All posts under Speak Up!

It’s In My DNA

For today’s blog post, I went back to the “What Film Music Means To Me” contest comments and pulled out this intriguing entry by Mark Ford. My blood when viewed under a microscope reveals the presence of black blood cells which appear in the shapes of musical notes. DNA testing further reveals an extra chromosome with sequences of genetic markers labeled Goldsmith, Herrmann, etc. Film music is in my blood and integral to who I am. I’d like to thank Mark for graciously giving me permission to use his name…

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I Need Some Space

I bow at the feet of Jonathan Ive and the almighty iPod. It has changed the way I listen to music, mostly for the better. And as a New Yorker, I get to take my film music with me wherever I go while it blocks out most of the incessant hustle and bustle of the city. But there are times when I don’t want my music pouring directly into my cerebral cortex. As a child of the 70’s (ugh), I grew up with these things called vinyl and turntables. My…

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Film Music Means Everything

Congratulations to Tim Clark from Melbourne, Australia, the winner of the “What Film Music Means To Me” Contest and a $50 gift certificate from Screen Archives Entertainment. Thank you to everyone who participated and thanks to Tim Curran for tackling the unenviable job of narrowing them down to just one. Everyone who left a comment spoke from the heart and it was humbling to read such emotional tributes to this art form we dearly love. I was moved by so many of the comments. Whether they said something new or…

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I Have Nothing To Listen To!

Every day I’m faced with a daunting task–choosing music. In the old days, I used to stand and squat in front of a massive, turning tower that housed my collection of CD’s–film scores, showtunes, pop, jazz, classical. Easily 1,500 CD’s or more (closer to 2,000 now). Now they reside in stacks of Manhattan Mini-Storage boxes in the back corner of the sunless hovel I call my apartment. The titles are in disarray within their various boxes, no longer in alphabetical order (which drives me nuts!), waiting for the day when…

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The Healing Power of Film Music

The death of my dear friend Patty a couple of weeks ago rocked my life more than I initially thought. At the time, I didn’t realize how unfocused I was, and how that affected my ability to work or to concentrate on the simplest things, like watching TV or reading a book. I’m still not back to 100% mental capacity (no comments from the peanut gallery), but I’m getting there. And how am I getting there? Through film music. Given my penchant for tears, I surprisingly haven’t delved into my…

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Confessions of a Liner Notes Writer

I’ve been very fortunate in the eight sets of liner notes I’ve written so far. I’ve written about scores from some of my favorite composers–Elmer Bernstein, Bronislau Kaper, Hugo Friedhofer, Max Steiner–and been exposed to scores I’d never heard and major restorations like Film Score Monthly’s THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM. I’ve written for Varese Sarabande and Film Score Monthly, and at some point I’d like to tackle some projects from the other specialty labels as well–Intrada, La-La Land, etc. After the announcement last week of GRIMM, my friend…

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The Fellowship of Film Music

Last night, my dear friend Patty passed away. Patty and I had been friends for nearly 10 years. As co-workers for most of that time, we saw each other on a daily basis. When I left my full-time job 2-1/2 years ago, our friendship continue to grow, even without the daily contact. Patty supported my writing from the very beginning, when I made my first tentative attempts at writing a book on Oscar-nominated film scores back in 2002. She continued to encourage my first published writings with Film Score Monthly…

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75 Years of Oscar Scores Redux

What has gone unnoticed in this frenzied and long awards season is this year marks the 75th anniversary of the Academy Awards for Music, which were first handed out in 1935 for the films released in 1934. Oscar nuts, no matter their caliber, like to second-guess and rearrange the Academy Awards, and us film music fans are no different. Anyone who knows me even slightly knows of my love for the Oscars and that I don’t brook any Oscar-bashing in my house. You can disagree but no bashing. I won’t…

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Limited Edition Reviews

As I’ve stated before, one of the most frustrating aspects of today’s veritable cornucopia of film music collecting is the frenzied free-for-all that occurs as a new limited edition title is announced. Many of us, myself included, scramble toward the mother lode to suck quickly from the proverbial tit before the milk is all gone and we’re left starving and whining. For that reason, I don’t often post reviews of limited edition CDs on this site. By the time I get the CD, have time to listen to it properly…

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The Sizzler Effect

What comes to mind when you think of the Sizzler? The “all you can eat” salad bar, right? Whether at the Sizzler or elsewhere, what once started out as a healthy alternative or addition to your meal became a gluttonous stuff-your-face replacement for quality food. That’s how I feel about the schedule of film music releases these days. I call this all-you-can-eat predicament “The Sizzler Effect.“ We’re five weeks into the new year and I already feel bloated and stuffed. I still have 13 review copies waiting to be reviewed. I’ve only listened to…

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