16
January 2018

Music recommendation: Kikimora (Anatoly Liadov)

Anatoly Liadov didn’t write much for orchestra, but I’m very fond of the works he did create. In Slavic mythology, a Kikimora is a kind of dark female spirit. Liadov’s tone poem of the same name depicts her with both poignance and raucous energy. To my ears this piece feels spiritually akin to film music, because of its use of orchestral color and storytelling quality. What I love is not just the turbulence, but the haunting sadness of the opening.

05
January 2018
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Cue of the Week: “Egon Escapes”

Happy New Year! We’re back after a holiday break spent… well, mostly in the studio. (Occupational hazard.)

This week’s selection comes from an interactive title that was halfway between a game and linear story, The Penguin Who Wouldn’t Swim. The cue itself is what game composers call “sad ending music”.

08
December 2017
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Cue of the Week: “The Shaman”

Some film music cues are melodic and hummable, others more atmospheric. When writing an ambient cue, such as this disquieting accompaniment from the film Healers, I like to add and remove quiet instrumental layers so as to create a sense of ongoing motion. This piece features thrumming muted strings, twin bassoons, and the low register of the harp, which I’ve always regarded as an under-utilized timbre.

01
December 2017
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Cue of the Week: “A Dark Discovery”

This week’s music includes a happy accident, sonically speaking. While scoring a suspense film called Healers, I found an old mandolin sample whose file had become corrupted, resulting in a ghostly, distorted sound. I decided that it was perfect for this cue, and included it as a rhythm element. You can hear it around the one minute mark.

17
November 2017
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Cue of the Week: “The Great Equalizer”

This cue’s title refers to blindfolds, which put blind and sight-limited fencers on the same playing field. The uncanny ability of these fencers to compete using auditory and tactile cues is a central topic of the documentary Touché: A Blind Fencer’s Story.

10
November 2017
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Cue of the Week: “Robbie Intro”

Some of the fencers in Touché: A Blind Fencer’s Story had their own themes, reflecting their personalities as captured in the documentary. Robbie’s leitmotif was a bluesy riff on acoustic guitars, performed here by Tom Strahle.

03
November 2017
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Cue of the Week: “Fencing Prelude No. 1”

This spirited cello solo is cut from the same cloth as last week’s Fencing Prelude No. 2. To quote last week’s description, which applies equally well: “The piece is meant to convey a sense of fencing’s regal history, as well as the nimble back-and-forth of the sport’s footwork. Cello performances by John Acosta.”

20
October 2017
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Cue of the Week: “Fencing Prelude No. 2”

Continuing the music series from Touché: A Blind Fencer’s Story, this is one of several cello solos and duets underscoring the fencing instruction scenes. The piece is meant to convey a sense of fencing’s regal history, as well as the nimble back-and-forth of the sport’s footwork. Cello performances by John Acosta.

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