Mark McKenzie

He is Alive Easter Anthem finally available

This powerful choral anthem HE IS ALIVE commissioned by Robert Schuller and premiered Easter Sunday April 4th, 2010 received a rousing standing ovation and is finally available. It was never aired on the Hour of Power because of turmoil within the ministry that ended in a change of leadership. Performed first at the famed all glass Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove, CA, with UCLA Choral Masestro Don Neuen conducting the Hour of Power choir, Dr. Marc Riley conducting the Hour of Power Orchestra, and Sean Groobridge at the pipe organ, this anthem is perfect for Easter or any celebratory service. Take a listen to the performance by clicking the “Play” triangle below. The score sells for $50.00. Parts are an additional $50 for the first two performances. Contact the composer directly for the parts (see contact on the home page).

HE IS ALIVE! (Words and Music by Mark McKenzie)

Hallelujah!
Jesus is Alive!
He’s Alive! He’s Alive!
He is Risen! Hallelujah, He’s Alive!

Christ is Alive;
Yes He arose and forgives us.
Joy is Alive;
Heav’ns gates are open wide!

(chorus)
He is Alive,
His love’s for all
His mercy Heals
His Grace unfailing
His pow’r prevails
His glory reigns
His words bring light
His gift: redemption (and Joy unending.)

Love is alive;
Compassion deep, overflowing.
Hope is alive
The vict’ry has been won!

(chorus)…He is Alive, HIs love’s for all…

King of Kings! Lord of all!
Prince of Peace! Light of the world!
Son of Man! Mighty God!
Faithful one! Bright and morning star!

(chorus)…He is Alive, HIs love’s for all…

Hallelujah, Jesus is Alive
He’s Alive! He’s Alive!
He is Risen! Hallelujah, He’s Alive!

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CRITICS CHOOSE HMMA NOMINATED PRANCER AS 2022 #1 BEST SCORE OF THE YEAR

“Best of the year – 2022” – Prancer: A Christmas Tale….Among the most criminally underrated composers in the film and recording industries, Mark McKenzie is a musician of superior artistry whose film scores are ever deeply felt, and worthy of serious recognition…It is a work of singular eloquence, and musical poetry.” Steve Vertlieb¬†https://fmrev.com/by-steve-vertlieb-best-of-2022/¬†

Best of the year – 2022” Hear how effectively the composer enhances the action of the charming story. One of the best soundtracks from recent years.¬† Roger Hall https://fmrev.com/best-of-the-year-2022/

“The seemingly-effortless lightness of touch…the instantly-memorable tunes, the smiles sure to form on the face of anyone hearing them…From the gentle materials, the composer extracts great emotional weight… It is hard to imagine anyone‚Äôs day not being brightened by listening to this album… this is an absolute treat, a Christmas gift to us all.” James Southall Movie-Wave.net¬†
 

“There is a warmth and a feeling of goodness that radiates from the composers score…bright, beautiful, delicate, and poignant…overflowing with fragility and mesmerizing affecting tone poems….soul warming.” Movie Music International

“The score overflows with gorgeous, evocative, emotionally resonant music…warmth and heart, tenderness, playfulness, an occasional touch of whimsy, and more than a sprinkle of festive seasonal magic.” Jonathan Broxton Movie Music UK

 
“Refusing to bend or bow to the constraints of uniformity, McKenzie‚Äôs works have only grown in their power and singular beauty. Listening to this wistful McKenzie score reminds one of his gentle, sensitive gifts and artistry in composing these lyrical, deceptively subtle melodies. His music is filled with the wonder of limitless possibilities, as well as the power and beauty of dreams…Mark McKenzie remains one of the last treasures of original film music” Steven Vertlieb “Film Music Review”

McKenzie‚Äôs penchant for lyrical melodic writing and gorgeous orchestration comes through from the very opening…moments of awe and wonder as well as excitement….an often quite colorful and heartwarming work well worth adding to your holiday. Steven Kennedy, Film Score Monthly USA

“Simply beautiful!” Tim Burden, Movie Magic, Belfast Ireland

“Another gem from this highly talented composer.” Jason Drury Cinematic Sound Radi

Buy the collectors CD before it sells out at INTRADA RECORDS or Back Lot Music’s digital release at music outlets everywhere. Take a listen at your favorite streaming outlet: PRANCER: A CHRISTMAS TALE

  1. I Can’t Wait To See You 1:06
  2. Nothing Is Beautiful Without You 2:28
  3. Love Arrives As a Reindeer 2:24
  4. Nothing Is Impossible 1:47
  5. The Greatest Gift Is Friendship 5:34
  6. Your Smile Lights Up The Room 4:01
  7. Woo-hoo She Likes You! 1:59
  8. She Was As Kind As The Day Is Long 4:42
  9. We Were Magic Together 2:43
  10. I Will Always Believe In You 2:15
  11. This Feels Like Home 1:39
  12. My Tears and The Magic of Your Light 1:49
  13. I Can Be Closed Off Sometimes 2:05
  14. Prancer Dances 1:00
  15. Healing Memories 1:32
  16. I Have To Thank You 2:10
  17. Silent Night Hug 2:24
  18. It’s Time To Celebrate 1:03
  19. Love As Though You’ve Never Been Hurt 2:27
  20. Prancer: A Christmas Tale Suite 6:13
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Prancer: A Christmas Tale Stunning Critical Reviews: “Gorgeous, Evocative, Poignant, Wistful, Mesmerizing, Beautiful, Transformative, Filled With the Wonder of Limitless Possibilities, An Absolute Treat!”

 
 
 
“Refusing to bend or bow to the constraints of uniformity, McKenzie‚Äôs works have only grown in their power and singular beauty. Listening to this wistful McKenzie score reminds one of his gentle, sensitive gifts and artistry in composing these lyrical, deceptively subtle melodies. His music is filled with the wonder of limitless possibilities, as well as the power and beauty of dreams…Mark McKenzie remains one of the last treasures of original film music” Steven Vertlieb “Film Music Review”
 
“The seemingly-effortless lightness of touch…the instantly-memorable tunes, the smiles sure to form on the face of anyone hearing them…From the gentle materials, the composer extracts great emotional weight… It is hard to imagine anyone‚Äôs day not being brightened by listening to this album… this is an absolute treat, a Christmas gift to us all.” James Southall Movie-Wave.net 

“There is a warmth and a feeling of goodness that radiates from the composers score…bright, beautiful, delicate, and poignant…overflowing with fragility and mesmerizing affecting tone poems….soul warming.” Movie Music International

“The score overflows with gorgeous, evocative, emotionally resonant music…warmth and heart, tenderness, playfulness, an occasional touch of whimsy, and more than a sprinkle of festive seasonal magic.” Jonathan Broxton Movie Music UK

McKenzie‚Äôs penchant for lyrical melodic writing and gorgeous orchestration comes through from the very opening…moments of awe and wonder as well as excitement….an often quite colorful and heartwarming work well worth adding to your holiday. Steven Kennedy, Film Score Monthly USA

“Simply beautiful!” Tim Burden, Movie Magic, Belfast Ireland

“Another gem from this highly talented composer.” Jason Drury Cinematic Sound Radi

Buy the collectors CD before it sells out at INTRADA RECORDS or Back Lot Music’s digital release at music outlets everywhere. Take a listen at your favorite streaming outlet: PRANCER: A CHRISTMAS TALE

  1. I Can’t Wait To See You 1:06
  2. Nothing Is Beautiful Without You 2:28
  3. Love Arrives As a Reindeer 2:24
  4. Nothing Is Impossible 1:47
  5. The Greatest Gift Is Friendship 5:34
  6. Your Smile Lights Up The Room 4:01
  7. Woo-hoo She Likes You! 1:59
  8. She Was As Kind As The Day Is Long 4:42
  9. We Were Magic Together 2:43
  10. I Will Always Believe In You 2:15
  11. This Feels Like Home 1:39
  12. My Tears and The Magic of Your Light 1:49
  13. I Can Be Closed Off Sometimes 2:05
  14. Prancer Dances 1:00
  15. Healing Memories 1:32
  16. I Have To Thank You 2:10
  17. Silent Night Hug 2:24
  18. It’s Time To Celebrate 1:03
  19. Love As Though You’ve Never Been Hurt 2:27
  20. Prancer: A Christmas Tale Suite 6:13

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Perfectionism

Two books I loved this year were THE CHOICE and THE GIFT both by Dr. Edith Eger. A teenage Jewish ballerina headed for the olympics who survives starvation, years at Auschwitz, Dr. Mengola’s attempted rape, hard labor and after the war is pulled from a large pile of dead bodies with a broken back. Now, at age 94, she is a world renown master therapist helping soldiers overcome post traumatic stress among other things. Dr. Eger said last week: “I guarantee you if your’e a perfectionist you’re going to procrastinate… And then the world can pass you by and they you’ll be scared.” When composing films I’m often concerned that ideas aren’t perfect enough so I stare at an empty page or later look at the finished orchestral page and see imperfections. Over the years I’ve learned to live with that uncomfortable feeling while striving for excellence. If you’re waiting for that perfect inspired idea to write a song, a book, painting or whatever, may I encourage you to just start. With effort, it will become beautiful because it’s you and there’s no one in the world quite like you.I hope you enjoy the music to “Triumph Over Fear” from Max and Me.

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Mark McKenzie on largest Classical Radio Station in the USA along with Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, and Vivaldi.

After 3 decades of being somewhat invisible in Los Angeles as a composer, the largest classical radio station in the United States is now playing Mark McKenzie’s music with Bach, Beethoven, Schubert and Vivaldi. For decades, this station has brought healing to the soul and reminded San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, San Francisco, and a hundred other cities that life is beautiful. Thank you KUSC, Alan Chapman, Rich Capparela, John Van Driel, Brian Lauritzen, Bill Lueth, Dianne Nicolini, Jennifer Miller, Jim Svejda and the many who support this fine radio station.

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LIVE PERFORMANCE OF THE GREATEST MIRACLE IN SPAIN

Actor, producer and director Antonio Banderas is supporting the pandemic hit struggling musicians in his community by producing a live performance of “The Greatest Miracle” in Malaga Spain. The performance will include excerpts from “Entering the Cathedral,” “Offerings,” “Angels Demons and Prayer,” “Reclaiming Faith,” “Go in Peace” and “Ascension.”

