Mark McKenzie

Robert Ruberto

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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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

View »

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.

View »

IFMCA NOMINATES MAX AND ME FOR BEST SCORE OF THE YEAR

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

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.

View »

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
View »