Caught in the web of SPIDER-MAN HOMECOMING’s score

Spiderman caught in a web

Last night I saw the movie Spider-Man: Homecoming. I enjoyed the characters and special effects, but what really stayed with me after the movie ended was the music. During the long rolling of credits at the end of the movie, my senses were focused almost entirely on the music. Of course, the heroic Spider-man theme was the rhythm I was humming on the way home, but the other tracks in the score were memorable as well, with soaring woodwinds, throbbing strings, and dramatic percussion sequences. Usually, I’m not consciously thinking about the music while watching a movie, unless it’s to … Read more

Oscar nominees for Best Original Score 2017

LA LA LAND movie Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone

Granted, this post involved travel only insofar as I drove to various movie theaters to watch the Oscar nominated films. That technicality aside, I have to admit there’s something incredibly magical about the way a soundtrack, or even a single song, evokes the essence of a movie years or even decades after you’ve seen the film (I think of Star Wars, Out of Africa, the James Bond films…). Here is this year’s list of nominees culled from http://oscar.go.com/nominees/ : MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE) Jackie (click on title for trailer) Music by Mica Levi   La La Land   Music by Justin Hurwitz   Lion  Music … Read more

Harry Potter Enchantment: In Concert with the Nashville Symphony

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in Concert with the Nashville Symphony

Musical magic filled the air at the Schemerhorn Symphony Center as the Nashville Symphony performed John William’s musical score to accompany the full-length film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. On Friday, January 6, a bus carrying 27 Central College students and me along with director Mitchell Lutch arrived in Nashville from Pella, Iowa, together with snow, snarled traffic, and single digit temperatures.  No matter, for the group, members of the College’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble, came to town to perform and sightsee, and the opening night of the tour couldn’t have been more thrilling as we attended a special “Harry Potter … Read more

John Williams and Hot Club Gypsy Jazz: A Review of the Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra’s 2016 Pops Concert featuring the Faux Frenchmen

The 2016 Pops Concert in Ottumwa offered a variety of toe-tapping melodies drawn from popular movie soundtracks and showcased soloists from the orchestra’s ranks of excellent musicians.  A concert bonus was the Cincinnati-based quartet the Faux Frenchmen, who wowed the audience with their acoustic string “Gypsy Jazz” selections.  Last Saturday evening  I cruised an hour south along 2-lane highways cutting through fields of browning corn stalks for a night of magical music in Ottumwa, Iowa.  The theater at the Bridge View Center, built in 2007 and with a terrace fronting the Des Moines River, provided the perfect setting for the … Read more