Congratulations Oscar nominees!

A wonderful selection of scores have been nominated!

OF COURSE, my favorite and what I think will ultimately win the golden statuette: JOHN WILLIAMS, THE LAST JEDI. Powerfully complex, subtle, emotional, and the full power of a master on display. 

Jonny Greenwood, always an incredible voice to listen to, has his first-time nomination with THE PHANTOM THREAD. Just gorgeous work!

I also really enjoy Alexandre Desplat's beautiful work on THE SHAPE OF WATER

Carter Burwell lends his unique vision to the evocative score for THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE OF EBBING, MISSOURI

Who will ever forget the viscerally powerful and blisteringly effective score for Dunkirk by Hans Zimmer?

I would have loved to see JOHN DEBNEY nominated for THE GREATEST SHOWMAN, MICHAEL ABELS for his work on GET OUT, as well as Tamar-Kali for her work on MUDBOUND. I also loved BENJAMIN WALLFISCH's score for IT.

 

Looking forward to watching the ceremony! Congrats to all!

HAPPY 2018 and HAPPY The Last Jedi!

2018 is off to a great start, with two fantastic short films I'm signed on to score starting production in the coming weeks, and one entering post-production as we speak. I'm also wrapping up work on an awesome Star Wars Fan Film, which of course I loved working on due to my intense 30+ year Star Wars obsession. And that brings me to Episode VIII, which I have already seen 7 times in the theater! OF COURSE - spoilers below!

John Williams at the scoring session for The Last Jedi

John Williams at the scoring session for The Last Jedi

I don't have words for how much I loved The Last Jedi and John Williams' sublime score. He's doing something so incredibly subtle with the way he manipulates the existing themes - building up to what I believe will be a treasure trove of new material in Episode IX. A few of my favorite selections are below!

Adam Driver in a star-making, Oscar-worthy performance as Kylo Ren/Ben Solo

Adam Driver in a star-making, Oscar-worthy performance as Kylo Ren/Ben Solo

Daisy Ridley, also giving an incredible performance, in the mirror cave scene.

Daisy Ridley, also giving an incredible performance, in the mirror cave scene.

Casino-goers in the Canto Bight scene. 

Casino-goers in the Canto Bight scene. 

A NEW ALLIANCE

A NEW ALLIANCE

ICONIC

ICONIC

Sitting in on incredible sessions and what it has taught me

I've been extremely lucky over the past 2 months to be invited to two very special scoring sessions. The first one was at the legendary Newman Scoring Stage on the Fox lot, and I was the guest of one of my favorite composers of all time and someone I'm lucky enough to call a true personal hero and friend. I can't really explain how satisfying and educational it was to see how a real, A-list, top level session is run. From the composer at the podium to the director to the concertmaster, everyone had a fun, seamless way of communicating and all the fine musicians in the orchestra and booth were clearly having the time of their lives. I sat transfixed hanging on every note. 

The second session was at the Eastwood Scoring Stage closer to home, at Warner Brothers, also an incredible hall with generations of storied film scores having been recorded there. This featured the work of a composer I wasn't as familiar with, but again, I was so impressed with the music and professionalism on display. Once again there was that thrill in the air of pure enjoyment and happiness. 

I am a firm believer in the idea that "if you can see it, you can be it." Now I can very clearly visualize being on these two stages recording my own music with these unbelievably gifted musicians. And now I see how months and months of hard work and painstaking process lead to that glorious moment when everything comes together through the bombastic sound of a full orchestra of LA's finest, and the director's face lights up as they hear the composer's vision taking their storytelling to new heights. Priceless education for me and I'm eternally grateful!

The Long Goodbye

I am so excited to be working with a brilliant filmmaker and a crew of incredible artists on the upcoming short film, The Long Goodbye. The project is fundraising on Seed & Spark currently - this whole project means a lot to me as I recall the beautiful memories of my grandparents that I will always treasure. Take some time to check it out and if you feel so inclined, support the film! Thanks and CALL YOUR PARENTS/GRANDPARENTS! :) Family is Everything.

The Long Road Home

5 Alarm was brought on to do a custom arrangement of an amazing gospel song for a key scene in the NatGeo series, The Long Road Home. I was honored to do the arrangement and be at the session which took place at Savant Productions, with a group of incredibly talented singers. Kudos to the show runner, music supervisor and everyone involved in this powerful, important story. The score is being composed by Jeff Beal, one of my composing heroes. The Long Road Home is premiering soon and I will be sure to post our scene when it is available. 

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Emmy nominations

Congratulations to all the Emmy nominees, especially in the Music categories! Proud to see the names of so many 5 Alarm clients in the music supervision category, and so many composer heroes in the scoring category!

Another fun detail is that Dolly Parton's Christmas TV movie, "Dolly Parton's Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love" was nominated for Best TV Movie. I had some of my Christmas music featured in this TV movie, through 5 Alarm. So I can now say I've had a placement on an Emmy-nominated program!

2017 Oscars

For years I always wrote up my thoughts on the Oscars Best Original Score category - I'm excited to head to my mother in law's house this weekend for our annual Academy Awards get together!

Justin Hurwitz wrote a beautiful, jazzy, ear worm-y score for "La La Land" that is an homage to classic Hollywood. 

