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 Posted:   May 13, 2009 - 3:42 PM   
 By:   gscurl   (Member)

Is it just me, or does the man Michael Kamen not get the credit he deserves. He wrote some fantastic film scores. I can not think of the name of it, but I think I remember hearing that his final score was almost done on his death. I am wondering why it was not released. Could someone help me out with the details. I miss Michael Kamen too.

 
 
 Posted:   May 13, 2009 - 3:47 PM   
 By:   gscurl   (Member)

I am a new member, and my prior post may have been discussed before about Michael Kamen. I was just curious if what I heard was true about him almost completing another score not long before he passed. I miss Kamen, Poledouris, and Goldsmith.

 
 
 Posted:   May 13, 2009 - 3:48 PM   
 By:   BrendonKelly   (Member)

A great composer who did write some fabulous scores!

I think his final score was "First Daughter" which was actually completed by Blake Neely and I think it was a shared credit ie "Music by Michael Kamen and Blake Neely".

His other film that I believe was completed was an animated feature with a strange name but I cannot remember it.

 
 
 Posted:   May 13, 2009 - 3:50 PM   
 By:   gscurl   (Member)

I appreciate the reply. I had only heard about the animated one you mentioned, I can not think of the name either. Either of the scores released ? I would love to have a copy.

 
 Posted:   May 13, 2009 - 3:55 PM   
 By:   scoringsessions   (Member)

I'm constantly amazed at people's reluctance to just look at IMDb - it's not THAT hard, people.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004383/

"Back to Gaya"


 
 
 Posted:   May 13, 2009 - 3:57 PM   
 By:   BigMacGyver2000   (Member)

The animated film you are refering to is a german production with the title Back to Gaya (aka. Boo, Zino and the Snurks, which was the international title, i think).

The reason why this wasnt released is probably because the movie performed rather poorly and it was still the time when this would decide wether a score would get released or not. There were plans to release it but in the end it did not happen.

The directors of the movie were fans of michael kamen and pursued him to do the movie. He recorded the score in London.

I think this must come out someday. Its just too good to be forgotten and re-use fees cant be an issue at all. The racing cue alone is a wonderful action piece worth of a release and the main theme is pure gold. Its definitely one of Kamens top works.

here is a german article about the movie and kamens involvment:

http://www.spiegel.de/kultur/kino/0,1518,291277,00.html

It offers some interesting backgrounds on why kamen joined the project, how he was approached by the directors and how he felt about the project. If i have the time i will translate it into english.

 
 
 Posted:   May 13, 2009 - 4:07 PM   
 By:   gscurl   (Member)

I appreciate the replies. Kamen never got his due respect. Hopefully "Back to Gaya" will get released one day. I would love to hear his score. I understand there is a bussiness aspect, but I suppose I thought it being his final score before his passing, it would have been released by now. I will just have to put another Kamen on my wish list with an expanded License To Kill. Thanks for the replies.

 
 Posted:   May 13, 2009 - 4:50 PM   
 By:   The Cat   (Member)

You may be interested to know that both scores were finished by Kamen's friends / students. Ilan Eshkeri completed back to Gaya and did a very good job at that - I say very few people could tell the difference.

However, First Daughter may be even later than Back to Gaya (as in the writing process, not the premiere date). I say this because Michael was only at the beginning of writing the music. He sent some themes to orchestrator Blake Neely to start cracking on them. Blake sent back the music... on the day Michael died. The director however liked the music and felt that Kamen's memory should be honored with a score that's based on the themes and he even received a co-credit.

These kind of stories make me believe in humanity a bit more...

Also, you should drop me a line (see my profile for details) regarding a wish you made.

 
 
 Posted:   May 13, 2009 - 9:18 PM   
 By:   gscurl   (Member)

Hey Mr The Cat, I sent you an e-mail. Thanks for the response.

 
 Posted:   May 13, 2009 - 9:28 PM   
 By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

His action score masterpiece- DIE HARD. I wasn't crazy about it in 1988. But I sure am now. It is a really fine score, hearing it with the movie or on it's own terms.

 
 
 Posted:   May 13, 2009 - 9:41 PM   
 By:   gscurl   (Member)

I have Die Hard also, but I really enjoy Die Hard 2 more than I do the original. I think it is because I had it first and played it more often. They are both great if you ask me.

 
 
 Posted:   May 13, 2009 - 11:16 PM   
 By:   PeterD   (Member)

For some brief footage of the scoring session and some of Kamen's GAYA music, go to this website, click on the picture to enter the site, skip the intro, click on the fireplace in the lower right corner and then click on "musik":

http://www.warnerbros.de/movies/backtogaya/#

 
 
 Posted:   May 14, 2009 - 2:34 AM   
 By:   Tobias   (Member)

First Daughter may be even later than Back to Gaya (as in the writing process, not the premiere date). I say this because Michael was only at the beginning of writing the music. He sent some themes to orchestrator Blake Neely to start cracking on them. Blake sent back the music... on the day Michael died. The director however liked the music and felt that Kamen's memory should be honored with a score that's based on the themes and he even received a co-credit.


