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Art of the Score

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Art of the Score

Andrew Pogson, Nicholas Buc and Dan Golding

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Art of the Score is the podcast that explores, demystifies and celebrates some of the greatest soundtracks of all time from the world of film, TV and video games. In each episode we’ll be joined by Andrew Pogson, Dan Golding and Nicholas Buc as we check out a soundtrack we love and break down its main themes, explore what makes the score tick and hopefully impart our love of the world of soundtracks.
 
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It’s Episode 35, and the long-awaited part two to our investigation of a fascinating and often-overlooked area of film music history – studio fanfares. In this episode we travel from the 1980s to today, taking in the sights and sounds of evergreen studio fanfares from the likes of Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, the THX Deep Note, and the Buc dynas…
 
You’re sitting in a darkened movie theatre, and the latest, highly anticipated blockbuster is about to play. The ads are over, the trailers are all done, and the lights dim. What’s this? Why, it’s Art of the Score Episode 34, as we investigate a fascinating and often-overlooked area of film music history – studio fanfares. From 20th Century Fox to …
 
It’s Episode 31, and we’re swooping into the new year with one of the most widely loved family films – as well as the film score buff’s film score – in How To Train Your Dragon. John Powell’s soundtrack has been one of Art of the Score’s most-requested episodes over the years, so join us as we get under the hood of this contemporary classic and pic…
 
It’s Episode 30, and we at Art of the Score are finally tackling two genres we’ve so far overlooked – animation and the musical, combined in the form of the great Disney revival musical, The Little Mermaid. Join us as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of this wonderful film and explore the cabaret roots of Ursula, the perfect pop song for Ariel, an…
 
Episode 29 marks Art of the Score’s first ever live episode, recorded in August at the Melbourne International Film Festival. Exploring the film music of Nick Cave and Warren Ellis (The Proposition, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and The Road), the live talk also preluded a concert later that week where the Melbourne Sy…
 
In Episode 28, we conclude our time with The Empire Strikes Back, and our exploration of perhaps the best Star Wars film and score ever made. In this episode, we make our way through some remaining themes and motifs, as well as the major action setpieces of the film, and ask the biggest question of all: is this the best film score ever written?Epis…
 
In Episode 26, we return to the world of Blade Runner for the 1982 film’s long-belated sequel. Directed by Denis Villeneuve, and with a soundtrack by Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer, Blade Runner 2049 has a different sound and a different set of thematic ideas. But how does the music work, and what is all this interlinked stuff about, anyway? To…
 
In Episode 25, we’ve seen things you wouldn’t believe. A guest synth expert to tell us all about the great Yamaha CS-80’s attack and delay, and the shoulders of its Orion filter envelopes. We’ve watched Vangelis glitter in the dark, near Wagner’s Tannhäuser Overture. All these moments will be recorded in time, on podcast recording equipment, and re…
 
In Episode 24 we end our journey through Harry’s third year at Hogwarts with a deep listen to the unparalleled variety in John Williams’ score for Prisoner of Azkaban. We breakdown bebop, compare Italian waltzes, play with fugues, minimalism, swing, and some of the most dangerous flute music you’ve ever heard. Mischief most definitely managed.Episo…
 
In Episode 23 we return to the wizarding world with the first of a two part listen to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Far from resting on prior achievements, the final John Williams Potter score knocks it out of the park, giving us everything from medieval music to waltzes, bebop jazz, and some of the most majestic flight music ever writt…
 
In Episode 22 we travel to the distant Hyborian era with Basil Poledouris’ muscular score for 1982’s Conan the Barbarian. As the gold standard for high fantasy prior to Howard Shore’s Lord of the Rings epics, Poledouris’ lush and orchestral score creates entire musical worlds and carries much of the emotion in this sparsely-dialogued film. Join us …
 
In Episode 20 we conclude our three-part retrospective of the music of Bond, James Bond. Having already covered the pioneering Bond sound of John Barry and the funk of the Moore era, in our final episode we make it through the emergence of David Arnold as the Bond musical heir apparent, and Thomas Newman’s recent work. Join us as we finally answer …
 
In Episode 19 we continue our ambitious attempt to analyse every James Bond score ever. Having covered the Connery classics in Episode 18, we’re now onto the 1970s, 1980s, and even the early 1990s, covering Moore, Dalton, and a little bit of Brosnan as James Bond goes from funk to disco to acid jazz and even a little early hip-hop. Join us as we lo…
 
In Episode 18 we begin one of our most ambitious musical projects yet – the music of the James Bond franchise. Over the next three episodes, we’ll be looking at the sounds of Bond, James Bond, across 50 years, 24 films, and a great many composers, theme songs, and one-liners. In this first episode, we’re covering everything from the birth of the ci…
 
