A Short & Personal History of Music from the Movies (1990-2008)

While I was still in film school, I had read via the long-defunct Soundtrack! magazine that a new British publication called From Silents to Satellites was available.

Much like the first Film Score Monthly and long-long defunct CinemaScore magazines, Silents was almost primordial in its design, but editor / founder John Williams (no, not the composer) kept an eye on building strong content, and my first contributions were really rough and clumsy CD reviews for the then-new Varese Sarabande CD Club.

Those pieces were followed by an interview with Joe Curiale (which I edited very, very badly), as well as a piece on William Friedkin’s Rampage, which was given an early sneak screening for Toronto media after a long period sitting on the shelf because DEG had gone bust. (The film was eventually given a contractual and perfunctory release in theatres for a week – literally – and then on VHS, after which it completely disappeared.)

Williams also tried a few offshoot publications, including a premiere (and ultimately singular) journal devoted to Bruce Broughton,for which I wrote a piece on the composer’s underrated (and still unreleased) score for Last Rites (1988) – a rare theatrical venture by veteran TV writer / director / producer Donald Bellisario (JAG, Magnum P.I.).

Eventually From Silents to Satellites became Music from the Movies, and I continued to write CD reviews, contributed soundtrack producer interviews, book reviews, composer interviews, and a DVD column which, at the time, covered a steady series of DVD releases with composer commentaries and isolated score tracks – features that have virtually been abandoned for a number of reasons (which I did cover in a lengthy column / rant).

The magazine was later headed by Paul Place, who also produced in 2005 an expanded reissue of the 1995 documentary Film Music Masters: Jerry Goldsmith. (The doc received a limited DVD release, and enjoyed a rare screening in 2012 as part of the Toronto Jewish Film Festival’s sidebar series “The Sound of the Movies: Masters of the Film Score”, for which I provided a pre-screening introduction.) Under Place’s stewardship an online version was developed and maintained by Mikael Carlsson (whom I later interviewed when after he established his own superb label, MovieScore Media), after which the site’s reins were assumed by Michael Beek.

When the print magazine ceased publication in 2006, I continued to contribute soundtrack reviews and the DVD column, but as my own site (KQEK.com) became a time-hog, I slowly stepped away from the magazine’s website, which apparently went into stasis back in  March of 2009, before it was re-launched in the fall of 2009. Some of my selected articles and reviews were recently made available via the site’s database.

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