25
January 2008
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Cue of the Week: “The Storm Gathers”

This cue is technically a rerun, as it was originally posted on the earlier version of this blog, way back in fall of 2005. But since most of the readership here has joined since then, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to cheat in this case.

I’ve always had a predilection for the “stormy” school of programmatic orchestral pieces. (I am a big proponent of the rarely-performed original version of Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain, which is far more impassioned and cinematic than the Rimsky-Korsakoff remix we’re all used to hearing.) Here’s one of my stabs at writing in this genre.

(Click on the play button to stream, or the cue title to download.)

The Storm Gathers
 

18
January 2008
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Cue of the Week: “The Audit”

This week’s cue comes from the film The F-Zone, wherein an innocent businessman’s life is ruined by the IRS. (Perhaps a bit topically premature for January, but I figure I’ll want to play more cheerful music when tax season does roll around.)

When recording this cue, I found that due to a timing change it was one measure too long. Having no time to rethink the music while standing in front of 60-some-odd very expensive session players, I simply lopped off the first bar. This gave the cue’s opening a dissonant, off-balance feel that I like better than the more on-the-nose intro I’d originally written. Chalk one up for serendipity!

Fabulous multi-instrumentalist Jon Clarke plays the english horn solo at the close of the cue.

(Click on the play button to stream, or the cue title to download.)

The Audit
 

11
January 2008
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Cue of the Week: “Star Trek: Stardock Refuel”

Here’s another selection from the Wii/PS2 game Star Trek Conquest. In contrast to last week’s anthemic musical selection, this cue has a more anticipatory flavor.

We composers often have to get creative in renaming cues for the listening public. Technically this piece is called “Menu Music Cue #2”. This is useful to the developers, who need to organize their game’s audio assets, but doesn’t quite inspire that sense of far-reaching wonderment we associate with the Star Trek franchise.

Film often presents a similar challenge; almost every cue starts out with a name like “Travis Shoots The Guy On The Motorcycle”. It’s up to the composer or album producer to add a little poetry to the soundtrack titles, while at the same time letting fans have a clue what the music originally accompanied. I might therefore rename the cue “High-Speed Pursuit”, but not Threnody On The Horrors of Violence in D Minor”.

Enough digression! Enjoy the music of… space.

(Click on the play button to stream, or the cue title to download.)

Stardock Refuel
 

04
January 2008
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Cue of the Week: “Star Trek Conquest”

This week’s music selection is the introductory theme from Star Trek Conquest, a game for the Nintendo Wii and Playstation 2. While I’m not a hardcore Trekkie, I’ve always been a big fan of the original-cast movies (particularly Star Trek II, which I regard as one of the best sci-fi movies ever) and the inspiring adventurous spirit of their scores.

My challenge here was to write something that fit in with a the existing Trek musical tradition, but also stood on its own legs as original music. I had hoped to drop in a nod to Alexander Courage’s classic theme, but alas, legal complexities prevented it. That aside, this score was a real treat to write.

(Click on the play button to stream, or the cue title to download.)

Star Trek Conquest
 

28
December 2007
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Cue of the Week: “You Can’t Go Back”

Continuing the theme of gentle/sentimental music for the holiday season, here’s a tender cue that’s always been one of my personal favorites. (I realize that I say that about most of the music I write, but this one is a favorite even given the inflated attachment a composer feels for his or her own work.) Next week we’ll have something a bit more ardenalized.

(Click on the play button to stream, or the cue title to download.)

You Can’t Go Back
 

Morituri Te Salutant // Michael Gordon Shapiro - HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  1. Morituri Te Salutant // Michael Gordon Shapiro - HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  2. Emerald, Texas // HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  3. Mythic Battle // HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  4. The Yard Sale // Michael Gordon Shapiro - HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  5. Investigations // HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  6. Home Room // HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  7. Sands of Arabia // HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  8. Spider Cult // HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  9. Poker Night // HOMEPAGE MUSIC