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MAX AND ME for Classical Radio

album-art

Composer Mark McKenzie’s film score to MAX AND ME has been voted by the International Film Music Critics Association as BEST ORIGINAL ANIMATED SCORE OF THE YEAR winning over Michael Giacchino’s INCREDIBLES 2, Alexandre Desplat’s ISLE OF DOGS, and Daniel Pemberton’s SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE. MAX AND ME was also nominated as overall BEST SCORE OF THE YEAR by the IFMCA along with Ludwig G√∂ransson’s BLACK PANTHER, Justin Hurwitz’s FIRST MAN, Marc Shaiman’s MARY POPPINS, and John Powell’s SOLO. Thank you to Dos Corazones and Sony Classical for the full page congratuations in Variety’s final Oscar issue. Thank you also to the IFMCA critics who wrote positively about the music. We are very happy to see Polish priest Maximilian Kolbe’s sacrificial love at Auschwitz honored. Maximillian Kolbe, tortured at Auschwitz asked those around him to not be overcome with hatred but to love for ‚ÄúOnly love is creative.‚ÄĚ His compassion lead him to sacrificially die in Auschwitz’s starvation bunker to help a man with children survive. The film makers, musicians and I wish for this message of hope, love, and beauty will be enjoyed by many and spread widely. A portion of each sale goes to the Shoa Foundation, Word Vision and Catholic Relief Services. The Sony Masterworks soundtrack is available everywhere digital music is sold. Max and Me is dedicated to the memory of choral master and mentor Robert Salvatore Ruberto 1932-2016. A sincere thank you to those who performed the music and those who made it possible; Joshua Bell, conductor Gordon Johnson, Robert Prizeman and the Libera Boys Choir, Isobel Griffith and the London symphony orchestra, Ben Parry, Terry Edwards and the London Voices, soloist Clara Sanabras, boy soprano Issac Thomas engineers Peter Cobbin and Armin Steiner, music editor Marc Perlman and copyist Gregg Nestor. Thank you to Producer Pablo Barroso, writer and director Bruce Morris, Associate producer Claudia Nemr, animators Paty Garc√≠a Pe√Īa, and Gregorio N√ļ√Īez. “A triumphant ravishing masterwork‚Ķfinest film music yet for 2018” American Music Preservation “Transcendent‚Ķan incredible tour de force.” Ave Maria Radio “Staggeringly beautiful‚Ķscore of the year‚ÄĚ Movie Music UK “Boundless expression of joy‚Ķscore of the year‚ÄĚ Movie-wave.net “Tender, heartfelt, soaring, gorgeous‚Ķscore of the year” Score Zone “profound‚Ķinspiring and haunting…stunningly beautiful.” Movie Music International “You’re going to have goosebumps‚Ķone of the best scores of the year.‚ÄĚ Cinematic Sound “An ode to symphonic beauty‚Ķdo not miss this celebration of life and love” Soundtrack Dreams Brought to tears‚Ķthe more I hear it the more I believe it is a truly theophanic work.” The Click Track MAX AND ME
  1. I Am (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 1:13
  2. Two Crowns Vision 1:22
  3. Head in the Clouds Over You 2:16
  4. You Could be Anything 2:44
  5. In the Trenches 2:29
  6. If You Are So Intelligent Why Don’t You Believe? 5:22
  7. Ask and it Will Be Given to You 1:25
  8. When I‚Äôm Saying Me I Mean You   :51
  9. Dare To Dream Bigger  1:51
  10. A Mother’s Prayer (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 3:10
  11. Dapper Duds   1:50
  12. Sunset Hug 1:49
  13. I’m Sorry 3:02
  14. Nazi Brutality 3:17
  15. Prayer For Peace 3:40
  16. Auschwitz Cries  2:56
  17. Only Love is Creative 2:37
  18. I Love You (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 4:00
  19. Triumph Over Fear   3:20
  20. He Was Always With Me 1:50
  21. I Believe in You 4:12
  22. Heaven’s Welcome 2:28
Violin Soloist: Joshua Bell Soundtrack Available on Sony Masterworks Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London Recording Engineer: Peter Cobbin Mixed at 21st Century Fox Newman Scoring Stage Mixing Engineer: Armin Steiner Conductor: Gordon Johnson Choir:  London Voices Chorus Masters: Terry Edwards and Ben Parry Solo Vocalist:  Clara Sanabras Boys Choir: Libera Libera Choir Director: Robert Prizeman Orchestra Leader: Thomas Bowes Piano: Dave Arch Boy Soloist: Issac London Wooden Recorders: Helen Keen Guitar: John Parricelli Orchestra Contractor: Isobel Griffiths Assistant Orchestra Contractor: Susie Gillis Supervising Music & Scoring Editor: Marc S Perlman MPSE Additional Music Editing:  David Lai Music Preparation: Gregg Nestor Mastering Engineer: Patricia Sullivan Assistant Recording Engineer: John Barrett Assistant Mixing Engineer: Christine Russell
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Mark McKenzie and Paul McCartney at Abbey Road

Working with Paul McCartney at Abbey Road Studios on the music for Bungi’s electronic game DESTINY was rewarding. Both his musicianship and humanity were refreshing. After conversations about the Beatles, family, the concerts he was doing, USC football, various Beatles songs,¬† Paul put his arm around me and told my composer friends Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori “We’re mates!”¬† I admire this man for more than his music. He loves people and has absolutely no air of self importance. When I asked how how it felt to have such a legacy he said: “Sometimes I wake up in the morning and tell myself “Hey, I did pretty good getting into that band called The Beatles.” Always quick to laugh, no wonder we love him and his music so much.

Composer Mark McKenzie with Sir Paul McCartney at Abbey Road Studios

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Dragonheart Vengeance #1 on Amazon: “Masterfully written score”

“I am no fan of synth scores, but this is different, it has a celestial and other-worldly aura, the composer fashioning heart breaking and highly affecting tone poems which he combines with exciting and at times relentlessly full on action cues…DRAGONHEART VENGEANCE is a masterfully written score.” John Mansell: Movie Music International

“Mark McKenzie is a composer whose music overflows with beauty and passion, gorgeous themes and strong emotion, sparkling orchestrations and masterful technical content…He should have been nominated for at least a couple of Oscars. Dragonheart Vengeance is a score which is beautifully composed, skillfully arranged, and filled with heart‚ĶI just wish that there had been the budget for an orchestra.” Movie Music UK ” Jonathan Broxton Movie Music UKDragonheart Vengeance Soundtrack
Music Composed and Performed by Mark McKenzie

1. Hold On To Hope in the Dark Times
2. Love Changes Everything
3. Never Never Ever Give Up
4. You’re Destined for Greatness
5. You Make Me Feel Magical Inside
6. Look At What You Have Left and Not at What You’ve Lost
7. Pledged to Peace
8. Great Love Surrounds What is Surrounding You
9. Snake Battle
10. Self Control Makes You Stronger
11. Trying to Kiss You
12. Look Behind You!
13. Risking Life For Something Bigger Than Yourself
14. Siveth’s Cat Mouse and Dragon Plan
15. Keep Looking Up
16. Hope: It All Works for Good

Dragonheart Vengeance debuts as #1 Soundtrack on Amazon

We are celebrating that DRAGONHEART VENGEANCE was the #1 top selling MP3 Soundtrack on Amazon! Thank you to those who supported the music.

Universal Studios Dragonheart Vengeance cast
Director Ivan Silvestrini and Raffaella De Laurentiis (are front row right to left)

Note from Composer:

I love the tiwsts and turns in the plot and of course the musical pallate this film allowed. Matthew Feitshans imaginative screenplay captured my fancy from day one with a female dragon that has a few tricks up her sleave. Working with the gifted Italian director Ivan Silvestrini, who is a composer in his own right, was a pleasure because his musical and dramatic instincts were precise and effective. Sometime check out his creative electronic music here: (IVAN SILVESTRINI) A special thank you to my friend Randy Edelman who’s timeless Dragonheart theme from the first film profoundly impacts audiences. 4:40 of the 69:00 score uses this beautiful theme.

The attempted to make the music textural, thematic, magical, heart pounding, heroic, gentle, serene and everything inbetween. The 47 minute soundtrack musical color pallette consists of: pan flutes, penny whistles, drums and percussion of every kind, solo cello, voices, harp, nylon guitar, plenty of fresh electronic textures and a great variety of traditional symphonic colors. Following are some personal thoughts.



Helena Bonham Carter

18 time Oscar Nominee / mentor Jerry Goldsmith with Mark McKenzie recording at Todd AO Studios

Set for Dragonheart Vengeance

Producer Raffaella de Laurentiis on back road used in the movie Dragonheart Vengeance

Main Character Lukas shooting Dragonheart Vengeance without special effects finished

Entire Dragonheart Cast and Crew on set in RomaniaDirector Ivan Silvestrini

Dedication:

As a young man, with some reservation, I asked out a neighbor that was full of life, love and kindness. She turned me down in the nicest way possible by actually meaning it when she said, “We’re friends.” Recently while editing a piece of music (track #14 “Siveth’s Cat Mouse and Dragon Plan”) for the soundtrack, I was told of her passing. It’s not much, but I added a solo voice that sounded like her to the beginning and ending and dedicate track 14 to her memory. One of the last things she said to me was: “I knew you were heaaded for great things.” How fortunate to have friends like that. Linda Larson, your kindness and friendship will be missed. (photo below).

Linda Larson (classmate)

We all have teachers and professors who have invested themselves into our lives when by all outward appearances there was not much to invest in. In my case, it is Maestro Stephen Ritzenthaler, Choral Master Robert Ruberto, and brilliant composition professor David Baker. Grateful for these educators.

