Soundtrack Reviews + News

May 24, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

It’s the day after Victoria Day, which means most Canadians spent the long weekend (or part of it) BBQ’ing things, consuming cold beer, and at some point watching firecrackers illuminate the sky.

The same set of events (goosed with plenty of flag-waving) is done Canada Day July 1st, but Victoria Day – in honour of Queen Victoria (Becky to her best friends) – really marks the beginning of the summer-ish season.

So far, the weather’s been good, making up for the week-long rainfall that’s been an annoyance to gardeners and Torontonians hungry for something called ‘dry sunlight.’

On Sunday, I ate a big dinner in Thornhill with friends, after which we watched imported U.S. fireworks go boom for half an hour. Couldn’t tell if the pyrotechnics were more robust than the Canuckle variety, but things did crack, bang and boom a lot, often in multiple patterns, colours, altitudes, with screeching effects.

The show concluded with a burning firehouse set piece. Apparently the activity of burning a small cardboard school house is now illegal here; it’s been rebranded as something like ‘flaming old barn’ because bureaucrats believe the activity plants the evil pyro seed in kids.

When the American school house was lit, the kids excitedly flocked to the edges to watch it go poof.  I assume the generic Canadian ‘flaming old barn’ would’ve elicited more of a ‘meh’ from the kids.

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Tuesday marks the beginnning of a standard work week, so I’ve uploaded a trio of soundtrack reviews:

The Symphonic Celtic Album [M] is a Silva Screen’s deliberately calming re-recording of familiar film themes with a Celtic bent, whereas La-La Land’s latest limited CD offerings feature a pair of filmic newcomers – Kristopher Carter’s score for the film version of Yesterday Was a Lie [M], and Abel Korzeniowski’s Copernicus’ Star [M].

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In the realm of film music news, a recent discussion on Film Score Monthly’s message board reveals their recent Star Trek / Ron Jones project boxed set is available as downloadable separate albums, via, eMusic, and iTunes.

Apparently the licensing of the FSM catalogue isn’t going to go broader – the label generally goes for CD-only releases, and this exception may have been due to the overwhelming global fan base of anything Star Trek. It’s also a good way for the label to expose itself (so to speak) to genre and franchise fans, and give Jones’ profile a nice boost.

I still like the digital + CD models being used by the major soundtrack labels, but it would be nice if those fast-selling, limited CDs are usually earmarked by producers for future digital editions. Why let all that hard work (licensing, negotiating, mastering, etc.) be exclusive to just a 1000 fans?

Speaking of new limited editions,Varese just revealed their latest limited editions for the CD Club series, and they include Charles Bernstein’s My Demon Lover (1000 copies); a 2-disc set of Bernard Herrmann’s previously unreleased music from Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Volume 1 (2000 copies); and after various promos, abbreviated editions & compilations, best-of collections and bootlegs, Marco Beltrami’s moore-or-less complete Scream score finally makes it to legit CD (2000 copies).

Varese’s series also includes a CD+DVD offering, the 3rd edition of Filmucite’s live concert series: Jerry Goldsmith 80th Birthday Tribute Concert.

Goldsmith came late to touring concert versions of his suites and themes, and for the overwhelming majority who never attended a concert of his music (Toronto was supposed to get one, and those plans fell through), this may be the next best thing.

More good stuff to follow.



Mark Hasan, Editor

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