September 2010 – Scoring “The Chosen One”

The Chosen One OST

I recently recorded the orchestra for a small film called The Chosen One. The film was released on DVD and is likely to come out in limited release either late this year or early in 2011. The score is a blend of lush orchestra with some great solo work from guitars and flutes from South America. It’s a more traditional style score for me, as the themes of the film makers really wanted a score to carry real emotional weight. You can listen to the entire score here and it is available on iTunes and Amazon as well.

The film centers around a man who has lost his zest for life, and is ready to end it all. But an unexpected visit from some Colombian “holy men” cause him to rethink his views of life and himself. The score underlines this with a contrast between more traditional western themes in piano and strings, and the more vibrant sounds of South America with guitar,  charango and panflute. I play several of the flutes myself, but I was fortunate to get Stephen Kujala to come to the studio to play. We also recorded George Doering on all sorts of guitars. The charangos were recorded with a remote linkup with a studio in Santiago, Chile.

The orchestra was recorded at the fantastic Eastwood Scoring Stage at Warner Brothers with about a 60 players. My wonderful orchestrator was the fiery latin Roger Julià. As we were on a bit of a tight budget I was truly fortunate to have my band of tireless interns from the Columbia College in Chicago out to lend a hand.

Conducting Orchestra at WB for TCO
Conducting Orchestra at Warner Brothers
The Chosen One recording sessions
The Chosen One recording sessions

The schedule leading up the the session was pretty brutal. A lot of sleep was lost by all.

Max naps at WB
Max naps at WB

For all the piano solos, we had the brilliant (and sensitive) Mike Lang.

Mike Lang and me for TCO recording
Mike Lang and me for TCO recording

After recording the orchestra we moved on with a wild percussion session at The Village with the legendary Alex Acuna along with Efrain Toro and multi-instrumentalist Satnam Rangotra.

Me and the TCO Percussion group
The Chosen One percussion group and me
Alex Acuna and band at The Village
Alex Acuna and band at The Village

All the tracks were mixed in downtown Los Angeles at the studio of Jim Hill, my favorite mixing engineer. We mixed to a set of several stems to isolate each section of the ensemble (orchestra, piano, percussion, solos) and delivered the final version to the dub stage.

Have a listen to the tracks. We may have a limited edition of signed CDs soon.

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