Maestro Stephen Ritzenthaler Janurary 29, 1949 – March 12, 2017

David Baker, Composition Professor at UWEC

Robert Ruberto: Choral Master
 
I would like to thank Universal Music Executives Angela Leus, Mike Knobloch and Rachel Levy, Back Lot Music’s Nikki Walsh and Andy Kalyvas; the extraordinary actors Helena Bonham Carter, Jack Kane and Joseph Millson; Intrada Record‚Äôs Doug Fake and Roger Feigelson; Mastering Engineer Patricia Sullivan; Vision Daw Music technical advisors Mark Nagata and Ryan Ouchida; my family Sue, Megan and Mollie.Executive in Charge of Music for Universal Pictures: Mike Knobloch
Music Supervised for Universal Pictures: Angela Leus
Music Business & Legal Affairs for Universal Pictures: Tanya Perara & David Flanzer

Available on Intrada Records and for download on Universal’s Back Lot Music label.
Executive in Charge of Music for Universal Pictures: Mike Knobloch
Music Supervised for Universal Pictures: Angela Leus
Music Business & Legal Affairs for Universal Pictures: Tanya Perara & David Flanzer
Marketing for Back Lot Music: Nikki Walsh
Production for Back Lot Music: Andy Kalyvas

Dragonheart Vengeance Entire Cast and Crew

The composer would like to thank Randy Edelman who’s timeless Dragonheart theme breathes beauty into this fun film franchise and into this soundtrack. Out of the 69 minutes of underscore 4:40 was Randy’s theme. Siveth’s Cat Mouse and Dragon Plan is dedicated to Linda Larson who will be missed. Music for film is collaborative, a warm thank you to many who contributed: Director Ivan Silvestrini, Writer Matthew Feitshans, Producers Raffaella De Laurentiis, Hester Hargett-Aupetit, Share Stallings; Universal Music Executives Angela Leus, Mike Knobloch and Rachel Levy, Back Lot Music’s Nikki Walsh and Andy Kalyvas; the extraordinary actors Helena Bonham Carter, Jack Kane and Joseph Millson; Intrada Record‚Äôs Doug Fake and Roger Feigelson; Mastering Engineer Patricia Sullivan; Vision Daw Music technical advisors Mark Nagata and Ryan Ouchida; my family Sue, Megan and Mollie.

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INSPIRATIONAL HOLLYWOOD ICON SHERRY LANSING

I’m grateful for the timeless eleven time Academy Award Nominated song writer Diane Warren who introduced me to this brilliant, beautiful and  iconic Hollywood ground breaker Sherry Lansing recently. When Sherry’s doting artistic father died at a young age she spent years thinking she had caused it by being bad. She secretly vowed to always be good from that day forward. She started her LA career as an actress working opposite John Wayne with director Howard Hawks RIO LOBO and then decided she wanted the freedom to act like herself rather than impersonate others. In succession she became a producer (Fatal Attraction), the first female president of 20th Century Fox, the Chairman of Paramount’s movie division releasing 6 of the top 10 highest grossing movies in Paramount history at the point (Titanic and Forest Gump) and now a tireless and very effective philanthropist for cancer research. It is said “She ruled with an iron fist hidden inside the most velvet of gloves.” I said, “Sherry, you worked daily with the biggest, toughest movie stars, agents and film makers in Hollywood and are known for your people skills. Was there a guiding principal? She said, “Yes, I always remembered that EVERYONE is the same on the inside. Every one of us is insecure and fragile inside. When artists anger raged I knew it grew out of a passion for excellence and I didn’t take it personally.” No wonder Sherry was an inspirational leader.  Her biography “Leading Lady” by Stephen Galloway is hard to put down. Thank you Sherry Lansing for helping pave the way for other women and in particular, my oldest daughter Megan McKenzie, an upcoming comedic film maker (see Hippie Happenings). (Photo by the inspirational The Passion of the Christ / Jungle Book / The Greatest Showman composer John Debney)
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PRESIDENT OF NETFLIX TED SARANDOS AND COMPOSER MARK MCKENZIE

As I left a party, I introduced myself to a man I didn’t know. Humble, kind, exuding an interest in meeting me, he said: “Hi I’m Ted Sarandos; president of Netflix.” I was shocked at first. Since I’d composed 3 Netflix Dragonheart films it was a memorable moment. Meeting the most powerful leader in Hollywood, who’s studio is about as big as all the rest of the Hollywood studios combined, I was reminded that often the least pretentious are those who are the most powerful, creative, innovative and effective.  I asked the guy next to us if he’d take our picture and Ted happily said‚Ķ”We’re in good hands., he’s an academy award nominated director.” One just never knows who’s standing next to us in the grocery line or at a party and how fortunate we are if they are willing to share something of their uniqueness with us. And just maybe we have something to share with them too.

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THIRD FLOOR / STORY ATTIC LOGO COMPOSED BY MARK MCKENZIE

Mark has composed two logos recently. The first is THE THIRD FLOOR’S new STORY ATTIC (see video below) and the second RAFFAELLA PRODUCTIONS. The Third Floor does special effects for most of the big blockbusters and the Story Attic (Website Here)  is an outlet for the hundreds of THIRD FLOOR artists to share their own unique stories.  It is headed up by the truy gifted artist and story teller Doug Lefler.

 

 

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MAX AND ME WINS IFMCA 2018 BEST ANIMATED FILM SCORE OF THE YEAR

Composer Mark McKenzie’s film score to MAX AND ME has been voted by the International Film Music Critics Association as BEST ORIGINAL ANIMATED SCORE OF THE YEAR winning over Michael Giacchino’s INCREDIBLES 2, Alexandre Desplat’s ISLE OF DOGS, and Daniel Pemberton’s SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE.

MAX AND ME was also nominated as BEST SCORE OF THE YEAR by the IFMCA along with Ludwig G√∂ransson’s BLACK PANTHER, Justin Hurwitz’s FIRST MAN, Marc Shaiman’s MARY POPPINS, and John Powell’s SOLO.

Thank you to Dos Corazones and Sony Classical for the congratulatory add on the inside back cover of Variety’s final Oscar issue. Thank you also to the IFMCA critics who wrote positively about the music. We are very happy to see Polish priest Maximilian Kolbe’s sacrificial love at Auschwitz honored.

Maximillian Kolbe, tortured at Auschwitz asked those around him to not be overcome with hatred but to love for ‚ÄúOnly love is creative.‚ÄĚ His compassion lead him to sacrificially die in Auschwitz’s starvation bunker to help a man with children survive. The film makers, musicians and I wish for this message of hope, love, and beauty will be enjoyed by many and spread widely. A portion of each sale goes to the Shoa Foundation, Word Vision and Catholic Relief Services. The Sony Masterworks soundtrack is available everywhere digital music is sold. Max and Me is dedicated to the memory of choral master and mentor Robert Salvatore Ruberto 1932-2016.

A sincere thank you to those who performed the music and those who made it possible; Joshua Bell, conductor Gordon Johnson, Robert Prizeman and the Libera Boys Choir, Isobel Griffith and the London symphony orchestra, Ben Parry, Terry Edwards and the London Voices, soloist Clara Sanabras, boy soprano Issac Thomas engineers Peter Cobbin and Armin Steiner, music editor Marc Perlman and copyist Gregg Nestor. Thank you to Producer Pablo Barroso, writer and director Bruce Morris, Associate producer Claudia Nemr, animators Paty Garc√≠a Pe√Īa, and Gregorio N√ļ√Īez.

“A triumphant ravishing masterwork‚Ķfinest film music yet for 2018” American Music Preservation
“Transcendent‚Ķan incredible tour de force.” Ave Maria Radio
“Staggeringly beautiful‚Ķscore of the year‚ÄĚ Movie Music UK
“Boundless expression of joy‚Ķscore of the year‚ÄĚ Movie-wave.net
“Tender, heartfelt, soaring, gorgeous‚Ķscore of the year” Score Zone
“profound‚Ķinspiring and haunting…stunningly beautiful.” Movie Music International
“You’re going to have goosebumps‚Ķone of the best scores of the year.‚ÄĚ Cinematic Sound
“An ode to symphonic beauty‚Ķdo not miss this celebration of life and love” Soundtrack Dreams
Brought to tears‚Ķthe more I hear it the more I believe it is a truly theophanic work.” The Click Track

MAX AND ME

  1. I Am (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 1:13
  2. Two Crowns Vision 1:22
  3. Head in the Clouds Over You 2:16
  4. You Could be Anything 2:44
  5. In the Trenches 2:29
  6. If You Are So Intelligent Why Don’t You Believe? 5:22
  7. Ask and it Will Be Given to You 1:25
  8. When I‚Äôm Saying Me I Mean You   :51
  9. Dare To Dream Bigger  1:51
  10. A Mother’s Prayer (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 3:10
  11. Dapper Duds   1:50
  12. Sunset Hug 1:49
  13. I’m Sorry 3:02
  14. Nazi Brutality 3:17
  15. Prayer For Peace 3:40
  16. Auschwitz Cries  2:56
  17. Only Love is Creative 2:37
  18. I Love You (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 4:00
  19. Triumph Over Fear   3:20
  20. He Was Always With Me 1:50
  21. I Believe in You 4:12
  22. Heaven’s Welcome 2:28

Violin Soloist: Joshua Bell
Soundtrack Available on Sony Masterworks
Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London
Recording Engineer: Peter Cobbin
Mixed at 21st Century Fox Newman Scoring Stage
Mixing Engineer: Armin Steiner
Conductor: Gordon Johnson
Choir:  London Voices
Chorus Masters: Terry Edwards and Ben Parry
Solo Vocalist:  Clara Sanabras
Boys Choir: Libera
Libera Choir Director: Robert Prizeman
Orchestra Leader: Thomas Bowes
Piano: Dave Arch
Boy Soloist: Issac London
Wooden Recorders: Helen Keen
Guitar: John Parricelli
Orchestra Contractor: Isobel Griffiths
Assistant Orchestra Contractor: Susie Gillis
Supervising Music & Scoring Editor: Marc S Perlman MPSE
Additional Music Editing:  David Lai
Music Preparation: Gregg Nestor
Mastering Engineer: Patricia Sullivan
Assistant Recording Engineer: John Barrett
Assistant Mixing Engineer: Christine Russell

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MAX AND ME HONORED WITH SAMMY AWARD FOR BEST ANIMATED SCORE OF THE YEAR

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Composer Mark McKenzie’s film score to MAX AND ME has been honored with the Sammy Award as BEST ANIMATED SCORE OF THE YEAR. View¬† The Sammy Awards are the longest running awards for film music recordings and is named after the famed 4 time Oscar winning lyricist Sammy Cahn. It is awarded by FILM MUSIC REVIEW which also has the most detailed and carefully researched review of MAX AND ME written by Steve Vertlieb. View

Polish priest Maximillian Kolbe, tortured at Auschwitz asked those around him to not be overcome with hatred but to love for ‚ÄúOnly love is creative.‚ÄĚ His compassion lead him to sacrificially die in Auschwitz’s starvation bunker to help a man with children survive. The film makers, musicians and I wish for this message of hope, love, and beauty will be enjoyed by many and spread widely. A portion of each sale goes to the Shoa Foundation, Word Vision and Catholic Relief Services. The Sony Masterworks soundtrack is available everywhere digital music is sold. Max and Me is dedicated to the memory of choral master and mentor Robert Salvatore Ruberto 1932-2016.

