January 22, 2015
Once again we're headed to Park City, this time to attend the world premiere of 3 and 1/2 Minutes at the Sundance Film Festival. The film is in competition in the US Documentary category. It's been a crazy rush to get it ready in time, but on Saturday the film will roll. I'm really excited to see the film with an audience -- it's a great film, very moving.
January 15, 2014
We're headed to Park City tomorrow morning to attend the world premiere of Marmato at the Sundance Film Festival. The film is in competition in the US Documentary category. I'm excited, and so is the director, Mark Grieco. Mark worked on the film for nearly six years, and getting into Sundance is a dream come true for him. I haven't been to Sundance since 2005, when Ballets Russes premiered there, so I'm really looking forward to going back.
January 24, 2012
A few things to report today: The "D" Word: Understanding Dyslexia premiered last night at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Jamie Redford directed the film (I scored his film Spin in 2003), and my wife Jen Bradwell was the editor. Jen and I wanted to be at Sundance for the premiere, of course, but we had a good reason to miss it: Our son Lincoln was born just a bit over a week ago, and you could say we've been a bit busy since! Jamie called earlier today and said the premiere went great, so all's well that ends well!
As soon as I can get back to work, I'll be continuing on a film from Deborah Garcia (The Future of Food) called Symphony of the Soil. A large-scale, important film about how we're all going to manage to eat on this crowded planet, I'm excited to pick it up again.
December 13, 2010
I've finally had a chance to update the credits pages with some new films from last year and this one:
In the summer of last year I finished work on a wonderful film, Mine, which my wife Jen edited. In the fall, I completed The Insular Empire: America in the Marianas. For this film I got to work with Saipan-based Gus Kaipat, who contributed vocals and ukulele, as well as a couple of songs. What a treat!
Then early this year I finished scoring two of the seven films in the series Have You Heard From Johannesburg?, an important, epic project that's been starting to make the rounds of film festivals in recent months.
In spring, I completed In The Matter of Cha Jung Hee for Deann Borshay Liem, which afforded me an opportunity to work once again with Jiebing Chen, an amazing erhu player, as well as a new discovery, Dohee Lee. Summer brought Sky Island, with my friend John Grabowska (this is our fourth film together).
In July, I was nominated for another Primetime Emmy, for the score for Blessed is the Match. Didn't win, though, dang it!
Summer and early fall were devoted to Trust: Second Acts in Young Lives (by Nancy Kelly and Kenji Yamamoto, the couple who made Smitten). I finished just in time to get on the plane for our honeymoon (finally!) after two years of marriage. It was glorious: five weeks in Europe and a week in New York. It's not easy lining up schedules for two busy freelancers, but we pulled it off!
June 7, 2009
I've added entries on the credits pages for a couple of films I finished early this year:
She is the Matador showed at the Guadalajara Film Festival in March, and is an official entry in Silverdocs (in Washington D.C.) later this month. I wish I could go to Silverdocs, but just can't take the time this year.
The Alzheimer's Project: Caregivers played on HBO in May.
Meanwhile I have a couple of projects I'm starting on: an eight-hour history of Apartheid in South Africa, and a documentary about the history of Guam and the Northern Marianas. Busy busy!
December 12, 2008
As promised, more music! I've just added excerpts from two scores: one is from Blessed is the Match, a documentary from early this year that's been short-listed for an Academy Award nomination. The other is from John Grabowska's film Remembered Earth. You can go to the Sounds page and choose the "Added December 2008" playlist to listen to them both.
November 24, 2008
I've put up more music here on the site, and it's easier to listen to as well. The "sounds" button under each film's description in the Credits pages now opens a small window with a playlist of music from that film, and the Sounds page now offers a selection of playlists that you can listen to right on the page. There's a couple of playlists' worth of newly-added music there now, and I'll be adding music more often going forward.
November 16, 2008
I've finished another few films since the summer, and now have updated the credits pages. See for yourself: Al Mas Alla with Lourdes Portillo, Heroes and History with Steven Schecter, and Butte, America with Pam Roberts. Whew!
