Film Scores

Sound Scapes
April 24, 2019
Duets
April 18, 2019

The Shivering Tale

In The Shivering Tale, a young idiot, Tyler goes on a journey to discover what shivering means. This story is adapted from the Grimm Brother's Fairy Tale, "The Tale of the One Who Travelled to Learn What Shivering Means". I composed the music for this short film, directed by Mason Aks. The music is classically-oriented, and its serious style juxtaposes the hilarious story.



Ara's Tale

Ara's Tale is a computer-animated short written/directed by Martin Lubich. His web site is at aras-tale.loramel.net. Martin Lubich was very kind to register his film with Creative Commons, with permission to modify it. He has two versions available; one with a beautiful soundtrack composed by Phillipe Rey, and one with no music, for composers to practice developing music to film. I used the version without music, and added my own original soundtrack.


Here is a summary of some notes written by Martin Lubich about the story in the film:

The era of dragons is coming to an end. Dragons and their spirits cannot survive much longer. Ara is their keeper, and with this comes the duty to collect all of them before they cease to exist and are lost forever for all ages to come. Only she has the gift to summon them and extract the pure spirit for keeping them safe for a long time. The task is enormously dangerous. One slip of concentration, dedication or power of will, may break the magic and Ara faces death, and with her all the dragons caught so far. As we join the story in the film, Ara is on her way to summon the last of the dragons, the oldest and strongest. It is an incredibly sad thing for Ara, and no knowledge exists when the dragons may be able to roam free again.
As Ara walks further she comes to the end of the canyon and sees the ledge, where she knows the final confrontation has to take place. This is the time where sadness has reached its peak and she overcomes this and uncertainty and fear takes over as predominant emotion.Ara sings with the growing strength and confidence, and with this her magic to summon the dragons grows too and encompasses the whole area and is so powerful that the dragon is perfectly caught and comes to her.
Once the magic touch is done, the enfolding spectacle is a direct display of the spiritual strength the dragon possesses. And awe is now a dominant emotion as Ara watches the dragon dissolve and finally flow into her hand. The end is again dominated by affection and sheer sadness.

Battle of Chantilly

The Battle of Chantilly is a Civil War docudrama produced by Bert Morgan. On March 4, 2006 the premiere of the film The Battle of Chantilly (Ox Hill) was shown at the Cinema Arts Theatre in Fairfax, Virginia. It was a sell-out! And I wrote the film score! You can listen to a few excerpts from the soundtrack:

Opening credits and opening scene is a dramatic beginning to this tale of an important battle during the Civil War, which took place in the heart of what is now Fairfax County.

Banjo & Fiddle: Stevens and Walcott get their bearings as they revisit the battlefield.

Skirmish accompanies the New York Highlanders who begin a skirmish, then the scene cuts to a large line-up of troops. Confederate troops wait and open up fire.

Heavy Fighting continues, including hand-to-hand combat.

A Grim Aftermath is accompanied by guitar. General Lee in his tent dictates a letter.

Monument: After dinner with Stevens and Walcott, John and Mary Ballard discuss building a monument.


Mosby's Combat Operations in Fairfax, Virginia

In this Civil War documentary produced by Chuck Mauro, six local historians take you to forty-two locations in Fairfax County where "Mosby's Rangers" conducted combat operations and describe in vivid detail what happened at each. Through on-site video, hundreds of historical photos, and an accompanying map, this documentary presents a unique visual history of the Civil War.


Opening credits and opening scene

Whimsical

Confederate spy, Laura Ratcliffe warns Mosby

Raid on Thompson's Corner


Spies in Crinoline

This film, produced by Bert Morgan, tells the story of a Confederate spy, Antonia Ford during the Civil War. This is a fascinating story detailed in the Encyclopedia Virginia. She lived in Fairfax City in Virginia, which passed between Union and Confederate hands a number of times. Since Ford lived in a nice house, it was often occupied by officers, who often talked freely about their plans. Ford passed on this information to Confederate officers, including John Mosby. The Union accused her of spying and sent her to prison in Washington, DC. One of her captors, Major Joseph Willard, lobbied for her release, and later married her. (This is the Willard who established the Willard Hotel in Washington DC.) So, this is not only a story about the Civil War, but also a romance between two enemies.

Notice how the main musical theme, introduced in the first "Opening Credits" excerpt, is repeated several times throughout the film. But, each time it repeats it is cast in a new light, sometimes distorted, sometimes played in a different style. I believe that this repetition helps to give an overall impression of unity in the film's score.


Canyons and Casinos

This is the first travelogue film I co-produced with Paul Silverman. The soundtrack begins with a majestic orchestral theme while viewing scenes of the Grand Canyon. In the following section, scenes of Las Vegas are accompanied by the very same melody in several jazz styles, including big-band and small ensembles. Toward the end, the scene returns to a desert memorial with orchestral accompaniment. Some very clever and subtle things going on with the music. Check it out!

Southwest Splendor

Southwest Splendor from Paul Silverman on Vimeo.

Splendrous scenes from the American Southwest are accompanied by my original sound track with western-style themes played by a large orchestra. Paul Silverman filmed the video, and David Rubenstein composed the music.

September in High Country

This is my second travelogue co-produced with Paul Silverman. A beautiful and uplifting sound track accompanies scenes from the magnificent west.