Mark McKenzie

composer mark mckenzie

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 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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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…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 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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REPEATEDLY CALLED SCORE OF THE YEAR!

“A triumphant ravishing masterwork…finest film music yet for 2018” American Music Preservation

“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 Score Zone

“You’re going to have goosebumps…one of the best scores of the year.” Cinematic Sound

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

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

“I was brought to tears…the 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’s Score of the Year…I genuinely can’t 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…the finest film music yet for 2018.  McKenzie’s startlingly beautiful music reaches layers, depths and textures of ethereal redemption and spiritual ascension stunningly realized and performed.  Joshua Bell’s superb virtuoso violin, along with the sublime vocal performance by The London Boys Choir, elevates the force and majesty of McKenzie’s remarkable score to unimagined heights of tearful grandeur.”Steve Vertlieb American Music Preservation.”

Tender, heart-felt, soaring…McKenzie’s music here certainly qualifies as amidst ‘the best’ 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….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’re wrong and up comes “Heaven’s Welcome” 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’t interested in honors saying: “I’ve been honored enough, the joy is in the journey and in my students.” 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’ve ever heard. The audience stunned, I stood paralyzed thinking “I’ve 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 “It’s fine…go ahead and play.” That was his lifelong message to each of his students; don’t ever let anything stop you…fearlessly use your gift and do what you are called to do. Don’t stop. Don’t ever give up…ever.

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, “I chose to teach music in high school because the young minds there are still pliable.” 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, “What does that mean?” Well maybe not much really…only 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.

“I have no mentor, I’m my own man” 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?

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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
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MAX AND ME: 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 at most music outlets including:

 iTunes

Amazon,

YouTube

Spotify, and others

“A triumphant ravishing masterwork…finest film music yet for 2018” Film Music Review
“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

One hundred thirty-five of London’s 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 “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 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

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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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