Right Now in The Soundtrack Show

The languages of Middle Earth are more than just vital to the Lord of the Rings: They are an essential part of Howard Shore’s operatic film score.

The Fellowship of the Ring: the Music (Part II)

We continue our look at Fellowship by discussing the beautiful and familiar music of the Hobbits, in all its permutations. The musical connections between Hobbits, the One Ring, and Gollum are explored, and we break down the theme for The Fellowship of the Ring itself.

The Fellowship of the Ring: the Music (Part I)

Our first look at not only the film scores of Middle Earth, but also at composer Howard Shore. The creation of his music for Fellowship is examined, as is the source material for these amazing films. Themes are broken down, and the overall style and approach of Shore's music is analyzed.

Wagner: the first Lord of the Ring

Film music has its roots in 19th century opera. The fascinating and controversial life and music of Wagner is explored, as well as an overview of how film music has its roots in opera. Musical examples are played, and history is uncovered.

Rocky IV and Transformers: an Interview with Composer Vince DiCola (Part II)

In part 2 of our interview with composer Vince DiCola, we discuss his work on the 1986 animated feature, Transformers the Movie. His influences are explored, and comparisons are made between his approach to songwriting versus film scoring. 

Rocky IV and Transformers: an Interview with Composer Vince DiCola (Part I)

In our interview with Vince DiCola, we learn about how he became the composer for Rocky IV. We explore his musical background as a drummer and keyboardist, how he was influenced by progressive rock, and we discuss his innovative use of synthesizer. Songwriting for Staying Alive is also discussed, and learn the story of how DiCola made it in Hollywood. 

The Empire Strikes Back: the Music Part IV

Our final look and listen to the music of The Empire Strikes Back covers the end of the film, and its main location: Cloud City. We listen to more restored music during the lightsaber duel, explore even more themes like Boba Fett's theme and Lando's Cloud City theme, and we examine how John Williams carefully scores the trap that awaits our heroes, playing against the gorgeous visuals and the illusion of safety that they present.

The Empire Strikes Back: the Music Part III

Our in-depth look at The Empire Strikes Back continues as we examine the middle of the film: the asteroid field, the planet Dagobah, and more. Continuous changes to the final score are discussed, and we get our first listen to an instrument that makes its debut in the Star Wars saga: the synthesizer.

The Empire Strikes Back: the Music Part II

We look at the music of the first act of The Empire Strikes Back: the planet Hoth. Multiple cues are discussed, as well as the creative process of iterating on musical ideas. We even get to hear restored music that was written and performed for many long sequences, but was cut from the film. Lastly, we focus on the battle in the snow, and the moment that the Imperial March is established as a theme for Darth Vader himself. 

The Empire Strikes Back: the Music Part I

When approaching the film score to The Empire Strikes Back, the sequel to the unprecedented smash hit Star Wars just three years before, John Williams made it all look easy. It wasn't. The pressure was intense, and the timeline was challenging. We discuss the initial spotting session for Empire, as well as the new, central musical themes that emerge in this sequel... one that changed the Star Wars franchise, and its music, forever. 

2018 Wrap-Up Show

We celebrate our first year of The Soundtrack Show with a glimpse behind the scenes on how the show is written. We share listener emails, give a year in review, take a quick look at (and listen to) some holiday music, and offer a sneek-peak of what's to come in 2019.

Producing Soundtrack Albums: an Interview with Mike Matessino (part II)

In part 2 of our interview, Mike Matessino candidly discusses the challenges facing the music industry, while sharing his insights into the popularity of film scores performed live. Some of his favorite soundtrack releases are discussed, and we get a sample of a new project Mike's been working on. 

Producing Soundtrack Albums: an Interview with Mike Matessino (part I)

Mike Matessino has been producing film and television soundtrack albums for over 20 years, and has worked with some of the most famous film music of all time. We discuss everything that goes into the releases of our favorite albums, and get a few behind-the-scenes stories... including one about how older movie soundtracks often times are barely rescued before they are restored.

Lesser-Known Scores: John Williams

We all know Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Harry Potter... but what about Hook, Dracula, The Cowboys or Catch Me If You Can? We take a listen to excerpts of lesser-known works by John Williams.

Rocky: the Music

Recorded in just three hours, this iconic score has been an inspiration to athletes all over the world for decades. We look at its creation, and how music is used to tell the story of a down-on-his luck athlete whose life changes forever. 

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: the Music Part III

In our final look at Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, we explore the music for "he who must not be named." The original soundtrack album is also discussed, and we review the 9-part children's suite for orchestra that John Williams penned while he was writing the film score.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: the Music Part II

Using musical examples, we explore how the films and books of Harry Potter are a metaphor for common struggles that take place during the normal school year. Themes for Harry, the Potter family, Quidditch, and Hogwarts are also discussed. 

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: the Music Part I

In our first look at the musical world of Harry Potter, we discuss the creative inspiration behind "Hedwig's Theme," "Harry's Wondrous World" and more. We then ask the question: is there a theme for Harry Potter himself? 

Ghostbusters: the Music (Part II)

In this episode, we'll discuss the creation and usage of some of Ghostbusters' pop songs, including Ray Parker Jr's smash number one single, and how they are an effective songscore when combined with Bernstein's orchestral magic.

Ghostbusters: the Music (Part I)

In our first look at Ghostbusters, we call up an in-depth look at the musical contribution from legendary film composer Elmer Bernstein, who gives the movie a light-hearted, comedic touch ... while treating the threat of malevolent spirits very seriously. The main theme is discussed, as is Dana's theme, and so much more.