A warm thank you to those who performed the music and those who made the music possible; Joshua Bell, conductor Gordon Johnson, Robert Prizeman and the Libera Boys Choir, Isobel Griffith and the London symphony orchestra, Ben Parry, Terry Edwards and the London Voices, soloist Clara Sanabras, boy soprano Issac Thomas engineers Peter Cobbin and Armin Steiner, music editor Marc Perlman and copyist Gregg Nestor. Thank you to Producer Pablo Barroso, writer and director Bruce Morris, Associate producer Claudia Nemr, animators Paty Garc√≠a Pe√Īa, and Gregorio N√ļ√Īez.

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IFMCA NOMINATES MAX AND ME FOR BEST SCORE OF THE YEAR

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Composer Mark McKenzie’s film score to MAX AND ME has been nominated by the International Film Music Critics Association as the 2018 BEST FILM SCORE OF THE YEAR along with Ludwig G√∂ransson’s BLACK PANTHER, Justin Hurwitz’s FIRST MAN, Marc Shaiman’s MARY POPPINS and John Powell’s SOLO. MAX AND ME has also been nominated as BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ANIMATED FILM by the IFMCA. The composer is grateful to the many fine film music journalists and critics from the international community, many of whom are composers in their own right.

Polish priest Maximillian Kolbe, tortured at Auschwitz asked those around him to not be overcome with hatred but to love for ‚ÄúOnly love is creative.‚ÄĚ His compassion lead him to sacrificially die in Auschwitz’s starvation bunker to help a man with children survive. The film makers, musicians and I wish for this message of hope, love, and beauty will be enjoyed by many and spread widely. A portion of each sale goes to the Shoa Foundation, Word Vision and Catholic Relief Services. The Sony Masterworks soundtrack is available everywhere digital music is sold. Max and Me is dedicated to the memory of choral master and mentor Robert Salvatore Ruberto 1932-2016.

A warm thank you to those who performed the music and those who made the music possible; Joshua Bell, conductor Gordon Johnson, Robert Prizeman and the Libera Boys Choir, Isobel Griffith and the London symphony orchestra, Ben Parry, Terry Edwards and the London Voices, soloist Clara Sanabras, boy soprano Issac Thomas engineers Peter Cobbin and Armin Steiner, music editor Marc Perlman and copyist Gregg Nestor. Thank you to Producer Pablo Barroso, writer and director Bruce Morris, Associate producer Claudia Nemr, animators Paty Garc√≠a Pe√Īa, and Gregorio N√ļ√Īez.

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Composer Fryderyk Chopin / Józef Elsner / The Lost Child

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I love the ground breaking new definitive biography of Chopin called “Fryderyk Chopin: A Life and Times” by Alan Walker.

Chopin’s composition teacher Józef Elsner had these maxims on his office door. They demonstrate how a fine composition teacher thinks.

“It is a bad master who is not surpassed by his student.

The study of composition should not be restrained by observing too many petty rules, especially by students who’s gifts are self evident. Allow them to discover the rules for themselves.

One should never expose a student to just one point of view. It is not enough for a student to equal his or surpass his master, rather, he should create his own individuality.

An artist should open himself to his surroundings. Only then, and only through such influences can he attain his true self.

Each part of a composition should share the same objective. It should belong to the whole. Otherwise the beauty of a work is lost, for all beauty arises from the union of multiple parts.”

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Stunning New Revision of The Lion and the Mouse, a children’s Introduction to the Symphony Orchestra available soon

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We are very happy to introduce the stunning new revision of “The Lion and the Mouse,” an introduction to the orchestra based on Aseops fable by that name. The revision introduces more instruments, is more entertaining, easier to perform, has a more colorful orchestration and stronger themes. We’re excited to get the new version into the hands of conductors very soon. It can be prepared in one rehearsal.  Contact us for more information. For reference, here is a performance of the old version recorded in 20 minutes in Europe with a 10 year old girl narrating.  This old version has been repeatedly performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra and The Utah Symphony among others.

Instrumentation:

WW = 3/2/3/3
Flute 1 (Doubles on picc)
Flute 2 (Doubles on Picc)
Flute 3 (Doubles on Alto Fl.)
Oboe 1
Oboe 2 (doubles on English Hn.)
Bb Clarinet 1
Bb Clarinet 2
Bb Clarinet 3 (doubles on Bass Clarinet)
Bassoon 1
Bassoon 2
Bassoon 3 (doubles on Contra)

4 Horns
3 Trumpets
3 Trombones
1 Tuba

Timpani and 3 Percussion
Narrator
Harp
Celesta

Full String Section

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Minnesota Public Radio “New Classical Tracks” features the music of MAX AND ME and talks with Composer Mark McKenzie

Thank you to Minnesota Public Radio / New Classical Tracks for featuring the music of Max and Me. The McKenzie interview can be heard by clicking on the URL below.

https://www.classicalmpr.org/story/2018/10/02/mark-mackenzie-and-the-bittersweet-story-of-max-and-me

NEW CLASSICAL TRACKS. Host Julie Amacher and composer Mark McKenzie discuss the film, violinist Joshua Bell, conductor Gordon Johnson, Choral masters Terry Edwards, Ben Parry, and the famed boys choir Libera.  Also discussed are timeless composers Mark worked with like John Barry, Danny Elfman, Jerry Goldsmith and a truly inspirational public school teacher / choral master who this work is dedicated to: Robert Salvatore Ruberto 1932-2016.  (See full tribute here.)

“A triumphant ravishing masterwork‚Ķfinest film music yet for 2018” American Music¬†Preservation
“Transcendent‚Ķan incredible tour de force.” Ave Maria Radio
“Staggeringly beautiful‚Ķscore of the year‚ÄĚ Movie Music UK
“Boundless expression of joy‚Ķscore of the year‚ÄĚ Movie-wave.net
“Tender, heartfelt, soaring, gorgeous‚Ķscore of the year” Score Zone
“profound‚Ķinspiring and haunting…stunningly beautiful.” Movie Music International
“You’re going to have goosebumps‚Ķone of the best scores of the year.‚ÄĚ Cinematic Sound
“An ode to symphonic beauty‚Ķdo not miss this celebration of life and love” Soundtrack Dreams
Brought to tears‚Ķthe more I hear it the more I believe it is a truly theophanic work.” The Click Track

MAX 420

MAX AND ME (Total time 57:15)

  1. I Am (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 1:13
  2. Two Crowns Vision 1:22
  3. Head in the Clouds Over You 2:16
  4. You Could be Anything 2:44
  5. In the Trenches 2:29
  6. If You Are So Intelligent Why Don’t You Believe? 5:22
  7. Ask and it Will Be Given to You 1:25
  8. When I’m Saying Me I Mean You   :51
  9. Dare To Dream Bigger  1:51
  10. A Mother’s Prayer (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 3:10
  11. Dapper Duds   1:50
  12. Sunset Hug 1:49
  13. I’m Sorry 3:02
  14. Nazi Brutality 3:17
  15. Prayer For Peace 3:40
  16. Auschwitz Cries  2:56
  17. Only Love is Creative 2:37
  18. I Love You (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 4:00
  19. Triumph Over Fear   3:20
  20. He Was Always With Me 1:50
  21. I Believe in You 4:12
  22. Heaven’s Welcome 2:28
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A message of hope, love, and beauty on Sony Masterworks repeatedly called “Score of the Year”

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Sony Masterwork’s “Max and Me,” a message of hope, love, and beauty is now available for digital download at most music outlets including iTunes, Amazon, Spotify etc…

 iTunes

Amazon,

YouTube

Spotify, and others

“A triumphant ravishing masterwork‚Ķfinest film music yet for 2018” American Music¬†Preservation
“Transcendent‚Ķan incredible tour de force.” Ave Maria Radio
“Staggeringly beautiful‚Ķscore of the year‚ÄĚ Movie Music UK
“Boundless expression of joy‚Ķscore of the year‚ÄĚ Movie-wave.net
“Tender, heartfelt, soaring, gorgeous‚Ķscore of the year” Score Zone
“profound‚Ķinspiring and haunting…stunningly beautiful.” Movie Music International
“You’re going to have goosebumps‚Ķone of the best scores of the year.‚ÄĚ Cinematic Sound
“An ode to symphonic beauty‚Ķdo not miss this celebration of life and love” Soundtrack Dreams
Brought to tears‚Ķthe more I hear it the more I believe it is a truly theophanic work.” The Click Track

One hundred thirty-five of London‚Äôs finest musicians gathered at Abbey Road Studios to record MAX AND ME including one of the most expressive solo artists of our generation, concert violinist Joshua Bell. Polish priest Maximillian Kolbe, tortured at Auschwitz asked those around him to not be overcome with hatred but to love for ‚ÄúOnly love is creative.‚ÄĚ His compassion lead him to sacrificially die in Auschwitz’s starvation bunker to help a man with children survive. The film makers, musicians and I hope this message of hope, love, and beauty amidst great darkness will be enjoyed by many and spread widely. A portion of each sale goes to the Shoa Foundation, Word Vision and Catholic Relief Services. Max and Me is dedicated to the memory of choral master and mentor Robert Salvatore Ruberto 1932-2016.¬† (See full tribute here.)

Collectors have written to ask if there will be a CD release on Max and Me as there was on Dos Corazones’ The Greatest Miracle.¬† Sony Classical has only planned Max and Me for a digital release so the answer is no. Still we are grateful to Sony Masterworks for the release of this work at all streaming and digital download outlets around the world.¬† The credits and pictures that would normally be inside a CD are listed below.

