Best Original Score 2014

Are you still scrambling to get your 2014 Oscar picks in and win that pot of gold or at least bragging rights among your friends?

I am here to offer some help…at least in the music department.

Sadly, I have to say my favorite was not even nominated…   Mark Orton for Nebraska his music made the movie. I love the sounds of Americana. Coupled with the cinematography Orton hit the nail on the head!! The harmonies and orchestration had more depth than any of the nominees in my humble opinion.

Following is my breakdown of the nominees for Best Original Score…

The Book Thief, John Williams

I thought John Williams deserved the Oscar last year for, “Lincoln.” Perhaps the Academy is looking away from the maestro just to get some new blood…well that theory doesn’t hold weight regarding perennial winner Meryl Streep. For this film Williams went back to more of the Romantic Period style we expect although a bit more pastoral than Wagnerian.

Gravity, Steven Price

Should have been John Williams penned! Williams and outer space = Oscar!

Her, William Butler, Owen Pallett

The soundscape is kind of cool and fits the quirkiness of the film. Although minimalist and slightly boring. Nice sounds though!

Philomena, Alexandre Desplat

Compositionally strong although a bit repetitive. We’ll see how the Academy reacts to the film in general, could take home the gold!

Saving Mr. Banks, Thomas Newman

Another minimalist, new-agey piano score. I think it will suffer from comparison’s to the mega hits of the Sherman’s legendary Mary Poppins songs.

My pick;         Philomena, Alexandre Desplat

Click for past Oscar Picks and 2014 Best Song

Best Song 2014

Are you still scrambling to get your 2014 Oscar picks in and win that pot of gold or at least bragging rights among your friends?

I am here to offer some help…at least in the music department.

Following is my breakdown of the nominees for Best Song…

Happy-Pharrell Williams, Despicable Me 2

Pharrell Williams is as hot as it gets since the Grammys. Could strike Oscar Gold while the fire is hot. “Happy,” is a cool funky groove song.

Let it Go-Demi Lovato, Frozen

Lovato may sell to the younger female crowd which would hurt her chances for an Oscar. Although “Frozen,” was created for the same demographic and this song drives the mega popular film home with said audience.  A good song and worthy of Oscar buzz.

Ordinary Love-U2, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

A match made in heaven. An aging supergroup with world-wide mass audience appeal. A movie with a cause and one that U2 has held dear since the 80’s. Won the Golden Globe.

The Moon Song-Karen O., Her

The movie is a bit campy and so is the song. In my opinion the least deserving of the four nominees.

You could make a good case for “Happy,” and “Let it Go,” but I don’t see them beating the mighty U2 and Mandela.

My pick;         Ordinary Love-U2, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Click for past Oscar Picks and 2014 Original Score

Here’s to a Musical 2014!

Been a great year on many fronts. Day to day it was great, life and work, enjoyable and getting better, although, overall it was a weird year and I can’t really say I am sorry to see 2013 in the rearview mirror.

Blogging was waaaay in the backseat this year, for many reasons. To ALL my fans and followers(mom) I greatly apologize.

Still there were a few interesting trends at 12 Notes & the Truth!

-The little Michael Schenker post I wrote a couple of years ago continues to get hits all the time. Personally I am glad to know there is so much interest in one of my all time favorite guitarists!

-Folks are interested in 12×12 Sudoku, lots of continued hits there, as well

-Malaysia found its way to 12 Notes ALOT. In fact more than any other non-English speaking country. And I know my mom was not in Malaysia this year. Welcome and hope you keep visiting!

-Allegedly Google’s privacy policy has blocked  the ever valuable resource of knowing the ‘search terms’ that led visitors to websites. I am SURE they didn’t mine your information any more either…right?!

-One thing that has not changed is my lifetime love of music. Creating, performing, listening, studying and discussing the effect these 12 Notes have on our lives!

Soon this blog may split between another website http://www.guitarguys.com keep an eye out for it as the year develops and I am sure I will let ya know, as well!

Well that’s it short and sweet…

I am looking forward to many great projects and wish you all a prosperous and healthy New Year 2014!

I always teach my kids/students, major, sounds happy and, minor, sounds sad…with that in mind…

Keep life on the Major Sonority side of the street!

Peace,

Mike

Better Than Coffee, “Monday Night Football” Theme

Click here for previous Better Than Coffee posts.

Chargers Win!
Chargers Win!

I think most of you who read this blog would agree music is the best ‘drug’ of all time…including our beloved morning coffee.

This series has been and will continue to be a public service for those of you trying to cut your caffeine intake, by enjoying some fast/energetic music…. ;)

…Or for those of you looking to enhance that morning cup.