In Episode 16, we finish our look at Williams’ seventh entry into the Star Wars universe by looking at what’s returned and what hasn’t. We take apart the reoccurring Star Wars themes and how they’re used in The Force Awakens, and make a number of bold and possibly a little reckless predictions for The Last Jedi (then unreleased). Episode notes: 3:0…
 
In Episode 15, we return to the galaxy far, far away and take a look at how the musical landscape of Star Wars changed between the almost 40 years between A New Hope and The Force Awakens. In the first of a two part episode we look at Rey’s Theme, Kylo Ren’s motifs, and The March (or is that the fugue?) of the Resistance. Recorded last year in eage…
 
From Hedwig’s theme to Quidditch matches, the musical world of Hogwarts may be one of the most iconic musical contributions to the film world this millennia. John Williams worked orchestral magic and brought us a unique contribution of fantasy, off-beat fanfares, and even a bit of jazz harmony. But what makes this great score tick? Join us as we di…
 
After a short hiatus, we’re Back – from the future – with a good look at Alan Silvestri’s score to the Robert Zemeckis time-travel classic. Back to the Future is, at its core, about a small group of characters, and yet it possesses a huge scale of feeling and mood, much of which can be attributed to Silvestri’s impressive orchestral score. Join us …
 
There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson’s relentlessly dark exploration of Daniel Plainview, an American oil baron, now comfortably sits among the greatest films of the century so far. Yet Jonny Greenwood’s score - who is best known from his days on guitar for Radiohead - may well be even greater and more original still. In this episode of Art of…
 
Today, Batman is undergoing yet another renaissance – fresh off the Dark Knight trilogy, he’s heading up a whole new Justice League. But in 1989, Batman was only starting to become the Dark Knight of popular culture – and Danny Elfman’s landmark score to the Tim Burton film helped him along the way. In this episode of Art of the Score, we take a lo…
 
In our third and final Star Wars episode, we take a look at some of the lesser known cues that round out this incredible score. We discuss the giant bantha in the room: the musical influences that inspired Williams and the temp music that helped to shape some of his artistic choices. Finally, we take a whirlwind tour of the action music, explore th…
 
In our second Star Wars episode, marking the fortieth anniversary of the film, we complete our exploration of the themes for this landmark film and score from 1977. We take on the franchise’s most defining melody: the Force Theme, and also throw in the Rebel Fanfare, Vader’s motif, and the Death Star, before ending on that eternal question: what li…
 
Forty years ago today, in 1977, the film universe was turned upside down by a galaxy far, far away. Star Wars may have changed the film industry forever, but John Williams’ score might just be as influential for the film music landscape. In this episode, our first of three on Star Wars, we take a look at the influence of John Williams’ music, and t…
 
In 1990, Kevin Costner’s Dances With Wolves set the film world alight, and won seven Academy Awards in the process. But what about the score? In this episode, we take a look at the music of John Barry – who, although best known for his Bond scores, here manages to create something at once completely Barry-esque and wholly unique for a film about th…
 
Star Trek is one of the most enduring television series of all time, with more than 700 episodes over 30 seasons. Even disregarding the films, it’s also seen some great composers: Alexander Courage, Jerry Goldsmith, Dennis McCarthy, and Jay Chattaway. In our fifth episode of Art of the Score, we’re shifting to the small screen as we take a look at …
 
For our fourth episode, we’re moving to a different great director-composer collaboration from a different era. It’s Alfred Hitchcock and Bernard Herrmann with perhaps their greatest work: 1958’s Vertigo. This film recently dethroned Citizen Kane as the greatest of all time according to the American Film Insitute – but how good is Herrmann’s score,…
 
For our third episode, we look at another great Williams-Spielberg collaboration with the 1993 score to Jurassic Park. This landmark film redefined special effects and Hollywood itself, but what did it do for film music? Join us as we take a look at the main themes for the score and the hidden gems – and go from gospel, to jazz, to hymns along the …
 
In the second episode of Art of the Score, we’re going even deeper into John Williams’ 1981 score for Raiders of the Lost Ark. In the previous episode, we looked at the main themes for the score – in this episode, we’ll uncover the hidden moments and orchestrational genius that makes Raiders a film score for the ages. Episode Notes: - 2:50 The open…
 
In Art of the Score, we dissect the greats of film music from top to bottom. For our first two episodes, we’re starting with John Williams’ 1981 score for Raiders of the Lost Ark, one of the most iconic collaborations between Williams and Spielberg. In episode one, we take a look at the themes of Raiders in detail – how they work, why they’re perfe…
 
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