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Fans of Film Music 2012 Gathering
Posted By: Mark Ford 9/19/2012 - 6:00 AM

Audio Blog 2

This week's blog is just me rambling on about my experience at the Third Annual Fans of Film Music Gathering in LA. It is more of a stream of thought recording, coming in a bit long at over 16 minutes. I expect to do more concise, well planned audio blogs in the future, but this one is a bit different owing to the breadth of coverage and my somewhat leisurely, recollective approach to it.

Comments: 29  (read on)
Scoreside Chat Audio Blog Launch
Posted By: Mark Ford 7/3/2012 - 2:00 PM
Audio Blog 1
I've decided to change directions a bit for blogging here on the FSM site by shiffting away from a written blog to an audio one. I want the audo blog to be more informal in nature and require little in the way of tinkering on my part. With the written blogs I constantly wrote and rewrote even after posting in order to get things as "right"  as possible and I want to avoid that sort of perfectionism with the audio version. I just don't have the time nor the desire for doing that anymore. I will be recording essentially live without much, if any editing so there will naturally be some stumbles here and there. I've picked a topic for each blog and haven't scripted anything so it's mostly off the cuff stuff, hence the "informal" aspect I'm seeking. So with that in mind,  beware!
Comments: 4  (read on)
Posted By: Mark Ford 2/1/2012 - 12:00 PM

Number 66

By now the word here and elsewhere has spread about the fantastic new TRIBUTE FILM CLASSICS recording of Bernard Herrmann’s THE BATTLE OF NERETVA / THE NAKED AND THE DEAD. It’s hard to imagine a much better recording both in terms of sonic recording quality and pitch perfect to the spirit execution by both orchestra and conductor, The Moscow Symphony Orchestra and William Stromberg respectively. I feel it has set a new benchmark for re-recordings of film scores for it's outstanding presentation of a score that was not particularly well served in its OST release.

Much praise has been lavished upon Bill Stromberg and John Morgan for this outstanding recording and for which they are both totally deserving of, but they are only two of the members of the team responsible for the artistic quality of the TRIBUTE recordings, the third being Anna Bonn Stromberg. I feel it’s way past time that Anna gets the recognition she deserves for these nothing short of spectacular recordings. She is an integral and equal part of the TRI(for three)BUTE team.

Comments: 2  (read on)
The Matrix Live
Posted By: Mark Ford 11/22/2011 - 11:00 AM

Number 65

Several weeks ago I was fortunate enough to attend the North American premiere of THE MATRIX LIVE, a symphony performance-to-film of the music to the groundbreaking film. Conducting the Houston Symphony Orchestra and Chorus was Matrix composer Don Davis. I was very excited about this special concert coming to my hometown from the time I heard about it many months ago. Although it has been performed live several times in Europe before this, it had not been conducted by Davis himself, so this performance had that something extra.

Comments: 0  (read on)
Joe Sikoryak at 500!
Posted By: Mark Ford 9/6/2011 - 10:00 AM

Number 64

No, Joe isn’t turning 500 years old---but that would be something wouldn’t it?! What I’m talking about is his reaching the monumental milestone as art director/designer of 500 soundtracks. That 500th album is Intrada’s just released Explorers by Jerry Goldsmith.

Joe holding his 500th album in front of the many CDs he's done the designs for over the years.

Comments: 27  (read on)
2nd Annual Fans of Film Music Gathering
Posted By: Mark Ford 8/31/2011 - 4:00 PM

Number 63

Well another one has just wrapped and they just keep getting better and better! This year’s Fans of Film Music weekend in Los Angeles was fantastic from start to finish. Event organizer and FSM board regular Peter “drivingmissdaisy” Hackman worked tirelessly for months to bring this event to life and the result speaks for itself in a weekend filled with all sorts of great activities for the film music fan.

Comments: 8  (read on)
Bernard Herrmann Birthday Centennial - A Personal Tribute
Posted By: Mark Ford 6/29/2011 - 1:00 AM

Number 62

In celebration of the centennial of Bernard Herrmann’s birth on June 29, 2011, I wanted to pen a personal tribute to the man and his music instead of continuing along the lines of the series that ran over the past few months. Those blogs were mostly objective presentations of his concert and radio works, whereas this is my own personal and subjective look at what his music has meant to me over the years. I can think of no better way to honor the man on this landmark day.

