Mark McKenzie

Mark McKenzie News

MAX AND ME for Classical Radio

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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 Göransson’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 “Only love is creative.” 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 García Peña, and Gregorio Núñez. “A triumphant ravishing masterwork…finest film music yet for 2018” American Music Preservation “Transcendent…an incredible tour de force.” Ave Maria Radio “Staggeringly beautiful…score of the year” Movie Music UK “Boundless expression of joy…score of the year” Movie-wave.net “Tender, heartfelt, soaring, gorgeous…score of the year” Score Zone “profound…inspiring and haunting…stunningly beautiful.” Movie Music International “You’re going to have goosebumps…one of the best scores of the year.” Cinematic Sound “An ode to symphonic beauty…do not miss this celebration of life and love” Soundtrack Dreams Brought to tears…the 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’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
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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…I 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’s 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’s 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…”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 Göransson’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 “Only love is creative.” 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 García Peña, and Gregorio Núñez.

“A triumphant ravishing masterwork…finest film music yet for 2018” American Music Preservation
“Transcendent…an incredible tour de force.” Ave Maria Radio
“Staggeringly beautiful…score of the year” Movie Music UK
“Boundless expression of joy…score of the year” Movie-wave.net
“Tender, heartfelt, soaring, gorgeous…score of the year” Score Zone
“profound…inspiring and haunting…stunningly beautiful.” Movie Music International
“You’re going to have goosebumps…one of the best scores of the year.” Cinematic Sound
“An ode to symphonic beauty…do not miss this celebration of life and love” Soundtrack Dreams
Brought to tears…the 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’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

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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 “Only love is creative.” 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 García Peña, and Gregorio Núñez.

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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 Göransson’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 “Only love is creative.” 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 García Peña, and Gregorio Núñez.

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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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Dragonheart: Battle for the Heartfire Soundtrack Interview

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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…OK…I’ll use them and have them play 4 times…just 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”…she 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.

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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…OK…I’ll use them and have them play 4 times…just 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”…she 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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Welcome

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Welcome to this newly revised Mark McKenzie website. It plays new music each time you visit and we invite you linger on the Home page, watch the beautiful nature pictures pass by and listen to endless music of Mark McKenzie. There is much to explore through the various pages thanks to designer Justin Durban and host Amélie Koran. Special thanks to New Hampshire artist Craig Pursley for this portrait painted for the “Circle of Inspiration” Art Exhibit in Pasadena California: 26 New pieces of art each inspired by different tracks from Mark’s movie scores.

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DRAGONHEART 3: SORCERER’S CURSE Pumping Adrenaline on iTunes and Varese Sarabande Records

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Varese Sarabande Records released a limited autographed Cd of Dragonheart 3: Sorcerer’s Curse. Universal’s Back Lot Music also released it digitally on iTunes so it is available most anywhere music is sold.  Over 77 minutes of music, epic battles, tense moments, action, triumph, thrills, humor, mystery, heart, magical happenings; it’s all there.

Thanks to J. Broxton at Movie Music UK who writes: “A new score by Mark McKenzie is always a special event…The score’s finale, comprising the cues “Clans Arrive For War,” “Battle to the Death” and “Final Victory and End Credits,” is a 20-minute action extravaganza, featuring some of the most brutal and complicated battle music …anyone used to his sweeping romance and lush religioso themes may be surprised to hear him pumping so much adrenaline…Dragonheart 3 is a great score, full of all the things we have come to expect from Mark McKenzie: moving themes, intellectually sound dramatic development, clever and creative orchestrations, and plenty of heart and passion.”
Thanks also to R. Larson who writes:  …brimming with sonic dimension and orchestral prowess…don’t let the fact that it’s a synth-and-samples performance dissuade you from experiencing an honestly thrilling and authentically-sounding fantasy-action score. The focus in this score is on motif-infused battle action, but McKenzie does find opportunities for eloquent reflection, as in the introspective “One Rejected Knight,” the renewing “Desires Can Spoil A Dream And A Heart,” and the tender “Goodbye My Friend.” There is also more emphasis on Celtic influences on this score from both pipes and chorus, which contrasts nicely with the traditional symphonic base of the music.  “Shadow Hopping” adopts the flavor of a Celtic dance. Mark McKenzie has been rightfully noted for his intimate, melodic drama scores like THE LOST CHILD, THE ULTIMATE GIFT, and THE ULTIMATE LIFE, but hopefully hisDRAGONHEART 3 score may remind filmmakers to bring him on board more action films as well.”

