Monthly Archives: November 2007

Sometimes it pays to avoid being too trendy.The year is 1983.

You’re the ad agency creative director on a commercial for the new Corvette.

You tell the composer:

– Take one part Queen’s theme from Flash Gordon.

– Add one part Survivor’s theme from Rocky III.

– Add synthesizers to highlight the “high tech” features of the car.

Voila!

(Pardon the iFilm embed, this has been booted from YouTube, I promise its worth it…)

Via Amazon’s car blog:

Posted 10 years ago by John Piscitello

Film composers rely on a lot of sample libraries, with good reason. But you can’t really create the sound of a real piano with samples (it gets about as close as Diet Coke gets to Coke).

Then there’s the piano itself, and many will say there is no comparison to a Steinway.The Steinway company has had some ups and downs lately. Despite the cute stock symbol, there have been some union strikes, and they’re competing against cheaper overseas products. Most of all it’s just plain hard to find a growth market in $100,000 pianos. Steinway sales are down 7% this year, and they’re just barely making up the shortfall with their cheaper Essex pianos.

Maybe this “Making of Steinway L1037” documentary will turn things around. I’ve always heard that Steinway has an amazing, complicated production process, this film documents it.

While I’m sure it will show up on the Discovery Channel someday, if you live in New York you can catch it November 20th.

Reviews

appear to be quite good….

Posted 10 years ago by John Piscitello
Ron Jones seems to have avoided typecasting – he was well-known to Trek fans during the glory days of Star Trek: The Next Generation, when he scored the Best of Both Worlds cliffhanger where Picard was turned into a Borg. Damn that was good stuff.

Now he’s sharing composing duties on Family Guy. From the New York Times:

Since its debut in 1999 “Family Guy” has developed a comedic voice as recognizable for its rapid-fire references to pop-culture detritus as for Mr. Murphy’s and Mr. Jones’s lavish arrangements of satirical show tunes. For the premiere of the series’s second season Mr. Jones composed an elaborate parody of “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here” from the musical “Annie” for a scene in which the protagonist Peter Griffin learns that he’s inherited a mansion from a dead relative. The song (whose vaguely obscene title cannot be printed here) was nominated for an Emmy in 2000.

Animation seems to have the best music on TV these days – The Simpsons, South Park, and Family Guy all feature orchestral arrangements, plus their fair share of schmaltzy musical numbers.

The music for the comedies always plays it straight. The more authentic the music, the better the setup for the jokes (especially the dirty ones).

Many composers lament the timidity and low budgets of TV scores these days. But there are diamonds in the rough, especially that unnamed musical number mentioned above, which was called “This House is Freaking Sweet”. (By the way, how is that too dirty to print? Who’s the editor of that column anyway?)

This song is freakin’ sweet – brings me right back to playing string bass in the orchestra pit of many a Cole Porter musical:

Posted 10 years ago by John Piscitello

Lest any emerging film composers overestimate their importance on a film, see the final 7 words of this 650-word review of Bee Movie in Variety:

“Voicings by an array of top talent are fun, and musical backing provides some bounce.”

It ain’t like being a pop star…George Michael, however, provides some bounce to the trailer:

Posted 10 years ago by John Piscitello