Many can recall what movie(s) first drew their attention to film music or excited them enough to start their life long interest in it. In many cases it was the work of a single composer that began it all for them or perhaps a particular movie. In my case it was two films with music composed by Bernard Herrmann: Journey to the Center of the Earth and Mysterious Island. I must say though at the time, and even afterwards for a bit, I didn’t know what a film composer was nor did I know Herrmann’s name since I was just a young elementary school lad unaware of such things. All I knew at the time was that these were some of my favorite movies and the music was a great part of what made them so special to me. For years as a kid I called the easily identifiable sound Herrmann wrote for these movies “Jules Verne Music”.

Comments: 21  (read on)
Herrmann Centennial - Radio Work
Posted By: Mark Ford 6/1/2011 - 1:00 PM

Number 61

In the continuing celebration of the centennial of Bernard Herrmann’s birth later this month, it seemed only natural to include a look at Herrmann’s radio work which not only occupied him for many years, but was also highly instrumental in helping him develop many of the skills that would eventually contribute to his becoming one of the preeminent masters of the film music world.

Herrmann began work for CBS radio in 1934 as a staff conductor and arranger and almost immediately found himself composing music for broadcast. During his long career with CBS he not only programmed, conducted, arranged and wrote music for radio plays and dramatic readings, but he also programmed and conducted classical music performances, eventually becoming Chief Conductor of the CBS Symphony Orchestra from 1940 until it was disbanded in 1951. During his tenure as a conductor he was known for programming the music of little known composers from the past and gave exposure to more contemporary composers whose work had yet to be performed much, if at all. Chief amongst the latter was Charles Ives, a composer Herrmann had been championing decades before anyone else seemed to notice or care.

Comments: 2  (read on)
Herrmann Centennial Concert Work Series: Souvenirs de Voyage
Posted By: Mark Ford 5/9/2011 - 11:00 AM

Number 60

Scoreside Chat number 54 began a series of blogs a couple of months ago celebrating the upcoming centennial of Bernard Herrmann’s birth and which now concludes with this, the seventh installment. The series focused on Herrmann’s concert works rather than his film or radio music since that is an area of Herrmann’s music unfamiliar to many. A fresh topic seemed in order for the celebration, especially considering the huge amount of material devoted to his film music over the years.

I tried to approach each part by prefacing a work with excerpts about it culled from A Heart at Fire's Center: The Life and Music of Bernard Herrmann by Steven C. Smith (indicated by italicized dark blue text below). Some works however did not have any appreciable information about them in the book so I relied on recording liner notes and my own personal descriptions. This entry in the series is part 7 of 7 and presents Souvenirs de Voyage, a chamber piece and the last of Herrmann’s concert works.

Comments: 2  (read on)
Herrmann Centennial Concert Work Series: Currier and Ives Suite
Posted By: Mark Ford 4/19/2011 - 6:00 AM

Number 59

This is the next to last installment of a series celebrating the centennial of Bernard Herrmann’s birth by focusing on his concert works rather than his film or radio music. If available for a work, excerpts from A Heart at Fire's Center: The Life and Music of Bernard Herrmann by Steven C. Smith will accompany each piece. This is entry 6 of 7 and presents the Currier and Ives Suite, a short 5 movement orchestral work. Although I originally intended each work in this series to be presented in chronological order, this earlier work is presented here as the result of recently obtaining a recording of it.

Comments: 4  (read on)
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Today in Film Score History:
December 4
Alex North born (1910)
Benjamin Britten died (1976)
Frank Zappa died (1993)
Harry Sukman died (1984)
Jason Staczek born (1965)
Jay Chattaway begins recording his score for the two-part Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Chain of Command” (1992)
Leonard Rosenman records his score for the Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode “One of the Family” (1964)
On Golden Pond opens in New York and Los Angeles (1981)
Richard Robbins born (1940)
Rob Walsh born (1947)
Tito Arevalo died (2000)
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