In the extramaterial on the First Daughter DVD (at least here in Sweden) there was a short section about the music. In it Blake Neely says something like "one day while I`m working on the film I received a phonecall about the death of Michael".

So unless Kamen worked on two films at the same time OR as you (The Cat) mentioned (and it is most probably the case here, that) Back to Goya had a later premiere date so that means that First Daughter was actually his very last film and not Back to Goya as some people mistakenly think.

 
 Posted:   May 14, 2009 - 2:54 AM   
 By:   Bernd   (Member)

Hi, I´m a new member smile

I agree, that Michael Kamen didn´t and still does not get the attention, he deserves. Especially "releasewise".
I mean there are beautiful gems waiting to get a complete or at least expanded treatment.

"Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves" for example is filled with powerfull swashbuckling music that didn´t make it to the official album.
Same with the "Lethal Weapon" sequels.

There´s a lot to discover.

It´s really sad, that I passed away so early in his life. It always touched me to see, that he dedicated his work to his family Sandra, Sasha and Zoe.



 
 
 Posted:   May 14, 2009 - 3:01 AM   
 By:   Michael Arlidge   (Member)

Kamen only wrote a demo theme for First Daughter. He was still finishing work on Back to Gaya, and pending the approval of the demo theme he would have started work on First Daughter once Back to Gaya was finished. Following his passing, Kamen's orchestrators completed his sketches for Back to Gaya (Ilan Eshkeri might have composed a couple of cues, but I'm sure they were adapted from Kamen's thematic material), while Blake Neely went on to compose the score for First Daughter, based on the demo theme written by Kamen (which was obviously approved by the director).

 
 
 Posted:   May 14, 2009 - 4:55 AM   
 By:   Tobias   (Member)

Kamen only wrote a demo theme for First Daughter. He was still finishing work on Back to Gaya, and pending the approval of the demo theme he would have started work on First Daughter once Back to Gaya was finished. Following his passing, Kamen's orchestrators completed his sketches for Back to Gaya (Ilan Eshkeri might have composed a couple of cues, but I'm sure they were adapted from Kamen's thematic material), while Blake Neely went on to compose the score for First Daughter, based on the demo theme written by Kamen (which was obviously approved by the director).

Michael, have you seen that bonus feature on the First Daughter DVD? Because if you have`nt I recommend you to do that.

In that feature you got the feeling that Kamen had done a little bit more than what you are saying but ok I admit it was a while ago I saw it so I could be wrong. Still recommend you to seek it out.

 
 
 Posted:   May 14, 2009 - 5:13 AM   
 By:   Michael Arlidge   (Member)

Michael, have you seen that bonus feature on the First Daughter DVD? Because if you have`nt I recommend you to do that.

In that feature you got the feeling that Kamen had done a little bit more than what you are saying but ok I admit it was a while ago I saw it so I could be wrong. Still recommend you to seek it out.


Yes, I have indeed seen the featurette to which you refer. In it, Blake Neely confirms the sequence of events I've recounted. He mentions that, once the theme had been orchestrated, he was going to send it back to Kamen for his final approval before it was shown to the director. Kamen was in London, while the director was in the United States, so Neely was acting as the go-between during the initial stages of the collaboration (naturally, Kamen and the director would have ultimately met face-to-face once the demo had been accepted, and the formal scoring process had begun). Tragically, when Neely called to find out what Kamen thought of the orchestration, he was informed that the composer was gone.

 
 
 Posted:   May 14, 2009 - 5:43 AM   
 By:   panavision   (Member)

Highlander blows me away every time I hear it. He really captured the mood of the picture. I also like his Bond score.

 
 Posted:   May 14, 2009 - 7:01 AM   
 By:   Josh "Swashbuckler" Gizelt   (Member)

Among his most beautiful works is What Dreams May Come. A gorgeous score that burrows into the soul and stays there.

 
 
 Posted:   May 14, 2009 - 7:36 AM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

He's done so many genres. I became a fan after seeing Die Hard (that plucking violin is so catchy!) and an even greater admirer after discovering his score for "The Dead Zone".

I'm not that big a fan of his Robin Hood score, nor the Highlander music, but I do like his work for Brazil, Event Horizon and X-men.

I recently heard a suite of his music from "Band of Brothers" at a local film music concert and having not heard it before, it was quite impressive and heart felt.

His score for Open Range remains my favorite for the time being and I play it quite often.

I never considered him to be up there with the top composers, and I'm sure had he lived on to do more scores he would have changed that, but he has written so many beautiful scores he does deserve to be mentioned more here on this board. So kudos for this thread!

 
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