And onward: I'm finishing another film with Bill Couturié for HBO about Alzheimers, called Caregivers: A Love Story. Also starting work on a film about female matadors, and will be scoring a film for Deann Borshay-Liem about her search for the woman who should have had her life...
And soon, very soon, I'm going to be putting up a lot more of my music, and it will be easier to listen to as well. Stay tuned.
October 1, 2008
I got married! Last year just before Christmas, I asked Jen Bradwell to marry me, and she said yes! We just had a weekend wedding in the Trinity Alps of Northern California, which was quite a whirlwind. I arranged some music for a ragtag band of friends and family for the ceremony, and the whole thing came off wonderfully.
Here's us singing our duet (Ain't No Mountain High Enough) with a band I've been in for a number of years, the Diminished Capacity Revue.
I think I can now in good conscience link to Jen's website (she's a film editor), and she to mine. It's a family thing....
May 5, 2008
Oh boy. No updates to the News page since last July. Well, I guess it's the price of being busy. So....what have I been up to?
Well, starting with the most recent, I just finished a feature documentary called Blessed is the Match, directed by Roberta Grossman. A beautifully-made film about Hannah Senesh, an inspiring, Joan-of-Arc sort of person, a martyr from WWII. This film allowed me to write for full orchestra, and we recorded in Bratislava, Slovakia. Quite exciting, and I think the score is one of my best. The film will be premiering at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival on May 11, and then will go on the festival circuit for awhile.
Last December, I scored a film for George Csicsery called Hard Problems, which follows six American high school students as they sweat their way through a series of gruelling tests on the way to the International Math Olympiad. Fascinating, inspiring, and fun, and once again I got to work with members of the Turtle Island String Quartet, which is always a treat.
Last August, I finished a documentary called Beautiful Son, about a family struggling with autism. Don King, co-director with his wife Julianne, is a well-known director of photography, so their son Beau's life was already well-documented by the time Beau started showing signs of having autism. Their choice to make a film about it was brave and difficult, but important for them and others. Autism is a contentious issue right now, with about 1 in 166 children in the U.S. affected to some degree. The Kings' film depicts their struggle and the search for answers which so many parents go through without enough help.
Back in March of 2007 I scored a film called Angel of Ahlem. The subject of the film, Vernon Tott, was a 20-year-old member of the 84th Infantry Division in 1945 when he stumbled upon the Ahlem slave labor camp outside Hanover, Germany. Shocked and bewildered by what he saw, he took a number of pictures of the starving prisoners of the camp. Fifty years later, one of those prisoners tracked Vernon down and asked for a copy of his photo. This led to the quest that obsessed Vernon for the rest of his life: finding the rest of those ex-prisoners, to give them proof of a part of their life that was rapidly fading from memory.
July 19, 2007
The Emmy nominations were announced this morning, and I'm up for one! The category is Outstanding Music Composition For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special (Original Dramatic Score), and the film is "Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters" (HBO). The ceremony is in Los Angeles on September 8, so I have less than two months to find a tux!
Meanwhile, I've been working on a film called "Beautiful Son". It follows the family of Don and Julianne King as they learn that their third child is autistic, and chronicles their struggle to both help him and explore possible cuases of autism. It's an intense and difficult story, but very rewarding.
February 16, 2007
I've recently finished the scores for both "Ribbon of Sand", by John Grabowska, and "Soldiers of Conscience", by Gary Weimberg and Catherine Ryan. Both films will be seeking berths in film festivals in the coming months.
Meanwhile I've been working on a film called "Angel of Ahlem", about a man, Vernon Tott, who, as a US soldier at the end of WWII, was one of the liberators of the Ahlem slave labor camp. He happened to have a little Brownie camera with him on patrol that day and took photos of the emaciated, desperate inhabitants of the camp. Fifty years later, one of those survivors learned about the photos, tracked Vernon down, and what followed was a journey in which many more survivors came to know Vernon and were identified from his photos, adding to the body of irrefutable and unfortunately necessary evidence of the Holocaust.
