A few weeks ago, I was honored with an invitation to speak at Google, as part of their @Google Series. The entire presentation is now available in HD on YouTube, or you can see it right here:
For the presentation, Raya Yarbrough interviewed me about my early musical life, career, creative process, influences and turn ons… well, musical turn ons anyway.
Like most music education seminars, we had a grand piano and full-size Cylon Centurian on stage with us! (more…)
There are some new cool documentaries out there worth pointing out. First up: GameTrailers.com has a Dark Void Character Development Diary:
This is a wonderful look at the evolution of the characters in the game, told by the producers and developers themselves. There’s an interesting comparison between typical blank-canvas videogame archetypes and actual, interesting characters. The game’s strong narrative structure is what made it such a joy to write music for. There’s a good story that required multiple character themes and musical development along the lines of my work on T:TSCC and BSG.
Speaking of the Dark Void score, this documentary is by far the best sneak peak yet at a bunch of my cues written for the game. Previous trailers (as well as the cue excerpts released last spring) have featured exclusively gameplay music. This documentary is your first example of what the cinematics and character themes sound like.
(UPDATED: Thanks to cory for pointing out in the comments that the official website has a bunch of my score playing on the main page! Check it out: http://www.darkvoidgame.com/)
She could escape annihilation from bloodthirsty cyborgs, but apparently not the broadcaster’s axe.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles has been cancelled.
Of course, I’m disappointed, even though the writing has been on the wall for quite some time. The ratings slipped throughout Season 2, and we didn’t pass the “Friday Night Death Slot” test.
It’s both easy and misguided to blame the network, or assume that it would have survived if better promoted. I believe that Fox did everything they could. I think that we simply fell in the snare of network television expectation. At the end of the day, these are financial decisions being made by financial institutions. Remember, that if Battlestar Galactica aired on Fox, it would’ve been cancelled in two weeks (BG was technically an underperforming series even by Sci Fi Channel standards!).
I’ll be celebrating the release of the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles soundtrack in style this weekend with a signing at Dark Delicacies in Burbank! Also available from La La Land Records will be the recently released Eureka and Rest Stop: Don’t Look Back soundtracks. If you’ve never been there, Dark Delicacies is a blast… a horror-themed store, perfect for any film buff on your Xmas list.
4213 W. Burbank Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505
Saturday, December 13, 2008, 2pm
Off topic… Did you see that Battlestar Galactica‘s most recent episode, “Revelations,” was named the Number 6 best episode of television this year by Time Magazine? Number “6”? Coincidence? The clip they’re showing on their site features my work for choir and orchestra, “Diaspora Oratorio” (Beware of MAJOR spoilers if you haven’t seen the show).
It’s finally official! My soundtrack for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles goes on sale December 2nd! (Perhaps a perfect holiday gift for any sci fi fans you know??)
The behind-the-scenes details of this album held us up for a while, but I’m thrilled to report that the discs are off to the manufacturers and are being prepared for distribution at this very moment. Autographed copies will be available directly from La La Land Records on December 2nd, however I suspect they’ll go quickly. The CD is already available for pre-order from Amazon.com.
I’ll write a detailed entry about the album next week and post some audio clips. In the meantime, here’s the OFFICIAL TRACK LISTING. Remember, you heard it here first! 🙂
SPOILERS AHEAD: Tonight’s episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, aptly titled Mr. Ferguson is Ill Today, is a particularly unusual story. The plot is fractured into multiple accounts of the same narrative from the perspective of each of the major characters, the location was unique and, above all, the story culminates in the death of a principle character, Cromartie. (The episode’s title is actually the first line of dialog Cromartie spoke in the pilot!) While the multi-perspective storyline provided interesting musical challenges, it was the episode’s Mexican location that gave me the most room to explore.
“Mr. Ferguson” allowed me a second opportunity to produce a song for Terminator, after the season premiere’s searing “Samson and Delilah” with Shirley Manson. This time, I arranged a traditional Mexican folk tune called “La Llorona.”
I first heard about this song a few days before I saw the episode. I happened to be hanging out with the episode’s director Michael Nankin (whose skillful touch Battlestar fans will recognize from some of the best episodes of that series, including Maelstrom) and he told me that he was experimenting with the song in his cut. So, even before the spotting session with the producers, I was already thinking about how I could take a traditional Mexican folk tune and Terminator-ize it. (more…)
It’s finally official! FOX has picked up the remainder of season 2 for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, allowing us to complete a full 22-episode season. Our ratings have been low this fall, so I’m glad that FOX understands how incredibly competitive our time slot is. I can only assume that impressive downloads and DVD sales must have been a factor. Read the entire story at The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.
This entry is the first in what I hope will become a continuing series of interviews with industry professionals. Rather than comprehensive, career-spanning interviews, I will focus on one project or aspect of a person’s career that relates to an experience of my own. Loyal readers can enjoy in-depth detail, and I have the chance to learn something professionally valuable. The format will be unusual, since half the blog will be interview and the rest my own experiences and inevitable opinions. But the interviews will be easy to spot if you want to scan ahead to the pearls of wisdom from people far more knowledgeable than myself.
For this first interview, I’m thrilled to have spoken with renowned composer Bruce Broughton. I’ve loved Bruce’s work ever since I was a kid, when I first heard his knock-out scores for Young Sherlock Holmes and Silverado. The latter project, combined with his brilliant work for Tombstone, instigated my life-long love affair with classic Westerns and their scores.
My interview focuses on one of his most under-appreciated credits: Tiny Toons Adventures. I always adored his Looney-Tunes-inspired score for this now-classic series, but my admiration grew tenfold when I had a brief opportunity to follow in his footsteps, writing a full-fledged orchestral animation score for this loveable little scamp, Atomic Al:
LIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD: I don’t know if my brutal schedule will allow for me to write about every episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles this season, but tonight’s Automatic for the People features outstanding pieces I can’t resist sharing. This week, I wrote lovely score cues for new plot lines and characters, but it was actually the “source” music I had the most fun with. (This term refers to music heard by characters in the film, as opposed to score only experienced by the viewing audience).
Several scenes took place in a bar. Typically, there will be music at bars in film and tv, but Automatic for the People presented a unique opportunity. Sarah and Cameron infiltrate a bar and Cameron’s job is to get close enough to the security guards playing pool to visually scan their badges. So, Cameron plays the “helpless girl who can’t play pool” trick. Of course, it would have been just as easy for her to kill them all, but not quite as subtle.
Bear and Shirley in the studio, recording vocals for “Samson and Delilah”
- “If I had my way…
- I’d burn this whole building down”
The second season of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles began with a bang tonight. As the series composer, I returned to the smashing metal percussion and electric string quartet textures of the Sarah Connor musical soundscape. However, Samson and Delilah also allowed me to once again stretch from the confines of underscore composer into song producer and arranger, and gave me the opportunity to work with Garbage lead singer and songwriter Shirley Manson.
The song I produced for her was featured prominently in the opening moments of the episode. And it will be the first track of the forthcoming Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles soundtrack CD that I’m thrilled to announce will be released by La La Land Records as early as next month!
The evolution of the song began last spring, long before scoring or even production began, in fact before the second season was officially picked up by Fox.