Joshua Abby RoadL-R Concert violinist Joshua Bell with Composer Mark McKenzie holding Joshua's Stradivarius during playbacks on the Inspiring animated film MAX AND ME - Version 6I LOVE YOUIMG_2349IMG_2386IMG_2184 - Version 3IMG_2406_2Clara Sanabras and Mark McKenzie at Abby Raod Studios - Version 2Sunset HugI AM Max and Me Mixing Engineer Armin Steiner at 21st Century FoxIMG_2278P1020121

KolbeRubertoMAX 420

MAX AND ME

  1. I Am (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 1:13
  2. Two Crowns Vision 1:22
  3. Head in the Clouds Over You 2:16
  4. You Could be Anything 2:44
  5. In the Trenches 2:29
  6. If You Are So Intelligent Why Don’t You Believe? 5:22
  7. Ask and it Will Be Given to You 1:25
  8. When I’m Saying Me I Mean You   :51
  9. Dare To Dream Bigger  1:51
  10. A Mother’s Prayer (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 3:10
  11. Dapper Duds   1:50
  12. Sunset Hug 1:49
  13. I’m Sorry 3:02
  14. Nazi Brutality 3:17
  15. Prayer For Peace 3:40
  16. Auschwitz Cries  2:56
  17. Only Love is Creative 2:37
  18. I Love You (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 4:00
  19. Triumph Over Fear   3:20
  20. He Was Always With Me 1:50
  21. I Believe in You 4:12
  22. Heaven’s Welcome 2:28

Violin Soloist: Joshua Bell
Soundtrack Available on Sony Masterworks
Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London
Recording Engineer: Peter Cobbin
Mixed at 21st Century Fox Newman Scoring Stage
Mixing Engineer: Armin Steiner
Conductor: Gordon Johnson
Choir:  London Voices
Chorus Masters: Terry Edwards and Ben Parry
Solo Vocalist:  Clara Sanabras
Boys Choir: Libera
Libera Choir Director: Robert Prizeman
Orchestra Leader: Thomas Bowes
Piano: Dave Arch
Boy Soloist: Issac London
Wooden Recorders: Helen Keen
Guitar: John Parricelli
Orchestra Contractor: Isobel Griffiths
Assistant Orchestra Contractor: Susie Gillis
Supervising Music & Scoring Editor: Marc S Perlman MPSE
Additional Music Editing:  David Lai
Music Preparation: Gregg Nestor
Mastering Engineer: Patricia Sullivan
Assistant Recording Engineer: John Barrett
Assistant Mixing Engineer: Christine Russell

In addition to Robert Ruberto and those listed above the composer would like to thank producers Pablo Barroso and Claudia Nemer, Sony Classical’s Mark Cavell, writer Bruce Morris, Animators Paty Garcia-Pena, Gregorio Nunez, legal help Gary Fine and Angela Shirley, the Sony team Lynn Lendway, Stacie Negas, Jennifer Liebeskind, and Beth Miller, Stephen Ritzenthaler, Jerry Goldsmith, David Baker, Nancy Rice Baker, Morten Lauridsen, Michael Cunningham, Ivar Lunde, Sue, Megan and Mollie McKenzie.

 

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Public Radio “A Conversation with Mark McKenzie” beautiful one hour overview of Mark’s music now available online

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“A Conversation With Mark McKenzie” aired on many public radio stations recently. This one hour overview containing some of my most beautiful original scores is now online HERE. Sometimes, while burning midnight oil orchestrating what turned out to be about 100 films for composers like Broughton, Elfman, Goldsmith, Silvestri, Shaiman, Williams and others, I wondered when my pencil would be devoted to McKenzie music. Fast forward…22 original soundtracks and Edmund Stone’s “The Score” broadcast to a million listeners gives reason to be grateful. If you’ve ever wondered about my music, this is a great place to start. Included are two extended suites from Max and Me which is being repeatedly called “Score of the Year.” The original manuscript to the final track Heaven’s Welcome is above. I invite you to listen online: www.thescore.org

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CONCERT VIOLINIST JOSHUA BELL’S RARE ARTISTRY ON MAX AND ME

Concert violinist Joshua Bell’s artistry moves me like few other classical artists. I’m grateful to the film makers at Dos Corazones who are visionaries and could see the value of hiring this incredible artist and how he enhances the depth of “Max and Me.”  To get a recording session date with Joshua was challenging with his busy schedule. We finally found one afternoon 5 months out where he could fly from Germany to London for just a few hours and then get back to his tour. I first met him backstage at the Hollywood bowl in Los Angeles after he played the Bruch Violin Concerto and then brilliantly conducted my favorite Beethoven Symphony, The 7th. He graciously said “Very nice to meet you‚Ķwhen can I get the music? Understandably, he didn’t want to commit till he saw the music. Because the editing and animation of his movie scenes were finished late, the music was composed last minute. I saw him days afterward at Abbey Road Studios. Somehow a wrong note made its way into his part. Joshua liked that note and presented very solid reasons for keeping it. I insisted. After some tussling, he graciously relented and we laughed. Truth is, the way Joshua plays, it doesn’t matter much what note it is; his artistry is filled with such pathos. I asked him how he approached phrasing with such intelligence and he said “I just feel it.” I guess you have to be Joshua Bell to feel with such rare musicality. In #18 I LOVE YOU (short excerpt playing)  A fearful young man at Auschwitz wants to end his life by letting guards shoot him. Maximilian Kolbe listens to his anxiety, puts his arm around him and warmly assures him that he loves him and that even amidst the darkness of Auschwitz there is still hope. Thank you Joshua Bell!  Sony Masterworks released the soundtrack to “Max and Me” ahead of the movie’s release. While Joshua’s tracks are spectacular, the best way to fully appreciate Joshua Bell and Max and Me is to listen to the entire score from beginning to end. You can do so wherever music is streamed and of course wherever music sold. Photo Joshua Bell with Mark McKenzie holding his rare stradivarius.

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REPEATEDLY CALLED SCORE OF THE YEAR!

“A triumphant ravishing masterwork‚Ķfinest film music yet for 2018” American Music¬†Preservation

“Staggeringly beautiful‚Ķscore of the year‚Ä̬† Movie Music UK

“Boundless expression of joy‚Ķscore of the year‚ÄĚ Movie-wave.net

“Tender, heartfelt, soaring, gorgeous‚Ķscore of the year”¬†Score Zone Score Zone

“You’re going to have goosebumps‚Ķone of the best scores of the year.‚ÄĚ Cinematic Sound

“profound‚Ķinspiring and haunting…stunningly beautiful.” Movie Music International

“An ode to symphonic beauty‚Ķdo not miss this celebration of life and love” Soundtrack Dreams

“I was brought to tears‚Ķthe more I hear it the more I believe it is a truly theophanic work.” ¬†The Click Track

Max and Me is a staggeringly beautiful score, filled to the brim with orchestral glory, soaring melodies, emotional themes, choral wonderment, and sublime instrumental solos…it has firmly anchored itself in place as the leading¬†contender for 2018‚Äôs Score of the Year‚ĶI genuinely can‚Äôt remember the last time I was so moved by a piece of new film music as I was by Max and Me…Anyone who loves film music in the way I love film music, who yearns for thematic grandeur, who craves emotional power, and who celebrates live orchestras and choirs, should seek out this astonishing score immediately, and then thank whatever deity or higher power is appropriate for the fact that Mark McKenzie is still being given the opportunity to write music like this.” Jonathan Broxton Movie Music UK¬†¬†

MAX AND ME is a triumphant, ravishing¬†masterwork – a glorious,¬†infinitely exquisite tribute to the¬†overpowering faith and inherent goodness alive within the human soul‚Ķthe finest film music yet for 2018.¬†¬†McKenzie‚Äôs startlingly beautiful music reaches layers, depths and textures of ethereal redemption and spiritual ascension stunningly realized and performed.¬†¬†Joshua Bell‚Äôs superb virtuoso violin, along with the sublime vocal performance by The London Boys Choir, elevates the force and majesty of McKenzie‚Äôs remarkable score to unimagined heights of tearful grandeur.”Steve Vertlieb American Music¬†Preservation.”

Tender, heart-felt, soaring…McKenzie‚Äôs music here certainly qualifies as amidst ‚Äėthe best‚Äô among his peers….Max and Me is score of the year material, gorgeous, soaring, and emotionally moving to the highest degree…What are you waiting for? Buy with confidence.¬†Anthony Aguilar Score Zone¬†¬†

I feel I have been welcomed in a fairy tale world, both because of the atmosphere and of how incredibly, not of this earth beautiful the music of Mark McKenzie is…The essence of unconditional love, the essence of sacrifice dominates this sweeping composition which is not of this earth‚Ķ.Max and Me is an ode to symphonic beauty, to music that transcends boundaries of all kinds…do not miss this celebration of life and love” Soundtrack Dreams.¬†

“outrageously beautiful, uplifting, inspiring music dripping with passion and emotion…Finally, when you think the highest pinnacle has surely been reached, you find out you‚Äôre wrong and up comes ‚ÄúHeaven‚Äôs Welcome‚ÄĚ which is a triumphant, completely boundless expression of joy….I say with total confidence that this is my favorite film score of 2018.” James Southall Movie-wave.net¬†

“MAX AND ME is one of those scores that one listens to and before you know where you are, you have Goosebumps and hairs on the arms and back of the neck standing up.”¬† John Mansell Movie Music International

Joshua Abby RoadL-R Concert violinist Joshua Bell with Composer Mark McKenzie holding Joshua's Stradivarius during playbacks on the Inspiring animated film MAX AND ME - Version 6I LOVE YOUIMG_2349IMG_2386IMG_2184 - Version 3IMG_2406_2Clara Sanabras and Mark McKenzie at Abby Raod Studios - Version 2Sunset HugI AM Max and Me Mixing Engineer Armin Steiner at 21st Century FoxIMG_2278P1020121

KolbeRubertoMAX 420

MAX AND ME

  1. I Am (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 1:13
  2. Two Crowns Vision 1:22
  3. Head in the Clouds Over You 2:16
  4. You Could be Anything 2:44
  5. In the Trenches 2:29
  6. If You Are So Intelligent Why Don’t You Believe? 5:22
  7. Ask and it Will Be Given to You 1:25
  8. When I’m Saying Me I Mean You   :51
  9. Dare To Dream Bigger  1:51
  10. A Mother’s Prayer (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 3:10
  11. Dapper Duds   1:50
  12. Sunset Hug 1:49
  13. I’m Sorry 3:02
  14. Nazi Brutality 3:17
  15. Prayer For Peace 3:40
  16. Auschwitz Cries  2:56
  17. Only Love is Creative 2:37
  18. I Love You (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 4:00
  19. Triumph Over Fear   3:20
  20. He Was Always With Me 1:50
  21. I Believe in You 4:12
  22. Heaven’s Welcome 2:28

Violin Soloist: Joshua Bell
Soundtrack Available on Sony Masterworks
Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London
Recording Engineer: Peter Cobbin
Mixed at 21st Century Fox Newman Scoring Stage
Mixing Engineer: Armin Steiner
Conductor: Gordon Johnson
Choir:  London Voices
Chorus Masters: Terry Edwards and Ben Parry
Solo Vocalist:  Clara Sanabras
Boys Choir: Libera
Libera Choir Director: Robert Prizeman
Orchestra Leader: Thomas Bowes
Piano: Dave Arch
Boy Soloist: Issac London
Wooden Recorders: Helen Keen
Guitar: John Parricelli
Orchestra Contractor: Isobel Griffiths
Assistant Orchestra Contractor: Susie Gillis
Supervising Music & Scoring Editor: Marc S Perlman MPSE
Additional Music Editing:  David Lai
Music Preparation: Gregg Nestor
Assistant Recording Engineer: John Barrett
Assistant Mixing Engineer: Christine Russell

In addition to Robert Ruberto and those listed above the composer would like to thank producers Pablo Barroso and Claudia Nemer, Sony Classical’s Mark Cavell, writer Bruce Morris, Animators Paty Garcia-Pena, Gregorio Nunez, legal help Gary Fine and Angela Shirley, the Sony team Lynn Lendway, Stacie Negas, Jennifer Liebeskind, and Beth Miller, Stephen Ritzenthaler, Jerry Goldsmith, David Baker, Nancy Rice Baker, Morten Lauridsen, Michael Cunningham, Ivar Lunde, Sue, Megan and Mollie McKenzie.

