Eleni Karaindrou – “Greece’s most eloquent living composer” in the words of Time magazine – was born in Teichio, a mountain village in central Greece. She still retains vivid memories of the sound world of her childhood: "the music of the wind, rain on the slate roof, running water. The nightingale's singing. And then the silence of the snow." Sometimes the mountains would echo to the sound of flutes and clarinets played at village festivals. “I still have a strong memory of the Byzantine melodies I heard in church and the continuous voices of the men accompanying the chanter," she has said. Resonances of this sound world, imbued with the history and suffering of her native land, have found their way into the many scores she has composed for film, TV and theatre in the past four decades.
From the fanfare of the opening crawl to the abrupt cutaway zing of the closing credits, John Williams' soundtrack to The Force Awakens does not disappoint. Williams has always been an integral part of the Star Wars experience, as familiar as the movies themselves, comforting and nostalgic. The fan anticipation and legacy baggage that came with the seventh film in this iconic series was overwhelming, being the first new film since 2005's Revenge of the Sith and the direct sequel to 1983's Return of the Jedi, yet the results are not crushed by outlandish pressure. For The Force Awakens, Williams began work in late 2014, before recording began in Los Angeles in June 2015 (the first time a Star Wars film score was not recorded at Abbey Road). He enlisted a freelance orchestra and, with the help of William Ross and Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel, produced a 23-song journey connecting the past and the future of the Star Wars universe. Here, Williams combines the old and the new with expert subtlety, creating a lush experience that rewards repeat listens.
Like most of his largely fantastic post-Animals work, Alan Price's soundtrack to the 1973 film, O Lucky Man!, went almost completely unnoticed in the United States at the time of its release. It is a shame too, because the soundtrack holds together as one of the best albums Price ever put out…
It has taken eight years and over 130 CDs but FSM finally releases a score by the great Ennio Morricone: Guns for San Sebastian (1968), commonly known as a western but more accurately a historical adventure set in Mexico circa 1750. The film stars Anthony Quinn as an outlaw who is mistaken for a priest and protects a humble village against a violent tribe of Indians; Charles Bronson is the antagonist and Anjanette Comer the love interest. Filmed in Mexico, the international production is a sunburnt, action-packed look at a violent time in colonial Latin American history. The late 1960s were an especially fertile period for Ennio Morricone, whose prolific genius has enhanced hundreds of films for over 40 years. By 1968 Morricone had already scored the groundbreaking Dollars trilogy for Sergio Leone—establishing the revolutionary style for the "spaghetti" westerns—and Guns for San Sebastian preceded their western masterpiece, Once Upon a Time in the West.