I have loved Dustin O'Halloran's work since hearing his achingly poignant and nostalgic theme for the TV show "Transparent." He is nominated for the film Lion and I really adore hearing his singular voice in this score.

Mica Levi's challenging score for Jackie is being praised as the "marrow of the narrative." Definitely unforgettably paired with the images and emotions of the film. 

Thomas Newman, beloved titan of film score, brings his signature touch of atmospheric emotion and longing to this incredible score for "Passengers"

And I saved my absolute favorite for last. I think "Moonlight" is a complete and utter masterpiece in every sense of the word. It is an incredibly poetic, moving, beautiful, important film, and Nicolas Britell's score is perfect in every way. I will never forget the way this music made me feel and how I wept watching this movie. This is my pic for the win!

7th annual Guild of Music Supervisors Awards!

I had such an amazing time attending the Guild of Music Supervisors Awards with my team from 5 Alarm Music last night! We were official sponsors. The event was held at the theater at the Ace Hotel in the heart of downtown LA, and it was an incredible night filled with friends, colleagues, clients, food, drinks, music and an atmosphere of celebrating excellence in our industry. 

Legendary score mixer John Rodd's seminar

I was lucky enough to be able to attend another seminar sponsored by the AWFC, this time with legendary score mixer John Rodd. He has worked on some of the biggest films, video games and TV shows in the world. Such a great teacher and incredible gentleman! The class was on mixing, breathing life into your virtual mixes and so much more. Really grateful for the opportunity! Always learning...

Wonderful members of the AWFC with John at his studio!

Wonderful members of the AWFC with John at his studio!

Thank you to Richard Kraft and Sarah Kovacs of Kraft-Engel Management

We had an amazing seminar this week at KEM organized by Miriam Mayer, Dan at KEM and myself. Richard Kraft and Sarah Kovacs generously donated their time to a group of composers from the AWFC and Perspective Forum

When I analyzed the spreadsheets we completed at the Forum - all the feature films that had theatrical release in 2016, and all the television shows that aired - women composers made up about 3% in both worlds. How to address this and bump that percentage up? There need to be more women running the marathon. Richard and Sarah are doing what they can to help encourage that into reality.

We talked about life, attitudes, shifting perspectives, expectations, music, demos, applying to score feature films, gratitude, helping others - so many incredible topics covered. It was funny and wild and wonderful. So much composing talent packed into one room, I kiiiiind of couldn't handle it - many of my personal heroines. Thank you Miriam for your initiative and drive and pizza. Thank you again Richard and Sarah for giving so much to our community.

 

Hans Zimmer Masterclass

I was super duper excited to see that Hans Zimmer is offering an online Masterclass, and I signed up almost as soon as I saw the notification pop up in my Facebook feed. The class started TODAY! I've only been through the first lesson, an intro video from Hans, but just looking over the course materials and lessons, I'm really looking forward to everything I will learn. Thank you Hans for this incredible opportunity!

 

Learn more at https://www.masterclass.com/hz

HAPPY 85TH BIRTHDAY JOHN WILLIAMS!

Many of you know that most of the reason I became a musician, a pianist and then a composer is because of the great maestro of our time, John Williams. Today is his 85th birthday and I want to send a great big HAPPY BIRTHDAY out there into the world for him. Words can't explain how much I adore him, so these links to some of my favorite examples of his work will have to speak to that love! Hope you're having a wonderful day with your family, sir!

 

When I met the great Maestro, thanks to the kindness of a friend!
One of the most heart-breaking themes ever written - "Where Dreams Are Born" from "A.I. Artificial Intelligence" composed by John Williams. Vocal solo by soprano Barbara Bonney.
Star Wars, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) John Williams 1997 N°6 : The Asteroid Field
The Book Thief original score by John Williams - Track 01. 'One Small Fact'
"Jane Eyre" is a suite of three pieces from a score that John Williams composed in 1971. The movements are called "At Lowood", "To Thornfield" and "The Return". The suite was performed by the Boston Pops Orchestra conducted by Williams in 1987.

You Are The Pan - Hook

Unbelievable.

This scene takes me to another level every time. 

Provided to YouTube by Universal Music Group North America A Tree For My Bed (From The "Jurassic Park" Soundtrack) · John Williams Jurassic Park ℗ 1993 Geffen Records Released on: 1993-01-01 Producer: John Williams Composer: John Williams Music Publisher: Music Corporation of America, Inc. Auto-generated by YouTube.
End Credits (The Dance of the Witches Reprise) John Williams The Witches of Eastwick (1987) 14 of 14

Alternative Markets Seminar - Thank You to the SCL!

I am truly grateful to Adryan Russ and the SCL for inviting me to speak on this wonderful panel. From L to R: Brad Kelley, Patty Silversher, Michael Silversher, me and Adryan Russ. It was an interesting, funny, informative evening. The SCL is a fantastic organization that I am proud to be a member of. I was happy to see old friends, meet new ones and put some very familiar names to faces!

Upcoming SCL Seminar

SCL SEMINAR: MAKING A LIVING IN ALTERNATIVE MARKETS

Thanks to Adryan Russ and the SCL for inviting me to represent 5 Alarm and the production music industry on an incredible panel, at AFI this Thursday. I look forward to interesting discussion with legends Michael and Patti Silversher and Brad Kelley! Here's a showreel that we created to give the crowd a sense of what 5 Alarm does...all custom examples by yours truly!