2016 Oscars Orchestration Roundup

Over the past week, I’ve reviewed the orchestration of each contender for the Academy Award for Music (Original Score). Now it’s time to compare the nominees, and judge which score might be awarded. Of course, film scores are rarely awarded solely on the quality of their orchestration. But the texture of a score is as …

2016 Oscars Orchestration Review – Thomas Newman’s “Bridge of Spies”

I have a confession to make. Often when I’m finalising a score or editing a video, I’ll listen to something in the background. Sometimes it will be a comedy, political talk show, or discussion about the arts and literature. But what I really like is a good mystery with little to no music – something …

2016 Oscars Orchestration Review – Ennio Morricone’s “The Hateful Eight”

Morricone’s task in scoring The Hateful Eight was both enviable and unenviable. Director Quentin Tarantino gave him a completely free hand with the script, allowing him to score whatever he liked according to what his muse spoke to him. This gesture of trust and respect is not unlike that afforded to John Williams by more …

2016 Oscars Orchestration Review – Carter Burwell’s “Carol”

Carol may or may not be the best film of 2015 (its snub for Best Picture category is one of many unforgivable oversights this year). – but it is certainly the most stylish. It’s a period piece that expertly recreates the exact year and place of its setting (and writing of the source book, Patricia …

2016 Oscars Orchestration Review – Jóhann Jóhannsson’s “Sicario”

Sicario is a complex film. It’s frankly a horse pill to be swallowing as the first of five films nominated for the 2016 Academy Awards, at least for an orchestration review. Firstly, I just want to say right here that I don’t accept the narrow view of Mexico that the film portrays – a horrific …