Below are some of the liner notes:

There’s nothing I know of more timeless or powerful than the live symphony orchestra with chorus and I believe that will always be true. That said, when asked to compose an electronic score, I found it full of opportunity, a fun challenge, and ultimately satisfying because electronic music grows in quality every day, and is a far cry from what it was just a few years ago. One nice perk; if I wanted 8 trombones, I just added them with no fuss. I dreamed of making the music as sonorous, powerful, symphonic, rhythmic, fun, colorful, thrilling and bold as possible for this fantastic Universal Studios action-adventure Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer’s Curse …beautifully written I might add by Matthew Feitshans, and brilliantly directed by Colin Teague.

It is rewarding to freely use alternating complex and compound meters and rhythms with no concern about the time and expense it adds to live orchestral and choral recording. 17/8 is a first and composing the final 21-minute action sequence, (the final 3 tracks of this soundtrack) punctuated with choir chants, percussion and brass gave me a grander sense of scope than I’d experienced before. The action sequence Colin created in the final reel is thrilling to me as a composer. You’ll notice that the end credits include live orchestral music from Dragonheart: A New Beginning and you will undoubtedly enjoy Randy Edelman’s iconic “Dragonheart” theme sprinkled throughout.

Producer Raffaella de Laurentiis, director Colin Teague, production executives Hester Hargett-Aupetit, Jan Kikumoto, Patti Jackson, George Engel and Angela Leus allowed me great latitude, support and encouragement throughout the composing process. For those and others like Maria Frisen, Emily Chu, Stefan Henrix, and Jonathan Wales I am grateful. To learn more and hear more of my music, I invite you to join me at www.markmckenzie.org and on facebook at Mark McKenzie Music.

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ARTIST EXPLAINS ATTRACTION TO MCKENZIE’S MUSIC and CIRCLE OF INSPIRATION ART SHOW

Artist CRAIG PURSLEY writes: “I’m not sure I have ever been more inspired than the last eight months of 2014! In April I first heard a film score by Mark McKenzie and loved it; so melodic, embued with emotion without being saccarine and for me, SO visual! After hearing several of them, I was so impressed that I wrote him what amounted to a fan letter, And I was surprised when he wrote back. After several exchanged emails, I asked if he would be interested in a joint show- his music that inspired my paintings and he agreed. The result was 38 paintings in total…. I have been listening to soundtracks while I paint for more than 25 years, so I thought I knew all the great ones from Korngold to Zimmer so I was surprised when I first heard the score to “The Ultimate Gift”. So melodic and interesting. I bought a couple more and soon owned 17 of Mark’s scores. Quickly I felt like he was the Tchaikovsky of film score composers. While this may sound over the top, those who know me understand that I do NOT speak in hyperbole. Like Tchaikovsky, he is great at simple and beautiful melody like Romeo and Juliet (or Saving Sarah Cain for Mark) and great with power like the 1812 Overture (or The Greatest Miracle). He is capable of expressing the widest range of deep emotions of any composer alive now or ever! The fact that his films are lesser known than some for whom other film score composers have written does not diminish his personal excellence. Speaking as one who has a library of soundtracks building for decades, he should, in my opinion, have a row of Oscars on his mantel already. Hopefully, he will get his due and they will start lining up soon!” Thank you Craig!

