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Monthly Archives: August 2015

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“SJP”, or “Bridge of Spies”?
Posted by admin on Aug, 24, 2015

Powerful film by Steven Spielberg about an American lawyer (Tom Hanks) who is recruited by the CIA during the Cold War to help rescue a pilot detained in the Soviet Union.

When we were recording Tommy Newman’s poignant score to the film, our cue sheets (notated musical selections to accompany each specific scene) were entitled SJP;  some in the orchestra (perhaps readers of the book?) surmised the working title must have been Saint James Place.


Think Private Ryan – we’re talking Academy Award Nominations here.  And Tommy’s music was effective, understated yet expressive;  Steven mentioned to the orchestra that he could not have made a better choice for composer than Tommy Newman.  (Note: John Williams, his go to guy, was unavailable being occupied on music in a Galaxy far, far away!)

“Finding Dory” Swimming to Theatres Near You
Posted by admin on Aug, 24, 2015

Yes, the fun(?) has begun as Disney / Pixar is in production on the oceanic sequel to Finding Nemo, FINDING DORY!  I played on the first of several Studio Recording sessions at the venerable Alfred Newman Scoring Stage, 20th Cent. Fox;  music by Alfred’s youngest son Thomas Newman.


Ellen DeGeneres reprises  her role as the “wrong-way”, forgetful yet lovable fish.  However, it seems the story’s message may sound a bit didactic and heavy for a young audience.  In essence, the moral of the story is that “fish are not pets”!  Ellen’s comments below:

“I think that fish should be in the ocean. It’s what this whole sequel is about: It’s about rehabilitation and putting them back in the ocean … And we have to protect our oceans. Hopefully that discussion starts with this film, because we really need to protect that environment.”  chatting to Yahoo Movies at the D23 Exposition.

This political correctness always steps out of bounds, disheartening the audience (in this case, young impressionable children!).  I would say a case could be made that maintaining pets  demonstrates the intimate bond between a person and an animal, teaching to care for and love the animal.  To bring to close appreciation if not sheer awareness of a creature’s existence could only better further the aims of animal rights folks and environmentalists.

Release late 6-2016, not 11-15

Randy Newman Performs in Grass Valley
Posted by admin on Aug, 20, 2015

My family enjoyed a real once-in-a-lifetime experience on June 26, 2015 – right here in Grass Valley!  The inimitable Randy Newman (think music from almost any Pixar movie ever made!) performed a one-man show under the tall cedars of our beautiful Fairgrounds.


Although many of the selections were unexpectedly “randy”, our son was in awe to meet the man who wrote the score to Cars and Monsters University!  Having worked on most of his movie scores myself, we were invited backstage to see him.  He was hilarious, a little on the shy side and very kind to and interested in Bren.


In my opinion, Randy possesses one of the greatest minds around in regards to musicology, orchestration and history.  His wit is legendary!   I let him know that night how the joy and beauty of his film scores served our Bren as a deeply meaningful interface between a vulnerable, sensitive baby/toddler and a brave new world.


Thanks Randy!  Take a bow …

A Blast Performing With Kevin Spacey!
Posted by admin on Aug, 18, 2015

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My recent trip to Sonoma County involved very little imbibing of the local grape; rather on the evening of July 18, 2015, I enjoyed my first time performing at the magnificent Green Center Weill Hall. The audience was treated to the mellifluous, crooning voice of actor Kevin Spacey! Being a true showman, Kevin impressed the crowd with moving renditions of jazz standards and entertained with stories, humorous banter and excellent celebrity impressions.


I can be seen on violin – 1st row, 3rd in …

It was good to work with my old Hollywood friends René Mandel & Mark Robertson:


(ok, OK … I had a little wine!)


UK Songwriting Contest 2015
Posted by admin on Aug, 14, 2015


In 2014, Richard’s song Bidwell’s Path was designated a Finalist / Instrumental Music Category in the UK Songwriting Contest.  Now in 2015, 3 of his songs are considered Semi-Finalists: Chicxulub: Dinosaur Musings on the Meaning of Life, Warrior’s Hymn &  Losing Love.

Faerie’s Embrace‘  status is still pending in the Open Category. Stay tuned for updates as the contest tightens!