World Soundtrack Awards showcase best film music

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By Ray Bennett

It’s a measure of the authority of the World Soundtrack Awards that while the Academy Awards last time nominated two of the best film scores from last year, the Ghent event has nominated all four plus one that will be a contender at next year’s Oscars.

Steven Price, who won the Oscar for “Gravity” will compete on Saturday night for Best Original Film Score of the Year at the WSA with Alex Ebert for “All Is Lost”, Oscar-nominee Arcade Fire for “Her”, Alexandre Desplat for this year’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and Hans Zimmer for “12 Years A Slave”.

Price, who also scored “The World’s End” and current release “Fury”, Desplat and Oscar-winner Zimmer (“The Lion King”) also are in the running for the award for Film Composer of the Year. Desplat, whose score for “Philomena” was a worthy Oscar contender in 2014, also is cited for “Godzilla”, “Marius”, “The Monuments Men”, “Venus In Fur” and “Zulu” (2013). Zimmer also is cited for Hans Zimmer “Man of Steel”, “Rush”, and “The Lone Ranger”.

WSA 2014 logo

Others nominated as Film Composer of the Year are Marco Beltrami for “A Good Day to Die Hard”, “Carrie”, “The Homesman”, “Snowpiercer”, “Warm Bodies”, “The Wolverine” and “World War Z” and Oscar-winner Gabriel Yared (“The English Patient”) for “A Promise”, “In Secret”, “Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet” and “Tom à la ferme”.

A highlight on the international film music calendar, the World Soundtrack Awards take place in Belgium at the close of the Ghent International Film Festival. For 14 years, the festival has attracted the top composers and songwriters from Hollywood and elsewhere, and this edition is no different with many of the nominees expected to be on hand.

At the concert gala on Saturday night, 82-year-old French composer Francis Lai, who wrote the score for Claude Lelouch’s Best Foreign Language Oscar-winner  “A Man and a Woman” (1966) and had a massive hit with his Oscar-winning music for Arthur Hiller’s “Love Story” (1970), will receive the WSA Lifetime Achievement Award. Top-ranked film music conductor Dirk Brossé will conduct the Brussels Philharmonic in a selection of Lai’s scores from films such as “Live for Life” (1967), “Bilitis” (1977) and “Rider on the Rain” (1970).

The awards will be presented in the first half of the awards gala with the second half given over to performances of movie scores by former Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Cliff Martinez with a focus on his long-time collaboration with Steven Soderbergh on films such as “Sex, Lies and Videotape”, “Traffic”, “Kafka”, “Contagion”, “The Limey” and “Solaris”. Brossé will conduct of the guest of honour’s two cult scores for Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Drive” and “Only God Forgives” plus Harmony Korine’s “Spring Breakers”.

WSA Discovery of the Year in 2013, Dan Romer will on hand for a performance of themes he wrote for “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and jazz musician Jeff Neve’s score for Flemish drama series “In Vlaamse Velden” also will be featured.

Nino Rota concert x300The 41st Ghent International Film Festival continues today with Film Music Industry panels that feature conductor Brossé, who also writes film and TV music (“Parade’s End”), and composers Price, Martinez and Romer along with Iceland’s Jóhann Johannson (“Mystery”) and France’s Cyril Morin (“The Activist”, “Borgia”) and Valentin Hadjadj (“L’Infini”, “Hors Cadre”).

Tonight, there’s a concert at Ghent’s De Bijloke Music Centre of Nino Rotas music for Federico Fellini films such as “La Dolce Vita” and “La Strada” performed by the Brussels Philharmonic conducted by Brossé. On Friday, the festival theme this year – Cinéma Français – also be the focus of an all-day film music seminar with French author, scriptwriter and critic Thierry Jousse and French composers Bruno Coulais (“Microcosmos”, “Les adieux a la Reine”, “Les Choristes”) and Philippe Sarde (“Tess”, “Les Choses de la Vie”.

For more information, go to World Soundtrack Awards

World Soundtrack Awards Nominees 2014

Sabam Award for the Most Original Composition by a Young European Composer

Hugo Lippens

Moritz Schmittat

Cyril Molesti

Spotify Public Choice Award 

‘Last Passenger’ by Liam Bates

‘Marina’ by Michelino Bisceglia

‘Metro Manila’ by Robin Foster

‘Prisoners’ by Johann Johannsson

‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ by Howard Shore

Best Original Song Written For A Film

‘Amen’ (‘All Is Lost’), music & lyrics by Alex Ebert performed by Alex Ebert

‘Happy’ (‘Despicable Me 2’) music & lyrics by Pharrell Williams, performed by Pharrell Williams

‘Let It Go’ (‘Frozen’), music & lyrics by Kirsten Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez performed by Idina Menzel

‘Ordinary Love’ (‘Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom’), music & lyrics by Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr., Brian Burton performed by U2

‘The Moon Song’ (‘Her’), music & lyrics by Karen O. and Spike Jonze, performed by Scarlett Johansson & Joaquin Phoenix

Discovery of the Year 2014 

Daniel Pemberton, ’Cuban Fury’, ‘The Counselor’

Denis Sanacore, ’The Young & Prodigious T.S. Spivet’

Jérôme Lemonnier, ’La Chair de ma Chair’, ‘Zum Geburtstag’

Patrick Cassidy, ’Calvary’

Steven Price, ‘Gravity’, ‘The World’s End’

Best Original Film Score of the Year 

‘All Is Lost’ by Alex Ebert

‘Gravity’ by Steven Price

‘Her’ by Arcade Fire

‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ by Alexandre Desplat

‘12 Years A Slave’ by Hans Zimmer

Film Composer of the Year

Marco Beltrami, ’A Good Day to Die Hard’, ‘Carrie’, ‘The Homesman’, ‘Snowpiercer’, ‘Warm Bodies’, ‘The Wolverine’, ‘World War Z’

Alexandre Desplat, ’Godzilla’, ‘Marius’, ‘Philomena’, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, ‘The Monuments Men’, ‘Venus In Fur’, ‘Zulu’

Steven Price, ’Gravity’, ‘The World’s End’

Gabriel Yared, ’A Promise’, ‘In Secret’, ‘Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet’, ‘Tom à la ferme’

Hans Zimmer, ’12 Years A Slave’, ‘Man of Steel’, ‘Rush’, ‘The Lone Ranger’

Lifetime Achievement Award

Francis Lai

‘Un homme et une femme’, ‘Love Story’, ‘Le Passager de la pluie’, ‘Anima Persa’, ‘Les Ripoux’, ‘Oci Ciornie’ (‘Dark Eyes’).

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