Culture on My Mind
February 7, 2020
This week’s “can’t let it go” item is a collection of podcasts about soundtrack music. I’m a big fan of film scores, and I have really fallen for four different podcasts about the history and construction of music.
The Soundtrack Show is billed as “a weekly look at the film scores and soundtracks for some of the most popular movies, TV Shows, Video Games and Theater pieces of all time.” It is hosted by David W. Collins, previously the lead sound designer and voice director at LucasArts. Collins studied theatre and music for both of his advanced degrees before working for LucasArts. While in the industry, he worked on a long list of LucasArts games and voiced roles in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron, Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron, and several of the recent Star Wars films. He was also a host at three Star Wars Celebration events.
Using his knowledge of both music and story, Collins has dissected several of the Star Wars films as well as Ennio Morricone’s library, Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, Psycho, and more.
Art of the Score is billed as “an in-depth podcast series discussing the world of film scores.” It is hosted by musicians Andrew Pogson, Dan Golding, and Nicholas Buc.
Andrew Pogson is a twenty-year veteran of the music industry and is the Senior Manager of Special Projects for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Dan Golding is a senior lecturer in Media and Communications at Swinburne University of Technology, host of Screen Sounds and co-host of the What is Music series for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, composer of several soundtracks, and author of several pop culture books. Nicholas Buc is a composer, conductor, arranger, violinist, and pianist who studied at the University of Melbourne and New York University.
Their discussions get far more technical, discussing chords, meters, and instruments and how the overall music theory works alongside the rest of the film and story process.
Settling the Score is billed as “an in-depth discussion of a classic film score: what makes it tick, how it serves the movie, and whether it’s, you know, any good. It’s a freewheeling, opinionated conversation with an analytical bent, richly illustrated with musical examples. No expertise required.” It is hosted by Jonathan Dinerstein (a writer for film and television in Hollywood) and Andy Boroson (a pianist and music director) who have been chatting together about movie music for twenty years.
Their friendship is reflected in the podcast discussion. They easily mix the technical elements with the view of two fans sharing opinions over beer or coffee. It is certainly a freeform analytical discussion with a low entry bar for the casual fan.
Score: The Podcast is an extension of 2016’s Score: A Film Music Documentary. It is hosted by Robert Kraft and Kenny Holmes along with the original film’s director Matt Schrader.
Robert Kraft is a songwriter, film composer, recording artist, and record producer who served as the President of Fox Music from 1994 to 2012. During that time, he supervised the music for over 300 films and dozens of television shows. Kenny Holmes is the award-winning producer, cinematographer, and editor who produced the original documentary. Matt Schrader is an Emmy Award-winning producer and the creator of the Blockbuster serialized podcast.
The focus of Score: The Podcast is interviewing film composers to understand their methods and inspirations. It does less with the technical side and more with the people involved in the craft.
Also, if you haven’t listened to Blockbuster – the story of Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and John Williams surrounding the birth of the 1970s blockbuster movie scene – you really should.
All of these podcasts can also be found on podcatcher services such as Apple, Google, and so on.
Culture on My Mind is inspired by the weekly Can’t Let It Go segment on the NPR Politics Podcast where each host brings one thing to the table that they just can’t stop thinking about.
For more creativity with a critical eye, visit Creative Criticality.