December 1, 2006
I'm finishing work on "Ribbon of Sand", a film by John Grabowska about Cape Lookout National Park, in the Outer Banks off North Carolina. It's a gorgeous, lyrical film, with passages from Rachel Carson read by Meryl Streep. John and I have worked on two other films together: "Crown of the Continent" and "Remembered Earth". We'll be recording at Fantasy Studios next week.
I've also begun the score for "Soldiers of Conscience", a film by Gary Weimberg and Catherine Ryan, about conscientious objectors in today's Army. It's a very interesting film, thought-provoking and fair, that raises fundamental questions about the necessity of killing in today's world. I've worked with Gary and Cathy on many films, starting with "Maria's Story" back in 1990, and most recently "Three Women and a Chateau" earlier this year (which is still making the rounds of film festivals: coming up, New Mexico and Palm Springs).
October 10, 2006
"Into the Fire", a new film by Bill Couturie that I finished recently, will air on the History Channel this Friday, October 13.
"Remaking American Medicine" airs on PBS in 4 parts. The first hour was last week, and the subsequent hours are this Thursday the 12th, then the 19th and 26th, all at 10pm. Check local listings; not all stations hew to that schedule.
July 23, 2006
"Smitten" has begun playing on PBS. The national release is set for July 26, but in some markets that release has already happened. Check your local listings for times and possible re-broadcasts. Directed by Nancy Kelly and edited by Kenji Yamamoto, it's a half-hour documentary about Rene di Rosa, an 85-year-old former farmer who sold his vineyards and started buying art, and now has amassed a 2,000-piece collection housed on a 217-acre preserve. Rene is a great character, and the art is beautiful.
"Boffo!: Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters" premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on May 19. I wasn't there, but apparently there were two standing ovations for director Bill Couturie and executive producer Peter Bart as the credits rolled. It makes sense, since this is the ultimate film-lover's film, and Cannes is the ultimate film-lover's festival. Needless to say, Bill was happy, HBO was ecstatic, Peter Bart was pleased, and everyone (including me) could breathe a sigh of relief after the gruelling mad rush to finish that led to the festival.
The film has been playing on HBO since the end of last month, and on digital cable systems it's generally available on demand. Check it out - it's fun and highly informative.
I'm presently working on another feature-length documentary for Bill Couturie, "Into the Fire", about firefighters. It's an interview film, Bill has found some terrific people, and we come away with new respect for these humble heroes.
I'm also working on a four-hour PBS special called "Remaking American Medicine". By turns surprising, scary, and inspiring, it tells the story of some serious problems in the US health care system that are finally being effectively addressed by some dedicated reformers. Look for it on PBS in October.
April 21, 2006
"Three Women and a Chateau" will be showing in two film festivals this coming week. At the Palm Beach International Film Festival, it plays this Sunday the 23rd, and at the Newport Beach Film Festival, on Monday and Tuesday the 24th and 25th. In February it had three screenings at the Santa Barbara Film Festival and was enthusiastically received. I've not had a chance to update the Credits lists and descriptions yet -- too busy! But it's a very entertaining film, by Gary Weimberg and Catherine Ryan, about the history of a 98-room mansion in Hillsborough, California. Built by George Pullman's daughter and designed by the Beaux-Arts architect Ernest Sanson, this amazing and beautiful house has had a very rocky time over its 100-year history, but is now fully restored, and the hope is that it can serve the public as a museum or library.
January 21, 2006
"Ballets Russes" is out in theaters now and is doing well. The reviews have been extremely good, and as a result most people seem to be aware of and interested in the film, despite the lack of a Holllywood-style advertising budget.
The soundtrack CD is now available for purchase from the soundtrack label Intrada.
"Homeland: Four Portraits of Native Action" won not only Best Environmental Film at the prestigious Jackson Hole Film Festival in September 2005, but also the overall award for best film in the festival, The Grand Teton Award. This is pretty striking, as it was up against both March of The Penguins and Grizzly Man. And the film is doing some good. Late last year, the Navajo Nation voted to put a 25-year moratorium on uranium mining on their tribal lands. This was the focus of one of the sections in the film.