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Dedication to choral master Robert Ruberto

“Max and Me” is dedicated to the memory of Choral master Robert Salvatore Ruberto 1932-2016.

The Power of a Teacher and Music by Mark McKenzie

There is a story behind each of us that probably includes at least one teacher. For me it was a choir teacher named Robert Salvatore Ruberto (1932-2016). He patiently filled my head with music, dreams, poetry, wisdom, laughter, encouragement and discipline. In addition to the thousands he conducted in his choirs over the years, he personally mentored and counseled hundreds of us through every conceivable crisis. While he was alive, he wasn‚Äôt interested in honors saying: ‚ÄúI‚Äôve been honored enough, the joy is in the journey and in my students.‚ÄĚ Though I have thanked him on 17 movie soundtracks, a new Sony Masterworks soundtrack called Max and Me, recorded at Abbey Road Studios with 135 of London’s finest symphonic and choral musicians along with concert violinist Joshua Bell, is solely dedicated to this public school teacher’s memory.

In high school, I spent every free minute practicing piano and organ in Robert’s tiny office. How he endured bad Elton John, Beethoven, and my early noodling compositions day after day is a mystery. After playing a piano-organ solo in front of a large audience in my small hometown, I pushed Robert’s upright piano back in order to perform an encore. As I pushed, the tall piano got snagged on a crack in the old High School wooden stage and began to tip backwards in slow motion. I frantically grabbed trying to hold the 700lb piano up but to no effect. It slammed flat on its back with the loudest crash I‚Äôve ever heard. The audience stunned, I stood paralyzed thinking ‚ÄúI‚Äôve just destroyed Robert’s only piano in front of my entire community and he will be livid.” I desperately wanted to be beamed out like Captain Kirk. Shielding my eyes from the glaring spotlight, I searched for Robert. When I finally found him, what I found were deeply loving eyes and a smile. He stood up and asked for strong men in the audience to lift the piano back up. He said loudly ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs fine‚Ķgo ahead and play.” That was his lifelong message to each of his students; don‚Äôt ever let anything stop you‚Ķfearlessly use your gift and do what you are called to do. Don‚Äôt stop. Don’t ever give up‚Ķever.

Robert’s dream was to be an Italian Opera star. Instead he came to a small Minnesota town, Lake City, raised a fine family and turned the community upside down introducing rebellious young people involved in alcohol and drugs to pursue meaning through the language of great music and great love. He used Bach, Brahms, Beethoven, The Beatles and Leonard Bernstein’s difficult masterpiece The Mass.

We now know that music encourages strong left and right hemisphere crossover which is the magic in high functioning brains. With Robert that magic was exceptionally pronounced because he added love, acceptance and hope to young people struggling with romance, deceased parents, depression, drugs, and school. He said, ‚ÄúI chose to teach music in high school because the young minds there are still pliable.‚ÄĚ His students over the years became doctors, teachers, nurses, lawyers, professors, scientists, pastors, Wall Street analysts, philosophers, business leaders, musicians, and politicians.

Several weeks before he unexpectedly passed, I sent him my Sony Masterworks soundtrack Max and Me. Not one to give unmerited praise, I braced myself. He approved. Relieved, I timidly told him I was dedicating it to him. He responded, ‚ÄúWhat does that mean?‚ÄĚ Well maybe not much really‚Ķonly that his spirit and artistry live in this music, and that I desire to honor this generous teacher because he made all the difference. Like many, Robert was there early when there was not much to believe in.

‚ÄúI have no mentor, I’m my own man‚ÄĚ said a famous composer recently. I’m not sure that is possible because every life influences every life around them; especially teachers. Our public school teachers and private school teachers are on the front lines helping bring out the best in future generations. They are the ones helping the next generation in their most formative years become all they possibly can be. Maybe there is an email, letter, phone call, post, tweet or text that you might send this teacher appreciation week?

MAX 420Ruberto and Ritzenthaler - Version 3Robert Ruberto : Megan McKenzieRubertoMark Bob Ruberto_2

MAX AND ME

  1. I Am (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 1:13
  2. Two Crowns Vision 1:22
  3. Head in the Clouds Over You 2:16
  4. You Could be Anything 2:44
  5. In the Trenches 2:29
  6. If You Are So Intelligent Why Don’t You Believe? 5:22
  7. Ask and it Will Be Given to You 1:25
  8. When I’m Saying Me I Mean You   :51
  9. Dare To Dream Bigger  1:51
  10. A Mother’s Prayer (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 3:10
  11. Dapper Duds   1:50
  12. Sunset Hug 1:49
  13. I’m Sorry 3:02
  14. Nazi Brutality 3:17
  15. Prayer For Peace 3:40
  16. Auschwitz Cries  2:56
  17. Only Love is Creative 2:37
  18. I Love You (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 4:00
  19. Triumph Over Fear   3:20
  20. He Was Always With Me 1:50
  21. I Believe in You 4:12
  22. Heaven’s Welcome 2:28
View ¬Ľ

MAX AND ME: A message of hope, love, and beauty on Sony Masterworks repeatedly called “Score of the Year”

[liner_player id=”125,119,110,132,115,129,139″]

Sony Masterwork’s “Max and Me,” a message of hope, love, and beauty is now available at most music outlets including:

 iTunes

Amazon,

YouTube

Spotify, and others

“A triumphant ravishing masterwork‚Ķfinest film music yet for 2018” Film Music Review
“Transcendent‚Ķan incredible tour de force.” Ave Maria Radio
“Staggeringly beautiful‚Ķscore of the year‚ÄĚ Movie Music UK
“Boundless expression of joy‚Ķscore of the year‚ÄĚ Movie-wave.net
“Tender, heartfelt, soaring, gorgeous‚Ķscore of the year” Score Zone
“profound‚Ķinspiring and haunting…stunningly beautiful.” Movie Music International
“You’re going to have goosebumps‚Ķone of the best scores of the year.‚ÄĚ Cinematic Sound
“An ode to symphonic beauty‚Ķdo not miss this celebration of life and love” Soundtrack Dreams
Brought to tears‚Ķthe more I hear it the more I believe it is a truly theophanic work.” The Click Track

One hundred thirty-five of London‚Äôs finest musicians gathered at Abbey Road Studios to record MAX AND ME including one of the most expressive solo artists of our generation, concert violinist Joshua Bell, large symphony orchestra, choral master Terry Edwards’ and Ben Parry’s London Singers, The famed Libera Boys choir directed by Robert Prizeman and includes gypsy vocalist Clara Sanabras, boy soprano Issac London, Guitarist John Parricelli, pianist Dave Arch, and Helen Koen on tenor recorder.

Polish priest Maximillian Kolbe, tortured at Auschwitz asked those around him to not be overcome with hatred but to love for ‚ÄúOnly love is creative.‚ÄĚ His compassion lead him to sacrificially die in Auschwitz’s starvation bunker to help a man with children survive. The film makers, musicians and I hope this message of hope, love, and beauty amidst great darkness will be enjoyed by many and spread widely. A portion of each sale goes to the Shoa Foundation, Word Vision and Catholic Relief Services. Max and Me is dedicated to the memory of choral master and mentor Robert Salvatore Ruberto 1932-2016.¬† (See full tribute here.

Collectors have written to ask if there will be a CD release on Max and Me as there was on Dos Corazones’ The Greatest Miracle.¬† Sony Classical has only planned Max and Me for a digital release so the answer is no. Still we are grateful to Sony Masterworks for the release of this work at all streaming and digital download outlets around the world.¬† The credits and pictures that would normally be inside a CD are listed below.

