New “Charlie Brown Christmas” album!

Monday, November 7th, 2022 at 2:31 pm

I don’t often get to write about one of my favorite jazz artists: Vince Guaraldi, once famed for his Grammy-winning “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” but now best known for his scores for more than a dozen animated Peanuts specials of the late 1960s and early 1970s. His Charlie Brown Christmas album is said… Read More

Michael Giacchino directs a film… and it’s terrific

Friday, October 7th, 2022 at 12:27 pm

Werewolf by Night, which debuted on Disney+ in October, was among the best-reviewed Marvel projects in ages. It really was fun, and the surprise to many was the identity of the director: Michael Giacchino, Oscar- (Up), Emmy- (Lost) and Grammy-winning (Ratatouille) composer. He talked about the experience with me (he scored it, too!) for this… Read More

Notes for “The Sound of 007 In Concert”

Tuesday, October 4th, 2022 at 8:46 pm

One of the great thrills of this year was being asked to pen the notes for The Sound of 007 In Concert program, an all-star event held Oct. 4 at London’s Royal Albert Hall. David Arnold, composer of five James Bond film scores including Tomorrow Never Dies and Casino Royale, produced the evening (which later… Read More

Sci-fi and fantasy scores, from “Andor” to “Rings”

Monday, September 26th, 2022 at 12:40 pm

Some of today’s most compelling scores are on television, and for science-fiction and fantasy projects. This year’s crop was especially interesting, and I explored several of them in stories for Variety: Bear McCreary talked about his grand-scale music for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power; Amie Doherty and Ramin Djawadi discussed their… Read More

2022 Emmys for music: the nominees, winners

Sunday, September 4th, 2022 at 9:41 am

No sooner do we finish Oscar season than Emmy season is upon us. But it’s always fun if a bit of a scramble to see as many television shows as possible before interviewing their composers for Variety and the SCL. We looked at the superstars vying for Emmy song nominations here; the nominations in all… Read More

Music in “Obi-Wan Kenobi”

Thursday, May 26th, 2022 at 9:20 am

This was a special one. We discovered that John Williams was writing a new theme for Lucasfilm’s Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi and broke the story for Variety in February. Then we got to sit down for lunch with British composer Natalie Holt, who galvanized us all with her Loki music and never stopped for minute,… Read More

Billie Eilish, Hans Zimmer and James Bond

Sunday, March 27th, 2022 at 7:54 pm

Billie Eilish and Hans Zimmer take on James Bond! Those were the headlines for weeks in early 2020 as production on No Time to Die, the 25th 007 film, was winding down. A year later, Eilish and her brother, co-writer Finneas O’Connell, won the Grammy for her title song even though the film had not… Read More

The Oscar nominations for music

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 at 9:12 am

Variety was first out of the gate with an instant analysis of Monday morning’s Oscar nominations for original song and score. The early readings suggest that Hildur Guonadottir’s Joker score and Elton John’s Rocketman song have the inside track, but I am being cautioned that Oscar voters can be unpredictable in these categories and not… Read More

Oscar voting ends; Globe song musings

Wednesday, January 8th, 2020 at 9:24 am

As the Golden Globe awards were nearing and Academy voters were deciding who to nominate in the music categories, Variety commissioned a final few stories related to songs and scores from calendar year 2019. Chris Willman and I shared a byline as we examined how period films handled music (my portions involved 1917, Ford v… Read More

The Hans Zimmer Bond exclusive

Tuesday, January 7th, 2020 at 9:12 am

This writer — the author of The Music of James Bond — was proud to supply Variety with the world exclusive that composer Hans Zimmer is scoring the new 007 film, No Time to Die. I placed a lot of calls to sources on both sides of the Atlantic to lock down as many details… Read More