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ART INSPIRED BY MARK MCKENZIE MUSIC TIRAGE ART GALLERY FEB 7, 2015

Thanks to award winning New Hampshire Artist Craig Pursley who has created an entire art show of 38 paintings, each inspired by a different piece of McKenzie movie music. That show will run from February 7th – March 7th at the Tirage Art Gallery in PASADENA. If you are around, plan to visit opening day, Saturday February 7th. Craig will paint a portrait from 2-5PM of Mark and discuss his work. The Open house that both Craig and Mark will attend is from 5-7PM.  To see each painting and the music piece that inspired it, visit “Circle of Inspiration.”

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INSPIRED BY PAUL McCARTNEY / MUSIC IS FOR SHARING

10.14.13  Rochester Post Bulletin written by Tom Weber

“…McKenzie  is returning to Lake City, MN to perform, for the first time, a solo piano concert Sept. 25 at the Lincoln High School auditorium…But why now, after all these years? That answer came from one of McKenzie’s partners on a recent project: Paul McCartney. McKenzie and McCartney worked together recently at Abbey Road studios in London on McCartney’s “Music of the Spheres”symphonic suite for the new game “Destiny.”

During a break in recording, McCartney told McKenzie he likes nothing better than sharing his music with people.

Shortly afterward, McKenzie said, “I woke up with the thought that music is for sharing.I’ve never had a performer’s temperament, but you start to realize this isn’t about me. Hopefully, it will be an evening of sharing music.”

So now McKenzie is ready to get back to where he once belonged.

For the concert, McKenzie will play selections from his movies in their original piano-only form. Then, he’ll play a scene from the movie, with the same basic tune now in its orchestrated version.

The concert will open with music from “Dances with Wolves,” the first film on which the classically-music trained McKenzie worked. “It changed my mind about music in general,” he said of that experience. “I’ve tried to focus my career on writing beautiful music.”

McKenzie started piano lessons in Lake City, and also took lessons in Rochester. He earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, then did his master’s and doctorate at the University of Southern California.

As part of the concert, McKenzie wants to pay tribute to his music teachers in Lake City, share life lessons he’s learned and plans to end with a question-and-answer session.

“I’ll answer things like, ‘What was Paul McCartney like?'” he said.

Well, what was he like?

“You know,” McKenzie said, “I’ve worked with a lot of movie stars. My anticipation was that he would be aloof and guarded. But when he walked in the room it was like an old buddy walked in. There was not one iota of ‘Look at me, I’m a star.’ I came home so inspired by his humility, his love for people.”

That inspiration is what McKenzie hopes to draw upon for his first solo piano concert.”

http://www.postbulletin.com/entertainment/mckenzie-inspired-by-mccartney-gets-back-to-lake-city/article_af7c6b21-d2b8-5ae2-b87c-7c114ba6b325.html

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MCKENZIE #1 in SCOREKEEPER LIST OF COMPOSERS

12.09.13 MCKENZIE #1 in SCOREKEEPER LIST OF COMPOSERS WHO SHOULD BE SCORING MORE MOVIES
In a relatively short period of time, McKenzie has quietly established himself as a master symphonist with a profound sense of drama…His penchant for piquant melodies and the kaleidoscopic ways he dresses them sets this talented composer apart from his contemporaries. He is one of the best dramatists working today and an exemplar of the powerful force behind music in films. SCORE KEEPER ARTICLE  (Picture by Daniel Sanchez)

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MARK MCKENZIE RADIO INTERVIEW

10.14.13 MARK MCKENZIE RADIO INTERVIEW
Thank you to WGWG radio and Noel T. Manning for this in-depth discussion about “The Ultimate LIfe” music, Mark’s childhood in a small town (Lake City, MN) beginnings of a career, work process, Michael Landon Jr, John Barry, Paul McCartney, Jerry Goldsmith, and much more: WGWG RADIO

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