Joshua Abby RoadL-R Concert violinist Joshua Bell with Composer Mark McKenzie holding Joshua's Stradivarius during playbacks on the Inspiring animated film MAX AND ME - Version 6I LOVE YOUIMG_2349IMG_2386IMG_2184 - Version 3IMG_2406_2Clara Sanabras and Mark McKenzie at Abby Raod Studios - Version 2Sunset HugI AM Max and Me Mixing Engineer Armin Steiner at 21st Century FoxIMG_2278P1020121

KolbeRubertoMAX 420

MAX AND ME (Total time 57:15)

  1. I Am (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 1:13
  2. Two Crowns Vision 1:22
  3. Head in the Clouds Over You 2:16
  4. You Could be Anything 2:44
  5. In the Trenches 2:29
  6. If You Are So Intelligent Why Don’t You Believe? 5:22
  7. Ask and it Will Be Given to You 1:25
  8. When I’m Saying Me I Mean You   :51
  9. Dare To Dream Bigger  1:51
  10. A Mother’s Prayer (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 3:10
  11. Dapper Duds   1:50
  12. Sunset Hug 1:49
  13. I’m Sorry 3:02
  14. Nazi Brutality 3:17
  15. Prayer For Peace 3:40
  16. Auschwitz Cries  2:56
  17. Only Love is Creative 2:37
  18. I Love You (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 4:00
  19. Triumph Over Fear   3:20
  20. He Was Always With Me 1:50
  21. I Believe in You 4:12
  22. Heaven’s Welcome 2:28

Violin Soloist: Joshua Bell
Soundtrack Available on Sony Masterworks
Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London
Recording Engineer: Peter Cobbin
Mixed at 21st Century Fox Newman Scoring Stage
Mixing Engineer: Armin Steiner
Conductor: Gordon Johnson
Choir:  London Voices
Chorus Masters: Terry Edwards and Ben Parry
Solo Vocalist:  Clara Sanabras
Boys Choir: Libera
Libera Choir Director: Robert Prizeman
Orchestra Leader: Thomas Bowes
Piano: Dave Arch
Boy Soloist: Issac London
Wooden Recorders: Helen Keen
Guitar: John Parricelli
Orchestra Contractor: Isobel Griffiths
Assistant Orchestra Contractor: Susie Gillis
Supervising Music & Scoring Editor: Marc S Perlman MPSE
Additional Music Editing:  David Lai
Music Preparation: Gregg Nestor
Mastering Engineer: Patricia Sullivan
Assistant Recording Engineer: John Barrett
Assistant Mixing Engineer: Christine Russell

In addition to Robert Ruberto and those listed above the composer would like to thank producers Pablo Barroso and Claudia Nemer, Sony Classical’s Mark Cavell, writer Bruce Morris, Animators Paty Garcia-Pena, Gregorio Nunez, legal help Gary Fine and Angela Shirley, the Sony team Lynn Lendway, Stacie Negas, Jennifer Liebeskind, and Beth Miller, Stephen Ritzenthaler, Jerry Goldsmith, David Baker, Nancy Rice Baker, Morten Lauridsen, Michael Cunningham, Ivar Lunde, Sue, Megan and Mollie McKenzie.

 

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Dragonheart: Battle for the Heartfire Soundtrack Interview

[liner_player id=”92,94,95,97,99″]

INTERVIEW WITH MARK MCKENZIE BY JOHN MANSELL AND MOVIE MUSIC INTERNATIONAL:

Movie Music International, John Mansell: I think I am right when I say DRAGON HEART THE BATTLE FOR THE HEART LIGHT contains a score that is maybe 80 percent electronic, was this something that you were asked to do when scoring the movie?

Composer Mark McKenzie: First thank you for your interest in my music John. The old adage, necessity is the mother of invention is often the case in film making. There was creativity at every level of making this film and my hat is off to Raffaella De Laurentiis, Patti Jackson, Patrik Syversen all the film makers for their inventiveness. I hopefully did my part as well.

JM: Do you approach a project differently when working with electronics?

MM: Preparation is essential. I always spend a great deal of time studying potential electronic sounds looking for sonics that seem expressive or that intrigue. Then there is the boring part of reading manuals to learn how to manipulate the sounds into something closer to what I’m actually looking for. In this film there are multiple childhood flashbacks which unfold gradually. These flashbacks are filled with melancholy, hurt, frustration, grief, anger and yet great love. To underscore them subtly, I wanted something that sounded very simple, pure, yet warm. I manipulated a crystal glass sample and then combined it with a soft sensuous boys choir and a rich analogue synth. To my ears it lifts the heart and soulful memories and plays easily under dialogue. Director Patrik Syversen and Producer Rafaella De Laurentiis encouraged me to aim for simplicity so I did exactly that. In a moment of inspiration I was unconsciously drawn to an old French baroque musical form called Chaconne which includes variations over harmonies and a repeating bass line. When I played it for director Patrik Syversen and the producers we all immediately were on the same page. I use this Chaconne repeatedly in the soundtrack. Track #19 “Truth and Love Bring Healing” is one example. It’s a very simple, meditative track that I find myself drawn to.

JM: You have scored three DRAGONHEART movies, each score has included the Randy Edelman theme from the original score, was this something that you decided to include?

MM: Randy’s theme is one of the great iconic movie themes. It is moving, uplifting, powerful and is part of the joy of watching the Dragonheart films. The director and producer and I all conferred on each film where the theme should and shouldn’t play. We use it sparingly for moments when hope and chivalry come alive through the great dragon. The Dragonheart theme, to my thinking, is a textbook example of the commercial value a strong melodic theme can give to a film franchise. It is integral to the Dragonheart films and certainly part of the reason we even have these sequels. Incidentally I first met this man I love and admire, composer Randy Edelman, orchestrating his TV pilot called The Adventures of Brisco County. One of the cues Randy composed and I orchestrated for that TV pilot, later became the Olympics theme we all know and love.

JM: DRAGONHEART: THE BATTLE FOR THE HEART FIRE, has a score that is certainly filled with emotion and has a romantic but melancholy sound to it. Is it more difficult to create this atmosphere using electronics as opposed to utilizing the conventional instruments of the orchestra?

MM: Maybe just different I think. Musical color, harmony, form, themes, rhythm and rubato, still apply to electronics but you have to recreate an orchestra of your own making and not rely on the orchestra and performances that you have studied for a lifetime. The glorious beauty of the orchestra is sorely missed but I do my best with the current technology to approximate it when needed. With electronics you never think about intonation issues and you have complete control of everything. In some ways it is easier to just perform the music yourself as you want it rather than trying to explain to others how it should go. There is much to love about electronics.

JM: How much time did you have to write the score and record it?

MM: I had 6 weeks to compose, record and produce and I used every minute of the day as wisely as I could because there were no assistants or recording engineers or music editors. There were however, two people who never get credit who were essential: Mark Nagata and Ryan Ouchida at Vision Daw. When the electronics and computers fail or crash, they are the smart people working like Sherlock Holmes to figure out why and get me back up and running.

JM: Did the director have a hands-on approach when it came to placing the music?

MM: Director Patrik Syversen was a pleasure and I found brilliant. He had a great sense musically and learned to trust his instincts. He was very exacting philosophically about what he was looking for and where he wanted music and how long it should last. Happily, he was completely open to my creativity on how to approach and accomplish the goals. We worked very closely. I’d play him each cue and we’d discuss it. He had lived with the film for a year and so he was often aware of details, character motivations, inner thoughts and feelings that were helpful to me as a composer.

JM: How much music did you write for the movie and is most of the score included within the recording and do you have an input into what tracks go onto the recording?

MM: I wrote over 60 minutes of music and was given complete artistic control over the soundtrack thanks to Jake Voulgarides and Nikki Walsh at Universal’s Back Lot Music. There are a few pieces the director and I would like to have included but I just ultimately felt insecure about them and opted to leave them off. One example; I was going to omit the first track but I have a tribute to JS Bach in that track and left it in, in part, just for that reason. Patrik wanted chimes in the opening of the movie so I thought‚ĶOK‚ĶI’ll use them and have them play 4 times‚Ķjust enough to subtly quote Bach’s 4 note theme to the great c# minor triple fugue in the Well Tempered Clavier.  That is one of my favorite pieces of music.  As you know, I orchestrated Jerry Goldsmith’s final 6 films and helped him compose on a couple films and he would say: “If I compose 1 good minute of music in a year, I think I’m doing great.” I feel the same way. A close friend of mine said last week: “You are really hard on yourself”‚Ķshe was right. Probably most artists are.

JM: The cello performances are stunning, they are so poignant and heartrending. When you write pieces such as this do you have a soloist in mind?

MM: Thank you. Yes, but in this case it is electronic. These days I’m more excited than ever about electronic music in part because of the growing quality in sampling. Right before I started Dragonheart: Battle for the Heartfire, I ran into Danny Elfman, who I orchestrated 17 films for, at an Academy Screening of his electronic film score to “The Girl on the Train.” He was excited about electronics and after hearing his thoughts, like often is the case for me with Danny, I was inspired. When I finished, a couple months later, I ran into him again. We compared notes and both still are very excited about the possibilities in electronics. To combine them with a huge orchestral score in Los Angeles or at Abby Road is a vision I have. By the way, Sony Classical plans on releasing my latest epic orchestral score MAX AND ME recorded at Abbey Road Studios with choir orchestra and concert violinist Joshua Bell. It is a work of great love and I’m hoping it will be released this year.

 

 

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Captivating, Festive, Warm, Emotive, Exciting, Powerful, Commanding, Fearsome: Two distinguished reviewers resonate with the new Dragonheart: Battle for the Heartfire soundtrack.

[liner_player id=”92,94,95,97,99″]

We’d like to thank the distinguished reviewers who resonated with the electronic music to Dragonheart: Battle for the Heartfire. Buysoundtrax’s Randall Larson: “Captivating array of intriguing textures…provides both exhilaration and sensitivity…a warm, festive, and exciting score.”¬† Movie Music International: John Mansell: “Highly emotive, this is a powerful score, a commanding and fearsome sounding work which I am confident will not disappoint any fan of film music…Highly recommended.”¬† While Mark loves recording orchestra and choir at Abbey Road, he’s falling in love with the potential and color potential in Electronics as well. Read the interview with Mark and John Mansell below to learn more. A special thank you to our Universal family: director Patrik Syversen, Producers Raffaella De Laurentiis, Hester Hargett-Aupetit, Patti Jackson, Share Stallings, writer Matthew Feitshans, Editors Charles Norris, Maria Friesen, Music executives Nikki Walsh, Jake Voulgarides, Mike Knobloch, Rachel Levy, and Angela Leus.¬† Check out this exciting family film with Patrick Stewart voicing Drago on Netflix.

Especially recommended Tracks: 5,6,7,8,14,15,16,19,20,21.

1           Bewitched Births      2:12
2           Dragonheart: Battle for the Heartfire Main Title  :59
3           Shared Love, Shared Heart   1:31
4           Show Off!    1:26
5           Hold Dear to Your Mother and Father  1:40
6¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† I Knew It, I’m King!¬†¬† 2:04
7           Love and  Friendship   1:30
8           Home On Fire   1:21
9           Vikings Arrive    :51
10         Field Battle Challenge   1:36
11         Unsettling Night  1:29
12         Why Did You Leave Me?  1:21
13         I Have Been Blind    :58
14         The Old Code, Honor in Every Word   1:47
15         It Might Be a Blessing   1:05
16         There’s No Pain Like Between Those We Love Most   2:17
17         Wheels are Turning  2:16
18         Subversive Dance   1:13
19         Truth and Love Bring Healing   2:57
20         Hurry Get the Heartfire   1:41
21         Ascension to the Heavens  7:34

INTERVIEW WITH MARK MCKENZIE BY JOHN MANSELL AND MOVIE MUSIC INTERNATIONAL:

Movie Music International, John Mansell: I think I am right when I say DRAGON HEART THE BATTLE FOR THE HEART LIGHT contains a score that is maybe 80 percent electronic, was this something that you were asked to do when scoring the movie?

