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Crime Jazz: How Miles Davis, Count Basie & Other Jazz Legends Provided the Soundtrack for Noir Films & TV

Film Noir is an unmistakable genre yet also incredibly difficult one to define. Beyond the visual chiaroscuro images, Noir can best be invoked through music – the hard bop sounds of 1950s jazz from Miles Davis that came to define urban cool.   When we think of film noir, we tend to think of a Read MoreRead More

The Sound of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

In this exclusive SoundWorks Collection sound profile we visit Park Road Post Studios in Wellington, New Zealand to talk with the sound team of Director Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Featured interviews include Re-recording Mixer Michael Hedges, Re-recording Mixer Chris Boyes, Re-recording Mixer Michael Semanick, Re-recording Mixer Gary Summers, Composer Howard Shore, Read MoreRead More

Danny Elfman’s score tied Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure together—and launched a career

Mike D’Angelo revists the score of Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure and how the circus-like theme launched Danny Elfman’s career. The first time I saw Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, during its initial theatrical run in summer 1985, it took less than a minute to grab me. Visually, nothing happens during the film’s first 60 seconds—it’s just a spare opening-credits sequence, white Read MoreRead More

On Motivation: Beloved Composer Leonard Bernstein on Why We Create

Maria Popova covers some of the speechs and writings of Leonard Bernstein for insight into why we create. An even greater and more enduring mystery than the question of what creativity is and how it works is the question of why we humans create in the first place. One of the most beautiful and profound responses to that eternal question comes from Read MoreRead More

Why We Create Music

“Why We Create Music” tells the story of the absolute importance of music with the individuals who create it. Fifteen musicians, ranging from Bill Withers to Aloe Blacc to Lady Antebellum, sit down with the director, Michael Marantz, to discuss their labor of love, songwriting and composing. Each featured artist was asked to contribute a Read MoreRead More

Leonardo Da Vinci’s wacky piano is heard for the first time, after 500 years

Leonardo Da Vinci apparently was in the musical instrument designing business when he wasn’t covering up the history of the Knights Templar. The viola organista – a piano/cello was conceived of but never built until now. A bizarre instrument combining a piano and cello has finally been played to an audience more than 500 years Read MoreRead More

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