi & Nathaniel Mechaly
14. La Donna Romantica - Ennio Morricone
15. Once Upon a Time in America: Deborah's Theme - Ennio Morricone
16. Manchurian Bolero - Nathaniel Mechaly & Shigeru Umebayashi

The Weinstein Company will release THE GRANDMASTER in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto on August 23rd and nationwide on August 30th. in select theaters, on August 23rd. THE GRANDMASTER – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack will be available digitally on August 20th and on CD September 24, 2013.


For more information contact: or @cinemediapromo on Twitter

 Posted:   Aug 26, 2013 - 8:04 PM   
 By:   Zaku   (Member)

Can't wait to see this, got me since the trailer was released.

"Here, as in Mr. Wong’s earlier films, his sumptuous excesses — the lush music, the opulent rooms, the seductive drift, the thundering blows — both help tell the story and offer something more."

It's been too long since I've added an Umebayashi to my collection. Waiting for some of that House of Flying Daggers beauty.

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