Composer Mark McKenzie: First thank you for your interest in my music John. The old adage, necessity is the mother of invention is often the case in film making. There was creativity at every level of making this film and my hat is off to Raffaella De Laurentiis, Patti Jackson all the film makers for their inventiveness. I hopefully did my part as well.

JM: Do you approach a project differently when working with electronics?

MM: Preparation is essential. I always spend a great deal of time studying potential electronic sounds looking for sonics that seem expressive or that intrigue. Then there is the boring part of reading manuals to learn how to manipulate the sounds into something closer to what I’m actually looking for. In this film there are multiple childhood flashbacks which unfold gradually. These flashbacks are filled with melancholy, hurt, frustration, grief, anger and yet great love. To underscore them subtly, I wanted something that sounded very simple, pure, yet warm. I manipulated a crystal glass sample and then combined it with a soft sensuous boys choir and a rich analogue synth. To my ears it lifts the heart and soulful memories and plays easily under dialogue. Director Patrik Syversen and Producer Rafaella De Laurentiis encouraged me to aim for simplicity so I did exactly that. In a moment of inspiration I was unconsciously drawn to an old French baroque musical form called Chaconne which includes variations over harmonies and a repeating bass line. When I played it for director Patrik Syversen and the producers we all immediately were on the same page. I use this Chaconne repeatedly in the soundtrack. Track #19 “Truth and Love Bring Healing” is one example. It’s a very simple, meditative track that I find myself drawn to.

JM: You have scored three DRAGONHEART movies, each score has included the Randy Edelman theme from the original score, was this something that you decided to include?

MM: Randy’s theme is one of the great iconic movie themes. It is moving, uplifting, powerful and is part of the joy of watching the Dragonheart films. The director and producer and I all conferred on each film where the theme should and shouldn’t play. We use it sparingly for moments when hope and chivalry come alive through the great dragon. The Dragonheart theme, to my thinking, is a textbook example of the commercial value a strong melodic theme can give to a film franchise. It is integral to the Dragonheart films and certainly part of the reason we even have these sequels. Incidentally I first met this man I love and admire, composer Randy Edelman, orchestrating his TV pilot called The Adventures of Brisco County. One of the cues Randy composed and I orchestrated for that TV pilot, later became the Olympics theme we all know and love.

JM: DRAGONHEART: THE BATTLE FOR THE HEART FIRE, has a score that is certainly filled with emotion and has a romantic but melancholy sound to it. Is it more difficult to create this atmosphere using electronics as opposed to utilizing the conventional instruments of the orchestra?

MM: Maybe just different I think. Musical color, harmony, form, themes, rhythm and rubato, still apply to electronics but you have to recreate an orchestra of your own making and not rely on the orchestra and performances that you have studied for a lifetime. The glorious beauty of the orchestra is sorely missed but I do my best with the current technology to approximate it when needed. With electronics you never think about intonation issues and you have complete control of everything. In some ways it is easier to just perform the music yourself as you want it rather than trying to explain to others how it should go. There is much to love about electronics.

JM: How much time did you have to write the score and record it?

MM: I had 6 weeks to compose, record and produce and I used every minute of the day as wisely as I could because there were no assistants or recording engineers or music editors. There were however, two people who never get credit who were essential: Mark Nagata and Ryan Ouchida at Vision Daw. When the electronics and computers fail or crash, they are the smart people working like Sherlock Holmes to figure out why and get me back up and running.

JM: Did the director have a hands-on approach when it came to placing the music?

MM: Director Patrik Syversen was a pleasure and I found brilliant. He had a great sense musically and learned to trust his instincts. He was very exacting philosophically about what he was looking for and where he wanted music and how long it should last. Happily, he was completely open to my creativity on how to approach and accomplish the goals. We worked very closely. I’d play him each cue and we’d discuss it. He had lived with the film for a year and so he was often aware of details, character motivations, inner thoughts and feelings that were helpful to me as a composer.

JM: How much music did you write for the movie and is most of the score included within the recording and do you have an input into what tracks go onto the recording?

MM: I wrote over 60 minutes of music and was given complete artistic control over the soundtrack thanks to Jake Voulgarides and Nikki Walsh at Universal’s Back Lot Music. There are a few pieces the director and I would like to have included but I just ultimately felt insecure about them and opted to leave them off. One example; I was going to omit the first track but I have a tribute to JS Bach in that track and left it in, in part, just for that reason. Patrik wanted chimes in the opening of the movie so I thought‚ĶOK‚ĶI’ll use them and have them play 4 times‚Ķjust enough to subtly quote Bach’s 4 note theme to the great c# minor triple fugue in the Well Tempered Clavier.¬† That is one of my favorite pieces of music.¬† As you know, I orchestrated Jerry Goldsmith’s final 6 films and helped him compose on a couple films and he would say: “If I compose 1 good minute of music in a year, I think I’m doing great.” I feel the same way. A close friend of mine said last week: “You are really hard on yourself”‚Ķshe was right. Probably most artists are.

JM: The cello performances are stunning, they are so poignant and heartrending. When you write pieces such as this do you have a soloist in mind?

MM: Thank you. Yes, but in this case it is electronic. These days I’m more excited than ever about electronic music in part because of the growing quality in sampling. Right before I started Dragonheart: Battle for the Heartfire, I ran into Danny Elfman, who I orchestrated 17 films for, at an Academy Screening of his electronic film score to “The Girl on the Train.” He was excited about electronics and after hearing his thoughts, like often is the case for me with Danny, I was inspired. When I finished, a couple months later, I ran into him again. We compared notes and both still are very excited about the possibilities in electronics. To combine them with a huge orchestral score in Los Angeles or at Abby Road is a vision I have. By the way, Sony Classical plans on releasing my latest epic orchestral score MAX AND ME recorded at Abbey Road Studios with choir orchestra and concert violinist Joshua Bell. It is a work of great love and I’m hoping it will be released this year.

 

 

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McKenzie Benedictus Deus on Libera’s new album HOPE

[liner_player id=”101″]

We’re very excited to share that a new extended “Benedictus Deus” has been released by the London Boy’s choir LIBERA on their new album HOPE. It is available at all music outlets around the world. Libera has also performed on two of Mark’s movie soundtracks: “The Greatest Miracle” and “Max and Me.” The album HOPE has been #1 on Japan’s Classical and Jazz charts now for 2 weeks and performing strongly around the world considered by many as one of Libera’s finest albums ever. Thank you for telling your friends and local classical radio stations.

Benedictus Deus.  Blessed be God.
Benedictum Nomen Sanctum eius.   Blessed be His Holy Name.
Benedictus Jesus Christus,   Blessed be Jesus Christ,
Verus Deus et verus homo, nomen sanctum eius  true God and true man, His Name is Holy
Benedictus Deus.   Blessed be God.
Benedictum Nomen Jesu.  Blessed be the name of Jesus
Benedictus Sanctus Spiritus, Benedictus Deus.  Blessed be the Holy Spirit, Blessed be the Holy Spirit.
Benedictum nomen Sanctum  Blessed be His Holy Name.
Benedictus Jesus Christus, Blessed be the name of Jesus.
Benedictum Cor eius sacratissimum Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Gloria, Gloria in excelsis Deo   Glory to God God in the Highest
Benedictus Deus, Gloria in excelsis Deo
Amen.

Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 7.46.04 AM

 

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The Lion and the Mouse Children’s Introduction to the Symphony Orchestra

Maestro Robert Baldwin, Claudia Restrepo and the Salt Lake Symphony will perform Mark McKenzie’s children’s introduction to the symphony orchestra called THE LION AND THE MOUSE this coming Saturday. Based on Aseop’s fable, the introduction to the orchestra for children was originally commissioned for the 50th Anniversary of University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire School of Music. “The Lion and the Mouse” can be heard narrated by actress Megan McKenzie at age 10 here on youtube or in the video section of this site. Please contact the composer for score and parts rental.

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“Heartwarming score” (Hollywood Reporter review) Sold Out for 10 years is now on Pandora, itunes, amazon, spotify, etc…

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The original soundtrack to Silver Bells has been sold out now for 10 years.¬† Thank you to the listeners, especially from Japan, insisting these “heartwarming” tracks with holiday sparkle be re-released. This is the first score I played all the piano solos. It uses a medium sized symphony orchestra recorded by the famed Armin Steiner.¬† I’m very happy to announce that Silver Bells is now available now on Pandora, itunes, amazon, spotify, Cd Baby etc. This music is the most gentle, reflective and love filled Christmas instrumental music I think I’ve ever composed. The touching Hallmark Hall of¬† Fame film with actress Anne Heche was based on the brilliant novel by Luanne Rice and was directed by Dick Lowry. You can listen to the entire Silver Bells soundtrack free on CD BABY¬† http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/markmckenzie9¬† While I’m at it…Thank you in advance for any positive reviews or “likes” on Pandora, Amazon, itunes etc…¬† Much appreciated and Happy Holidays!

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50th Anniversary Star Trek 100 City Concert Tour

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Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek, music from Mark McKenzie’s Star Trek Enterprise: Horizon episode will be performed live by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra in a 100 city tour¬†across the USA¬†this spring along with music of Jerry Goldsmith and numerous other Star Trek composers. The Tour is entitled: Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage” and will be conducted by Justin Freer. ¬†Mark McKenzie orchestrated Star Trek 6: “The Undiscovered Country,” Star Trek 7 “Generations,” and Star Trek 9 “Nemisis” but only composed one episode of Star Trek Enterprise. ¬†He is honored to have been part of the Star Trek Franchise and to have his music from that one episode chosen for performance. ¬†The Horizon Episode in addition to the normal space battles had some very intimate moments and so the music reflects both the bombastic and the deeply tender humanity in the episode. A suite of Mark’s music from Star Trek Enterprise will play on the Star Trek News Page or the Star Trek Album page. ¬†The composer of the iconic Star Trek Theme Alexander Courage retired as Jerry Goldsmith’s orchestrator and Mark McKenzie replaced him. ¬†The music of Mark’s to be performed entitled UP YOUR ALLY is available on LA LA LAND Records CD¬†“Star Trek Enterprise Collection” along with music from numerous other episodes and fine composers.

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