But just when you might think Ralston’s approach is going to be all noble native, he throws in honkytonk and a heavy metal rock guitar to give the score the thoroughly modern, and rebellious attitude of its young team members who go from zeroes to heroes. It’s this kind of constantly surprising depth and sense of sports adventure that will hopefully let “Crooked Arrows” fly Ralston straight, and deservedly into the big leagues with his terrific score that’s seemingly shot out of from nowhere.
This is definitely an inspiration of a score like “Remember The Titans”, but it is completely original and Ralston’s work is just as good as Trevor Rabin on that level...the album is one of the more engaging and surprisingly solid ones of 2013. I can easily see way people were raving about Brian Ralston’s score and they were right on the money on this one. “Crooked Arrows” a solid stand out this year. Thumbs up!
Brian Ralston’s soundtrack for the film Crooked Arrows is quite intriguing from the earliest notes...There is a modern feel to the way the music was approached, but there’s also something about it that emanates an almost ‘ancient’ quality.....One part of it is almost like The Mentalist by Blake Neely meets James Horner’s Field of Dreams.
Effectively adding to the 1980s vibe [of AWAKEN] is the score by Kays Al-Atrakchi and Brian Ralston, which is reminiscent of the work the late James Horner created early in his career for Roger Corman on films such as Humanoids from the Deep and The Lady in Red.
I have collaborated with Brian on five projects now. He is in that very rare group of composers who do more than simply write music. He passionately uncovers and translates the soul of your project into something you can hear that moves the audience. I find myself frequently understanding layers in my work in a new and deeper way through his music. Add to this his ability to be very “user friendly” when working creatively with directors, as well as his skill at simultaneously understanding the work from a producer’s perspective (both things many composers are often lacking) make him a first choice, must hire, on any project.
Working with Brian Ralston will absolutely spoil a filmmaker from working with any other composer. I’ve had the honor of working with Brian on a few different projects, and every time, he completely overwhelms me with his talent and intelligence. Brian is no one trick pony, he has the skill and ability to read a script, and create fully realized music, perfect for that world, those characters, and the necessary tone. His knowledge goes far beyond just that of music, he’s a true rarity that totally understands story and a director’s vision. Brian did not just add to my work, he became an invaluable part of it.
Brian tackled the score for Crooked Arrows with incredible gusto. He skillfully blended an inspiring sports movie score with ancient Native American music that captured the emotional core of our movie. We were lucky to have him.
In composing our score for Crooked Arrows, Brian provided us with a classic inspirational Hollywood score that also appealed to our movie’s young family friendly audience — while also deftly incorporating the Native American feeling and soul crucial to the film’s integrity. He assembled a top quality orchestra for our movie and masterfully delivered all of that on time and on budget. Hearing our music come alive at the scoring session with some of Hollywood’s finest musicians was one of the highlights as producer of the movie — and hearing it in theaters really helped the movie to the next level. I receive countless compliments on the score. Brian did a superb job.
On Graduation, Brian created a score that melds a heist melody with the raw rock influence of the source songs. He is not only a musical genius, but Brian also has a technological proficiency and curiosity that saved us many times over in Post-Production.
My films have been blessed with creative gifts of great composers; even music that won an Oscar. Small productions always have budgets that demand a lot for very little, and their post-productions are always fast, so there’s not enough time to compose, let alone develop, arrange, record, edit and mix. Crooked Arrows had even more challenges as the first American Indian action film since Cowboys & Indians (which was racist fantasy then, and unacceptable today.) Brian had already figured out the unique socio-political pitfalls and creative challenges when he applied for the job, and he had a demo with his creative vision of “honest-but-accessible” Native Music. Brian delivered what he promised — authentic Native American melodies and rhythms, overlaid with countermelodies and harmonies for 21st Century ears — at the same time underscoring lacrosse sports action; both historic and contemporary. I think it’s a great piece of film scoring!
Ralston’s richly thematic score is full of the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, music that keeps excellent track of the emotional plays at hand, all with electronic writing for suspense and meditation that’s equally as effective. But it’s the percussive, and wind-borne tradition of American Indian music that really sends “Crooked Arrows” soaring, with drums and winds evoking the game as far more of a contest of honor than scoring points, dutifully avoiding “Indian” music clichés all the while.
Brian Ralston and the rapturous performance of The Hollywood Studio Symphony Orchestra resurrect the vivaciously tragic spirit of screen siren Rita Hayworth for the movie within-a-play to “Negotiating Identities” and the on-stage events of “Private Dancer,” not only paying tribute to the composers like Hugo Friedhofer and Heinz Roemheld who helped make her a Hollywood goddess in “Gilda and “The Lady From Shanghai,” but also to such luminaries as Ralston’s teacher David Raksin (“Laura”), with an homage to Bernard Herrmann’s “Vertigo” and the Latin rhythms of the actress’ Spanish heritage for a soundtrack that powerfully blends the music of stage, screen and real life (Perseverance).
Best Soundtrack discoveries of 2013 - Best Soundtrack Newcomers of 2013
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