I know the NFL already kicked off this past weekend, but, in San Diego tonight is the night! Not only opening night, but, Monday Night Football. How many of you do not get fired up when you hear this theme? Even non-football fans? For our friends across the pond they used it for a competition show called Superstars. I don’t know much about the show, but, if any of you do let us know in the comments, good or bad.

Some facts you might not know about the MNF theme music…

-The music was composed by British composer Johnny Pearson

-The music has been re-arranged, by other musicians, several times to keep it fresh

-The piece is entitled, “Heavy Action.”

You will definitely hear the 70’s in this version!!

Go Chargers!

Enjoy!

Better Than Coffee, Gustav Holst, “Jupiter”

Click here for previous Better Than Coffee posts.

JupiterI think most of you who read this blog would agree music is the best ‘drug’ of all time…including our beloved morning coffee.

This series has been and will continue to be a public service for those of you trying to cut your caffeine intake, by enjoying some fast/energetic music…. 😉

…Or for those of you looking to enhance that morning cup.

Gustav Holst, “Jupiter,” from, “The Planets.”

If you are unfamiliar with, “The Planets,” each planet was characterized musically. “Jupiter,” was composed as The Bringer of Jollity. This piece is fun and furious. Even the slower parts are dignified, stately and triumphant!

Do you think, “Star Wars,” composer John Williams mightn’t been influenced? hmmm

This video is another in the line of animated scores click here for others.

Happy Friday, Enjoy!

Willie Nelson 80 Years Old Today, Happy Birthday!

Willie NelsonGrowing up a rocker I never had much interest in country music or Willie Nelson. In 2002 a movie called, “The Rookie,” was released. Dennis Quaid starred as an aging high school baseball coach who, egged on by his students, tried out for the big leagues and made it all the to MLBs Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Good family movie and a true story.

The movie is centered in the American Heartland and I remember hearing, “City of New Orleans,” a Willie Nelson song on the soundtrack.

That is when it hit me…the intrigue and value of Willie Nelson…he is a true piece of Americana… The more I listened to his music the more I became a fan. The musicianship is there too. The guy is an American Legend and a great musician! I even went to see Willie live…great show!! He tours constantly and I highly suggest you see him. If you are not a fan of the music go just to see what it is all about, cause there will never be another like him again. Don’t miss your chance to take part in Willie’s legacy while he is still gracing our planet!!!

80 years old! Life is definitely too short.

Happy Birthday Willie….here’s to many more!

The Oscar For Best Original Song, Goes To…

The Oscar For Best Original Score Goes To…

Oscar 2

The 2013 Academy Awards are all set to be broadcast this weekend. A time for movie goers to celebrate their favorite films and actors of the year. A time for millionaire actor$ and billionaire $tudios to finally be bestowed some actual credit for their hard work. ;)

Of all the yearly award shows the Oscars is my favorite. Much more than the Grammys, my own industries honors. Even more than the ESPYs…wait do we really need a sports award show? Isn’t that why they play the games to figure out who’s the best?

Of course my favorite awards of the night are for my favorite part of most movies…the music! Best original score and best original song.

Nominees For Best Original Song:

Chasing Ice“Before My Time,”  J. Ralph 

Surprise surprise, Scarlett Johansson can sing and sounds great. Joshua Bell’s melodic violin lines are incredibly expressive and make the song for me. Every time I hear this song I like it more!

Ted- “Everybody Needs a Best Friend,” Walter Murphy; Seth MacFarlane

Cause, everyone knew Ted was Oscar worthy from the start! ;0 Norah Jones sounds great. The song is just a typical showtuney jazz thing. They should enjoy the nomination!

Life of Pi- “Pi’s Lullaby,” Mychael Danna; Bombay Jayashri

The biggest drawback against the original score from, “Life of Pi,” in my opinion is the minimalist lack of direction. That same dreamy quality is what makes this song so successful. In song form the lushness of the orchestration shines. I love this song!

Skyfall- “Skyfall,” Adele Adkins; Paul Epworth 

Adele at her best! Great sultry voice blends great with the ‘spy’ genre accompaniment. I like her voice, but, nice to hear her mix it up a little on this piece.

Les Miserables- “Suddenly,” Claude-Michel Schönberg; Herbert Kretzmer; Alain Boublil

Do you like this song? Do you hate this song? It is not really my cup of tea. It’s nice. Hugh Jackman sounds good. Will it win?

Which song will win the Oscar? My favorites are, “Pi’s Lullaby,” and, “Before my Time,” for their well crafted artistic nature. I like, Adele’s “Skyfall,” as a really effective 007 song, but….I dont see how any song is going to beat, “Suddenly.” Like it or not I don’t see how Les Miserables can not win the Oscar for best song.

Begrudgingly I have to say…

The Oscar for Best Original Song, Goes To…Les Miserables, “Suddenly.”