Hans Zimmer

9 Most Influential Film Composers

Every film composer brings his or her talent to a project. They carve out a career path for themselves in which they (hopefully) can make a living through the art and craft of creating music. But some film composers change the face of the art form. In the course of doing their jobs, they leave… More

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9 Favorite Film Composers

As I approach my 50th birthday on the 19th, I’ve naturally been taking stock of my life so far and looking back at the good, bad and the ugly over my first half century. Arguably the most consistent element among the ups and downs is my love of film music. So, in a purely selfish… More

The Big Country

9 Favorite Western Film Scores

I’m not a fan of Westerns particularly. The mythological images created by Hollywood seldom bear any resemblance to reality and their political leanings are often less than honorable. But those wide, open spaces and America’s dramatic past (even filtered through Hollywood’s gauze) arguably have inspired more great film scores than any other cinematic subgenre. As… More


9 Film Scores That Deserved a Pulitzer

The Pulitzer Prizes, handed out every April, are arguably the most prestigious prizes for journalism, arts and letters, and music in the U.S. Their monetary value is nominal; what matters is the prestige. In this month’s newsletter, I discussed the 2004 changes that came about in the Pulitzer rules allowing film music into consideration for… More


CD Review: Spartacus

Ever since the beginning of message boards, there have been film music threads about SPARTACUS. With every new announcement of upcoming CDs, someone would invariably (and idiotically) say, “I bet it’s SPARTACUS!” The holy grail of a complete SPARTACUS remained maddeningly elusive for years. But with Alex North’s 100th birthday celebration this year and the 50th… More

The Agony and the Ecstasy

The Agony and the Ecstasy

Film is the ideal medium to showcase the visual arts. The lives and work of Frida Kallo (FRIDA), Van Gogh (LUST FOR LIFE) and Jackson Pollock (POLLOCK) have all had varying success in film. While not every painter’s life is necessarily worth exploring, there is something indefinable and inspirational about the visual creation of a… More


I Am Spartacus!

All good things come to those who wait. Fifty years after the release of Stanley Kubrik’s epic film, we finally have the ultimate release of Alex North‘s monumental score for SPARTACUS! Varese Sarabande is releasing an astonishing box set–six CDs featuring all the remaining stereo tracks, the original soundtrack LP rearranged in film order, the entire… More


CD Review: Dragonslayer

A dragon of a very different color is on display in Alex North‘s 1981 score for DRAGONSLAYER. Peter MacNicol stars as young sorcerer’s apprentice Galen, who must slay the dragon Vermithrax in order to save Valerian (Caitlin Clarke) and her village from extinction. This Paramount-Disney co-production didn’t exactly set the box office on fire (pardon… More